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Over 50s life insurance guide

Guide to buying life insurance if you're over 50

As you get older, taking out life insurance can get more expensive. Even the fittest 50 something isn’t going to be around for as long as they were in their 30s and that makes you a greater risk to the insurer. Over 50s life insurance can offer a more affordable way to protect what matters at this stage in life.

By the time you reach your 50s, your life insurance needs may have changed. Where once keeping a roof over your family’s head was the priority, today the children may have flown the nest and the mortgage may be coming to an end.

These days, you may be concerned about how your loved ones may cope with funeral costs or want to leave a little something for them to remember you by and over 50 life insurance could be the solution.

What is over 50 life insurance?

It’s a whole-of-life insurance policy so unlike term life insurance, you’re covered for the rest of your life and a cash payout is guaranteed whenever you die.

It’s easy to apply for because you don’t have to provide any details of your medical history or lifestyle to qualify for cover. Most providers guarantee to accept any UK resident aged 50-80, and with the SunLife Guaranteed Over 50 Plan cover is available up to age 85.

How does our cover work

  • Cover for life — A cash payout on death is guaranteed, once you’ve had the plan for at least 2 years
  • You won’t be turned down — Your acceptance is guaranteed without having to answer a single medical question, we don’t even need to know if you’re a smoker!
  • It’s the most affordable over 50 life insurance available** — Premiums start from less than £4 a month
  • You’ll always know where you stand — The premium you pay and the cash payout will never change

Important things you should know

  • There is a waiting period of 2 years — You need to have paid in to the plan for 2 years or more before the full amount will be paid out on your death. If you die during the waiting period, all the premiums paid plus half as much again will be paid out, but if you die by accident the full cash sum will be paid.
  • You must pay your premiums when due — If you don’t, your policy would be cancelled and you wouldn’t get any money back
  • The effect of inflation — Inflation will reduce how much the fixed cash payout will buy in the future
  • You could pay more in premiums than the cash payout on death - this will depend on how long you live

For those of you that prefer video...

Watch our short video that explains how this works

Video transcript
How does over 50 life cover work?

The Guaranteed Over 50 Plan is no-medical life insurance so you won’t be asked any health questions at all. So long as you’re aged 49 to 85, you won’t be turned down. Plus, the cash sum paid out for a man and a woman is the same, so long as you’re the same age and pay the same premium.

So how does it work? It’s really straightforward – simply pay into your plan every month, for the rest of your life, and in return the plan will pay out a set amount of money when you pass away. The money can be used to help pay towards funeral costs. Or to leave as a gift for loved ones.

To get the full amount, you just need to have been paying into the plan for two years or more. But remember, if you stop paying your cover would end and you wouldn’t get anything back. If you happen to pass away during the first two years, the plan would pay out all the money you’ve paid in so far, PLUS another 50% on top.

It’s easy to see why we’re the UK’s No.1 choice. So why not join the 670,000 people who already have a plan.

That’s another thing we’ve made straightfordable.

The cost

Here’s an example of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan in action for a range of ages.

Remember, the cash payout and the premium you pay will never change.

 505560
Cash payout on death after 2 years £5,349 £4,033 £3,269
Monthly premium £19.50
Payable for 26 years 23 years 19 years
OR
Monthly premium £15
Payable for Life

Quoted on 19.01.2018

Reasons why people choose it

  1. To leave money as a nest egg for loved ones
  2. To contribute towards the cost of a funeral
  3. To leave money to help settle unpaid household bills
  4. To leave a donation for a favourite charity

Not sure how much cover you need and what it might cost?

Take a look at our short video and examples.

Video transcript
How much does over 50s life cover cost?

There are two ways you can look at the cost of a Guaranteed Over 50 Plan. You can choose how much you can afford to pay each month, and see how much your Plan would pay out in return or you can choose how much you want the Plan to pay out, and see how much you’d need to pay in each month. So long as you’re aged 50 to 85, you won’t be turned down as there are no health questions!

Let’s meet Tony and Margaret. They are both 60 years old and want to take out a Plan. Tony wants to pay an amount each month that’s comfortable for him, so he chooses to pay £20 a month. This gives Tony £4535 of cover. Margaret on the other hand, wants to leave about £7000 to share between her children and grandchildren. To leave this amount of money she needs to pay £30 per month instead.

