Life insurance basics

Want to get to grips with life insurance? You're in the right place. Find cover that's right for you and your loved ones with our life insurance guides.


What is life insurance?

Life insurance can act like a safety net. It pays out a cash lump sum if you die before your policy ends. So it could help your loved ones cope financially when you can't be there.

A life insurance policy can give you peace of mind that you've protected what matters most.

A woman laying on the bed, holding her phone and cuddling her cat. A child sits close by showing a drawing they have created.

Do I need life insurance?

Life insurance might be right for you if: 

  • You have children or loved ones who rely on your income 
  • You have other dependants who might struggle to get by without you 
  • You’re the main earner in your family 
  • You have long-term debts, like a mortgage.

How can life insurance help?

It might help to think about the kind of support your loved ones would need if you couldn’t be there. Things like: 

  • Helping with day-to-day costs
  • Paying off any debts you may have, like a mortgage
  • Leaving money for the future.

How much cover do I need?

The amount of cover that's right for you depends on a few factors. If you were to die, what kind of support would your loved ones need? When you choose a policy, you can pick the amount of cover that's right for you and your loved ones, at a monthly cost that you can afford. Watch this short video to find out more. 

Want help working out what you need? Try our life insurance calculator.

A video about how much life insurance you may need.
A video about how long you may need life insurance.

How long should I get cover for?

It might help to think about life’s milestones, like the number of years until: 

  • Your children turn 18
  • Your mortgage is paid off
  • Your reach state pension age. 

Scottish Widows can offer cover from 5 to 40 years, up to age 69. If you’d like to find out more, watch this video.

How much does it cost?

The amount you pay depends on the length of your policy and the size of the cash lump sum that gets paid out when a claim is made. The price might also change based on your age, health and lifestyle. To find out how much it could cost, get a quote today.

What kind of life insurance is best for me?

There are a few options to think about when you choose a life insurance policy. To help work out what kind is right for you, we've compared some common policies.


What life insurance can do for you 

It's important to check that your life insurance policy is right for you. Make sure that you and your loved ones will get the support you need in case the unexpected happens.

With life insurance you can:

  • Cancel at any time, free of charge
  • Choose the amount and duration that are right for you
  • Get a cash lump sum if you die before your policy ends

With life insurance you can’t:

  • Get any money back unless you make a claim
  • Change your policy after it has started
  • Keep your cover if you miss your monthly payments

Should I get critical illness cover with life insurance?

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum if you are diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy before it ends.

The money could help you and your loved ones meet day-to-day costs and let you focus on your own health and wellbeing. This kind of cover can give you peace of mind that you and your loved ones will get the support you need, whatever the future brings. To find out more, watch this short video. 

Learn more about critical illness cover

A video about critical illness cover.

How do I make a life insurance claim? 

We want to make sure it’s as easy as possible to make a claim. Just get in touch with Scottish Widows and they'll help you through the rest. 

There are 3 simple steps to make a claim with Scottish Widows:

Get in touch

Start a claim online or just give Scottish Widows a call. Quick and easy.

Send in your documents

Scottish Widows will let you know what information to send and how.

Get support

You’ll get the support you need quickly, and you’ll be kept up to date at each stage of your claim.

This short video explains a bit more about how to make a claim.

Video about how to claim on a life insurance policy.

Download our life insurance guides 

Find out how life insurance can help you and your loved ones. These documents tell you how these policies work and what they cover.

Life insurance guide

Get a quick summary of all the info on this site, free for you to take away.

Life insurance policy summary

Find out more about what this policy covers and how it works.

Life insurance policy terms and conditions

Check the T&Cs to make sure this is the right cover for you.

Ready to get a quote? 

Halifax customers can get a quote through our Mobile Banking app. Get an answer in minutes – quick, easy and no fuss.

Get a quote