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A quick guide to over 50s insurance

LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
5 min read

by Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

See author bio

Katie works with insurers and distributors to make protection propositions more accessible, pricing more transparent and marketing messages more simple.See author bio

Guide last reviewed 10 Oct 2023

You’ve probably seen the over 50s life insurance TV ads. Some of us barely get to 45 before the phone calls start and the leaflets arrive through the door. Beyond the (admittedly slightly annoying) marketing, over 50s life insurance is a useful product, but what exactly is it? How does it work? Is it worth thinking about? We answer these questions and more in this quick guide to over 50s insurance.


What is over 50s insurance?

Over 50s insurance is a life insurance product which pays out a tax-free amount of money on death. As the name suggests, you can buy this product if you’re older than 50, and usually younger than 85 (although this does vary by insurer).

This product is guaranteed to pay out, and you and your family have complete control around how the money is used. You may decide that you’d like the insurance payout to help cover the costs of your funeral, or perhaps to leave a gift to a loved one or even a charity.

Who needs over 50s insurance?

Although the payout can be used for any purpose, over 50s insurance is a perfect product for those who want to cover the costs associated with dying. Sadly, and quite surprisingly, these costs can mount up, and in 2022 the average cost of dying was calculated to be over £9,000 [1]. Over 50s insurance can be used to cover these costs, so that your family doesn’t need to worry about the finances and can focus on the more important things. 

Over 50s insurance is also a useful product if you suffer from any medical conditions. This is because insurers don’t ask any health or medical questions when you buy these products, they call them ‘guaranteed acceptance’, because you’re guaranteed to be covered. Some people who have health conditions find that they struggle to get other types of insurance like life insurance or critical illness insurance, and that’s where over 50s insurance offers a great alternative.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy process to buy life insurance, then an over 50s product might be the one for you. You can often buy over 50s life insurance online in just a few minutes, simply because the insurer doesn’t need to collect a large amount of health information from you.

There are many positives to over 50s insurance, but there are a few things you should consider before buying one of these policies.

What should I think about before buying over 50s insurance?

  1. Cost

  2. Over 50s insurance can be relatively expensive and is often at least double the price of a standard life insurance policy, for the same amount of cover. This is because insurers don’t know anything about your health, so don’t know when you are likely to die. They increase the prices that they charge on over 50s insurance because of this increased risk.

  3. Your health

  4. Even if you suffer from health conditions, it’s always worth investigating whether you can get a standard life insurance product for less than an over 50s product. The standard life insurance product will ask you medical and health questions, and if you suffer from any illnesses you may see your premium increase, but you could find that the standard insurance is still cheaper than over 50s insurance.

  5. Your age

  6. You can only buy this product if you’re over 50 years old.

  7. The amount of cover you need

  8. Over 50s insurance only allows you to take up to a certain level of cover, usually around £25,000. You can often take out far higher amounts of insurance if you purchase a standard life insurance policy. The lower cover limit on over 50s insurance may not be a problem if you’re looking to pay for your funeral, but you might find that you need more cover if you want to pay off higher levels of debt.

    Also, because over 50s insurance can be expensive, you may actually end up paying more in premiums than you receive back from the policy on death. This is because you pay high premiums over a potentially long period of time, for a relatively low amount of cover.

  9. You won’t be fully covered for the first few years

  10. Over 50s insurance products won’t pay out your full cover amount if you die within the first few years of your policy, normally the first two years. If you die within this period, the insurer will usually just return the premiums paid up to that point. The exception to the rule is if you die as a result of an accident, in which case insurers will typically pay out your full cover amount.

  11. Inflation

  12. When you buy an over 50s insurance policy you have to decide on a fixed level of cover, which is the amount that will be paid out on your death. If you’d like the insurance to pay for your funeral you may find that the payout is lower than the total cost of your funeral, as the overall price of a funeral and the associated costs are rising, with a 3.8% increase since 2021 [1].  

It’s possible to add an increasing option to your over 50s insurance policy, which will ensure that the initial cover level increases in line with inflation, but there’s still no guarantee that the full cost of the funeral will be covered.

Our expert advisers can work with you to check if over 50s insurance is the best cover for you, based on your health, your budget, and your cover needs. Why not request a call back from a specialist adviser today to talk through your options.

How much does over 50s insurance cost?

The cost of your over 50s insurance will mainly depend on a couple of things:

  • Your age
  • The amount of cover you choose
  • The older you are, and the larger the amount of cover, the higher your monthly premiums will be.

At LifeSearch, we search the market to find the best value insurance for you.

What are the best insurance companies in the UK?

There are a huge number of insurance companies in the UK who offer life insurance products. Let us do the heavy lifting and find the best one for you.



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LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
Katie Crook-Davies Protection Writer
Katie is an independent insurance consultant who is passionate about protection and wants to share that passion with others through engaging marketing content. She hopes that one day people will get as excited about protecting themselves and their loved ones, as she does!
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