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Compare Average Cost of Life Insurance UK 2024

Our latest independent research shows that the average cost of life insurance UK 2024 is £9.71 for single life insurance and £16.84 for joint life insurance. Households in the UK also generally spend between £30 and £40 per month to protect their families or homes, with life insurance premiums starting from only £3.50 per month.

Based on our extensive research and expertise, we found that the average person would take out life insurance at 34 years of age, which is when they buy a home and will also have a family. Reports also suggest that the average mortgage in the UK currently is £189,500 and so we have calculated the cost based on a minimum amount of mortgage protection or family protection.

Taking out life insurance gives you peace of mind that your family are protected if something happened to you or your partner in the future. There are also 4 main types of life insurance policies that offer different levels and types of financial protection to your loved ones in the event of death.

Top financial experts such as Martin Lewis, strongly recommends that people with financial dependents such as children have life insurance. Our Martin Lewis life insurance guide also explains his suggestions for calculating the amount of life cover you might need with the ’10 times the income of the highest earner’ rule.

Martin Lewis’ Guide to Life Insurance – How Much? | This Morning

The average cost of life insurance will also be different for each person depending on their age, health and how much cover they need. This guide explains how the average cost of life insurance UK 2024 works and answers the top questions that people ask about what they should expect to pay for life cover to protect their loved ones.

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60-Second Summary – What is the Average Cost of Life Insurance UK 2024?

Life insurance provides financial protection for you and your family if something happens to the breadwinner in the household. People often ask what the average cost of life insurance is and how much they should pay for life cover.

Usually, the best and cheapest way to get life insurance to protect your family is to speak to a qualified life insurance specialist or an expert.

  • Life insurance premiums start from as little as £3.50 per month in the UK with most of the top life insurance companies, which can protect your whole family.
  • The average cost of life insurance in the UK in 2024 based on our independent research is £9.71 per month for single cover and £16.84 per month for joint cover.
  • Life insurance premiums will be cheaper for younger people and then the cost will increase every year if you apply for cover as you get older.
  • Financial experts such as Martin Lewis, strongly recommend that families have life insurance to protect their children against financial difficulty if a parent dies.
  • According to research from Beagle Street, almost 50% of UK adults between the age of 18 and 40 does not have life insurance to protect their family.

Our latest independent research suggests that the average cost of life insurance in the UK in 2024 is £9.71 for £200,000 of cover over 25 years. The table below shows the cost of family life insurance for £200,000 over 25 years which is roughly the average amount of cover for UK households based on different ages and circumstances.

Age of applicantLife Insurance cost  Life Insurance cost –  SmokerLife Insurance cost – Medical History
20£4.43 (Aviva)£6.68 (Aviva)£7.75 (iam)
25£5.65 (Aviva)£9.10 (L&G)£9.89 (iam)
30£7.37 (Aviva)£12.62 (Guardian)£12.90 (iam)
35£10.28 (Vitality)£19.63 (Guardian)£17.99 (iam)
40£15.27 (Zurich)£31.42 (Guardian)£26.72 (iam)
45£23.70 (L&G)£54.32 (Guardian)£41.47 (iam)
50£38.17 (AIG)£88.66 (AIG)£66.80 (iam)

*our team of life insurance experts regularly reviews the market to get the latest premiums from our live pricing software. The prices quoted above are generated from our independent platform using the latest data from the UK’s top insurance companies at 09/04/24.

The table above also shows that the average cost of life insurance UK 2024 is far cheaper than many people think. In relative terms, life insurance costs about the same amount as 3 cups of coffee from a high street coffee shop or less than a quarter of what we spend on our television subscriptions.

Last year, our experts did the same survey and we found that the average cost of life insurance was approximately £38 per month, though of course, some people will pay more or less than this based on the amount of cover they have and other factors.

It can be helpful to look at the average cost of cover to help you work out if life insurance is affordable for you. The cost you pay could vary from the average though and there are some simple ways to reduce the price you pay. The easiest way to do this would be to speak with a life insurance specialist who can help you compare the best quotes quickly and easily to find the lowest pricing for the cover you need.

