Life insurance statistics

Is the UK prepared for the worst?

It might not be something that you want to consider, but life insurance plays an important role in planning for your family’s financial future. We explored all of the latest statistics to find out how prepared the UK is for death. After all, as Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.

The latest stats

How big is life insurance in the UK?

Life insurance falls under the broader category of protection insurance. Protection insurance includes life insurance but also other types of insurance such as income protection and serious illness insurance.

  • 23.7 million protection insurance policies in place in the UK – 1.5 million fewer than last year.
  • 442,000 collective life policies – in addition to the 23.7 million protection policies already in place.
  • 2.5 million new collective and individual life policies taken out in 2018.
  • 11.6 million members of group life insurance cover of some form in the UK in 2018 – 500,00 fewer than last year.


authorised life insurance providers in the UK.

Protection policies in the UK

Year Protection Policies
2014 29,300,000
2015 28,600,000
2016 26,900,000
2017 25,700,000
2018 25,200,000
2019 23,700,000

UK households

Life insurance is a way of providing for your family’s financial future after you have passed – but how prepared is the UK? We compared the number of households with mortgages to the costs of living.

  • 10.96m households in the UK have mortgages.
  • £131,724 average outstanding mortgage debt in November 2019.
  • £19,500 average price of household bills for a year.
  • £3,150 average food bill per house per year.
  • 42% of people with a mortgage have no life insurance in place.
  • £9,493 is the average cost of dying in 2020, 3.1% higher than in 2019

Only 50%

of households with mortgages have life insurance.

Life insurance payout

Each policy taken out is unique – but how often do insurers typically pay out for life insurance and how much?

  • £5.3 billion paid out in protection policies in 2018.
  • 189,000 customers received compensation from policies.
  • £14.5 million was paid out every day of 2018.
  • £28,000 the average pay out of protection insurance policies.


of term life insurance claims were paid out in 2018.

Life insurance demographics

Taking out life insurance is completely voluntary – so who has life insurance and who doesn’t?

  • 2.5 million new individual and group protection products were taken out in 2018.
  • 8.5 million people are without life insurance.
  • 19% of consumers used to have life insurance but no longer do. (2011-2014)


more new protection policies taken out in 2018 compared to 2017.

New protection policies each year

Year New policies
2014 3,000,000
2015 2,300,000
2016 2,100,000
2017 2,000,000
2018 2,500,000

Sources used

    • ABI
    • Royal London
    • The Money Charity
    • More Than

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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