13 min Read
29 Apr 2020

Written by Rachel

Rachel Wait is a personal finance journalist who has vast experience writing about money issues, property, insurance and consumer affairs. She has written for the likes of Shares Magazine, loveMONEY, MoneySuperMarket and Mail on Sunday.

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Legal & General Life Insurance review

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 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.

In 2019, Legal & General won five stars for its mortgage products and four stars for its life and pensions products in the Financial Adviser Service Awards. It was also awarded ‘Best Product Innovation’ in the Mortgage Solutions Awards and ‘Later Life Lender of the Year’ in the Mortgage Introducer Awards. Moneywise awarded the company ‘Best Mainstream Annuity Provider’ and a five star rating for its lifetime mortgages.

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: 2019 - Life insurance 97%, critical illness 92%. 2018 - Life insurance 97%, critical illness 93%. 2017 - Life insurance 98%, critical illness 92%.
  • 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:

Type of cover Life Insurance
Options Level term, decreasing term, increasing term, whole of life, family income benefit and 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. This means you won’t have to pay 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. The policy will not pay out if death occurs from taking part in a dangerous sport or hobby, taking part in an aerial flight (other than as a paying passenger), from committing a criminal offence, from war or from taking alcohol or drugs. Terminal Illness Cover will not pay out if the terminal illness does not meet the definition in the policy or if the policy has less than two years left to run.

 

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

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 critical illnesses covered 39
Children’s critical illness cover included 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.
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 Children’s

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 comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Non-Smoker)

Legal & General premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25-year-old non-smoker £6.66 £6.03 £9.61
35-year-old non-smoker £11.31 £11.19 £14.49
45-year-old non-smoker £24.99 £24.17 £31.29
55-year-old non-smoker £62.53 £61.83 £89.82

 

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

Legal & General premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25-year-old smoker £9.67 £9.52 £23.41
35-year-old smoker £20.27 £20.23 £49.25
45-year-old smoker £58.15 £53.05 £130.69
55-year-old smoker £156.81 £156.81 £213.07

 

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 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 2019, 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.

 

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