"If you want to leave a something behind after you’ve died, an over-50 policy is perfect. You’re guaranteed to be accepted if you’re between 50 and 80, with no medical questions asked. And you’re covered until the day you die."
What our life insurance expert says
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Yes, you should be able to take out standard life insurance up until about 65.
But it’s often pricey and only covers you for a short period. If you're alive after this period, this might be as little as 10 years, you don't get a payout when you die. You're not able to get back what you’ve paid in either.
Over 50 policies cover you until the day you die. Take out a policy at 50, and as long as you pay your premiums, you get a payout whether you live to 55 or 105.
Standard life policies also ask for your full medical history. They may even require you to have a medical check. if you’re not in the best of health, you could pay much higher premiums than you would for an over 50s policy. Or they might not offer you a policy at all.
See our guide on how your medical history affects your life insurance premiums for more information.
But, if you’re in your early 50s, are fit, healthy and have no pre-existing medical conditions, you can often get a fairly good deal on standard life insurance. You won’t be covered for as long as you would with an over 50s policy, but the payout your loved ones would receive is likely to be higher.
You can read about this in our guide on how life insurance premiums are calculated.
No, a funeral plan is a policy taken out specifically to cover the cost of your funeral. The payout can't be used for anything else.
The main benefit of a funeral plan is that it’s guaranteed to cover the cost of your agreed funeral. This applies even if inflation means it costs more than it would have at the start of your policy.
The payout from your over 50 policy can still be used to cover the costs of your funeral, it’s just not guaranteed to meet the cost in the same way a funeral plan is.
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is around £4,000 before flowers and catering, according to SunLife. So if you want to ensure you can have the funeral you want, and you have money to spare, you could take out a dedicated funeral plan alongside your over 50 life insurance.
Yes, life insurance is taxable if your estate is valued over a certain amount.
Generally, your beneficiaries don't pay inheritance tax if:
- You leave your estate to your spouse, civil partner or a charity
- Your estate amounts to less than £325,000, even after your payout
Writing your life insurance in trust allows you to avoid tax, even if your estate exceeds £325,000. It also means your beneficaries get their money quicker. GOV.co.uk have more rules on inhertiance tax.
No, your benefit amount is usually paid after you die. But there are other options available.
Critical illness cover allows you to access your payout if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness or are severely injured. It can then be used to cover any costs you incur or support you while you’re unwell. This cover can even support your family if you’re unable to work.
Income protection insurance pays out up to 70% of your salary if you’re unable to work due to illness or disability.
Health insurance is another option and covers the cost of any private treatment you need. Depending on your policy, this could be everything from tests to treatments that are unavailable on the NHS.
Some policies also pay out if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. If you’re given a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months, you may be able to access your payout before you die. Check with your insurer to see whether they offer a terminal illness payout option.
It could do. Over 50 life insurance covers you for a long time. By the time your lump sum is paid, it may not be worth as much as when you took out your policy.
An increasing term policy can help with this. Here, your payout increases as the years go on, meaning it keeps its value. The downside is that your premiums also increase over time.
If you want your payout to cover something specific, increasing term policies can be a good idea. However, they don’t come as standard, so ask your insurer if they provide them.
Another option is a standard level term life insurance policy. You pay the same amount each month and you also get the same payout today as you would in 30 years.
What are the different types of life insurance?
is individual cover that pays out when the policyholder dies.
covers two people on a single policy, paying out if either of you die during the policy term
pays out an amount that decreases over time, usually in line with your mortgage
Policies that pay-out the same amount no matter when you die
pays out a lump sum if you're diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy
covers your bills if you're injured or ill and are unable to work. Short term policies and longer ones available
covers the cost of private medical care, helping you avoid NHS waiting lists to get the cover you need, quickly
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