Over 50 life insurance – your questions answered

On this page, you’ll find simple answers to your questions on over 50 life insurance to help you understand how it works before comparing quotes from leading providers. If you have a question we haven’t included, please get in touch so we can answer it for you.

What is a guaranteed over 50 plan?

Guaranteed over 50 plan is simply another name for over 50 life insurance, a basic whole of life policy designed for people aged 50 and over. It pays out a lump sum on death, enabling you to leave some money to your loved ones.

'Whole of life' means you are covered for the rest of your life. As long as you keep paying your premiums each month, the policy guarantees a cash payment for your named beneficiary/ies on your death, whenever that may be.

This money can be used for any purpose, from funeral costs to paying off any debt you might leave, or simply as a gift to your loved ones.

Am I eligible for over 50 life cover?

You're eligible for over 50 life insurance if you're a UK resident in your 50s, 60s 70s or even your 80s, depending on the provider you choose.

What is the maximum age for life insurance?

Most over 50 life insurance providers accept any UK resident up to the age of 80, with SunLife going up to age 85, so don’t assume you’re too old for life insurance.

How does over 50 life insurance work?

There are very few questions to answer when you take out an over 50 plan, so it's usually quicker and more straightforward to arrange than traditional life insurance.

  • Acceptance is guaranteed: Over 50 life cover is ‘no-medical insurance’. Some providers ask whether you’re a smoker, but there are no other questions about your lifestyle, your medical history or your alcohol consumption and you won’t have to undergo any medical checks.
  • Choose your payout amount - You choose the amount you want the plan to pay out. Then your monthly premium is calculated based on this figure and your current age. The greater the payout, and the older you are, the higher your monthly premium will be.
  • Guaranteed payout on death - after an initial waiting period of one or two years, the policy guarantees to pay the cash sum to your loved ones when you die, as long as you continue to pay your monthly premiums when due.
  • Accidental death benefit - If you die during the waiting period, all the premiums you have paid will be returned to your beneficiaries, unless death was as a result of an accident, in which case they will receive the full cash sum.

When is over 50 life insurance worth it?

Everyone over 50 has different circumstances and needs, but if you're looking for a modest cash sum to leave your loved ones and you’d prefer not to go through any medical checks, over 50s life cover could be worth considering if, for example:

  1. You want to put some money towards your funeral costs
  2. You want to help your family pay off outstanding debts when you die
  3. You want to leave a small gift for your loved ones.

Is funeral insurance worth having?

In 2020, the average cost of a funeral in the UK was £4,417, which is a large sum of money to find.

If you want to specifically help your loved ones with the cost of your funeral, you could choose some form of funeral insurance, such as:

  • Adding funeral benefit option to your over 50 plan so your cash sum is paid directly towards the services of a nominated funeral director.
  • Choosing a pre-paid funeral plan to pay for the funeral director’s services at today’s prices, either in a lump sum or monthly instalments.
  • Choosing a pre-paid direct cremation plan if you would prefer a simple, no-fuss cremation without a service.

Can I get life insurance if I’m in poor health?

Yes, you can get life insurance if you’re in poor health as a pre-existing medical condition won’t necessarily prevent you from getting standard life insurance, however it often does. The insurer will ask for detailed medical information and, even if you are accepted, it is likely to cost considerably more.

However, with over 50 life insurance, you won’t have to answer health questions or have a medical exam when you apply. Acceptance is guaranteed, regardless of your health or lifestyle choices.

What is the best life insurance for someone over 50?

If you have a limited budget or have any health problems, over 50s life insurance may suit you because acceptance is guaranteed without a medical. However, the cash sum is likely to be relatively modest compared to other types of life insurance.

If you're in good health and a non-smoker, you could consider term life insurance or regular whole of life insurance. These types of policy will pay out more than over 50 life insurance, because your health and lifestyle choices are factored in when you apply.

What is the cheapest life insurance for seniors?

Whether we like it or not, the reality is the older we get the greater our chance of dying. Consequently, life insurance companies can be less willing to cover older people. Typically, premiums are higher, and upper age caps are imposed.

If you're past a certain age and looking for life insurance quotes, you have several options:

  • Regular term life insurance
  • Regular whole of life insurance
  • Guaranteed acceptance over 50 life insurance

Which one offers you the best value will depend on your health, how much money you want to leave and the monthly premium you can comfortably afford to pay.

How much does over 50 life insurance cost?

The cost of over 50 life insurance depends on various factors:

  • Your age – age is a main factor affecting your life insurance premium. Over 50s plans have a maximum age of 80 or 85 depending on the insurer.
  • Your chosen cover amount – the sum of money you want to leave your loved ones will affect the price you pay: the bigger the lump sum, the higher your monthly premiums will be
  • Your chosen monthly premium – rather than choosing a fixed lump sum, you could choose a monthly premium you can comfortably afford and accept the cash sum payable for that amount
  • Your chosen provider – some providers will be more expensive than others, with different benefits and waiting periods, so always compare over 50 life insurance quotes

A few providers will also want to know if you smoke or have used tobacco related products in the past 12 months, however many, including the market leader SunLife, do not.

How long will over 50 life insurance cover me for?

Over 50 life cover will cover you for the rest of your life (provided you keep paying your monthly premiums), rather than for a specific number of years.  A cash payout is guaranteed whenever you die, after which the cover ends.

How long will I pay for over 50 life insurance?

Premiums are usually payable for life, so how long you pay for over 50 life insurance will depend on your age when you take out your plan and how long you live. Some insurers allow you to stop paying premiums on your 90th birthday, even though your cover will continue for the rest of your life.

Depending on how long you live, you may pay more into your plan than the amount paid out when you die.

What if I’ve been turned down for life insurance?

Over 50 life cover can be a good option if you’ve previously been turned down for life insurance. If you’re a UK resident who meets the age criteria, you’re guaranteed acceptance with no medical exam or questionnaire.

Just be aware that in return for guaranteed acceptance, the amount of cover you can get is lower than other types of life insurance, and there is an initial waiting period of one or two years before the full payout would be made when you die.

What are the advantages of over 50 life insurance?

  1. You won’t be turned down - You won’t need to answer any medical questions or undergo a medical examination to be accepted. If you’re the right age and a UK resident you will be approved.
  2. You always know exactly where you stand - Your monthly premium and cash payout are fixed from day one and will never change, making it easy to budget for.
  3. You’re covered for life - After the initial waiting period, you’re fully covered until you die, regardless of whether that is five or 35 years off.
  4. It might offer a more affordable option - Premiums start from just a few pounds a month.

What are the downsides of over 50 life insurance?

  1. Initial waiting period - You will need to pay into your plan for 1-2 years before you are fully covered. If you die during the initial waiting period, the premiums you’ve paid up to that point will be paid out, rather than the full sum.
  2. Inflation - Over time, the fixed cash payout will lose value due to the effect of inflation. This means it will buy less in the future than it would today.
  3. No cash-in value - Over 50 life insurance has no cash-in value, so if you don’t keep on top of your premiums, you won’t get any money back, and nothing will be paid out when you die.
  4. You may pay in more than the plan pays out - You may end up paying more in monthly premiums than the amount paid out, especially if you’re at the younger end of the eligible age range and live for a long time.

Can I have a joint over 50 plan?

No, but your partner could take out over 50 life insurance in their own name if they wish.

Can I cash in my over 50 life insurance policy?

No, over 50 life insurance has no cash-in value at any time. If you cancel your policy or stop paying your premiums at any point, you won’t get any money back.

Is over 50 life insurance tax free?

Like other life cover, over 50 life insurance is exempt from income tax. However, when you die, it does form part of your estate for inheritance tax purposes. So if the value of your estate is likely to be over the IHT threshold, you may want to put your policy into trust.

Does over 50 life insurance cover death from coronavirus?

Yes, over 50 life insurance does cover death due to coronavirus, as long as you are past the initial waiting period of your over 50 plan.

Next steps

To help you choose which plan may be right for you, take a look at our best buy table to compare over 50s life cover and get a quick quote from your choice the leading insurers.

Over 50 life insurance best buys

Updated 13th December 2021 by Ashley Shepherd

Ashley is the founder and managing director at Over50choices. With over 30 years’ experience in financial services, he has held senior roles in building societies, banks and insurance companies.

Ashley Shepherd

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