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Over 70s life insurance: can you and should you get it?

Explore your options for life insurance for over 70s, including whether you qualify, what it covers, and how much it costs.

Summary

  • Life insurance options for over-70s include over-50s plans, whole of life policies, and term insurance policies.

  • Premiums and cover differ depending on your health, age, coverage requirement, and policy type.

  • Policies are often taken out to ensure the future financial well-being of dependents.

  • An expert insurance broker can help you choose the best over-70s life insurance policy.

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Can I get life insurance if I am over 70?

It is possible to get life insurance if you are over 70 in the UK.

Many options exist for life insurance for those over the age of 70, and it’s well worth investigating them to ensure you select the right option for your needs.

Should I get life insurance if I’m over 70?

Many people over the age of 70 choose to have a life insurance policy.

They have life insurance for a number of reasons, including:

  • To cover end-of-life expenses.

  • To ensure support for dependents.

  • To pay for long-term care.

However, life insurance over 70 is not ideal for everyone.

Life insurance may be unsuitable for you in the following circumstances:

  • You are financially independent, having already paid off your home and other debts, with enough left to cover your day-to-day expenses.

  • You have severe or chronic health conditions, which may either render you ineligible for life cover or cause your premiums to be higher than is affordable for you.

  • You have no dependents, so you don’t need to worry about their financial security after you die.

Below are the pros and cons of life insurance for over 70s.

Pros

  • Financial aid for your loved ones after you die.

  • Coverage of end-of-life expenses.

  • Coverage of long-term care costs.

  • A cash value that can be used for a number of purposes.

Cons

  • Premiums rise steeply as you age.

  • Common health issues for the elderly may make you ineligible or result in very high premiums.

  • It may be unnecessary if you are in a strong financial position.

What are the best over 70 life insurance options?

There are several options when it comes to life insurance for over 70s: 

Over 50s life insurance

Life insurance plans for over 50s are guaranteed to accept your application if you are between 50 and 85.

It includes a guaranteed cash payout when you die, fixed premiums, and does not require a medical examination.

Premiums continue until your death or when you reach a certain age (usually 90), and a waiting period applies, which tends to be between 12 and 24 months

Whole of life insurance for over-70s

Whole life insurance provides lifelong cover, and builds cash value over the years, but it is more expensive and complicated.

Fixed premiums are typically higher than over-50s insurance, but so is the payout. This type of insurance is more suited for applicants in good health.

Premiums continue until you pass away.

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Term life insurance for over-70s

Term life insurance has an expiry date (between one and 20 years) and does not include a cash value, but is cheaper and simpler.

Premiums are fixed, and you can choose between level term and decreasing term life assurance.

Some major life insurance providers in the UK include:

  • Reassured 

  • SunLife

  • Aegon

  • Scottish Widows

  • Vitality

  • LV Insurance

  • The Post Office

  • LH Finance

  • Legal & General

  • Aviva

  • HSBC

How can I get a quote for life insurance if I’m over 70?

To get a quote for over-70s life insurance, you can contact an insurance company, use an online insurance comparison site or consider using an insurance broker.

The complexity of the application process will depend on the type of over-70s life insurance plan you choose.

Premiums differ depending on your health, age, smoking status, policy type, and the amount insured.

Below, we’ve outlined the average amount of cover. based on data from Reassured (for a healthy non-smoker) at various ages at the average premium cost of £35 a month. 

Policy Type

Age

 

70

75

79

                                                                                                Amount Assured

Level term (10 years)

£33,012

£16,118

£7,892

Decreasing term (10 years)

£64,635

£31,795

£19,688

Whole life

£7,738

£5,506

£4,063

Over 50s

£5,276

£3,742

£2,868

Note that premiums increase substantially in line with an increase in coverage.

For example, the average premium for over-70s life insurance with coverage of £20,000 is between £35.22 a month and £145.88 a month, depending on your health and policy type.

Can I get insurance if I’m over 70 with no medical examination?

Depending on the type of over 70s life insurance you choose, you may have to submit to a medical examination to obtain coverage:

  • Over 50s: No medical examination is required as coverage is based on age, smoking status, and the amount assured.

  • Whole of life: You may need to answer health-related questions and possibly undergo a medical examination, which could help reduce premiums.

  • Term life insurance: A medical examination is usually required.

Note that pre-existing conditions may result in higher premiums.

While some life insurance policies include free terminal illness cover, you may want to add critical illness coverage at an increased premium if you can afford it.

Seek expert financial advice

With an average UK life expectancy of between 83 and 85, more people need life insurance after 70.

Life insurance can cover end-of-life expenses, ensure support for your dependents, and pay for long-term care.

Let Unbiased connect you with a qualified insurance broker to learn about life insurance for over 70s and help you choose the right plan.

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About the author
Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing, retirement and pensions, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.