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Royal London Life Insurance Review

All the facts you need to decide if Royal London is a good choice to protect your home and family

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 28 June 2022

12 min read

Royal London Life Insurance Review

You will likely have seen advertisements for big mainstream insurers such as Vitality and Aviva when going about your day to day life. When looking for life cover, it makes sense that your first instinct might be to choose one of these well known brands. Royal London may not be as widely known as certain other mainstream insurance companies but they are one of the UK’s top insurance providers. 

Royal London provides insurance cover and financial services to people across the UK and has been doing so since 1861. They are the largest mutual life, investment and pensions company currently operating in the UK as of 2019. 

They are well known for helping to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions, with diabetes being a specialist area for them. They have even developed a specific type of cover for diabetics, to help people who may otherwise be declined cover or get charged ridiculous prices elsewhere. 

About Royal London  

Royal London was established as a Friendly Society (formerly known as burial clubs), by Joseph Degge and Henry Ridge in February 1861. These societies were intended to help people fund a proper burial if they passed away, for a small cost per week. At this time, they were known as the Royal London Life Insurance and Benefit Society.  

The company expanded over the following years and made the decision to convert to a Mutual Society in 1908. This means they have no shareholders and so profits are continuously reinvested in the business, to help provide better quality products and services to their customers. 

Royal London has continued to grow in recent years, acquiring many other businesses including United Assurance Group in 2000 and Scottish Life in 2001. They have also launched more specialist protection and policies, being particularly well rated for life insurance for diabetics (a group that may otherwise struggle to find acceptable cover at a fair price). 

The main areas of business for Royal London are: 

Royal London has been providing insurance products, investments, and pensions to people in the UK for over 150 years. Life insurance is one of their main products, with thousands of UK residents choosing to trust Royal London with protecting their homes and families. 

Here are some of the key features of Royal London life insurance policies: 

Policy type Life insurance 
Premium options Guaranteed premiums (fixed) 
Reviewable premiums (variable) 
Cover options Royal London Direct Life Insurance (cover up to £500,000) – Level term (family protection) or Decreasing term (mortgage protection) 

Royal London Advised Life Cover (unlimited cover or up to £5million with increasing cover, only available through a financial advisor) 
Level term (family protection), Decreasing term (mortgage protection) or Increasing cover (Indexed or fixed rate at 2%-5%) 

Royal London diabetes life cover (specifically designed for diabetics and only available through a financial advisor) 
Level term cover up to £1,000,000 (family protection) 

Royal London Whole of Life insurance 
Royal London over 50s life insurance 
Coverage type Single life.  
Joint life (only pays out on first death). 
Dual life (can pay out twice, once for each partner). 
Terminal illness cover benefit Included as standard with Royal London life insurance policies at no extra cost and pays out for a terminal diagnosis (12 or less months life expectancy) 
Waiver of Premium benefit Available with life insurance at an extra cost and covers yout monthly policy payments (premiums) if unable to work due to illness or injury (automatically included with income protection insurance) 
Indexation option (RPI) Increasing cover option with a minimum increase of 2% and maximum of 10% per year. 
Cover can be increased within certain limits if getting married, increasing a mortgage or due to the birth of a child.  
Medical evidence may need to be supplied if increasing cover for other reasons or wanting to increase beyond the specified limit. 
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages) Minimum age 18 at start of policy 
Maximum age 70 at start of policy 
Life insurance exclusions Suicidal death within the first 12 months of the policy start date. 
Terminal illness where the condition or illness does not meet the criteria of the policy definitions. 

Royal London diabetes life insurance 

If you have diabetes, you may have found it difficult to get life insurance cover in the past or have been offered it at sky high prices. This is an incredibly frustrating reality, especially considering it is estimated there are over 4.8 million people living with diabetes in the UK.* 

Royal London spotted this gap in the insurance market and got to work on a solution, developing their specialist life cover for diabetics. Their team worked hard to make sure people with well managed diabetes can find the life cover they need at a fair price. 

This specialist cover has benefits such as: 

  • More easily accessible for diabetics than standard life insurance policies 
  • Cover can still be offered to applicants with high HbA1c readings 
  • If you provide Royal London with an annual HbA1c reading, you may be able to reduce your premiums by up to 40% if your condition is improving 
  • Your premiums will not increase from the start of cover 
  • Quicker application process with less medical evidence required 

Businesses bought by Royal London  

With Royal London having expanded massively since it was founded, there are many insurance and financial businesses that have been bought out and rebranded as Royal London.  

If you have bought a life insurance policy with one of these companies, you may now be covered under the Royal London group and will need to contact them regarding your policy.

Abbey National  Pegasus 
Santander (life insurance) Progress Life Insurance 
Bright Grey Refuge Assurance 
Caledonian Life (ROI) Royal Liver 
Canterbury Life Policy Scottish Life 
Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) Scottish Provident 
Friends Provident Scottish Mutual Assurance 
Irish Life United Assurance Group 
National and Provincial Policy UFLP 
 United Friendly 

Royal London life insurance phone number  

If you wish to discuss a new or existing life insurance policy with Royal London, there are several ways to get in touch.  

