Which is the best Over 50s life insurance?

7 min Read Published: 12 Feb 2024
Which is the best over 50s life insurance?
Which is the best over 50s life insurance?

In this article, we will help you understand what over 50’s life insurance is, whether it is right for you and how to identify the best over 50 life insurance provider at the best cost. We would recommend that you read the whole article as we explain when over 50's type of life insurance may be right for you, but crucially, where you may be better off looking at other types of life covers and where you can find the best life insurance solution for you. 

It can also be sensible to talk through various life insurance options with a life insurance specialist* as Over 50s life insurance is only one of a number of different types of life insurance that may suit you.

What is over 50s life insurance?

Over 50s life insurance is a type of life insurance policy for anyone aged over 50 and normally requires no health check to qualify which means that it offers guaranteed acceptance. Premiums are paid monthly or annually and so long as premiums are kept up to date, this type of life insurance policy is guaranteed to pay a tax-free cash lump sum when you die. 

Over 50s life insurance will only pay out the full amount that is covered by the policy once you complete the qualifying period. However, accidental death during the qualifying period could mean that a multiple of the premiums paid up until that point are paid out but this does vary from insurer to the next.

It is often bought as a funeral plan to cover funeral costs but it is important not to confuse funeral plans with over 50 life insurance. Funeral plans for over 50s usually pay the funeral directors directly whereas Over 50 life insurance will normally pay the lump sum of cash to the deceased's nominated beneficiary. They can, of course, choose to use the cash to fund a funeral if needed but this is not a requirement of the over 50s life insurance plan. If you are considering a funeral plan, see our article "Life Insurance or Funeral Plan - which is best?" for more information about the different ways to accommodate funeral planning.

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Choosing the best Over 50s life insurance for you

Although on the face of it, Over 50s life insurance policies can seem very straightforward, there are a number of factors that vary between plans that are important to compare. Some Over 50s life insurance plans provide better value for money than others. Here we describe the key features of an Over 50s plan that you should check and compare so that you choose the best life insurance for your needs.

How to compare the best Over 50s life insurance

Cover details What this means  How to compare
Cover amount
  • This is the amount that will pay out if you die once you fulfil the qualifying criteria
  • If you have decided how much you wish to spend on Over 50s life insurance, you should check how much cover you can get with each provider for your budget
  • The monthly or annual cost of the policy which will be based on your age and the amount of cover you require
  • If you wish to be covered for a particular payout amount then you can check how much that level of cover will cost with each Over 50s provider to compare the cost
Qualifying period
  • You will only be fully covered after you have completed the 'qualifying period'. Insurers will set out the number of months that you will need to make a payment in order to be fully covered. The qualifying period may be different depending on the lender you choose.
  • Each Over 50s plan will set out the qualifying period and the policy with the shortest qualifying period may seem more attractive but you may have to balance this alongside other factors
  • Qualifying periods are usually between 12 months and 36 months
Paid up age
  • The age at which you can stop paying your premiums for your Over 50s life insurance. This varies between 80 and 95 years old, depending on the insurer
  • Some Over 50s life insurance policies may not have a paid up age which means you will have to keep making your payments until you die
  • The paid up age can have a large bearing on the amount of money that you will pay for your life insurance
  • A high paid up age or no paid up age could mean that you will pay more money into the life insurance than the amount of money that will be paid out upon your death
  • Ideally, you should choose an Over 50s life insurance that becomes paid up at the earliest age so that if you live a long life, you are not required to continue paying into the plan.
  • Additionally, you should be careful about choosing an Over 50s life insurance that has no paid up age where you could end up paying a lot more into the plan than it pays out
Health questions
  • Over 50s life insurance applications do not tend to ask you about your health and lifestyle, so you should be accepted even if you have poor health
  • If an Over 50s life insurance application asks about your health, you should compare it with guaranteed whole of life insurance as this may provide better value for money

How much does Over 50s life insurance cost?

Premiums start at around £5 per month for most insurers and they tend to increase in £1 increments up to around £75 per month for the most expensive plans. The insurance company will require that you pay your premiums until you die or until the age that premiums become paid up - this varies between ages 85 and 95. Depending on how long you live you could pay more than will be paid upon your death so do keep this in mind when selecting your insurance. If you're not sure then speak to an Over 50s life insurance specialist* free of charge to ensure you're making the right choice. 

Most insurers will lure you in with the promise of a free gift, such as a gift card or shopping voucher after paying a certain amount of monthly premiums which is a nice incentive, but always make sure that the cover is right for you and never let the free gift inform your buying choice. If you are in any doubt as to whether an over 50 life plan is for you, we would recommend that you speak to an independent expert as they will be able to quickly ascertain whether you would be better off buying a different type of cover. 

Below we have summarised the cost of £5,000 of over 50s life insurance cover for both a smoker and non-smoker. The cost of over 50s life insurance depends on your age and your smoker status. We have looked at cover for a 50-year-old, 60-year-old and 70-year-old. The quotes do not prioritise based on qualifying periods and any funeral benefit options that may be included which will be explained when you speak to an Over 50s life insurance specialist.

Cost for £5,000 of over 50s life insurance for a non-smoker

Age and smoker status Premium Insurer
50-year-old non-smoker £14.50 One Family
60-year-old non-smoker £19.00 Shepherds Friendly
70-year-old non-smoker £34.00 Shepherds Friendly

Cost for £5,000 of over 50s life insurance for a smoker

Age and smoker status Premium Insurer
50-year-old smoker £20.00 One Family
60-year-old smoker £32.00 One Family
70-year-old smoker £54.00 One Family

Which company offers the best over 50s life insurance?

There are a number of companies that offer over 50s life insurance including Sun Life, Aviva, Legal & General, Royal London and even the Post Office. People commonly associate this type of cover with the Sun Life funeral plan or other Sun Life packages of life insurance. Our own research shows that the Sun Life Plan is one of the less desirable products on the market as it has no 'paid up insurance age' meaning you would need to continue paying for your Sun Life life insurance until you die whenever that may be. This type of difference can mean that you get a lot less value for your money if you were to live a long and full life. 

It can be a time-consuming exercise to work out which company is the best for you and so you should consider using a specialist over 50s life insurance comparison service such as Howden Life & Health*. Its online comparison site will compare quotes from the top providers in seconds and you can apply for the cover straight from the quote. Its team of over 50s life insurance experts can be on hand if you need any help throughout the process, are happy to answer any of your questions and the service is completely free. 

Things to consider before you buy Over 50s life insurance

Minimum Payments

Most insurers won't pay out the full sum assured unless you have paid a certain number of monthly payments. This is typically one, two or three years' worth of premiums. If you die within this period your family will typically receive a sum equal to the number of premiums that you've paid up until the date of death. However, if your death is a result of an accident then most insurers will still pay out the full sum assured.


Another thing to be aware of is that inflation will likely erode the real value of your cash lump sum payout over time. As the cash sum is fixed, the longer you live, the less the payout is worth. You can of course offset this at the time of taking the policy by taking out slightly more cover, but this will come at an extra cost. It is entirely possible that if you live a long and healthy life, you may end up paying more in premiums than you could ever receive as a payout. If you are concerned by this then perhaps Over 50s life cover isn’t for you and you may be best putting your money into investments, savings or a different type of life insurance.

Free Gifts

As mentioned earlier, beware of any free gifts. Most insurers will offer a free gift and while it may be tempting to go with the insurer that offers the best gift, it may well be the most expensive insurer for your circumstances.


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