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Over 50s Life Insurance Review

Is over 50s life insurance really worth it? Find out more in our guide to this policy type

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 1 December 2022

7 min read

Over 50s Life Insurance Review

One of the most commonly advertised life insurance policies is over 50s life insurance thanks to insurers such as Sun Life. Most of us will be familiar with the Michael Parkinson television adverts offering free gifts such as the famous Parker pen. 

There are several well-known major over 50s life insurance providers, such as: 

What is over 50s life insurance? 

The key element to over 50s life insurance is as it says in the name, it is designed specifically for people who are over the age of 50, to age 80 or 85 typically. 

There are also some key differences between an over 50s life insurance policy and a traditional life insurance policy. This type of cover is also designed to be used for very specific purposes, such as: 

  • Cover funeral costs
  • Pay for other expenses 
  • Leave a small legacy 

Also, an over 50s life insurance policy is available to anyone, regardless of your health or medical history. This is one of the biggest differences between this cover and traditional life insurance, which is medically underwritten and premiums are based on your health. 

There are some exclusions that will usually apply to most over 50s life insurance policies which you should consider. Exclusions can vary slightly from one insurer to another, but the most common include: 

  • Premiums repaid in the first 12 or 24 months of the policy 
  • Suicidal death 
  • Alcohol or drug related death 

There are exceptions to these main exclusions and terms can vary, so it is worth checking with your insurance provider terms and conditions before you accept any policy. 

Are there any risks with over 50s life insurance? 

If it sounds too good to be true then it usually is, the same applies to over 50s life insurance and there are some big issues to consider. 

You should make sure that you do your research and check everything carefully before you buy one of these policies. Most insurers will have small print and all over 50s life insurance providers have similar drawbacks. 

1) You could pay in more than you get back 

There are some points in the cover where you might end up paying in more than the policy would pay out. This isn’t always the case and it only applies to some scenarios, but you should do your calculations before you accept cover. 

This is something that can vary, depending on whether you are a smoker and when you take out the cover. Generally, if you take out cover in your 50s then you’ll find that there is greater value and premiums will be lower over the policy term. 

Of course, the main point to consider here is that it’s all dependent on when you pass away (everyone’s life expectancy will be different) and stop paying your premiums. 

You should consider carefully how much cover you need before applying to make sure you choose the right amount. If you’re not too sure how much will be best for you, you can learn more in our guide ‘How much life insurance do I need?’.

You can also speak to an independent insurance expert for extra help and guidance.

2) If you stop paying then you lose any money paid in 

Another major pitfall to an over 50s life insurance policy is that you are effectively locked in for the rest of your life, meaning that you can’t change or cancel your policy. 

This can put many people off because they don’t necessarily want to be tied in to a single policy or provider. It can seem like a big commitment to some people, however, this isn’t a deal breaker for everyone. 

If you want to change your insurance provider then you’ll lose any money that you have paid in to your previous policy. You should do your research and make sure that you are 100% comfortable with your decisions before you accept an offer of cover. 

3) Don’t miss your premiums 

In previous years, insurers would be very strict about missing premiums and would refuse to pay out if there were arrears. Terms for missed premiums have changed with most insurers in recent years, thanks to intervention from regulators and other campaigners. 

Some insurers will now allow you to miss as many as 6 months premiums and allow you to catch up, or make arrangements to do so. 

TIP: Set up a direct debit from your bank account and make sure that payments are made automatically to avoid this scenario. If you get a letter or email from your insurer then act fast and don’t ignore it. 

4) Inflation can erode the value of your policy 

Unlike some other similar types of policies, such as funeral plans and traditional life insurance, there aren’t many options for inflation proofing your cover. This means that you could end up with a shortfall when it comes to actually covering the cost of your funeral as planned. 

Your insurance provider will often send you regular letters or emails to warn you about this and you will be made aware of this potential issue. These letters will give you the opportunity to increase your cover throughout your policy. 

Best over 50s life insurance 

The over 50s life insurance market is packed full of major brands and high street names that you’ll be very familiar with. That can make it even more difficult to know which insurers offer the best over 50s life insurance policies. 

Here’s a few examples of some of the top names in over 50s life insurance. Quotes are based on a 65 year old non-smoker. 

