What is Relevant Life Insurance? Can I Get Cover? What Does it Cost?

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Relevant Life Insurance (RLP) is a tax-efficient way of providing Life Insurance for company directors or single employees. It is particularly popular with contractors who work through their own limited company.

If the individual passes away, the policy pays out a tax-free cash lump sum death benefit to financially support their loved ones.

  • The premiums are paid for by the company and are typically an allowable business expense.
  • Savings on a Relevant Life policy compared to a personal policy can be almost 50% thanks to a variety of HMRC-approved tax reliefs available.

Can I Get Relevant Life Insurance?

Relevant Life Cover is often used by companies where a director is working through a limited company or by micro businesses which don’t have enough employees to qualify for Group Life Insurance.

As a micro business, if you want to give something back to your employees then Relevant Life Insurance is a great employee benefit to offer when there are not enough employees to qualify for a group scheme.

Who Can Benefit from Relevant Life Cover?

A Relevant life policy is designed to provide cost-effective life cover for:

  • Company directors / contractors working through their own limited companies
  • Small businesses who want to provide a level of company paid life cover whether for an employee or director but do not have enough eligible employees to qualify for a group Death in Service scheme.
  • Higher-earning employees with substantial pension funds who do not want their Death in Service benefits to form part of their lifetime allowance.

Sole traders do not qualify

RLP needs to be purchased through a limited company which means the tax relief is not available to sole traders.

Contractors love Relevant Life Insurance…

The vast majority of people we help set-up Relevant Life Insurance are contractors.

Most contractors have their own limited company but tend to be the only employee other than their spouse. Too small for a group scheme they can take advantage of RLP to benefit from the same tax-efficiencies as a death in service scheme.

Our Relevant Life Insurance calculator is the only place you can get instant online quotes comparing the top UK insurers. Simply pop your details in below to get your quotes 😊

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Do I Need Relevant Life Insurance?

If you don’t have any debts or expenses to consider, you may not need a Relevant Life policy.

However, if you worry about your loved ones struggling financially should you die, it is a tax-efficient way to purchase Life Insurance to protect your loved ones.

The main benefits of RLP are:

  • It’s tax-efficient
  • Premiums are paid for by the business
  • Payouts are typically not included in total maximum pension lifetime benefit calculations
  • The benefit is paid out tax-free thanks to the trust structure set up alongside the policy.

Based on ONS life expectancy data, the chances of a healthy individual of various ages passing away in the next 10 years is as follows:

1 in 112
1 in 53
1 in 23

How Much Does Relevant Life Insurance Cost?

There are a number of factors that will determine the cost of Relevant Life Insurance. Some are key policy factors you can control, such as:

  • Level of cover
    The more cover you require the higher the premium for the policy.
  • Length of cover
    The longer the policy term the higher the risk of needing to claim and this is reflected in higher premiums.

Other personal factors that you have less control over which will still impact on the cost of your policy include:

  • Your age
    The older we are, the greater the risk of passing away during the term of the policy
  • Your current state of health
    Those with severe health conditions, especially those which might limit life expectancy, will typically pay more for Life Insurance to reflect the greater risk the insurer is taking on
  • Your smoker status
    If you smoke, you’re at greater risk of developing a serious, fatal health condition and so insurers will charge more
  • Lifestyle and hazardous activities
    Lifestyle habits, such as regularly drinking more alcohol than is recommended, or participating in hazardous activities, could result in an insurer increasing the cost of your cover
  • Family history
    Has any of your immediate family ever suffered a serious and/or hereditary illness that may impact you? If so, you may pay more for life cover.

Relevant Life Insurance vs a Personal Policy: Tax Savings

It is important to note firstly that in order to meet HMRC qualifying requirements, the purpose in providing Relevant Life Insurance must not be seen to be primarily as tax-avoidance.

Personal Life Cover
Relevant Life Cover
Cost to Individual
Monthly Premium
Employee NI Contribution
Income Tax
Cost to Business
Employer NI Contributions
Gross Cost
Corporation Tax
Total Cost
Total Savings


By opting for a Relevant Life policy over Personal Life Cover you would make savings of 49.03%. That is a saving of £77.93 per month or £935.13 per year.

Relevant Life Insurance Calculator

Calculate the tax savings you can make by taking out a company paid Relevant Life Insurance policy instead of a personal Life Insurance policy.