For general enquiries you can fill in an online form, send a letter to one of the addresses listed here. Or call via one of the numbers listed below. 

Royal London life insurance contact number (general advice and customer service): 

Tel. 0345 602 1885 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday – 8am-6pm (excluding bank holidays) 

Royal London life insurance contact number for existing customers:  

If you need to change your policy details (due to a name change for example), you can do this online via the website or by calling one of the following numbers: 

For life insurance or over 50s policies bought directly with Royal London: Tel. 0345 050 2020 

For life insurance or over 50s policies bought directly with the Post Office: Tel. 0345 266 1484 

For policies bought with Royal London before 2004, Royal Liver, United Friendly or Refuge Assurance: Tel. 0345 050 2020 

For policies with Bright Grey or with Royal London through a financial advisor: Tel. 0345 6094 500 

For policies bought with Cooperative Insurance Services (CIS): Tel. 0345 605 7777 

For policies bought with Royal London Retail (formerly Santander/Abbey National): Tel. 0345 741 3002 

Royal London life insurance contact number for new customers:

You can get a quote for a new policy via the Royal London website directly but if someone else is paying for the policy on your behalf you will need to call: 

Tel. 0800 032 7781 

Royal London critical illness cover 

Another popular policy offered by Royal London is critical illness cover, which can be bought on its own or added to your life insurance policy. Royal London critical illness cover can be policy worth considering, as it pays out a lump sum if you were to be diagnosed one of 73 serious illnesses. 

Here are some of the main features of Royal London critical illness insurance: 

Policy type Critical illness insurance 
Premium options Guaranteed premium (fixed, the amount you pay each month will stay the same for the whole policy) 
Reviewable premium (variable, the amount you pay each month could change over the course of the policy) 
Cover options Level term critical illness cover (family protection – the amount of £s you are covered for never changes)
Decreasing term critical illness cover (mortgage protection – the amount of £s you are covered for will decrease over time as you repay your mortgage)
Increasing critical illness cover (Indexed or fixed rate at 2%-5% – the amount of £s you are covered for will increase over time) 
Coverage type Single life.  
Joint life (only pays out once for one partner). 
Dual life (can pay out twice, once for each partner). 
Illnesses covered by core plan option 46 conditions (payment of 100% of the amount you are covered for) 
27 additional conditions (partial payment of 50% of the amount of £s you are covered for up to £30,000) 
Children’s Critical illness insurance core plan option Covered from birth to age 22 (age 23 if in full time education) 
Covered for the standard 46 conditions, 27 additional conditions and total permanent disability cover 
Children’s Critical illness insurance enhanced plan option Option to add on for an additional cost and covers 13 additional child specific conditions 
Includes a conversion option automatically, allowing the child to convert to a full critical illness cover policy with no medical underwriting (medical reports or exams) within 6 months of children’s cover ending 
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages) Minimum age 18 at start of policy. 
Maximum age 69 at start of policy. 
Covers you up to age 84. 
Critical illness insurance exclusions Policies will not pay out if the policyholder dies within 10 days of diagnosis, if the injury is self-inflicted or the condition doesn’t meet the definition set out in the policy terms. 

Royal London life insurance claims 

It is an extremely difficult time when a loved one passes away and insurers understand this, doing their best to support you through the process of a bereavement claim. It is not always easy to know how to start the process of a life insurance claim, so we have gathered together some information that should be helpful 

How to make a Royal London life insurance claim 

There are certain details the Royal London life insurance team will need to process your claim. It is a good idea to make sure you have access to this information before contacting them. They will need to know: 

  • The deceased’s name, date of birth and last known address 
  • Their policy or plan number (if possible) 
  • The death certificate (as the certificate number may be required) 
  • The date they passed away 
  • The name of the executor of the will (if there is one in place) 

They may also need to see: 

  • A birth or marriage certificate 
  • Any evidence of a name change (if applicable) 
  • Evidence of your mortgage amount if relevant to the claim (decreasing cover) 
  • Medical evidence to support the claim (if claiming terminal illness benefit) 

What happens next with your claim 

  • If you have filled in the online notification of death form, you should be contacted within 5 working days via post or email 
  • You will be sent a claim form to fill in and send back along with any requested documents 
  • It is important to note you will need to continue paying the policy premiums until your claim has been approved to keep the policy active 
  • Once the claim has been approved and Royal London has received all the relevant paperwork, you should receive the funds in 3-5 working days by BACS bank transfer 

If you have bought your life insurance policy or over 50s cover through Royal London directly, you can get in touch over the phone here: 

Tel. 0345 266 5400 

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday – 8am-7pm / Saturday – 9am-5pm / Sunday 10am-4pm 

You can also contact Royal London to start your claim by post: 

Customer Services 
Royal London House 
Alderley Park 
Congleton Road 
Nether Alderley 
Macclesfield 
SK10 4EL 

Here are the most relevant statistics for Royal London insurance claims paid out in 2021. Royal London paid out a record £632million in protection claims with more than 84,000 claims. 

  • Total paid out: over £174million (for life insurance and terminal illness benefit) 
  • Customers paid out: over 2,000 
  • Percentage of claims paid: 99.5% 
  • Average pay out: £84,000 

With Royal London life insurance policies, you have the option of writing your policy into trust at no additional cost. You can do this with a new or existing policy and there can be great benefits to writing your policy into trust. 

The main benefits of a Royal London life insurance trust 

  • Can be a cost effective alternative to a Will if not in place (usually free) 
  • Can specify beneficiaries for your policy and trustees to carry out your wishes 
  • Life insurance claim will pay out faster (due to avoidance of going through probate) 
  • Can avoid or reduce Inheritance Tax (40%) 

Types of Royal London life insurance trust deed: 

  • Royal London Split Trust (for single and joint policies): available as a discretionary trust or a bare trust 
  • Royal London Gift Trust (for single and joint policies): available as a discretionary trust or a bare trust 
  • Royal London Business Trust: only available as a discretionary trust 
  • Royal London Relevant Life Policy (RLP) Trust: only available as a discretionary trust 

People often believe that once a life insurance policy is in place, they cannot change or cancel their cover. Believe it or not, it can be simple to review your cover and even cancel your policy if needed. 

There are many reasons you may choose to cancel your life insurance policy, either because you no longer need it, are replacing it with a new policy or another reason entirely. 

With Royal London policies there are several ways you can cancel: 

  • Cancelling your direct debit with your bank or building society 
  • Calling Royal London directly at 0345 600 7788. 
  • Writing a letter addressed to: 

Royal London House 

Alderley Park 

Congleton Road 

Nether Alderley 

Macclesfield 

SK10 4EL 

There is a 30 day period from when you receive your policy welcome pack where you are able to cancel and your premiums will be refunded. If you cancel after this 30 day period, your cover will cease but the premiums paid will be lost.  

Note: You cannot cancel your life insurance policy and keep your serious illness benefit. You can however cancel your serious illness benefit or any other additional cover and keep your life cover in place, if you need to reduce costs. 

Royal London life insurance free benefits 

Royal London offers several great benefits to its life insurance customers, free of charge.  

Some of these benefits include: 

  • Terminal Illness Benefit is included with Royal London Direct and Advised Life Insurance policies. This will payout if you were to be diagnosed with a condition with a life expectancy of 12 months or less. 
  • Access to HelpingHand support services is included with life insurance and critical illness cover policies 
  • Option to increase cover without additional medical evidence is available in some circumstances 
  • Dual life cover is available with Royal London (not available with all providers), and works similarly to joint cover except cover does not cease if one partner claims and each partner can have varying levels of cover. This is not available with every policy type though. 
  • Underwrite Later is an option included with Personal Menu Life Cover and Whole of Life Cover. This can provide 6 months of cover from the moment your application is submitted (during the underwriting process), without automatically excluding factors like pre-existing conditions or dangerous hobbies. 

There are also additional benefits that can be added to Royal London life insurance policies at an extra cost: 

  • Personal Menu Plan allows you to mix and match different types of cover into one policy and one monthly payment e.g. life insurance plus income protection insurance (the additional cover will add to the cost, but you will only have one direct debit rather than one for each cover type) 
  • Serious Illness Benefit provides up to £350,000 cover if you or your child(ren) are diagnosed with one of six serious conditions (cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia or benign brain tumour). Similar to critical illness cover but illnesses are defined differently and pay outs can differ too. 
  • Children’s critical illness cover whether standard or advanced can be added to a critical illness policy for an extra cost 
  • Waiver of Premium will pay your monthly premiums if you cannot work due to illness or injury 
  • Critical Illness Cover will provide you with a tax-free lump sum if diagnosed with a serious illness during the policy term. Royal London covers 46 conditions (100% payment) and 27 conditions (50% payment). 
  • Income Protection Insurance can be added as an additional policy and is used to replace your income if unable to work due to illness of injury. Covers up to 65% of the first £15,000 of your pre-tax income and up to 55% of the remainder up to £250,000 per annum 

There are several possible ways to take out a new Royal London life insurance policy to protect your home and family. You can:

With something as important as protecting your loved ones, it can be a good idea to get qualified advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. That way you can be sure you are choosing the right cover and provider for your needs.  

You can also read more about buying life insurance and other topics in more of our MPO life insurance guides like:

Royal London life insurance reviews 

Royal London life insurance reviews can be viewed on Feefo where you will see independent customer reviews from new and existing customers.  

Royal London is a recipient of a Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award for 2022, indicating excellent customer service. 

Currently Royal London is rated 4.6 out of 5.0 stars on Feefo, with over 6,000 reviews. You can view these reviews or add your own on the Royal London Feefo page.

Royal London was also awarded:

  • Best Protection Provider 2022 by Money Marketing
  • Best Insurer for Protecting Hard to Cover Clients 2022 by Protection Guru

Resources

Royal London – Our 2021 claims experience

Finder.com – Life insurance statistics

Statista – Life insurance industry in the UK: Statistics & Facts

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