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Whole of Life

Whole of Life Assurance, as the name suggests, can provide life cover or critical illness cover without imposing a limited term.

Their are two main types of Whole of life:-

  • Unit linked
  • Guaranteed

Unit Linked Whole of Life - (investment based)
Most providers have moved away from unit linked whole of life policies so in todays market that are not going to be an option. However I will explain how they work so you may understand how they work if you have already got one of these policies in place. On a Unit linked Whole of life your premiums are split into two parts one to provide your chosen amount of cover now and the other part is diverted into a unit-linked investment fund. The purpose of the fund is to accumulate money while the cost of cover is low to help subsidise the cost of cover as you get older. A unit-linked plan allows the premiums to be kept lower as they are based on the expectation of some future fund growth. Unit values can of course fall as well as rise.

Because part of your premium is invested within a fund you can select how much goes into accumulating funds to help support the cost as you get older. Unit linked plans offer a degree of flexibility on how much you contribute as there is a choice between:-

  1. Maximum cover - Most of the premium is paying for the selected amount of cover and a very tiny amount will be used to build up a fund. As a result the cost of cover will be very cheap, however on the first review will almost certainly increase substantially.
  2. Minimum cover - You have selected a low level of cover and a high percentage of your premium will be paid into the investment. Cost will be the highest and cover the lowest.
  3. Standard cover - basically allows the same level of life cover to be kept up throughout life, as long as the fund achieves a specified minimum annual growth rate. If this rate is not achieved you will either need to increase the premium to maintain cover or to decrease the level of cover to a sustainable level.

Whatever level of initial cover is chosen, that amount is guaranteed to be maintained for a specified term (normally 10 years). The policy should be written in trust so that the proceeds of the plan are not paid into your estate and will not therefore, suffer the delays involved in obtaining probate. They will also escape inheritance tax. We can supply trust forms and provide guidance on how to complete the trust forms on request.

Guaranteed Whole of life
Premiums are set at the outset and are guaranteed not to rise throughout the plan term. Their is no investment element therefore the plan will not acquire a surrender value.

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