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Can I include Critical Illness Insurance?

Where Relevant Life Insurance is designed to replicate Death In Service for a single employee one of the requirements to qualify for the preferable tax treatment is that it does not include Critical Illness Cover.

Many contractors who we help set-up their Relevant Life Policy end up choosing to take out Executive Income Protection instead of a Critical Illness Policy as not only does it provide a more comprehensive level of cover for their income, it can also be paid for by their business.

Tax Treatment of a Relevant Life Policy

Below is a list of our current understanding of HMRC’s tax rules surrounding Relevant Life Cover.

However, before applying for cover you should check with your accountant / your local inspectorate of taxes.

  • Is not classed as a taxable benefit in kind for the receiving employees.
  • Is treatable as a tax deductible expense for the providing organisation (providing the local inspector of taxes agrees with the providing organisation’s compliance with all relevant qualifying conditions).
  • Is excluded from NI calculations both for the employer and employee.
  • Avoids inheritance tax by being written into a company owned trust.
Relevant Life Insurance for Contractors

Is Relevant Life Cover a P11D / Benefit in Kind?

No. So long as the policy is structured correctly, even though the company owns and pays for the policy it is not a P11D benefit in kind so there is no tax to pay by the employee / director.

Is It HMRC Approved?

There are a number of conditions that need to be be met in accordance with HMRC to ensure the policy benefits from the favourable tax position.

  • The policy must be term life insurance with a maximum policy length of up to age 75.
  • The policy must be a pure protection policy with no surrender value or investment element.
  • The individual covered must be employed by the company taking out the policy and not be solely a shareholder. Sole traders or anyone self employed would not meet this criteria as there is no employer.
  • Any benefit payment must be paid via a trust to an individual or nominated charity. The benefit is not for the use of the company and is intended for beneficiaries of the covered individual only.

To ensure your Relevant Life policy is structured and set up correctly from the outset and doesn’t fall foul of any of HMRC’s rules please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Michael Barrow
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Relevant Life Insurance vs Keyman Insurance

A lot of people we speak to are often confused between Relevant Life Insurance and Keyman Insurance which is completely understandable.

The main difference is that Keyman Insurance is designed to protect the business where Relevant Life Insurance is designed to protect the loved ones of the person covered. Should the individual die the proceeds of a Keyman Insurance policy would be used for business continuity covering lost profits, recruitment fees and generally trying to maintain business as usual.

With a Relevant Life Policy the benefit would be paid to the loved ones of the deceased from the trust just in the same way as if it were a personal Life Insurance policy. There is no benefit paid to the business itself.

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Common Relevant Life Insurance Questions...

  • Who can have a relevant life policy?

    A relevant life policy can be set-up for anyone who is employed by a limited company however it is most popular with contractors and micro businesses who do not have enough employees to set-up group death in service.

    Other use cases include high earning employees who do not want their company life insurance to form part of their lifetime allowance.

  • Is relevant life cover tax deductible?

    Relevant life cover is designed to mirror the tax position of a death in service scheme which means the premiums are tax-deductible and any benefit payable as a result of a claim is paid out tax-free.

  • Can relevant life insurance be used for shareholder protection?

    Relevant life insurance and shareholder protection are two separate policies and should not be confused.

    With Shareholder protection it is common to require a cross-option agreement and for premiums to be equalised which adds another layer of complexity. We would advise you speak to one of our experts to better understand the key differences and ensure you are taking out the most appropriate protection.

  • Why is relevant life insurance beneficial for dependents?

    Should a claim arise RLP would pay out a cash lump sum to the beneficiaries of the deceased. Any benefit would be paid out tax-free via the relevant life insurance trust.

  • What are the standard policy conditions?

    There are a number of standard conditions including:

    • Relevant life cover must only provide a lump sum death benefit payable before the age of 75.
    • The main purpose of the policy should not be tax avoidance.
    • Any benefit must only be payable to an individual or a charity.
  • What is the maximum sum assured?

    This will differ across providers however as a rule of thumb you are likely to be able to cover up to 30 x annual salary to a maximum limit of £10 million.

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Compare UK Relevant Life Insurance Providers



Aegon, originally known as Scottish Equitable, has received 5 star Defaqto ratings for its service. Aegon has around 3.5 million customers in the UK alone and operations in more than 25 countries.

