VScottish Widows Logo

Scottish Widows Life Insurance [REVIEW]

Who Are Scottish Widows?

Scottish Widows’ origins date back to 1815, in Edinburgh. The business’s original intent was to leave provisions for female relatives of those killed in the Napoleonic Wars.

Scottish Widows Defaqto Logo

Today, Scottish Widows has nearly 6 million customers across the UK. It provides a range of pension and protection products, including Life Insurance. Scottish Widows has earned a 5-star Defaqto rating and in 2021 paid out 99% of all life claims.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance Policy Overview

Key Facts
  • Good Claims Payout Rates
    Scottish Widows have some of the highest Life Insurance payout rates. In 2021, they paid out on 99.5% of Life Insurance claims
  • Free Critical Illness For Children
    Children receive free Critical Illness Cover under a parent’s policy. On top of this, Scottish Widows will pay out a one-off benefit of £5,000 in the event of a child’s death
  • Additional Cover
    Terminal Illness Cover and Total Permanent Disability Cover are automatically included with Scottish Widows life cover
  • Family Income Benefit Option
    Scottish Widows offer Life Cover and Critical Illness Cover as a Family Income Benefit
  • Scottish Widows Care
    Policy holders get access to a range of support services through ‘Scottish Widows Care’ such as remote GP and personal nurse services. These services can provide you and your family with practical and emotional support.

Enjoy 2 Months FREE Cover 🥳

By reaching this page you are eligible for two months FREE cover when you set-up your new Life Insurance policy.

Simply fill in the form below to apply your two months free discount or call us on 02084327333 and state the code VC2MF.

Compare Top 10 UK Insurers

Takes approx. 60 seconds
  • £
Verified by Norton Symantec icon
 Or Call Us

What Does Scottish Widows Life Insurance Cover?

True to its origins, Scottish Widows encourages its customers to protect their families if the worst happens. They offer Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover to help families through unexpected and difficult times.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance Coverage

Minimum Benefit


Maximum Benefit

  • Level or Decreasing Life Insurance: £25 million
  • Increasing Life Insurance: £15 million

Type of Cover Available

Minimum Entry Age


Maximum Entry Age


Terminal Illness Cover?

Joint Cover?

Joint life first death only

Premium Type

  • Guaranteed
  • Annually escalating (for increasing cover)

Waiver of Premium

Optional; provided as Premium Protection

Optional Critical Illness Cover

Maximum Benefit

£3 million

Maximum Entry Age


Conditions Covered

  • 38 in full as standard
  • Plus the lower of 25% of your benefit, or £30,000, for 10 further conditions
  • The lower of 150% of your benefit, or £200,000, if you develop one of four neurological illnesses by age 45 or under.

Survival Period

10 days

Children’s Cover

  • Automatically included when you take out Critical Illness Cover for yourself
  • Covers children for all adult conditions except Total Permanent Disability. Also protects children for 5 further child-specific conditions
  • It pays the lower of 50% if your benefit, or £30,000
  • £10,000 children’s life cover
  • Children are covered from birth until their 22nd birthday.
We have taken care to ensure that information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However, we offer no guarantee as to its accuracy and accept no liability for any losses, whether direct or indirect, arising from errors on our part.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance Key Policy Factors

Scottish Widows Life Insurance policy comes with several key policy factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Build Your Own Plan

Scottish Widows offers a menu plan where you choose the policies that sit under it. You can take out separate policies for Life Cover, Critical Illness Cover, and Life with Critical Illness Cover. As you’d expect:

  • The Life Cover pays out if you die within the policy term
  • Critical Illness Cover pays out upon a critical diagnosis
  • The Life with Critical Illness Cover pays out in either event.

All the above policies will also pay out for Terminal Illness. Once a claim is paid on a policy, that cover will end.

Minimum And Maximum Benefit Limits

While most insurers have a maximum benefit limit, Scottish Widows also sets a minimum amount of cover. The minimum for your first policy is £10,000.

The maximum is £25 million for Level or Decreasing Life Cover, and £15 million for Increasing Life Cover. For Critical Illness, or Life with Critical Illness, the maximum benefit for all cover levels is £3 million.

Decreasing Cover Options

Life Cover that decreases over the policy term is normally taken out to cover a repayment mortgage. Scottish Widows allows you to choose the fixed rate of interest for your policy to decrease.

