The simple term Self-Invested Pension may be enough to turn most people who are not business minded off, as the investment plan can sound intimidating to an average person, however, they are among some of the best pension plans for a number of reasons and certainly warrant a second look.
couple saving with a SIPP
Therefore, before you automatically dismiss a SIPP as something that cannot possibly help you it may be worth it to take a second to review the following benefits that come along creating your own personal pension plan for the future.

One of the first and most sought after advantages of a self-invested pension is the fact that it offers flexibility and freedom to the investor since it allows them to choose where to invest their funds, and how they want to invest them.

For those who have large pension funds that want to have more control over their investments, a SIPP is really the best choice. After all, it is your money that is being contributed into the pension plan, so why not take the initiative to make sure you know what is happening to it after this point has passed.

Another reason to look into a self-invested pension is the fact that they usually do not come with any penalties or hidden charges. In fact, most SIPP schemes will have transparent charging structures that make it easy for anyone to figure out how their pension is being planned.

It is strongly recommended that you get advice from an independent financial advisor by visiting Think IFA or Unbiased before starting a SIPP

The fee structure generally has nothing to do with the size of the fund and will not change regardless of how long the plan is in place. This often makes an SIPP one of the best pension plans for someone that knows they have a large pension to manage or someone that expects to be building their pension for quite a few more years.

In addition, those who over the age of 50 but not quite yet 75 often find that a self-invested pension is a great way to draw out their pension without locking themselves into a fund that has an annuity attached to it. This is because a SIPP can be used when someone is moving slowly towards ‘income drawdown’ and is a great way to draw income throughout retirement since there are not as many restrictions, fees, or regulations placed on the scheme.

Once again, the freedoms that come with SIPPs are hard to beat when you compare them with other types of pension plans. With this in mind, those that that want to transfer funds from other pensions, control their own investment opportunities, slowly enter into a retirement drawdown, or invest large amounts of money into their pension schemes will likely find the best pension plans for them are SIPPs.

The simple truth is that it is hard to beat the flexibility that comes with a self-invested pension, and the reward for your due diligence will be a comfortable retirement sum later in life making your hard work worth it.

Life insurance provides vital financial support to your children when you are no longer there to care for them yourself. It is usual to assume that if you have put the correct insurance into place, your kids will have no financial worries at a time when money should be the last thing on their minds.
Life Insurance Written Into Trust
However, if your life insurance becomes part of your estate when you die, all the funds contained within it will be subject to probate. This could mean that your children have to wait up to six months to be able to claim the funds you have left them, even if the estate is completely uncontested.

Furthermore, if there are issues with the will or their claim is disputed, the time it takes for them to benefit from the arrangements you have made can be considerably longer.

Such a delay in payment could severely impact any member of your family. Consider how they will support themselves or continue with their own lives if they cannot access the funds that you have left for them.

In addition, any claim on the estate has to be made through a formal charge. Such a process can take further time but can also incur significant fees which eat into the nest egg that you thought was going directly to them.

Also don’t forget, any funds included within an estate are subject to inheritance tax. This means the total value of your fund could be eroded by as much as 50% before your kids even see a penny.

However, there is a quick and easy solution which solves all of these problems. All you have to do is fill in one simple form.

How to Place Your Life Insurance into Trust

By placing your life insurance into trust you can effectively ring fence the money that has been allocated to your family members.

It will protect them from long time delays before they are able to receive the money and will negate all probate fees. In addition, the funds contained within the trust will avoid your estate entirely and will therefore not be subject to any inheritance tax.

Simply by filling in the relevant form, you can directly nominate the people you’d like to receive the benefits from your policy. This will enable your beneficiaries to be paid, quickly and directly so that they receive all the benefits that you had intended for them.

Furthermore, this process should cost you nothing at all. Here at Insuranet we will offer this service completely free of charge. So if you are considering taking up life insurance, then ask us for your policy to be placed into trust for those that you really care about.

