There are a few options out there if you are considering life insurance, and term life insurance is probably going to be the main one you come across. It can be used to cover a variety of things or situations and it is also one of the cheapest plans available on the market. 

What is life insurance?

Let’s first of all recap what life insurance is. Put simply, life insurance is a policy that pays out cash to your family if you happen to die. The two main types of life insurance are term life insurance and whole life insurance. 

Learn more about Whole Life insurance.

The insurance products offered by Cavendish Online have no cash-in value at any time. If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit. If you have not claimed before the end of your chosen policy term, the policy will end, and no benefit will be paid.

If you are facing financial difficulty, please contact your insurer before cancelling your policy or letting it lapse. They may have options available that means you don't have to lose the plan.


What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance is an insurance policy with a start and an end date. For example, you could set up your plan to run for 10, 20, 30 years depending on what you would like to cover.

You can pick any number of years for your plan to run, though be sure to check maximum age ranges and maximum terms with your insurer first. 

With some insurers it is also possible to set a policy to run until you are a certain age, for example - up to age 60.

Once the policy ends, and you have survived the term, your cover will cease to exist as well and you will not receive a payout. Because a payout is not guaranteed, term life insurance policies are one of the cheapest options on the market. 

Top tip - you can usually cancel your term life insurance plan at any time with no additional fees. This is a great feature if you find you no longer need it later in life. Once canelled, you will no longer have cover in place.

You may be interested in the following articles:
What happens if you outlive term insurance?
Term life insurance: the pros & cons
Whole and term life insurance: Which is better?

Compare Life Insurance quotes online...

What is the difference between level term life insurance and decreasing term life insurance?

There are two types of term life insurance plans available to you - level term and decreasing term.

As they usually have different purposes, you may want to consider both options and it's not unusual to have a combination of both set up to protect different things. 

Decreasing term life insurance

Decreasing term life insurance is often referred to as mortgage life insurance as your sum assured gradually decreases over time, roughly in line with a mortgage of the same amount. 

Although it is often classed as mortgage insurance, you don’t have to have a mortgage to take the cover out and it could be a good option for someone that may need less cover as time goes on. 

One of the main benefits of this policy is that it tends to be cheaper than level term insurance because the payout is decreasing. The actual price difference usually seems small at first, but it’s sure to add up in the long run.

Learn more about decreasing term life insurance.

Level term life insurance

Level term life insurance is a life insurance policy where the sum assured (the amount you are covered for) stays the same for the entire term of the policy. 

Let’s say you purchase a life policy to cover you for £300,000 over 20 years. You will be covered for the full £300,000 whether you were to pass away on day 1 or day 7000.

This kind of policy is often also referred to as family life insurance.

Increasing term life insurance

Increasing term life insurance is a life insurance plan that increases with inflation as the term goes on. Usually, this is acheived by including indexation as an add-on to your level term life insurance policy. With an increasing term life insurance policy, you are ensuring that your sum assured has the same cash value as when the policy was started. ]

Learn more about increasing term life insurance

You may be interested in the following articles:
What is the best life insurance policy for me?
Which type of life insurance is best for families?
What is the best life insurance for couples?

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How long should I get term life insurance for?

Unfortunately, when it comes to life insurance, there is no one size that fits all. So, whilst we can’t tell you exactly what to do in this article,we can give you some pointers:

If you feel ready to get started by yourself, you can do so with our online comparison tool. 

Or, if you are still unsure how long your life insurance plan should be, and would like a helping hand, then please consider speaking to one of our helpful advisers

How much does term life insurance cost?

Just like the above question, there is no set answer for everybody. There are a number of different factors that are factored into the cost of your life insurance plan.

This includes things like:

Unsure of your options?

Should I buy single or joint life insurance?

Decreasing term life insurance is available as a single life plan or a joint life plan. A single life plan covers one person and would pay out upon death. 

A joint plan would cover two people, and would usually pay out upon the first person passing away. There are also joint life plans available that pay out upon the second person’s death instead, but they are generally less common. 

