Over 50s Life Insurance

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I’m over 50 and…

I have a health condition

You could consider over 50s life insurance, as there’s usually no medical exam or health questions.

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I’m in good health

You could consider term life insurance, as it might be a better value option.

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What our Nerds say about over 50s life insurance

Holly

INSURANCE NERD

It may cost less when you’re younger, but don’t assume it’s too late to consider life insurance.

Leaving money to your loved ones when you’re gone might be something you want to arrange a bit later in life. With over 50s life insurance, you choose a premium and your loved ones get a payout when you die, as long as you keep up with your payments.

Just be aware that it’s possible to pay more in total premiums than the eventual payout, if you live a long life.

What is over 50s life insurance?

Over 50s life insurance is a type of cover that provides a payout to your loved ones when you die. It’s whole of life cover, so you have the policy for the rest of your life, rather than a specific number of years.

You might feel reassured that your family would get that financial help after you die. They might put it towards anything from a first home deposit to the cost of your funeral.

If you’re aged between 50 and 80 (in some cases 85), you can apply for this type of cover.

How does over 50s life insurance work?

When you apply for over 50s cover, you choose how much you’re comfortable paying each month. Premiums are usually fixed for life, and your cover amount – the amount your beneficiaries would receive – won’t change either. You pay premiums until you die or until you reach a maximum age, when your cover carries on but there is nothing left to pay.

Increasing cover is available from a handful of providers. This takes inflation into account, so the amount of cover you have won't be worth less over time. If you have this type of cover, your premiums and cover amount can go up, so check the plan so you know which type you’re signing up to.

When you die, the payout goes to your beneficiaries and the policy ends.

How much does over 50s life insurance cost?

The premium you pay might range anywhere from under £5 to £100 a month, depending on:

There is usually an age when you no longer have to pay premiums while the cover continues (usually 90), or if you have had the policy for a specific number of years.

It’s important to know that, depending on how long you pay premiums for, you could end up paying more in premiums than the amount your insurer will pay out.

So when you get a quote or use an online calculator, work out your age when the premiums paid will start to be more than the cover amount. And make sure you’re comfortable with that possibility.

How much over 50s cover can I have?

When you get a quote or calculate over 50s cover you can choose a premium, which is how much you will pay each month for your policy, or a cover amount. Your age and whether you smoke will also affect the cover amount available to you.

Make sure you can afford the monthly premiums, as you will need to keep up the payments or your policy won’t pay out and you’ll get nothing back.

When it comes to cover amounts, you might be looking at anything from £1,000 to £25,000, but this will depend on the provider and your circumstances. The insurer may have a minimum or maximum monthly premium you can choose, such as £5 to £100. The cover amount for over 50s life insurance is usually less than insurance providers offer for standard life insurance.

What are the pros and cons of over 50s life insurance?

This type of cover is not right for everyone who’s over 50, so before you go ahead, weigh up the benefits and drawbacks, including:

Pros

  • There is usually no medical exam and no health questions to answer. So even if you have a medical condition or aren’t in peak health, you could still be eligible.
  • The payout sum is fixed and pays whenever you die.
  • Premiums are usually fixed, so they will never go up.
  • The cover amount stays the same, so you know how much the payout will be.
  • Some insurers offer extras, such as wellbeing tools or will-writing services that might be useful. But treat them as a nice-to-have extra rather than a reason to choose what will be a plan you’ll pay for the rest of your life.
  • The application process is quick, as the insurer might not need to know much, if any, health information.

Cons

  • You could end up paying more in premiums than the eventual payout amount, depending how long you live.
  • It can be an expensive type of cover, when compared with standard life insurance, with premiums potentially twice the cost of a term or other whole of life insurance policy.
  • There is usually an initial waiting time when no payout would be possible (typically 12 to 24 months), unless the death is due to an accident.
  • If you stop paying your premiums or cancel your policy, you’ll get nothing back.
  • The cover amount is a fixed sum, so the same sum will buy less over time. Though some insurers offer increasing cover, where the cover amount (and your premiums) change to help protect the sum from the effects of inflation.
  • There is no guarantee that the payout would be enough to cover your funeral, if that’s your intention. A prepaid funeral plan may be an alternative option, or you could consider putting money into savings, such as an ISA.

Am I eligible for over 50s life insurance?

If you are a UK resident and aged at least 50, you can take out this type of cover. The upper age limit tends to be 80, but some stretch to 85.

Is over 50s life insurance worth it?

Whether it’s worth it financially depends on your age, your health and what you want the payout to cover. It also has to be affordable both now and in the future.

The main issue to consider is that with an over 50s policy, you could end up paying a higher total amount in premiums than the amount that’s paid out when you die. When you’re getting quotes, work out how long it would be until your total premiums paid start to overtake the cover amount. While it’s hard to predict when any of us will die, it can help put it into context.

