Accidental death benefit

This benefit provides a lump sum payment to your family and loved ones should you die as a result of an accident and is paid in addition to the death benefit.

Accumulation units

Typically accumulation units are purchased for regular contributions after a specified period and for all one-off lump sum payments. You'll find information about the accumulation units for your particular policy in your policy terms and conditions.

Allocation rate

This relates to the portion of your premium that is invested in your policy.

Bid/offer spread

The bid price is the price we pay when selling investment units should you decide to cash-in your policy or make a claim. The offer price is the price at which we buy the investment units with your policy premiums. The bid price is always lower than the offer price. The difference between each price is referred to as the 'spread'.

Bonus

A policy benefits from a bonus due to extra units being added at certain times during the year. To find out more about the bonus relating to your particular policy, please call us quoting your policy number.

Capital units

This type of unit tends to be used by unit linked policies in the early years of a policy.  Your premiums or pension contributions buy capital units and after a specified period, there is a switch to buy accumulation units. You'll find more details in your policy terms and conditions.

Critical Illness Cover

Also known as critical illness insurance, this pays a tax-free one-off payment in the event of a critical illness, such as cancer, heart attack, kidney failure and paralysis. Not all conditions are covered and the level of seriousness will form the terms and conditions of the policy from the outset. 

This type of cover usually forms part of a life assurance policy and features as a 'policy benefit'.

Details of the critical illness benefits covered by your policy are shown in your policy's terms and conditions. Or you can find out more by calling us and quoting your policy number.

Death Benefit

This provides your family and loved ones with a cash lump sum should you die.

Decrease Term Assurance

This offers a basic level of life cover. The amount of life cover decreases each year at an agreed amount until the policy reaches its end date or in the event of death.  This decrease would also apply to any Critical Illness Insurance added to this type of policy.

Disability Benefit

This provides you with cash lump sum should you become ill or disabled before your policy's maturity date.

Endowment

This type of policy is a regular savings plan that includes life cover. The policy pays a cash lump sum in the event of death or at the policy's end date. Some endowments also allow for other benefits to be added to the policy, such as critical illness or disability cover. A With-Profits endowment offers a bonus each year and at the maturity date (referred to as a 'terminal bonus').

Details of your Endowment are shown in your policy's terms and conditions. Or you can find out more by calling us and quoting your policy number.

Enhanced Allocation Rate

If your statement refers to an 'enhanced' allocation rate, it means the portion of your premium invested in your policy is greater than the regular allocation rate.

Guaranteed Minimum Fund Value

This provides either a guaranteed minimum fund or policy value, where the higher of the two values is payable. This guarantee is linked to a selected retirement date or a policy’s end date, which means it will no longer be valid if any changes are made to the policy, such as an interruption or reduction in the regular contributions, or any money is taken out of the policy before this date.

Income Protection

This benefit enables you to meet your financial commitments should you be unable to work as a result of an illness or accident. It’s important to check the level of benefit to make sure it reflects current income. For example, a rise and/or promotion, or job change, are  potential prompts.

Income Protection Insurance

Sometimes referred to as 'Permanent Health Insurance', it provides an income should illness or injury prevent a person from being able to work. The cover can replace income in a number of ways depending on the premium and the policy terms and conditions. For example, it can provide an income until a return to work.

Details of your income protection insurance are shown in your policy's terms and conditions. Or you can find out more by calling us and quoting your policy number.

Indexation

It's a built-in feature that helps to protect a policy from the effects of inflation and makes any necessary changes. It aims for a policy's benefits or premiums, or both, to keep up with the cost of living. The 'indexation rate', such as the Retail Price Index or a fixed rate, is used to keep your regular payments on track.

Level Term Assurance

The amount paid at death stays the same for the length of the policy.   Details of your Term Assurance are shown in your policy's terms and conditions. Or you can find out more by calling us and quoting your policy number.

Loyalty bonus

A loyalty bonus is our way of saying "thank you" for continuing to pay your premiums regularly. The timing of the bonus payment will vary depending on the type of policy you have with us. To find out more about your policy’s loyalty bonus, please call us quoting your policy number.   

Non-qualifying Policy

This type of policy doesn’t have the same tax advantages as a ‘qualifying’ one. It means there may be additional tax to pay on the investment gains from your policy, no matter when you (or your loved ones) receive your money. If you’re a higher rate tax payer or these gains take you into the higher rate tax bracket, you may have to pay more tax.

Paid Up

This is an industry term which is used to describe a policy where the premiums are no longer being paid.

Partial Surrender

A partial surrender means taking some money out of a policy by cashing in the number of units needed for the amount requested. If a policy has units in more than one fund, an equal number of units is deducted from each fund.

Qualifying Policy

Put simply, a qualifying policy follows particular rules as set out by HM Revenue & Customs, some of which make this type of policy tax efficient. This means you may not be liable for any income tax on your money when it’s paid to you, or your loved ones, either before or at your policy’s maturity date. But if any changes are made to the policy, what was once a qualifying policy can become a non-qualifying one, i.e. you may have to pay additional tax.

Term Assurance

This is the cheapest and simplest way to have life cover. Money is paid in the event of death and only if this happens before the policy reaches its end date. This type of policy usually provides life cover for a specified period. The policy expires at the end date without a cash lump sum for your family or other dependants.  Critical Illness and Income Protection Insurance can be added to a Term Assurance policy. See 'Critical Illness Insurance' and 'Income Protection Insurance' for more information. 

Terminal Bonus

This bonus is an incentive to keep your policy going until the maturity date, which is why it's added to your policy at the end of the policy term.

Terminal Illness Benefit

This benefit provides a cash lump sum if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness which will significantly reduce your life expectancy. The amount shown on your statement is the maximum payable although the actual amount would be at the discretion of Countrywide Assured. Payment of this benefit will reduce or replace the sum assured benefit.

Total Permanent Disability Cover

This cover typically provides a cash lump sum in the event of being permanently disabled and unable to continue working in a current occupation, profession or own-business. In this context, a total permanent disability is one that will be permanent throughout a person's life.

This type of cover can be included as part of a life assurance policy and feature as a 'policy benefit'.

Details of your Total Permanent Disability benefit are shown in your policy's terms and conditions. Or you can find out more by calling us and quoting your policy number.

Waiver of Premium

This provides a way of paying ongoing policy premiums if an illness or injury prevents a person from working. It's an 'added' benefit to another policy.  

There is usually a period between the date of the injury or illness and when this benefit starts taking over the premium payments. This is usually 13 or 26 weeks, depending on the terms agreed at the start of the policy.  

Details of your Waiver of Premium benefit are shown in your policy's terms and conditions. Or you can find out more by calling us and quoting your policy number.

Whole of Life Policy

This type of insurance is designed to provide protection against a particular event(s) throughout life. It can be used as a way to provide insurance cover.

Protection Policies

The most recognised protection policies are featured here. If your policy type isn't listed and you want more information, please contact us.