Life insurance for people over 60

You can still get affordable life insurance if you're over 60. Find out how.

Updated

Once most Brits get to their 60s they start thinking about retirement, and with this it might be worth looking at taking out life insurance too. Whether you have outstanding debts, you want to prepare for future medical expenses or funeral costs, life insurance can ensure your loved ones will be taken care of when you die.

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Why should I consider life insurance after my 60th birthday?

You may have paid off the mortgage and your children have moved on from the family home, so you might feel less concerned about the financial security of your loved ones should you die.

However life insurance could still have a number of benefits, and you can make sure your spouse and even grandchildren will be looked after. Plus you will save those dearest to you having to pay thousands of pounds for funeral expenses.

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider buying life insurance:

  • Security for loved ones. You get the peace of mind, knowing that should anything happen unexpectedly, your family will be given financial support. Whether it’s medical costs or helping your spouse live comfortably after you’re gone.
  • Cover for immediate expenses. Funerals can be a considerable financial burden for families, costing thousands of pounds. Life insurance can help cover these expenses.
  • Better rates while young. Secure cheaper rates now while you’re in your early 60s. Your premiums will be more expensive once you’re a decade older, and this way you’re protected as you move into retirement.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. If you have suffered from an illness or a condition runs in the family, some insurers may refuse to cover you, drive up the prices, or offer you a policy that will exclude the condition from any policy protection.
  • Insurance costs. Typically the older you get, the higher a risk you are seen by an insurance provider. This means you will pay much more once you’re in your 60s and above.
What if I’m no longer working?

You can still benefit from life insurance once you’ve retired. While you might have paid off the mortgage and your children might have left home, life insurance can still help those financially dependant on you, or aid them with funeral costs.

What type of cover is available?

Generally, you can choose between two types of life insurance: either you can opt for a “whole life” policy or a “fixed term” one. Below we go through the two options.

Whole life

Most over-60 life insurance policies will be “whole life” insurance deals. This will give your loved ones a lump-sum when you die, although payouts are unfortunately smaller with whole life insurance.

Most people take them out to cover funeral costs, to pay off debts like mortgages, or for leaving money behind for children or grandchildren. Here are other key features:

  • Age limit. With many insurance providers, you only pay premiums up to a certain point, typically around the age of 90.
  • Tax-free payment. This can be complicated and an issue you might turn to a financial adviser for tips on. However, by making the proper arrangements you could ensure your dependants receive the lump-sum tax-free.

    Fixed term

    The other type of life insurance you can generally get is fixed term, which will cover you for a certain number of years – typically for terms ranging from between 10 to 30 years.

    The downside of going down this route? You’ll face greater medical scrutiny, although you might get cheaper premiums. Here are the different types of fixed term deal you can get:

    • Decreasing policy. With this type of fixed term life insurance deal you continue to pay the same in premiums, but will be given less and less coverage as the policy rolls on. It is suited to someone trying to pay off a long-term debt, such as a repayment mortgage.
    • Level policy. With this type of policy you pay the same in premiums but get a set payout, which you agree to when you take out the deal. While more expensive, your loved ones will get more money should you die during the term.
    • Increasing policy. With this type of deal your premiums rise annually, however the payouts increase alongside inflation too. This means your dependants should get more of a payout.

    Critical illness benefit

    As an optional extra, you can often take out critical illness insurance too, which will protect you and your family should you get seriously ill. It can help cover rent, mortgage payments, living expenses or even childcare costs.

    Is it possible to get life insurance over the age of 60 without having a medical screening?

    You can still get life insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition, with many over-60 policies insuring you without requiring a medical exam. Obviously, this means high premiums, however it means your loved ones will be financially taken care of.

    Factors that affect how much life insurance costs for people over 60

    As there are many different aspects to life insurance policies, there are a number of things related to your life and health that largely determine the premiums, such as:

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Current health status
    • Pre-existing medical conditions
    • Smoking status
    • Higher coverage means paying higher premiums

    How can I save on the cost of life insurance?

    • Stub out your smoking habit. Insurance providers will hit smokers and people with health conditions with higher premiums, so giving up cigarettes can help lower costs.
    • Shop around. Use comparison sites, check out reviews and get some online quotes. It only takes a few minutes to get an estimated cost, so you can see which insurer has the most affordable deal – one that covers all your needs too.
    • Avoid extras. Working out what level of life insurance you need can be a minefield. Read up and do your research, and avoid taking out optional extras you don’t need.

    Bottom line

    If you’re over 60 and have had a pre-existing medical condition, the good news is that there are plenty of over-50s and over-60s life insurance deals which will cover you – no medical exam required. However, it’s vital you look over the policy with a fine-tooth comb and look at any limitations or exclusions the policy might have.

    If you’re looking at cutting costs on your premium it might be worth looking at fixed term life insurance. Get some quotes and see if they will offer the cover you need. Ultimately it doesn’t hurt to do some shopping around.


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