A woman talking on the phone with the caption 'Average cost of Life Insurance Guide. Our experts explain how to find the Cheapest and Best Life Insurance'

Martin Lewis suggests that households should consider ‘ten times the income of the highest earner’ for life insurance. This is his figure for making sure that your family would be properly protected financially if you or your partner dies.

Our research suggests that the average cost of Martin Lewis life insurance UK 2024 is £10.95 for a non-smoker and £18.72 for a smoker. Most life insurance applications are for people in the 30 to 39 years of age bracket and would therefore be for £342,260 based on the Martin Lewis ‘ten times’ rule.

The table below shows the average salary by age for the UK from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2022 Annual Salary of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Our insurance experts have also calculated the average cost of Martin Lewis life insurance based on his 10 X rule for each salary bracket.

Age GroupAverage salaryMartin Lewis Life Insurance (Ten times rule)Life insurance premium (non-smoker)Life insurance premium (smoker)
18 to 21 years£13,237£132,370£3.50£4.93
22 to 29 years£26,800£268,000£5.85£9.57
30 to 39 years£34,226£342,260£10.95£18.72
40 to 49 years£38,574£385,740£25.70£56.25
50 to 59 years£36,156£361,560£65.18£157.00

*premiums have been generated based on the youngest age of the age group with a term of 25 years, which is to allow for a mortgage term or for a child to be financially independent.

Martin Lewis clearly recommends life insurance and for more information about his recommendations you can visit our full Martin Lewis life insurance guide.

You can use various online life insurance calculators to get a guide for how much life insurance you might need and for the cost of life insurance. Life insurance calculators do vary so you might find that each of these tools gives a slightly different answer when you put your details in to them.

You can also visit our iam|INSURED life insurance calculator for our own recommendations for protecting your family or home.

The quickest and easiest way to find out what your monthly premiums are likely to be is to contact one of our life insurance experts by calling 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE. People with pre-existing medical conditions should get proper advice from a specialist to make sure that they get a fair price and the best cover.

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There are several factors that make up the calculations for the average cost of life insurance for people in the UK. Every life insurance company has its own price structure and will charge a different premium for different ages of applicants and circumstances.

Top elements for calculating the average cost of life insurance:

  • Age – as you get older your risks of health problems and life expectancy will naturally reduce, which also means that life insurance premiums get higher. Life insurance premiums are generally guaranteed which means that how much you pay each month won’t increase once you’ve got cover in place.
  • Amount of cover (£’s) – more cover will naturally cost more money and so you should expect to pay more each month for higher amounts of cover.
  • Term of policy (years) – you might think that a longer term policy could be cheaper, in fact it’s the other way around. Longer term policies are generally higher premiums because you’ll be older at the end of the term and a higher risk

There are also a number of lifestyle factors, including:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) – life insurance premiums are directly linked to your height and weight (BMI) because of the potential health risks linked to obesity (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnoea etc.).
  • Family history (e.g. natural parents, brothers or sisters) – some medical conditions are classed as hereditary and therefore can be a risk for insurers.
  • Occupation – there are a number of reasons why your job might be classed as higher risk, such as working at heights, diving, aviation or working with hazardous materials.
  • Alcohol consumption – something that has been added to life insurance more recently is alcohol consumption and alcoholism for more extreme cases.
  • Drug use – another disclosure which has been added more recently and is increasing is for people using recreational drugs such as ecstasy, cannabis or cocaine.

These are some of the main points, but there are also a number of other elements that are slightly less common which might apply to your life insurance. Some insurers also use different criteria so these might not apply to every insurance company.

Life Insurance provider reviews

Older people pay more for life insurance and so that means you can save money by taking out life cover when you’re younger. Generally, people applying for life insurance in their 40’s and 50’s will expect to pay significantly more for their cover than someone in their 20’s and 30’s. Another point to consider here is that people are more likely to have a pre-existing medical condition in later life.

