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Many people have a misconception that Life Insurance is more expensive than it is.

Contrary to this belief, the reality is quite different. When compared to Income Protection  and Health Insurance, Life Insurance  happens to be one of the most affordable protection policies available.

It’s also one of the most valuable policies you can put in place. Particularly when you consider the potential benefits.

Peace of mind and a financial safety net for your family.

How Life Insurance can help protect your family financially

We wrote this comprehensive guide to dispel the misconceptions around Life Insurance and to help you understand how to calculate your needs.

We also break down the different types of Life Insurance.

We believe there should be no barriers to financial security. It’s why access to free online calculators such as ours is so important.

It’ll allow you to enter your relevant details and provide you with an estimate.

We’ve also covered important considerations and factors that will increase and decrease the cost of cover.

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about Life Insurance needs.

What is Life Insurance?

Life Insurance is an insurance policy that pays out a lump sum should you die during the term of the policy.

The lump sum goes to a person of your choosing such as a spouse or dependants. It can be used to clear a mortgage, pay outstanding debts or manage outgoings normally paid for by your income.

What is Life Insurance

What are the different types of Life Insurance?

There are two main types of Life Insurance.

1. Level Term Life Insurance

Level Life Insurance will offer you consistency. You pay a certain amount each month and know exactly how much would be paid to your beneficiaries.

A potential payout will remain the same throughout your policy term.

Level Term Life Insurance

The average cost of Level Term Life Insurance is €52.70

The above quote is based on a joint applicants, both non-smokers age 38. The level of cover is €350,000 over a 25-year term.

2. Decreasing Life Insurance

Decreasing Life Insurance is slightly different. You still pay the same amount each month but the value decreases over the term of your policy.

An example of a decreasing life insurance policy is Mortgage Protection

Decreasing Life Insurance

Premiums for a decreasing policy are cheaper.

However, although the potential payout decreases, premiums will remain the same throughout the policy.

The average cost of Mortgage Protection  is €29.55.

Calculating your Life Insurance needs

Calculating how much Life Insurance you may need can be difficult. It’s why online calculators such as ours are so convenient.

It’ll allow you to get an estimate within a couple of clicks.

It won’t completely replace consulting a qualified financial advisor, but it’ll give you a good starting point.

When calculating how much Life Insurance you need, it’s important to consider a range of factors. These include:

  • How many people depend on your income?
  • How long are they likely to depend on it? A good rule of thumb is to put a policy in place until your youngest child reaches age 24.
  • Do you have any other policies in place?
  • Are you covered under a ‘death in service’ scheme at work?

Do I need Life Insurance?

Before moving on to calculation methods, you must first determine whether you need life insurance.

Once this has been decided, calculations can be made.

The need for Life Insurance will be decided on whether or not you have financial dependents. In most cases, this will be a spouse and/or children.

If you were to die unexpectedly, would they be able to maintain their lifestyle and cope financially? Without your income, they will likely be in a deficit of thousands of euros each month.

A Life Insurance policy can relieve that financial burden.

Why use the emero Life Insurance calculator

Our Life Insurance calculator allows you to assess your coverage needs in a quick and easy manner.

When we built the calculator, we purposely kept it simple. We use variables such as your salary, years of cover required, and any existing policies.

A tip when calculating your cover is to keep in mind the age of your youngest child or financial dependent. Choose what age you’d like them covered until and work backward from there.

For example, if your youngest child is two years old and you’d like them covered until age 24, you’ll need a 22-year term

Life Insurance calculator

How does the emero Life Insurance calculator work?

Our free calculator will give you a basic understanding of how much Life Insurance may be required.

Our calculator takes three factors into account:

  1. Your monthly salary after tax
  2. How many years you need cover for
  3. Any existing Life Insurance policies

Life Insurance Calculator

The above calculator should not be used to replace qualified financial advice.

Everyone has a different set of needs and circumstances. Always enlist the assistance of a qualified financial advisor when calculating the appropriate level of cover.

Advantages of using the emero online Life Insurance calculator

Our Life Insurance calculator allows you to assess your coverage needs in a quick and easy manner.

When we built the calculator, we purposely kept it simple. We use variables such as your salary, years of cover required, and any existing policies.

A tip when calculating your cover is to keep in mind the age of your youngest child or financial dependent. Choose what age you’d like them covered until and work backward from there.

For example, if your youngest child is two years old and you’d like them covered until age 24, you’ll need a 22-year term.