Whether you set your policy up as single or joint is ultimately up to you to decide, and you may want to ask yourselves, ‘Would we want two payouts if we both died, or just one?’

An example of where joint life insurance would be helpful:
If you have a joint mortgage, then a joint life, first death policy may be best for you. This is because you would receive payout if one of you were to die, and the survivor could use the money to help pay off the mortgage.

Learn more about joint life insurance

Can I get term life insurance if I have a medical condition?

When you are applying for life insurance, you will be asked a number of questions about your current and past health. It is vital that these questions are answered as honestly and accurately as possible to ensure that your plan is set up correctly.

If you do happen to disclose a medical condition, it may impact the price of your policy or potentially your ability to purchase a policy at that time. 

This all comes down to what the condition is and how much it impacts your life. 

Failure to disclose the necessary information may impact a claim later on, so the best rule of thumb is to be open and honest.

You can expect to be asked things like:

This process is called underwriting.

Learn more about the underwriting process.

If you have a medical disclosure, you may find that seeking advice is the best option. We have a team of friendly, knowledgeable and expert advisers available on

01392 436193 

You may also be interested in the following articles:
Does life insurance cover heart attack?
​Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Can I get life insurance with a breast cancer disclosure?
Mental health and life insurance - what to expect

When should I buy term life insurance?

A  good rule of thumb is to take out cover when you have something you need to protect. Generally, this means that most people start looking into term life insurance after taking out a mortgage or after having children and/or other dependents that will need financial support for a set period of time. 

But, as cover tends to get more expensive as you get older, there might be no time like the present!

For more information, you may be interested in our articles:
When is the right time to buy life insurance?
Life insurance by age: A guide

How do I buy term life insurance?

If you feel confident to look into term life insurance by yourself, you can get started online.

If you'd like some help deciding which cover to purchase, or if you have medical conditions, a dangerous job or a dangerous hobby, please speak to an expert:

What happens if I can't pay my premiums?

If you are unable to pay your premiums, there are usually a few options available.

For example, if you are struggling to pay your premiums because you’re currently off work ill, and your plan includes waiver of premium, your insurer will cover your premiums for you and you won’t lose the cover.

Alternatively, they may be able to grant you some sort of payment holiday or repayment plan.  

It’s important to speak to your insurer before making any decisions about your policy. They will be able to provide more information and advice on what options are available.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Do term life insurance premiums increase over time?

For most term life insurance policies, premiums are fixed for the duration of the term. However, premiums for cover like increasing term life insurance will rise over time as does the death beneit.

Can I cancel decreasing term life insurance?

Yes, you can cancel a decreasing term life insurance policy at any time, but you may not receive any refund of the premiums paid, and cover will end upon cancellation.
Your cover ususally comes with a 30 day cooling-off period, where you would be refunded any premiums paid so far.

Can I change my term life insurance to whole life?

Some term life insurance policies may allow you to convert to a whole life policy within a specific timeframe or before reaching a certain age. This will likely result in higher premiums.

Can you borrow against a term life insurance policy?

Some term life policies may have an investment or cash component that you could borrow against.

Please note: Cavendish Online is not authorised to discuss or sell this type of policy.

Can you cash in a term life insurance policy?

Some term life insurance products may have a cash component that you could surrender.

Please note: Cavendish Online is not authorised to discuss or sell this type of policy.

Can you extend life insurance term?

Some term life insurance policies offer the option to renew or extend cover at the end of the term, but the premiums will usually increase based on your age at the time of renewal.

Please note: Cavendish Online does not sell these types of policies

Does term life insurance have a cash value?

Some term life insurance can accumulate cash value.

Please note: The insurance products offered by Cavendish Online have no cash-in value at any time.

If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit. If you have not claimed before the end of your chosen policy term, the policy will end, and no benefit will be paid.

Speak to the experts...

Give our advisers a call today.

Our team of friendly and professional advisers are on hand to help with any questions you may have regarding Life Insurance.

The advisers can also make recommendations tailored to your current situation and will research the market on your behalf, ensuring you secure the cover you need and supporting you every step of the way. 

01392 43 61 93(Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm)

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