Life Insurance For Nurses Your Best Options In 2022

nurses life insurance

Do you work for the NHS, or are you an agency nurse? Do you think that life insurance might be appropriate for your circumstances?

Please read this detailed guide on life insurance for nurses which covers everything needed in order to come to an informed decision about taking out life insurance that closely matches your requirements.

Reasons To Consider Getting A Free Quote Today:

  • Tailor-made cover for nurses
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  • Life insurance is better value than you might think
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What is Nurses Life Insurance?

Life insurance for nurses is a policy that provides a financial lump sum payout to designated beneficiaries should you die. The size of the lump sum is set at the outset of the plan. A policy can tailor to your circumstances with premiums paid monthly to an insurer over the fixed term of a life insurance plan.

As A Nurse, Do You Need Life Insurance?

Reasons for taking out life insurance vary widely due to different personal circumstances and different life stages. If you think that life insurance could be appropriate for you here are some pointers to why it may be a consideration.

If something happens to you, will your dependents suffer financially when your income ceases to support your household?

Financial hardship includes but is not limited to, the following:

  • An outstanding mortgage that still needs paying
  • Outstanding personal loans or car loans
  • Credit card balances
  • Childcare costs ranging from nursery fees to private education or further education.
  • Monthly living costs including food and utility bills

If you have no dependents but own a property with a mortgage, perhaps you would like to leave the property in your will, mortgage-free with a lump payout upon your death?

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Why Is Nursing A Higher Risk Profession?

Nursing can be a hazardous profession and depending on the nature of your day-to-day nursing activities it may affect the cost of cover, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic and its unique shaping of the work environment.

Nurses have potential exposure to toxic substances, infectious diseases, muscle injuries, stress, and possible violence from patients in the workplace. The handling of hazardous equipment also presents risks.

Here is a list of dangerous aspects associated with nursing that life insurers will look at:

  • Exposure to waste anaesthetic gases which are associated with an increased risk of hepatic and renal disorders
  • Exposure to formaldehyde in renal dialysis which is considered a human carcinogen
  • Exposure to cytotoxic drugs in clinical settings which can cause allergic reactions
  • Potential exposure to ethylene oxide, which is a substance used to sterilise instruments that possess potentially carcinogenic properties for humans.

Back injuries are a significant problem for nurses and a study undertaken ranked nursing as the fifth-highest profession in numbers of staff having time off for back-related injuries.

Why Use Insurance Hero?

Insurance Hero specialises in providing life insurance information to professions that can be potentially hazardous. We have helped both NHS and agency nurses get life insurance that not only carefully tailors to their needs but also at competitive prices. 

We have relationships with a strong network of specialist insurers. Due to our rigorous fact-finding questionnaire, insurers can quote in confidence knowing that a premium closely correlates to a nurse’s activities. For you, it means a policy is highly likely to pay out when you most need it to, reducing the worry of a claim rejecting. 

What Are Medical Questions We Ask to Quote for Life Cover?

To quote accurately, you will need to provide honest questions and answers to ensure they have the full details of your work activity. The premium must accurately reflect your daily functions.

Questions are asked in a professional but unobtrusive manner and will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Do you work with COVID patients?
  • What type of nurse are you?
  • Do you have any exposure to risk blood?
  • Are you a qualified staff nurse or a junior nurse?
  • Have you had time off in the last few years or months?
  • Have you any pre-existing health conditions?

Life Insurance Options for Nurses

NHS nurses are entitled to a death in service benefit if they contribute to the NHS pension scheme. The benefit provides a lump sum payout to dependents should you die. The size of the lump sum varies according to pensionable pay. It may not be enough for some nurses, however, who have more extensive financial commitments such as a mortgage. In these cases, private insurance will also need to be a consideration to bridge the gap from the death in service benefit to meet your requirements.

Agency nurses that do not work directly for the NHS will not have to consider the DIS option when considering life insurance.

For both NHS and agency nurses here are life insurance options that are available to them:

Term Life Insurance

Term insurance has a fixed maturity date, and if you die after the policy ends, you are not entitled to a payout. Term life insurance often matches a fixed term mortgage providing a lump sum payout to cover any outstanding mortgage amount should you die.

