Life Insurance For Nurses Your Best Options In 2024

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 19th February 2024

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 to make 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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  • Policies with excellent rates for shared coverage, including same-sex couples
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  • Help to protect loved ones in case of death
  • Seek protection for unforeseen circumstances

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How Much Does Nurses’ Life Insurance Cost?

The expense associated with obtaining life insurance for nursing professionals can be surprisingly small and budget-friendly, particularly for those in the younger demographic, such as individuals below the age of 40.

During the application process, you will need to provide information regarding your health status, lifestyle habits, and professional duties.

It’s possible to secure coverage for your family starting from a modest sum of under £5 per month.

Your AgeSmoker Per Month CostNon-Smoker Per Month Cost

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 be tailored 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 life stages. If you think life insurance could be appropriate for you, here are some pointers to why it may be a consideration.

In addition, you can also read the life insurance checklist to find out what you should pay attention to.

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 to be paid
  • Outstanding personal loans or car loans
  • Credit card balances
  • Childcare costs range 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. Depending on the nature of your day-to-day nursing activities, it may affect the cost of coverage, 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 can cause allergic reactions
  • Potential exposure to ethylene oxide, 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 the number of staff having time off for back-related injuries.

Why Use Insurance Hero?

Insurance Hero specialises in providing life insurance information to potentially hazardous professions. We have helped both NHS and agency nurses get life insurance that is carefully tailored to their needs and at competitive prices. 

We have relationships with a strong network of specialist insurers. Due to our rigorous fact-finding questionnaire, insurers can quote confidently, 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.

  • 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.

However, it may not be enough for some nurses with more extensive financial commitments, such as a mortgage. In these cases, private insurance will also need to be considered to bridge the gap from the death in service benefit to meet your requirements.

Agency nurses not working 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; 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 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 that can affect the cost of cover.

Other Life Insurance Associated Products for Nurses

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

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 provides financial peace of mind if you cannot 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.

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 to be paid
  • 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 other professionals.

That’s why nurses need 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.

It should be necessary for everyone, regardless of 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 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.

In addition, you can also read the life insurance checklist to find out what you should pay attention to.


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 and how long you need it for, and then get accurate life insurance quotes by honestly declaring the extent of your occupational activities.

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