Insurer Benefit paid out on death (£30/month) Benefit paid out on death (£10/month) What age would you stop paying Full pay out eligibility period* Offers indexation option** 
Shepherds Friendly £6,934 £2,311 90 24 months No 
One Family £6,286 £1,853 90 24 months No 
Royal London £6,152 £1,896 95 24 months No 
National Friendly £5,972 £1,914 95 24 months No 
Sun Life £5,846 £1,814 Death 12 months No 

*pay-out is immediate for accidental death

**indexation will allow your cover to increase with inflation (RPI). Premiums calculated December 2022. 

You can also take advantage of various bonus schemes and incentives depending on what insurers are offering at the time. Some of those incentives can include cashback, rewards, or vouchers, so it’s worth shopping around. 

Find out more about choosing the right amount of cover for your budget in our guide ‘How much should I pay for life insurance?’.

Compare over 50s life insurance

As we’ve mentioned several times in this guide to over 50s life cover, it can be extremely confusing to compare over 50s life insurance. There are some big names and big brands in this space who are all trusted in banking or on the high street. 

There are options to be able to do a quick search and compare over 50s life insurance policies almost instantly. You can also speak to an insurance specialist who can provide guidance on where to find the best over 50s life insurance policies. 

There are some critical differences to look out for to compare over 50s life insurance. 

  1. Does the policy offer any incentives for joining (e.g. cashback or vouchers)? 
  2. What is the initial full pay out period when you join (usually 12 or 24 months)? 
  3. Can you include indexation or inflation proofing? 
  4. How much does it pay out? 
  5. What age do the premiums stop (usually 90 or 95)? 
  6. Are smoker rates much higher? 
  7. Does the policy offer a funeral benefit option? (to help pay for your funeral)

Life insurance for over 50s with no medical 

One of the major benefits to buying this type of cover is life insurance for over 50s with no medical questions or evidence requirements. 

This is especially important for people with medical complications or who have health problems, which could impact a traditional life insurance application. Most other life insurance policies are fully underwritten when you apply which means a medical questionnaire and possibly a full medical report. 

Some of the main benefits with life insurance for over 50s with no medical: 

  • Ideal for people with pre-existing medical conditions 
  • Much quicker to apply for than underwritten life insurance 
  • Prices are fixed so won’t vary because of your medical history 
  • No extra charges for high risk people 
  • Guaranteed premiums that won’t change in the future 

Possible drawbacks with life insurance for over 50s with no medical: 

  • Premiums (monthly payments) will often be higher than traditional life insurance 
  • Pay outs can be less than similar life insurance policies 
  • Maximum premium limits (up to £100 per month) 
  • Pay out limits (might not be sufficient) 

When you search for over 50s life insurance on Google or in any other search engine, you will be presented with literally thousands of options, ads, and comparison websites. 

It can almost seem like an impossible task to know how to find the cheapest over 50s life insurance, and more importantly, the best cover. You should make sure that you read the small print, because the cheapest isn’t always the best. 

In this case, you might find that the cheapest over 50s life insurance policies have certain restrictions and exclusions, such as: 

  • Longer initial deferred periods (waiting periods)
  • Higher age brackets for premiums to stop 
  • No accidental death option 
  • No funeral benefit option 

You should definitely compare the options for each over 50s life insurance policy before you decide which is best for you. 

If you don’t know how much you should be paying for your cover, find out more in our guide ‘How much should I pay for life insurance?’.

Guaranteed over 50s life insurance 

You might also hear the term guaranteed over 50s life insurance, which is effectively what this type of cover is. A guaranteed policy is a form of whole life policy (covers you indefinitely) compared to term life insurance (only covers you for a set number of years).

Basically, all over 50s life insurance policies are guaranteed because they are guaranteed to pay out on death and support your family in a difficult time. There are also several other reasons why this type of life insurance can be classed as guaranteed: 

  • Guaranteed premiums (will always remain the same) 
  • Guaranteed acceptance (no medical evidence or underwriting) 
  • Guaranteed pay out sum (fixed from point of acceptance) 

You should be confident in the fact that these policies are guaranteed over 50s life insurance in a number of ways. 


Statista – Life insurance industry in the United Kingdom (UK) – Life insurance statistics

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