Royal London Life Insurance review

7 min Read Published: 09 Aug 2022

Royal London Life Insurance reviewIn this independent review, we take an in-depth look at Royal London life insurance, paying particular attention to the types of cover available, how much monthly premiums cost and the additional benefits provided.

Who is Royal London?

Royal London was founded in London in 1861 as the Royal London Life Insurance and Benefit Society. The company grew rapidly and in 1908 it converted from a Friendly Society to a Mutual Society.

In 2000, Royal London acquired United Assurance Group for £1.6 billion and a year later it acquired Scottish Life for £1.1 billion. Royal London launched specialist protection business Bright Grey in 2003. Further acquisitions have included Scottish Provident, Phoenix Life Assurance Limited and Royal Liver, as well as new life, pensions and asset management businesses from The Cooperative.

In 2020, Royal London won five stars for both its pensions and protection services in the Financial Adviser Service Awards, as well as ‘Company of the year’ for the second year running. Royal London was also awarded 'Best Protection Provider' at Money Marketing's 2020 awards. It was also awarded ‘gold’ for a number of its products, including life protection, mortgage protection, family income benefit and income protection by the Finance and Technology Research Centre.

Royal London Overview

Below is an overview of Royal London’s life insurance policy, including the types of cover it offers, the insurer’s claims record and additional benefits of taking out a policy.

  • Policy types: Choose from level term, decreasing term, increasing term cover, over 50s cover, or family income benefit, as well as joint or single policies. Terminal Illness cover is automatically included and Serious Illness Benefit cover can be added for an additional cost. There’s also an option to choose a Life or Critical Illness policy that will pay out if you die or if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.
  • Claims record: 2020 - Life insurance 95.7%, critical illness 92.4%. 2019 - Life insurance 97.1%, critical illness 92.6%. 2018 - Life insurance 95.2%, critical illness 91%. 2017 - Life insurance 97.3%, critical illness 91.2%.
  • Additional benefits: Cover can start from the moment you complete your application. Policyholders have access to counselling support through the Helping Hand service.
  • 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.

Royal London Policy Summary

The table below outlines the key facts and features of Royal London’s life insurance policy:

Royal London Life insurance summary

Type of Cover Royal London Life Insurance policy summary
Options Level term, decreasing term, increasing term, over 50s, family income benefit.
Policy Coverage Single, dual life (pays out twice) or joint life first event (pays out on the first death).
Terminal Illness Cover included? Terminal Illness Cover is included at no additional cost. It will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months.
Can cover increase over time (indexation)? You can choose to increase your cover in line with inflation each year. This can be at a fixed rate of interest between 2% and 5%, or based on the change in the Retail Price Index (between 2% and 10%).
Waiver of Premium Available as an add-on, Royal London will pay your monthly payments if you are unable to work due to an accident or illness.
Minimum age at entry 18 years
Maximum age at entry 70 years
Qualifying criteria UK residents aged 18 to 70 years old
Policy Exclusions Suicide in the first 12 months is not covered. Terminal Illness Cover will not pay out if the policyholder does not meet the definition of terminal illness listed in the plan details.

The table below outlines the key facts and features of Royal London’s Critical Illness insurance policy:

Royal London Critical illness insurance summary

Type of cover Royal London Critical Illness policy summary
Can it be combined with life cover? Yes under its Life or Critical Illness policy.
Premium type Guaranteed or Reviewable over the term of the plan.
Number of critical illnesses covered 67
Children’s critical illness cover included Optional extra. You can choose to add Standard cover which includes cover for 44 conditions, or an Enhanced cover which covers an additional 24 conditions and provides protection from pregnancy to young adulthood.
Minimum age at entry 18 years
Maximum age at entry 69 years
Policy exclusions No payout will be given if the policyholder dies within 10 days of being diagnosed, if the illness or disability is as a result of an intentionally self-inflicted injury, or if the critical illness or disability is not listed in the policy.

