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 provider at the best cost. We would recommend that you read the whole article as we explain when the cover may be right for you, but crucially, where you may be better off looking at other types of cover and where best to buy it.
What is over 50s life insurance?
Over 50s life insurance is a type of life insurance policy for anyone aged over 50. Premiums are paid monthly or annually and so long as premiums are kept up to date, the policy is guaranteed to pay out should you die.
Is over 50s life insurance right for me?
It really depends. Factors to consider are your age, your health and your personal needs. Over 50s life insurance does not require underwriting, this means that you are guaranteed to be accepted, so long as you meet the age requirements (typically that you are between 50 and 80, although it can be 85 for some insurers). This can be a huge advantage if you have been in poor health, if you do a dangerous job or hobby or if your family has a complex medical history.
We would suggest that if you are in good health, have a clean family history and do not do a dangerous job or hobby that you consider looking at life insurance as well as over 50s life insurance in order to compare the costs, as it may be cheaper or you may be able to get more life insurance for your money.
Will my Over 50s life insurance premiums go up?
No, your monthly premiums will not increase as they are fixed for the term of the policy. You will choose a level of cover that is right for you and your budget and that price will remain the same throughout the policy term.
What will happen if I stop paying my Over 50s life insurance premiums?
If you stop paying your premiums, you are at risk of your cover lapsing and losing all of the money you have paid in. The policy is designed to pay out on death and this is the only event that the policy will guarantee to payout upon. If you decide a couple of years in that the policy is not for you and end up cancelling, then you will lose the money you have paid in. Missing one or two premiums is not the end of the world however and so long as you get in touch with the insurer, explain what has happened and catch up with the missed payments, your cover can continue. For peace of mind it is best to ensure that you never miss a payment by paying by direct debit.
Does over 50s life insurance have a waiting period?
In some cases, yes. Some insurers might only pay a full claim in the first year of the policy if death happens due to an accident. If death happens in the first 12 months after due to ill health, it is likely that only the premiums that have been paid will be returned. This waiting period for full cover is sometimes a reflection of the fact that the insurers provide guaranteed acceptance for all and a waiting period limits the cover being used by people who may be terminally ill and know that death is imminent.
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. Most insurers will lure you in with the promise of a free gift, such as a gift card or 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 over 50 life insurance 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. We have looked at cover for a 50-year-old, 60-year-old and 70-year-old.
Cost of £5,000 over 50s life insurance for a non-smoker
|Age and smoker status||Premium||Insurer|
|60-year-old non-smoker||£17.00||Shepherds Friendly|
|70-year-old non-smoker||£31.00||Shepherds Friendly|
Cost of £5,000 over 50s life insurance for a smoker
|Age and smoker status||Premium||Insurer|
What happens to my money when I die?
The money can be used for whatever you wish. Most people use it to cover the costs of your funeral, pay off debt, or simply leave a little money for their family. If your over 50s life insurance plan is intended to provide a funeral benefit option the insurer may be happy to make a direct payment to the funeral director as funeral costs can be required to be settled quickly after death. Remember though, that you won’t be around when the money is paid out, so consider getting a will in place if you haven't already done so to ensure the right people receive the money from your life insurance and that any potential inheritance tax implications are addressed. You can read our article How to sort your will in 10 minutes
Would I be better off getting level term life insurance?
In some circumstances, yes. Over 50s life insurance serves a specific purpose. It makes life insurance affordable for people who may well have been unable to afford traditional life insurance or perhaps may have been rejected altogether due to their health or other factors. Do remember that term insurance policies only pay out if death happens within the term of the plan that you arrange. Given that many insurers offer term life insurance up to age 90, you may feel that it is a viable option when compared to an over 50s plan but if you live beyond 90, the policy will end and nothing will be paid. If you are unsure which is best for you then we would recommend that you get a quote for both. Often those in their early 50’s and 60’s, in good health and no family medical history will be better off buying term life insurance, rather than over 50s life insurance. Read our article on life insurance, where we explain the cover in more detail and let you know how to get the best value quotes.
What happens if I live beyond 90?
Typically, most insurers providing an over 50s life insurance plan will offer free cover once you hit a certain age (90 years with most insurers). This means that once you reach the upper age limit, your premiums will stop, but your cover remains in place.
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 and even the Post Office. 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 Assured Futures*. 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, happy to answer any of your questions and the service is completely free.
Things to consider before you buy Over 50s life insurance
Most insurers won't pay out the full sum assured unless you have paid a certain number of premiums. This is typically one or two 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 as 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 payout over time. As the payout 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 extra cost. It is entirely possible that if you live a long and healthy life, that 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 insurance isn’t for you and you may be best putting your money into investments, savings or a different type of insurance.
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.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses - Assured Futures