Buying life insurance - getting advice vs going it alone

16 July 2020

3 min read

Holly Thomas Personal Finance Journalist
Holly Thomas

Personal Finance Journalist


When it comes to buying life insurance, you need to get it right so you have total confidence it will pay out, should you ever need to claim.

There are no hard and fast rules on when professional advice is essential for life insurance. However, there are lots of comparison websites which make it simple to access prices and applications for life insurance policies.


Comparison sites - going it alone for life insurance

First, you’ll need to provide your personal details. Then, how much you would like the policy to pay out, and the length and type of policy you want. There may also be some health questions for you to answer.

Once this has been submitted, you will be presented with a list of policies from a panel of insurers, usually starting with the cheapest.

You should be able to click through to each insurance provider’s website from the policy options listed on the comparison site and make an online application then and there.

However, it’s worth noting that life insurance cover should not be chosen purely on price. The emphasis should be on what is the most suitable and best value cover for your needs.

You should take care to read the terms and conditions of the suggested policies before going ahead with an application.

It’s also possible that your payment amount could differ from the one initially stated by the comparison site. The questions it asks are brief, whereas a life insurer is likely to require more details on the application in order to provide you with most suitable cover. The answers you give to the health questions could also change the pricing.


Using a financial adviser to buy life insurance

Getting tailored advice from a financial adviser can take the hard work out of finding the best cover for you.

They can help with the application process, work out what level and type of cover you need, as well as explain any insurance terminology you don’t quite understand.

An adviser can also provide assistance, should a claim ever need to be made.

It could be money well spent for getting the right cover in place.

Advisers registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) offer consumer protection. This means that if the broker or your insurer ceases trading, you won’t lose out financially – you would be protected.

You can find an adviser at Unbiased.


Holly Thomas is an award-winning freelance financial journalist and former Deputy Money Editor at The Sunday Times. Her work can be seen in national press including the Daily Mail, The Times, and the Daily Telegraph.