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Protect Your Family - Martin Lewis Life Insurance

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Martin Lewis Life Insurance Guide 2024

Martin Lewis says that life insurance is essential for parents and anyone with financial dependents in your household. Life insurance pays out a lump sum to your loved ones if you or your partner dies to pay off your mortgage and to make sure that they are financially protected.

MoneySavingExpert.com has several Martin Lewis life insurance pages about this topic.

In this guide we’ll look at what Martin Lewis says about life insurance in detail and break down his top tips to protect your family. We’ll also look at some of his TV appearances where he’s spoken about life insurance, such as an interview on ITV’s This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Life insurance pays out a lump sum to your family to protect them against financial difficulties if a parent dies. You can use life insurance to protect your mortgage and to pay out for other major costs, such as school fees, debts, and general costs of living when you’re raising a family.

Premiums for life insurance start from as little as £4 per month and it pays out 98% of claims on average in the UK. This means that life insurance is one of the cheapest and most reliable insurance policies, which is also why it’s so popular with financial experts like Martin Lewis.

In this interview, Martin Lewis talks about how important life insurance is for parents and is quite clear about what can happen if you haven’t got it. He is also outspoken about his own experience of the loss of a parent when he was a child after his Mother died, which is also why he is so opinionated on this matter.

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

We’ve included a link above to the full interview on YouTube and an explanation of his Martin Lewis life insurance advice to parents.

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60-Second Summary – Does Martin Lewis recommend life insurance UK 2024?

Martin Lewis definitely does recommend life insurance, especially for parents with financially dependent children. There are a number of Martin Lewis life insurance guides online either on MoneySavingExpert.com and several other websites that provide some of his views.

Life insurance is the foundation for financial protection for you and your family, which is why Martin Lewis says to get it sorted.

  • The Martin Lewis life insurance top tip is to make sure that you’ve got it in place to protect your family if a parent in the family dies to protect against serious financial difficulties.
  • Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.com also provides a number of simple tips to help parents to understand how life insurance works (e.g. 10 x Rule).
  • Most employers don’t offer this, but Martin Lewis life insurance guidance does suggest that you should check with your employer to see if you’ve got cover through your employer (also known as Death-in-Service).
  • Read our Martin Lewis life insurance ‘need-to-know’ section to find out what his team says about the Do’s and Don’ts for life insurance.

Martin Lewis CBE is the UK’s most well-known financial journalist, and a top campaigner for consumer rights on personal finances. He launched his consumer website, MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) in 2003 which now provides free personal finance advice to millions of households every month.

Martin later started his television career with appearances on ITV’s This Morning and Good Morning Britain. He then launched his own show on ITV called The Martin Lewis Money Show Live, providing his financial expertise to his live audience.

Martin Lewis launched MoneySavingExpert.com in 2003, to provide free and independent personal finance help to British consumers. His website (MSE) is now visited by millions of households every month for useful money saving tips from insurance to loans and credit cards.

MoneySavingExpert currently employs over 100 financial journalists and experts who are constantly working to produce and update its personal finance content. MSE also provides consumers with information about their rights and how to complain if they are treated unfairly.

The main Martin Lewis life insurance recommendation is that all parents or anyone with financial dependents should at least consider life cover. It provides essential financial protection for your family if you die and can prevent major financial hardship at an incredibly difficult time.

Martin very clearly recommends that parents should have life insurance to protect their family because nobody knows what is around the corner. He sadly lost his own Mother at the age of 11 in a tragic road accident close to his home in Cheshire, which is also why he is so vocal about this message to parents.

He uses his own experiences of losing a parent to help others in a similar situation through his work with the grief charity, Grief Encounter. He also speaks out about how the loss of a parent can be catastrophic for a family financially, and how life insurance can help to prevent that from happening.

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About Grief Encounter

Martin Lewis became an Honorary Patron of the children’s charity, Grief Encounter several years ago. The charity was founded by Dr Shelley Gilbert to give every child and young adult access to the very best support if someone close to them dies.

The organisation works closely with professionals, schools, families, and individuals to provide support through the period following the loss of a parent or family member.

Our favourite clip with Martin Lewis about life insurance, is from an interview he did on ITV’s This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. In this interview, Martin speaks candidly about the potential impact of not having life insurance and what it can do to protect your family.

Below is a link to the full interview on YouTube where you can see exactly what Martin Lewis says about life insurance and why he feels it’s so important. We think it’s important for parents to watch this short video to help them to understand what life insurance does and how it works.

