Scottish Widows Life Insurance review - Money To The Masses (2024)

Scottish Widows Life Insurance review - Money To The Masses (1)If you have dependents or financial commitments like a mortgage, life insurance is an important consideration as it will pay out a lump sum when you die. This independent Scottish Widows review takes a closer look at Scottish Widows’ life insurance policy, including the types of cover available, typical costs and additional benefits.

Who is Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows was established in 1815 to take care of women and children who had lost their fathers, brothers and husbands in the Napoleonic Wars. The Scottish Widows’ Fund and Life Assurance Society opened for business on 2 January that year, and in 1821 it bought its first property for its sole use in Edinburgh.

In 1995, Scottish Widows Bank launched, offering customers a range of savings, loans and mortgage products. Five years later it was demutualised and became part of the Lloyds TSB Marketing Group. In January 2009, Scottish Widows became part of the Lloyds Banking Group, and it now has almost six million customers.

Scottish Widows was the winner of Moneyfacts Best Personal Pension Provider in 2022 as well as a 5 star Financial Adviser award for Pensions and Protection in the same year. Also, Scottish Widows level and decreasing life and critical illness insurance products received a 5-star Defaqto rating in 2022.

Scottish Widows Overview

Below is an overview of Scottish Widows’ life insurance policy, including cover types, the company’s claims record and additional benefits.

  • Policy types: Choose from level term, decreasing term and increasing term cover, as well as single and joint policies. Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included and you can combine life insurance with Critical Illness cover.
  • Claims record: 2022 - Life insurance 99%, critical illness 93%. 2021 - Life insurance 98%, critical illness 93%.Life insurance 98%, critical illness 93%. 2020 - Life insurance 99.5%, critical illness 94.2%. 2019 - Life insurance 99%, critical illness 93%.
  • Additional benefits: Free accidental death cover and free mortgage cover are included from when your application is received for up to 90 days. Policyholders have access to Scottish Widows Care which provides counselling services and other support from qualified nurses.
  • Up to £100 cashback: If you apply for a policy through LifeSearch* (simply click on the link and fill out the short form), you will receive up to £100 cashback. You can find out more below.

Scottish Widows Policy Summary

Key facts and features for Scottish Widows' life insurance policy can be found in the table below:

Scottish Widows life insurance summary

Type of coverLife Insurance
OptionsLevel, decreasing and increasing term cover.
Policy CoverageSingle or joint life first event (pays out on first death).
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.
Can cover increase over time (indexation)?If you choose increasing cover, the sum assured will increase each year in line with the Retail Price Index. The increase will be at least 2%, up to a maximum of 10%.
Waiver of PremiumYou can choose to add waiver of premium (Premium Protection) for an additional cost. This means you won’t have to pay your premiums after 26 weeks if you cannot work.
Minimum age at entry18
Maximum age at entry79
Policy ExclusionsNo life insurance payout will be made in the circumstances of suicide in the first 12 months. Terminal Illness Cover will not pay out if the illness is not expected to cause death within 12 months.

Key facts and features for Scottish Widows’ critical illness policy can be found in the table below:

Scottish Widows critical illness insurance summary

Type of coverCritical Illness
Can it be combined with life coverYes
Premium typeGuaranteed
Number of critical illnesses covered30 full payment conditions,10 partial payment (50% of sum assured up to £30,000) conditions and 5 child-specific conditions are covered
Children's critical illness cover includedYes - automatically included. Your child will be covered for 50% of the adult cover amount up to £30,000
Minimum age at entry18
Maximum age at entry64
Policy exclusionsNo payout will be given if you are diagnosed with an illness that is not covered by the policy. Children’s critical illness will not pay out if the illness symptoms started before the policy began.

Additional free benefits provided by Scottish Widows

  • Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included with life cover and will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months.
  • Accidental death benefit provides cover from when your application is received for up to 90 days or until your application is accepted, declined or postponed.
  • Free mortgage cover for new mortgages starts from the date your application is received and lasts for up to 90 days.
  • Access to Scottish Widows Care which is provided in partnership with RedArc and offers long-term practical advice and emotional support.
  • Replacement cover is included if you have a joint policy. This means that after a claim is made, the person who hasn’t claimed can take out a new policy on the terms and conditions of the previous policy.
  • Children’s critical illness cover is automatically included if you take out your own policy. This will cover your children from birth to the age of 22 and will pay out 50% of the amount of your cover, up to a maximum of £30,000.
  • Children’s life cover is also included if you take out critical illness cover. This will pay out £10,000 in the event of the death of a child.
  • Policies are portable so where two people have policies within the same plan, they can split the plan and move policies into a new plan if they choose to.

Optional benefits provided by Scottish Widows

  • Option to include Critical illness cover which pays if you are diagnosed with a critical illness that is listed within the policy terms.
  • Option to add Premium Protection (sometimes called Waiver of Premium) which means you won’t have to pay your premiums if you are unable to work due to an accident or illness. Scottish Widows will start to pay your premiums after 26 weeks.
  • Option to add Life Cover Buyback to a life and critical illness policy. This allows you to buy back your life cover if a critical illness claim has been paid.

How much does Scottish Widows insurance cost?

The tables below show monthly premiums for £250,000 of level term life insurance with Scottish Widows over a 20-year term.

We have looked at figures for both a non-smoker and a smoker in various age groups and compared the costs to the cheapest and most expensive premiums in the market.

