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When to get life insurance: how age impacts premiums and other factors to consider 

5 mins read
by Lisa-Marie Voneshen
Last updated Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Life insurance is worth considering, especially if you have dependents or loved ones who would struggle if you died unexpectedly. This article outlines what you should consider.  

Life insurance may be uncomfortable to consider but can be worthwhile as it can offer vital financial support for your loved ones when you pass away. 

Whether your loved ones need to cover mortgage payments, utilities or education fees, a life insurance payout can help during a difficult time.  

However, deciding when to get a life insurance policy and understanding how your age impacts your premiums can be tricky.  

We’ll reveal how your age and other factors impact your life insurance premiums and when you should consider a policy.  


  • Life insurance can offer vital financial support for your loved ones when you pass away. 

  • However, the amount you pay for life insurance can vary due to many factors, including your age.

  • An insurance broker can help you find the right insurance policy for your circumstances.

Are there age limits for getting life insurance? 

You must be at least 18 years old to take out a life insurance policy, and you can get one until you’re around 90.  

However, the older you are, the more likely you are to need a medical examination, which could impact your premiums unless you opt for over-50s insurance.  

While the age at which you take out a life insurance policy impacts how much you pay, it shouldn’t be the sole reason for seeking coverage. 

Later on, we’ll run through some of the reasons why you should consider life insurance. 

How your age affects your premiums 

If you’re younger, you’ll pay less for life insurance because your insurance provider considers you less risky. 

Unfortunately, this means the older you are, the higher your premiums will be. Your provider will see you as more of a risk, so they’re more likely to pay out while you have your policy.  

Of course, age isn’t the only factor an insurance provider will consider, but it’s a significant one.  

Compare the Market has revealed the monthly cost of having a level-term life insurance policy based on age groups, illustrating how the average cost increases with age. 

A level-term life insurance policy is where the payout and monthly premiums stay the same throughout your policy term.  

Age Average monthly cost of life insurance
18-29 £2.98
30-39 £4.29
40-49 £9.99
50-59 £20.25
60-69 £32.38
70-79 £43.14

What other factors impact your life insurance premiums? 

There are many factors aside from your age that could affect how much you pay for life insurance, including: 

  • Your health and lifestyle, such as whether you smoke or drink, and pre-existing conditions.

  • Your family’s health history. 

  • Whether you choose term or whole life insurance, this impacts how long you have coverage. 

  • Your job and hobbies as more dangerous activities or roles can incur higher premiums.  

You may also pay a higher premium if you opt for a joint life insurance policy that covers you and your partner or add critical illness cover to your policy. 

If you’re considering joint life insurance, make sure you understand how it differs from two single life insurance policies, as they offer different levels of coverage. 

Unbiased can match you with a qualified insurance broker who can help you find the right insurance for your unique circumstances. 

Can I still get life insurance if I’m older? 

Yes, you can buy a life insurance policy if you’re older, although you’ll pay higher premiums. 

While getting life insurance when you’re younger costs less, it might not have necessarily been right for your circumstances at that time in your life.  

A life insurance policy offers a payout to your loved ones when you die, so it may be worth considering if you start a family, get married, or buy your own home to help cover mortgage payments.  

When should you consider getting life insurance? 

We’ll now dive more into why you should consider life insurance, including:  

  • Buying your own home: While life insurance isn’t a legal requirement, a mortgage lender will request you get life insurance so your monthly payments are covered if you die before you pay it off. A decreasing term life insurance is ideal for covering mortgage payments as the cover and payout fall with your outstanding balance.  

  • Financially supporting your loved ones: If you have a partner, children or a family member you help care for or rely on your income, a life insurance payout can help them cope financially.  

  • Covering funeral costs: Funerals can be expensive and stressful to handle during an already difficult time. A payout can cover the cost of your funeral, so your loved ones don’t have to worry about where to find the money.  

  • Losing an existing life insurance policy: If you have a life insurance policy through your employer or want to fill in any potential gaps, it’s worth considering life insurance.  

How to get the best life insurance policy for you 

It’s worth shopping around and reading the fine print when looking for life insurance to ensure you’re fully covered. 

An insurance broker can recommend the right type of life insurance policy for your circumstances and ensure your loved ones are protected if you pass away.  

Finding the right life insurance is more than getting the cheapest premium; it’s also about the level of cover and exclusions. 

You may also want to consider bundling life insurance with critical illness cover. 

You should also try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, get the right level of cover, and consider getting life insurance while younger to benefit from cheaper premiums. 

Once you have your life insurance policy, don’t forget to regularly review it to ensure it reflects your current circumstances, especially if there have recently been major life changes.  

Is life insurance right for me? 

While life insurance can be useful, it’s not necessarily for everyone. 

For example, if you and your dependents are eligible for benefits and have a low income, or you’re single and have no one who relies on you, life insurance might not be right for you. 

Also, if your partner is earning enough to support your family, a policy may not be necessary. 

Need expert guidance? 

Unbiased can quickly connect you with a qualified insurance broker who can help you decide if life insurance is right for you and help you find the most suitable policy for your circumstances. 

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Lisa-Marie Voneshen
Lisa-Marie Voneshen is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content across various areas, including personal finance and investing.