Smart life insurance review

22 min Read Published: 08 Feb 2022

Who is Smart Insurance?

Smart life insuranceSmart Insurance is a trading name for Neilson Financial Services Ltd who arrange life insurance and accident insurance policies that are underwritten and provided by Scottish Friendly. Neilsons Financial Services Ltd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority while Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Smart life insurance was launched by Neilson Financial Services Ltd in 2012 and has since committed to a large television advertising campaign that tells viewers how easy it is to sort out their life insurance and gain the peace of mind that goes with this.

Smart Insurance overview

Smart Insurance offers three types of life insurance policies to buy and we summarise each type of cover below.

  • Policy types - Family life insurance; Age-based whole of life insurance; Guaranteed life insurance
  • Claims record - Smart life insurance is underwritten and provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance and they paid 99% of their claims in 2020.
  • Additional benefits - Terminal illness benefit included with life insurance; Optional critical illness cover; Optional children's cover
  • Incentives - £100 Amazon gift card after you have paid 6 months' premiums (premiums paid must be in excess of £100); 10% of your first year's premiums returned to you as cashback after you have paid your first 12 months of premiums

Smart insurance summary

There are a few different types of personal insurance available with Smart Insurance and we have detailed the key features of these below:

Smart insurance family life insurance summary

Smart Insurance Family life insurance - level term life insurance
Amount of life insurance available
  • Age 18 to 44 - £60,000 to £750,000
  • Age 45 to 54 - £60,000 to £400,000
  • Age 55 to 59 - £60,000 to £250,000
  • Age 60 to 64 - £60,000 to £150,000
Term / No. of years Choose between 10 and 40 years
Premiums Fixed at the start of the policy and remain the same throughout the term
Policy coverage Single life policies only
Terminal illness cover included? Yes, terminal illness cover pays out if a medical practitioner confirms that the policyholder has less than 12 months to live
Increasing option No, any increase or decrease to the cover amount can be applied for but will be subject to an assessment of your health and lifestyle at the time of the change
Minimum age at entry 18
Maximum age at entry 64
Policy Exclusions Self-inflicted death claims excluded in the first 12 months of the policy

Smart Insurance age-based whole of life insurance summary

Smart Insurance Family life insurance - whole of life insurance
Amount of life insurance available
  • Age 18 to 44 - £60,000 to £750,000
  • Age 45 to 54 - £60,000 to £400,000
  • Age 55 to 59 - £60,000 to £250,000
  • Age 60 to 64 - £60,000 to £150,000
Premiums The monthly premium will increase each year with your age and a further increase will apply if you choose the 5% increase to the sum assured
Policy Coverage Single life policies only
Terminal Illness Cover included? Terminal Illness Cover is included which pays out if the policyholder is diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months.
Increasing option Yes, if you choose an increasing cover, the sum assured will increase by 5% every year and the premium will be recalculated based on the increase
Minimum age at entry 18
Maximum age at entry 64
Policy Exclusions Self-inflicted death claims excluded in the first 12 months of the policy

Smart insurance guaranteed life insurance summary

Smart Insurance Guaranteed life insurance
Amount of life insurance available Choose any amount between £2,000 and £20,000 (dependent on age):

  • Age 30 to 54 - £2,000 to £20,000
  • Age 55 to 59 - £2,000 to £17,000
  • Age 60 to 64 - £2,000 to £13,000
  • Age 65 to 69 - £2,000 to £12,000
  • Age 70 to 74 - £2,000 to £9,000
  • Age 75 to 80 - £2,000 to £6,000
Premiums Monthly premium is fixed for the duration of your policy and no premiums are payable after you reach the age of 95
Policy Coverage Single or Joint life policies
Qualifying criteria UK resident aged 30-80 - no medical needed
Benefits included:
  • Free will kit worth £100
  • Immediate cover for accidental death
  • Claim amount tripled if death is caused by an accident
Minimum age at entry 30
Maximum age at entry 80
Policy Exclusions Death due to any cause other than an accident is not covered for the first 24 months of the policy

Optional additional benefits from Smart Insurance

Smart Insurance provides a few optional benefits that you can add to your life insurance to provide extra cover.

  • Smart Insurance critical illness cover - an optional extra benefit that will pay a lump sum of money if you are diagnosed with one of the illnesses covered by the policy.
  • Smart Insurance children's cover - an optional extra benefit that will pay a lump sum of money if your child is diagnosed with one of the illnesses covered by the policy and is also covered for death if they die within 90 days of an accident.

Below is a summary of the optional covers with Smart life insurance and these can be added to either the family level life insurance or the age-based whole of life insurance policies.