Below are a number of different examples of the cost of life insurance for different ages of applicants. It is important to understand that almost all life insurance premiums are guaranteed and don’t increase if you already have a policy in place.

The table below shows the average cost of life insurance £100,000 of family life insurance and mortgage life insurance over 25 years for different ages of applicants.

Your AgeFamily Life InsuranceMortgage Life Insurance
25£3.74 (Aviva)£3.09 (HSBC)
35£5.79 (Vitality)£4.65 (AIG)
45£13.20 (Vitality)£8.58 (AIG)
55£34.53 (Zurich)£19.44 (AIG)

In the table below there are several examples of the average cost of life insurance for £200,000 family life insurance and mortgage life insurance for various ages.

Your AgeFamily Life InsuranceMortgage Life Insurance
25£5.65 (Aviva)£4.61 (HSBC)
35£10.28 (Vitality)£6.73 (AIG)
45£23.70 (L&G)£14.79 (AIG)
55£64.68 (L&G)£35.64 (AIG)

Finally, here are some examples for the average cost of £500,000 of family life insurance and mortgage life insurance for people between 25 and 55 years of age.

Your AgeFamily Life InsuranceMortgage Life Insurance
25£11.14 (Guardian)£7.76 (AIG)
35£21.16 (Guardian)£13.27 (AIG)
45£51.87 (Zurich)£33.59 (AIG)
55£145.16 (Aviva)£94.13 (Zurich)

*premiums have been generated using our live and independent pricing systems from the whole of the UK life insurance market and are correct at 10/04/2024. Costs may vary depending on your circumstances and can change for different people depending on your health and smoker status.

The average cost of joint life insurance UK 2024 is £16.84 for £200,000 of family life insurance (level term insurance) over 25 years. Joint life insurance provides cover for couples and parents to give them financial protection to pay out once if one parent dies.

Calculating the average cost of joint life insurance can also be confusing sometimes because of how the policy pays out (i.e. joint life first death). This means that effectively both lives are covered, but the policy will only pay out once in the event of the first death.

Another thing that adds to the complexity of calculating the average cost of joint life insurance is because most couples are not the same age, for example a couple with a younger partner. Joint life insurance works out the premiums based on the ages of both applicants and therefore the premiums will be to cover both lives.

There are also some other anomalies that you might need to think about which can make things slightly more complicated. For example, if one of the lives to be insured has a pre-existing medical condition, is a smoker or has a dangerous job.

You might also want to consider the option of taking two single life policies against the cost of joint life insurance, which pays out double and can be far more cost-effective.

The table below shows the average cost of joint life insurance and how that compares to the cost of two single life insurance policies.

CoverLife 1 – 35yr old non-smokerLife 2 – 30yr old non-smokerJoint Life Premium
£100,000 Level Term 25 Year Term£5.79 (Vitality)£4.73 (Aviva)£9.31 (Vitality)
£150,000 Level Term 25 Year Term£8.22 (Vitality)£5.67 (Aviva)£12.35 (Zurich)
£200,000 Level Term 25 Year Term£10.28 (Vitality)£7.37 (Aviva)£15.34 (Zurich)

*premiums quoted were calculated on 10/04/2024 and are true as of this date, but these are only to be used for indication purposes.

As you can see from the quotes in the table above, there is actually very little difference between the premiums for 2 x single life insurance policies and a joint life insurance policy.

Most life insurance specialists would suggest that based on the average cost of joint life insurance, it’s worth considering 2 single policies. This is far more cost-effective and offers much better value for money, as long as it’s affordable.

For more information on this you can read on our ‘should we get single or joint life insurance’.

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Getting life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition can be slightly more difficult and can be frustrating, especially if you don’t get proper advice from a specialist.

Calculating the average cost of life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition is also more complicated. There are a number of elements that will be used to generate your premiums and several main points to consider, such as:

  • What type of medical condition do you have (e.g. acute or chronic)?
  • How serious is your medical condition?
  • When were you diagnosed?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Have you had any surgery or treatment?
  • How often do you have attacks or symptoms?
  • Do you have any other related medical conditions?

