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Scottish Widows Life Insurance

Scottish Widows is one of the UK’s most well-known insurance and pension brands, with nearly 6 million UK customers. The aim of this page is to help you understand more about who Scottish Widows are, what they do and if they feel like a good fit for the insurance cover you need.

About Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows began as The Scottish Widow’s Fund and Life Insurance Society in 1815. The business began as a support service for Scottish women and children who had lost family members in the War.

They diversified into banking and pensions in 1995, officially joining the Lloyd’s Banking Group in 2009. They have used a ‘living logo’ played by 4 different women ever since 1986 – the iconic Scottish Widow seen in all their branding and advertisements.

Scottish Widows is one of the biggest providers for life insurance, investments and pensions in the UK – with almost 6 million customers across the country. You can apply for a policy:

  • From Scottish Widows directly
  • Through an independent insurance expert or financial advisor
  • Via Lloyd’s Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax (helpful if you are already a customer of one of these banks)

Scottish Widows Awards

Scottish Widows is proud to be an award-winning insurance and pensions provider, winning many industry awards and ratings for their policies such as:

2023

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Critical Illness (Standalone)

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Critical Illness (Decreasing)

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Critical Illness (Level Term)

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Life Assurance (Level Term)

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Life Assurance (Decreasing)

Defaqto GOLD Rating for Protection Service for Scottish Widows Protect

2022

Financial Times Adviser Service Awards – 5 Star Protection & Pension Provider

WSB Awards – Financial Education Provider of the Year

MoneyFacts Awards – Best Personal Pension Provider

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Critical Illness Cover

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Life Assurance (Level Term)

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Life Assurance (Decreasing)

Defaqto GOLD Rating for Protection Service for Scottish Widows Protect

2021

Financial Times Adviser Service Awards –5 Star Protection & Pension Provider

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Critical Illness Cover

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Life Assurance (Level Term)

Defaqto 5 Star Rating for Protection – Life Assurance (Decreasing)

Defaqto GOLD Rating for Protection Service for Scottish Widows Protect

Why choose Scottish Widows life insurance?

Scottish Widows has been providing life insurance in the UK for nearly 200 years, with a wide range of policies to suit different people’s lifestyles and budgets.

You can get a range of different policies from Scottish Widows including personal and business life insurance products. This means you have a few options to choose from if thinking about using Scottish Widows to protect your home and family.

Scottish Widows life insurance policy summary

The best way to protect your home and family is with a life insurance policy. Life insurance will pay out a cash lump sum to support your loved ones in the event of your death.

This table shows the key features of Scottish Widows Personal Protection Life Cover, which is one of their most popular policies.

Type of CoverScottish Widows Life Cover (Personal Protection)
Cover optionsLevel Term Life Insurance (Family Life Insurance)
Decreasing Term Life Insurance (Mortgage Life Insurance)
Family Income Benefit
Scottish Widows Protect Personal Protection (combined Life and Critical Illness Cover)
Increasing Life Insurance (index linked)
Relevant Life Insurance (Business Protection)
Key Person Life Insurance (Business Protection)
Coverage optionsSingle life (individual life insurance)
Joint life (first death) *pays out on first event
Terminal illness benefitTerminal illness cover is automatically included with Scottish Widows life insurance policies.
This benefit pays out on diagnosis of a terminal illness (life expectancy of 12 months or less)
Increasing life insurance option (Indexation)Indexation is available as an optional extra to reduce the impact of inflation on your cover.
Your sum assured and your premiums will increase at a rate of between 2% – 10% per year.
Waiver of PremiumWaiver of premium can be added for an additional cost.
Known as Scottish Widows Premium Protection, this will pay your premiums for you if you cannot work for 26 weeks or more (up to age 70 or returning to work).
Term optionsMinimum term (level term or increasing cover) – 1 year
Minimum term (decreasing cover) – 3 years
Maximum term – Can be covered up to age 90
Age limitsMinimum age at entry – 18 years
Maximum age at entry – 79 years (60 years if you want to add on Premium Protection)
Maximum age at end of policy term – 90 years
Maximum benefitLevel term cover – £25,000,000
Decreasing term cover – £25,000,000
Increasing cover – £15,000,000 (annual increases will allow you to increase this figure to a maximum of £30,000,000 over the policy term)
Family Income Benefit – £1,500,000 per year (level term) or £1,000,000 (decreasing term)
Exclusions (Term Life Insurance)Scottish Widows life insurance excludes suicidal death in the first 12 months from the policy start date.
Claims on terminal illness benefit where the claim doesn’t meet the terms agreed in the policy documents (your life expectancy is longer than 12 months).