The decrease rate must be set between 0% and 18%. Having the freedom to make this choice allows you to tailor the policy to your specific mortgage loan.

Increasing Cover

With Scottish Widows, you can also take out your Life and/or Critical Illness Cover on an increasing basis. This helps to protect inflation from eroding the purchasing power of your benefit over time.

You need to take out this option when you start your policy. Your benefit will increase each year in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) rate of inflation, up to 10% per year.

To cover this increase, your premiums will also go up each year. You need to be aware that the premium increase will be higher than the benefit increase. Details of this are stated in the policy provisions.

rauri taylor, independent protection expert at drewberry

Scottish Widows will notify you of each annual increase before it takes effect. If you don’t want to accept it, you’re free to opt out.

However, if you turn down the increase for two years in a row, the policy increases will stop altogether. You won’t be able to add this on again later.

Rauri Taylor
Independent Protection Expert

Life Cover Buyback

When a Critical Illness claim is paid on a Life and Critical Illness product, the policy will usually end. With Scottish Widows, you can choose to add on the Life Cover Buyback option. This costs an extra premium and must be taken out at the start of the policy.

The Buyback option allows you to ‘buy back’ your Life Cover after making a claim for Critical Illness. You need to use this feature within 3 months of your Critical Illness claim. Then, your Life Cover will start 12 months after your Critical Illness claim was paid.

This appears to be a fairly unique feature, which isn’t offered by many other insurers in the market.

Premium Protection

Scottish Widows’ term for Waiver of Premium is Premium Protection, but it does the same thing. If you’re unable to work due to a sickness or accident, Scottish Widows will pay your premiums for you. This doesn’t come free with Scottish Widows’ cover, but can be added on for an extra cost.

The protection will start after 26 weeks of being unable to work, and will continue until either:

  • You return to work
  • You reach age 70
  • Your policy ends.

Replacement Cover

If one person claims on a joint policy, the cover ends for both people. The surviving partner can use this option to take out a new policy for themselves.

The new policy will keep the same terms and conditions as the original policy. The premium will change though, as it will be based on the rates at the time the replacement policy is taken out.

Guaranteed Insurability Options

Like most other providers, Scottish Widows offers Guaranteed Insurability. This allows you to increase your benefit without further underwriting as a result of certain life events.

Providing you’re aged 55 or under, you can use Guaranteed Insurability as a result of the following significant events:

  • Marriage or Civil Partnership
  • Divorce or Dissolution of Civil Partnership
  • The Birth or Adoption of a Child
  • Mortgage Increases
  • Salary Increases

The maximum increase is the lower of 50% of your original benefit, or £150,000. Or, if the mortgage or salary increase is lower than these limits, your benefit increase will be capped at that amount.

Guaranteed Insurability options give policyholders peace of mind that their cover can be adapted to meet life-changing circumstances.

There’s no limit to the number of times you can use a Guaranteed Insurability option, but the increase must meet the limits stated in the policy provisions.

Additional Benefits

The service that provides free additional benefits is known as Scottish Widows Care. This comes included with all Scottish Widows protection policies. The benefits come under two different services; Red Arc, and Clinic in a Pocket™.

Red Arc

Scottish Widows provides access to a free nurse advice service provided by RedArc. This can be used by policyholders and their family members. The can provide support with issues such as:

  • Long-term physical or mental illnesses
  • Bereavement
  • Trauma
  • Disability
  • Recovering from being discharged from hospital.

In addition, you can receive face-to-face second medical opinions from UK-based specialists. Red Arc also provides courses of therapy, such as counselling, complementary, or occupational therapy.

Clinic in a Pocket™

Through Clinic in a Pocket™, you gain access to 24/7 remote GP appointments and prescription delivery services. The service is provided by Square Health and is available via an app.

Policyholders and their family members can request an appointment to discuss any health concerns. Remote GPs can provide several different services:

  • Write prescriptions
  • Repeat prescriptions
  • Provide ‘fit notes’
  • Make private referrals.

Private prescriptions can be delivered for free to your front door, but you may have to pay for your medication.

How Does Scottish Widows Compare?

We’ve highlighted some of the key features of Scottish Widows Life Insurance cove below to help you compare it against other UK providers.

