5 Best Life Insurance Providers in Ireland
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5 Best Life Insurance Providers in Ireland

Life is unpredictable, and it’s always best to be prepared. Fortunately, you can protect your family’s future with life insurance from trusted providers in Ireland.

We’ve gathered essential info on known insurers, weighing out their pros and cons, and you may also find out below what you can expect to pay for life insurance in Ireland.

If you want to discuss this important personal investment before you purchase one, by the way, you can speak to a professional financial advisor who can offer sound, impartial advice.

How much does it cost to get life insurance in Ireland?

Life Insurance VS. Life Assurance

First, let’s distinguish between life insurance and life assurance.

Although these terms may be used interchangeably, life insurance often refers to policies with limited terms. Hence, it’s also called “term life insurance.”

Meanwhile, life assurance covers you all throughout your lifespan. Hence, it’s also called “whole-of-life cover.”

Life assurance is usually more expensive than term life insurance because the payout is guaranteed. Meanwhile, with term life insurance, your payout is only given if, for example, you die within your policy term.

Average Costs of Life Insurance in Ireland

The cost of life insurance in Ireland is highly variable. The price may depend on the following factors:

  • Health
  • Age

According to lion.ie, these are the average costs of life insurance in Ireland by age group. These quotes are for 30-year term life insurance.

20s€15.15
30s€22.10
40s€48.90
50s€192.53
  • Lifestyle

To illustrate how lifestyle and age affect life insurance costs: the cheapest monthly premium for a 20-year-old non-smoker is about €10. Meanwhile, the lowest monthly premium for a 50-year-old with a 30-year life term insurance is about €100.

  • Coverage amount

You have three types of cover when it comes to term life insurance:

  • Increasing: Considering inflation and rising cost of living, your sum insured increases all throughout your policy term.
  • Decreasing: This is usually used to pay for debt, such as mortgage, that diminishes over the years.The payout amount also decreases throughout the policy’s span.
  • Level: As you may already have guessed, the sum insured doesn’t change any time within the policy term. If you pass away while your policy is active, the payout is given as a single large payment.

Top Life Insurance Providers in Ireland

We looked into known life insurance providers in Ireland and assessed them in the following areas:

Value
Are the company’s rates reasonable?

Because most insurers don’t offer a fixed rate and insurance costs are highly variable depending on the factors mentioned above, we judge this based on what their clients say about their rates.
Discounts
Does the company offer discounts?
Customer service
How does their customer service team treat their clients? Are they responsive and helpful?
Financial strength
What is their insurer financial strength rating determined by S&P or other rating agencies or their solvency ratio? These are good indicators of the company’s financial stability.

Please note that most of these carriers also provide other types of insurance, such as home insurance and car insurance, but we’re mainly looking at their life insurance policies.

1. Aviva

Aviva Homepage
TestInfo
COMPLIMENTARY ADDED BENEFITSBest Doctors Second Medical Opinion service, Aviva Family Care, accidental death benefit, children’s cover, terminal illness benefit, reinstatement clause
WEBSITEhttps://www.aviva.ie/insurance/life-insurance/
ADDRESSOne Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+35318332211
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Friday

9:00 am to 6:00 pm

VALUE★★★☆☆ (3/5)
DISCOUNTS☆☆☆☆☆ (0/5)None
CUSTOMER SERVICE★★★☆☆ (3/5)
FINANCIAL STRENGTH★★★★☆ (4/5)AA- (S&P)

Aviva is a global insurer with around 18 million clients in Ireland, UK, and Canada. Their average annual claim payout is €30.6 billion, including general insurance.

In 2019, they paid out around €100 million for life insurance claims alone.

Two added benefits to their term life insurance policies that we appreciate are their Best Doctors Second Medical Opinion service and Aviva Family Care.

With Best Doctors, they give you free access to their global network of medical experts vetted and chosen by their peers in the medical field.

If you want confirmation that your local doctor recommended the best treatment course for you or if you’re seeking for an alternate treatment, these experts can provide a second opinion.

It’s especially beneficial for families who can’t afford further diagnostic and consultation fees.

Anyway, while Best Doctors takes care of your physical illnesses, Aviva Family Care takes care of your mental health. We like that they look after their clients’ holistic welfare.

Another unique benefit to their term life insurance policies goes to smokers. Compared to other insurers, their policies are easier to convert from a smoker to a non-smoker policy, thus lowering the client’s premium.

You have to quit smoking to qualify for this policy conversion, sure, but you don’t have to answer medical questions, unlike with other insurers.

Moving on to disadvantages, their optional serious illness cover is less than ideal. They have 66 major illnesses specified, including stroke and cancer.