It’s extremely difficult to say what the average cost of life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition is because there are so many possibilities. Everyone’s situation is very different and your circumstances will be unique to you.

Some of the most common pre-existing medical conditions and how the average cost of life insurance might be different:

  • Cancer will be based on the level of the tumour (e.g. Grade and Stage) and what type of treatment you received (e.g. radiotherapy, chemotherapy or removal) as well as any spread to other areas

These are just a few examples of pre-existing medical conditions and how they might be assessed by life insurance underwriters. As you can see, there are literally thousands of variables and therefore, extremely difficult to say what the average cost might be.

The average cost of life insurance for smokers 2024 in the UK is £31.42 for £200,000 on family life insurance (level term) over 25 years. Smokers and anyone using nicotine based products (e.g. vapes and patches) will automatically pay higher premiums for life insurance than non-smokers.

The average cost of life insurance for a smoker also increases as you get older because of the extra risks of mortality (i.e. lung cancer). It has been proven over many years that smoking causes lung cancer and therefore you would be at higher risk of claim for life insurance and critical illness insurance.

Risks are also now linked to nicotine and not just smoking, this means that there are a number of other products that are classed as smoking:

In the table below we compare the average cost of life insurance for smokers and non-smokers to show the difference between the two. Premiums are based on £200,000 of Family Life Insurance over a 25 year term with no pre-existing medical conditions.

Applicant ageSmoker premiumsNon-smoker premiumsPremium difference (£’s)Premium difference (%)
30£12.62 (Guardian)£7.37 (Aviva)£5.2542%
35£19.63 (Guardian)£10.28 (Vitality)£9.3548%
40£31.42 (Guardian)£15.27 (Zurich)£16.1551%
45£54.32 (Guardian)£23.70 (L&G)£30.6256%
50£88.66 (AIG)£38.29 (L&G)£50.3757%

*premiums quoted were calculated on 10/04/2024 and are true as of this date, but these are only to be used for indication purposes.

As you can clearly see from the price table shown above, there is a significant difference between the average cost of life insurance for smokers and non-smokers. This represents the extra mortality risks that are presented to smokers from nicotine.

Mortgage life insurance is generally one of the cheapest types of life cover because of the fact that sum assured (cover amount) reduces in line with the mortgage balance.

There are a few things to consider when you calculate the average cost of mortgage life insurance, such as the % rate for your mortgage. Most mortgages in the current market are between 3% and 6%, but can go as high as 8% or 9%. Ideally you should make sure that your mortgage life insurance rate is higher than your mortgage rate, so at least 8% would be advisable.

Below are some examples of how the average cost of life insurance for a mortgage looks with different interest rates. These quotes are based on a £250,000 over a 30 year term for a joint policy for two 30 year old non-smokers with no pre-existing medical conditions.

Interest Rates5%6%7%8%9%10%
Monthly Premium£10.82 (Aviva)£11.04 (Aviva)£11.24 (Aviva)£11.46 (Aviva)£11.64 (Aviva)£11.84 (Aviva)

*premiums quoted were calculated on 10/04/2024 and are true as of this date, but these are only to be used for indication purposes.

As you can clearly see from the examples above, the difference between % rates is usually only a few pence. If you choose an interest rate that is too low then it can cost you thousands of £’s in shortfall if you need to make a claim.

Whole of life insurance is designed to be used for things like Inheritance Tax (IHT) Planning and Funeral costs. This type of cover has generally higher premiums because of the fact that it is guaranteed to pay out on death and has no specific term to the policy. In this interview on ITV‘s This Morning, financial journalist Martin Lewis explained more about how Life Insurance Trusts can also help with Inheritance Tax liability.

Martin Lewis’ Guide to Life Insurance – Inheritance Tax | This Morning

The average cost of whole of life insurance will always be considerably higher than an equivalent term life insurance policy which will generally only cover up to age 90. If you die after your 90th birthday then term life insurance will not provide cover but this is because it isn’t designed for this type of purpose.

