DeadHappy offers term life insurance, but with some key differences, including:
* There are only four questions on the application form. DeadHappy reckons this usually takes about a minute to complete.
* Level premiums are not offered. Instead, premiums go up each year on the plan anniversary date, although the average rise is less than 5% a year.
* The plan is set up as ten year term insurance initially, with those rising premium rates guaranteed.
* At each anniversary, the customer can effectively start again, by answering the underwriting questions and getting a new ten year term.
* At the end of the ten year period, the customer can start another policy if DeadHappy agrees, when the plan is again underwritten.
* Suicide is excluded for 12 months, after which suicide may be covered.
* Other exclusions are if the cause of death is diving (20 metres below the surface or more); flying (except as a regular fare paying passenger); racing (anything with an engine or on an ocean); climbing (mountains, cliff faces, rocks and big buildings); floating, and jumping. Death while on active military duty is also excluded.
* Maximum benefit is currently £350,000.
Application is online, with the customer first setting out their deathwishes. This is a list of who the customer wants to leave money to and how much. The process can also help highlight how much cover is needed.
If death occurs during the policy term, DeadHappy communicates these deathwishes to whoever gets the money. They then decide whether to actually deliver on those, so deathwishes are not legally enforceable (although DeadHappy says ‘it’s something we are looking into though’).
What They SayCo-founder Phil Zeidler said: “Traditional life insurance is overpriced, complex and dull. People are paying over the odds as a result. Our philosophy is different – you’re far less likely to die when you’re younger, this means you should pay less. It’s pretty simple. We’re making this possible for the first time in the UK. We’re also trying to break new ground in how death is talked about, to help people plan for what happens when they die – without resorting to ‘project fear’. Death is never going to be the top of anyone’s list of favourite pub conversations, but we hope to at least make it a more approachable, less daunting conversation to have.”
What We Say"The concept behind DeadHappy is great – encourage people to think about what would happen if they die. Too many people don’t – leaving loved ones to try to work out what they wanted to happen, or how to fund the after-death costs. The idea of deathwishes is therefore a good one.
"Offering cheaper and simple to buy life insurance is also to be commended.
"However, life insurance has developed the way it has for good (as well as bad) reasons. For example, DeadHappy says the average life policy only lasts six years so customers are paying too much in those early years (a side effect of the level premium system). But starting lower and paying more every year is not new (it happens on general insurance and some friendly societies use it for long term income protection too for example) and, while it appeals at the start, as you get older, so the idea has less appeal.
"Starting a new ten year plan every year is also slightly messy – or worse if you no longer qualify for standard rates. If you’re looking to protect your 30+ year mortgage or 20+ financial responsibility for bringing up kids then a rolling ten year concept risks you running out of cover when you may need it most. And, if you start a new ten year policy again in a year’s time, the premium you pay will be for a new policy – which may be higher or lower than today’s premium rates.
"Some of the exclusions look a little vague too. For example, the letter of the exclusion seems to mean you can race your mountain bike but not if it’s an e bike. The rules on suicide look vague too.
"Moreover, if you want to understand exactly what you are and aren’t covered for the website makes it far from easy to find out.
"That said, DeadHappy is to be commended for trying to be different and, if it attracts people to having protection insurance who otherwise wouldn’t buy cover, then it will have succeeded."