Life Cover Existing Customer Help & FAQs

Life Insurance: get help getting covered

Choosing the right life insurance can seem a bit complicated. But it needn't be. We're here to help.



Your life cover questions answered

This section covers the basics of what life insurance is, how it works and who can apply. We'll also help you work out what you need cover for, how long – and what that might cost. All this can help you find the right type of cover to protect what matters most to you.

What is life insurance?

It's a way to give you some reassurance and your loved ones some extra financial security if you die. It can also provide some financial comfort at a difficult time if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness that meets our definition as per the Terms and Conditions.

It's not all that different from other types of insurance. If you insure a car or a house, you pay an agreed amount or 'premium' each month. The insurance company pays if it gets stolen, damaged or destroyed. 

With life insurance, the insurer pays out if you die within the term of the policy. You won’t be around to receive the money yourself, but you'll be able to leave it to your family or loved ones. 

It also includes terminal illness cover from day one. So, if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness, that meets our definitions, we'll pay the sum assured early, which could remove financial worries at a difficult time.

How much life insurance do I need?

What is your monthly income after tax?


Question 1 of 6

Question 1 of 6

Who can take out Post Office life insurance? 

You can apply for a Post Office Life Insurance policy if you're:

  • Aged 18–70
  • A UK resident

Your age, medical history, whether you smoke and the length and type of cover you'd like will be taken into account when considering your application and calculating what you'll pay each month.

What is Critical Illness Cover?

It pays a cash sum if you suffer from cancer; excluding less advanced cases, heart attack; of specified severity, stroke; resulting in permanent symptoms or coronary by-pass grafts; with a surgery to divide the breastbone.

At such a difficult time, it can ease financial pressure on you, your family or your partner - like helping for a mortgage, rent, everyday living costs, even modifications needed to your home as a result of your illness.

What is children's cover?

It's an optional extra to cover your little ones, by choosing to add children's cover to your Post Office Life Insurance policy, for a little extra each month, you'll get a one-off lump sum payment if any of your insured children suffer an accidental death or are diagnosed with a serious injury or illness, to help support you and your family at a difficult time.

It's designed to help cover extra costs that may be incurred for things like medical expenses, taking time off to attend hospital appointments and arranging childcare or making adaptations to your home, if your insured child suffers a specified injury or illness that meets our definitions.

Choosing the right Cover

Before choosing any products, please read all information, in particular terms and conditions and get some unbiased advise if you're still unsure.

Protect what matters in minutes, like your loved ones and lifestyle, in case the unexpected happens.

Did you know?

Universities in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland can charge up to £9,250 a year for undergraduate tuition

Some common questions

Who or what do you want to protect?

Many people choose life insurance with a specific purpose in mind and an idea of who they want to leave their money to. 

Normally that would be your partner or children. But it might be someone else like a parent or a sibling, or even someone who’s just a special friend.

You may have a mortgage or other outstanding loans that need clearing if you're not around to do so. To leave money to fund private or university education for your children or dependents.

There are different types of life insurance depending upon your needs, so it’s important you get all the facts before you get a quote.

Remember though, that if you want any benefit to go to a specific person then you could consider writing the policy into trust. For more information on this you should speak to an independent advisor.


How much cover do you need?

Depending on your age we can provide life insurance cover up to £750,000 if you were to die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. You just need to decide how much cover you want or can afford each month.

Do some calculations or get someone to help you. You can also use our life insurance calculator help you. If you have a mortgage, think about what's left to pay. Then consider all the day-to-day living costs and other one-off costs your family might face over the time period they'd normally depend on you for.

Be realistic, include rent, utility bills, education costs, birthdays, weddings and holidays, These costs can add up.

The Money Advice Service has lots of calculator tools that can help.


How long will you need the cover for?

You can choose how long you want to be protected and decide the length (or term) of the policy.

It can last any whole number of years between 5 and 40; but it must end before your 81st birthday.

When deciding your term, think about how long's left on your mortgage, when your children will be out of education and earning their own keep, and how old your partner's likely to be when they retire.

And remember, the length of the cover will have an impact on what you pay each month.


How much do you want to pay?

You can work this out in two ways. Decide how much you'd like your beneficiaries to receive and see how much that will cost. Or choose what you’d like to pay and see what cash sum that will buy.

Generally, the more you contribute the greater the amount your beneficiaries will receive. But consider the effect of inflation when making your calculations. 

The amount you are insured against isn’t index linked so its real value will fall over time, unless you choose an increasing cover policy (see below). So £100,000 today wouldn't be worth £100,000 in 20 years' time.

The Bank of England’s Inflation Calculator lets you see the impact of inflation over time.


Get the right cover for your needs

Post Office offers three types of Life Insurance:

Level Cover

Pay a fixed amount each month and you could leave a cash sum for your loved ones if you die during the policy.

The money could help them pay off an interest-only mortgage, clear other debts and maintain their lifestyle.