Smart Insurance optional children's cover summary

Smart Insurance Children's cover
What is covered
  • Bacterial meningitis resulting in permanent conditions
  • Blindness – permanent and irreversible
  • Deafness – permanent and irreversible
  • Encephalitis resulting in permanent conditions
  • Loss of hands or feet due to permanent physical severance
  • Paralysis – total and irreversible
  • Traumatic head injury resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Death - if death happens within 90 days of an accident that takes place after the start of the policy
The amount you can insure
  • Between £10,000 and £30,000 per child
Qualifying rules
  • Each child must be covered separately
  • Children must be financially dependent on the policyholder and UK residents
Claims
  • Payable once for each child covered under the policy
Age limit
  • Under the age of 21
Exclusions
  • Any condition that was present at birth
  • Symptoms presented before the start of the policy or within 3 months of the start of the policy
  • If the child dies within 28 days of being diagnosed with one of the insured illnesses

Smart Insurance optional critical illness cover summary

Smart Insurance Critical illness cover
What is covered
  • Cancer – excluding less advanced cases
  • Coronary artery by-pass grafts – with surgery to divide the breastbone
  • Heart attack – of specified severity
  • Stroke – resulting in permanent symptoms
The amount you can insure Maximum of 50% of your life insurance amount or limited to:

  • Age 18 to 44  - £30,000 to £375,000
  • Age 45 to 54  - £30,000 to £200,000
  • Age 55 to 59 - £30,000 to £125,000
Qualifying rules
  • The option must be added to your life insurance and you must be a UK resident
Claims
  • Any benefit paid under critical illness cover will reduce your life insurance amount by the same
Age limit
  • 18 to 64 (cover will end following your 64th birthday even if your life insurance continues)
Exclusions
  • Any illness that does not meet the definition of one of the critical illnesses covered
  • If the critical illness is directly or indirectly as a result of an intentional self-inflicted bodily injury or attempted suicide
  • The insured event resulting in a claim occurs before, or is related to an event occurring before, the start date or occurs during the first three months from the start date

How much does Smart Insurance cost?

Smart life insurance costs are based on your age; whether you smoke; your health, lifestyle and occupation.

  • Smart family level term life insurance - the premiums are paid monthly by direct debit and they are fixed from the outset of your policy until the end date.
  • Smart family age-based whole of life insurance - the premiums are paid monthly and increase on the policy anniversary each year in line with your increased age and a further increase will apply if you have chosen increasing cover
  • Smart guaranteed life insurance - the premiums are paid monthly and remain the same until a claim is made unless any changes are made to the policy
  • Optional benefits (children's cover and critical illness cover) - the premiums are paid via an additional monthly premium that does not change and remains fixed for the duration of your life insurance policy

Is Smart Insurance family life insurance worth it?

The cost of Smart Insurance's family life insurance is relatively high when compared to the rest of the market. We compared the cost of the Smart family life insurance with the cheapest level term assurance policy available in the market and found that Smart Insurance costs almost twice as much as the cheapest equivalent policy with a leading life insurance company. Both policies provided the same benefits, namely if you die within the period of time that you are insured or are given less than 12 months to live, the policy will pay out the sum of money that is insured.

Below is an example comparison based on a 40-year old person buying £300,000 of level term life insurance over 25 years.

Smart life insurance price comparison - Family level term life insurance - £300,000 over 25 years

Based on a person: Smart Insurance monthly premium* Cheapest monthly premium* on the market Difference in cost over 25 years
Aged 40 non-smoker £47.81 £25.24 £6,771

*Monthly premium based on a healthy non-smoking 40-year old person 

Is Smart Insurance age-based whole of life insurance worth it?

On the face of it, the age-based whole of life insurance is fairly good value when compared with the cheapest whole of life policy that we sourced from across the market.

It is worth bearing in mind however that premiums will increase each year. This could result in some policyholders reaching a stage in the life of their insurance where the premium goes up so much that they just can't afford to keep the policy and at that point, there is no money back or cash-in value.

Smart life insurance price comparison - Age-based whole of life insurance - £300,000

Based on a person: Smart Insurance monthly premium* (increases with age each year) Cheapest monthly premium* on the market Difference in cost over 25 years
Age 40 non-smoker £30.27 £29.11 £348

*Monthly premium based on a healthy non-smoking 40-year old person 

How much will my Smart Insurance whole of life premium increase each year?

Based on a 40-year-old person with £300,000 of cover with the Smart Insurance age-based whole of life insurance, the monthly premiums would change as follows:

The increasing cost of Smart Insurance age-based whole of life insurance

Year of the policy Monthly premium* for £300,000
1 £30.27
5 £40.76
10 £60.86
15 £94.44
20 £148.15
25 £230.23

*Monthly premiums based on a healthy non-smoking 40-year old person and do increase every year  

When buying a life insurance with a monthly payment that increases every year, the question you have to ask yourself is whether you would be able to afford £230 per month when you're 65 (in the above example) with the prospect of the premium continuing to increase every year thereafter.

Is Smart Insurance Guaranteed life insurance worth it?

