LifeSearch review – Is it the best life insurance broker in the UK?
This is an independent LifeSearch review. I suggest that you read the review in full including my view on the pros and cons of using LifeSearch. If you wish to jump to a particular part of this review then you can do so via the hyperlinks below.
The short answer is that I feel LifeSearch provides a great service that most people will benefit from. In fact over the last 13 years I have used the advice and services of LifeSearch in order to not only protect my family (via life insurance and mortgage life insurance) but also my business (via shareholder protection and keyman insurance). LifeSearch's advice (which is free) and influence in the market meant that I was able to get the right policies at competitive prices, despite my pre-existing medical conditions.
It is for this reason that I decided to secure an exclusive LifeSearch cashback offer for Money to the Masses readers that means that they will receive between £50 and £100 cashback should they decide to take out a policy via LifeSearch. You just need to fill in your contact details in this form and a LifeSearch adviser will call you at the time you request. There is absolutely no obligation on your part whatsoever to take out a policy. The advice LifeSearch provides during the phonecall is free.
- How does LifeSearch work?
- Would you be better off using a comparison site?
- How much does LifeSearch charge?
- Pros and cons of using LifeSearch
What is LifeSearch?
LifeSearch is one of the UK's leading and biggest life insurance brokers, which means that it sells and advises on protection products, such as life insurance, directly to consumers. There are lots of other insurance brokers out there that offer similar services, but LifeSearch is the biggest and most established. Ironically for a brand that has provided independent advice on protection products (including life insurance, income protection, business protection) to over 657,000 people, its brand is still relatively unknown to the general public. That's because LifeSearch is often the company that provides advice to the customers of price comparison sites, once the customers have requested a quote. Importantly, that advice is free but it does mean that often customers overlook the LifeSearch brand despite it being integral to their buying journey.
LifeSearch was founded in 1998 by its CEO Tom Baigrie. and then business partner Arthur Davies. Their view was that life insurance was a long misunderstood and often mis-sold insurance product which LifeSearch could remedy by creating a dedicated service, providing over-the-phone advice to customers for free. Long before the birth of price comparison sites, LifeSearch has been providing comparison quotes on a whole range of personal and business protection products including life insurance, critical illness insurance, income protection and business protection.
However, getting a quote is just the first stage of purchasing a product such as life insurance. It's the provision of quality advice on the products which sets LifeSearch apart from its online competitors. A price comparison site can only provide a simple quote comparison but there is no guarantee that you will be accepted by the insurance company on any of the terms it displays to you. Indeed the insurance companies may increase the quoted premiums once they understand your circumstances and medical history. Being a market-leading and independent insurance broker LifeSearch will recommend the best value product given your circumstances, as it has unparalleled experience of the underwriting process which ultimately determines the level of premium you pay (more on this in the next section).
How does LifeSearch work?
Much like a comparison site, LifeSearch will gather the most competitive insurance quotes for your needs, however, there is one crucial difference. LifeSearch guarantees to find you the best policy based on your own unique circumstances, meaning it takes it further than any comparison site ever could. By asking a few extra questions, LifeSearch is able to make recommendations on the best type of cover as well as which insurer is best for your own personal circumstances. For example, you may have a particular medical condition which one insurer is more lenient with when they decide the monthly policy premiums.
Many people do not realise that the price you are quoted by a comparison site can be very different to the final price you end up paying. Every insurance company will assess your application based on a number of factors including your medical history, your family history, any sports and hobbies you take part in and the type of job you do. This process is known as underwriting and can lead to an insurance company offering you a revised premium or even declining you altogether.
To give you an idea of how you would use LifeSearch and what you can expect I lay out the steps below:
Step 1 (now) - Complete a simple online form
You just need to complete a simple online form including your first name, surname, email address, telephone number and preferred contact time.
Step 2 - Chat to one of its expert advisers
One of LifeSearch's trained advisers will call you back at your preferred time and go through a few simple questions. It would be wise to have a few things to hand, such as roughly how much cover you think you may need (don't worry if you don't know), your existing cover details (if you have any), your current employee benefits, such as sick pay and death in service (if you have any) and your preferred budget.
