Access to bereavement counselling, support for emotional issues and help with marital worries or following the diagnosis of an illness - we must be talking about private medical insurance, right?

Well, actually, these are just some of the surprising benefits of life insurance that, all too often, customers simply don’t realise are included in their policies! Four in ten life cover products* on the market now include health and wellbeing services - and, what’s more, these can be accessed throughout the lifetime of the policy, and not just at the claims stage!

We’ve long flagged up the benefits of life insurance, not just life cover for over-50s who are future planning, but also for younger people with dependants in need of security. Now, Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to focus on the health and wellbeing features that come with some life insurance policies.

ActiveQuote head of partnerships Rod Jones said: ‘Most of us think of life insurance as being of use only in the event of our death. However, an increasing number of life insurers are offering counselling and wellbeing services to policyholders, which is an excellent benefit. One example is Aegon Personal Protection, which offers a range of additional benefits to customers that you might not expect in your life cover.”

Aegon Personal Protection looks after you and your loved ones when you need it most. Through their partner, Health Assured, Aegon offers a confidential phone line that customers and their immediate family members over 16 can call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Health Assured’s qualified and experienced counsellors will help and support you through a range of issues, such as the loss of a family member or friend, relationship concerns, legal worries, debt issues, childcare and work-related problems.

The compassionate counselling service also covers the diagnosis of a serious or critical illness, while web and app support is available for people who prefer to communicate online. Another benefit is the online health check tool, providing fitness assessments and nutrition advice. Eating well and maintaining the right weight play an important role in leading a healthy lifestyle, as well as helping to keep protection insurance premiums down.

In addition, Aegon’s funeral payment pledge helps families meet the funeral costs of loved one while the lengthy process of probate is going on, making an advanced claim payment to the funeral director or funeral home.

Aegon Personal Protection offers a choice of lump-sum and family income benefits, including life protection, critical illness cover and life with critical illness cover, paying out more than £120m in 2017. For more details, call our sales team free on 0800 862 0373.

 * 47 out of 117 level term life insurance products listed by star ratings expert Defaqto included health and wellbeing services in May 2019.