When should I first get life insurance?

What life stage should you be at when you take out life insurance for the first time? Is there a particular age you should get life insurance by, or are there other factors that mean you should consider getting it? 

What life stage should you be at when you take out life insurance for the first time? Is there a particular age you should get life insurance by, or are there other factors that mean you should consider getting it? 

Kamran Altaf
From the Life team
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
Posted 27 JANUARY 2021

What to consider before you buy life insurance 

Age is a factor in the decision to buy life insurance: the younger and healthier you are when you buy it, the cheaper your policy is likely to be. Plus, if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness and try to buy life insurance after that, any pre-existing conditions are likely to be excluded from a pay-out if they cause your death. 
But the really important question to ask is: “Why and when you should take out life insurance?” 

Supporting your family 

Life insurance is there to help take care of people who depend on you financially when you die. It’s worth considering if you have dependants, for example:

  • children
  • a partner who relies on your income
  • other family members who rely on you to pay for their care

With 12% of UK adults having no savings or investments, for many people life insurance can be a good option to help cope financially after a death. So, it can be worth considering life insurance when you move in with a partner, get married or enter a civil partnership, or have children together – particularly when your income is needed to support the household.

Non-working parents might also want to consider life insurance. If you’re a stay-at-home parent looking after the home and children, there would still be a financial impact if you were to die. Childcare would need to be paid for, or the working parent would need to cut their hours. Either way, there’s the potential for a financial impact on your household income.

Buying a home

Most mortgage providers require you to take out life insurance to cover your mortgage payments, so that they know the debt will be paid if you die. This is particularly important if you have dependants who live with you, because if they’re not able to pay the mortgage then the provider is likely to want to sell the home to pay off the debt.  
Just remember, you don’t have to buy your life insurance from the same provider you get your mortgage from. You might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.

Changing jobs

Changing jobs can be an opportunity to review whether you need life insurance.  
Some companies offer death in service benefits, where a named person or people will be paid a sum of money (usually a multiple of your salary) if you die while you’re working for the company.  
If, for example, you’re earning the average salary of £29,588 (£569 a week) and get three times your salary as death in service benefits, your named beneficiary would receive £88,764. If you move to a company that doesn’t offer this kind of benefit, it might be worth thinking about taking out life insurance to replace it.  

Paying for a funeral

You may also want to think about how your funeral would be paid for. A funeral cost, on average, £3,757 in 2018, according to Royal London’s National Funeral Cost Index. The Index also found that the average amount of debt taken on by those who struggle to meet funeral costs has reached a record high of £1,744 per person. It estimates that around 75,000 people experienced funeral debt in 2018.

If, for example, you’re one of the 53% of 22-29 year-olds who have nothing in savings, according to government figures, then you might not want to saddle your family with paying for your funeral should the worst happen.

So, if you want your family and loved ones to manage financially if you die, then it’s worth considering life insurance.

What’s the impact of age on life insurance?

Generally speaking, the older you are when you take out life insurance, the more you’re likely to have to pay for your premium. 

Snapshot of costs by age** 

Age Average monthly premium
0-24  £15.34
25-34  £23.86
35-44  £32.92
45-54  £37.08
55-64  £36.15
65+  £48.92

**Our average life insurance prices are based on all our customer quotes for each age group stated. They cover a mix of personal circumstances, as well as different types and levels of cover. All average premiums are based on  Compare the Market data from 1 October 2020 to 1 January 2021 where the customer has clicked through to buy from the life insurance provider. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your personal circumstances.

Compare life insurance

Get a life insurance quote and start saving now

Get a quote

When don’t you need life insurance?

Life insurance may not be worth considering if:

  • you’re single and have no dependants
  • your partner earns enough for your family to live on
  • your income is low and you could be eligible for state benefits
Get a life insurance quote and start saving now Compare life insurance