Mortgage protection insurance is a term assurance policy, often referred to as life insurance, that is designed specifically to provide cash either by lump sum or regular payments in the event of death during a specified period of time to repay a mortgage.
Mortgage protection policies have no surrender value at any time. If no claim is made the policy will cease at the end of the term without value. The cost of this type of life insurance is lower than 'whole of life' policies for a given amount of cover. Mortgage protection policies will normally be for a set term, usually for the length of the mortgage.
There are essentially 3 types of life insurance for mortgage protection.
Level Term Assurance
This is where the amount of life insurance, or sum assured, remains level throughout the term of the policy. You will also need level term assurance if you have taken out an interest-only mortgage.
Decreasing Term Assurance
This type of life insurance is specifically designed to protect a capital repayment mortgage in the event of death. The sum assured decreases over the term of the policy roughly in line with your outstanding mortgage debt, although the premium will be determined at the outset and will normally remain the same throughout. Decreasing Term Assurance is usually cheaper than Level Term Assurance and with some insurers you will be able to select the interest rate on which the reducing cover will be based.
Occasionally if you have assigned your policy to a lender, conditions may not automatically allow you to benefit personally but may insist that the sum assured repay the debt.