Glossary of Life Insurance Terms

Claim The request made for payment of a benefit under a policy.

Critical illness cover Cover for a range of critical illnesses covered by your policy which may or may not be fatal. These include many cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart attack or stroke.

Guaranteed acceptance No medical questions will be asked or medical record requested during an application.

Inheritance tax The tax that is paid on your estate if it exceeds the threshold set by the government.

Joint life policy Cover that protects two lives on the same policy, and pays the sum assured on the first death.

Life assured The person, named in the policy schedule, whose life is covered under the policy.

Policy holder The owner of the life insurance policy.

Premium The amount you pay under the policy on a monthly basis.

Premium protection Cover which means your premiums will be paid for you if you suffer from an illness or injury, other than a deliberately self-inflicted injury, and are unable to work for more than 6 months.

Single life policy Cover that protects the policyholder only.

Sum assured The amount shown in the policy schedule, that will be paid following a successful claim for life cover, terminal illness benefit or critical illness and disability benefit.

Term The maximum number of years that your policy can remain in force.

Terminal illness An advanced or rapidly progressing incurable illness, where in the opinion of an attending medical consultant and the insurer's chief medical officer, life expectancy is no greater than 12 months. This is automatically included during the period of cover – excluding the last 18 months.

Trust A means of legally gifting any lump sum payouts under your policy to others (such as close family or friends). The sum assured can be paid to the people you chose to control your trust (the 'trustees') without having to await probate, and the amount would not be added to your estate for inheritance tax purposes.