Step 3 - Receive a recommendation and complete an application over the phone
You'll receive a free tailored recommendation from a LifeSearch adviser and be given the opportunity to complete an application over the phone in order to apply for the cover that you need. Alternatively, you'll be offered a time that suits you best and if you are applying for joint cover, then your spouse/partner will need to be available to speak when they call back.
At this stage, you will need to have your GP details to hand as well as your bank details for completing the direct debit. If your application requires further underwriting, you will be fully covered while the insurance company investigates further. The insurance company will pick up the cost if they need to write to your doctor. Don't forget that once you take out cover, you will qualify for at least £50 cashback.
Step 4 - You are covered - Now put your policy into trust!
Once your policy is in force, don't forget to put it into trust. By placing a life insurance policy into trust, you ensure that it is excluded from your estate for inheritance tax purposes meaning your intended beneficiaries will not be liable for inheritance tax. Another added benefit is that it speeds up the payment in the event of a claim. LifeSearch will be able to guide you through placing your policy into trust and if your family ever needs to make a claim, it has a dedicated claims team that can help with that too.
Would you be better off using a comparison site?
LifeSearch has spent many years refining its processes and honing its expertise and so it is well placed to advise on the best life insurance, critical illness or income protection policy for any given situation. A comparison site will simply display the top quotes without any understanding of whether those quotes are best for you. With LifeSearch, once it understands your requirements fully, it will do all of the hard work for you. It will call the insurance companies on your behalf as well as checking its extensive knowledge database in order to find the policy that best suits your needs.
How much does LifeSearch charge?
LifeSearch does not charge a fee for its services, meaning it is completely free to use, however it does get paid a commission fee from the insurance company if your application goes ahead. The fee is paid by the insurer directly and does not come from your monthly premiums.
Pros and cons of using LifeSearch
- £50 - £100 cashback if you contact them via the above link and take out a policy
- The price you are quoted is often the final price you will pay
- You can complete the application over the phone at a time that suits you
- Saves you from having to phone around every insurer yourself
- Has a dedicated claims team
- Has over 10,000 Trustpilot reviews and is rated as 'Excellent'
- You need to be prepared to speak to someone on the phone
- Can sometimes take two or three calls to get a final quote as the adviser will often need to speak to multiple insurers who may ask different questions
Alternatives to LifeSearch
LifeSearch is the biggest broker of its kind in the UK and has the highest number of reviews on independent review site Trustpilot. There are however some smaller brokers that offer a similar type of service such as Money Minder or LifeAssure Online. You could also try comparison sites such as Money Supermarket or Compare The Market, but again, you won't receive a tailored service and so may end up paying more.
98% of reviewers rated it as either excellent or great, while only 1% rated it as bad. Many reviewers that rated LifeSearch as excellent credited the professionalism and knowledge of the advisers, while those that rated it as bad said the process took too long and involved too many intrusive questions.
Below we have provided some reviews posted on Trustpilot:
I was struggling to get life and critical care insurance with a few companies knocking me back. One call with LifeSearch came up with a good quote all of which was sorted over the phone. Very easy none stressful company who will talk you through everything - Chris
Brilliant, provided much appreciated advice, relevent information and highly professional service. Thank you so much - HM
Although the questions took a long time to answer on the phone. The service was excellent - 100% Happy Patient
Personal protection products such as life insurance, critical illness and income protection should be purchased with care. The same is true of business protection products such as keyman insurance or shareholder protection. These are all important policies that could ensure that your family keeps the roof over its head or your business can continue and so it is vital that when you buy a policy, you buy the right one. LifeSearch provides a slick service from start to finish, something that is echoed in the thousands of positive reviews posted online.
There are quicker ways to buy a life insurance policy, with many online comparison sites allowing you to complete a form online in as little as 10 minutes, however, this should be done with caution and only by those that know exactly what they are buying. Online comparison sites can only provide quotes for the cover that you ask of it, but what if there was a policy out there that was better suited that you didn't even know about? While it may take a little longer, by seeking advice from an insurance broker such as LifeSearch you will ensure that you benefit from knowing that you've bought the right policy at the right price.
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