If you already hold an insurance policy, talk to your provider and ask them to send you the relevant forms so that you can make the arrangements now.

Putting your life insurance into trust is not difficult, time consuming or expensive but the difference it can make to your children is unforgettable.

To speak with one of our friendly advisers about life insurance and trusts, please call us on 0800 799 9330 or visit our life insurance comparison page here.

Useful resources:
The Law Society website explains the process of Probate –

By Steven Keogh

Differences between income protection cover and critical illness insurance make both products invaluable in today’s economic climate, so we have put together a key comparison to help you decide which option is best for you.
Insurance comparison

Regular Payments vs. Lump Sum

Though both income protection and critical illness will provide you with a pay out should you by unable to work due to illness, the type of payout will depend on the policy you choose.

Income protection is designed to actually protect your level of income and will pay out a regular lump sum for a fixed length of time so that you can maintain your standard of living.

Conversely, a critical illness payment is usually one tax free lump sum that is issued on diagnosis and no further payment will be made for this specific condition.

Illness vs. Unemployment

An income protection plan will not only pay out if you are unable to work due to illness, it will also be valid if you loose your job through accident or redundancy.

If you are able to work in another role or at a reduced rate, an income protection policy will continue to be valid and supplement your income to the level agreed.

When it comes to a critical illness, you do not have to be unable to work for a payment to be issued. Such cover will become valid on diagnosis of a recognised condition no matter what your employment status. It does not matter how much income you receive, the payout level will be the same.

Immediate Payment or Deferment

Most income protection policies will have a period of deferment before the regular tax free amounts start to be paid. This can be anything from one month to up to two years depending on the agreement made at the start of a policy.

Conversely, a critical illness payment will be made as soon as a diagnosis has been confirmed and will then not pay out again until another eventuality arises.

Value of the Cover

When you take out a critical illness policy you can set the amount of payout at any level you see fit. The higher the payout, the higher the premium but there is no cap on the amount you can set. This makes critical illness insurance ideal for covering a fixed level of debt such as mortgage, which you would want paid off should you be diagnosed with a serious illness.

When you take up an income protection plan the payment is intended to cover your standard monthly outgoings. Such a policy will usually set a level of approximately 60% of your gross monthly salary, which should equate to a standard net monthly income.

The differences between income protection cover and critical illness insurance remain constant but the details of each individual policy may change. Before you choose any new insurance product make sure you read the small print so that you can be sure you get exactly what you are looking for.

Need help?

If you would like any help or advice on which insurance is most suitable for you then please call one of our friendly advisers on Freephone 0800 799 9330

Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a very common condition in the UK where an individual experiences consistently increased blood pressure levels over a long period of time.

In the UK alone the National Health Service estimate that one quarter of all adults have high blood pressure that might benefit from treatment. And for those over the age of 60, this statistic rises to approximately half of all people living in the UK.

Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure

Here at Insuranet we have many years experience in arranging life insurance for people with high blood pressure

Though a potentially serious condition if left untreated, most people with hypertension can manage their situation effectively through a mixture of exercise, diet control and medication. However, as with any serious medical condition, such a situation can have a severe impact on your ability to find the right insurance policy. But it can be done!

Shop Around

The most important thing to do when you suffer from any medical condition is to ensure that you search the market and find the most suitable policy for your own personal situation.

Many standard insurance companies can offer life policies to people suffering from high blood pressure while other companies specialise in offering cover for those with hypertension.

Internet comparison sites can give you an indication of premium costs, but it is only when you drill down into the finer detail of your own personal situation that you can truly understand what the terms will be.

For a clearer picture of the range of policies available, please contact us as we have extensive knowledge of a broad range of policies and can guide you through the process.

Read the Fine Print

When buying life insurance with high blood pressure, the key to a high quality policy is in the fine print. Make sure you are fully aware of the exclusions of the contract and any extenuating circumstances that will not be covered. Protection may depend on regular medication or other personal circumstances, and these should be clear before you take up the cover.