Considerations when calculating Life Insurance

Below are some of the main aspects you should consider when calculating how much Life Insurance you may need:

1. Existing Life Insurance policies

Any existing Life Insurance policies will impact your potential need for cover. You may have a personal plan or be covered by an employer’s group scheme.

Some employments provide this cover which is known as death in service. If you were to die, a benefit which is often a multiple of your salary will be paid to your next-of-kin.

2. Age of any children/dependents

The age of any children or dependents will determine the term of your cover. It can differ but most people prefer to cover their children until they reach age 22 or older.

This allows them time to complete college and become financially independent.

3. State benefit entitlements

If you are married, on your death your spouse will be entitled to the State ‘widow’s or surviving Civil Partners pension.

The full entitlement will provide them with €213.50 per week as of June 2022. There is also an entitlement of €40 per child under age 12 or €48 for any children over age 12.

4. Assets that provide income

The final point to consider when calculating how much Life Insurance may be required is any assets that may provide an income.

This could be a once-off or regular income and could include:

  • Pension benefits
  • Investments
  • Stocks/shares that pay dividends
  • Rental income

Calculating life cover can often have many variables such as the above. It is for this reason it is important to speak with an advisor experienced in the process.

There is also a method where you multiply your annual salary x 10. However, this can often be too generic and disregards some important assumptions.

Life Insurance for young families

Life Insurance is particularly important for those with a young family or financial dependents.

It’ll pay out a lump sum to your beneficiaries on your death. We’ve looked at calculating your cover.

However, Life Insurance is a broad topic and often should form part of an overall protection plan.

We encourage our clients to be as financially resilient as possible. Of course, there is a cost element to this. But when planned correctly it can also be cost-efficient.

Should the unexpected happen, you have financial safeguards in place.

This is why looking at additional protection options is beneficial. Below we outline 3 types of Life Insurance for young families.

3 main types of Life Insurance for young families

We’ll look at the 3 main types of protection policies those with a young family should consider.

They’re not ranked in order of importance.

The one most applicable to you may vary depending on your circumstance.

1. Life Insurance

A payment made to your beneficiaries should you pass away during the term agreed in your policy.

Often used to replace the salary of the deceased and to help the family cope financially following their death.

Recommended for those with young children.

2. Income Protection

An Income Protection policy pays you an agreed percentage of your salary should you be unable to work due to illness or injury.

Sometimes it can be overlooked but in many cases, it should be the first option you assess.

Many of us depend on our earned income to fund our daily activities and pay our bills.

Recommended for anyone with no cover through their employer and is essential for all self-employed individuals

3. Specified Serious Illness Cover                  

Another type of Life Insurance that pays out on an illness rather than death.

Specified Serious Illness Cover pays out a once-off lump sum on the diagnosis of an illness outlined in your policy.

According to the Irish Cancer Society, almost 45,000 people are diagnosed in Ireland each year.

This is a startling statistic but one we shouldn’t ignore.

Specified Serious Illness Cover can be recommended to almost anyone.

It can provide peace of mind knowing you’ll be covered following the diagnosis of any illness outlined in your policy.

How much Life Insurance does a young family need?

Case studies are helpful with anything involving calculations.

Particularly in situations such as assessing how much Life Insurance you may need.

Below we use a case study to help highlight  some factors to consider using a real-life scenario
Name: Peter
Age: 38
Marital status: Married
Number of children: 2

Peter is married and has two children aged two and five.

In this example, he would like to put the cover in place until the youngest child reaches age 22.

As his youngest child is two, he will require a 20-year term policy.

Before calculating how much Life Insurance is needed, there are some important aspects to consider.

– Peter has a death in service benefit through his employment. It is 4 times his salary which equates to €160,000.

– His wife, Niamh will receive the widows state pension should he die.

– Niamh would prefer not to work should Peter pass away unexpectedly.

Niamh will need approximately €3,300 per month to cover all expenses and continue their lifestyle in the event of Peter’s death.

Calculating the shortfall in income

Monthly Income Required


Guaranteed Income Per Month


Death in Service Benefit | €160,000 total

€160,000/20 (years) /12 (months)

€666 per month

State Widows Pension


Total Monthly Benefits


Monthly Income Required


Total Monthly Benefits


Shortfall in Income


life insurance case study figures 1

The above illustrates how much Life Insurance cover will be needed per month to avoid any shortfalls.

From here we can now multiply this number by 20 (years) to calculate the total life cover required.

€1,460 x 12 (months) x 20 (years) = €350,400 Life Insurance cover.

life insurance amount

How much would €350,000 Life Insurance cost?

