This section helps explain the meanings of some words you may see on our website, and others that you may have heard of or come across when considering which life insurance is best for you.

DISCLAIMER: This is a guide only and does not form part of a contract. Please reference the Smart Insurance Key Facts and Policy Terms and Conditions issued to you upon joining for contractual definitions.


An event resulting in bodily injury occurring whilst the policy is in force, where the injury is directly and solely caused by accidental, violent and external means and where the injury is not self-inflicted.

Accidental death

Death occurring as a direct result of an accident which took place while the life insured was covered under the policy and where death occurs within 90 days of the accident.

Accidental serious injury

Blindness, deafness or total and permanent loss of use of two limbs, occurring as a direct result of an accident and where the injury occurs within 12 months of the accident.


A term interchangeable with insurance but generally used in connection with life cover as assurance implies the certainty of an event and insurance the probability.

Bacterial meningitis

A definite diagnosis of bacterial meningitis resulting in permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms. For the above definition, the following are not covered:

  • all forms of meningitis other than those caused by bacterial infection.


Permanent and irreversible loss of sight to the extent that even when tested with the use of visual aids, vision is measured at 3/60 or worse in the better eye using a Snellen eye chart.


Any malignant tumour positively diagnosed with histological confirmation and characterised by the uncontrolled growth of malignant cells and invasion of tissue. The term malignant tumour includes leukaemia, sarcoma and lymphoma except cutaneous lymphoma (lymphoma confined to the skin). For the above definition, the following are classified as less advanced cases and are not covered under the policy:

  • all cancers which are histologically classified as any of the following:
    - pre-malignant;
    - non-invasive;
    - cancer in situ;
    - having borderline malignancy; or
    - having low malignant potential.
  • all tumours of the prostate unless histologically classified as having a Gleason score of 7 or above or having progressed to at least TNM classification T2bN0M0.
  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia unless histologically classified as having progressed to at least Binet Stage A.
  • any skin cancer (including cutaneous lymphoma) other than malignant melanoma that has been histologically classified as having caused invasion beyond the epidermis (outer layer of skin).

Cooling off period

The period of time immediately after your policy commences, during which you can cancel the policy for a full refund of any premiums paid.

Compensation Scheme

Many financial products & services fall within the scope of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means you can seek reimbursement if you lose money because of a firm's negligence or fraud & the firm has gone out of business.

Coronary artery by-pass grafts

The undergoing of surgery requiring median sternotomy (surgery to divide the breastbone) on the advice of a Consultant Cardiologist to correct narrowing or blockage of one or more coronary arteries with by-pass grafts.

Critical illness

Cancer – excluding less advanced cases, coronary artery by-pass grafts – with surgery to divide the breastbone, heart attack – of specified severity or stroke – resulting in permanent symptoms.


Permanent and irreversible loss of hearing to the extent that the loss is greater than 95 decibels across all frequencies in the better ear using a pure tone audiogram.

Deferred period

The amount of time the life insured has to wait before being eligible for a benefit amount to be payable.


A definite diagnosis of encephalitis by a Consultant Neurologist resulting in permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms. For the above definition the following is not covered:

  • myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The Financial Conduct Authority – known as the FCA, regulates the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

The FOS was set up by law as an independent public body. The FOS helps to settle individual disputes between consumers and businesses providing financial services - fairly, reasonably, quickly and informally.

Financial Services Authority (FSA)

The FSA has now become two separate regulatory authorities; the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Heart attack

Death of heart muscle, due to inadequate blood supply, that has resulted in all of the following evidence of acute myocardial infarction:

  • typical clinical symptoms (for example, characteristic chest pain).
  • new characteristic electrocardiographic changes.
  • the characteristic rise of cardiac enzymes or troponins recorded at the following levels or higher;
    - Troponin T > 200 ng/L (0.2 ng/ml or 0.2 ug/L)
    - Troponin I > 500 ng/L (0.5 ng/ml or 0.5 ug/L).

The evidence must show a definite acute myocardial infarction.

For the above definition, the following are not covered:

  • other acute coronary syndromes
  • angina without myocardial infarction


In respect of a life insured means the insurance benefit amount(s) that have been applied for by the policy-owner and accepted by Scottish Friendly Assurance as indicated on the schedule.

Insured child

In respect of the optional Children’s cover means a financially dependent child of the key life insured and/or partner life insured and the child named in the schedule.


Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited who are responsible for the issue, underwriting and administration of the policy. Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under Registration No. 110002.


Cannot be reasonably improved upon by medical treatment and/or surgical procedures used by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (or if appropriate, the equivalent to the NHS if the insured event occurs in another country) at the time of the claim.

Joint plan

This plan applies if there is a key life insured and a partner life insured as detailed on the schedule.

Key life insured

A person named in the schedule as the key life insured.


The non-renewal of a policy for any reason.

Life insured

The key life insured and, if applicable, the partner life insured and, if applicable, in respect of Children’s cover only, an insured child.

Loss of hands or feet

Permanent physical severance of any combination of two or more hands or feet at or above the wrist or ankle joints.

Medical specialist

A person who:

  • is a Consultant at a hospital in the United Kingdom or country where the insured event giving rise to the claim arose;
  • is acceptable to our Chief Medical Officer; and
  • is a specialist in an area of medicine appropriate to the cause of the claim.

The medical specialist must not be a life insured under the policy, their spouse, partner, relative or business associate.


The failure by the insured to disclose a material fact or circumstance to the underwriter before acceptance of the risk.


Total and irreversible loss of muscle function to the whole of any two limbs.

Partner life insured

A person named in the schedule as the partner life insured. A partner may be a legal spouse, civil partner or common law partner of the key life insured and may be of the same gender as the key life insured.


