Key Person FAQ

Below are some of the frequently asked questions asked about key person insurance:

What Is A Key Man Life Insurance Policy?

Key person insurance is an insurance policy taken out by a company on a key individual within that company. Normally this person would be of high value to the company. A sum of money would be paid to the company in the event of death or critical illness.

Who Can Take Out A Key Man Policy?

Keyman insurance is normally taken out by a ltd company. However it can be taken out by sole traders as a “life of another” policy. The company or person taking out the insurance must have a financial association with the life assured.

Who Owns The Policy?

The policy is taken out by the company to cover an employee so the company owns the policy and is the beneficiary of any claim.

Can The Owner Of The Policy be Changed?

You can change the owner of the policy through a “deed of assignment”. These are not provided by the providers and would have to be written up through a solicitor. You may need to change the owner of the policy if your company ceases trading or you leave and want to transfer the policy to a personal cover.

How much is does Key Man Insurance cost?

The cost is dependant on the life assured age, smoker status amount of cover and term. Once a policy is submitted to the underwriter it can be either accepted on standard rates, loaded, with an exclusion, postponed or declined. So you will not know the exact price of the policy until you have terms issued.

What can the terms be?

When a policy is issued at standard rates and the price remains the same as the quote (subject to when its started). A loaded premium is when the underwriter see’s fit to increase the premium due to possible health issues or something else that has come to light since the original application. An exclusion is normally related to a critical illness exclusion of one or more of the definitions. For example someone may be excluded for cancer if they have previously had cancer. Policies are sometimes postponed if the underwriter wants to wait for further evidence or for cool off periods since a previous health issue. Policies can be declined for a number of reasons but its mainly down to someone being too high of a risk due to bad health.

How long does it take to set up a policy?

Once you have decided to go ahead the application only takes about 15 minutes. Once the application is submitted to the underwriter it can be accepted straight away. If you are happy with the terms offered we can start the policy straight away. In which case you can be covered within a day. If however the underwriter wants further evidence it will hold up the policy. For example an underwriter may want to see a copy of your GP report. GP’s have been known to take a few months to return a report but in most cases its a few weeks. Once the underwriter has all the information needed its normally only about 48 hours to have an underwriting decision.

Does it have to be a UK company to take out the cover?

The owner of the policy has to be a UK company although the lives assured do not have to reside in the UK.

Can an LLP take out Key Person Insurance

Yes LLP’s are treated the same as limited companies when it comes to key man insurance.

How Much Should I Insure the person for?

It really depends on the reason for the insurance. If its to cover a loan or investment they you would normally cover them for that amount. If its straight forward key person insurance then you would need to work out how much that person is worth to company. Think about loss of profits, cost of replacement and debts that would need to be covered and contingency to keep the company running without that person. Use our calculator to help work out the cover amount.

Is key man insurance tax deductible?

In most cases yes they are. Please take a look at our page on key man insurance taxation for further details on this.

How long should we insure our key person for?

Keyman insurance is underwritten very much the same as a normal life insurance product with Guaranteed and Reviewable rates. It really depends on how long you think you will need the policy. If you belive the person you are insuring will be at your company for 10 years then you should take out a 10 year premium guaranteed or reviewable premium. Taking out a shorter premium may mean having to renew it which will normally mean more expense especially if that person has suffered any illnesses. Taking out a longer term premium will guarantee the rates (if you take out guaranteed rates) and means yoo do not have to renew the policy. You can cancel these policies at anytime without penalty so there is no risk of taking of being stuck with a policy if that person leaves the company. Shorter premiums are normally cheaper as the underwriter does not have to calculate the person being that bit older but as mentioned it will be more expensive if you then have to renew the policy.

Can we take an income as appose to a lump sum?

Yes we can arrange a policy to pay out monthly amounts. You may even be more suited to a key man income protection policy.

Can we add critical illness to a key man insurance?

Yes critical illness can be added to any key person policy and will be paid to the company in the event of a successful claim.

Will I have to have a medical?

This depends on a number of factors including age, sum assured and past health. Sometimes a medical is triggered when the amount is above £500,000 but this is not always the case.

Can a medical be carried out at home?

Yes we always try and make sure the medical is arranged to your convenience however its not always possible to have the medical at home.