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Introduction to life insurance

Life insurance policies are designed to protect the beneficiaries of the policy against the loss of income that would result if the insured person passed away. In return for monthly premiums, the life insurance company administering the policy pays out a tax-free lump sum to the beneficiaries of the policy in the event of the death of the insured person.

A life cover pay-out is intended to replace the income provided by the deceased and can be put towards food, bond repayments, medical expenses and school fees.

You should update your policy regularly to ensure that you have sufficient cover. Marriage or the birth of a child, for example, could mean that you need more cover.

Who needs life insurance?

If you have dependants – i.e. people who rely on the income you earn – then you need the protection of life insurance. These dependants could include a spouse, children or even elderly parents who need financial support.

How much do you need?

When working out how much cover you need you should consider how much debt you have, how much you spend and save every month and your long-term savings goals, for example university education for your children. Use our online financial need analysis to work out how much you need. 

Take note

There are some cases in which a life cover policy will not pay out, for example if the insured person dies as a result of a drug overdose or a criminal act. Each insurer lists different exclusions – i.e. conditions under which your policy will not pay out - so be sure to read your policy documents carefully.

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