Best life insurance

Life cover can give your loved ones financial support when they need it most. Here are our tips for how to find the best life insurance.

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Finding the best life insurance for you

You have a number of options when it comes to life insurance, and the best life insurance for one person may not be the best for another. Before comparing policies, you should have a good understanding of the type of life insurance and the level of cover that you need, as well as your budget.

A young parent who has just taken out a mortgage will have different insurance needs to those of a pensioner with adult children, so it’s important to find the policy that’s best for your situation.

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Best term life insurance

Term life insurance covers your family only if you pass away during an agreed period of time, generally 10 to 30 years. If you pass away during this period, your family will receive an insurance payout, provided that you have kept up with your premiums. You also choose whether you want your level of cover to stay the same over time or whether you want it to increase or decrease, depending on why you need insurance.

Term life insurance may be best for those who have a firm idea of what period of time they need to be covered for. This may be the time it will take you to pay off your mortgage, or until your children are no longer dependent on your income. If you’re young or in great health, you may need a policy with a longer term, as you are at less risk of dying in the near future.

However, the longer the term, the more you’re likely to pay for insurance and this is something to keep in mind when looking for the life insurance that’s best for you.

Best life insurance policies for people over 50

Once you’re over 50, your life insurance needs are likely to change, as will the type of policy that best suits you. You may no longer have a mortgage or dependents that rely on your income, which means you may need less cover or only want a policy to cover the rest of your working life.

Many providers offer life insurance designed specifically for over people over 50, and these may be the best option for you at that age. If you’re wealthy, it may also be worth considering whole-of-life insurance, which can help offset the potential cost of inheritance tax.

Best whole-of-life insurance policies

Unlike term life insurance, whole-of-life insurance provides ongoing cover for your entire life. As long as you continue to pay your premiums, your family will be covered when you pass away.

Whole-of-life insurance can offer more stability than term insurance, and it may be best for those who want life insurance cover indefinitely. As life insurance payouts are generally not liable to tax, it can also be a good way to protect against any potential inheritance tax your family would have to pay in the event of your death.

The best whole-of-life insurance is the policy that offers the best level of cover at the lowest premium. Some providers will review your premiums after a certain period of time, and this is something to keep in mind when considering whole-of-life cover, as it can often mean that your insurance will increase in price over time.

How to find top-rated life insurance policies

Defaqto provides star ratings of all the major insurance providers. This may be worth checking when initially looking for life insurance. You can then compare a range of top-rated life insurance policies here on Finder.

If you want personal advice on how to find life insurance, you can speak to a fee-free insurance expert from our partner Active Quote by calling 0800 862 0945.

Tips to keep the costs down

There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your life insurance, regardless of which type of policy you need. These include:

  • Picking the right level of cover. The sum insured is the amount that your family will receive in the event of your death. While it may be tempting to select the highest amount possible, this will lead to you paying more for your insurance in the meantime. You should have a firm idea of what your life insurance needs to cover, and this should be reflected in the size of your sum insured amount.
  • Comparing your options. A life insurance policy can be an expensive commitment, so it’s important you’ve looked at a range of providers and policies before finding the one that is best for you. If you already have life insurance, it’s still a good idea to compare other policies to find out if you could save money by switching.
  • Improving your health or wellbeing. When applying for life insurance, providers assess your age, health and medical history, and this then helps determine the size of your premiums. By eating healthy, exercising and forgoing harmful habits like smoking and drinking, you can reduce the cost of your insurance.

Where can I compare the best life insurance deals?

You can compare policies here.

Our 2024 life insurance customer satisfaction league table

We asked policyholders to rate their satisfaction with their life insurance company, and whether they’d recommend it to a friend. We’ve shown both for each brand in the table below. Our independent survey of 750 life insurance customers was carried out in December 2023.

BrandLogoOverall satisfactionCustomers who’d recommendReviewLink
ZurichTesco logo★★★★★92%Zurich’s options for life cover include life insurance and life insurance with critical illness. There are often perks such as shopping vouchers when you sign up. Zurich topped our customer satisfaction league table this year, scoring 4.6 out of 5 stars overall, with 92% of its customers recommending it.View deals
VitalityLegal & General logo★★★★★89%It’s hard to miss Vitality’s bright pink branding. Vitality offers life cover and income protection, as well as illness cover. Its overall customer satisfaction score was 4.6 out of 5 stars, with a “would recommend” score of 89%.View deals
AIGAIG logo★★★★★91%AIG offers a wide range of options for life insurance cover, including life and critical illness policies. AIG scored 4.5 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction, with respondents in our survey praising the provider’s “helpful” customer service.View deals
AvivaAviva logo★★★★★88%The largest general insurer in the UK, Aviva offers life insurance, critical illness cover and over-50s life insurance, as well as income protection cover. The company got 4.4 out of 5 stars from its customers in our poll.View deals
SunLifeAviva logo★★★★★86%SunLife’s roots go back to 1810. It specialises in products for people aged 50 and over. The company scored 4.4 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction, with respondents in our survey citing the brand’s “reliable” customer service.View deals
Scottish WidowsSW logo★★★★★85%Scottish Widows was founded in the early 1800s. It offers life cover and critical illness cover. The brand got 4 out of 5 stars for overall customer satisfaction.View deals
Direct LineZurich logo★★★★★83%Direct Line has several options for life insurance, including a specialist over-50s life insurance policy for customers. Cover is provided by AIG. Direct Line scored 4 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction.View deals
LV=Post Office logo★★★★★80%LV= offers life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection. It got an overall satisfaction score of 4 out of 5 stars. Its customers in our survey said the company was easy to contact and communicate with.View deals
Legal & GeneralPhoenix life logo★★★★★81%You can get life insurance with the option to add critical illness cover through Legal & General. The maximum age for applying for critical illness cover is 67. It often offers gift cards when you sign up. Its customers in our survey scored the brand 3.9 out of 5 stars.View deals
Canada LifeZurich logo★★★★★84%Canada Life offers level cover, increasing cover and decreasing cover life insurance. You have to apply via a financial adviser. Canada Life scored 3.6 out of 5 stars for overall customer satisfaction.View deals

Frequently asked questions

Insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

The customer satisfaction star rating is based on a survey of 750 customers carried out in December 2023.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.

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