The Exeter Life Insurance Reviews 2024

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 26th February 2024

The Exeter Life Insurance Reviews

Do you have pre-existing medical conditions? Do you want to put in place a robust life insurance policy that will provide financial peace of mind for your dependents should you die suddenly?

If you have been turned down for life insurance due to your medical history or have been put off by costly quotes to put a policy in place, then this review of the Exeter is essential reading.

Did you know that the Exeter is a life insurance company that actively specialises in helping people with multiple medical conditions?

In this Exeter life insurance review, we will look at the Exeter’s Key life insurance products to help you make a decision if their insurance policies may be appropriate for you. Please read on to find out more.

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About the Exeter?

The Exeter started in 1927 and is now one of the UK’s most prominent friendly societies, with over 95,000 members served by over 100 employees based at the Devon office.

The Exeter specialises in insurance products, including income protection, cash plans, private medical insurance, and life insurance.

Life insurance has become one of Exeter’s most important products. It has developed a reputation for offering policies in one of the most challenging segments for those seeking life coverage with multiple health conditions.

The Exeter Life Insurance Products

The Exeter provides specialist life insurance for those who have pre-existing medical issues. Having an adverse medical history has been shown to affect up to 25% of all adults living in England.

Life insurance can be a low-cost form of financial protection for a healthy adult. However, as the cost is based on the likelihood that you will die, medical conditions can rapidly increase monthly premiums.

The Exeter has recognised a need to provide affordable life insurance for British adults with multiple medical issues and has created two products called Real Life and Managed Life.

We will now individually analyse how these policies work and their key features.

The Exeter Life Insurance

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The Exeter Real Life Policy

Real Life pays a monetary lump sum should you die during the policy term or get diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to your death within a year. The plan is designed for those who will find it hard to get life insurance due to a poor pre-existing medical history.

The policyholder age at the outset

Real Life is available to anyone aged between 18 and 80 who has been resident in the UK continuously for at least three years before applying for cover.

The policy duration at the start of the plan

The policy’s length can be between five and fifty years but has a maximum policyholder age of 90 years by when the plan must end.

Minimum and maximum payouts

The minimum level of lump-sum payout, also known as the sum assured, is £20,000 in a Real-Life policy, and the maximum payout is £3,000,000.

How much does the plan cost?

The cost of a real-life plan depends on several factors. They include the size of the lump sum payout required and the policyholder’s age, weight, and medical history. The minimum monthly premium permissible is £15 a month.

Flexibility of Life Insurance

Real-Life is a very flexible life insurance plan. The Exeter understands that the needs of a policyholder will change as their life circumstances evolve.

A new house, an addition to the family, or changing medical circumstances may require adapting coverage levels to reflect a unique situation that may increase, decrease, or keep premiums unchanged.

The Exeter Managed Life Policy

Managed Life tailors to those who have type 2 diabetes or weight issues, which may see them struggle to put in place life insurance at an acceptable cost.

As part of Managed Life, policyholders can see a reduction in future premiums by managing their existing condition through an improved lifestyle.

For people with type 2 diabetes, this is through a glycated hemoglobin reading before a policy’s anniversary. A BMI reading must be provided before an anniversary for those with weight issues. An improved reading may see a fall in the premium level, whilst a declining reading may see premiums rise.

Policyholder age at the outset

The Managed Life plan is available to all customers aged 18 and 69 who have resided continuously in the UK for three years before their life insurance application.

Policy length at the start of the plan

Under Managed Life, the duration can be between 5 and 50 years, but the cover must end before a policyholder reaches their 90th birthday.

Minimum and maximum payout levels

As with Real Life, Managed Life has a minimum sum assured of £20,000 and a maximum of £3,000,000. The payout size is agreed at the start of the plan, but due to The Exeter policies’ flexible nature, this can be adjusted throughout a fixed-term plan.

How much does a managed plan cost?

With Managed Life, the minimum level of premium is £15 a month. However, the cover cost will depend on the required level of coverage, age, personal circumstances, and, importantly, the severity of your diabetes and level of BMI.

