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Cheap Life Insurance

How to make your money go further when buying life products.

Getting cheap life insurance needn’t mean compromising on cover- you can shop around for a better deal, you can buy from a discount operator who will rebate you some of his commission back to you, and you can try to find the (rapidly disappearing) mutual societies which don’t have shareholders to pay off.

To get cheap life insurance, as well as knowing what sort of product you want, you need to understand a bit about the life insurance market; because rates don’t stay the same, and neither do the providers.

To begin with, when you draw up your shortlist, don’t ignore brokers. You may think that by buying direct, you’re getting the best deal, but that’s not necessarily the case. Brokers will often “discount” by sharing some of their commission (the money they get for selling a company’s products) with you. This can often mean you get a better deal than going direct. Crazy… but true.

One more thing about brokers: there is a huge difference between independent advisers and “agents”. Only an independent adviser can offer you impartial assistance in choosing a product. Agents are usually tied to one company and can only offer advice on that company’s products. If you want to get cheap life insurance from a genuinely wide range of options, be sure to go for an independent adviser. If you’re not sure, simply ask: “Are you an independent adviser able to offer guidance from the full range of life products or are you an agent tied to one financial group’s products?”

When looking for a cheap life insurance product, you also need to know the difference between mutual companies and those beholden to shareholders. There are fewer and fewer mutual companies these days, but in essence they are owned by their customers, and therefore profits are ploughed back into lower premiums for you, the customer. Mutual companies don’t have to give money or profits to shareholders, so there’s more in benefits to the client. In theory, mutual companies should offer a better deal than quoted companies with shareholders, although that’s only one of several considerations.

Finally remember you’re in a fast-moving business. Unlike the situation as little as 25 years ago, the life market is full of new players and new products. That means that there are plenty of special offers from companies looking to increase market share. Especially with term assurance products, you’re well advised to reassess your policy every five years or so. For example, what used to be considered a cheap mortgage life assurance product five years ago is now almost certainly well below par. Shop around, and you’ll be amazed at the difference in deals on offer.