If you have any concerns about anything within the terms of the policy then please talk to us as we will be able to walk through the paperwork with you and help you understand the finer points of the policy.

Be Honest

A significant proportion of life insurance claims that are rejected are due to incorrect information being included on the application form. This can be due to deliberate fraud or a complete oversight on the side of the applicant. So make sure your policy is going to be valid when you need it the most.

Though you may think that withholding information makes insurance cheaper, if you have paid years of premiums only for the claim to be rejected after you have gone, your policy just becomes a very expensive piece of paper with no benefit at all.

Be Flexible

If your insurance company requests further information either by way of access to your medical records or via a specific medical investigation then agree whenever you can. The more information your insurance provider has, the more tailored your policy will be to your own individual situation.

Providing supporting evidence to your answers or taking the time to complete further questionnaires can ensure all qualifying factors are met during the application process and actually make your premiums lower than you would think.

For those that say you cannot get life insurance if you have high blood pressure, we say you are wrong. High quality, well priced policies are available for many people who suffer from this common condition and, with the right advice, it is possible to find the one for you.

Please see our dedicated high blood pressure life insurance page here for further details.

Alternatively you can compare quotes here.

Being diagnosed with hepatitis or any other serious illness can be incredibly distressing for anyone. And, knowing how to move forward from such news is difficult.

However, the most important thing when it comes to existing life insurance after being diagnosed with hepatitis is not to be too hasty.

Life insurance with hepatitis

Speak with us first before canceling your life insurance after being diagnosed with hepatitis

Though rumours will tell you that people with hepatitis cannot be insured and that your existing policy is now void, this is not necessarily the case. Furthermore, those with existing policies when they are diagnosed could well be in a better position than they first thought.

The hepatitis disease affects the function of the liver and can be either a temporary or permanent condition. Many people will carry hepatitis for years without actually ever having symptoms, while others will require constant medication.

Just as the condition varies greatly, so do the implications to your life insurance policy. Only by carrying out the following steps can you ensure that you get the most from the policy you already have.

1. Get Your Facts Straight
The first thing to do when you have been diagnosed with Hepatitis is to understand the facts. There are three distinctive types of hepatitis and ascertaining which strain you suffer from is key to the way you move forward.

Once you have found out whether you have hepatitis A, B or C, then the next step is to establish your specific severity and what can be done to alleviate the symptoms. In addition, you must understand the likely duration of the illness and what, if any, implications there are on your long term health.

2. Start Talking
The sooner you can start talking to us about your new medical situation the better. Not only are you required by law to advise your insurance company of any changes to your personal circumstances, but talking with us will help make you understand how you can move forward.

If you have a temporary form of hepatitis which was contracted through the process of a normal, healthy lifestyle then it is likely that there will be only minor changes to your life insurance policy, if any. Some companies may adjust the exclusion clauses within your contract or may reassess your premiums. However, the policy will still be in place.

If you have more chronic symptoms or a potentially life threatening form of hepatitis, then the insurance company may not be as willing to renew your contract. However even this isn’t the end of the road. There are still other companies who specialise in offering life insurance to hepatitis sufferers that will be able to help.

Your insurance company may require further information from your medical records or via a medical. If you can, always agree to such investigations. It will help the insurance company gain a clearer understanding of your situation and ensure your life insurance policy is tailored to your individual situation.

3. Get Some Advice
If there are any changes to your policy or your insurance company fail to provide continued protection, then please contact us for advice. Talking to one of our experienced protection advisers that specialises in life insurance for hepatitis sufferers will help you understand your options.

We can help you understand the implications of the changes requested and highlight any alternative policies that could offer better terms for the future.

Above all, do not cancel your policy until you have further cover in place. If your existing life insurance policy has been in place for some time it may still be the best solution moving forward even in your new situation.

Whatever the situation, the key to maintaining effective life cover is not to panic. Keep calm and think clearly and you will find that things may not be as bleak as you first thought.