Decreasing Cover

Pay a lower monthly amount, for cover that reduces over the life of your policy.

Also called mortgage life insurance, this type of cover could help pay off a repayment mortgage and other debts that reduce over time, like loans and credit cards.

Increasing Cover

Reduce the effect of inflation on the money you leave behind for your family.

Pay a fixed amount each month. We'll increase it each year. And we'll increase the amount your policy pays out each year too, to combat the rising cost of living.

The right life insurance for you will depend on what you need cover for, how much you need and over what period. We've compared our cover types in more detail so you can see which best suits you.

More answers to your questions


About life insurance

How does Post Office Life Insurance work?

Post Office Life Insurance is a life assurance policy that pays an amount of money (cash sum) if, during your chosen policy term, you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness that meets the definition, as per the Terms and Conditions

If we pay your cash sum your policy will end. If you're still alive at the end of your policy term and haven't been diagnosed with a terminal illness, your policy will end and you won't receive a pay-out.


I don't work. Why would I need life insurance?

Is your partner the main income earner? Would they need to continue working if you died? Life insurance could help them pay someone to do tasks you currently do around the house or elsewhere. Housework, preparing meals, looking after your children and so on.

Can I have a joint policy?

Yes, you can. Joint life insurance protects two people under one policy with one monthly premium payment, but only pays out once if a policy holder dies within the term. Two single policies protect each policyholder separately but will mean paying two premiums each month. Which option is right for you?

About what you pay

How much will I pay each month?

What you pay depends not only on the amount of cover and your term, but also to an extent on you. Your age, medical history and lifestyle will be taken into account when calculating your monthly payments.

Life insurance costs more the older you get. That's because statistically you’re more likely to die as you advance in years. Because the insurer only pays out if you die, the younger and healthier you are the less life insurance costs. Smokers and people who lead unhealthy lifestyles or have a pre-existing medical condition will find life insurance more expensive too or may be unable to obtain cover. 

If you're applying for Post Office Life Insurance, we'll only ask you the questions we need to get your price. 

Please be honest when answering any questions we do ask, though. Giving incorrect or inaccurate information may reduce your pay-out in the event of a claim or worst case your policy may be cancelled and any claim refused. 


How long do I pay my monthly payments for?

Your monthly payments will continue until the earliest of these:

  • The end of the term of your policy
  • Your death
  • Our acceptance of your diagnosis of a terminal illness

If you make a claim after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, please don't stop paying your monthly payments until we've confirmed your terminal illness meets our definition, as per the Terms and Conditions. 

What we pay out and when

When will my policy pay out?

A cash sum payment will be made if you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, within the term of the policy.

We'll pay it out early if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness that meets the definition as per the terms and conditions with a life expectancy of less than 12 months. We only pay out for terminal illness once, and the policy will end once we do. The policy is not guaranteed to pay off your loan or mortgage (if this is the purpose of the policy). The policy has no cash-in value. The policy ends if you stop making monthly payments during the payment term. Your cash sum is dependent on your age, smoker status, length and type of cover your personal circumstances.

When you apply it is important that you answer our application questions honestly and accurately, as proving incorrect answers could mean that a claim is not paid.

How much does the Decreasing policy go down by?

The sum assured reduces each month in line with the amount owed on a repayment mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 8%.

How much does the Increasing Cover go up by?

Your sum assured will increase annually in line with retail price index, up to a maximum of 10%.

Critical illness cover and terminal illness

What classes as a terminal illness?

Our terminal illness means a definite diagnosis by the attending medical specialist of an illness that satisfies both of the following:

  • The illness either has no known cure or has progressed to the point where it cannot be cured; and
  • In the opinion of the attending medical specialist, the illness is expected to lead to death within 12 months.

Does Post Office Insurance come with critical illness cover?

You can choose to add critical illness cover to your Post Office Insurance policy, at additional cost, when you apply. You can find out more here.

Does Post Office Insurance come with children's cover?

Yes, like critical illness cover, you can add the optional children's cover, at additional cost, when you apply for your Post Office Life Insurance policy. You can find out more here.

How do i buy life insurance with critical illness cover or children's cover?

The simplest way is to click the "get a quote" button on any of the Post Office Life Insurance pages.

You can buy Post Office Life Insurance online or over the phone, where you can choose to also apply for critical illness cover and or children's cover.

Please read all the details of the policy before applying, including the terms and conditions.

Can I choose my level of critical illness cover?

Yes. The critical illness cover amount is between £10,000 to £200,000 or no more than 100% of the life insurance policy cash sum.

Will my Post Office Life Insurance cover stop if I claim for critical illness cover?

No. Once we’ve paid a claim for a critical illness your critical illness cover will stop. However, the rest of your policy will continue and future monthly payments will reduce as you won’t be paying for your critical illness cover. As long as you keep paying, your life cover cash sum will stay in place for the duration of your policy.