Scottish Widows – Personal Protection Policy Summary.

Scottish Widows critical illness insurance summary

Critical illness insurance acts as a safety net, providing you with a cash lump sum on diagnosis of a serious condition covered by your policy.

You can buy Scottish Widows critical illness cover on its own (standalone policy) or with your life insurance (combined policy). This table highlights the main policy details and terms.

Type of CoverCritical Illness Insurance (minimum policy term 5 years)  
Cover optionsLevel Term Critical Illness Insurance (Family Protection)
Decreasing Term Critical Illness Insurance (Mortgage Protection)
Family Income Benefit
Increasing Critical Illness Insurance (index linked)
Combined Life with Critical Illness Insurance
Coverage optionsSingle life (individual critical illness insurance)
Joint life (first death) *pays out on first event in combined Life with Critical Illness Insurance policies
Conditions covered (Core)Scottish Widows provides cover for up to 40 conditions.  

30 conditions = 100% pay out
10 conditions = £25,000 or 25% of the cover amount, whichever is lower  

4 conditions = 150% payment (full 100% pay out PLUS an additional 50% booster payment). You will qualify for this if under 45 and diagnosed with:  
Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s Plus Syndromes or Alzheimer’s/Dementia
Minimum sum assured£10,000
Maximum sum assured£3,000,000
Total and Permanent DisabilityCan be added at an extra cost, but there are restrictions to how much Scottish Widows will pay out.  
Find out more on the Scottish Widows website.
Children’s Critical Illness CoverScottish Widows Children’s Critical Illness Cover offers cover for 45 conditions/illnesses.
This is the full 40 covered in adult policies as well as:  

Cerebral Palsy
Muscular Dystrophy
Spina Bifida
Cystic Fibrosis
Hydrocephalus  

Covered up to age 22.
Covered for 50% of the adult policy’s sum assured (up to £30,000 max.)
Included with all adult critical illness policies at no extra cost.
Premium typeGuaranteed (fixed)
Age limitsMinimum age at entry – 18 years
Maximum age at entry – 64 years
Maximum age at end of policy term – 70 years at next birthday
Exclusions (Critical Illness Insurance)No payment will be made if a policyholder is diagnosed with a serious illness that is not covered under the policy definitions set out in the policy documents. Pay out will not be sent if you die within 2 weeks of diagnosis

Scottish Widows – Critical Illness Cover

Scottish Widows life insurance contact details

There are various reasons you might need to speak to Scottish Widows about your policy, and many different numbers to choose from which can be confusing.

We have put together some contact details below, for if you need to contact Scottish Widows about your life insurance policy.

Scottish Widows Customer Services (Life Insurance)

Telephone – 0345 030 6240

Email – There is no life insurance customer service email currently available, but you can fill in a general enquiry form on the website and one of the team will get back to you

Opening hours – Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm

Many of their policies also have specific contact numbers available which can be viewed on the Scottish Widows website contact page.

Scottish Widows – Life Insurance contact page

Scottish Widows Life Insurance address (postal enquiries)

If you would like to contact Scottish Widows by post, you can do so at this address.

Scottish Widows Limited

PO Box 24171

69 Morrison Street

Edinburgh

Scottish Widows life insurance complaints

If you want to complain to Scottish Widows about your life insurance policy, you should contact the general customer service team. You are always entitled to complain if you are not happy with your policy or the service you have received. 

The contact details for the customer service team can be found above in the Scottish Widows life insurance contact details section.

Financial Ombudsman Service

Even if you have submitted a complaint with Scottish Widows, you can still legally take your complaint further. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is a free support service designed to provide impartial advice and help for UK financial services customers.

If you are not satisfied with how Scottish Widows has handled your complaint or think you have been treated unfairly, you can contact the FOS. They may rule for compensation to be paid to you if you have lost money as a result of your policy.

Telephone – 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Telephone (outside the UK) – 0207 964 0500

Emailcomplaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Visit the Financial Ombudsman Service website to submit your complaint or find out more.