Smart Insurance guaranteed life insurance does provide good value for money when we compare it with equivalent types of life insurance available in the market. This is especially true if you are a smoker because Smart insurance does not ask about your smoking habits for the guaranteed life insurance product.

Smart Insurance Guaranteed life insurance price comparison

Age Monthly premium for £10,000 Smart Insurance Guaranteed life insurance - Smokers and Non-smokers Cheapest equivalent non-smoker premium for £10,000 cover Cheapest equivalent smoker premium for £10,000 cover
50 £25.01 £24.00 £33.00
60 £34.76 £33.00 £50.00

This type of life insurance is commonly sold to over 50s, especially if they have health concerns, as it is generally linked to a need to cover the cost of a funeral. So it may not be suitable for young, healthy people who are likely to get better value from a term life insurance policy. Reading our article, "What are the pros and cons of term life insurance?" will help you to work out which type of policy is better suited to you.

Cost of Smart Insurance Guaranteed life insurance 

  Monthly premium for a payout value of:
 
Age £2,000 £6,000 £10,000 £20,000  Maximum life cover available
30 £3.57 £8.72 £13.86 £26.72 £20,000
40 £4.61 £11.84 £19.07 £37.13 £20,000
50 £5.80 £15.40 £25.01 £49.01 £20,000
60 £9.44 £26.32 £43.19 n/a £13,000
70 £14.85 £42.56 n/a n/a £9,000
80 £27.76 £81.29 n/a n/a £6,000

Cost of Smart Insurance childrens' cover

Amount of cover Additional monthly premium*
£10,000 £1.47
£20,000 £2.94
£30,000 £4.41

*Monthly premium based on a healthy non-smoking 40-year old person 

Cost of Smart Insurance critical illness cover for 25 years

Amount of cover Additional monthly premium*
£30,000 £10.82
£40,000 £14.43
£50,000 £18.03

*Monthly premium based on a healthy non-smoking 40-year old person 

Smart Insurance reviews

Reassured is rated 4.6 out of 5.0 stars from over 750 reviews on independent customer review site Trustpilot, ranking it as 'Excellent' overall. 90% of reviewers rate it as either 'Excellent' or 'Great' with many praising the friendly staff and efficiency of the service received. 5% of the total reviews rate it as 'bad', with some mentioning that the TV advert doesn't match up to the reality when buying life insurance through Smart Insurance.

Best way to buy Smart Insurance life insurance

You can only buy Smart life insurance by speaking to a Smart Insurance broker over the phone. Once you complete your basic information on the website, a Smart Insurance adviser will call you to discuss your needs further.

You will be asked for the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Occupation
  • Height and weight
  • Smoker status
  • Health
  • Participation in dangerous hobbies

Your health history and lifestyle will be checked over the phone by the Smart Insurance adviser. Once you complete this process, the adviser will tell you how much your life insurance will cost.

Smart Insurance does not provide you with a quotation for your life insurance without going through the full application process by answering all the health questions and questions about your occupation and lifestyle. In some ways, this is useful because you can judge the real cost of life insurance that is provided. Contrastingly, many life insurance companies will provide a quotation for life insurance based on just your age and smoker status before assessing your health and lifestyle through a full application process once you decide that you wish to buy the insurance.

Smart Insurance life insurance alternatives

Smart Insurance demonstrates great customer service and they have received the Fairer Finance gold ribbon award for their customer service. That being said, the Smart Insurance level term life insurance product is far more expensive than the cheapest quote that we could find with a leading life insurance company.

When you speak to Smart Insurance, they can only provide you with their own price and so the alternative is to search the whole market. A price comparison allows you to find the most competitively priced insurance for your needs.

Speaking to a whole of market life insurance specialist will provide you with the cheapest price for the life insurance that you need.

We have personally vetted a leading life insurance broker* that provides bespoke advice free of charge for all their life insurance customers. It goes a little further than Smart Insurance, providing advice and support when completing a trust form, enabling you to nominate your beneficiaries and avoid any inheritance tax charges that may apply to the sum that is paid out when you die. They will also search the whole market before recommending a policy that suits your needs and fits within your budget.

Complete this simple form* to arrange a callback at a time that suits you and you'll receive up to £100 cashback if you decide to buy a life insurance policy this way.

Smart Insurance summary

Smart Insurance:

  • Provides a level term life insurance to provide a level amount of life cover over a set period of time.
  • Provides an age-based whole of life insurance that will get more expensive each year with your age.
  • Provides a guaranteed life insurance that provides full cover after the first 24 months of payments
  • Offers children's cover which is optional and costs extra
  • Offers critical illness cover which is optional and costs extra
  • Offers a £100 Amazon gift card after you have paid 6 months' premiums amounting to £100 or more.
  • Offers 10% of your first year's premiums back after you have paid 12 monthly premiums.
  • Can be more expensive when compared to other products that provide the same benefits.
  • Provides good customer service and has won Fairer Finance awards for customer service.

 

 

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