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Vitality Life Insurance Review

Our guide to everything you need to know about Vitality life insurance

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 1 August 2022

12 min read

Vitality Life Insurance Review

You may have seen a Vitality life insurance advert recently either on your TV or some of the various sporting events that they sponsor, including football, cricket, netball, hockey, and running. 

In our independent review of the Vitality life insurance business, we aim to explain the company background and how their policies can work for you to protect your family. Vitality life insurance is one of the most complicated policies that is currently available in the UK but can also be the most cost-effective and rewarding. 

Our comprehensive review of Vitality life insurance will remove some of the complexity around their cover and the rewards that they offer. 

How are we able to review Vitality life insurance? 

One of the biggest benefits to this Vitality life insurance review is that I have first-hand experience of the cover and rewards. I have been a Vitality life insurance policyholder for over 8 years so I know exactly how it works and doesn’t work. 

I am a Platinum Vitality member and have been for many years, plus I regularly use the benefits and rewards. I can also tell you why Vitality life insurance might not work for you and if you’re not going to get good value for money from it. 

About Vitality

Vitality life insurance is officially branded VitalityLife and it originally started trading in 2007 under the brand PruProtect. VitalityLife is the youngest of the major life insurance providers in the UK, but its history goes back to 1848 with Prudential and its South African owners which was established in 1992. 

The original joint venture between the two companies changed in 2010 when Discovery increased to 75% shareholding, then to 100% in 2014, when it rebranded to VitalityLife. 

VitalityLife was a revolutionary new brand to join the life insurance market in the UK with its shared value model, offering exclusive rewards and discounts for participation in daily activity. The model continues to grow and flourish in the UK, growing to 1 million members across VitalityLife and VitalityHealth in 2018. 

Vitality life insurance brand ambassadors include: 

  • Ellie Simmonds 
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill 
  • Joe Root 
  • Jonny Wilkinson 
  • Lord Sebastian Coe 
  • Tracey Neville 
  • Maro Itoje 

You can see VitalityLife sponsorships and adverts across a wide range of sporting events and venues all around the United Kingdom. 

Main areas of the business for Vitality UK include: 

Many people are often confused by the Vitality life insurance proposition because of its slightly quirky approach to marketing and the rewards programme. It is understandable to assume that Vitality is a sports brand or in some way connected to health products. 

The truth is that Vitality life insurance is one of the most innovative providers to enter the UK life insurance sector in decades, and its rewards helps to incentivise millions to live healthier lives. 

Here are some of the main features for Vitality life insurance. 

Policy type Life insurance 
Premium options Guaranteed premiums (fixed). 
Reviewable premiums (variable or increasing). 
Cover options Level term life insurance (family protection). 
Decreasing term life insurance (mortgage protection). 
Family income benefit. 
Whole of life insurance. 
Increasing life insurance (Indexed). 
Coverage type Single life. 
Joint life (first death). 
Joint life (second death). 
Terminal illness cover benefit All Vitality life insurance policies include terminal illness cover automatically for anyone with a terminal diagnosis of under 12 months left to live. 
Waiver of Premium benefit There are three levels of optional waiver of premium benefits that are available with Vitality life insurance policies. Can be added to Vitality life insurance cover for a small fee. 
Indexation option (RPI) Indexation option can be added free of charge to any Vitality life insurance plan. Indexation is linked to RPI (Retail Price Index) rounded up to the nearest 0.25%. You can also refuse to accept your plan indexation on the anniversary. 
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages) Minimum age 16 at entry. 
Maximum age 74 at entry. 
Life insurance exclusions Suicidal death within  the first 12 months of the policy start date. 

Learn more about life insurance and how it works in our MPO Life Insurance Guide.

Vitality life insurance contact number 

If you need to speak to VitalityLife about an existing life insurance policy or if you want to discuss a new policy then you can contact them on the numbers below. 

Vitality life insurance contact number (advice) 

Tel. 0800 009 6559 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm 

Vitality life insurance contact number for existing customers 

Tel. 0345 601 0072 

Vitality life insurance member zone support 

Tel. 0345 602 3523 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am – 7pm / Saturday 9am – 1pm 

Vitality Critical Illness Cover (also known as Vitality Serious Illness Cover)

Critical Illness cover is a useful policy to have in place, as it pays out if you were to be diagnosed with a serious illness covered in your policy terms. This includes a range of conditions with the most common to be covered including cancer, strokes and heart attacks.

Here are some of the main features for Vitality Critical illness insurance (Serious illness cover). 

Policy type Critical illness insurance 
Premium options Guaranteed premiums (fixed). 
Reviewable premiums (variable or increasing). 
Cover options Level term Critical illness insurance (family protection). 
Decreasing term Critical illness insurance (mortgage protection). 
Family income benefit. 
Increasing Critical illness insurance (Indexed). 
Coverage type Single life. 
Joint life. 
Illnesses covered by core plan option 153 conditions covered. 
Severity based serious illness cover will payout between 15% and 100% of the sum assured. 
Illnesses covered by enhanced plan option 182 conditions covered. 
Available at an extra cost. 
Severity based serious illness cover will payout between 15% and 100% of the sum assured. 
Children’s Critical illness insurance core plan option Additional benefit that can be added at extra cost. 
Pays out between £15,000 and £100,000 per child covered. 
Cover up to age 23 (if in full-time education). 
Serious illness cover Booster Pays out up to 200% for long-term debilitating illnesses. 
Cover for early stage conditions. 
100% payout for key conditions. 
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages) Minimum age 18 at entry 
Maximum age 64 at entry 
Critical illness insurance exclusions Policies will not pay out for any conditions not listed on the policy terms. 

Find out more important facts about critical illness insurance in our MPO Critical Illness Insurance Review.

You can also learn more about claiming on critical illness policies and how critical illness insurance works.

One of the key differences between Vitality life insurance and every other type of life insurance policy that is available, is the active rewards. 

Active rewards are discounts on various partner brands that you can earn or will receive from your daily activity. The key point here is that you’ll need to be recording your daily activity or steps on a wearable device that is recognised by Vitality. 

Compatible wearable devices: 

  • Apple Watch 
  • Apple Health (iPhone) 
  • Fitbit 
  • Garmin 
  • Polar 
  • Samsung 
  • Withings 

You can pair any of these devices to your Vitality member app (life insurance member zone) to record your daily exercise or steps to earn points. 

Activity How do you earn points How it works Max. points per day Max. points per week Max. points per year 
Gym workout Partner gyms You can earn 5 points for attending a registered gym using your Vitality member No. 35 2080 
Daily steps Tracking device You can earn daily points for steps recorded on your linked device: 7,000 steps = 3pts. 10,000 steps = 5pts. 12,500 steps = 8pts. 40 2080 
Workout – heart rate Tracking device You can earn up to 8 points per day with exercise up to 8 points for 30mins @ 70% Max. heart rate. 40 2080 
Calories burned Tracking device Adult members can earn up to 8 points per day for daily exercise with calory burn for 60mins @ 300 kcal per hour. 40 2080 
Parkrun Parkrun registration Adult members will earn 8 points for attending and taking part in any 5k Parkrun event, or 5 points for volunteering. 40 2080 
Vitality event  Participants in Vitality events such as 5k, 10k, or half marathons will earn up to 20 points for each entry. 20   

There are other ways to earn your Vitality life insurance member points which will count towards your annual points targets. As you can see from the tables below, there are also several other opportunities for you to build up your annual points total. 

Activity How do you earn points How it works Max. points per day Max. points per year 
Online health check Vitality member zone Adult members will earn points every year for completing their annual online health review. 100 100 
Non-smoker declaration (online) Vitality member zone Adult members will earn points every year for completing their annual non-smoker online declaration. 100 100 
Non-smoker declaration (pharmacy) Vitality health check Adult members who attend their annual health check at a Vitality pharmacy partner will be tested for any traces of nicotine (cotinine test) in the last 12 months. 200 200 
Vitality health check (pharmacy) Vitality health check Adult members who attend their annual health check will receive points for each section of their screening where results are within acceptable ranges for their age (e.g. BMI, BP, Cholesterol, Blood test, and fitness) 600 600 

Vitality life insurance annual status targets 

Here’s a list of the different status’s that you can get to by earning your Vitality life insurance points. 

 Bronze Silver Gold Platinum 
Single plan annual target 800 1,600 2,400 
Joint plan annual target 1,200 2,400 3,600 

Your Vitality life insurance status will then determine what level of discounts you earn with certain partners and any percentage increase to your premiums. 

Vitality rewards partners 

There are a number extremely big high street brands and well known partners that you can take advantage of from your Vitality life cover plan. 

Vitality life insurance Apple Watch 

The most common and most popular partner is the Vitality life insurance Apple Watch benefit promotion which has been available for several years. 

In simple terms, you can buy one of the latest Apple Watch series models once in the lifetime of your Vitality life insurance plan for £7 to £169 (based on device and activity). We’ll try to explain how this works in basic terms so you can make sense of it to see if it would work for you. 

You should also remember that there are several other devices that work with Vitality life insurance to earn your points, so Apple Watch might not be for you. 

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about the Vitality life insurance Apple Watch deal. 

How can you get your Vitality life insurance Apple Watch deal? 

There is one main qualification criteria for the Vitality life insurance Apple Watch promotion which is a minimum premium of £49.75 per month (including Vitality Plus fee of £4.75). 

When can I get my Apple Watch? 

You can buy your device at any point throughout the lifetime of your policy which means that you don’t need to get one straight away. If you want to wait for a new device or version to be released then you can do this, but be warned that the Apple Watch partnership/promotion may not be forever. 

How many Vitality life insurance Apple Watches can I have? 

You are eligible for one device on a single plan and also one device for the main member on a joint life plan. Unfortunately, you can’t have two devices on a joint life plan which was the previous promotion. 

Do I need to have an Apple Watch? 

No, there is a list of compatible devices and wearable manufacturers that can be used so there is no requirement to have an Apple Watch. Anyone that doesn’t want to use an Apple Watch or if you don’t have a compatible iPhone device then it may not work for you. 

What happens if I change my mind or cancel my Vitality life insurance plan? 

Vitality life insurance Apple Watch repayment agreement 

The main element to the Vitality life insurance Apple Watch deal is the repayment of the device, effectively a loan agreement. Your monthly repayments are based on the amount of activity (e.g. steps or exercise) recorded in the previous month. 

Here is the repayment structure for the Vitality life insurance Apple Watch: 

  Your repayment Vitality contribution 
Inactive (0 to 39 activity points per month) Apple Watch SE – £7 Apple Watch 8 – £9.50 Apple Watch SE – £0 Apple Watch 8 – £0 
Moderately active (40 to 70 points per month) Apple Watch SE – £5 Apple Watch 8 – £7 Apple Watch SE – £2 Apple Watch 8 – £2.50 
Active (80 to 119 points per month) Apple Watch SE – £3.50 Apple Watch 8 – £4.50 Apple Watch SE – £3.50 Apple Watch 8 – £5 
Highly active (120 to 159 points per month) Apple Watch SE – £2 Apple Watch 8 – £2 Apple Watch SE – £5 Apple Watch 8 – £7.50 
Athletic (160 points per month) Apple Watch SE – £0 Apple Watch 8 – £0 Apple Watch SE – £7 Apple Watch 8 – £9.50 

How does the Apple Watch loan work? 

When you take the life insurance Apple Watch promotion that Vitality offer, you are essentially paying a deposit for your device (from £7 to £169 depending on your device), and the remaining balance is provided as a loan over 36 months. 

The amount that you would repay on your Apple Watch is based on the amount of activity that you record (see above). 

Here are some of the main points for the Vitality life insurance Apple Watch loan. 

  • Loan period: 36 months 
  • Interest rate: 0% APR 
  • Loan provider: Etika 
  • Credit check: Yes (not available if credit is refused) 
  • Repayments: Monthly instalments of between £0 to £9.50 (depending on previous weeks activity) 

Other Vitality life insurance rewards partners 

You might think that the best and biggest reward that is offered by Vitality is the Apple Watch, but that’s not the case. There are lots of other partners to take advantage of so you might find something that suits you more. 

Here is a table of the main rewards partners and whether you would be eligible for them based on your monthly premium. You should remember that you need to meet the minimum premium requirements to be able to qualify for certain rewards. 

Reward partner and reward Premiums between £8 and £25 Premiums between £25 and £49.75 Premiums over £49.75 
Apple Watch discount No No Yes 
Vue and Odeon – Free cinema tickets No No Yes 
Café Nero – Free drink No No Yes 
Waitrose – Healthy food discount No No Yes 
Rakuten – Discount codes No No Yes 
American Express – Cashback card No No Yes 
Mr & Mrs Smith Holidays – discounts No No Yes 
Pure Gym and Nuffield – Up to 50% discount No Yes Yes 
Specialized bikes – 25% off bikes Yes Yes Yes 
Runnersneed – 50% discount Yes Yes Yes 
Champney’s Spa’s – 75% discount Yes Yes Yes 
Peleton – up to 40% cashback Yes Yes Yes 
Garmin and Polar – Up to 40% discount Yes Yes Yes 
Nike – up to 50% off Vitality clothing Yes Yes Yes 
Expedia – Up to 20% discount Yes Yes Yes 
Café Nero – up to 50% off Vitality food Yes Yes Yes 
Samsung and Withings – Up to 40% off Yes Yes Yes 
WeightWatchers – 6 months for £30 Yes Yes Yes 

As you can clearly see from the table above, there are some great rewards that you can take advantage of as a Vitality life insurance member. Most of the savings can be extremely useful and can be offset against your life insurance premiums to help reduce the cost of your cover. 

Some members who are very active and able to take advantage of the rewards, may even get more back than they actually pay for their cover. 

Vitality life insurance reviews 

You can take a look at the Vitality life insurance reviews score by visiting their page on Trust Pilot, which is an independent review website. One of the major points to consider here is that most of the reviews seem to relate to problems with the member zone and recording points. 

We know from experience that the Vitality member zone can be difficult to navigate but there are a number of guides available online. 

The Vitality life insurance reviews score has also improved significantly in recent years as it was previously 1 star rated. This is also based on other people’s experience so your own experience may well be very different. 

Currently the Vitality life insurance reviews score is 3.9 out of 5.0 stars from 26,330 customer reviews (as of December 2022). 

You can also take a look at the Vitality life insurance reviews on their Trust Pilot page.  

Vitality life insurance trust 

As with other providers, you have the option to put in place a Vitality life insurance trust deed with any new or existing policy. A trust can offer you peace of mind that the pay out from your policy will go to exactly who you want it to.

The key benefits of a Vitality life insurance trust 

  • Can be a cheaper alternative to a Will if not in place (usually free) 
  • Express your wishes within a trust deed (e.g. beneficiaries and trustees) 
  • Quicker pay out (avoids going through probate process) 
  • Can avoid or reduce Inheritance Tax (40%) 

Types of Vitality life insurance trust deeds: 

  • Vitality life insurance discretionary trust 
  • Vitality life insurance absolute trust 
  • Vitality relevant life insurance trust 

You can also read more about life insurance trusts here. 

How to buy Vitality life insurance

You can buy life insurance directly from Vitality if you know which policy seems right for you. You can also choose to get help and support from a qualified life insurance expert to make sure you are choosing the right policy for the cover you need.

If you’re not sure what type of life insurance is best for you or have more questions, we cover a range of topics in our MPO Life Insurance guides including:

Resources

COVER magazine – Vitality pays out £82.8m in 2021

Vitality – Claims and benefits report 2022

Finder.com – Life insurance statistics

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

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