Best over 50s life insurance

In your 50s or older? Learn what to look for in a life insurance plan.

Once you’re in your 50s your life insurance needs will be completely different to someone in their 30s. Your children could well have grown up already, and you might be preparing to pay off your mortgage.

In which case you might not need life insurance to pay off large outstanding debts, or to look after your family if you suddenly die. Read on to find out what you should look for in an over 50s life insurance policy, and tips on finding an insurance deal tailor-made for your situation.

Why should I consider life insurance if I’m older than 50?

Taking out a standard life insurance policy is cheaper in your 50s than in your 60s and beyond.

A life insurance policy might protect your retirement savings and can help your family with funeral costs.

With a standard life insurance policy you can get Critical Illness cover, which can ease your financial burden if you need to undergo long-term treatment.

Which life insurance is best for over 50s?

When it comes to taking out life insurance in your 50s, you have a couple of options: you can opt for a specific over 50s deal or take out a standard life insurance policy.

Over 50s life insurance

You might have heard about “over 50s life insurance”. With this type of deal you’re guaranteed a payout if you keep paying your monthly or annual premiums until you die. Here are some other key features.

  • No medical screening. You won’t have to answer any questions about your health, which makes policies like these accessible to anyone.
  • Age. These policies are typically available to people aged between 50 to 80.
  • Guaranteed payout. So long as you keep paying your annual or monthly premiums, the insurer will definitely pay a lump-sum to your beneficiaries when you die.
  • Lower payouts. While accessible, these policies have relatively low limits on how much they will pay out upon your death.

Compare over 50s life insurance providers

Name Product Age range at application Cover range Term Pays out Joint cover Link
Legal & General Over 50's Life Insurance
Up to £10,000
Unlimited (you pay until you turn 90)
If you die or get a terminal illness during the cover period
 Aviva Over-50s Life Insurance
£257 to £32,054 (subject to age and premium)
In the event of death
Royal London Over 50 Life Insurance
Up to £10,000
Unlimited (you pay until you turn 95)
If you die or get a terminal illness during the cover period

Standard life insurance

If you’re fit and haven’t had any major health issues, you’re probably better off taking out a standard life insurance policy. At the most basic level you have to choose between two types of life insurance.

  • A term life insurance policy will protect you for a set amount of time, and if you die during your coverage period, the insurer will pay out.
  • A whole-of-life insurance deal will guarantee a payout when you die, but you have to pay each month or year until that point. You can look in more detail at the different variations of these policies in our explanation guide here.

They’ll generally offer bigger payouts than an over 50s policy though, and you can get coverage add-ons for terminal illness cover and critical illness cover too.

How much does life insurance cost for someone 50 or older?

How much you’ll have to pay for life insurance comes down to whether your insurer sees you as high-risk. Factors include:

  • Your age, gender and job.
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Whether you’re a smoker.

What are my odds of dying in my 50s?

If you’re considering taking out life insurance you may be wondering how the insurer calculates your monthly or annual premiums. Just how does it make a profit year in, year out, when it has to hand out potentially hefty end of life payouts?

Basically, it has to weigh up how much of a risk you’ll be and try to work out how likely it is that a customer will die in the next few years.

According to our data, if you’re a 53-year-old man, you have a 2.44% risk of dying in the next five years. Meanwhile a 53-year-old woman has a 1.65% chance of dying in the next five years.

This analysis doesn’t take into account factors such as health and lifestyle, but it does show the major part gender plays in determining life expectancy.

Looking further into the future, your odds of dying clearly rise as you move into your 70s and 80s. That same 53-year-old woman has a 13.8% chance of dying 20 years down the line. Meanwhile the 53-year-old man has a 20.09% chance.

It’s these sorts of age-based mortality statistics that insurance underwriters will look at when working out your rate. A healthy 53-year-old should still be able to find affordable insurance, plus you will get cheaper premiums now than when you’re in your 60s or 70s.

What other types of insurance should I consider if I am older than 50?

  • Critical illness insurance. This type of policy will pay you a cash sum should you be diagnosed with a serious and life-threatening medical condition. The illnesses covered vary from provider to provider, but you will generally be protected for cancer, strokes and heart disease. You might use the money for mortgage, rent, childcare costs, medication or alterations to your home.
  • Terminal illness insurance. If you are diagnosed as terminally ill and have been given a life expectancy of no longer than 12 months, this benefit lets you claim your life insurance payout early. This is usually included in most life insurance deals.
  • Income protection insurance. Income protection insurance will provide financial support if you have been made redundant, or are unable to work due to an accident or illness.

Can I apply for life insurance without having to take a medical exam?

It depends. If you’re applying for a standard life insurance policy you will have to do a medical screening. This will mean providing details of your and your family’s medical history, and you might have to undergo blood tests and medical examinations too.

With over 50s policies you don’t need to pass any medical exam though. You won’t even need to answer any questions about your health. As such they’re ideal for anyone who has had pre-existing medical conditions and is struggling to find life insurance coverage.

Must read

You’re not required to undergo any medical tests or answer any health questions when you apply for over 50s insurance. So long as you meet the eligibility criteria in terms of age, you should be accepted.

How to get the right life insurance policy if you’re older than 50

Most people shouldn’t have any trouble finding life insurance when they’re in their 50s, 60s or even 70s. However, it’s vital that you weigh up your options if you want to get an affordable policy that meets your needs. Here are a few important steps to think about when buying life insurance:

  • Read the small print. Always go over the terms and conditions and make sure you’re getting the right protection without any unnecessary add-ons. This way you won’t overpay for a policy.
  • Watch out for exclusions. Check the eligibility criteria and see if there are exclusions in the terms and conditions. If an over 50s policy won’t pay out for the first two years, for instance, then it won’t be worth taking out if you have a terminal illness with a short-term life expectancy.
  • Think about your health. If applying for a standard life insurance policy you’ll have to answer questions about your health. Be aware that any pre-existing conditions and lifestyle habits like smoking can drastically affect your premiums.
  • Joint life insurance. Taking out a policy with your partner can mean getting cheaper premiums. However, the surviving person will be left uninsured when the other dies.
  • Insurance broker. While comparison websites can give you a pretty clear idea about the insurance you want, a broker could be useful too. They can advise you and help find an affordable policy tailored to your needs.

Unsure what makes a good life insurance deal? We give a step-by-step guide to finding a life insurance policy that’s made for you.

What if my application has been denied and I’m older than 50?

If you’re rejected by a life insurance provider, you can always ask the insurer to reassess your application. The company might request further medical information to work out if you’re too high-risk to protect.

Should you be knocked back again, there are alternative policies available. Over 50s policies and prepaid funeral plans won’t require any details about your medical record.

Bottom line

Finding the perfect life insurance policy once you’re in your 50s is by no means easy. You’ll have to shop around and really compare all the different deals ad providers out there.

You can use price comparison websites, or even an insurance broker. They could consider your exact situation and needs, before offering advice about the ideal life insurance.

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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Esther Wolffowitz's headshot

Esther Wolffowitz was a publisher at specialising in insurance. Esther holds an MSc in Media and Communication Governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). See full bio

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