If you would like a friendly, no obligation chat with one of our advisers then please call us on 0800 799 9330 or fill in our online enquiry form.

For further information about hepatitis please visit the NHS website here:

The aim of income protection for self employed people is to ensure that, should you be you be unable to achieve your current level of income due to illness or disability, the cover you hold will compensate you.

self employed income protection image
In general an income protection policy will cover 65% of your total income. As this is a tax free payment, such a level is seen as equivalent to the gross income you should receive under normal circumstances after all deductions are made.

How to Calculate Your Income
Even for self employed people, income protection policies are designed to protect the income of the individual, as opposed to the company. This means that the level of income that you should declare is not the turnover of the company itself but the level of remuneration that you take home.

For a sole trader, subtracting business costs from the company’s turnover will usually provide the figure that you require. However, as the company finances become more complex, further adjustments may be required.

It is usual for an insurance provider to take an average of the last twelve months income to calculate a fair salary for your work. However, if your remuneration fluctuates greatly over a longer period, this can also be taken into consideration when making the calculations.

As with any type of insurance product, it is essential that you are completely open and honest about your level of income when applying for the cover. Though you may feel that it would a good idea to inflate your takings so that the level of benefit you can claim could be higher, your income will also be assessed at the time of the claim. If your salary is seen to be dramatically different from that which has been previously disclosed, the validity of your entitlement could then be in dispute.

Making a Claim
When making a claim on an insurance protection policy for a self employed person, the entire benefit that you are able to receive is calculated to a level which will ensure your income does not fall below the pre agreed level, which is usually 65%.

This means that if your illness or disability is reducing the level of your income rather than eradicating it altogether, your claim will be adjusted so that you achieve full benefit up to this amount but do not exceed it.

In the same way, if you hold more than one income protection policy, you will find that the full benefit you can receive across all policies will be limited to your maximum protection level, irrespective of how many premiums you pay. For this reason, it is usually more cost effective to have one comprehensive self employed income protection policy, rather than several small policies which can cost more.

Self employed income protection insurance provides a level of economic certainty that is just not possible without such a product.

By having all the facts before you start, you can ensure that you get the cover that is right for you.

Call us today on 0800 799 9330 for a no obligation chat about how income protection cover can help you or compare quotes here.

The need for life insurance in today’s society is obvious to most. Thanks to the ever increasing cost of living, many dependents simply cannot survive if they are not adequately provided for within the appropriate insurance arrangements. But for many, affording life insurance can be a challenge, especially if the insurance companies themselves are reluctant to take you on.

Smokers life insurance

The Effect of Smoking on Life Insurance Premiums

One key sector of individuals that insurance companies are particularly wary of are smokers. When cigarettes were first invented they were actually marketed as a health choice and adults of all ages were actively encouraged to start smoking. However, we now know that smoking is not only unhealthy but can actually increase your chances of contracting some serious illnesses and decrease your life expectancy, which is why a lot of insurance providers are looking the other way when a smoker wishes to apply for life insurance.

For those companies that still do provide life insurance for smokers, the cost of the premiums can be exceptionally high. One study carried out in 2012 showed that life insurance companies can charge individuals who smoke up to four times as much for the same life policy, simply because of their habit. But there are ways to ensure you are getting the best value for money.

How To Reduce Premiums On Life Insurance For Smokers

Obviously a smoker can easily reduce their life insurance premiums in the long term simply by stopping smoking. After only 12 months without cigarettes there is the potential to see great improvements in an individual’s overall health which means less risk to the insurance company and therefore lower premiums.

Though a past smoker may never reduce their premiums to the same level as a consistent non smoker, once you have given up for more than 12 months it is worth contacting your insurance company and negotiating an improved premium based on your new situation.

However, as a smoker, you don’t have to wait a year to start improving your life insurance premium costs.

