The Exeter Life Insurance Review 2020

Who Are They?

The Exeter is a mutual insurance company offering income protection, health and life insurance to its customers. As a mutual it is not beholden to shareholders and their demands for high returns on investment. They are owned by their members (i.e. their customers), and with all profits being placed back into the running of the business can place customers and not investors at the forefront of the business.

What Kind of Life Cover does the Exeter Offer?

Level Cover

Sometimes known as “fixed cover”, this means your premiums and payout benefit is the same at the end of your policy as it is at the beginning. Level cover provides a stable monthly premium cost to the policyholder so you know exactly how much you will be paying over the policy period. What level cover doesn’t do however is take into account the value of inflation which might reduce the value of your payout in real terms over time.

Decreasing Cover

Decreasing cover usually allows for a cheaper premium as set against the level cover offering. This is because the benefit amount reduces over time, eventually reaching zero upon policy expiry. You would choose this option if the driving purpose behind taking out a life insurance policy is to meet the obligations of a long-term loan like a mortgage for example that also decreases in value over time.

What types of life insurance products does Exeter offer?

Exeter offers two separate life insurance products as well as income protection for its customers.

Real Life

This is Exeter’s standard life insurance policy and provides cover that pays out upon the policyholder’s death or if they come down with a terminal illness that gives the policyholder less than 12 months to live (within the term of the policy).

Further Policy Details

  • Eligible to UK residents only
  • Customers must have been resident in the UK for the last three years
  • Age of eligible policyholders 18 to 80 inclusive
  • Minimum cover limits: £20,000
  • Maximum cover limits: £3,000,000
  • The cover can last for any number of years between 5 and 50. However, the policy must end before you reach your 90th birthday.

Managed Life

This product is geared directly to those who might find it hard to get insurance elsewhere as a result of a high Body Mass Index (BMI) or because they have type 2 diabetes. It works exactly as you would expect a life insurance policy to, but the acceptance criteria is sufficiently widened to accommodate those with these two serious health conditions. Its key differentiating feature from the Real Life product is that if you get healthier, your premiums get cheaper.

On the flip side however, if your condition worsens, your premiums may get more expensive. If you have an understanding of how your condition is going to progress over the next however-many years and you figure it will improve this is a good option. Exeter will ask periodically how your condition is developing, and need evidence of its status.

Further Policy Details

  • Eligible to UK residents only
  • Customers must have been resident in the UK for the last three years
  • Age of eligible policyholders 18 to 80 inclusive
  • Minimum cover limits: £20,000
  • Maximum cover limits: £3,000,000
  • The cover can last for any number of years between 5 and 50. However, the policy must end before you reach your 90th birthday.

Exeter also offers Income Protection insurance alongside its Real Life and Managed Life products, giving your monthly paycheck financial protection should you be unable to work.

Income One Plus

This provides income protection for office professionals and those doing clerical work. Geared at the low-risk occupations, you will receive a payout if you are unable to work as a result of being ill or injured.

There are three premium options available for this cover:

  • Level guaranteed premiums: these are fixed over the policy period
  • Age-costed guaranteed premiums: these increase with age but the rates that determine the premiums do not.
  • Age-costed reviewable premiums: these increase with age and are subject to review after three years. Premiums can increase or decrease.

Pure Protection Plus

This provides specialist income protection for those in higher-risk occupations such as physical and manual workers, and skilled trades.

There are only two premium options available:

  • Age-costed guaranteed premiums
  • Age-costed reviewable premiums

Features of Income Protection Products

  • You have a choice of claim periods, with the standard option paying until your chosen finishing age. The shorter option means your claim payout will last only two or five years - this option will dramatically reduce your premium outlay.
  • Coverage payout available ranges from £500 - £10,000 per month
  • When the policy is paying out, you won’t pay any premiums. This means you won’t need to worry about additional costs when you’re not earning.
  • No medical evidence is required on application for those under 42 years old
  • If you go back to work part-time or choose another lower paid occupation, the policy will still payout (with a reduced amount that is proportionate to your reduced salary)

Additional Benefits

Accidental Death Benefit

For Real Life and Managed Life coverage, policyholders under the age of 55 have access to the Accident Death Benefit. This is provides a payout should death due to an accident occur whilst the policyholder’s application is being considered:

“If you are under 55 years of age and die due to an accident whilst we are considering your application, we will pay the sum assured requested on the application to a maximum of £250,000”

This benefit stops upon inception of the policy or should the application be rejected.

Health Wise App

All members also get access to the Health Wise, a free and convenient app that provides speedy medical advice and treatment, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. These services include:

  • GP on demand and prescription service
  • Second medical opinion
  • Lifestyle coaching
  • Diet & nutritional advice

Defaqto Rating 2020:

Three Stars (out of five): Vitality’s product provides an average quality offering of the market.

Why We Like Exeter Life Insurance:

  • Very decent payout amounts from £20k to £3m
  • Flexible policy limits and premium payments where you can increase or decrease the level of coverage at any time.


  • High minimum limits of coverage at £20k which is not ideal if you’re looking for a lower valued life insurance payout.
  • No whole of life cover offered. Policy coverage expires at 90 or after 50 years, whichever comes sooner.

If you would like to see how the The Exeter compares to other leading life insurers please fill the form.

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