Over 50s Life Insurance
Over 50 and looking for life insurance? Want guaranteed acceptance and a tax-free payout? Many people mistakenly believe that they are too old to qualify for coverage, but that’s not true! There are several great options available. Discover all the benefits of over 50 plans and see what is available in the UK right now.
What Is Over 50s life insurance?
Over 50s life insurance refers to life insurance plans that pay out an amount upon your passing. This lump sum is not subject to income tax, but if your estate is higher than the threshold, inheritance tax applies. You can probably guess by the name that this product is aimed at people who are older than fifty but usually younger than eighty-five (depending on your insurer).
Like any other life insurance policy, over 50 life insurance will pay out a lump sum in the event of your death that your family can use to cover funeral costs, settle unpaid bills, cover debts or meet any other financial commitments they may have. You can also leave the total or part of the cash sum amount paid by your insurer to a charity of your choice. All you need to do is keep making monthly payments as per your policy, as missed payments will void the full pay out.
Most of us get told that we have to buy life insurance when we start work in our twenties because life insurance premiums will skyrocket later in life. In reality, it's never too late to get a life insurance policy, even when you’re older. While monthly premiums may be slightly higher for over 50s life insurance, there are still plenty of benefits available at a great price if you are aged 50 to 80.
Over 50s life cover is a good option to consider if you are a senior and want to leave a legacy behind for your family, want to cover the cost of your funeral or leave a donation behind for your favorite charity. Let's dive into the options.
How Does Over 50s Life Insurance Work?
Who Needs Over 50s Life Insurance?
Over 50s life insurance is only available to UK residents over the age of fifty. Over 50 life insurance can be pricey compared to a traditional life insurance policy - sometimes, the monthly cost is nearly double that of a normal policy. The reason is simple. No health-related questions are asked, or no medical exam takes place. You are guaranteed acceptance, no matter what your personal circumstances are. But as a result, the insurer doesn't know anything about your health, which makes over 50 life insurance customers a riskier bet. That's also why there is a waiting period that requires at least a year or more of payments before the insurer will pay out the lump sum. But if you were to pass away within waiting period, your insurance provider will return paid premiums to your family.
If you have dependents or would like to leave an inheritance, or want to assist your family with funeral planning and expenses, an over 50’s life insurance plan could help, especially if your medical history makes it harder for you to obtain other forms of insurance.
How Much Cover do I Need?
Over 50 life insurance policies only allow the policyholder to take a certain amount of cover, usually £25,000 or less. This makes it suitable if you are only interested in covering funeral expenses, a loan, or debts related to an illness you’ve suffered. If you want full financial protection or an income for your family, you may want to look at additional or alternative life insurance policies.
There are two ways of approaching your over 50 life insurance policy and determining how much cover you need:
- You can determine how large of a cash sum you want to leave behind for your beneficiaries and work out the cost accordingly.
- You can work out how much you are comfortable paying every month and then calculate the lump sum you would leave behind.
You should speak to your financial adviser about the claims process, your life insurance options, and the lump sum paid to beneficiaries before making a decision. Your financial adviser can is the one who can offer you best practical advice and provide you a number of life insurance quotes that will suit your lifestyle, income and any other of your needs.
What Does Over 50s Life Insurance Cost?
The cost of Over 50s life cover differs according to various factors, like your age and the amount of cover you take out. Luckily, with most over 50s life insurance plans, your premiums are fixed and will never be increased. Some providers do offer increasing life insurance premiums, called indexation, which means that both your premium and the cash sum paid out will increase over time.
Can I Have More Than One Over 50s Life Insurance Policy?
It is entirely possible to take out more than one Over 50s Life insurance plan, usually with a caveat that the total cash value of the plan doesn't exceed a set amount (usually £10,000). Speak to your life cover provider about the options.
Can I Cash Out My Over 50s Life Insurance Policy Early?
In most instances, your over 50s life insurance plan has no cash-in value. There are some providers that allow you to cash out your life insurance at any time, but with a lot of deductions and penalties. If you need to stop paying premiums for any reason, it's best to discuss your options with your provider to avoid taking a financial hit.
Over 50s life insurance is exempted from income tax, but it is not exempted from inheritance tax. If the overall value of your estate is more than £325,000, inheritance tax will be deducted from your pay out at a rate of 40%. Speak to your insurer if you are concerned about inheritance tax - they may be able to assist.
It is not possible to take out a joint over 50s policy. There is no stipulation that prevents a partner or spouse from taking out a separate policy, providing they are between 50 and 80 years old and reside in the UK for at least half of the calendar year.
What is the Difference Between Over 50s Life Insurance and Funeral Cover?
A lot of people confuse over 50 life insurance and funeral cover because many Over 50 life insurance plans include funeral benefits. Let's look at the differences. Both funeral plans and over 50s life insurance is a way of covering your funeral costs.
