Legal & General Life Insurance review

14 min Read Published: 12 Oct 2021

Legal & General logoOur independent review takes a closer look at Legal & General life insurance, including the types of cover available, the cost of monthly premiums, cover exclusions and the additional benefits provided.

Who is Legal & General?

Legal & General was founded in 1836 by six London lawyers. In 1889 it opened its first office outside London, in Manchester. The company entered the US market in the 1930s after acquiring the pensions business of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York. In 1956 it established its life business in Australia. Legal & General Australia was later sold in 1998.

Legal & General Investments was established in 1970, and nine years later Legal & General was listed on the London Stock Exchange. In the 1980s, the company bought two life insurance firms in the US - Banner Life and William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York. It also entered the European market.

The company entered into a joint venture with the Woolwich Building Society in 1995 to provide household insurance cover, as well as a partnership with Barclays Bank in 2001 and a partnership with Nationwide in 2008.

Legal & General was voted "Life Insurance Provider of the Year (Direct)" at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards 2020 and 2021. Legal & General's life insurance products receive a 5-star Defaqto rating indicating that the life insurance and illness insurance policies that it provides are of a comprehensive range compared with others that are available in the industry.

Legal & General Overview

The bullet points below provide an overview of Legal & General’s life insurance policy:

  • Policy types: Choose from level term, decreasing term, increasing term, whole of life cover, over 50s cover or family income benefit, as well as joint or single policies. Terminal Illness cover is automatically included. Critical Illness cover can be added to a life insurance policy for an additional cost.
  • Claims record: 2020 - Life insurance 97%, critical illness 92%. 2019 - Life insurance 97%, critical illness 92%. 2018 - Life insurance 97%, critical illness 93%.
  • Additional benefits: Accidental death benefit is included, giving you cover from when your application is received for up to 90 days. Free life cover is also included if the policyholder dies before a property purchase is completed.
  • Up to £100 cashback: If you take out a policy through LifeSearch* (simply click on the link and complete the short form), you’ll receive up to £100 cashback. We explain more below.

Legal & General Policy Summary

Key facts and features for Legal & General’s life insurance policy are highlighted in the table below.

Legal & General life insurance summary

Type of cover Life Insurance
Options
  • Level term life insurance,
  • Decreasing term life insurance,
  • Increasing termlife insurance,
  • Whole of life insurance,
  • Family income benefit
  • Over 50s cover
Policy Coverage
  • Single or joint life first event cover (pays out on the first death).
Terminal Illness Cover included?
  • Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included at no additional cost and will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness and life expectancy is less than 12 months.
Can cover increase over time (indexation)?
  • If you choose increasing cover, the amount of cover will increase in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) each year up to a maximum of 10%.
  • Premiums will increase in line with the changes in the RPI multiplied by 1.5, up to a maximum increase of 15% per year.
Waiver of Premium
  • Can be included for an additional cost.
  • Pays your premiums after 26 weeks if you cannot work due to illness or injury.
Minimum age at entry
  • 18
Maximum age at entry
  • 77
Policy Exclusions
  • Suicide in the first 12 months is not covered and any death will be investigated if it happens within the first 12 months.
  • Terminal Illness Cover will not pay out if the terminal illness does not meet the definition in the policy and older policies may not cover terminal illness in the last 2 years of the policy term.

Key facts and features for Legal & General’s critical illness policy are highlighted in the table below.

Legal & General critical illness insurance summary

Type of cover Critical Illness
Can it be combined with life cover?
  • Critical illness cover can be added to a life insurance policy for an additional cost.
Premium type
  • Guaranteed or Reviewable over the term of the plan, depending on the type of cover.
Number of illnesses covered by the basic critical illness option
  • 31 full payment conditions
  • 2 additional payment conditions that pay out 25% of your cover value up to £25,000
Number of illnesses covered by the critical illness extra option
  • 48 full payment conditions
  • 28 additional payment conditions that pay out 50% of your cover value up to £30,000
Children’s critical illness basic
  • Automatically included, providing the child is between 30 days and 18 years old, or 21 years if in full-time education.
  • Maximum payable is up to £25,000 or 50% of the amount of cover, whichever is lowest.
  • 31 full payment illnesses covered as well as 2 partial payment illnesses
Children's critical illness extra
  • Added cost to upgrade from the basic version providing the child is between 30 days and 18 years old, or 21 years if in full-time education.
  • Maximum payable is up to £30,000 or 50% of the amount of cover, whichever is lowest.
  • 76 illnesses covered plus 8 child specific serious illnesses
Minimum age at entry
  • 18
Maximum age at entry
  • 64
Policy exclusions
  • No payout will be paid if death occurs within 14 days of diagnosis or if the policyholder is diagnosed with an illness not listed on the policy.

