Do you still need life insurance if you're over 50? Find out why you might still need cover.
As we get older, it is only natural that we start to worry about our health and well-being. With this in mind, it is important that you have the right measures in place to ensure that your family members and loved ones are not left with financial burden in the event of your death or if diagnosed with a terminal illness. Benefits from life insurance cover in the event of death or terminal illness can give support to any dependent children or your spouse.
Your funeral arrangements could be expensive and financing for your funeral will be the last thing your loved ones will want to worry about upon your death. Many insurance providers offer life insurance and funeral plans that are specifically catered towards people over the age of 50, seniors and retirees, to assist them in dealing with unresolved financial obligations and the costs of a funeral. These plans are often tailored specifically for people over 50 and do not include the features that are not necessary for their situation.
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Life insurance policies available for Australians over 50
There are two types of insurance that are designed specifically for senior citizens.
- Seniors life insurance: Life insurance for people over the age of 50 is available in the form of term life insurance. It provides a lump sum payment to your nominated beneficiaries in the event of your death. Seniors life insurance is valuable for anyone over the age of 50, but it is especially suitable for people over the age of 64 who no longer qualify for regular life insurance. The proceeds from term life insurance could be used to cover expenses such as:
- Mortgage payments
- Education expenses (for dependent children)
- Outstanding debts
- Outstanding taxes
- Medical fees
- Funeral expenses
- Legal costs
- Funeral insurance: Funeral insurance provides a benefit payment to cover funeral expenses that incur in the event of your death and can be taken out as a standalone policy. Funeral cover can help your family pay for general items that are required when arranging for a funeral. Funerals can run into the tens of thousands of dollars considering the following expenditures:
- Cremation/embalming for burial
- Cemetery plot
- Grave marker
- Funeral director fees
- Newspaper notices
- The wake
Can you get life insurance if you're over 50?
Life insurance for people over 50s is specifically catered towards seniors with more modest needs, and is designed to help protect your family from the financial strain of your funeral and other unexpected costs that may arise. Are you eligible for Seniors Life insurance plans or funeral insurance?
|Between 50 to 79 years of age||Between 17 to 79 years of age|
|Australian citizen, or Australian permanent resident||Australian citizen, or Australian permanent resident, or Australian temporary working visa holder, or New Zealand citizen|
|Residing in Australia at the time of application|
My kids have moved out, do I still need cover?
Your kids have grown up and they no longer require your financial assistance, why do you still need life insurance? There could be a variety of other factors that will require financing after your death. The proceeds from term life insurance could be used to cover expenses such as:
- Outstanding debts. Mortgages may still be outstanding and will need to be financed in the event of your death. Similarly, you may still have other debts outstanding that need to be paid off.
- Outstanding taxes. You may still have taxes owing in the event of your death, and you will need enough financial support to pay these off. You do not want your spouse or kids to be responsible for paying off your taxes.
- Medical fees. Medical fees will need to be paid if you are hospitalised prior to your death.
- Funeral expenses. You should consider the expenses arising from your funeral, such as the cost of a coffin, a funeral service, a cemetery plot, etc.
- Legal costs. Legal advice may be required from a legal professional in the event of your death to settle any issues surrounding your will, your assets, businesses etc. and these legal bills need to be settled.
- General bills. Other bills such as electricity bills, water bills, internet usage and council fees will still need to be paid by your spouse or other dependents.
Benefits of life insurance for over 50's
- Guaranteed acceptance feature. This feature guarantees that your life insurance can be accepted anywhere in the world, at any time with minimal fuss. This is only if you satisfy the criteria of eligibility.
- Medical examination may not be required. Specialised life insurance for over 50s may not require you to take any medical or blood tests, or answer any questions regarding your health or smoking status as you do under general life insurance policies.
- Fast claim settlement and release of payout. Once all the documents are received, your beneficiaries will receive the benefit amount upon a successful claim.
- Affordable premiums. Life insurance premiums under life insurance plans for over 50s from selected providers do not increase with age or changes in your lifestyle and health status as other life insurance policies do. By the time you reach 90 years old, you may no longer need to pay your premiums, although your cover will continue for life.
- Accidental death benefit. Upon accidental death, up to three times the normal cover could be paid to your beneficiaries. Some policies may also offer option to cover accidental injury for an additional cost, which includes: quadriplegia, blindness, deafness, and total and permanent loss of use of two limbs.
- Cooling off period. If you have second thoughts on your life insurance policy within the specified cooling off period, your provider may give you a full refund of the premiums that have already been paid. However, past this cooling off period, premiums paid will not be refundable.
- Avoid inheritance taxes. You may have significant assets that you have accumulated over the years and in the event of your death, your heirs may need to pay estate taxes on these assets. The benefit payment for Senior life insurance can be structured so that it is tax free. You may want to talk to a professional tax adviser for more details.
Benefits of funeral insurance
- Levels of cover. You are able to choose what level of cover you like, which can be anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000 in increments of $1,000.
- Standalone or combined. You can either take out Funeral insurance as a standalone policy, or you can choose to receive it as extra benefits within another life insurance policy.
- Continuation of coverage. A policy holder will generally cease to pay premiums at the age of 90, but the coverage will continue for life.
- Medical underwriting is not needed during application. The application for Funeral insurance does not require a medical exam or other health checks and is less rigorous than the application process for other life insurance policies.
- Graded benefit. Some insurance providers provide a graded benefit, where the amount of coverage will increase over time.
- 24 hours worldwide coverage. Most funeral insurance policies will cover you for 24 hours, 7 days a week, worldwide.
- Guaranteed Renewable. If regular premium payments are made, and obligations are kept, the insurance policy can rarely be cancelled by the insurance provider.
- Accidental death within first 12 months. If the policyholder passes away from accidental death in the first 12 months of the policy, the full benefit payment will be paid. If accidental death occurs after the first 12 months of the policy being taken out, the holiday holder will be entitled to 3 times the normal benefit amount.
- Refund for death within 12 months. If the insured person dies within the first 12 months and death is not due to an accidental cause or self-inflicted injury, then all premium payments to date will be refunded.
- Cooling off period. Most funeral insurance policies will be subject to a 45 day cooling-off period, where if you change your mind about the insurance policy, you are able to reclaim all your premiums paid.
- Automatic increases. The cost of inflation is accounted for through automatic increases in your benefit payout every year, usually of 5% to keep up with inflation. This increase will occur every year on the anniversary of the day your policy commenced, and will continue to increase even after the maximum benefit amount has been reached.
Obtaining life insurance for over 50 with no medical exam
Current health and pre-existing medical conditions more often than not are the two factors that influence how much one would pay for their life insurance premiums. Particularly if you are over 50, you may not have the same level of health that you had in your 20s. If you worry that a medical exam will deter your chances in obtaining a life insurance plan for over 50s, not all insurance providers will require you to take the exam. Some insurers offer life insurance for over 50 with no medical exam, making it accessible for people who may not have the best health condition. However, it is important to note that life insurance policies with no medical examination during the application process are generally more expensive.
Steps to find and compare low cost life insurance for over 50s
- Consider your own situation. Your situation may be greatly different to someone in their late 20s with greater dependence from their beneficiaries. Consider who you would need to support in the event of your death and any outstanding debts so you can consider what type of life insurance you need and assess how much cover is necessary.
- Do your research. It is essential that you research the different life insurance policies that are available in the Australian market for people in their 50s and identify which policies will best suit your needs. Life Insurance may be expensive for over 50s due to age-related health risks arising as a risk indicator for underwriters, so it is important to research and find the deal that is affordable for you.
- Determine how much cover you may need. Consider how much life insurance coverage you may need to adequately cover all the expenses that your family may incur upon your death. Take the time to weigh up all of your current debt and day to day expenses. Determining an accurate amount of cover can save you hundreds of dollars in premium repayments.
- Have a budget. