Updated: September 25, 2019

Short-Term Life Insurance

Need life insurance to cover a short-term period? There are plans available for this! Read our article to find out how to get one

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: September 25, 2019

Life insurance is generally viewed as a long-term arrangement. However, as none of us can ever predict when, or if, it may be required there may be circumstances where a short term need also exists.

In this article we take a closer look at short-term life insurance, how it works and why it may be a more beneficial option during particular periods in your life.

What is short-term life insurance?

Short-term life insurance is a fixed-term policy available to provide cover for UK residents, usually below the age of 70, for periods up to one year.

In some instances, short-term life cover can be put in place for a matter of weeks or even days, should a need exist. In the event of a claim, whether after one day, one week or one month, a lump sum payment is made (sum assured) to a nominated beneficiary.

If no claim is made before the term expires, the cover will cease.

What is the difference between short-term and long-term life cover?

The most obvious difference between each type of insurance is the length of time they are designed to provide cover for. In many cases, both types of cover can be used to compliment each other, providing life insurance both for short and long term needs.

Long-term life insurance is usually used to describe policies available for periods of five years or longer (whole of life policies have no set term). Most life insurance providers can also provide fixed-term insurance policies between one–five years.

If you require life cover for periods of one year or less, a short-term insurance provider will be able to cater for this need.

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Why would I use short-term life insurance?

Short-term life insurance is designed to provide cover during specific periods in your life when long-term cover may be unavailable or deemed inappropriate, such as:

  • While awaiting approval for a long-term policy or undergoing a series of medical examinations.
  • Periods in-between jobs where your previous employer provided death-in-service cover which now no longer applies.
  • Travelling to a foreign territory which is excluded under the terms of your long-term insurance policy.
  • Covering a short-term debt.

Typical examples where short-term life cover may be required would be for an amateur mountaineer about to participate in an expedition for a number of months or somebody who works for the military based in hazardous locations sporadically during the year.
If any of the above scenarios apply to you, get in touch and we can ask for an advisor we work with to talk to you about how short-term life insurance can help in these situations.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?


  • Peace of mind that life insurance is in place during a brief period of your life where you may be engaged in a hazardous activity.
  • Flexible terms available, from one day to one year.
  • Provides insurance during gaps in coverage whether through changing jobs or when applying for a long-term policy.


  • Due to the possible scenarios involved and increased risk, premiums can prove to be quite costly.
  • Providers usually require the premiums to be paid upfront as one lump sum.
  • Extensive medical and personal health information is often required.
  • Fixed-term insurance is pure cover with no return if the policy expires without a claim.

Are premiums expensive?

Premiums for short-term life cover will vary depending on the provider and the circumstances as to why the cover is required.

They may appear expensive when compared with long-term cover, however, it’s worth remembering that short-term insurance can provide cover in certain scenarios where a long-term option is either unavailable or invalidated.

If you’re interested in short-term life cover and would like to look at the range of premiums available, make an enquiry and we will arrange for an expert to contact you.

How can I find the best life insurance providers?

The terms and premiums available will vary between insurers, therefore, trying to find the best provider for your specific requirements can be difficult. This is where we can help.

The advisors we work with can provide a significant amount of knowledge and understanding of these types of policies. They can help you find the best provider for your circumstances –  get in touch and we’ll match you with an expert advisor shortly.

Speak to a life insurance expert

Short-term life insurance is a great way to plug a gap in your coverage or provide peace of mind for a specific period in your life.

The advisors we work with can help you find a plan that best suits your requirements.
All advice is free and you’re under no obligation to make a purchase. Give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry to get started.

Ask A Quick Question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in life insurance. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

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FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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