Over 50s life insurance

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Life insurance for over 50s

Find out how over 50s life insurance can help the people you love financially, including help with funeral costs and other expenses, if you pass away.

What is over 50s life insurance?

Over 50s life insurance is a type of life insurance you can take out between the ages of 50 and 80. It’s often paid out as a lump sum and can be used to help with financial commitments when you pass away, such as funeral costs, outstanding bills or even as a gift to the people you love. As long as you keep up with your premiums, your loved ones will receive the cash sum when you’re no longer around.

Is acceptance for over 50s life insurance guaranteed?

One of the reasons that over 50s life cover is popular is that you’re guaranteed to be accepted. You won’t need to take a medical examination or even answer any health-related questions. This means that, regardless of your health, you’ll be able to find cover that provides a lump sum for those who are important to you when you are no longer around.

Financial planning helps tick a worry off the list

Donna Wyatt, 52, of Norfolk, said:

“Nobody likes to admit to getting older, and almost everyone will try and avoid dealing with issues around death. It's human nature and I'm no different.

“I have considered financial planning for the future because it's important to tick something else off the 'worry about that' list and to know that it's all being taken care of.”

How much is life insurance for over 50s?

If you’re over 50, you could get life insurance cover from £19.25** per month, based on Assured Futures data in November 2020. Many factors influence the cost of cover, including your age, medical history and lifestyle.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £19.25 per month for their over 50s life insurance for a 10 year term, up to £100k worth of cover and no critical illness cover. Based on Assured Futures data in November 2020.

Is over 50s life insurance the right type of cover for me?

Your personal circumstances will determine whether or not over 50s life insurance is right for you. This is why it might help to speak to a financial adviser to get an understanding of the types of policy available and how they may or may not meet your needs.

Dedicated over 50s life insurance policies tend to offer smaller pay-outs than some other life insurance options. 

The sums are often intended as a way to cover funeral expenses or as a relatively small one-off financial boost for those left behind.

The payment amount is guaranteed when the policy is taken out.

For people who live for a long time after taking out the policy there may be a risk of paying in more than the policy pays out.

It’s wise to research the different types of life insurance available to make sure over 50s cover is the right one for you especially if you’re a healthy person in your early 50s.

If you’re aged 50, the chances are you still have a lot of life (and possibly some of your best years) ahead.

You can’t bury your head in the sand on life insurance

Julia Ogden, 50, of Cambridgeshire, said:

“I found it a bit depressing that within a few days of turning 50, I started to get leaflets about funeral plans and critical life cover, but I also appreciate you shouldn’t bury your head in the sand about these sorts of things.

“I have life insurance, and have had for quite a long time, but with everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, I did sort out a will this year and definitely feel a sense of relief that that’s done. The next thing I need to think about is stipulating my funeral arrangements, but I have to admit I’m not quite ready to do that just yet!”

What are the benefits of over 50s life insurance?

Over 50s life insurance has two main benefits:

  • It offers guaranteed acceptance, meaning you’ll qualify for cover regardless of your health or lifestyle
  • It guarantees a lump sum pay-out when you pass away. That said, you’ll need to have paid into the policy for a minimum period of time (usually between one and two years).

When choosing life insurance, your age should be a factor in your decision, as well as your lifestyle and health. Term life insurance could be a better option for you if you’re towards the younger end of the over-50s age bracket.

Life insurance might help cover funeral expenses when I’m gone

Andrew Malkin, 64, of Lincolnshire, said:

“I took early retirement aged 63. My wife is 60 and still working as a self-employed music teacher with no plans to retire yet.

“The older I become the more I think about a small life insurance policy for us both if only to cover funeral costs without having to raid savings.

“My main concern has been is it worth the additional investment when we are already financially secure?

“I do feel a pang of nervousness when I see a TV advert or receive literature through the post about life insurance when the illustrations make it clearly aimed at my age group.

“I have considered it, and talked it over with my wife, but we have not, as yet, done anything about it.”

Funeral funding facts

  • On average, funerals cost around £4,000^^^, without items such as flowers and catering
  • If arrangements haven’t been made to cover funeral costs, relatives may have to pay them initially and claim them back from the estate later
  • The government funds Public Health Funerals where no money is left for a funeral and no one is able or willing to pay. Local authorities organise these and arrangements vary. They are usually very simple, may or may not include a service and the time and date is usually set by the local authority. Public Health Funerals do not include things like flowers, cars or catering.

^^^According to SunLife (2020) Cost of Dying Report

What are the disadvantages of over 50s life cover?

It’s important to know that a life insurance policy can’t be cashed in: it only pays out to your beneficiaries when you pass away. So, depending on your circumstances and how long you live for, you could also end up paying more into your policy than it will end up paying out. This is something you need to take into account before you buy a policy. It is possible that inflation can reduce the buying power of the money you have saved too.

It’s also worth considering the policy’s qualification period. If you pass away within this time, your policy would not pay out. See the frequently asked questions below for more information.

What happens if I miss a payment on my over 50s life insurance policy?

It’s very important that you continue to make your scheduled payments for your life insurance. If you miss one, your policy could lapse, meaning you won’t be covered should the worst happen. If your policy lapses, you won’t be refunded any of your previous payments. 
By missing a payment, a “grace period” will activate, this will give you some time to meet your payment before your policy lapses. If you fail to make your payment before this expires, your policy will be invalid. 
Make sure that you read your documents carefully and make a note of your grace period, so that you’re fully aware of how much time you have, if your financial situation changes and are unable to make a payment. As always, if you’re at all unsure, it’s best to speak to your provider as soon as possible.