There are three types of cover levels that you should be aware of:

  • A level cover sees premiums stay the same throughout the fixed term policy
  • An increasing cover sees premiums rise with a benchmark such as the UK retail price index
  • A decreasing cover sees premiums fall throughout the plan duration matching lower mortgage repayments as a mortgage draws down

Whole of Life

A whole of life insurance is a more expensive option than term life insurance as there is no maturity date. When you die, whenever that is, the plan pays out a lump sum to the beneficiaries of the plan. A whole of life cover often has an investment element attached to it providing an investment pot that can be withdrawn and is not dependent on whether you die.

What Are Factors to Consider When Looking for A Life Insurance Policy?

When considering taking out a life insurance policy, it is essential to be aware of factors that influence the price of the plan.

  • Cover amount: How much insurance cover will you need? The more cover required, the higher the premium
  • The policy type will impact on the cost. Term life insurance is lower cost than a whole of life plan.
  • Term length: The term length affects premiums where more extended length life insurance policies mean you will be older when the plan expires. Insurers equate an older policyholder with risk as they are more likely to require medical treatment and succumb to medical conditions.
  • Smoking status: It is self-explanatory, but if you smoke, an insurer will hike up the cost of cover
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: On a life insurance policy, it is essential to declare any pre-existing medical conditions. An example affecting a nurse may be a long-term back injury with the severity of a medical condition can affect the cost of cover.

Other Life Insurance Associated Products for Nurses

As well as life insurance, there are two other main associated types of life cover which we will briefly explain.

Critical Illness

Critical illness cover provides financial protection should you no longer be able to work due to a qualifying illness or injury. Like life insurance, a lump sum payout is paid to you or designated beneficiaries to pay for your ongoing care needs.

Qualifying illnesses can include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Alzheimer’s disease or pre-senile dementia
  • Severe lung disease
  • Coronary artery by-pass grafts
  • Structural heart surgery
  • Terminal illness
  • Aorta graft surgery
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Deafness
  • Heart valve replacement or repair
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of hand or foot
  • Heart attack
  • Liver failure

Income Protection

Income protection works to provide financial peace of mind should you be unable to work for a period generally due to an accident or injury. Income protection, as with other insurance products requires the payment of a monthly premium throughout a fixed-term plan. In return, a regular monthly salary pays out until you can return to the workplace.

For NHS nurses, income protection may not require the same consideration as an agency worker, due to the full NHS sickness pay included in NHS contracts.

Situations, where income protection can be a useful form of financial comfort, can include some of the following:

  • If you are the primary family breadwinner
  • Your family will suffer financial hardship if you are unable to work.
  • You have outstanding debts that still need paying
  • You have ongoing childcare and education bills to pay

Do nurses need life insurance?

Nurses may have a greater risk of accidents and injuries than many other professionals. Medical errors are also fairly common in hospitals. That’s why it’s important for nurses to have life insurance. There are many misconceptions about life insurance, but one of the biggest is that it is only for those over 55. In fact, it should be a necessity for all of us, regardless of our age or occupation. What if something happens to you and you can’t provide for your family?

In the UK, one of the biggest problems with nurses life insurance is the confusing jargon and terminology that is used by insurance companies. This leads to people getting unrealistically high rates and quotes. Insurance Hero provides simple, jargon-free comparisons of the deals available in the UK. Our wealth of knowledge on this subject saves time and money.


As a nurse, life insurance consideration is a personal choice and reflects on your circumstances with Covid-19 providing a further reason to take out life insurance.

Requirements also differ between NHS nurses who have access to a death in service benefit and agency nurses who need to fund their life insurance fully.

The common question is to ask yourself why you need life insurance, how long you need it for, and then get accurate life insurance quotes by honestly declaring the extent of your occupational activities.

*£8 per month based on a 30-year-old non-smoker taking out £236,250 level term cover over 20 years (L&G) – Prices correct as of February 2022

You can also read our article on the meaning of critical illness.