Life Insurance And Your Mortgage

An insurer is meeting with a senior couple

It has been estimated that 6 out of 10 Britons have life insurance cover linked to their mortgage. This means that if something were to happen to them, then their outstanding mortgage would be paid. Some policies give a single lump sum so the property is paid for outright while others give a monthly instalment to cover the mortgage repayments. In this article we examine:

  • Whether you need life insurance for a mortgage
  • Getting a mortgage without life insurance
  • Cancelling your mortgage life insurance

Do I need life insurance for a mortgage?

To be eligible for a mortgage, life insurance isn’t compulsory. The only insurance policy that your mortgage provider will demand that you have is buildings cover to protect their investment in your property.

To be eligible for a mortgage, life insurance isn’t compulsory

Whether to take out an insurance policy with your mortgage depends primarily on your personal circumstances. If you have bought the home with your partner and they wouldn’t be able to afford the mortgage repayments alone, then this is a good reason to take out this insurance cover.

Another reason why insurance is advisable is if you have a family. If you die with a mortgage, your lender could reclaim the outstanding money from your personal estate. This might mean that the house would have to be sold on your death.

Mortgage life insurance questions

What is the difference between life insurance and mortgage life insurance?

A term life insurance policy can offer the same benefits as mortgage life insurance under certain circumstances. While mortgage life insurance can be specifically taken out to cover the cost of a mortgage in the event of the death of the mortgage holder, a term life insurance policy can provide the same cover when taken out for the value of the mortgage to be paid out as the death benefit.

Can you take out a mortgage without life insurance?

It is technically possible to take out a mortgage without a life insurance policy. There is typically no basis for a lender to deny you a mortgage based on whether you have taken out one type of life insurance policy or another, or none at all. However, it is generally advised that you take out this type of policy as you will be covered for the amount of your mortgage in the event of sickness or death.

Is mortgage life insurance a good idea?

While mortgage life insurance is highly specific in the cover that it provides, there are more comprehensive policies for families that wish to be covered more generally in the event of sickness or death. Whether or not it is worth going for mortgage life insurance will highly depend on your existing policy and what this cover, and more importantly the value of your home and the amount of your mortgage.

Can I get a mortgage without life insurance?

It is possible to take out a mortgage without any life insurance. Your mortgage provider might offer you MPPI (mortgage payment protection insurance), but it’s always a good idea to shop around as their policies tend to be more expensive. A MPPI is more comprehensive than a life insurance policy and covers you for accidents, sickness and unemployment.

A meeting with a doctor covered by life insurance policy

There are different types of mortgage life insurance. The most common are fixed or level term life insurance which offers a sum of money (specified by you) which will be enough to pay off the mortgage and give your partner and/or family some extra money. The other is decreasing-term life insurance. This is a much cheaper policy as the amount that is paid out reduces over the term of your mortgage as you repay more money to your mortgage provider. Apart from insurance, you should also consider the advisability of taking out critical illness cover. This policy would help if you were unable to work because of an injury or ill health.

How can I cancel my mortgage life insurance?

Any insurance cover can usually be cancelled within the first 30 days of its purchase without any financial penalties. After this time has elapsed, you can notify your insurer at any time that you wish to cancel your insurance. Although you won’t have to pay a fee, you won’t be entitled to a refund.

Before taking the decision to cancel an insurance policy, it’s always a good idea to discuss the matter with your insurer. You might be able to arrange reduced cover in return for more affordable repayments. You could then take out another policy later when your financial circumstances improve, but as you’ll be older, it’s highly likely that your premiums will be higher.