Martin Lewis’ Guide to Life Insurance – Different Types | This Morning

The interview begins by talking about the common views of many parents with Holly Willoughby saying “many people find uncomfortable to talk about, and that is life insurance”. Martin Lewis responds by saying “let’s just get over your sensitivities and deal with it”, he also says that nobody likes to talk about it but this is very important.

Martin Lewis goes on to explain that “Life insurance is an insurance policy that pays out if somebody dies”, which is absolutely true, but it can also pay out if you become seriously ill with critical illness insurance which is also a life insurance policy.

Martin also says that “if you look at a typical school class, one of those children will lose a parent before they were 18, one in twenty nine”. This is the important part of the interview for him because as he says, “I was one of them, which is why I’m so passionate about this”.

Martin Lewis then talks about the hard-hitting reality for life insurance when he says, “if a parent dies, there’s going to be grief, there’s going to be misery and it’s going to be incredibly difficult to deal with”. The purpose of life insurance is to cover “what the financial consequences would be on your family”. He explains “on top of all that grief, if suddenly you can’t pay your bills it compounds the problems”.

This interview is a great example of what Martin Lewis says about life insurance and why he feels so strongly about the subject. Many financial professionals are scared to talk about the harsh reality of life insurance, so it’s refreshing when someone as influential as Martin Lewis is so outspoken on the subject.

It’s important for parents to think sensibly about life insurance and the potential implications of not having cover. Almost 50% of UK adults with a mortgage currently don’t have life insurance which is an alarming number.

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You can read all about the different Martin Lewis life insurance suggestions and his own advice about how to get cover for your family. MoneySavingExpert provides loads of hints and tips to help you to think about what to do to get the right cover to protect your children.

Here’s a quick Step-by-Step guide to Martin Lewis life insurance:

Number 1

Think about what your situation is and what you need to protect to make sure that you get the right cover. If you’ve got dependent children, then you really should consider life insurance to protect them if you die.

Number 2

Consider using the Martin Lewis 10 x the main breadwinners income rule to figure out how much life insurance you might need.

Number 3

Get advice from a life insurance specialist or look at a discount life insurance service to get the best price.

Number 4

Avoid taking out life insurance with your bank and check with your work to see whether you already have some cover with your job.

There are lots of other things to think about with life insurance and several cover options, so please read the rest of this complete guide to Martin Lewis life insurance for more information.

MoneySavingExpert (MSE) is Martin Lewis’s own personal finance website, now owned by MoneySupermarket Group. There are several pages of free life insurance content on the site to explain how it works and how much it costs.

A list displaying the services available on MoneySavingExpert.com
A list displaying the services available on MoneySavingExpert.com

As suggested in the Martin Lewis life insurance section of MSE, if you provide for someone or if your family would suffer financially without your income then this can be a very cheap ‘financial lifeline’.

Martin Lewis life insurance guides from MoneySavingExpert.com

  • Do people with no dependents need life insurance?: Life insurance is designed to protect your family and dependents if you die, and so if you don’t have any then you don’t really need cover. Having someone that is financially dependent on you and your income is the main purpose for these policies.
  • Have you got life cover from your employer?: Another area that is covered by Martin Lewis life insurance is employer benefits or protection such as ‘Death in Service’. Death in Service is a common benefit for most public sector jobs and some senior roles in corporate jobs, but it’s not the same as life insurance and you should be very careful about using this as a standalone cover for your family.
  • Buy cover as soon as possible: Another key suggestion from Martin Lewis life insurance guidance is to take out cover sooner than later. We’ve covered this topic several times on iaminsured.co.uk and try to make people aware that life insurance is more expensive as you get older.

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One of the most common questions about life cover is ‘how much life insurance do I need?”. This might seem simple to some people but it’s actually quite complicated because there are so many things to think about.

Check out ‘How much cover do I need?’ on MSE for a full explanation.

The Martin Lewis life insurance Ten Times rule is a good place to start and it does really simplify something that can be quite confusing. This is something that Martin has created himself to give parents and families a quick point of reference to get them going.

The ‘TEN TIMES annual income’ rule…

If you’re looking for Level Term Life Insurance, then Martin suggests that you start by looking for ‘10 times the main breadwinner’s salary’. This means that if the main earner in the household dies then you’ll at least have a safe amount of cover.

