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Life insurance for the over 50s


Turned 50? Don't have a life insurance policy? We reveal the benefits that life insurance has to offer.

smiling couple

Getting married, starting a family and buying a home: these are some of the common reasons why people take out life insurance. 

But that doesn't mean that setting up this type of cover isn't appropriate in later life.

In fact, if you've already turned 50 but don't have cover, there are a number of reasons for considering taking out life insurance, and a range of potential benefits that an over 50s policy has to offer.

Why take out life cover?

elderly couple

Younger people are often encouraged to sign up for life insurance to ensure that their families — and anyone who relies on their income — do not suffer financially in the event of their death.

Life events such as getting a mortgage or having children are among the most commonly mentioned grounds for taking out a life policy.

But even if you've turned 50, it doesn't necessarily follow that your family no longer relies on your income in some way. 

It may be a while since you took out your mortgage, but if your husband or wife was forced to keep paying it off on their own, it could be a struggle.

Equally, your children may be in their teens or even young adults, but that does not mean you no longer feel responsible for them financially to some extent.

If you’re the main breadwinner, there’s also the possibility that your other half is relying on the ongoing pension contributions from your income to help pay for their retirement.

Or you could simply want to make sure that, when you pass, your family are left with a guaranteed lump sum to assist with funeral costs, or just to help out when you are gone. 

Whatever your reasons, the right type of life insurance could provide the peace of mind you’re looking for.

Planning your inheritance

20 pound notes

A further reason why pensioners and the over 50s may be considering life insurance is to guarantee an inheritance for their family. 

This is becoming increasingly important as more and more older people are compelled to use the equity in their homes.

One of the assets most commonly passed on to surviving relatives — to help boost their retirement incomes or to cover care-home costs later in life.

How an over 50s policy can work

life insurance policy

An over 50s policy, sometimes known as pensioners life insurance, is a whole-of-life insurance policy designed to leave a tax-free lump sum for your loved ones in the event of your death.

With an over 50s policy there’s guaranteed acceptance and no medical required. You’ll choose and pay an agreed monthly premium either until you die, or until you reach the age of 90. 

Then, when you eventually pass away, the policy will pay out a pre-determined sum.

The amount of cover will depend on a range of factors including:

  • your age

  • whether you're a smoker

  • the premium you opt to pay each month

It's worth bearing in mind that many policies have an initial period where they will not pay out, typically 18-24 months. 

You may also want to look into setting  up a trust, which can help the payment sidestep inheritance tax.

Other policy options

If an over 50s policy doesn’t sound right for you, there are a range of other types of life insurance available which might suit your needs.

Many policies are taken out to cover a specific time period e.g. while children are growing up or to match the term of a mortgage. 

Take a look at the table below for more information, or use the links for a more in-depth explanation of how each type of policy works.

Policy types

Pay out

Maximum term

Age range

Minimum term

Life insurance

If you die during the policy term

40 years


5 years

Over 50s

When you die

No defined term


No defined term

Mortgage life insurance

When you die, decreasing over the policy term

40 years


5 years

Critical illness cover

On diagnosis, during the policy term

40 years


5 years


Life insurance

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