Mortgage Protection Insurance

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Mortgage Life Insurance

Receive an upfront cash lump sum for your loved ones to pay off the mortgage in full should you pass away  during the term of your mortgage

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Mortgage Payment Protection

Receive an income to cover your monthly mortgage repayments should you be unable to work due to  accident, sickness or unemployment 

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10 mins

Mortgage Protection Insurance is designed to protect you and your family’s biggest purchase: your home.

It’s split into two distinct products:

  • Mortgage Life Insurance
    Pays out a lump sum so your family can repay the outstanding mortgage if you died
  • Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance
    Covers your monthly mortgage repayments if you suffer illness, injury or unemployment.

Both types of Mortgage Protection Insurance can help ease financial stresses associated with mortgages for you and your loved ones, but they’re very different and designed to cover you in different circumstances.

So how do you know which one is right for you?

What Does Mortgage Insurance Cover?

Mortgage Insurance covers you for a variety of risks, including:

  • Accident & Sickness
    With Mortgage Insurance you can cover the risk of having to take time off work due to illness or injury, thus ensuring you can keep up with your repayments
  • Unemployment
    Some Mortgage Protection plans also have the option where the policy can pay out should you suffer forced redundancy as well as an accident or sickness, or there are plans which solely cover unemployment
  • Death and Terminal Illness
    With Mortgage Life Insurance you can cover the amount outstanding on your loan should you pass away or are diagnosed as terminally ill (with less than 12 months to live), thus providing your family with the means of repaying the debt
  • Critical Illness
    If you add Critical Illness Insurance to your Mortgage Life Insurance policy, it will also pay out if you suffer one of the critical illnesses listed by your insurer.

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Do I Need Mortgage Insurance?

The threat of missing mortgage payments and losing your home is a risk that’s too often overlooked. Fortunately, Mortgage Insurance can reduce this worry.

In the 3 months leading to January 2019, there were just over 2 million people not looking for work due to long-term illness. The chances of debilitating illness or injury are more common than many people think and so most people caught by surprise by a health problem find themselves without proper financial support during their recovery.

Despite average weekly earnings in 2017/18 being £513, the Employment support Allowance offers a starter or typical income of only £90.50 per week. This means that relying on ESA alone (although other benefits are available) if you’re not working will result in a shortfall of income and could lead to difficult financial decisions.

Mortgage Insurance is not compulsory, but it’s usually a good idea if you’re not sure how you’d cope with repaying your mortgage should you become ill, injured or even sadly passed away.

Michael Barrow
Independent Protection Expert

What’s the Risk of Passing Away?

Similarly, the risk of death is often one that goes unconsidered and many bereaved families find themselves looking at additional hardship when it comes to keeping up with their finances.

While some families are able to rely on their savings to support themselves during this time, others may not have the luxury of doing so with as many as 2 out of 5 people having no more than £1,000 in cash savings.

While some people may be capable of using their savings to keep up with their mortgage payments, that is clearly not a viable option for everyone.

In the table below we’ve outlined the risk of death for a health male of three different ages over the life of a 25 year mortgage.

Age 25

Age 35

Age 45

1 in 33

1 in 8

1 in 4

Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance

Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance covers your monthly loan repayments from the risk of accident, sickness and potentially unemployment (forced redundancy).

If you are unable to work for any of these reasons, this type of Mortgage Insurance will pay out a monthly benefit until you either return to work or reach the full benefit term of either 12 or 24 months.

It is possible to cover 100% of your monthly repayments plus potentially an additional 25% for other monthly home costs, such as council tax and utility bills, depending on your insurer.

Cover Types

Accident & Sickness Cover

Primarily, Mortgage Payment Protection policies will cover you if you are too injured or ill to work. Every insurer uses a specific definition of incapacity to define whether your injury or illness meets the requirements to receive your benefits.

Mortgage PPI policies typically use a Suited Occupation definition of incapacity. This means that you will only be able to claim your monthly benefits if your injury or illness is severe enough that you are unable to work in your own occupation as well as any other suited occupations that you may be qualified for.

Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance policies will not normally cover pre-existing conditions. Most insurers use moratorium underwriting with their policy, which means that health problems that you suffered from in the past are automatically excluded.

Victoria Slade Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Compared to Own Occupation Cover, Suited Occupation Cover can have a substantial impact on your ability to claim your benefits.

With this definition of incapacity, your insurer may suggest that you change occupations to one you’re suited to if you are unable to work in your own occupation, and what defines a ‘suited’ occupation can be subjective.

Victoria Slade
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Unemployment Cover

Unemployment Insurance can be taken out on its own or added to a Mortgage PPI policy if you are looking for comprehensive cover. It will provide you with monthly benefits if you are made unemployed; however, not every instance of unemployment entitles you to a payout.

You can only claim Unemployment Cover if:

  • You were not given prior warning that you would be made redundant or made aware of the risk;
  • Your terminated employment was not the result of industrial action or your own misconduct, fraud or dishonesty;
  • You did not leave work voluntarily or chose to take a career break
  • You were employed full-time.

If you are still interested in this cover, it is important that you look carefully at how your insurance provider defines ’employment’. It may be difficult to claim on such policies, so it’s always worth reading the fine print.

Cover Options

Deferred Period

Your deferred period – also known as an excess period or waiting period – is a length of time you need to wait while out of work before you are able to claim your Mortgage PPI benefits. These periods can range from the first day of absence to 60 days or more.

Having a longer deferred period can greatly reduce the cost of your policy, but it can also put you at risk of being without income if your savings are lacking. The best thing to do is find a balance that is appropriate for you, taking into account the financial resources you have available.

Maximum Payout Term

Mortgage Payment Protection policies are short-term cover, so they will only ever pay out for a maximum of 12 or 24 months. This could be problematic if you have a longer-term condition that keeps you off work for some time.

PPI vs Income Protection

Income Protection insurance is often seen as a more comprehensive and reliable alternative to Mortgage PPI if you are looking to protect more than just your mortgage payments.

While Mortgage Payment Protection is tied to the cost of your monthly mortgage payments, Income Protection is tied to your monthly earnings and so your benefits equate to a percentage of your normal salary. This allows your benefits to go further and afford other essential costs while you are out of work, such as utilities or essential food shopping.

Mortgage PPI

Income Protection

Covers up to 125% of your monthly mortgage payments

Can cover up to 70% of your gross (pre-tax) monthly salary

Pays out benefits for a maximum of 12 / 24 months

Can pay out benefits until you reach retirement age

Covers you only under ‘suited occupation’ or ‘any occupation’ definitions of incapacity

Can cover you under the ‘own occupation’ definition of incapacity

Premiums are either ‘reviewable’ or ‘age banded’

It is possible to fix the cost of your policy with ‘guaranteed premiums’

The choice between Income Protection and PPI will depend on your financial resources and what it is that you want to protect. If your priority is your mortgage payments and you have the appropriate financial resources to take care of the rest of your finances while you aren’t working, then Mortgage Payment Protection might be he option you’re looking for.

But if you are concerned about long-term illness or injury and don’t have enough savings to support yourself without regular income, Income Protection will likely be the better option for you.

The main advantages of Income Protection over mortgage protection are as follows:

  • Long-term payouts
  • Guaranteed / fixed monthly premiums
  • ‘Own occupation’ rather than ‘suited occupation’ definition of incapacity
  • Greater protection for back, neck, chronic and mental health conditions (for which payment protection plans can be very poor).

Mortgage Protection Life Insurance

Mortgage Life Insurance is similar to a standard Personal Life Insurance policy with the exception that your cover is tied to your mortgage loan. It is designed to pay out a lump sum that can repay your mortgage in full if you pass away.

Mortgage Life Cover is intended to cover the entire cost of your mortgage loan, so it will usually pay out a lump sum large enough to pay off what is left of the loan in one payment.

Being tied to your mortgage, it is also typical that the policy’s end date is set as close as possible to the expected day that you pay off your mortgage.

Cover Types

There are two specific types of Mortgage Life Cover that you will need to choose from when taking out your policy. The type of covers are designed for different types of mortgages and so act differently while you have them.

Decreasing Term Life Insurance

If you have a principal repayment mortgage loan, Decreasing Mortgage Life Cover is usually the most suitable option. With such a plan, the level of cover declines over time aligning with the amount outstanding on your loan, eventually reaching zero at the end of your policy when you have officially paid off you mortgage.

One thing to be aware of when purchasing decreasing cover, however, is the decrease rate of your Mortgage Life Cover. If your benefit’s decrease rate exceeds the rate of your mortgage loan decrease, you may find yourself lacking in cover.

Level Term Life Insurance

If you have an interest-only mortgage a Level Term Insurance policy is usually the most suitable option. With this type of cover the level of protection remains fixed throughout the life of the plan to reflect the fact that you don’t have to repay the outstanding capital balance of the loan until the mortgage ends.

It’s usually the best option for those looking for a level of family protection over and above the mortgage loan, also, as the amount of cover doesn’t diminish over time.

Cover Options

Joint Life Cover

If you hold a mortgage together with another person and both contribute to the payments, it makes sense to protect both halves of the mortgage. This can be done by purchasing a Joint Mortgage Life policy. Joint cover will pay out your agreed benefit if either partner passes away before your mortgage has been paid off.

Be aware that most Joint Mortgage Insurance policies are Joint Life First Event, which means they’ll pay out when the first partner passes away and will end immediately after. As such, it may not be an ideal Life Insurance option if the people covered would like to leave something to their children in addition to paying off their mortgage because the policy would be over after the first claim.

Premium Types

There is more than one option when it comes to premiums and how your policy is priced, which is something to look out for carefully.

Guaranteed Premiums are fixed at the start of your policy and won’t change unless you adjust your cover.

Reviewable Premiums on the other hand are assessed regularly and adjusted according to what the insurer deems an appropriate price depending on how circumstances have changed in the wider world.

Depending on your personal circumstances, one premium type is likely to be better suited for you.

Guaranteed Premiums usually start out more expensive but are the more reliable option if you intend to have your policy for a long time and could work out cheaper over the life of the loan. Reviewable Premiums are usually cheaper at the start, but they can see unexpected price hikes and don’t typically have predictable increase rates.

Add Critical Illness Cover to Mortgage Life Insurance

With both Level and Decreasing Term Mortgage Life cover it is possible to add Critical Illness Cover, which will cover you if you are diagnosed with a critical illness or injury.

Unlike Income Protection, Critical Illness Cover will only pay out if you are diagnosed with a condition included on a pre-set list of health problems covered by your policy. On its own, it is not normally as effective as Income Protection when it comes to protecting your finances if you are unwell. You can find out more about this in our Income Protection vs Critical Illness guide.

Mortgage Life Insurance with Critical Illness Cover will cover you against death, terminal illness and critical illness. A policy will pay out if you pass away, if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, or if you are diagnosed with a condition on your insurer’s pre-set list of critical conditions.

sam barr-worsfold independent protection expert at drewberry

If you are interested in adding Critical Illness Cover to your Mortgage Life Protection, you will need to look carefully at your provider’s list of covered conditions.

Some providers cover more conditions while others are likely to cover more common conditions. It is important to find a list of conditions that will ensure that will able you to claim when you need it.

Sam Barr-Worsfold
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

How Much Does Mortgage Insurance Cost?

Where Mortgage Protection can cover two very different risks the monthly cost of Life Insurance is likely to be very different from the monthly cost of Mortgage Payment Protection. To provide come examples for both types of cover we have made a number of assumptions.

Cost of Mortgage Life Insurance

Given most mortgages are taken out on a joint basis we have provided cost examples for a couple who have just bought a house together where they took out a mortgage with a 25 year term to finance the purchase. We’ve assumed:

  • They are both healthy.
  • They’re both non-smokers
  • They both have low risk office based occupations
  • They’re looking for £250,000 worth of Decreasing Life Insurance over 25 years.


Joint Decreasing Life Insurance

30 Years Old

£11.58 per month

40 Years Old

£21.20 per month

50 Years Old

£55.98 per month

Cost of Mortgage Payment Protection

Where Accident and Sickness Insurance is based on an individuals health it tends to be set-up per person rather than on a joint basis.

As a result of this the pricing below is per person, for the purpose of our calculations we’ve assumed:

  • The individual is healthy
  • They’re a non-smoker
  • They’re an office worker
  • They want a 4 week deferral period
  • They’re looking for £1,000 a month of cover to protect their mortgage


Accident & Sickness Cover

Accident, Sickness & Unemployment

30 Years Old

£7.38 per month

£29.68 per month

40 Years Old

£12.13 per month

£39.53 per month

50 Years Old

£29.87 per month

£60.37 per month

Common Mortgage Insurance Questions...

  • Do I need Mortgage Protection Insurance to get a mortgage?

    No, Mortgage Insurance isn’t necessary to get a mortgage. While some lenders may recommend it, it’s not a legal requirement.

    However, you have to think about what would happen if you couldn’t meet your mortgage payments through accident, illness, unemployment or if you were to pass away. Could you cope or would you have to sell the property and relinquish the loan?

    If you’re worried about affording your mortgage in such circumstances, Mortgage Protection Insurance may be worth considering.

  • What happens to Life Insurance when the mortgage is paid off?

    Mortgage Life Insurance is designed to run for the length of the mortgage and cover the amount of the outstanding loan. This means when the mortgage ends, the Life Insurance typically ends also.

    If you need additional cover to run beyond the end date of your mortgage, perhaps for family protection, then a separate Life Insurance policy running for the desired length of time (e.g. when children will be financially independent) may be a consideration for you.

  • What's the difference between Mortgage Insurance and Life Insurance?

    Mortgage Protection Insurance encompasses two different types of protection depending on the cover you need: Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance and Mortgage Life Insurance.

    Mortgage Payment Protection is designed to help you keep up with your mortgage repayments over the short-term if you can’t work through accident, sickness or unemployment. It will pay out for a maximum of 2 years.

    Mortgage Life Insurance, meanwhile, pays out a lump sum to cover the mortgage should you pass away during the life of the loan.

    The difference between Mortgage Insurance and Life Insurance is that Mortgage Insurance is tied specifically to the mortgage loan in terms of the amount outstanding and the term of the loan. Life Insurance can be for as much as you need and for a term length of your choosing.

Compare UK Mortgage Protection Insurance Quotes

We work with all of the leading mortgage insurers in the UK, one size doesn’t fit all and so it is important to be aware of the nuances so you can make an informed decision when choosing the most suitable provider.



Aegon was founded as Scottish Equitable in 1831 in Edinburgh and their main headquarters still remain there today. In 2018 it won the ‘Life Insurer of the Year’ Award at the British Claims Awards.

  • 2017 payout rate: 96%
  • Maximum cover: 55% of gross earnings
  • Guaranteed / Reviewable Premiums
  • Own Occupation
AIG Logo


AIG was founded in 2008 as Aegas Protect and was eventually acquired by insurance giant American International Group Inc. in 2014. In 2018, the company won the ‘Best New Product (Income Protection)’ Award at the Protection Review Awards.

  • Maximum cover: Up to 60% of gross earnings
  • Guaranteed / Reviewable Premiums
  • Own Occupation


Aviva first began as Norwich Union in 1797, which merged with CGU PLC in 2000 to become Aviva. Today, it is the largest insurance group in the UK. In 2017 it won the ‘Best Customer Service’ Award for the second year running.

  • 2017 payout rate: 88.8%
  • Maximum cover: 55% of gross earnings
  • Guaranteed / Reviewable Premiums
  • Own Occupation
the exeter

The Exeter

With links going back as far as 1888, The Exeter as it is today was founded in 2008 when two friendly societies joined forces: The Exeter Friendly Society and Pioneer Friendly Society. As a mutual friendly society, it operates for the benefit of its members. The Exeter won for three years in a row the ‘Best Income Protection Provider’ Award between 2011 and 2013

  • 2017 payout rate: 91%
  • Maximum cover: 60% of the first £100,000 of your taxable income and 40% of your income above £100,000
  • Guaranteed / Age-banded premiums
  • Own Occupation
legal & general

Legal & General

Legal & General was founded in 1836 in a Chancery Lane coffee shop. In 2018, the company won the ‘Protection Provider of the Year’ Award at the Personal Touch Financial Excellence Awards.

  • 2017 payout rate: 95%
  • Maximum cover: 60% of gross earnings up to £60,000 and 50% of additional earnings
  • Guaranteed Premiums
  • Own Occupation / Activities of Daily Living
liverpool victoria


Liverpool Victoria has won the ‘Best Income Protection Provider’ Award at the Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards for 9 years in a row between 2010 and 2018.

  • 2017 payout rate: 96%
  • Maximum cover: 60% of gross earnings
  • Guaranteed/ Reviewable Premiums
  • Own Occupation
royal london

Royal London

The Royal London mutual society was originally founded in 1861, although originally as a friendly society. Today it is one of the largest mutual insurance providers in the country. In 2018, it received a 5-star rating for its protection service for the fifth year in a row at the Financial Adviser Service Awards.

  • 2017 payout rate: 92.1%
  • Maximum cover: 65% of gross earnings up to £15,000 per month and 55% of additional earnings
  • Guaranteed Premiums
  • Own Occupation


In 2017, Vitality’s policy received a 5 star Defaqto rating and has done so for the past 8 years running.

  • 2017 payout rate: 96%
  • Maximum cover: 60% of your earnings capped up to £2,500 per month and 50% of any earnings above
  • Guaranteed / Reviewable Premiums
  • Own Occupation / Activities of Daily Living / Special Incapacity Definition

Get Mortgage Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

Making a commitment to a mortgage can be daunting prospect, with such a large liability attached to your name it is important to make sure you are suitably protected. We exist to help our clients set-up the most suitable protection for their circumstances whilst doing so at the most competitive premium.

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 let us help.

  • 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 3821 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5.
  • Gain 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.

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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.


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