You might think that this is a high number but when you think about it, you would want to make sure that your family is financially stable if you die. There are lots of things to think about such as your mortgage, debts, school fees, cost of living and even things like holidays are important.

MoneySavingExpert also has some really useful and interesting points in the Need-to-know section for mortgage life insurance, which applies to all types of life cover.

Here are just a few quick tips and pointers from the Martin Lewis mortgage life insurance guide that you might want to think about. When you take out life insurance, there are lots of options and things for you to understand, including:

1. Guaranteed premiums are the best option to fix your monthly premiums

Most life insurance premiums are quoted on a ‘guaranteed’ basis these days unless you specifically request reviewable premiums. Guaranteed premiums mean that your life insurance premiums are fixed every month and will not change, regardless of what happens in the future to your health or any medical issues.

2. Disclose all your health and medical history when you apply for life insurance

It is extremely important when you apply for life insurance to be honest about your medical history and disclose everything that you are asked about. You don’t need to worry about disclosing things that aren’t on the life insurance application, as these aren’t considered to be important.

If you fail to disclose information or withhold information on purpose, then your life insurance policy is unlikely to pay out in the event of a claim.

Note: Over 50s life insurance and guaranteed acceptance life insurance do not require medical underwriting and will not ask about any pre-existing medical conditions or health issues.

3. Joint life policies will only pay out once so consider two single policies

A joint life policy will always be cheaper because it covers both people on the same policy and will only pay out when the first person dies. If you’re only able to afford a joint life policy then this is certainly still a good option, however, two single life policies can work out as more cost-effective overall.

4. Writing your policy into Trust is usually free and avoids paying unnecessary tax

Any life insurance that you have in place if you die will automatically form part of your estate unless it is written into Trust. Most good life insurance brokers will offer to write your life insurance policy into trust for free when you take out cover with them.

This simple process can help your family avoid waiting unnecessarily for probate to be dealt with and prevent them from paying up to 40% inheritance tax on your life insurance benefit.

5. You can cancel or switch your life insurance policy at any time without penalty

Life insurance is a monthly renewable insurance contract which means that it can be cancelled at any time without penalty. There are quite a few things to consider before you cancel any life insurance policy, most importantly that you will lose that cover.

It is worth reviewing your life insurance policy every few years or so, to make sure that you’re on the best rates and that your cover is still suitable.

Life Insurance provider reviews

One of the best ways to save money and get cheaper life insurance is to use a discount life insurance broker, which is exactly what Martin Lewis recommends.

Finding a good discount life insurance broker can sometimes be difficult and there are lots of them that just want to sell you a policy rather than take the time to help you properly. You should look at the customer reviews and get recommendations from your friends and family.

Top tips to find cheaper life insurance:

  • Have you purchased life insurance via your bank or building society? – If you bought a life insurance policy in the past via a bank, a building society or directly with a life insurance company, then you could be paying more than you need to.
  • Change in lifestyle or improved health – If you took out life insurance in the past and you have since improved your lifestyle or your health is improved, then you might now be able to get life insurance for a cheaper price.
  • Quit smoking or reduced alcohol consumption – If you were classed as a smoker or an excessive drinker when you took out life insurance originally, then you can reduce your premiums if you’ve quit smoking or drinking.

Note: Any properly qualified insurance broker will be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and information about this should be displayed clearly on their website.

You may be surprised to learn that price comparison websites like MoneySupermarket are one of the most expensive places to buy life insurance.

Even though Martin Lewis sold MoneySavingExpert.com to MSM in 2012, it was tied to adhere to certain editorial rules and its ‘editorial code‘ about its financial guidance. In fairness to the Martin Lewis life insurance guidance, it doesn’t seem to recommend MoneySupermarket life insurance or any other price comparison website.

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Martin Lewis only really talks about the very basics of life insurance and how to protect your family. There are several main types of life insurance which are covered in a bit more detail on MoneySavingExpert.com:

  • Level-term life insurance (family protection) which pays out a level lump sum if you die during the term of the policy. MSE says that level term cover usually runs to a maximum age of 80 which is no longer the case and most insurers will offer cover to age 90.

  • Decreasing term life insurance (mortgage protection) is specifically for people who want to protect their mortgage if they die and make sure that their family home is protected. Mortgage life insurance is not designed for people who want to leave a lump sum for their family, as is suggested on the MSE Martin Lewis Life Insurance guide.

