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Buying guide

If you have loved ones who are dependent on you, Life Cover can make sure they're taken care of financially if you die.

A Life Cover policy pays out a cash sum if you die during the cover period. It's suitable for people who have financial dependants, like partners or children, or if you have outstanding debts like a mortgage.

Some Life Cover policies - like John Lewis Life Cover - will pay out before you die if you suffer a terminal illness before the end of the cover period, where death is expected within 12 months.

Life Cover will pay a one-off cash sum, or annual benefit if family income benefit is selected, if you die or suffer a terminal illness during the cover period.

You can choose from a selection of cover options, including:

  • Level Term Cover: The cash sum remains the same throughout the cover period.
  • Mortgage Protection Term Cover: The cash sum reduces over time and is often linked to a repayment mortgage.

How much Life Cover should I get?

If you were to die suddenly, it’s a good idea to work out how much money would be needed to:

  • cover your mortgage 
  • keep your family comfortable
  • pay off any other debts and expenses

You'll also need to think about how long you want your policy to run - for example, do you want it to last until you retire, to the end of your mortgage or until your children reach a certain age?

If you want to work out what your monthly outgoings are to get an indication of how much cover you might need, use our Life Cover calculator.

Although we’re more than 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. You may have to pay for this advice.

What do I have to tell insurers before I take out a policy?

The most important thing when getting a quote, buying Life Cover or making a claim is to answer all questions truthfully, accurately and completely to the best of your knowledge.

Insurers will ask you questions about your personal and family medical history, as well as your lifestyle. A claim may not be paid if you haven’t answered all the questions truthfully, accurately and completely when applying for your plan or making a claim.

Can I protect my policy premiums if I'm unable to work?

When taking out Life Cover, you may want to consider a premium waiver option, which would keep your premium payments going if you can't work because of illness or injury.

John Lewis Life Cover gives you the option, for an additional charge, to take out a premium waiver option. This will waive your premiums if you are unable to work due to illness or injury for more than three months, until you return to work, your 65th birthday or the cover ends.

Please see the Key Facts (PDF) for more information.

Can my policy include my partner as well?

John Lewis Life Cover allows you to apply for cover for just you, you and another person, or one or two people not including you. The cover will only pay out once at which point the cover will end. 

You can also select the premium waiver option to cover one or both of the people covered.

Can I change the amount of cover once I've taken out my Life Insurance policy?

A change in personal circumstances might mean that you want to change your cover. John Lewis Life Cover may allow you to 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. If you increase your cover, your premiums will go up.

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 we may need you to provide further medical evidence.

Any change in cover will be subject to terms and conditions. For more information please read the Key Facts (PDF) or Membership Handbook (PDF).

Where the cover is on the life of one person, the proceeds of the claim will be paid to the personal representatives of the deceased's estate. Where the cover is on the lives of two people, it will be paid to the survivor.

Should the policy be assigned or written in trust then the proceeds are payable in accordance with the provisions of that assignment or trust.

Read our articles for more information

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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