Seniors Life Insurance

What if, in later life, you decide you want to leave some money for loved ones and don’t have a plan in place to do so? A need for life insurance in your sixties and beyond tends to be motivated by different concerns than when you were younger. The good news is, not only is there life insurance for the over 70s and 80s, it’s been designed with the requirements of older people in mind.

In this guide, we explain what you need to know about life insurance when you're over 70, and why over 50 life cover may be worth considering as you get older.

Is it worth taking out life insurance at 70?

Whether or not 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?

How does senior life insurance work?

Everyone’s circumstances are different – but there are three different kinds of life insurance for you to choose from, each of which works slightly differently: life insurance with no medical, 'whole of life' insurance and 'term' life insurance.

Which one is the best life insurance for over 70s will ultimately depend on your unique needs.

1. Over 70 life insurance with no medical

If you want life insurance with no medical, maybe because of long-term health complications, over 50s life insurance may be worth considering. Here’s why:

  • Any UK resident aged 50-80 (up to 85 with SunLife) is guaranteed to be accepted
  • There are no medical questions to answer, so it's ideal 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.

You also need to be aware that:

  • Premiums are payable for life or until your 90th birthday, depending on your insurer
  • 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
  • The amount paid out is less than if you took out life insurance based on your health and lifestyle
  • The older you are when you apply, the smaller the payout is likely to be
Over 70 life insurance (over 50 plans)
Main benefit Main consideration

Any one in their 70s up to the age of 85 will be accepted, regardless of their state of health.

No medical or health questions to answer,so applying is quick and easy.

There is an initial 12- or 24-month waiting period before a claim can be made unless you die as the result of an accident.

If you die of natural causes in this time, only the premiums paid will be refunded.

2. 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.
Whole of life insurance for over 70s
Main benefit Main consideration

You could get a higher payout for your money compared with an over 50s plan.

There is no waiting period. You are fully covered from day one.

Whether or not you are accepted will be dependent on your answers to questions on your health and lifestyle.

You may be asked to undergo a medical examination before a decision is made.

3. Term life insurance for over 70s

You could also consider term life insurance in your 70s, particularly 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. In fact, you could even be declined if the provider is not happy with your state of health.

The difference between term insurance and whole of life cover is that term life insurance guarantees to pay out only if you die during the policy term. If you don’t, you won’t get any money back and nothing will be paid out on your death in the future.

How much is life insurance for a 70 year old?

As you get older, life insurance typically gets more expensive. 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.

There are many factors other than age that affect the cost of life insurance for seniors. Your health, weight and lifestyle – including whether you smoke or not – all affect the cost of cover, unless you opt for guaranteed no medical life insurance (note some plans will charge a higher premium if you smoke).

With over 70 no medical life insurance, your premium is based on your age (and for some companies whether you smoke) and the cash payout you want – nothing more, although you won’t be fully covered for the first one or two years.

How much does over 70 life insurance cost?

On the basis that life insurance costs more the older you get, you may find the monthly premiums unaffordable, especially if you have health problems or a pre-existing condition.

Here are some examples of how the SunLife Over 50 plan compares to other types of over 70 life insurance, correct as at 30/8/21:

Life insurance quote for a 70 year old non-smoker (Based on a cash payout of £4,070)

Feature SunLife Over 50 life insurance Whole of life insurance Term life insurance (20 year term)
Acceptance Guaranteed regardless of your health Dependent on your health and lifestyle Dependent on your health and lifestyle
Monthly premium £27 payable for life £18.95 payable for life £10.22 payable for the policy term
Guaranteed cash payout On death, after the first 12 months On death On death if you die within the term

Can you get life insurance over 80?

Yes, you can get life insurance over 80, but your options will be more limited.

You may 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 whole of life insurance 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.

What is the cost of life insurance over 80?

Here are some examples of how the SunLife Over 50 plan compares with other types of life insurance for people over 80, correct as at 30/8/21:

Life insurance quote for an 80 year old (Based on a cash payout of £3,080)

Feature SunLife Over 50 life insurance Whole of life insurance Term life insurance (10 year term)
Acceptance Guaranteed regardless of your health Dependent on your health and lifestyle Dependent on your health and lifestyle
Monthly premium £40 payable for life £37.25 payable for life £26.42 payable for the policy term
Guaranteed cash payout On death, after the first 12 months On death On death if you die within the term

Funeral plans for over 80s

When you’re in your 80s, the amount of life cover you can get may not be enough for your needs, particularly if you’re hoping to help towards funeral costs. If this is the case, you could; choose a funeral plan instead of, or as well as, an over 50 plan

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.

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

Want more information?

Over 50 life insurance guide

seniors life insurance

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