Below are some examples to show the average cost of whole of life insurance for someone at different ages against the cost of term life insurance to age 90. These quotes are based on £150,000 for a non-smoker with no pre-existing medical conditions.

Age of applicantWhole of Life premiumTerm Life Insurance premiumsDifference (£’s)Difference (%)
30£79.32 (Vitality)£14.89 (Guardian)£64.4381%
35£103.21 (Royal London)£20.74 (Guardian)£82.4780%
40£123.89 (Aviva)£29.96 (Guardian)£93.9376%
45£146.08 (AIG)£38.67 (Guardian)£107.4173.5%
50£165.67 (AIG)£54.19 (Vitality)£111.4867%

*premiums quoted were calculated on 10/04/2024 and are true as of this date, but these are only to be used for indication purposes.

Our findings from this research shows that the average cost of life insurance for long term policies to age 90 has significantly reduced in the past 12 months. Our previous pricing tables for this particular product were 20-30% higher in 2023 and we can see that Guardian are extremely competitive in this space.

The quickest and easiest way to find out what the average cost of life insurance is for you, or the cheapest premiums is to speak to a life insurance expert.

There are lots of different options when it comes to looking at life insurance to protect your family or your home. Also, each insurance provider charges different rates for each person and therefore one insurance company might be significantly different to another.

If you need help then you can CLICK HERE or you can speak to one of our team of experts by calling FREE on 0800 009 6559.

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Is it worth paying for life insurance?

Yes, if you’ve got children or financial dependents then you should have life insurance to protect them if you die. Martin Lewis and the Financial Conduct Authority recommend that you take out life insurance to protect your family and your home. Generally, life insurance premiums start from as little as £5 per month and will be cheaper for younger adults.

Common myths about life insurance:

  • Life insurance won’t pay out (pays out 98% of claims)
  • People with medical conditions can’t have life insurance
  • Life insurance is expensive
  • Savings can be just as effective as life insurance
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Is life insurance worth it? - iam|INSURED

What is the average cost of life insurance per month?

Based on recent research carried out, the average cost of life insurance is approximately £38 per month and the average level of cover is £152,000. Life insurance premiums also vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another and you can reduce your monthly premiums by shopping around.

Fundamentally, life insurance premiums vary depending on your age, health and the amount of cover that you need, starting from as little as £5 per month. You can also get life insurance to protect your family and your home against financial loss if you die.

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Average cost of life insurance - iam|INSURED

What does life insurance cover you for?

Life insurance is a monthly renewable ‘term insurance’ contract that pays out a cash lump sum or regular payments on death to your family or beneficiaries. Policies are most commonly used for family protection or mortgage protection for your loved ones if you die and your household income reduces, plus the additional issues of losing a parent or carer.

Traditional life insurance will not exclude any pre-existing medical conditions and will cover suicide after 12 or 24 months. You can also use life insurance for business protection purposes as well as tax-efficient business life insurance for directors or key people.

What are the disadvantages of life insurance?

The biggest and most common problem that consumers have with life insurance is the cost and the monthly premiums. This is the top reason for policy cancellations and why more people don’t take out life insurance to protect their family.

Another key disadvantage with life insurance is that it holds no investment value, nor can you cash it in. Life insurance works like any other traditional general insurance policy (e.g. car insurance, house insurance, pet insurance etc.), you pay a monthly premium and it will pay out in the event of a claim. Some people decide to use savings instead of taking out life insurance but you need to make sure that you have sufficient savings to cover the costs of death for your family.

Why do I need life insurance?

The fact is that nobody actually ‘needs’ life insurance, but it is strongly recommended that families and couples have cover to protect their loved ones in the event of death. Martin Lewis recommends life insurance and says “this is something that every parent, partner, or person with any other type of dependent needs to consider”.

Life insurance financially protects your loved ones if you die and pays out a cash lump sum to repay your mortgage, pay for school fees, replace lost income, and pay for regular outgoings. Mortgage life insurance is not linked to your mortgage debt so you can use it to pay off some or all of your mortgage.

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