47 of these, they will give you a full payout for, while 19 will get you partial ones. Unfortunately, their definitions for the illnesses are stricter than other insurers’ definitions, making payout hard to obtain.

Another thing that might make you reconsider choosing this insurer is that customer-service-wise, we got mixed responses.

Their online service centre is easy to navigate. You can view your policies, change your personal details, and make inquiries on the platform.

Mostly, there are no hiccups when it comes to these processes, but if you need help outside of those, such as policy renewal, you’ll have to use their hotline.

A number of clients were happy that their wait times weren’t too long and that they were assisted by friendly professional reps.

Meanwhile, others complained about making multiple phone calls before getting the answers they needed.

Another thing to look out for when dealing with this insurer are discrepancies in their quotes on the phone and online.

If you want to get the best quote for you from this insurer, try to make multiple inquiries, although we understand that can put off a lot of clients. It’s always preferable to get the best quote immediately.

To sum up, we recommend Aviva’s life insurance if you’d love free access to medical experts worldwide and to smokers who are planning to quit.

Pros

  • Offers life insurance for clients up to 89 years old
  • Best Doctors Second Medical Opinion service
  • Easier smoker to non-smoker policy conversion

Cons

  • Difficult to claim specified serious illness cover

Customer Reviews

Friendly professional reps

“Excellent service, not a very long wait time to get through, reps were professional and friendly. Can do some admin etc on line but they are happy to help where you cant.” —forfionaharris, Google review

Competitive quotes

“The lady that I spoke to on the phone was very helpful and pleasant to talk to. The quote that was given to me was very competitive and beat all the other quotes that I had looked at for the same policy.” —Feefo review

2. Royal London

Royal London Homepage
VALUE★★★★☆ (4/5)
DISCOUNTS★★★★☆ (4/5)Free for the first month
CUSTOMER SERVICEVariable because they deal through brokers
FINANCIAL STRENGTH★★★★☆ (4/5)A (S&P)

Owned by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited, Royal London Ireland has been serving clients in the country for close to two centuries (previously known as Caledonian Life).

In 2020, they paid 95.7% of their term life insurance claims in Ireland and the UK, amounting to €156 million. Whereas for their whole of life claims, they impressively paid 99.9%, valued at around €361 million.

A unique service of theirs we’d like to note is Helping Hand, available through broker-dealt policies since 2014. They’ve partnered with the registered nurses at RedArc to provide this service.

Each client gets a RedArc nurse who supports them through grief, serious illness, disability, and more. It’s nice to know that the insurer shows concern not just for their clients’ physical health but also their mental and overall well-being.

Another notable feature they offer is a cashback option for their whole of life cover. They call this the Life Changes Option.

You can obtain this if you’ve paid for your assurance for at least 15 years. This is useful if at some point you can’t afford to keep paying for your premiums.

You have two options: first, you can cease payment and settle for a lower payout at the event of your death. Second, you can withdraw your money right away by cancelling your policy.

However, for the second option, you won’t be getting a full refund of what you’ve paid so far. If you need the money for urgent medical care, for example, this is useful to have.

One drawback we’ve found for this insurer is that in Ireland, they provide their products through authorised brokers or regulated intermediaries. One downside to a brokers-only insurer is that you will pay additional fees for the broker’s services.

However, the fee may be tolerable because they are one of the decently priced insurers on this list. We recommend them for their good claims record.

Pros

  • One month free cover
  • High age limit at 90 years
  • Even before Grant of Probate is given, you can claim €10,000 for funeral expenses
  • 100 days (about three months) reinstatement clause
  • Cashback option for whole of life cover
  • Helping Hand service

Cons

  • Broker-only company

Customer Reviews

Exceptional agent

“My father passed away on 11th October 2021. I rang Royal London two days later and the agent on the phone was exceptional. She explained the process and stopped to check that I understood. My dad had paid into the scheme for a benefit amount upon death which was to be £4039. This was to cover the cost of the funeral.

I must maintain I only made ONE phonecall to them and everything was sorted. I did have the death certificate to hand but even still.” —KC, Trustpilot review

Quick and efficient

“My husband recently passed away, and when I made a claim against our policy, they were professional, and showed empathy when dealing with our and requesting information. They dealt with the claim quickly and efficiently, within a week of claiming they paid the money into our account.” —Kalpana Patel, Trustpilot review

3. New Ireland

New Ireland Homepage
TestInfo
COMPLIMENTARY ADDED BENEFITSChildren’s cover, life events benefit, terminal illness benefit
WEBSITEhttps://www.newireland.ie/
ADDRESS5 - 9 Frederick St S, Dublin 2, D02 DF29, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+35316172000
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Friday

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

VALUE★★★★★ (5/5)
DISCOUNTS★★★★☆ (4/5)Limited discounts through brokers
CUSTOMER SERVICE★★★☆☆ (3/5)
FINANCIAL STRENGTH★★★★☆ (4/5)Solvency ratio: 145% (2020)

New Ireland Assurance has a rich history, with founders active in the Irish independence movement. It’s now owned by the Bank of Ireland Group.