Additional free benefits provided by Royal London

  • Life insurance includes Terminal Illness Cover which will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months.
  • Cover can often be offered before your plan starts, from the moment you complete your application.
  • Access to Royal London’s Helping Hand service which provides support through serious illness, injury or bereavement, as well as a second medical opinion.
  • Royal London offers a unique 'underwrite later' option that can provide you with immediate insurance even if the underwriters have to write to your doctor for further medical information which would usually cause delays to start your life insurance policy.
  • Flexibility to change your cover when you need to. In some cases, cover can be increased without the need for medical evidence.
  • Dual life cover gives you the option to choose different owners for each cover under one plan. This means one policyholder could have cover for a higher amount or longer term. Both policyholders are covered separately so if a claim is made for one person, the cover will still continue for the other.
  • Critical illness cover can pay out a lump sum of money as soon as you’re on the NHS waiting list for 12 different types of surgery.

Optional benefits provided by Royal London

  • Option to add Enhanced or Standard children’s critical illness cover when you take out a critical illness policy. Enhanced cover automatically includes a conversion option so that within six months of the child’s cover ending, the child can take out their own critical illness cover with no medical underwriting.
  • Waiver of premium (sickness) is available as an add-on. This means Royal London will pay your premiums if you are unable to work due to an accident or illness. You can choose the amount of time between stopping work and Royal London paying your premiums - 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks.
  • Option to add Serious Illness Benefit cover to your life insurance policy for you and your children aged over 30 days. It offers cover for six specified illnesses if you survive 30 days after your diagnosis. If you make a successful claim, the serious illness benefit will end, but life insurance will continue.

How much does Royal London insurance cost?

The figures in the table below show how much £250,000 of level term life insurance would cost with Royal London over a 20-year term. This has 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.

Royal London life insurance price comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Non-Smoker) 

Age Royal London premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25-year-old non-smoker £7.60 £5.99 £8.65
35-year-old non-smoker £11.61 £10.05 £13.30
45-year-old non-smoker £22.42 £20.86 £27.13
55-year-old non-smoker £58.86 £54.93 £70.46

Royal London life insurance price comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Smoker) 

Age Royal London premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25-year-old smoker £9.80 £9.03 £12.72
35-year-old smoker £22.42 £18.93 £24.39
45-year-old smoker £77.55 £62.77 £83.70
55-year-old smoker £181.79 £148.19 £202.36

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

Before taking out a policy it is worth speaking to an independent insurance specialist to ensure 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.

Royal London life insurance reviews

Royal London has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with Feefo for its customer experience and product quality and is based on 432 reviews over the past year.

Royal London's Over 50s life insurance is rated 4 stars by Fairer Finance.

Best way to buy Royal London life insurance?

If you are thinking of buying life insurance with Royal London, it is a good idea to speak to an independent insurance specialist first as they will be able to access quotes from all major insurance companies and ensure you are getting the best deal. They will be well placed to advise you on the best life insurance or critical illness policy for your circumstances, by comparing life insurance across the market as well as help you to work out how much cover you need.

Independent specialists can match you with the insurance provider who will view your application more favourably and they can also help you complete your application forms. They can also provide support should you need to make a claim in the future. Simply complete this short form* to get a quote. There is no obligation to take things further, but if you do take out an insurance policy, you will qualify for up to £100 cashback.

Royal London life insurance summary

  • Established in 1861.
  • In 2020, Royal London paid out 95.7% of life insurance claims and 92.4% of critical illness claims.
  • Life insurance cover automatically includes Terminal Illness Cover, while Serious Illness Benefit can be added for an additional cost. Policyholders have access to Royal London’s Helping Hand service for additional support. Cover can often start as soon as you’ve completed your application. If you take out critical illness cover, there is the option to add children’s critical illness cover to your own critical illness policy.
  • Royal London’s life insurance premiums are not necessarily the cheapest. How much you pay for your cover will depend on a range of factors, so it is 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