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Frequently asked questions...

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about John Lewis Life Cover.

Click on one of the following categories to reveal related questions and answers.

What does the plan provide?

John Lewis Life Cover pays a one-off cash sum payment, or annual benefit should Family Income Benefit be selected, if you die or suffer a terminal illness during the cover period.

Remember that inflation reduces the spending power of any money paid out in the future. You should regularly review your cover to make sure it meets your needs. This plan has no cash in value. 

Why do I need Life Cover?

Life Cover is designed to help protect your loved ones financially if you die or suffer a terminal illness. The cash sum or annual payments can be used to help pay outstanding debts (e.g. mortgages) or provide financial security for your family and dependants.

If there are people who depend on you financially, you might want to consider Life Cover. 

Which insurance company provides John Lewis Life Cover?

John Lewis Life Cover is provided by Friends Life and Pensions Limited.

Friends Life is part of the Friends Life group, providing a range of financial products and services, in particular life assurance and retirement savings. Friends Life group has a heritage dating back over 200 years.

Can I apply for John Lewis Life Cover online?

You can only apply for Life Cover over the phone. We're confident that by speaking to us any questions you may have can be answered directly and we’ll make sure no important information is missed out of your application.

Although we're happy to give you information about John Lewis Life Cover, discuss your requirements and provide a personalised quote for you, we can't give financial advice.

A professional financial adviser can help you decide whether a life cover plan is suitable for you. If you haven't got a financial adviser at the moment and you would like to speak to one you can find one at You may have to pay for this advice.

How long will the application take?

It depends how much information is needed. You can arrange single cover in approximately 30 minutes and cover for two people in approximately one hour on the phone.

When I apply, how much personal information will I need to provide?

You’ll be asked about your personal and family medical history, your occupation and your pastimes. Your answers will be used in assessing your application and will be kept confidential and never disclosed.

Friends Life may not pay a claim if you do not answer all questions truthfully, accurately and completely to the best of your knowledge when applying for your plan and when making a claim.

What cover is offered?

  • Level Term Cover
    Pays a cash sum that stays the same throughout the cover period unless you increase or extend your cover. This means its real value will be reduced by inflation. Premiums will stay the same throughout the cover period.
  • Mortgage Protection Term Cover
    Pays a cash sum, the level of which reduces each month in line with the capital outstanding on a repayment mortgage with an interest rate of 8% a year. Premiums will stay the same throughout the cover period.
  • Decreasing Term Cover
    Pays a lump sum, the level of which decreases each month at an equal rate throughout the cover period. Premiums will stay the same throughout the cover period.
  • Family Income Benefit Cover
    The cash sum is paid in annual instalments for each year remaining in the cover period after a claim is accepted.
  • Renewable Term Cover
    Pays a fixed cash sum, where your cover is renewed every five or ten years. This will either increase or decrease what you pay based on current premium rates and your age, without the need for further medical evidence. Terms and conditions may change at renewal.

Can it cover my partner as well?

Yes. You can apply for any of the cover options above to cover just you, or you and another person (e.g. your partner). The cover will only pay out once, at which point the cover will stop.

If you have cover for two people, the person who was not the subject of the original claim can take out a new cover. More information can be found in the Membership Handbook (PDF).

What is the premium waiver option?

This is an optional benefit available at an extra cost and normally to those in paid occupation.

This option waives your premiums if illness or injury prevents you from working For more than three consecutive months (or if you're not in a paid occupation this would depend on your ability to carry out a number of specified activities). This would continue until you return to work, your 65th birthday, or the cover ends, whichever happens first.

There are other additional options available, such as total permanent disability, indexation and fracture cover. For more information on these options, please call us on 0800 916 6840 or read the Key Facts (PDF). Calls may be recorded and may be monitored.

Are there any age limits?

Life Cover is available to anyone aged between 18 and 74. You can choose any length of cover from five to 40 years, however cover must end before your 85th birthday. Renewable term cover will end before you reach age 70.

What happens when I decide to accept the cover offered?

If you start your cover, you’ll receive a proposal summary in the post. For your cover to continue, you must check the information in the proposal summary is accurate and complete and return the reply slip confirming this within 30 days.

How much will the cover cost me?

This will depend on:

  • the cover amount you need
  • how long you need it for
  • whether you include the Premium Waiver, Total Permanent Disability, Indexation or Fracture Cover options
  • whether you’ve smoked or used nicotine replacements in the past 12 months
  • your age
  • your medical history, occupation and pastimes.

How can I pay for my John Lewis Life Cover?

You can pay for your Life Cover monthly or annually by direct debit. You'll need to provide your bank address, sort code and account number.

What happens if I stop my payments?

If you miss a payment, your plan will continue for 30 days. If you don't pay it within this time, your plan will stop and you won't get anything back.

Can I change my cover during the term?

Yes, you can increase your cover without providing medical evidence when you get married or become a civil partner, get divorced or separated, have a child, increase your mortgage or have a salary increase.

Each change can only be made once throughout your cover period and only if you are under 55 years of age at the time of your request for an increase.

If you received cover on special terms, you may still be able to change it but you will need to provide further medical evidence.

If you increase your cover, your premiums will increase.

Terms and conditions apply to any increase in cover.

For more information please read the Key Facts (PDF) or Membership Handbook (PDF).

Are there any times when a claim may not be paid?

Friends Life won’t pay a claim if the cause has been excluded by any specific terms applied to your cover. They also won't pay a claim for premium waiver or total permanent disability if it results from or relates to a self-inflicted injury.

Friends Life will not pay a claim if you do not answer all questions truthfully and accurately at the time you apply for your cover and when you claim.

For more information please read the Key Facts (PDF) or Membership Handbook (PDF).

Is the cash sum liable to tax?

Under current tax rules, you're not liable for income tax or capital gains tax on your plan unless you sell it to another person. However, tax rules may change.

What about inheritance tax?

If you die during the cover term, the money paid out on your plan will form part of your estate for inheritance tax purposes. Once you've started your plan, you might want to get professional advice about placing it in a trust to help with inheritance tax planning.

What if I need to make a complaint?

For information on how to make a complaint, please visit our Making a complaint webpage.

Where can I see the full cover terms and conditions?

These can be viewed online here (PDF).

When you take out cover, you'll be sent a copy of the terms and conditions (also known as the Membership Handbook) and a registration certificate which sets out the current details of your cover (also referred to as membership). 

Does the plan have a cash-in value?

No, it doesn't.

Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply.

John Lewis Life Cover is provided by Friends Life and Pensions Limited - please read Important information (PDF). Once your policy begins you may receive documents and correspondence from Friends Life. These will always be relevant to your application or policy and will never be unsolicited.

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