  • Family income benefit (FIB) is a less common type of life insurance but can also be very useful because it can work out cheaper than level or decreasing cover.

  • Over 50s life insurance is a guaranteed acceptance policy that will provide your family with a lump sum on death to pay for funeral expenses and other related costs. There are several Martin Lewis Life Insurance warnings about this type of policy, which suggest that you should check carefully if this is the right option.

  • Whole-of-life insurance is usually used for protecting inheritance tax liabilities and is not designed for most typical consumers. The Martin Lewis Life Insurance guide suggests that these policies are ‘often (but not always) investment-linked’ which is no longer the case. Most of these policies are now completely insurance-based and have no investment elements.

Several other types of cover are not specifically explained in the Martin Lewis Life Insurance guide, such as guaranteed life insurance, business life insurance, and personal accident insurance.

As experts in this area, we don’t necessarily agree with the views of Martin Lewis on pre existing conditions life insurance.

In the clip on This Morning you will see that the Martin Lewis Life Insurance advice suggests that cover will ‘cost a lot more’. This isn’t necessarily true for all, even though it can be the case that premiums might be significantly higher which is more relevant for people with serious medical issues.

There’s a range of possible outcomes with pre-existing conditions life insurance which depend on your age, the specific condition, and the symptoms and treatment. Most medical conditions can be covered by a life insurance policy and it can be a lot cheaper than you might think.

Martin Lewis suggested that smokers will pay more for life insurance and premiums can be as much as double non-smoker rates. This is because the risk of someone dying in the term of the policy is higher due to the health risks linked with smoking.

Another point made in this Martin Lewis Life Insurance interview is that ‘to be classed as a non-smoker you need to be nicotine free for between one and five years’. This isn’t correct, and almost all life insurance providers will class you as a non-smoker after 12 months of quitting smoking.

Note: Another key thing about smoking and life insurance that isn’t covered in the Martin Lewis Life Insurance interview, is that vaping also classifies you as a smoker. This includes nicotine-free vaping as well.

Another one of the points that is raised in this interview which is very relevant, is the issue around inheritance tax and life insurance.

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

Life insurance pay outs are potentially liable for inheritance tax if they are above the lifetime allowance threshold or if the policy isn’t in Trust. As Martin Lewis suggests, most life insurance policies will allow you to write a Trust deed as part of the normal process.

This is usually free to do and most good life insurance brokers will offer this service as part of taking a policy with them. A Trust deed is a legal document that assigns a Trustee and a Beneficiary to your policy which helps to avoid probate and inheritance tax.

One of the most common misconceptions is that life insurance is cheaper from a price comparison website.

An issue with price comparison sites for life insurance as explained by Martin Lewis, is that most price comparison websites are more expensive than brokers. Often you might find that a price comparison website will lead you to a certain result or insurer, and your options are more limited compared to applying through a broker.

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We know from experience that Martin Lewis is clear about helping to protect consumers against financial loss and bad experiences. In the Martin Lewis life insurance guide, you’ll see information about how to complain if you have a problem with your life cover and things to look out for.

If you bought life insurance through a broker then you have several options if you’ve been mis-sold or badly advised about cover.

You might have several issues when you take out life insurance and that’s why brokers and insurers all should have a clear complaints process. You can easily request a copy of their complaints procedure by contacting them or checking their website.

Note: You should always speak to your insurance company or broker first to give them a chance to satisfy your complaint before you refer to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

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Making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an impartial and free service for financial services customers in the UK. This service can be used to settle any disputes between life insurance companies and their customers in the United Kingdom. If they feel that you have suffered any financial loss as a result of your life insurance policy, then they may rule for compensation to be awarded.

Telephone – 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Telephone (outside the UK) – 0207 964 0500


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What to do if you can’t find life insurance

There are certain options and support mechanisms that are available to you if you’re struggling to find life insurance. As suggested in the Martin Lewis life insurance guidance, one of the bodies to support consumers with life insurance is the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) which covers all insurance services in the United Kingdom.

BIBA provides a Find Insurance service that allows you to search for a recommended member who might be able to help you.

Telephone (Insurance Help)- 0370 950 1790

Telephone (General Enquiries) – 0344 7700 266


Martin Lewis says openly that often your best option for fairly priced life insurance is to speak to a specialist broker. This especially true when compared to businesses such as price comparison websites, which are often more focused on commission than getting customers the right policies.

For free life insurance advice, you can speak to our experts on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE.

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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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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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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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