Additional free benefits provided by Legal & General

  • Terminal Illness Cover is included with life cover and will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months.
  • Accidental death benefit gives you cover from when your application is received for up to 90 days or until your application is accepted, postponed or declined.
  • Free life cover if the policyholder dies before a property purchase is completed and before their mortgage protection starts.
  • Flexibility to increase your cover in certain situations without providing further medical evidence.
  • Access to nurse support services, offering a second medical opinion and mental health support.
  • Accident hospitalisation benefit is included with critical illness cover. This pays out £5,000 to help you if you are admitted to hospital for a minimum of 28 consecutive days.
  • Children’s critical illness cover is automatically included if you take out critical illness cover for yourself. This includes child accident hospitalisation benefit, as well as child funeral benefit, childcare benefit and family accommodation benefit. You can choose to upgrade to the children’s critical illness cover extra.

Optional benefits provided by Legal & General

  • Waiver of premium is available for an additional cost. This means you won’t have to pay your premiums after 26 weeks if you can no longer work due to illness or injury.
  • Total and permanent disability cover can be added to critical illness cover for an additional cost.
  • Critical Illness 'Extra' for an additional cost which will cover a wider range of conditions.

How much does Legal & General insurance cost?

In the tables below, we have highlighted monthly premiums for £250,000 of level term life insurance with Legal & General over a 20-year term. These figures have been broken down for both a non-smoker and a smoker in various age groups. Premiums have been compared to the cheapest and most expensive premiums in the market.

Legal & General life insurance price comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Non-Smoker)

Age Legal & General premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25 £6.19 £6.19 £8.65
35 £10.83 £10.83 £13.30
45 £27.97 £27.97 £32.79
55 £60.90 £60.90 £74.49

 

Legal & General life insurance price comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Smoker)

Age Legal & General premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25 £9.62 £9.62 £12.72
35 £20.83 £20.83 £25.63
45 £55.81 £55.81 £71.64
55 £162.10 £162.10 £217.08

The above figures should only be used as a guideline. The amount you, as an individual, will pay for your life insurance premiums will depend on a number of factors including your age, your health, whether you smoke, your occupation, how much cover you choose and the policy term.

It is therefore worth speaking to an independent insurance specialist before taking out a policy to make sure you are getting the right policy at the right price. Below we explain how you can also qualify for up to £100 cashback if you decide to take out a policy.

Best way to buy Legal & General life insurance?

Before buying a life insurance policy with Legal & General, it can be worth speaking to an independent insurance specialist such as LifeSearch, as they will be able to access quotes from all major insurance companies and make sure you are getting the best deal. Independent specialists can advise you on the best life insurance or critical illness policy for your circumstances, and also help you calculate how much cover you need.

An independent insurance specialist can also match you with the provider who will view your application more favourably and help you complete your application forms. They can also offer support should you want to put your policy into a trust or if you need to make a claim in the future. Simply complete this short form* to get a quote. There is no obligation to take out a policy, but if you decide to, you will qualify for up to £100 cashback.

Legal & General life insurance summary

  • Established in 1836.
  • In 2020, Legal & General paid out 97% of life insurance claims and 92% of critical illness claims.
  • Life insurance automatically includes Terminal Illness cover, while Critical Illness cover can be added for an additional cost. Accidental death benefit is included, and policyholders also benefit from free life cover should they die before a property purchase is completed and before mortgage protection starts. Policyholders also have access to nurse support services. If you take out critical illness cover, accident hospitalisation benefit and children’s critical illness cover are included at no extra cost.
  • Legal & General life insurance premiums may not necessarily be the cheapest for you as the price you pay will depend on a range of factors. It is therefore best to shop around and compare policies carefully.
  • You’ll receive up to £100 cashback if you buy a policy through LifeSearch*. Just click on the link and complete the short form to be called back at a time that suits you.

 

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch