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SunLife Life Insurance Review

Do SunLife over 50s life insurance plans live up to all the hype? Find out in our latest review

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 15 June 2023

8 min read

SunLife Life Insurance Review

Most of us will be familiar with the famous Sun Life TV adverts featuring celebrities such as Michael Parkinson and Carol Vorderman. SunLife is the UK’s biggest over 50s life insurance provider, having sold more than 80% of all over 50s plans in 2022.

Over 50s life insurance is often spoken about, but are these policies good value for money?

Here is everything you need to know about SunLife and their over 50s plans, to help you work out if they are a good choice for the life insurance you need.

More on this topic:

SunLife is well known for being the UK’s biggest provider of over 50s life insurance plans. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), SunLife provides 85.3% of all whole life guaranteed acceptance plans in the UK.

SunLife guaranteed life insurance will accept all applicants between the ages of 49-85. You are also guaranteed a SunLife life insurance pay out at the point of claim – provided you pay your premiums. They have the lowest available monthly cost on the market. Premium prices start from as little as £3.70 per month (for new customers).

They introduced their first over 50s life insurance plan in 1979. This is the product they have become best known for, due to their high profile SunLife life insurance adverts. Today, SunLife’s Guaranteed Over 50 Plan has more than 865,000 customers across the UK.

There are still a range of other options for over 50s cover that are worth considering before making any decisions. This includes:

Note: The ABI statistics are based on sales between September 2021 and September 2022. SunLife offer clarity on all claims of them being a leading provider on their website.

About SunLife

SunLife was founded in 1810 was known at this point as the Sun Fire Office Board. This business provided fire and life insurance, eventually changing their name to Sun Life Direct. The company rebranded to SunLife in 2014, changing their branding and updating their range of products.

SunLife has been providing life insurance cover to people in the UK for more than 200 years (as of 2010). They state proudly on their website that they were the first insurance company to provide life insurance with no medical checks (guaranteed acceptance life insurance).

Their first guaranteed life insurance policy was sold in the year 1900. The policies are provided by Phoenix Life Limited who trade as SunLife.

SunLife claim all their financial services have been specifically designed with over 50s in mind. This includes:

  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Funeral plans
  • Equity release
  • Cash ISAs
  • Will writing services
  • Pet Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Car Insurance

The only type of life insurance sold by SunLife is over 50s life insurance. Below we have all the important key details about SunLife insurance life insurance (over 50s plan).

Policy typeSunLife Over 50s Life Insurance
Premium optionsGuaranteed (fixed payments that never change)
Option to pay per month or quarterly (every 3 months)
Cover optionsOver 50s life insurance
Coverage typeSingle life (Whole of life insurance)
Can I increase my cover?SunLife does not offer increasing life insurance. Your cash sum is fixed at the amount agreed when your policy is set up.  
You do have the option reduce your cover if needed but you aren’t able to reverse this.  
You can be covered for up to a maximum of £18,000.
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages)Minimum age 49 at policy start.
Maximum age 85 at policy start.  
You must be between age 50-80 if you choose to have your premiums stop after a set age (Pay Stop).
Pay Stop will cost a small amount extra per month.
Life insurance exclusionsYour policy won’t pay out the full cover amount until you have paid 1 year (12 months) of policy premiums.  

You will not be eligible for a SunLife life insurance payout if you have missed any premium payments. If this happens your plan will be cancelled.

SunLife is certainly the biggest over 50s provider by number of policies of sold – but does this make them the best?

There are definite benefits to buying your cover through SunLife. This includes:

  • A £100 Love 2 Shop gift card for new customers to spend in a range of UK shops
  • Lowest available premiums on the market (start from £3.70 per month). The maximum premium per month is £74 or £86.58 if you have Pay Stop.
  • Highly rated by their customers (4.6 out of 5.0 stars on TrustPilot and 4.8 out of 5.0 stars on Feefo)
  • Chance to win £10,000 in the SunLife Big Cash Draw if you opt in when taking out your policy. Winners are drawn every 2 months up until March 2024.
  • Guaranteed acceptance up to age 85

There are some ways in which other providers are better though.

  • One Family will pay out up to £19,826 (SunLife will only pay out up to £18,000 maximum)
  • SunLife do not include terminal illness benefit as standard (One Family include this free alongside life cover)
  • Other providers also offer free gifts so you shouldn’t base the decision solely on SunLife’s gift card offer. It is standard for providers to offer around £100 – £120 in vouchers for new customers. Legal & General, Sainsbury’s, Post Office and more also send out gift cards after 6 months of premiums.
  • For most policies, you will need to pay out until you die to qualify for your pay out. Most other providers will stop requiring premium payments at age 90 for example but the cover will continue. You can choose to add on ‘Pay Stop’ to your policy to stop your premiums at a certain age, but this will cost extra.

Important things to look for when comparing over 50s life insurance providers are:

  • When will you be eligible for a full policy pay out? (usually after 12 or 24 months)
  • At what age do you stop paying premiums?
  • How much higher are the rates for smokers?
  • Are you able to increase your cover to protect against inflation?
  • Does the policy include funeral benefit?