With Aegon you’ll have access to the Health & Wellbeing Service provided by Health Assured, putting you in touch with qualified and experienced counsellors at any time of day.



AIG is a US multinational insurance giant with more than 100 years of experience in the insurance industry. It provides its services in more than 80 countries worldwide.

AIG’s product can cover up to 35 times salary depending on an individual’s age. If the insured individual leaves the company covering them, they have the option to transfer the policy to a new employer or take on the policy individually.

legal & general

Legal & General

In 2015, Legal & General won the ‘Life Insurance Provider of the year’ award from the Personal Touch Awards

Up to the age of 50, Legal and General offer cover of up to 25 times remuneration, with that cover decreasing to 20 and 15 times if the employee is over 50 and 60 years old, respectively. If the employee leaves the company, Legal & General also allow ownership of the policy to be transferred to the person’s new employer to continue their cover.

liverpool victoria

Liverpool Victoria

Liverpool Victoria is one of the largest providers of insurance products in the UK, with more than 5 million customers across the country.

LV offers a maximum level of cover up to £10 million with guaranteed premiums that will not change during the life of the policy. It also offers several helpful benefits to accompany policies, including legal advice and VAT and tax advice.

royal london

Royal London

Royal London began as a friendly society in 1861, later changing to a mutual society in 1908. Today, Royal London is now the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company.

You can cover up to 30 times your salary with Royal London’s Relevant Life plan depending on your age. Every policy comes with Royal London’s Helping Hand service which the employee and their family can use. This is a package of benefits such as access to a face-to-face second medical option; access to bereavement counselling; and legal, career and medical helplines.

scottish widows

Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows is a highly praised provider of pension and insurance products across the UK with nearly 6 million customers.

Scottish Widows can cover employees for up to £25 million. It also offers optional increasing cover to ensure benefits keep up with inflation and if an employee leaves the company, you and the policy’s trustees can arrange to assign the policy to the employee under their own name.



Vitality entered the UK market in 2007 with a joint venture with PruHealth and PruProtect, part of the Prudential Group. It has since bought out Prudential and is now branded solely as Vitality.

Vitality’s unique proposition – under which you receive rewards and discounts for completing certain activity thresholds – is also available on its relevant Life Insurance policy. This means you can make premium savings on top of the tax savings you will make.



Zurich owns locations in more than 170 countries and provides insurance products and services on a global scale.

Zurich policies are portable, which means that employees leaving the company can take their Life Cover with them and have the policy continue under their own name. Zurich’s policies also typically cover a sum equal to multiple of the covered employee’s remuneration package, which can include both salary and dividends.

Get Relevant Life Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

We are here to ensure you, your family and your business don’t miss out on financial security because appropriate insurances were not put in place.

Our Relevant Life Insurance cost calculator can provide you with instant online quotes which can be a great place to start however given how important it is to set-up the policy correctly to take advantage of the tax breaks it is often best to have one of our experts support you through the process.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are independent and impartial
    Drewberry isn’t tied to any insurance company, so we can provide completely impartial advice to make sure you get the most appropriate policy based solely on your needs.
  • We’ve got bargaining power on our side
    This allows us to negotiate better premiums for you than you going direct yourself.
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
    You will speak to a named expert with a direct telephone and email. No more automated machines and no more being sent from pillar to post – you’ll have someone to speak to who knows you.
  • Benefit from our 5-star service
    We pride ourselves on providing a 5-star service, as can be seen from our 2766 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5.
  • Benefit from the protection of regulated advice
    You are protected. Where we provide a regulated advice service we are responsible for the policy we set-up for you. Doing it yourself or going direct to an insurer won’t provide this protection, so you won’t benefit from these securities.
  • Claims support when you need it the most
    You have support should you need to make a claim. The most important thing when it comes to insurance is that claims are paid and quickly. We are here to support you during the claims process and make sure it’s as smooth and stress free as possible.
 Tom Conner Director at Drewberry

It is very important to make sure your Relevant Life Insurance is set-up correctly to benefit from the tax savings available.

If you need any help please do not hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333 or email us at help@drewberry.co.uk.

Tom Conner
Director at Drewberry

The staff has been very knowledgeable and I have enjoyed working with Nadeem on setting up our plan.

Kim S
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