Life insurance in later life
Taking out a life insurance policy in later life - or 'senior life insurance' - can be a worthwhile consideration, as it could provide some financial support for your family should you pass away. But isn't life insurance designed for thirty-somethings and mid-lifers, not retirees? Not necessarily. In this guide we'll explain some of the benefits (and misconceptions) about life insurance for senior citizens.
Why senior life insurance matters
At a certain stage in life, the nature of your insurance requirements could begin to change. Your children may have flown the nest and you may no longer need a policy that covers your mortgage. Instead, certain expenses you might not have thought about before – such as funeral costs - suddenly become a dawning reality. This is where 'senior life insurance' comes in.
At the age of 65, you might be thinking about retirement and putting your finances in order. And there may be a number of questions you begin to ask yourself about protecting your family's future finances. For example:
- Do you still have an outstanding mortgage?
- Do you have dependents, including grandchildren, who rely on your financially?
- Are you still in employment and have access to a death-in-service benefit?
If you feel like you could do with more financial protection to cover any shortfalls, life insurance is something you might want to consider.
Not all senior life insurance policies are the same. Choosing the right policy is important, and to help you make an informed decision about the right cover for your individual circumstances, we’ve summarised some of the different types of senior life insurance below.
Our Over 50s Fixed Life Insurance is for UK residents aged 50 to 80 and can provide your family with a fixed cash sum once you’ve passed away. Your loved ones can use this money to help cover funeral expenses, unpaid bills or even use it for a small gift. Find out how much Over 50s Life Insurance could cost.
There's no requirement for a medical with this policy so regardless of your health, you won't be referred to a medical professional for any tests, and acceptance is guaranteed. In fact, you won't be asked any questions about your health and it only takes a few minutes to apply. Full cover payable after just one year. Our policy document has more information.
If you still have a mortgage to pay, or have dependants at home, Life Insurance could still be a viable option for you even in later life. People have different circumstances, and just because you're retired doesn't necessarily mean your insurance needs are any less pressing than someone else's.
A Life Insurance policy could pay out a cash sum on your death during the length of the term, which could help pay off your mortgage or help protect your family's lifestyle and everyday living expenses. The amount of cover you choose will stay fixed unless you change your policy.
What you pay for cover (known as your premium) will depend on how much cover you need and how long you need it for. We will also consider individual circumstances including your age and health. Unlike our Over 50s Fixed Life Insurance, you will need to answer some medical and lifestyle questions and you might be required to have a medical examination. Note that the upper age limits apply to our policies.
Technically, you can be covered by a Legal & General life insurance policy until the age of 90, so when we say life insurance is for senior citizens too, we mean it. Over 50s Life Insurance can be taken out until age 80, with premiums stopping at age 90 and cover lasting for life. You can apply for a Life Insurance policy until the age of 77, or Decreasing Life Insurance until the age of 74.
The exception is if you add Critical Illness Cover to your Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance policy, in which case the maximum age you can apply is 67. Critical Illness Cover can be added to your Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance policy for an extra cost and could pay out a cash sum if you're diagnosed with a specified critical illness during the length of your policy, or if you undergo a procedure for that illness. The policy must end before your 75th birthday. Other eligibility criteria apply, so check your Policy Summary and Policy Terms and Conditions for more details.
As you get older, you may find that certain life insurance products are restricted or unavailable. Fortunately, it’s often possible to get life insurance without doing a medical.
Over 50s Fixed Life Insurance is available with guaranteed acceptance – with no medical or medical questions required – and 100% of claims are paid. This type of life insurance is an option for over 65s given it’s available to applicants between the ages of 50 and 80.
When you apply for Life Insurance, you’ll be asked medical questions before a decision is made on your application, taking into account factors like your age, smoker status and overall health. We may ask for more information, such as your medical records, but in many cases, applicants are not required to undertake a medical examination.
For a life insurance policy, we don't cover death within the first year as a result of suicide or intentional and serious self-injury, or an event where, in our reasonable opinion, the person insured took their own life. Read more about how we assess life insurance suicide claims.
For our Over 50s Fixed Life Insurance, full cover is payable after one year. If you pass away within the first year, we will refund any premiums paid. However, if you die as a result of an accident then full cover will be paid.
Choosing the best life insurance for seniors
The life insurance policy that turns out to be the right option for you depends on your individual circumstances. Getting cover might be something you've been putting off, but once it's organised you can relax in the knowledge that you could be helping your family by providing some financial support at what can be a difficult time.
By taking out life insurance, even as a senior citizen, you can leave some money for your family when you pass away – whether that be a small gift or a contribution towards funeral expenses with Over 50s Life Insurance, or a more substantial cash sum if you choose to take out a Life Insurance policy and die during the policy term.
Just remember that both these policies are not savings and investment plans and have no cash value unless a valid claim is made.
Legal & General Life Insurance is available from just £5 a month. As with all types of life insurance, the starting premium will get you a smaller cash sum the older you are. Aside from your age, other factors that affect the cost of your life insurance include your health, body weight, alcohol consumption and family medical history.
With Over 50s Fixed Life Insurance the amount of cover you can get depends on how much you choose to pay each month. You can choose a premium between £5 and £75 a month, but this depends on your age and smoker status. Remember, acceptance is guaranteed if you're aged 50-80 and a UK resident so you won't be asked any medical questions with this type of policy.
If you are over 50 or perhaps over 65 there may be other products available if you want to answer further lifestyle and medical questions. It's worth considering which type of life insurance is right for you. Some could give you more protection for the same price. Every individual is different, so contact Legal & General to get a quote that reflects your personal circumstances.