The Exeter will lay out a target level for your controlled condition with a target that needs to be adhered to. A schedule will outline the percentage reduction in premium that will be applicable if you meet the target. Conversely, the schedule will also outline the percentage rise in premium if the target is unmet.

If you are not given a managed condition target as part of the cover, the premium level will not be subject to a target-related change.

What Will The Exeter Need to Provide A Quote?

Exeter life insurance is not a one-size-fits-all type of insurance cover. If you have underlying health conditions, the true extent of your medical records must be declared.

Questions that need asking may include the following:

  • Do you have any pre-existing health conditions, and what are they?
  • How long have you had health issues?
  • Are you a smoker or a non-smoker?
  • What is your weight, and what is your body mass index (BMI)?
  • What is your height?
  • How old are you, and how long do you need life insurance cover?
  • Do you take drugs or drink alcohol?
  • Do you work? If so, what is your weekly, monthly, or annual gross salary?
  • What level of life insurance coverage do you require?
  • Over what period do you require life insurance cover?
  • What type of premium best suits your circumstances, increasing, decreasing or level cover?

Without you truthfully answering questions, premiums may not accurately reflect your circumstances, meaning that should you die, there is a risk that a plan may not payout as premiums are not an accurate record of your true health.

The insurer can offer instant online quotes if underlying medical issues are not severe and include:

  • Diabetes (type 1 and 2)
  • Heart attack and heart-related conditions
  • Stroke
  • Obesity and other weight-related issues

The Exeter will need to assess your personal and health history for more complex medical conditions. An underwriter assessment will be necessary for:

Real and Managed Life Policies – Further Options and Limitations

Like other providers’ policies, The Exeter also includes policy options and limitations in their plans. For Real and Managed policies, several are listed below.

Different cover types are available with your insurance plan

The flexible nature of Exeter life insurance extends to the cover type option, which is either increasing, decreasing or level cover.

Increasing life insurance cover

With increasing cover, the premium and corresponding payout level increases throughout the plan in line with the UK government’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) benchmark.

As the insurance cover level increases, it ensures that any payout is worth the same in the future in relative terms as the sum assured stipulated at the start of the fixed term cover.

Decreasing life insurance cover

Decreasing cover means the premium amount and subsequent payout will decline throughout a fixed-term policy.

Decreasing cover is typically associated with a fixed-term financial obligation such as a mortgage, where payments reduce over the mortgage life until the final payments are negligible. A decreasing life insurance cover can align to match a decreasing level of mortgage exposure.

Level life insurance cover

Level cover life insurance sees the premium and sum assured remain the same throughout the plan. It can be an excellent option to keep premiums low cost initially, but over time, the payout will be much smaller relative to the policy start as inflation starts to take effect.

Terminal Illness Cover

As with other leading life insurance providers, the Exeter does include terminal illness cover as part of its Real and Managed Life policies.

Terminal illness is an essential component that allows you to claim an early payout of your Exeter life insurance policy. If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and expect to die within a year of the diagnosis, you can apply for a financial payout.

The idea behind terminal illness cover is for the one-off payment to assist with medical fees, allowing you to organise your affairs and spend time with your loved ones without stress.

Accidental Death Benefit

The accidental death benefit is significant at no extra cost on the Exeter’s Real and Managed policies.

Accidental death provides cover between when a policy application is submitted and when it is approved.

With the Exeter, accidental death pays out a lump sum, which is the lower of the sum assured on your application or £250,000.

As with the insurance policy itself, there are conditions attached to accidental death where payment is not due, including:

  • Death by suicide
  • Death caused by hazardous activities, including extreme sports and pursuits
  • Death caused by alcohol or drug abuse.
  • If the applicant is 55 years of age or over at the time of application

Mortgage Free Cover Benefit

Mortgage Free Cover Benefit is a benefit option available if you have specifically taken out a policy to repay a mortgage should you pass away unexpectedly.

As with all elements of an insurance policy, conditions are set out at the start of the policy, and for this option, these include:

  • The policyholder must be below the age of 55 years old at the time of application.
  • The mortgage cover is the lower of either £500,000 or the approved mortgage amount.

Exclusions and Payout Limitations

As with other life insurance policies, Real Life does have limitations and exclusions when a payout cannot be made, which include the following:

  • A special condition is excluded for cover at the start of the policy.
  • The true extent of all underlying medical conditions is not declared at the start of the policy.
  • A policy is invalidated due to failure to maintain premiums.
  • Your death is caused by suicide or another intentional injury within the first year of the policy.

The Healthwise App

Healthwise is an app that is provided for free when someone signs up for a policy. The app offers direct access to medical experts directly from their smartphone or tablet.

For life insurance policyholders, Healthwise includes:

  • General Practitioner (GP) on-demand and prescription services
  • Nutritional and dietary advice
  • Lifestyle coaching and guidance
  • A second medical opinion service

Can I Write A Policy Into A Trust?

As with other major UK life insurers, The Exeter allows the option for their policies to be written into trust.

Writing into a trust means a trustee will manage your policy should you die, and they will distribute the proceeds of the plan according to your wishes.

Further benefits of writing a policy into trust include the following:

  • Minimising or removing the 40% tax due as part of Inheritance Tax, known as IHT
  • Having more control over a policy by appointing a trusted person (trustee) to carry out policy instructions.
  • Eliminates the need to undertake the process of probate.

Other Insurance Cover Available from The Exeter

The company offers a large suite of different insurance policies in addition to life insurance products and they include income protection cover and private health insurance cover. We will now give an overview of these additional types of protection.

Income Protection Insurance

Income protection provides a replacement salary if you cannot work for a time resulting from injury or illness.

A replacement salary can start within one month following a claim to as much as a year following a claim submission. It is generally decided at the outset of the policy and coincides with your employer’s statutory employment policy regarding payment for sickness absence.

Regarding income protection, The Exeter offers two protection plans, Income One Plus and Pure Protection Plus.

Pure Protection Plus is designed for those who are either manual workers or working in skilled trades. They can also be considered higher-risk jobs where the workers may be involved with dangerous equipment or work in higher-risk environments.

Income One Plus is an income protection policy for clerical and professional workers. As they are office and desk-based, they are not associated with the same occupational risk as those faced by manual workers or those working in skilled trades.

The Exeter Health Insurance Scheme

The Exeter provides private medical insurance cover, which gives access to personal health cover treatment in the UK. Known as Health Plus, the private health insurance is designed for conditions that will respond to treatment, and a summary of its key features are the following:

  • Complete cancer cover for a variety of different cancers
  • Unlimited day-patient and in-patient treatment
  • Home nursing, if required
  • Out-patient surgery
  • Post-operative physiotherapy
  • Parental accommodation, if needed
  • National Health Service (NHS) cash benefit

What Is the Insurance Claim Process with The Exeter?

As with other life insurers, to make a life insurance claim, a death certificate or a medical certificate confirming a terminal illness diagnosis is required.

The claim process is as follows:

  1. Contact the Exeter by telephone, email, letter, or online form.
  2. Provide a death certificate or terminal illness diagnosis certificate, policy number, date of death or diagnosis, and the policyholder’s details.
  3. Await The Exeter to respond to your insurance claim and confirm the next steps to move towards a financial payout to provide peace of mind for you and your dependents.

The Exeter Life Insurance Summary

The Exeter is one of the UK’s leading providers of life insurance quotes, specialising in the industry’s more complex pre-existing medical condition segment.

Suppose you have medical issues and are thinking about getting life insurance or finding that the coverage cost is too high.

Hopefully, this review will provide you with the necessary information to decide whether The Exeter can help you put insurance coverage in place to remove any financial worry.

Further Information:

The Exeter
Lakeside House
Emperor Way

Main switchboard:
0300 123 3201
General inquiries: