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HSBC Life Insurance Review

Everything you need to know about HSBC Life and how their insurance policies work to protect families in the UK

A photo of Dom Limberg, the author

By Dom Limberg

Published on: 14 July 2023

9 min read

HSBC Life Insurance Review

Most of us have come across or may even have used HSBC at some point in our adult lives, either for banking, loans, credit cards or investments. Not many people know that HSBC also offers its own range of life insurance products.

Often when you buy life insurance from your bank or building society, you would be buying products from another company. HSBC actually has its own life insurance policies that are administered and underwritten by HSBC themselves.

SUMMARY: Life insurance can be confusing if you’ve never bought it before. It’s also tricky to know for sure which life insurance provider will work best for you and your family. We hope to provide you with some useful information about HSBC Life, to help you make a better informed decision about your life cover.

More on this topic:

HSBC has over 150 years of history in this country. On top of this, they are a massive brand globally – with millions of customers across 62 countries.

They first began selling life insurance in 1988, starting the branch of the business known as ‘HSBC Life’. This doesn’t give them quite as much experience as other big name life insurance companies, but they do have over 30 years of expertise.

HSBC has won a number of awards for their insurance products and customer service such as:

  • Outstanding Individual Critical Illness Cover – Cover Excellence Awards (2022)
  • Defaqto 5 Star Rating (5 years consecutively)

What is HSBC life insurance?

HSBC has several options for personal protection policies available. This includes critical illness insurance, income protection and of course life insurance.

One important thing to note is that HSBC only sells ‘term’ life insurance. If you are looking for whole life insurance, HSBC Life does not currently offer this to their customers. Term life insurance will cover you for a set number of years (policy term) and can be level term, decreasing or increasing.

Types of HSBC life insurance cover

There are only 3 options for HSBC life insurance which are:

  • Level term life insurance (family protection)
  • Decreasing term life insurance (mortgage protection)
  • Increasing life insurance and critical illness cover
Cover typeTerm Life Insurance (Family Life Insurance and Mortgage Life Insurance)  
Cover optionsLevel Term Life Insurance (Family Life Insurance)
Decreasing Term Life Insurance (Mortgage Life Insurance)
Increasing Life Insurance and critical illness cover (index linked)
Coverage optionsSingle life Joint life (first death)
Terminal illness benefitTerminal illness benefit is included as standard with HSBC life insurance.
This benefit pays out on diagnosis of a terminal illness (less than 12 months to live)
Increasing life insurance option (Indexation)Increasing life insurance (index linked) increases in line roughly with the Retail Price Index (RPI) to help your policy retain value.  
The amount of cover will increase by 10% at most each year. Your monthly premiums will never increase by more than 14% each year.
Term optionsMinimum term – 5 years
Maximum term – No maximum stated
Age limitsMinimum age at entry – 17 years
Maximum age at entry – 69 years
Maximum age at end of policy term – 91 years (81 years with increasing cover)
Exclusions (Term Life Insurance)HSBC Term life insurance will not pay out for suicidal death in the first 12 months from the policy start date. Terminal illness benefit claims that do not meet the policy terms and conditions.
Terminal illness claims will not pay out within the last 18 months of your policy.

HSBC critical illness insurance policy summary

Unlike some life insurance providers, HSBC will only allow you to buy critical illness cover as an add on to a HSBC life insurance policy.

If you already have life insurance with another provider, you will need to switch this to HSBC to be able to buy their critical illness cover. This is likely to be inconvenient for most people and so it might be worth looking elsewhere for critical illness cover in this situation.

Cover typeCritical Illness Insurance (guaranteed premiums)  
Cover optionsLevel Term Critical Illness Cover (Family Protection)
Decreasing Term Critical Illness Cover (Mortgage Protection)
Life and Critical Illness Cover Plus (Enhanced Cover)
Coverage optionsSingle life
Joint life (first death)
Terminal illness benefitTerminal illness benefit is included as standard with HSBC critical illness insurance and life and critical illness cover.
Conditions covered (core)40 conditions covered
37 conditions full 100% payment
3 conditions additional payment (the lower of £25,000 or 25% of the cover amount)
Conditions covered (enhanced cover)99 conditions covered
62 conditions full 100% payment
37 conditions additional payment (the lower of £25,000 or 25% of the cover amount)
Children’s cover (core)Included automatically with an adult critical illness cover policy. Covers the same conditions as in the adult policy and will pay out up to £25,000
Term optionsMinimum term – 5 years
Maximum term – 50 years
Age limitsMinimum age at entry – 17 years
Maximum age at entry – 69 years
Maximum age at end of policy term – 75 years
Exclusions (Term Life Insurance)HSBC will not pay out for any claims made more than 12 months after the diagnosis. The condition you are claiming for must meet the terms and conditions set out in your policy documents. You must survive for 10 or more days following diagnosis to be eligible to claim.

Learn more – HSBC – Critical Illness Cover Policy Summary and Policy Document

More about critical illness cover:

HSBC income cover (their version of income protection) will pay out if you can’t work due to illness or injury. You must be signed off work for 4 or more weeks by a doctor or GP.

You can be covered for up to 50% of your usual income (pre tax) up to a maximum of £50,000 per year.

Cover typeHSBC Income Cover
Cover optionsShort term income protection – pays out for up to 2 years
Long term income protection – can pay out for the remaining policy term if needed
Coverage optionsSingle life
Deferred period options4 weeks
8 weeks
13 weeks
26 weeks
52 weeks
Extra benefitsRehabilitation benefit is included as standard. This will top up your income if you return to work on reduced hours due to your health.
Age limitsMinimum age at entry – 17 years
Maximum age at entry – 59 years
Term optionsMinimum term – 5 years
No maximum term stated but cover must end by your 68th birthday
Policy requirementsYou must work at least 16 hours per week
You must be employed or self employed (no temporary contracts)
Must be a UK resident and work in the UK (excluding Channel Islands or Isle of Man)

Learn more – HSBC – Income Cover Policy Summary

More about income protection – Income protection insurance explained

Below we have the HSBC life insurance customer service contact number plus other relevant contact details.

Tel. 0333 207 5563


Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.50pm (Excludes Bank Holidays)


Customer Services Centre

HSBC Life UK Limited,

PO BOX 1053,

St Albans,



If you need to claim on a HSBC life insurance policy, here is everything you need to know.

  1. You can start a claim with the HSBC claims team by phone, email or post
  2. Make sure you have a few basic details on hand before you call to make the process as smooth as possible.

When you claim, HSBC will need:

  • The policyholder’s name
  • Their policy number (if you have it)
  • A copy of the death certificate

HSBC Life claims contact details

Tel. 0333 745 6125


HSBC life insurance claims statistics

It is important for life insurance providers to consistently publish their claims statistics each year.

This allows customers to assess how likely the provider is to pay out when they need them to. It also helps regulators to check that insurance customers are being treated fairly and claims aren’t being declined without good reason.

The last figures we could find for HSBC Life claims were from 2020. This is discouraging as ideally, we should also be able to access figures from the last 2 years. These are overall figures of HSBC claims from 1988-2020.

  • 39,000 claims paid out since 1988
  • £1.5billion paid out across life, critical illness and income protection
  • 24,000 life insurance claims paid out since 1988
  • 14,750 critical illness cover claims paid out since 1988
  • £735million paid out in life insurance claims
  • £755million paid out in critical illness cover claims

The price of life insurance can vary for a few common reasons. Everyone will pay slightly more the older they are when they apply. Other factors that affect pricing includes:

  • Your weight
  • If you smoke
  • Any pre-existing conditions
  • Policy type
  • Your occupation (is it high risk?)
  • How long you need cover for (policy term)

Below we have gathered some quotes to show how HSBC compares price wise to other insurers on the market.

Note: These figures are accurate as of July 2023 but can change at any time and are based on an applicant with no medical conditions. These are only an indication of price and other factors such as health and occupation can cause pricing to be higher.

Compare HSBC life insurance – £200,000 over 25 years (non-smoker)

Age of applicantLowest premiumsHighest premiumsHSBC premiums
30 years£7.72£12.94£7.75
40 years£13.43£20.62£16.01
50 years£34.32£46.48£40.01

Compare HSBC life insurance – £200,000 over 25 years (smoker)

Age of applicantLowest premiumsHighest premiumsHSBC premiums
30 years£7.72£12.94£7.75
40 years£13.43£20.62£16.01
50 years£34.32£46.48£40.01

If you have medical conditions, it can be difficult or frustrating to find the right life insurance policy.

HSBC isn’t a provider well known for medical life insurance. It can be possible to get cover through HSBC in some cases, but often a more specialist provider will be a more affordable option.

If you have health issues, you should speak to a life insurance specialist for advice. They will be best placed to tell you which insurers are most suitable for your particular medical condition.

Here, we have a few reasons why you might (or might not) choose HSBC for your life insurance policy.

Reasonably priced for most peopleCan be expensive or inaccessible for people with more serious medical conditions
Reliable and trusted business in the UKDoesn’t include all additional benefits that other insurers do
Can be more convenient if you already bank with HSBCCan be harder to buy online without expert help  
FREE £75 eGift card for Argos or John Lewis (if you buy through HSBC directly)Must stay a HSBC banking customer or your cover ends

HSBC life insurance free gift

Everyone loves a freebie and currently HSBC are offering a good one. For any new policy taken out after 12th May 2022, HSBC life customers can claim one of the following:

  • £75 Argos eGift Card
  • £75 John Lewis eGift Card

HSBC life insurance benefits

There are some key benefits of HSBC life insurance that can be useful for HSBC Life customers.

  • Terminal illness benefit is included automatically with all HSBC life insurance and critical illness insurance policies. This will pay out to you if you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition (life expectancy 12 months or less).
  • Accidental death benefit is included FREE for 90 days during your life insurance application process
  • House purchase cover is included FREE for 90 days while applying for decreasing term life insurance
  • Access to HSBC Life Online Health Services will offer extra services such as second medical opinions or prescription services

It is easy to assume that a policy with the word ‘life’ in it means you are tied in indefinitely. This isn’t true and you can cancel life insurance whenever you want and for whatever reason.

There are a few options to cancel HSBC life insurance:

  • Cancel through your HSBC Access account (the details will be in the My Policy section)
  • Send an email to
  • Cancel over the phone by calling Tel. 0333 207 5563

HSBC life insurance reviews

Currently, HSBC has quite a low rating for customer satisfaction on independent review site TrustPilot.

TrustPilot rating – 1.4 out of 5.0 stars (as of 14/07/23, with almost 8,000 reviews)

While this score could be off putting, it is important to remember this is based on HSBC’s overall business. This score isn’t specific to HSBC life insurance products or HSBC life customer service.

How to buy HSBC life insurance

It can be simple to buy life insurance through HSBC. You have a few options for applying which are:

We would recommend assessing all available option before choosing your bank for your life insurance policy. HSBC Life does offer some benefits and decent pricing, but it can be more expensive for people with medical issues or dangerous occupations.

It’s even possible that HSBC could simply decline to cover you based on your health, which is where a more specialist provider would be more appropriate.

Even with no medical issues or other factors, it is wise to check prices across all insurers. This helps you be certain that you’re choosing the right policy with the best value for money.

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