This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
The topic of life insurance can be a tricky one to broach if you’re over 50. It means taking into stock the future and getting to grips with the uncomfortable thought of yours — or your loved ones’ — mortality.
But while it can be difficult to discuss, thinking about life insurance ensures that you and your family are adequately prepared should the worst happen.
A key factor in determining the overall price you pay for life insurance is how old you are when you start the policy. Consequently, the sooner you start paying, the more cost-effective it is in the long run.
Beyond this, life insurance is also worth thinking about in terms of the pandemic. Coronavirus doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon and sadly, the older you get, the more at risk you are too.
Evidently, if you’re over 50, now is the time to start thinking about life insurance. Before you get started, here are a few things you need to know.
What is the best life insurance if you’re over 50?
There is no one ‘best’ life insurance. Due to the nature of insurance, the best over 50 life insurance policy is a tricky thing to pin down — ultimately, only you can determine what is best for you.
It all depends on your budget, your desired cash payout, your personal health, and so on. But beyond that, for some consumers, it might not be worth buying life insurance at all, if your unique and personal needs are better served by saving your money or by spending it on another investment instead.
That said, it’s always worth going with a brand you trust
Take the Post Office, for instance.
The Post Office is a beloved and trusted British institution. But did you know that they also offer a plethora of other services too — including life insurance?
It offers two life insurance products:
- Post Office Life Insurance
- Post Office Over 50s Life Cover
Post Office Life Insurance
Life insurance from the Post Office starts from as little as £7 per month, offering up to £500,00 of cover (subject to acceptance) over a fixed term to customers aged 18-70. This is often known as term life insurance.
Applicants for this product will need to answer underwriting questions about their state of health to be accepted for cover, including about their smoker status, alcohol consumption, current health, medical history, and so on.. This also includes coronavirus-related health questions.
Post Office Over 50 Life Insurance
Over 50s life insurance from the Post Office is also very affordable, with plans also starting from as little as just £7 per month, offering up to £10,000 of ‘whole of life’ cover, with guaranteed acceptance to UK residents aged 50-80 at the start of the policy.
They also don’t require you to undertake a medical exam (which we’ll go into in depth later), and they were also voted Best Online Life Insurance Provider in 2019. For more details, see their over 50 insurance cover.
Can you get life insurance with no medical?
Yes, you can — guaranteed acceptance policies, such as Post Office Over 50s Life Insurance, do not require any medical exams.
However, if you’re over 50, most life insurance policies require you to undergo a medical exam. This is generally required if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, any hereditary health issues, if you’ve lived overseas, or if you’ve been rejected for life insurance policies in the past.
Some life insurance policies are available without a medical exam, although the more cover you apply for, the older you are, and the more you will need to pay for them. If you are older or have a history of smoking, then you will likely need to pay more for life insurance than a younger person or a non-smoker.
These medical exams look at a number of things, involving a combination of tests and questions to determine your state of health. During your medical exam, you may be asked the following:
- Whether you are or have been a smoker, and how many a day
- If you drink alcohol and, if so, how many units per week
- Your typical dietary habits and exercise regimen
- Any history of serious illness in your family
The tests phase of your medical exam may likely include:
- Your body mass index (BMI), based on your height and weight
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol and blood sugar, based on a small blood test
These medical exams usually last between 20-30 minutes, and you will usually learn the results of your exam on the same day.
Can you get free gifts with life insurance if you’re over 50?
Some life insurance providers offer free gifts with their policies as an added incentive to get customers to buy. These vary depending on the provider, but can include store points for supermarkets or gift vouchers.
These gifts generally have a qualifying period attached, meaning you may need to have paid premiums for six months or so before you receive your free gift.
But as the old adage goes, beware of Greeks bearing gifts! While a free gift would certainly sweeten the deal if you’re considering a policy, it’s important not to get distracted by them.
When you’re buying life insurance, what really matters is the policy itself.
Life assurance vs life insurance
In your search for over 50 life insurance, you might have come across the term “life assurance”.
Life assurance (also known as a whole of life policy) is a form of life cover that continues for the whole of the policyholder’s life. Once the policyholder dies, the policy pays out a cash lump sum. Life assurance means that your loved ones would receive a payout on your death, whenever that should occur.
This is in contrast to life insurance, which only covers you for a set period. However, some life insurance policies do offer life assurance, typically known as ‘whole of life’ insurance. The conversation about life insurance can be an uncomfortable one — but it’s a necessary one nonetheless. Bear in mind the points above and find a life insurance policy that works for you now you’re over 50.