As of 2020, the company is responsible for managing funds valued roughly €18.8 billion in total. With a solvency ratio of 145%, they’re highly capable of meeting their long-term liabilities, including claims.

One rare offering they have is their whole of life continuation option. Adding a whole of life continuation benefit to your term life insurance policy means that you can still make a claim after your policy’s term has ended.

In simpler terms, you don’t have to die within your policy’s term to receive payout. A lot of consumers fear that they will waste the money they invest into life insurance because they will outlive their policies.

With this option, you can claim your benefit even after you’ve stopped paying your premiums. All you have to do is make sure your payments are complete.

This sounds unfair on the part of the insurer, but they’re counting on the following things: first, policy cancellation; you won’t completely pay your premiums so you fail to qualify for the benefit.

Second, inflation will devalue the amount you’ve agreed on for payout, so it won’t be as heavy on the insurer’s part.

Third, they will take back the money they’ll be losing through your payout by using the premiums you’ve paid in investments, which will eventually be worth more than your payout.

Another advantage this insurer offers is the option to stagger your payout into monthly increments. This way, your beneficiary won’t be sitting with a large amount of money all of a sudden.

This isn’t unique to this insurer, but it’s a good option to have because it encourages responsible spending for your beneficiary. They can expect it to be part of their monthly income and budget accordingly.

It’s easier to manage the money when it’s consistently given in fixed amounts.

A drawback for this insurer is that they have fewer complimentary benefits than most insurers. Some insurers like Aviva and Royal London have free services that come with their policies that offer emotional support from healthcare professionals.

If your main concern is getting your money back, this is a reliable provider to go with. But if you’re seeking extra benefits, other insurers may be more appealing to you.

We highly recommend this insurer for providing value for money. According to lion.ie, they have the cheapest quote for dual life insurance for two middle-aged nonsmokers.

They’re cheaper than the most expensive insurer, Irish Life, by about €19 per month.

Pros

  • Whole of life continuation option
  • Monthly payout option
  • Specifies the most illnesses in their serious illness cover among the insurers mentioned

Cons

  • Fewer complimentary benefits than most insurers

Customer Reviews

Policy suits my needs

“Claire and Jason had both been supportive. They have listened to everything I had to say and found the best policy to suit my needs. As someone who wouldn’t know much about it, I am very happy with how clearly they explained all the information and how patient they were with me. A huge thank you to them both.” —Pauline Murphy, Google review

Good customer service

“Always have a good experience with their customer services.” —Martin Byrne, Google review

4. Zurich

Zurich Homepage
TestInfo
COMPLIMENTARY ADDED BENEFITSAccidental death benefit, guaranteed insurability, reinstatement clause, terminal illness benefit, long-term care conversion, funeral expense payment, children’s cover
WEBSITEhttps://www.zurich.ie/life-insurance/
ADDRESSZurich House, Ballsbridge Park, Dublin 4, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353818400700
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Friday

8:30 am to 6:30 pm

VALUE★★★★☆ (4/5)
DISCOUNTS★★★★☆ (4/5)
CUSTOMER SERVICE★★★☆☆ (3/5)
FINANCIAL STRENGTH★★★★☆ (4/5)AA (S&P)

For about 40 years, Zurich Life has been providing pension, investment, and protection products to clients in Ireland. The Dublin arm of the Swiss insurer manages a €32.1 billion fund as of 2021.

We gave them four out of five stars for discounts because, although there’s no complete list of discounts on their website, it’s reported that they offer huge discounts through brokers.

We like that you can opt for a monthly insurance payout instead of one lump sum. Staggered payout can encourage your beneficiary to spend your money wisely.

With the payout being released in small, regular increments over a long period, your beneficiary will be least tempted to spend it all in one go and they can add it to their monthly budget as an extra source of income.

Another benefit when you choose this insurer is their conversion option, with an age limit at 87 years.

A convertible cover is helpful when you reach the end of the term for your current policy and find that you’re not as fit as when you signed up for your current insurance. Naturally as you grow older, you may develop health issues.

This cover ensures that your provider won’t refuse continuation of your policy because of your new health issues and renewal of your policy should be dependent on your health condition when you first signed up for it.

This way, your insurer just can’t leave you insurance-less because your health deteriorated.

The last benefit we’d like to discuss is their €10,000 pre-payment for funeral expenses.

