Let me offer you a brief profile of Standard Life insurance plans as a starter to a short series of insurer reviews. I will focus on the company's Universal Life and Term Life policies in particular.

First off, Universal Life:
Standard Life's Universal Life policy is designed for applicants up to age 80. The plan - Perspecta - and multiple death benefit, cost of insurance options and flexible monthly premiums are among the most interesting extras the policy has to offer.

The policy's portfolio includes a mix of active and passive (indexed) accounts, long-term deposits and one daily interest account. In addition, Perspecta has a Shelter Optimizer and Account Optimizer, which augment the return from premium investments by ensuring that they are exempt from taxation. When the policy matures, client bonus payments kick in to enhance value accumulation even further.

Among the policy's rider options are the following: 10 and 20-year convertible and renewable term riders, critical illness riders for adults and children, term riders for children, the benefit of guaranteed insurability, accidental death benefit and a disability waiver benefit.

Unfortunately, Standard Life insurance (which used to have industry-leading rates on their Universal Life policy) has been charging a lot more on the policies since 2005. Through this increase, the company lost the edge it had over their competitors - especially for certain age categories. On the bright side, Standard Life offers preferred rates on their Universal Life and Term Life plans, which is not that common these days.

To illustrate, a 45-year-old male non-smoker will sign up to $211.95 a month at the very least, as this is the minimum payment needed to keep the policy in force.

And now, let's look at Term Life plans:
The term insurance policies of Standard Life are named Term 10 and Term 20. 18- to 70-year-old clients can sign up for the Term 10 policy, whereas the Term 20 policy is available only up to age 65. The plans are renewable up to age 85, but the client can convert them only up to age 65. The plans also let the client to add a rich selection of add-ons, like was the case with Universal Life (please read above).

An applicant can also opt for an individual or first-to-die benefit (e.g. with a spouse).
Clients in good health and have a good family health history may be able to become eligible for a preferred rate. What is more, if you are particularly healthy, you could even qualify for a super preferred rate! If you are looking to make use those benefits, you should be warned that $100,000 is the lowest face amount that is sold. If you don't have enough discretionary income, this fact may become a significant issue.