The first step is to shop around. Don’t settle for the first policy that you find. By using an online life insurance brokerage such as ourselves to compare the range of policies available, it may be possible to significantly reduce your premiums immediately. Remember, if you are changing your life insurance provider, you must ensure your new policy is in place before you stop your existing cover to ensure that you are continually protected.

Furthermore, if you are asked to go for an insurance medical, always agree. The risks of smoking on your health and life expectancy are considerable but they do vary from person to person. If you feel that your level of health is above a normal smoker, providing evidence of this could reduce the level of perceived risk that the insurance company have to take to insure your life and therefore may reduce the overall cost.

Above all be honest.The major reason life insurance claims are declined is because the information provided by the applicant was inaccurate. Even if you get the cheapest smoker’s life insurance possible, if your dependents cannot benefit from your investment, then any premiums you pay will all be for nothing.

For further information please visit our smokers life insurance page.

There are many situations when a joint life insurance policy can be cheaper than paying out for two separate policies, making it seem the most attractive option.

However, before taking out a joint life insurance policy consider the following points and ensure that you make the decision that is going to be right for you.

Single or joint life insurance

1. Who Should Be Protected

Though joint life cover is held in the names of both individuals, it is only valid on a ‘first death’ basis. This means that as soon as one policyholder has died, the insurance provider will issue a payment and the cover will immediately expire. This leaves the second policyholder with no protection at all, even though they have been paying premiums for years.

Such a policy could be ideal for those with a mortgage that simply want to pay off their debt and have no further funds available to them. However, if such a policy has been taken out to provide protection to children or other dependents, then the benefit of joint life cover can be severely lacking.

Furthermore, if a remaining policyholder then decides to take out a single life insurance policy, they will find that their increase in age and possible deterioration in health may mean future premiums could be significantly higher. Therefore the benefit of paying joint cover for years has amounted to nothing. Only by having separate policies is it possible for every individual to have the personal cover they require.

Please note that here at Insuranet we can arrange a ‘second death life insurance policy’ which would pay out on the death of the last remaining partner. If you are at all unsure which type of policy is best for you then please feel free to speak with one of our friendly adviser who can talk you through all of the options.

2. The Level of Cover Required

An individual life insurance policy is based on the cost of replacing your contribution to the home, should you no longer be able to provide it yourself.

However, for joint life insurance policies, the level of cover provided is equal for both parties and is usually calculated on the amount required to replace the income of the higher wage earner.

This means that the partner that requires a lower value of life insurance will pay premiums for a level of cover that is simply not needed. In addition, if the main breadwinner adds extras such as critical illness to his policy, both parties will be charged for the same additions, creating further unnecessary expense across the policy as a whole.

Always assess the level of cover required for each individual policy and ensure no on is paying for more or less cover than they need.

3. The Level of Risk

The cost of life insurance premiums is calculated in direct proportion to the risk associated with protecting the life of the applicant. However, in the case of a joint life insurance party, the level of risk is calculated jointly rather than in terms of each individual person.

Should one partner have a lifestyle that is deemed risky or, have a medical history that puts them in a higher risk category, both applicants will be priced according to this maximum level.

When it is clear that the risk associated with one life insurance applicant is significantly higher than the other, separate life insurance policies may turn out to be considerably cheaper and provide better all-round protection.

Author Bio:  This article was written by Steven Keogh who has worked in marketing within the financial sector for many years now. For further details please visit his Google+ page.

Making sure that you and your family have a roof over your heads, particularly during the bad times, can be one of the biggest challenges we all face.

Though we know that times can get hard, especially with the current economic crisis, having a home to come back to can make all the difference.

However, knowing which form of mortgage protection you should choose depends specifically on your own personal circumstances and your needs for the future.

Mortgage Life Insurance From

Benefits of Mortgage Life Cover

A mortgage life insurance policy is essential to ensure that your loved ones are relieved of the financial burden of the mortgage if you are no longer there to support them.

It will repay the outstanding amount of the mortgage upon the death of the policy holder as one single lump sum.