We think this is helpful because in the midst of grieving and organising a funeral for your loved one, you may be too busy to get a Grant of Probate right away to claim their insurance in full.

The insurer can pay you €10,000 before you submit this needed document for insurance claim.

However, a definite drawback for this insurer is that they’re a little notorious for having poor communication with clients.

One beneficiary was upset about how late they were notified that they have to provide the deceased’s marriage and birth certificates to complete their claim. The notice was given a day before they were due to receive the payout for their in-laws’ insurance.

They had to shell out extra money to have the needed documents delivered via express.

Overall, we commend them for having flexible payout options and offering discounts through brokers. However, improvements are much needed communication-wise.

Pros

  • Monthly payout option
  • Even before Grant of Probate is given, you can claim €10,000 for funeral expenses
  • Six months reinstatement clause
  • Optional life insurance conversion (age limit is 87)
  • Easy to claim serious illness cover for stroke, cancer, and heart attack
  • Booster Payments to your serious illness cover if you suffer from specified illnesses (blindness, coma, and more)

Cons

  • Poor communication

Customer Reviews

Excellent

“An excellent insurance firm to deal with, wouldn’t hesitate to recommend and we love what they’re doing for mental wellness in Ireland, going above and beyond for the good of the people.” —Araya Beauty, Google review

By far the best company

“Got insurance from zurich and to say they have been by far the best company i ever got insurance with. Dealt with a girl called Robin and she was absolutley lovely, she was very helpful and very professional, also Robin was full of laughs and jokes which made my experience even better. i would deffinitley recommend zurich and if you get robin you are deffinitley in great hands. thanks Again guys.” —Finbar Moran, Google review

5. Irish Life

Irish Life Homepage
TestInfo
COMPLIMENTARY ADDED BENEFITSLife Care (MedCare, NurseCare, and ClaimsCare), accidental death benefit, children’s cover, guaranteed insurability, partial life cover payment, terminal illness benefit
WEBSITEhttps://www.irishlife.ie/life-insurance
ADDRESSIrish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS=+353 (0) 1 704 1010
OPERATING HOURSCustomer service opening hoursMonday to Thursday 8:00 am to 8:00 pmFriday 10:00 am to 6:00 pmSaturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
VALUE★★★☆☆ (3/5)
DISCOUNTS☆☆☆☆☆ (0/5)None
CUSTOMER SERVICE★★★☆☆ (3/5)
FINANCIAL STRENGTH★★★★☆ (4/5)AA- (Fitch)

Irish Life was founded in 1939 with the help of the Irish government. In response to the Great Depression, some life assurance providers combined assets to form the company.

The government sold the business in 2013 to Great-West Lifeco of Canada.

In 2020, they paid €271.9 million for claims. €3.2 million of which were for COVID-related deaths.

One reassuring statistic from the insurer is that the amount they’ve paid for living benefits is more than twice as much as the sum they paid for death claims. This is good to hear because it means that their cover is also beneficial to clients while they’re still alive.

Most of us tend to think that life insurance only pays off after death, but benefits like specified illness cover are useful anytime.

One rare advantage we found for the insurer is their pregnancy benefit. You can claim €5,000 if you have any of their specified illnesses or complications during your pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy and eclampsia.

Giving birth can be extremely costly, and it’s doubly so when it’s with complications, so having this added financial assistance is of great help.

Unfortunately, even with these benefits, we can’t overlook the fact that they’re the most expensive insurer in this list, followed by Aviva.

There’s a cost difference of about €19 per month between Irish life and the cheapest insurer, New Ireland. This quote is from lion.ie for a dual life policy with €300,000 cover for each insured person.

The insurer may charge higher than most providers because most banks in the country sell their policies. They have little to no competition in this part of the market, and maybe that’s why they’re confident to charge higher rates.

If you’re looking for the most affordable provider, they won’t be suitable for you. They offer plenty of benefits, but it’s at a price that not everyone can meet.

Pros

  • Pregnancy benefits
  • Fair underwriting

Cons

  • Most expensive among the insurers in this list
  • Difficult to claim

Customer Reviews

Committed to resolving the matter

“Whilst I was disappointed with your error, the staff I dealt with over the phone were absolutely lovely. There were a few but Denise stands out as the lady who I knew when talking to her was totally committed to resolving the matter.” —Hester O Sullivan, Google review

I like their benefit structure

“I have a love/hate relationship with this company. I like their benefit structure and in general like my plan. When it work correctly, it works well-claims are paid quickly.  However, that’s when it works correctly. Their customer service and claims associates are deplorable.” —Amber Cushing, Google review

FAQs about Life Insurance in Ireland


We hope this info helps safeguard you and your family’s finances in the future. If you need further financial advice, check out our Essential Guide to Personal Finance.