Expected to last throughout life with no prospect of improvement, irrespective of when the cover ends or the life insured expects to retire.

Permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms

Dysfunction in the nervous system that is present on clinical examination and expected to last throughout the life insured's life. To include numbness, hyperaesthesia (increased sensitivity), paralysis, localised weakness, dysarthria (difficulty with speech), aphasia (inability to speak), dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), visual impairment, difficulty in walking, lack of coordination, tremor, seizures, dementia, delirium and coma.

The following are not covered:

  • an abnormality seen on brain or other scans without definite related clinical symptoms;
  • neurological signs occurring without symptomatic abnormality, e.g. brisk reflexes without other symptoms; or
  • symptoms of psychological or psychiatric origin. 


The legal contract between the policy-owner and Scottish Friendly Assurance. The Policy Terms and Conditions, your application, any future application accepted by Scottish Friendly Assurance, the statement of fact, the current schedule, and any special conditions, amendments, or endorsements make up the policy.

Policy Document

A contract of insurance between the insurer and the and the policy-owner. It usually consists of the policy Terms and Conditions and a policy Schedule which is provided to the policy-owner upon purchasing the policy.

Policy anniversary

The anniversary of the date on which your first premium payment for the policy was requested.

Policy-owner, you, your

The key life insured. The policy may not be transferred or assigned to another person.

Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

The Prudential Regulation Authority – known as the PRA, is a part of the Bank of England and responsible for the regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions.


The amount of money you pay to secure your insurance cover. You must maintain your premium payments if you wish to maintain the cover.

  • Age based premium: Only pay for cover you need today. Premiums reflect your current age at the time of the policy start and at each renewal.
  • Guaranteed premium: Term used to indicate that the premiums for an insurance policy do not change over the term of the policy. By taking a policy with guaranteed premiums you’ll know exactly what your monthly premiums will be for the full length of the contract. The only reasons that guaranteed premiums may change is if you change your amount of cover or if you have an index-linked policy (increasing benefit policy).
  • Reviewable premium: Specifies that insurance premiums will be reviewed at pre-determined times from a policy start date. Normally insurers will review premiums every five years however some companies do review them annually. With reviewable premiums, your payments may increase, stay the same or decrease after the company makes the review. The advantage of reviewable premiums is that the cost may start lower than a guaranteed rate.


This is the process whereby the estate (property, money and possessions) of a deceased person is settled. Probate is given by authority of the court to person(s) to administer and settle the deceased's estate. The person(s) who administer the estate are referred to as the executor(s) and must obtain formal documentation in order to deal with the estate. In most cases, probate is obtained via a solicitor who acts on behalf of the executors however it is possible to do it without a solicitor. The executor will usually swear an affidavit (executor's oath) to identify matters such as the estate value. This is presented to the Probate Registry along with the probate fee and the deceased's will. Due to work involved, probate fee and solicitor fees, handling probate can be a timely and costly practice. When writing a life insurance policy, it is possible to bypass probate by writing the policy into trust.


The schedule to the policy, or any replacement schedule, issued by Smart Insurance and showing the details of the cover provided by the policy.

Single plan

This plan applies if the key life insured is the only person detailed on the schedule.

Smoker Status

Insurers will give a lower premium rate to buyers who do not smoke or use tobacco. If you smoked in the past, most insurers will consider you a non-smoker if you have not smoked for one year prior to applying for cover. (Does not apply to Guaranteed Life Insurance or Personal Accident Insurance)

Start date

The date an application for a life insured is accepted and cover starts as set out in your schedule. Any changes that you make to your policy after the start date are effective from the date of the change.

Statement of fact

A statement of the information supplied by you, and if applicable the partner life insured, on which your policy is based.


Death of brain tissue due to inadequate blood supply or haemorrhage within the skull resulting in permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms. For the above definition, the following are not covered:

  • transient ischaemic attack;
  • traumatic injury to brain tissue or blood vessels.;
  • death of tissue of the optic nerve or retinas/eye stroke.

Term Life Insurance

Life Insurance protection for a limited number of years (the term); expiring without value if the insured survives the stated period.

Terminal illness

A definite diagnosis by the attending medical specialist of an illness that satisfies both of the following:

  • the illness either has no known cure or has progressed to the point where it cannot be cured; and
  • in the opinion of the attending medical specialist, the illness is expected to lead to death within 12 months.

Total and permanent loss of use of two limbs

Complete and irrecoverable loss of the use of two limbs through injury.

Traumatic head injury

Death of brain tissue due to traumatic injury resulting in permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms.


A Trust is an arrangement which allows designated trustees to administer the payout from a life insurance policy in the event of the death of the life assured. The process of a trust is that in the event of the death of the grantee (policy-owner), the life insurance trust is passed to the trustees, the policy then pays out to the trust and then finally the money is distributed accordingly by the trustees. The four main advantages of writing a life insurance policy in trust are to:

  • Moves the benefit out of the policy-owner’s estate.
  • Avoid estate taxes such as inheritance tax.
  • Nominate multiple beneficiaries.
  • Avoid time and costs associated with probate.

Probably the most useful reason for writing life insurance into trust is to avoid IHT (Inheritance Tax). There are different types of trust available that have different uses dependent upon your requirements for example split, flexible and absolute.


Underwriting is a term used to describe the process of assessing insurance risk prior to issuing a policy. It usually takes the form of questions about your occupation, medical history and current pastimes/activities. Underwriting is designed to ensure the premiums and cover terms for your insurance plan are appropriate for your own medical situation, lifestyle, occupation and pursuits.

United Kingdom

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Whole of life Insurance

A policy that you can keep all your life (providing you continuously pay your premiums).