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What is Term Life Insurance?

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What is Critical Illness Cover?
How Critical Illness Cover works

How do we arrange a discount?

Underwriting Your Application

Glossary of Terms

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About Aisa Direct

This website contains information which may or may not be applicable to your own situation and circumstances.

Any information or advice on this site does not constitute a personal recommendation. If you have any doubts as to whether a product or service is suitable for you, please seek independent advice.

Glossary of terms

As Execution Only brokers, we are unable to offer advice as to which type of life insurance, or amount of cover, is suitable for your circumstances.


We can however explain a little about some of the terms and jargon that you might come across while researching your own requirements. The information on this page is a general guide only. You should read carefully any literature relating to a policy that you are considering.


Convertible term assurance

This type of life assurance will typically initially start as a straightforward level term assurance plan. It does however come with the option to convert the policy at some point in the future, without further medical underwriting. The option to convert the policy will generally mean that the original plan, or part of it, can be changed to another type of policy such as an increasing term assurance, a whole of life policy or an endowment. Although this can be done without any further medical evidence being required, the premium appropriate to your age at the time will be payable.


Critical illness cover

Covered here.


Decreasing term / mortgage protection cover

This type of policy pays out on death and will typically guarantee to pay off the outstanding balance of a decreasing loan, such as a repayment mortgage, provided the interest rate doesn’t rise above a certain level over the term of the plan. It's important therefore to make sure that any plan you are considering does not have assumptions on likely mortgage interest rates that may prove to be unrealistic over the term of the plan, and your mortgage.


Family income benefit

Most protection policies are designed to provide a lump sum, either on death or diagnosis of a serious illness. Family Income Benefit (often referred to as FIB) is different in that it provides a regular income instead. The income is usually paid monthly to your dependants until a date specified by you at application stage, should you die before that date. The benefit can be paid either on death of a life assured, or on an earlier critical illness if this option has been selected. Because FIB does not provide a large amount of capital in one payment, premiums are often lower than for other forms of term insurance.


Guaranteed premiums

The premium payable is guaranteed to remain the same throughout the life of the policy. By default Aisa Direct will provide all quotations based on guaranteed premiums.


See reviewable premiums further down this page.


Joint life cover or single life cover policies?

Where cover is required for two people this can typically be arranged in one of two ways:


One Joint Life Policy


A joint life policy can be arranged so that the benefits would be paid out following the death of either the first, or if required for a specific reason, the second life assured (the majority of policies are arranged ultimately to protect financial dependants, with the sum assured or benefits being paid on 1st death).


Two Single Life Policies


With two separate single life policies, each person is covered separately. If both lives assured were to die at the same time, as the result of a car accident for example, the full benefits would be payable on each of the policies. If one of the lives assured died, benefits would be paid for that policy, with the surviving partner having continuing cover on their life. Because the levels of cover are effectively doubled when compared to one joint life policy, the costs of two single life will generally be a little higher, but are unlikely to be twice as high. Using two single life policies to provide cover usually therefore represents good value for money.


Level term cover

The sum assured remains the same (level) throughout the term of the policy. Discussed in more detail here.


Life of another

The people covered by the policy (sometimes referred to as the life or lives assured) and the owner of the policy (sometimes referred to as the proposer) can be different. Because the benefits of the policy are paid to the owner or proposer, this arrangement can be useful in ensuring that benefits are paid quickly to those who need them. For example, a wife may own (be the proposer) a policy covering her husband's life. In the event of her husband's death, the wife would receive the policy proceeds quickly, without any probate delays.


Reviewable premiums

Policies which have reviewable premiums are generally subject to a series of policy reviews on dates arranged at outset. Either the premium or the level of cover can change at a policy review dates. The insurance company providing your cover will undertake the review, based on it's overall claims experience and market conditions at the time of the review. As a result of this premiums may rise over the term or course of your policy.



Most insurers will class you as a smoker if you have used ANY tobacco based products in the 12 months prior to submitting an application, and charge a higher rate for your cover as a result. Some providers will allow someone who was a smoker but subsequently stops to move onto non-smoker rates for their cover, often after providing acceptable evidence they have stopped, such as via a cotinine test, but in many cases the best course of action may still be to make a new application for cover based on non-smoker rates.


Terminal illness

Terminal illness benefit is often confused with Critical Illness benefit, although the two are completely different. While Critical Illness benefit is something that has to be specifically applied and paid for, Terminal Illness benefit is now quite routinely included in most death only cover policies at no extra cost.


It means that as well as the policy benefits being paid if you were to die during the term of the policy, benefits can also be paid if you are diagnosed with an illness thought likely to lead to death within 12 months. In most cases, a claim under the terminal illness benefit will not be allowed in the last 18 months of a policy term.


Waiver of premium benefit

An optional benefit which can be added to most policies, after payment of an additional premium, to ensure that the insurance company will cover the cost of your policy premiums in the event that you are unable to work due to long-term ill health or incapacity.