A simples guide

Can I still buy life insurance if I'm over 50 years old?

The short answer to this question is yes, although at 50 years of age and above, you may want to look at different options outside of what you may think of a traditional life insurance policy. If you’re over 50 you will have the option of purchasing either a conventional term insurance or whole-of-life plan (often called over 50s Life insurance).

At this stage of life, you’re less likely to need to take out life insurance to provide a source of income for your dependants, or to cover your mortgage. The most likely reasons for wanting to take out insurance at age 50 or above are to cover funeral costs and give loved ones one less thing to worry about, should the worst happen.


Term insurance for over 50s

With over 50s life insurance you can expect to be asked a lot of questions about your lifestyle and medical history and potentially need to have a medical or provide a doctor’s report. If you’ve suffered from a serious medical condition, the insurer may increase your premium, or refuse to cover you altogether.

Term insurance policies will have a fixed end date. Once your term insurance policy has expired you will no longer be covered and your loved ones will need to meet the cost of any bills if you die.

heart drawn onto hands

Standard whole-of-life assurance

Whole-of-life assurance is different to term insurance as your family can make a claim at whatever age you pass away. The insurance provider will pay out a lump sum, whenever it might be.

This type of cover will be underwritten, and you could have your premium increased, or be refused altogether, if there are concerns about your health.

Over 50s life assurance plans

You have probably seen advertisements for life assurance plans that are specifically designed for those over 50. Over 50s life assurance is a type of whole-of-life assurance. The main difference between these policies and the types of plans described above is that there is no health underwriting with this type. You will not need to undergo a medical examination, or answer any questions about your health. There will however be a few lifestyle questions that might affect the cost of your premiums.

Smokers can however expect to pay higher premiums than non-smokers.
Provided you are aged between 50 and the policy’s maximum age for acceptance (usually between 75 and 85) you are guaranteed to be accepted.

Premiums will be payable for the rest of your life, or in the case of some plans, to a set maximum age, such as 85 or 90.

If you miss even one payment, your cover may end, and you won’t receive any form of cash sum, so you need to be disciplined enough to keep paying every month, perhaps for as long as 40 years or more.

The main disadvantage of this type of insurance is that the plan will only pay out as long as you survive a set period of time at the beginning of the policy, usually one or two years after taking it out. The insurance provider may refund the premiums paid if you die within this period.

The only way your loved ones might receive the full amount if you died within two years is if you die in an accident, and even then, not all insurance providers offer this.

There is also the risk of you paying more in premiums than the amount that will be paid out on death. This is especially likely to be the case if you live to an advanced age.

However, dedicated over 50s plans can be the most cost effective option if you think an application for another type of life insurance would be refused, or would be offered at an increased premium.

Alternatives for covering funeral costs

If you are taking out life insurance to cover funeral costs then you might want to think about opening a savings account instead. There is also the option that you could take out a pre-paid funeral plan too.

To get a quote for over 50s life insurance all you need to do is tell us a bit about you and your lifestyle. We’ll do all the legwork for you and provide you with a list of insurance providers to suit your needs, the cheapest policy will be displayed first. Just see how much you could save!

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