Scottish Widows insurance plans are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means if Scottish Widows was to go out of business, you wouldn’t lose your cover.

Scottish Widows life insurance trust details

A trust can be a good way to make sure the pay out from your life insurance policy is used as you wish and benefits specific people. It can also help you in avoiding things like probate (which can slow pay outs down).

You can put your Scottish Widows life insurance policy into trust free of charge and there are a few options to choose from.

Benefits of Scottish Widows life insurance trust deeds

  • Cheaper than a Will (usually free)
  • Express your wishes on your life insurance pay out (e.g. beneficiaries and trustees)
  • Avoid probate (pays out more quickly)
  • Can also help to avoid Inheritance Tax liability (Learn more in our Life Insurance and Tax guide)

Types of Scottish Widows life insurance trusts

  • Scottish Widows Flexible Split Trust: this a flexible trust which lets you adjust who benefits at a later point (usually for combined life and critical illness policies)
  • Scottish Widows Flexible Gift Trust (Discretionary Trust): this is known as a ‘family protection trust’. The beneficiaries are ‘gifted’ all benefits from your policy.
  • Scottish Widows Absolute Split Trust: this trust is less flexible as it doesn’t allow you to change who benefits after the trust is in place.
  • Scottish Widows Absolute Gift Trust: this trust is also less flexible and doesn’t allow you to change who benefits after the trust is in place.
  • Business Trusts: You can have a business trust or relevant life trust depending on the type of business life insurance policy you have.

It can be very upsetting to claim on a life insurance policy, but the Scottish Widows claims team are highly experienced and will be able to support you through this process.

The Scottish Widows claims team will be able to help with claims for either bereavement or terminal illness. If you need to claim, there a few steps before you will be able to receive a Scottish Widows life insurance payout.

How to make a claim with Scottish Widows life insurance

If you need to claim due to the death of a Scottish Widows policyholder, you should get this process started as soon as possible.

If the policy was bought through a bank (Lloyd’s Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax) you can either contact the bank or contact Scottish Widows directly.

You should try to make sure to have the right information available before contacting Scottish Widows to make the process easier and less stressful.

Before contacting the Scottish Widows life insurance claims team

Scottish Widows have a few different guide pages available on their website, to explain more about the claim process, who to call and what they will need from you.

Scottish Widows – Making a claim for ill health

Scottish Widows – Telling us about a bereavement

Useful information to have before calling:

  • The policyholder’s full name
  • Policy number (if you have it)
  • Your name, address, contact number and your relationship to the deceased (next of kin?)

It is always difficult losing a loved one and Scottish Widows do their best to make the claims process as smooth as possible for you.

Scottish Widows claims contact information

You can start the claim process over the phone

Telephone – 0345 601 4179

Opening hours – Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

You can write to Scottish Widows to start your claim at:

Scottish Widows Limited

PO Box 24171

69 Morrison Street

Edinburgh

EH3 1HL

Scottish Widows claims statistics for 2021

Here we have life insurance UK claims statistics published by Scottish Widows about life insurance claims in 2021.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance claims

  • 10,426 families looked after
  • £207.9 million paid out in claims
  • 98% of all claims paid

Scottish Widows life insurance claims paid

  • 24% Cancer (Men), 38% Cancer (Women)
  • 22% respiratory conditions
  • 20% Heart conditions (Men), 9% Heart conditions (Women)
  • 13% Coronavirus
  • 29% of all life insurance claims were for cancer

To find out more, you can view all the facts and statistics published on the Scottish Widows website.

Scottish Widows – Protection Facts document 2022/2023

Scottish Widows claims statistics for 2022

Here, we have the latest published claims statistics for Scottish Widows. This includes figures for Scottish Widows life insurance claims in 2022.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance claims

  • 8,555 families looked after
  • £122.8 million paid out in claims
  • 99.4% of all claims paid

Scottish Widows life insurance claims paid

  • 42% Cancer (Men), 28% Cancer (Women)
  • 29% Heart attack (Men), 12.5% Heart attack (Women)

Read more – Scottish Widows claims pay out £199million

There are some extra benefits that are included free of charge with Scottish Widows life insurance policies.