Optional Premium Protection

Premium Protection is Scottish Widows’ term for Waiver of Premium. Rather than being included in your cover as standard, it costs extra to add on. There are other providers that offer this as standard.

Decreasing Benefit Options

When you take out decreasing cover to pay off your mortgage, many insurers decrease your benefit at a fixed rate. Scottish Widows give you the flexibility to choose your own decrease rate, between 0% and 18%.

Covers 38 Critical Illnesses

Scottish Widows only pays out in full for 38 critical illnesses. While they do pay additional claims for 10 further conditions, these only entitle you to a portion of your benefit. Some other insurers cover upwards of 70 critical conditions.

Free Children’s Critical Illness Cover

While other insurers charge extra for you to add Children’s Cover to your Critical Illness policy, Scottish Widows includes it as standard.

This may not be a selling point for people who don’t have children, or plan to have any. But, it’s worth considering if you’re a parent, or if you plan to grow your family soon.

Samantha Haffenden-Angear, Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

While Scottish Widows may not provide children’s cover for free, they do offer some competitive features. For instance, some insurers won’t cover children until age 22 unless they’re in full-time education. They also pay out a generous child death benefit of £10,000, which is more than many other providers.

Samantha Haffenden-Angear
Independent Protection Expert

10 Day Survival Period

Scottish Widows will pay out a Critical Illness claim providing you survive for 10 days afterwards. This is more competitive than some other providers, who only pay out if you survive for 14 days.

Good Package Of Additional Benefits

Scottish Widows provides some useful extra benefits for free. This includes 24/7 remote GP services, and several forms of support from Red Arc nurses. However, there are other insurers who offer more comprehensive additional features. For instance, some providers give you access to health checks, nutrition plans, or physiotherapy.

Life Insurance Product Reviews

Our expert in-depth review of each of the UK's leading providers

How Much Does Scottish Widows Life Insurance Cost?

As with all forms of insurance, the amount you’ll pay will depend on many factors. For Life Protection policies, your age, occupation and medical history will all be taken into account.

To give you an idea of how much a policy with Scottish Widows might cost you, we’ve provided some examples below. The quotes show varying ages, and costs with and without Critical Illness Cover.

To calculate these quotes, we’ve assumed that the individual in question wants £250,000 of cover, and:

  • Needs a decreasing term to cover a mortgage
  • Wants the cover for 25 years
  • Is in a low-risk, office-based role
  • Has no pre-existing conditions
  • Is a non-smoker.

Life Insurance Only

Monthly Premiums

30 Years Old

40 Years Old

50 Years Old




All quotes were generated in January 2023 and calculated as a monthly premium.

Life With Critical Illness Cover

Monthly Premiums

30 Years Old

40 Years Old

50 Years Old



Not Available

All quotes were generated in January 2023 and calculated as a monthly premium.

Compare Life Insurance Quotes & Get Expert Advice

As you can see, there are a lot of points to consider when comparing insurers. With so many factors in play, it can be time-consuming to find the best life insurance for you.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to different life insurance policies and providers. This can help you compare and contrast the options to narrow down the most suitable cover for your circumstances.

Alternatively, if you know what you’re looking for, you can use our handy online quote tool to compare costs and apply online.

If you have some questions or feel you’d benefit from free expert advice, feel free to get in touch with us. You can pop our regulated advisors a call on 02084327333, or email help@drewberry.co.uk

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

For help and fee-free Life Insurance advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Pop us a call on 02084327333, or email help@drewberry.co.uk

Compare Top 10 UK Insurers

Takes approx. 60 seconds
  • £
Verified by Norton Symantec icon
 Or Call Us

Contact Us

Head Office & Pensions and Investments
Senator House
85 Queen Victoria Street
Personal Insurance & Accounts Payable
Telecom House
125-135 Preston Road
Drewberry London Office MapDrewberry Brighton Office Map

If you are unhappy with our service, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS website is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Drewberry Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Companies House No. 06675912

Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

Drewberry Ltd (Financial Conduct Authority No. 505473) is an Appointed Representative of Quilter Wealth Limited and Quilter Mortgage Planning

Limited, which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Drewberry™ uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By continuing to use our website you agree to the use of cookies including for ad personalization.

If you would like to know more about cookies and how to manage them please view our privacy & cookie policy.