What age should I take out life insurance?

While you should think about life insurance when you become an adult, it’s particularly important as soon as you have children, or have a partner or family members who rely on your income. No matter what your age, our guide helps you choose the right life insurance policy.

While you should think about life insurance when you become an adult, it’s particularly important as soon as you have children, or have a partner or family members who rely on your income. No matter what your age, our guide helps you choose the right life insurance policy.

Faith Archer
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Posted 9 DECEMBER 2019 Last Updated 20 JANUARY 2022

Are there age limits for taking out life insurance?

You should be able to take out some form of cover up to about 90 – and many providers offer life insurance if you’re over 50. There are certain circumstances, however, when you’ll need to have a medical or show a doctor’s report.

It’s worth keeping in mind that taking out a policy is more about the stage in life you’ve reached and your changing circumstances like your financial security, rather than just your age.

There’s no minimum age for life insurance, but you’ll need to be 18 to take out a financial contract such as an insurance policy.

How does age affect the cost of life insurance? 

Generally, the older you are, the more you should expect to pay for a policy. That’s because you’re considered more of a risk to an insurance provider as you get older because you’re more likely to pass away, and so more likely to die during your ‘policy term’ - that is, while the policy is running. A provider will take into account many other factors though, such as your health and whether you smoke.

What if I didn’t buy life insurance when I was younger? 

There can be cost benefits to buying life insurance when you’re younger. But if you didn’t take out insurance when you were young, don’t worry – you can use our comparison service at any age to find great cover at the right price for you.

Your circumstances may also change in later years. You might no longer need life cover to pay the mortgage, fund childcare or replace your salary if your mortgage is cleared, your children now have their own jobs and you receive a pension. However, you might like the peace of mind from knowing you’ll leave an insurance pay-out towards, for example, funeral expenses, inheritance tax bills or caring costs for a partner.

How does life insurance cost change with age? 

Any regular life insurance policy you’re offered will be based on a number of factors, such as your age, your health and whether you’re a smoker or not, as well as how much cover you want and how long for. Your occupation, if you’re still working, your postcode and even risky hobbies, may also be taken into account.

What else could affect my life insurance premium?

Before comparing life insurance, it’s important to keep in mind that:

  • With the exception of specialist over 50s life insurance, a provider will typically ask whether you have any medical conditions or unhealthy lifestyle choices that could potentially lead to an increase in your premium. For instance as a smoker, you can expect to pay a higher premium than a non-smoker if you’ve used any tobacco products in the past 12 months.
  • If you and your spouse/partner both need life cover, it may cost less to buy a joint life insurance policy, rather than one policy each. However, make sure that’s the right option for your circumstances, because if one of you passes away, a joint policy will end after one lump sum pay-out, leaving the other person without cover. So, if you and a partner both pass away in the same traffic accident, for example, there would just be one pay-out with a joint policy instead of two with individual policies. It’s important to be sure that if the worst happens, a child or other dependants are protected.
  • Ask yourself whether you also need critical illness cover. For a slightly higher cost, you can arrange for the policy to pay out not only in the event of you dying, but also if you become seriously ill with one of the conditions listed on the policy. Learn more about critical illness insurance.

Compare life insurance now

Life insurance is something we should all think about sooner rather than later, especially so if you have a family, mortgage, debts or dependants. But you could need a life insurance policy at any time of your life.

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