This includes:

  • Scottish Widows Care – access to a support service which will provide counselling from qualified nurses (Scottish Widows partners with RedArc and Clinic in a Pocket to provide these services)
  • FREE terminal illness cover – added at no extra cost and will pay out when diagnosed with an illness giving you a life expectancy of 12 months or less
  • SPLIT joint policies into two policies – this option can be helpful following a divorce for example
  • FREE accidental death & mortgage cover – this covers you for 90 days while your life insurance or critical illness application is being processed

You also have the option of adding on more benefits to your Scottish Widows life insurance policy (at an additional cost).

Optional benefits include:

  • Waiver of premium – can be added at an extra cost and will pay your premiums for you if you can’t work due to accident or sickness (for 26 weeks or longer)
  • Life Cover Buy back – you can keep your life cover at its previous price and terms after claiming on a combined life and critical illness policy
  • Total and Permanent Disability cover (TPD) – can be added to critical illness or combined life and critical illness policies for an additional cost.

You can speak to Scottish Widows directly over the phone or by post to cancel your policy. There are a few things you should think about before cancelling so don’t rush anything.

You can usually adjust your cover slightly if you don’t want to fully cancel your policy. Often reducing the level of cover or changing the policy terms slightly can still lead to big savings long term.

How to cancel your policy:

  • You can cancel your direct debit via your bank, online banking or banking app
  • Contact Scottish Widows directly to discuss cancelling your policy
  • If you have your policy written into trust, all trustees will need to confirm cancelling the policy over the phone or in writing

Contact details:

Telephone – 0345 030 6240

Opening hours – Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm

How much is Scottish Widows life insurance?

The main question from most life insurance customers will be about how much they will need to pay for their cover. You want to take the time to make sure the price you get is fair and the best pricing available to you.

Some customers may be able to get lower pricing than others due to things like age and medical history. Below we have some examples of possible pricing for Scottish Widows life insurance customers.

Compare Scottish Widows life insurance – £200,000 for 25 years (non-smoker)

AgeScottish Widows premiumsLowest premiumsHighest premiums
30 year old (non-smoker)£8.71£7.28£8.71
40 year old (non-smoker)£15.33£14.36£15.33
50 year old (non-smoker)£33.20£33.20£35.22

Compare Scottish Widows life insurance – £200,000 for 25 years (smoker)

AgeScottish Widows premiumsLowest premiumsHighest premiums
30 year old (smoker)£14.40£12.58£14.40
40 year old (smoker)£35.80£31.48£35.80
50 year old (smoker)£92.33£78.57£92.33

How to buy Scottish Widows life insurance

Insurance policies can offer you and your loved ones much needed financial support during difficult times. If you think Scottish Widows is the right choice for your cover, you have a couple of options for buying your policy.

You can speak to Scottish Widows directly to arrange putting your life insurance or critical illness cover in place. It is also possible to buy a Scottish Widows policy through several high street banks which are:

  • Lloyd’s Bank
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Halifax

Scottish Widows life insurance customer reviews

You can see what other Scottish Widows life insurance customers think of their products and services on independent review sites. The main website used and trusted by most people in the UK is Trust Pilot.

Trust Pilot score (Scottish Widows Ltd) – 1.2 out of 5.0 (at 13/04/23)

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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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At iaminsured.co.uk, we believe in much more than just insurance policies; we believe that everyone is unique and should be treated with the fairness that they deserve. We also believe in providing the very best financial protection, and giving you peace of mind to continue with your busy life without the stress or worry of what might happen.

We are dedicated to providing the best outcomes that we can and access to the best insurance solutions in the way that our customers want or need. We understand that everyone is totally unique in how they want things done and their own individual circumstances, which is where our totally unique approach to financial protection is driven from.

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With nearly three decades of expertise and established with a commitment to excellence in everything that we do. We have been a trusted partner for thousands of families, individuals and businesses, all with one common goal of looking for the best protection solutions.

Our Mission: To provide easy access to fair pricing, affordable protection and the very best financial security to families and individuals. We are dedicated to offering comprehensive insurance solutions that safeguard the well-being of our policyholders. Guided by integrity, transparency, and a commitment to excellence, we strive to empower consumers and families to face the future with confidence. Our mission is not just about policies; it's about protecting dreams, ensuring legacies, and being a trusted partner on life's journey.

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