So as you can see, you can choose the level of cover and premium that suits you.

That’s another thing we’ve made straightfordable.

Rising funeral costs

The rising cost of a funeral 2017 image

Our research has revealed that on average, families have to find £2,356 to make up the shortfall in the financial provision made by their loved one1.

Planning ahead can make a difficult time a little easier for the people left behind, especially if they might struggle to pay for the entire funeral themselves.

Over the past 14 years the average cost of a funeral in the UK has risen 112% to £4,0781. And assuming costs continue to rise at the same rate every year, by 2022 it could be as much as £4,944.

How funeral costs add up

The average funeral cost is based on the average of quotes from a sample of funeral directors for standard funeral arrangements — made up of their services and fees for a cremation or burial, the doctor and the person conducting the funeral.

Bear in mind that any touches like flowers, venue hire, catering and memorials average out at almost £2,000 extra on the final funeral bill1.

Figures like these help explain why over 70%2 of our over 50 life insurance customers choose the plan to help with funeral costs and ease the financial burden on loved ones.

Want to help with funeral costs?

With our over 50 life insurance it costs nothing to add a funeral benefit option and you get an extra £300 put towards the cost of your funeral.

The way it works is simple. When the time comes, the cash payout from your plan will go directly to Dignity Funerals to take care of the arrangements. Your loved ones will only need pay the balance left after the cash payout and the £300 have been taken off the final funeral bill.

Straightforward answers to your questions

1. What's the difference between term life insurance and over 50s life cover?

Term life insurance provides cover for a specified number of years (the ‘term’) and pays out if you die during this time. This type of life insurance is underwritten so your eligibility, premium and cash payout is based on your personal circumstances e.g. medical history.

Over 50 life insurance provides cover for the rest of your life and pays out whenever you die. It is not underwritten so does not depend on your personal circumstances. You only need to be a UK resident and within the given age range to get cover.

2. What's the difference between over 50 life insurance and a funeral plan?

Life cover pays out a fixed amount of money when you die. This money could be used to help pay for your funeral or it could be used to pay other bills or left to a friend or loved one.

funeral plan helps specifically with your funeral arrangements when you die. This help is usually practical as well as financial.

3. How much life cover do I need?

This will depend on what you would like the payout to be used for, for example, to help with funeral costs or a cash gift.

It’s important to think about how much you can comfortably afford to pay each month and see what the payout will be for this premium, based on your age. Remember, even leaving a small amount could help when it matters most.

4. Can I have more than one plan?

Yes you can. You just need to make sure the total cash payout of all your SunLife plans combined, including any you already have, doesn’t exceed £18,000.

5. Can I get joint over 50 life insurance?

No, plans are set up in individual names. If your partner would also like a policy, they can take one out in their own name.

6. Can I change my mind?

Yes. You have 30 days to change your mind and have any premiums you’ve paid refunded to you.

After 30 days, you can cancel your policy but you won’t get any money back.

7. Can I cash-in my policy?

No you can’t. If you stop paying your premiums, your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan would be cancelled and you wouldn’t get any money back.

8. Can I write my policy in trust?

Yes you can. Get in touch for guidance on how to do this.

9. What is inflation?

Over time, prices go up which means the amount we can buy for our money goes down. This is the effect of inflation.

For example, £1 in 1980 could have bought you nearly three loaves of bread – but today you would be lucky to buy one*.

*Source: Office of National Statistics

10. How easy is it to make a claim?

Making a claim is simple. when the time comes, all your loved ones will need to do is call or write to us and we’ll help with the rest.

The process is quick and reliable too. We pay 9 out of 10 claims within 3 days of receiving the correct paperwork.

The smallest print

*Most popular whole of life guaranteed acceptance plan bought directly. ABI statistics — up to 31 December 2017.

**£3.90 is the lowest fixed monthly premium available at every age for this type of product, compared with the top 5 most popular providers, as at 24 April 2018.

1Source: SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2017.

2Source: New Policyholders Continuous Research, January - October 2017.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd which is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.