How does over 50 life insurance work? A simple guide

Over 50 life insurance offers an affordable way to leave your family some money when you die. However, if you’re new to this type of insurance, perhaps you’re just getting started or choosing for your parents, it’s important to understand how over 50s life insurance works.

To help, we have created this simple guide, so you can feel more confident about whether over 50 life cover is the right type of insurance for you.

What is over 50 life insurance?

Over 50s life cover is a popular choice for those aged 50 to 80 because you don’t need a medical to apply and a cash sum is guaranteed to pay out when you die. This means anyone of the right age will be accepted, regardless of their medical history or lifestyle, which can be helpful for people in poor health or who smoke. 

Your loved ones can use the money your plan pays out in any way they choose. It could be put towards your funeral, used to help pay off outstanding debts or simply be left as a gift for them to enjoy.

How over 50s life insurance works

  • You are guaranteed to be accepted

To be eligible for over 50s life cover, you simply need to be at least 50 years of age and live in the UK. Most providers have a maximum age limit of 80 years old, although SunLife over 50 plans go up to the age of 85.

  • There’s no need for a medical

You will not be asked to answer any questions about your medical history or lifestyle.

  • You pay a fixed premium every month

The premium you choose at the outset is fixed and will not change for the duration of the plan are agreed at the beginning of your plan will not change for the duration your plan. Premiums are usually payable until you die, or until you reach your 90th birthday (this can vary from plan to plan), so it’s always a good idea to compare over 50 life insurance plans before you make your final decision.

  • You will be fully covered after 1 or 2 years

All over 50 life insurance plans have an initial waiting period of 1 or 2 years. If you were to die during this time, the full cash sum will not pay out. Instead all money that had been paid in up to that point would be refunded.

  • The cash payout is guaranteed

Provided you keep up with your monthly payments, you can be sure that when you die, your over 50s life cover will pay out a cash sum to your beneficiaries.

The pros and cons of over 50 life cover with no medical

While over 50 life cover can provide an affordable way to leave your loved ones some money, there are important things to consider before you make your decision.

Let’s start by looking at the benefits:

  • Your health and lifestyle are your business, and don’t have any bearing on your application
  • Straightforward and quick application process online or over the phone
  • Affordable premiums starting from just £3.70 a month
  • Your monthly payments will never change so no nasty surprises along the way
  • A cash payout is guaranteed when you die
  • You choose how much you want to pay each month or how much cover you need
  • Your loved ones are free to do what they want with the money paid out
  • Simple and efficient claims process to make things easy when the time comes

Now here’s what you need to be aware of:

  • If you were to die during the initial waiting period (usually 1 or 2 years), the full cash sum will not pay out, however your monthly premiums would be refunded
  • Premiums are payable for life or until your 90th birthday depending on the plan you choose
  • Depending on how long you live, there is a chance you could pay in more than your plan pays out
  • The amount of money paid out when you die is fixed, so inflation will reduce its value over time
  • If you cancel or stop paying your premiums for any reason, your plan will be cancelled, and you will not get any money back
  • The cash sum is usually paid to your estate so may be subject to inheritance tax.

Compare over 50 life insurance plans and providers and get quick quotes to help you decide which plan may be right for you.

Compare over 50s life insurance quotes

What are the alternatives to over 50s life insurance?

  • Over 50 Life insurance with a funeral benefit

Not quite an alternative, but if you want to help with funeral costs, you could consider taking the funeral benefit option on an over 50s plan. This enables your cash sum to be paid directly to a designated funeral director when you die, to help pay for the funeral.

It’s free to set up and you will get a contribution of between £250 to £300 towards your funeral costs, depending on the company you choose. What’s more, you can change your mind at any time, and leave the money to your loved ones instead.

  • Regular whole of life insurance

This type of insurance requires you to answer health and lifestyle questions, consequently it will give you more cover for your money but may not be suitable for someone with health problems.

  • Term life insurance

Term life insurance is useful if you are seeking cover for a fixed period of time. You specify the number of years you want to be covered for and the policy only pays out if you die in that time.

  • Prepaid funeral plans

A prepaid funeral plan allows you to pay for and arrange your funeral in advance, so most of the planning and expense is taken care of, leaving less for your loved ones to deal with. One of the main advantages of a prepaid funeral plan is that you pay today’s prices. This means that while inflation will increase the average cost of funerals year on year, your funeral services will be fixed at today’s prices.

  • Direct cremation plans

Also known as a direct funeral, a direct cremation plan lets you pay and arrange a simple and fuss-free funeral alternative. There is no service at a church or crematorium involved and no one in attendance, so it is not for everyone, but it could be suitable if you’re seeking to avoid a service or save money.

Is over 50 life insurance right for you?

Whether over 50 life insurance is worth it depends on your circumstances; on one hand, the cash sum paid out at the end of an over 50 life insurance policy may be less than other types of insurance, but, on the other, you are guaranteed to be accepted regardless of any health concerns.

However, if you have only just turned 50 and don’t have any health problems, other types of life insurance may be better suited to your needs and situation.

Get a quick quote for over 50s life insurance

Compare over 50s life insurance quotes from all the UK’s leading insurers.

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Or, get a quote from our featured provider SunLife, who guarantee to accept you up to the age of 85.

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Updated 23rd June 2021
by Ashley Shepherd
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.

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