Can a 70 year old take out life insurance?

Life insurance is available for over 70 year olds, with several options to choose from. ‘Term insurance’ can provide over 70s with protection for a specified period, whereas ‘whole of life insurance’ provides lifetime cover. And with over 70 life insurance with no medical, cover is guaranteed regardless of any health concerns.

In this guide we explain how the different types of over 70 life insurance work, how much they cost and why over 50 life cover may be worth considering.

Why do I need life insurance at 70?

Whether you need life insurance when you're over 70 will depend on your personal and financial situation. Whilst it’s less likely you’ll need it to cover a mortgage at this stage in your life, there are other aspects to consider:

  • Can your family comfortably cover funeral costs without any help from you?
  • Would you like to leave behind an inheritance?
  • Do you have outstanding debts, loans or credit cards?

What is the best over 70 life insurance?

The best over 70 life insurance will depend on your requirements. If you just require protection for a number of years, term insurance may be suitable. However, if you’re in ill health and want to help with funeral costs, over 70s life insurance with no medical questions may be a better option.

Here’s a closer look at how the three life insurance options for those over 70 work:

Over 70 life insurance with no medical

Over 70 no medical life insurance, or over 50 life insurance as it’s more commonly known is a whole of life insurance policy. This type of insurance covers you for life and has a quick and simple application process with no health or lifestyle questions.

Therefore, if you’re over 70 and prefer life insurance with no medical questions, perhaps because of long-term health complications, over 50s life cover may be worth considering. Here’s how it works:

  • Any UK resident aged 50-80 (up to 85 with SunLife) is guaranteed to be accepted
  • There are no medical questions to answer, which can help if you’re in poor health or have a pre-existing medical condition
  • Premiums start from less than £4 a month and can go up to £75 a month if you want a higher amount of cover
  • A cash payout is guaranteed when you die, provided you pay your premiums when due
  • The payout can be used for any purpose – for example, to help with funeral costs, clear outstanding debts or provide an inheritance.

over 70s life insurance

You also need to be aware that:

  • Premiums are payable for life or until your 90th birthday*
  • You could pay in more than the amount paid out, but the older you are when you take out a plan, the lower the risk of this
  • You are covered after an initial waiting period of 12 to 24 months*. If you die during the waiting period, you wouldn’t be covered but your premiums would be refunded.

Over 70 life cover with no medical could be a good idea if you prefer an application process that doesn’t take your health and lifestyle into account. However, because this type of life insurance guarantees acceptance regardless of any health conditions, the cash pay out is lower compared to regular ‘whole of life insurance’.

Why not read our "frequently asked questions" to find out more about this type of cover.

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Whole of life insurance for over 70s

To be accepted for standard whole of life insurance in your 70s, you’ll need to answer questions on your medical history. If you are in good health without any pre-existing medical conditions, it could be worth considering – here’s why:

  • You can apply in your 70s and up to the age of 84
  • A cash payout is guaranteed whenever you die, provided monthly premiums have been paid when due
  • These plans offer a higher amount of cover compared to an over 50 plan.
  • There is no waiting period, so you are fully covered from day one.

Whether you are accepted will be dependent on your answers to the health and lifestyle questions. You may be asked to undergo a medical examination before a decision is made.

Term life insurance for over 70s

The difference between term insurance and whole of life cover is that term life insurance guarantees to pay out only if you die during a specified period, known as the policy term.

Term life insurance in your 70s may be worth considering if you still have a mortgage or others who depend on you financially. Like whole of life insurance, it is underwritten, so your age, smoker status and state of health will determine the premium you pay. However, you could even be declined if the provider is not happy with your state of health.

How much does over 70 life insurance cost?

Life insurance typically gets more expensive the older we get. That’s because as people age, they’re more likely to get ill and therefore more likely to claim on a policy. The insurer passes on this risk to the policyholder in the form of a higher premium.

Aswell as age, there are many other factors that affect the cost of life insurance for seniors including health, weight and lifestyle.

How much is life insurance for a 70 year old?

In addition to age, health and lifestyle, the cost of life insurance for a 70 year old will vary by provider and type of cover required.

Can an 80 year old get life insurance?

You can get life insurance for over 80 year olds, but your options will be more limited.

You could be eligible for term insurance up to the age of 84, but the maximum term may only be 5 years and premiums will be very high. Or you may want to consider a whole of life policy if you’re in your early 80s and still in good health, but again the cost may be prohibitive.

An over 50s plan may be the most suitable life insurance if you're over 80, as one insurer – SunLife – guarantees to accept you up to the age of 85 and the monthly premiums could be more affordable.

How much does life insurance cost for an 80 year old?

The cost of term and whole of life insurance for over 80s will be expensive with limited options available. Sunlife’s over 50 plan guarantees acceptance and will guarantee a cash pay out when you die. The following table shows how much cover an 80 year old non-smoker could get:

Monthly premium Tax free cash
£10 £729
£20 £1,523
£30 £2,287
£40 £3,049
£50 £3,812

Details correct as at 11th January 2022

Funeral plans for over 70 and 80 year olds

If you are in your 70s or 80s and considering life insurance to help with funeral costs, you could choose a funeral plan instead of, or as well as, an over 50 plan. Especially if you find the amount of life cover available to you is insufficient for your needs.

A funeral plan will allow you to pay for key elements of your funeral in advance and lock the cost in at today’s prices. Acceptance is guaranteed for people over 80 and you can spread the cost in monthly instalments.

What is the best over 70 life insurance for me?

To choose the best over 70s life insurance for you, consider why you want the cover and how much you are comfortable spending per month. Over 70 life insurance calculators are available on comparison websites like ours and will help you see how much cover you could get for your money.

And remember, if you’re turned down because of the state of your health or lifestyle, you could always consider an over 50 plan with guaranteed acceptance.

Next steps

If you’re interested in life insurance for people over 70 or 80, compare the UK’s leading over 50 life insurance providers now and get a quote.

Get a Sunlife quote

Updated 11th January 2022 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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