If you already have a nest egg to pass on or have taken care of your funeral costs, you may not feel it’s worth getting this cover. But if it could bring you peace of mind that you’ve helped your family financially when you pass away, whether that’s through paying off debts or a gift to help them manage financially, you might think it’s worth it.

How can I compare over 50s life insurance?

As over 50s cover is for your lifetime, it’s sensible to compare prices for the same amount of cover across providers. You can get a quote for over 50s cover across a number of providers with our partner LifeSearch. Just leave a few details using their online form and an adviser will be in touch.

When you consider providers, also look at what’s included and excluded in the cover. Read the key facts documents, as a handful of insurers offer non-standard terms, such as:

  • Increasing cover, which helps protect your cover amount from inflation.
  • Payment holidays for up to a maximum period. Though you’ll need to make up for any missed premiums later on. For most policies, if you stop paying your premiums, your cover will end.
  • At least half of the payout on death if you have to stop paying your premiums. This is provided you were paid up at least half-way towards the age when you would no longer have to pay premiums (usually age 90 or 95).
  • The option to reduce your premiums after a time, if you need to.

What is the best life insurance for over 50s?

There are a few life insurance options for people over 50. Which one is right for you depends on your personal circumstances such as your health and age, and if anyone depends on you financially. How much you’re looking to leave will also come into it.

Here are a few scenarios for someone aged over 50, as an example:

  • If you’re looking to cover a mortgage or want your children to be provided for with a lump sum if you die before they become financially independent, you could look into standard life insurance. This only lasts for a specific number of years and may cost less than over 50s cover – and cover amounts available tend to be higher.
  • If you have no health conditions, standard whole of life cover might be a better value option for you than over 50s cover, so it may be worth getting a quote for both.
  • If you want to help take care of funeral costs when you’re gone or just leave a gift, or if you’re in poor health and can’t get standard life insurance, over 50s cover might offer what you need.

If you’re in any doubt, talk to a financial adviser.

» COMPARE: Standard life insurance quotes

Over 50s Life Insurance FAQs

Can I get joint over 50s life insurance?

No. Over 50s cover provides cover for one person only, so you can’t take out joint cover. Over 50s cover pays out when the policyholder dies and ends after that. If your partner would like over 50s cover, they could consider taking out their own policy.

It is possible to get a joint standard life insurance policy, though.

Can I get immediate over 50s life insurance?

Applying for over 50s cover can be a relatively straightforward process, as the insurer often needs no health information and you won’t usually need a medical. And acceptance by some insurers is guaranteed, as long as you’re UK-based, over 50 and under the maximum age limit, which is usually 80 or 85 years.

However, this type of cover has a waiting period for a year to two years when no payout is possible unless the death is an accident. Check the terms so you know how long that period is.

How long will my policy last?

Over 50 life insurance is a whole of life insurance, which means it lasts until you die, provided you keep up with your premiums. Once you reach a maximum age, usually 90, or after a certain number of years, the provider may let you stop paying premiums but your cover will continue. When you pass away, the insurer pays out and your policy ends.

Are there over 50s life insurance policies with no medical?

Over 50s cover doesn’t usually involve a medical. This means that if you have a health condition, it doesn’t have to be a barrier to getting cover.

Can I get over 50s insurance if I am terminally ill?

Yes, it’s possible, as there are usually no health questions to answer with this type of life insurance. But insurers build in a waiting period when they will only pay out if the death is an accident. This is usually a year, but it can last two years.

So even though you pay premiums, if you pass away during that waiting period, there would be no payout. Any premiums you have paid would be passed to your beneficiaries, though. If you survive beyond that waiting period, the payout would be guaranteed.

How can I get cheaper over 50s life insurance?

Insurers calculate the cost based on a few factors, including your age, the premium or cover amount you choose, and whether you smoke. So if you’re in your 50s and a non-smoker who doesn’t need much cover, you may be able to secure some of the lowest premiums on offer.

But as the cover has to match your needs at the time, the best way to get the cover you need for the lowest price is to get a quote from several providers. You can do this by approaching insurers direct, using a price comparison site or getting in touch with an insurance broker.

Does the over 50s cover over 60s life insurance?

Yes. You can take out over 50s cover in your 60s, up to at least age 80 for most providers. You will stay covered whatever your age as the cover lasts a lifetime and the payout happens whenever you pass away.

Will my insurance help with my funeral costs?

The lump sum could be used for funeral expenses. There is no guarantee that the payout amount would cover the entire cost of your funeral, but an over 50s policy might be used to help cover the bill. You might want to consider the rising costs of funerals, though. If future-proofing the cost is important to you, you could consider a prepaid funeral plan, but be clear about what the plan does and doesn’t include.

About the author

Holly champions clear, jargon-free writing. She’s been creating finance content for leading organisations for over 10 years. Read more

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