We've already covered the fact that over 50 life insurance pays a fixed amount of money upon your passing. This could be used to pay for your funeral or spent any other way your beneficiaries see fit. A funeral plan will also pay a fixed lump sum to beneficiaries, but it can only be spent to cover funeral costs and goes to the funeral director. Most advisors do not recommend using life insurance in lieu of a funeral plan because of the way inflation affects the value of the cover. The cash sum paid may not be enough to cover the funeral, considering how rapidly the cost of a funeral is rising in the UK.
It is possible to acquire a life insurance plan with a funeral benefit option included at an extra cost that will help pay for your funeral costs.
Funeral Costs in United Kingdom
Funeral is becoming more expensive every year. The average funeral cost in the UK is 4,056 pounds depending on the type of service selection. The cremation is more popular, so it is cheaper than the classical burial at £3.842. The UK funeral cost increased from 2006 by 36%. This can be explained by increasing the inflation rate and the number of people dying every year. The average funeral cost was around £4,000, up from just over £2,000 in 2006. Funeral costs depend on where you live in the UK and the service chosen. In London, for example, it averages around £7,500.
Over 50s Life Insurance vs Pensions
Over 50s life insurance (in most cases) will only pay out after your passing, whereas pensions are designed to sustain your lifestyle while you are still alive. It’s a good idea to consider how and to have both in place.
The Factors To Consider If You Are Thinking of an Over 50s Plan
Over 50s life cover may not be the right plan for everyone. Before making a decision, you have to look at the factors that influence the cost and benefits of your over 50 life insurance policy:
Your Buying Power
Over 50 life insurance plans can be expensive, and if you pay premiums for a lengthy period of time, you may end up spending more money than the pay out your beneficiaries will potentially receive. In many cases, you can obtain standard life insurance cover for at least half of the cost. Prices may differ from insurer to insurer, so make sure you decide based on more than one offer! More about standard life cover can be found HERE.
Your Health or Other Circumstances
If poor health excludes you from life cover, you may want to consider over 50 life insurance because you are guaranteed acceptance if you are anywhere between 50 years old up to (usually) 80 years old. Some insurance companies accept applications from customers that are up to 85 years old.
Have in mind, you can also backdate your policy. More about this can be found in our Insurance Tips&Tricks section.
The Amount of Cover You Need
Most over 50s life cover policies only allow you to take out a limited level of coverage. The amount is usually sufficient for covering funeral expenses, but the cash sum won't support your beneficiaries for years to come, especially if you have higher levels of debt. In this case, we would recommend standard life cover, if you can qualify for it, that is. You can get free and no obligation quote in one minute HERE.
Residence and Age
Most policies are only open to UK residents aged between 50 and 80. If you are not a UK resident, you may wish to explore options in your country of residence.
Your financial advisor should be able to explain these and other factors to you if you need assistance.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Over 50s Life Insurance?
Before making a decision about insurance, you have to weigh up the pros and cons. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of over 50s life insurance.
The Pros of Over 50s Life Insurance
Over 50 life insurance comes with a number of compelling benefits. Let's recap what we've learned about it thus far:
The Cons of Over 50s Life Insurance
Of course, over 50 life insurance isn't right for everyone. While it's important to remember that all life insurance policies have pros and cons, weighing up the disadvantages may help you reach a final decision:
Alternatives to Over 50s Life Insurance
Before making a final decision, it's important to look at other life insurance options and alternatives. Over 50s Life Insurance is suitable for specific people only, so make sure you know all your options before taking our a claim.
Some Of the Alternatives to Over 50s Life Insurance are:
A funeral plan assists your loved ones with paying for your funeral director. Like over 50 plans, your medical history isn't relevant, and anyone can acquire a funeral plan. The plan usually covers the basics of the funeral, like cremation or burial fees, coffins, and the service. On the plus side, your family is covered against inflation because you will pay today's prices for a funeral held in the future. The money from a funeral plan goes straight to the funeral director and can't be spent by the beneficiaries in any other way.
Sometimes putting the money that you would have spent on life cover aside in a high-interest-bearing account will leave more money in your beneficiaries' pockets than a policy. This is really only true if you are depositing funds into the account regularly and over a long period of time. Unfortunately, because you can access these funds at any time, you may be tempted to spend the money during your lifetime.
You can acquire other forms of whole of life cover at any age. Yes, this may come at an extra cost, but you can usually leave a little more behind for your loved ones than you would with over 50 life insurance.
If you opt for over 50s life cover with a funeral benefit option attached, the cash sum is paid to a funeral director and not to your estate. This saves your family the worry of sourcing and securing a funeral director when the time comes.
Term of life insurance provides life cover during a set period and will only pay out if you pass away during the term. It's underwritten, so your premium and eligibility depend on your lifestyle, existing medical conditions and history. The pay-out is bigger than an over 50s plan or a funeral plan, but it really only covers you for a set period. If you live longer than the term, you won't draw a benefit from this policy.
Only you can decide whether Over 50s life cover is right for you and the people you leave behind. We all want to make sure that our loved ones are cared for after we pass away, so make sure that you discuss all of the options at your disposal with a trusted financial advisor.