For simplicity, let’s use our example above to calculate how much a Life Insurance policy would cost Peter.

To give the best overview, we’ve created a table below that shows the estimated cost from each insurer.

At emero Insurance, we hold agencies with Ireland’s leading insurers allowing us to compare the market and get you the best cover at the most competitive rate.


Irish Life

New Ireland

Royal London







As we see above, the insurance companies premiums differ slightly.

Although their offerings are similar, there are some nuances. Each will offer different ‘additional’ benefits.

These come with every policy at no extra cost. It’s difficult to determine outright which company is ‘best’. Although we’ll look at it briefly below.

Who offers the ‘best’ Life Insurance in Ireland?

We do have a guide to theBest Life Insurance in Ireland. This will give you an in-depth breakdown with specific criteria.

In this guide, we’ll instead take a brief overview.

As the insurers offer very similar cover, the ‘best’ will often come down to those offering the most attractive additional benefits.

To help summarise, we’ve taken what we feel is the best additional benefit offered by each insurer (this is only our opinion).


Best additional benefit


Best Doctors

Royal London

Instant Temporary Life Cover

Irish Life

Children’s cover


Cancer cover

New Ireland

Monthly income on death

If you’d like a more in-depth read on the ‘best’ it’s worth checking out our dedicated guide

What affects the cost of Life Insurance?

The cost of Life Insurance will depend on several factors. These include:

  • Your age
  • Your health status
  • Whether you smoke or not
  • The amount of cover required
  • The term of your policy
  • The type of policy you would like (joint/dual)

Smoking in particular can increase the cost of your premiums by up to 50%.

Life Insurance - Quote example

It is beneficial to look at different examples when calculating Life Insurance. Below we look at cover from three different age groups.

As you’d expect, the cost of cover increases as you get older. This is why it’s important to get cover in place as early as possible.

First up, we look at a 30-year-old, non-smoker for €350,000 cover over a 20-year term.


Premium per month

Royal London






quote prices life insurance 30

Below is an example of the cost of life cover for a 40-year-old non-smoker with €350,000 cover over a 20-year term.


Premium per month

Royal London

€ 31.51


€ 37.05


€ 37.41

quote prices life insurance 40

Our final example is a 50-year-old, non-smoker for €350,000 cover over a 20-year term.


Premium per month

Royal London






quote prices life insurance 50

All Life Insurance quotes are accurate as of 20/09/2022.

Life Insurance Quote Calculator

At emero, we provide access to our free quotation system. This allows you to compare Ireland’s leading insurers.

Factors that affect the cost of Life Insurance

There are several factors that affect the cost of your Life Insurance premium. Within these factors there are ‘external’ and personal.

Each plays a role in the cost of the premium. However, some will have a more significant impact.

Increasing your level of benefits

The amount of life cover should be calculated before putting the policy live. Although in some cases circumstances change.

If this happens, more cover may be required. The higher the cover needed, the more expensive the premium will be.

Below we keep all other details the same and increase the sum assured in €100,000 increments.

Level Term Insurance

Level of Cover

Monthly Premium Cost







Increasing the term of your cover

The length of your policy will impact the cost of your monthly premium.

The longer-term you choose, the more expensive the premium. Whereas a Whole of Life policy is guaranteed to pay out, level-term policies are not.

The insurance company is banking on you outliving the term of your policy. Below we increase the same policy by five-year increments. All other details remain the same.

Level Term Insurance

Term of Policy

Monthly Premium Cost

20 years


25 years


30 years


Adding Specified Illness Cover to your policy

Some people decide to add Specified Illness Cover to their policy. Although it is advised to speak with an advisor before doing so.

Such cover will only pay out when you are diagnosed with an illness within your policy conditions. Therefore, it is important to know what is covered.

In the below example we added €100,000 of Specified Illness Cover to a policy.

Life Policy without Specified Illness Cover


Life Policy with Specified Illness Cover


In this example, the monthly premium increased by 181%

Adding a spouse to your policy

When choosing a Life Insurance policy, you will have different options available.

Opting for a joint life or dual life policy will allow you to add your spouse.

Joint life – Covers two lives. There is only one payment made under the policy which is when the first of the two policyholders die.

Dual life – Covers two lives. Payment is made on the death of each policyholder.

Premium per month for Joint Life Insurance


Premium per month for Dual Life Insurance


Opting for dual cover rather than join will cost approximately 71% more per month.

Personal factors that affect the cost of Life Insurance

Now we look at the personal factors that affect the cost of your Life Insurance premium.