Such a policy only benefits those that are left behind. It does not pay out during the life of the policy holder and provides no benefits if you are unable to meet your monthly repayments whilst you are alive.

If the mortgage is repaid during the life of the policy holder, the cover traditionally expires with zero end value.

Benefits of Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance

For cover that will help you meet your mortgage repayments when you are unable to work due to an accident, illness or unemployment, MPPI (Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance) can be a more appropriate product.

This policy holds no value on the death of the holder and will not repay the outstanding monies that become due. This insurance is designed to meet monthly mortgage costs when the insured is unable to meet them himself due to illness, accident or unemployment.

Similar to standard ASU (Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Insurance) MPPI is designed to keep you financially secure if you are unable to work, however an MPPI policy is specifically designed to cover the mortgage.

This insurance will provide repayments on a regular basis for a set period of time which is usually between 12 and 24 months.

Whether you are unable to maintain your current employment due to ill health or an accident, or if you have been made unemployed through no fault of your own, this type of insurance cover can give you the peace of mind to protect you against loosing your home.

Such a policy can offer the breathing space to be able to find suitable new employment and takes away the pressure to simply jump into the first new job that will meet your bills. It gives you time to refocus and can offer the space to relax and recover after an illness or accident.

The essential difference between these two products is the type of cover they offer. Both provide significant benefits to the future security of your home. The decision between taking up either policy, or a combination of the two, depends entirely on how you intend to protect your mortgage against the challenges that you could face in the future.


This article was kindly provided by Steven Keogh

There are many advantages of Critical Illness Cover as a form of Life Insurance, however, it’s important to understand why there’s the need for an additional private healthcare insurance policy in the first place. In the UK many people rely on the state to look after them in the event that a health issue arises. A person also hopes that an employer understands, should an illness suddenly develop, and that their position in the company will remain open.

Critical illness coverOnce an illness is diagnosed, especially one that is life threatening, many will worry about the illness itself rather than having to pay the bills or trying to stay in work. The stress of a sudden diagnosis can affect people mentally but it’s the financial strain that many forget to insure against. Indeed it’s said more people have insurance for their pets rather than critical illness cover for themselves.

Both aspects of life insurance cover and critical health insurance are a form of protection for you and your family. Whereas the former pays out a lump sum of money should you pass away and will help your family financially. The cover won’t help you in the event anything occurs before you die. This leaves the policy itself a little wanting.

The Benefits Of Critical Illness Cover
The benefits of having specific insurance cover should you be diagnosed with a serious illness far out weigh any reliance you have on the goodwill of an employer, or that of relying on the state to keep you and your family financially secure in the short term. Critical illness insurance provides for a cash pay out when an illness as described in the policy details is ascertained.

Life cover is a hidden reality of the modern age. The important part of any insurance policy is to ensure it benefits you or your loved ones when required. Statistics suggest that one in three people will be diagnosed with a type of cancer. The cover also pays out on heart attacks, stroke or kidney failure. It’s worth comparing illness insurance, some insurers pay out only on severity, others a percentage of the lump sum due depending on a sliding scale.

While not many wish to consider becoming ill and claiming, the ability to pay the bills, the mortgage, receive an income for the duration will obviously be of help and that’s exactly what critical illness cover aims to achieve. There’s surely a kind of irony that one would only insure one’s self against death and not an illness which you may well recover from and live several years after any serious illness diagnosis is given.

Critical health insurance can be merged with other insurance policies to provide better cover for your situation. While a lump sum is typical, an insurer can also payout an income over a given period or pay an amount to reflect the decreasing term on a mortgage. Once again, life insurance only pays out a lump sum on your death, a critical illness insurance policy helps you and your family get through a tough period while you fight to stay alive.

There is however, one more point when considering an insurance policy to cover serious illness and it stands out as a reminder to always read the terms and conditions of any policy. Some critical illness insurance policies only payout if you survive 28 days after diagnosis. In which case, there’s an argument for having both types of insurance running simultaneously.