Scottish Widows life insurance price comparison - £250,000 of cover over 20 years (Non-Smoker)

Scottish Widows premiumCheapest premiumMost expensive premium
25-year-old non-smoker£7.84£5.82£9.43
35-year-old non-smoker£12.75£10.50£14.28
45-year-old non-smoker£26.32£22.58£30.21
55-year-old non-smoker£63.02£60.02£81.83

Scottish Widows life insurance price comparison - £250,000 of cover over 20 years (Smoker)

Scottish Widows premiumCheapest premiumMost expensive premium
25-year-old smoker£12.07£9.80£12.67
35-year-old smoker£25.44£20.06£26.45
45-year-old smoker£65.48£54.76£69.78
55-year-old smoker£166.25£162.68£233.35

It’s important to use the above figures as a guideline only. The amount you, as an individual, will pay for your life insurance premiums will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your health
  • Whether you smoke
  • Your occupation (some roles are deemed as higher risk so premiums will be higher)
  • The amount of cover you choose
  • The term of your policy

To ensure you choose the right policy at the best price, it is worth speaking to an independent insurance specialist first. Below we explain how you can also qualify for up to £100 cashback if you decide to take out a life insurance cover policy.

Scottish Widows life insurance reviews

Scottish Widows life insurance and critical illness products are rated 5 stars by Defaqto which means the products are deemed to provide a comprehensive range of features and benefits. Defaqto also rates Scottish Widows' Protection service, 'Gold'. Scottish Widows life insurance received a 75% Fairer Finance score and was ranked 13th out of 26 providers.

Best way to buy Scottish Widows life insurance?

If you’re planning to buy a life insurance policy with Scottish Widows, it’s a good idea to speak to an independent insurance specialist first. They will be able to advise you on the best life insurance or critical illness policy for your circumstances and help you assess how much cover you need for full financial protection and peace of mind.

Independent specialists will be able to access quotes from all major insurance companies, and they can also match you with the insurance provider who will view your application more favourably. In addition, they will be on hand to help you complete your application forms, put your policy into trust and help you make a claim in the future.

Simply complete this short form* to receive a callback at a time that suits you. There is no obligation to take things further but if you do, you will qualify for up to £100 cashback.

Scottish Widows life insurance summary

  • Established in 1815.
  • In 2022, Scottish Widows paid out 99% of all life insurance claims and 93% of critical illness insurance claims.
  • Life insurance automatically includes Terminal Illness Cover and can also be combined with Critical Illness cover.
  • Children’s critical illness cover and life cover are automatically included if you take out your own critical illness policy.
  • Free accidental death cover and free mortgage cover are included from when your application is received for up to 90 days.
  • Policyholders have access to Scottish Widows Care which provides counselling and other support services.
  • Scottish Widows life insurance may not necessarily be the cheapest option for you as the amount you pay will depend on a number of factors. It’s therefore best to shop around and compare deals carefully.
  • If you buy a life insurance policy through LifeSearch*, you will receive up to £100 cashback. Simply click on the link and fill in the short form to be called back at a time that suits you.

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch

As a seasoned insurance expert, my in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the field allow me to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Scottish Widows life insurance policy discussed in the provided article.

Scottish Widows Overview: Scottish Widows, with a rich history dating back to 1815, has evolved into a prominent life insurance provider within the Lloyds Banking Group. Boasting nearly six million customers, it has earned recognition, winning the Moneyfacts Best Personal Pension Provider and a 5-star Financial Adviser award for Pensions and Protection in 2022. The 5-star Defaqto rating in 2022 further underscores the quality of its level and decreasing life and critical illness insurance products.

Policy Types: Scottish Widows offers a range of life insurance options, including level term, decreasing term, and increasing term cover. Policyholders can opt for single or joint policies, with Terminal Illness Cover automatically included. The ability to combine life insurance with Critical Illness cover enhances the flexibility of coverage.

Claims Record: The consistently high claims record of Scottish Widows is noteworthy. In 2022, life insurance claims stood at an impressive 99%, while critical illness claims were at 93%. This trend has been maintained over the years, reinforcing the reliability of Scottish Widows in honoring claims.

Additional Benefits: Scottish Widows stands out with its additional benefits, including free accidental death cover and free mortgage cover for up to 90 days from application. Policyholders gain access to Scottish Widows Care, offering counseling services and support from qualified nurses. The company's commitment to policyholders is further demonstrated by the provision of replacement cover for joint policies.

Policy Summaries: The life insurance policy offers options such as level, decreasing, and increasing term cover, with Terminal Illness Cover automatically included. The critical illness policy covers 30 full payment conditions, 10 partial payment conditions, and includes children's critical illness cover.

Optional Benefits: Policyholders have the flexibility to enhance coverage with optional benefits such as Critical Illness cover, Premium Protection (Waiver of Premium), and Life Cover Buyback. These options provide added layers of financial protection tailored to individual needs.

Cost Considerations: The article provides a detailed breakdown of monthly premiums for £250,000 of level term life insurance over a 20-year term. It emphasizes the importance of considering individual factors such as age, health, smoking status, occupation, coverage amount, and policy term when determining the cost.

Reviews and Ratings: Scottish Widows' life insurance and critical illness products receive a prestigious 5-star rating from Defaqto, indicating a comprehensive range of features and benefits. The Fairer Finance score of 75% and the 13th ranking out of 26 providers further validate the company's standing in the market.

Best Way to Buy: The article recommends consulting an independent insurance specialist before purchasing a Scottish Widows life insurance policy. These specialists can offer personalized advice, access quotes from major insurance companies, and guide individuals through the application process. The potential for up to £100 cashback through LifeSearch adds an attractive incentive for prospective policyholders.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Scottish Widows emerges as a reputable and reliable life insurance provider, offering a diverse range of policies with attractive benefits. Its strong claims record, positive reviews, and additional features contribute to its appeal in the insurance market. As an expert, I advise individuals to carefully assess their needs and consult with independent specialists to make informed decisions regarding life insurance coverage.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance review - Money To The Masses (2024)
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