Some such as smoking will have a more severe impact on the premium than others.

Your age when taking out the policy

Your age will directly impact your ability to take out Life Insurance and the cost of your premiums.

The older you are, the more expensive your premiums will be. Below we compare the same policy details for those of different ages.


Monthly Premium Cost

Percentage Increase (%)










 The table above illustrates the dramatic jump in premium costs as you get older. It is for this reason to put Life Insurance in place as early as possible.

Smoker status

Those who smoke are charged significantly more on their monthly premiums.

The increased chance of health complications puts you in a higher risk category. Therefore, insurers need to protect themselves against this.





Premium increase of 44% per month

Overall health condition or family history

During the underwriting process, the insurer will look at any pre-existing health conditions.

If any arise, they may look for additional information from your doctor or medical reports. In some cases, this may lead to increased premiums or perhaps being refused or postponed cover.

If this applies to your specific circumstances, it may be worth contacting our team to discuss in more detail.

Extreme sporting activities

Should you take part in any extreme sports, it will likely affect your ability to put Life Insurance in place.

            These include:

  • Motor sport
  • Parachuting
  • Underwater diving
  • Climbing/Mountaineering           

Each insurer will have a list of activities it sees as dangerous. There are also some occupations that may require additional underwriting.

Types of Life Insurance?

Within Life Insurance, there are different types of cover. Each is intended to cover a specific set of circumstances.

  • Term Life InsuranceThis is often the most popular type of cover and is for a set period of time. For example, 20 years.
  • Whole of Life InsuranceThis type of cover offers a guaranteed payout on your death once you have paid your premiums. It is more expensive than a level-term policy due to the guaranteed element.
  • Section 72A Section 72 policy is for those looking to pay an inheritance tax liability that may arise on their death.

There are nuances associated with the above. If you are unsure what cover may be best suited to you, please contact our team.

Alternatives to Life Insurance

In some cases, there may be potential alternatives to putting life cover in place.

Although, it should be a thought-out process. Often these situations are not like for like.

Below are some potential options that could be considered either alongside or in place of Life Insurance.

1. Rely on savings – This is probably the least likely to be a viable option. Most Life Insurance policies are to insure upwards of €150,000.

This means you would have to have substantial savings built up. It is unlikely that many of us have multiples of our salary sitting in a deposit account easily accessible.

Therefore, relying on savings is unrealistic for many people.

2. Income Protection – Income Protection will pay out a benefit if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. Therefore, it differs from life cover as it pays out while you are alive.

It should be looked at as a supplement to put in place alongside Life Insurance rather than a replacement.

3. Specified Illness Cover – Similar to Income Protection, this will pay out while the policyholder is still alive. You also must survive a minimum amount of time after being diagnosed before benefits will be paid.

There is also a list of specific illnesses. Any diagnosis must match the list of specified illnesses in order for benefits to be paid.

Using a Life Insurance calculator vs consulting with a Qualified Financial Advisor

Using any online calculator is a quick and easy way to estimate whether you need Life Insurance and how much may be required.

However, it’s not meant to directly replace consulting a qualified professional.

The best approach is to start with the calculator. Get a feel for what you may need, a consult a broker such as emero from there.

It is more labour intensive but will provide you with a more accurate estimate. There are more assumptions included and it takes a more holistic approach.

Your advisor will be able to discuss and assess your personal needs and circumstances. This will allow you to ensure you have the correct level of cover in place.

When calculating your cover, your advisor will have certain pillars that underpin your coverage requirements.

Advantages of using a Qualified Financial Advisor

Online calculators should never replace financial advice from a qualified financial advisor. They should only be used at the outset to help assess potential options.

Enlisting the assistance of a qualified adviser will allow you to calculate the exact cover sufficient for your personal circumstances.

Benefits of using a qualified financial adviser include:

  • Your personal circumstances and nuances can be accounted for.
  • Your advisor can provide explanations as to why a certain amount of cover may be more suitable.
  • You can guard against being over-insured
  • Most companies offer an initial consultation free of charge.
  • If using a broker, your advisor will have access to the entire market and can find you the most suitable policy at the best price.

How emero can help you put Life Insurance in place

At emero, we have a proven track record of assisting clients. We offer this in a number of ways.

Our website contains sewerage guides such as this with useful information. We also provide access to a quote engine where you can compare the market in minutes.

However, there is no substitute for speaking with an advisor. This way you can discuss your situation and assess all potential options.

You are welcome to contact our team with any questions you may have.


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