SunLife life insurance customer services

If you need to speak to SunLife UK about your policy, these are all the available contact details.

SunLife life insurance phone number UK (general enquiries)

Tel. 0800 008 6060

Tel. +44 (0) 1733 79 33 44 (overseas)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-8pm

(The SunLife customer services team will pass you on to the relevant department if needed)

SunLife life insurance contact number (new customers)

To apply for a SunLife Guaranteed Over 50 Plan:

Tel. 0800 904 7674

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm

You can also request a pack to apply with a written form that you post back. SunLife will send you your personalised quote along with a full application pack when requested.

SunLife complaints contact details

SunLife take any complaints received seriously and aim to respond within 5 working days. You are always entitled to complain if you are unhappy with your policy. There are various ways to contact SunLife to submit a complaint.

Tel. 0800 008 6060

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-8pm

SunLife life insurance address:

SunLife

PO Box 1359,

Peterborough,

PE2 2TR,

United Kingdom

If you think your complaint was handled unfairly or are unhappy with the resolution, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). They are an independent service dedicated to settling disputes between financial services businesses and consumers.

Tel. 0800 0234 567 or 0300 1239 123

Email – complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

SunLife life insurance claims

SunLife over 50s life insurance policies pay out 100% of the time. This is because they are a form of guaranteed life insurance. As long as you pay your premiums, your policy should pay out at the point of claim.

If the policy had funeral benefit, the associated funeral director will need to be contacted directly to discuss this. Details of how to contact Co-op Funeralcare, Dignity or Golden Charter are displayed on the SunLife website.

Here is what you need to do if you need to claim on a SunLife Guaranteed Over 50s policy.

How to make a SunLife life insurance claim

You can make a claim on a SunLife life insurance policy over the phone, online or in writing (post). When submitting your claim, you will be asked for details such as:

  • If the death has been registered
  • Have you received the death certificate? (If so, you need to provide the entry number and registration district)
  • Confirmation that the death occurred in the UK (mainland)

If claiming via post, you will need to send the following to the SunLife claims team:

  • The policyholder’s policy schedule
  • Name and date of birth of the policyholder
  • Death certificate (original copy) and a copy of the Will (if there is one)
  • Your name and proof you are entitled to the money being claimed
  • The account number and sort code of the bank account the claim should be paid to

SunLife life insurance claims contact details

Tel. 0800 008 6060

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-8pm

Online: SunLife – Online claim form

Post:

SunLife

PO Box 1359,

Peterborough,

PE2 2TR,

How to cancel a SunLife life insurance policy

SunLife life insurance plans are classed as ‘whole life’ insurance, meaning you are covered for the remainder of your life. You don’t have to keep this cover in place though and can cancel your policy whenever you want.

To cancel a SunLife policy, you should:

  • Contact SunLife directly to let them know you want to cancel
  • Cancel your direct debit with your bank

SunLife life insurance benefits

Here are some of the added benefits of SunLife life insurance policies:

  • £100 Love 2 Shop gift card which can be spent at hundreds of shops in the UK
  • FREE Dine card which entitles you to discounts at a range of restaurants
  • NO MEDICAL questions needed and you are guaranteed to be accepted for cover
  • Accidental death benefit is included for the first year. SunLife won’t pay out the full cash sum assured until 1 year after policy start. Accident death benefit pays out if you die due to accidental injuries (within 90 days of the accident). Certain activities/reasons for accidents are excluded so check the policy terms and conditions carefully.
  • FREE funeral benefit option will pay out £250 to your loved ones towards the your funeral costs
  • 100% of claims paid out as the policy is ‘guaranteed’ – Sunlife state most claims are paid within 3 working days
  • Can win £10,000 in the SunLife Big Cash Draw with winners chosen every 2 months. This is until the end of March 2024 and you must opt in when you buy your policy.

There are a few ways to get a SunLife life insurance quote. You can buy life insurance from SunLife by contacting them directly over the phone, through the post or online.

You also have the option of speaking to an independent insurance expert for advice. An insurance specialist can help you compare available policies to work out your best and cheapest option for cover.

There are pros and cons to over 50s life insurance that should be considered before buying a policy. These policies can be a good choice for people with medical conditions who would struggle to get traditional cover. There is however a risk you will pay in more than your pay out will be worth. This a higher risk if you take out the cover when you are only just over 50.

You can read more of our life insurance guides, for helpful information and facts about life cover:

You can find out what SunLife customers think of the company and their products on independent review sites such as TrustPilot.

Currently, SunLife is rated 4.6 out of 5.0 stars with over 6,000 reviews (as of June 2023)

You can read the reviews yourself here: TrustPilot – SunLife

SunLife also collect customer reviews on Feefo and have a score of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars (based on 3,068 reviews). Over 2,600 of these reviews rate SunLife 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Note: Bear in mind SunLife also sell other financial products, so these reviews are not exclusive to their life insurance policies.

Resources

SunLife – About Us

SunLife – History

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