How many people aged over 65 are there in the UK?

Almost a fifth (18.5%) of the UK’s population is aged 65 and over and 2.5% of the population is aged 85 and over^^^^.

The proportion of people aged 85 and over is projected to almost double over the next 25 years, according to ONS National population projections.

The median age of the UK population is 40.3.


Percentage of the population aged 65 and over^^^^

Percentage of the population aged 85 and over^^^^







Northern Ireland









^^^^ In 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics 2019 data

North Norfolk has the oldest population

The district of the UK with the oldest population is North Norfolk, England, where the typical (median) age is 53.8. The ‘youngest’ population in the UK is in Oxford where the median age is 29.****

In 2015, 60 UK local authorities had a higher median age than Japan, the ‘oldest’ country in the world.****

****According to the Resolution Foundation’s 2019 report Ageing, fast and slow.

Average life expectancy in the UK

Did you know that the average life expectancy in the UK is 79 years old^^ for men and 83^^ for women? And people in the south tend to live longer than people in the north?


Life expectancy for men^^

Life expectancy for women^^













Northern Ireland



^^According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) Health state life expectancies, UK: 2016 to 2018 (figures rounded to the nearest year)

Frequently asked questions

What is a life insurance qualification period?

Insurance providers will set a period of time, known as a qualification period, moratorium, or waiting period, which takes effect as soon as you’ve bought a policy. For your beneficiaries to qualify for a full pay-out, this time will need to have passed before you pass away.

You should check what the qualification period or waiting period is when you take out a policy. It will vary from one policy to the next.

How long is the qualification period for over 50s life insurance?

The qualification period is typically between one or two years.

If you pass away within that time, your beneficiaries’ pay-out would be calculated using the amount you’d paid in to the policy. The amount paid out will vary between providers so you really need to know the specifics of your life insurance policy before you take it out.

Are there funeral benefits with over 50s life insurance?

Your beneficiaries may want to use the pay-out from your 50+ life insurance plan to cover your funeral costs, but it’s not specifically designed for this. Many insurance providers offer policies that will give a pay-out specifically to cover funeral costs. It’s important to read your policy details carefully though, as it’s unlikely that the entire funeral cost will be covered.

How does inflation affect the payout of my life insurance?

Inflation is something to consider when you buy a policy. With an over 50s policy the pay-out amount is fixed. So if you take out a policy when you turn 50, but live until you’re 80, the pay-out might not have the same value 30 years on. For this reason, you may want to consider raising your cover amount slightly above what you initially thought. Ultimately, it’s impossible to predict the future, so this is purely down to your judgement.

What does it mean to write a life insurance policy “in trust”?

Writing a life insurance policy in trust allows you to legally separate your policy pay-out from your estate. This means you’re protecting it from inheritance tax, which can potentially save your beneficiaries thousands in costs.

Choose your trustee(s) carefully though, as they will be entirely responsible for making sure your pay-out is used as you intended.

If you already have a life insurance policy, and are now interested in putting it in trust, you should be able to arrange that, usually with the help of a solicitor or financial advisor.

Is there over 60s life insurance? Or over 70s life insurance?

There are plenty of providers who offer senior life insurance policies for people between the ages of 50-80. But while over 50s life insurance offers guaranteed acceptance if you’re aged between 50 and 79, specific over 70s life insurance policies might require you to give more detailed information.

Where can I find a great deal on life insurance?

Look for a life insurance deal with Compare the Market and we’ll help you find a policy to suit your needs.

When you compare over 50s life insurance deals, our cheapest quote isn’t always what’s best for you – as the policy that suits you best will depend on your specific requirements. Read the details of each quote closely and see what each provider offers to get the right deal.

Get a life insurance quote to see if you can save

What is the benefit amount of an over 50s life insurance policy?

The ‘benefit amount’ is the sum of money that a life insurance policy will pay out when the policyholder passes away.

Different life insurance policies will have different benefit amounts. It’s important to consider what the benefit amount is versus the monthly premiums of a policy.

If you’ve only just turned 50 and are considering an over 50s life insurance policy it can be especially important to consider this. If the policy isn’t cashed in until you’re much older, will the amount paid to your family be more than what you’ve paid in?

It’s a good idea to consider other types of life insurance too.

Can I get over 50s life insurance if I am terminally ill?

One of the main big attractions of over 50s life insurance is that you don’t have to provide health information when you take out a policy. But it may not pay out if you pass away soon after the policy starts.

Policies tend to have a qualification period (or waiting period) which must have passed before the policy will pay out. This is often two to three years after the policy was taken out. Check the waiting period on any policy you consider buying.

What are ‘return of premium’ policies on over 50s life insurance?

Some life insurance policies have a ‘return of premium’ clause, which usually means the regular payments made into the plan (the premiums) will be returned if the person doesn’t pass away within the stated term of the policy.

‘Return of premium’ policies have pros and cons. The benefits of a ‘return of premiums’ clause may include a reduced risk of losing the money paid in. The downsides may be that the premiums could be higher in the first place. Tax implications are also worth considering.