Will my life cover cash sum go down if I claim for critical illness cover?

No. Your critical illness cover is separate and not deducted from your life cover cash sum. Keep making your monthly payments and you'll still get 100% of your life cover cash sum if you die during the life of your policy.

Can I add Critical Illness Cover later?

Yes. You can add the critical illness cover after the policy start date.

What changes can I make?

You can remove, increase or decrease critical illness cover (subject to policy limits) from your Post Office Life Insurance. If you cancel your Post Office Life Insurance, the critical illness cover is also cancelled.

Do I get any medical consultation?

If you take our Post Office Life Insurance, with or without adding critical illness cover or children's cover, you won't get a medical consultation.

What about tax?

The cash sum you receive from a critical illness cover or children's cover is currently tax free. Tax rules may change in future.

Mortgage and estate questions

I don't have a mortgage. Why do I need life insurance?

Even if you don't have a mortgage, life insurance could help your family cover the cost of everyday living and maintain their lifestyle. Things like rent, private or university education costs, birthdays, weddings. Even domestic tasks if whoever's left behind works and has to pay someone to do them after you're gone.

Does life insurance increase inheritance tax?

In some circumstances, yes. Trusts come with important legal implications, and should only be entered into after thorough discussion with an impartial legal or financial consultant. Once you have placed your policy in trust, it is very difficult to undo this, so being certain of what you are doing beforehand is crucial. There are several kinds of trust available, so it is also important to think long-term about how you want your money to be handled when considering this path. Get unbiased help contacting professionals such as IFAs and solicitors.

Support for your loved ones

How does someone claim on my policy?

Losing a loved one is a difficult time. The last thing those you leave behind need is a drawn out claims process. When the time comes, we'll make it easy for your personal representatives to claim the cash sum from your policy. 

If you've recently lost someone and need to claim, you can find all of the information you need here.


What will we need to process a claim?

We'll need to know the policy number and details of the claim.

If you have written your policy under trust or you have assigned your policy to another person, we will pay the cash sum to the assignee or trustees.

The person making the claim must send all original documentation to us, showing they are entitled to receive the cash sum, before we will pay any cash sum to them.
This documentation must include any deed of assignment, trust deed, or deed altering the trust.

Full details of the claims procedure can be found in the Terms and Conditions, which will also be sent to you when your policy starts.


What is Post Office Here to Help?

It's a service offered with Post Office Life Insurance at no extra cost, that provides one-to-one, long term support from a dedicated personal nurse adviser during bereavement and serious illness.

In these most difficult of times, an advisor from independent nursing service RedArc will provide support if you lose someone, and to your immediate family if you pass away.

They'll also be there for you if you're diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer, cardiac condition, stroke or multiple sclerosis.

If it’s beneficial, a course of assessed therapy or counselling can also be provided. And you can use the service without ever having to claim on your policy.

This service, provided by RedArc is not part of the Post Office Life Insurance contract and can be withdrawn at any time.

What is Post Office Health and Well Being Service?

This is a free access to the health and wellbeing services, designed with your physical and mental wellbeing in mind. You'll have access, at no additional cost, to 24/7 Online GP (UK registered), Nutrition and Fitness professional to get you to your goal, Mental Health and Health Check specialist 365 days a year.

There’s no cap on how many times you can use these services, and your partner and any children up to age 21 can take advantage too. You can get more information here.

This service, provided by Medipartner Ltd is not part of the Post Office Life Insurance contract and can be withdrawn at any time.

Protect what matters in minutes, like your loved ones and lifestyle, in case the unexpected happens.

Things you need to know

† Source:

Post Office Life Insurance is underwritten and administered by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited. Neilson Financial Services Limited assist in the administration

Premiums depend on your age, smoker status, length and type of cover and your personal circumstances at the time you apply.

Post Office Life Insurance offers up to £750,000 cover, depending on your age, for customers who are UK residents aged 18-70 at the start of the policy. The minimum term is 5 years and cover must end before your 90th birthday.

We won’t pay a claim on death if it was as a result of suicide or intentional self-inflicted injury within 12 months of the start date of your policy.

Critical Illness Cover can pay an extra cash sum if you are diagnosed, during the term of your policy, with one of the four critical illnesses covered that meets our definition.

We won’t pay a claim on terminal illness if you don’t meet our definition of terminal illness; or terminal illness is caused by intentional self-inflicted injury within 12 months of the start date of your policy. The full definition of terminal illness can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

We won’t pay a claim if you don’t keep your payments up to date as you will no longer be covered under the policy. If you don’t tell us something or give us incorrect answers to our application questions that affects your cover we may reduce the amount we pay for a claim or at worst cancel your cover and not refund your monthly payments.


Call us now

For an instant quote or answers to your questions.

0330 123 3919 08.00-19.00 Monday – Friday
09.00 – 17.00 Saturday

Already a customer?

More details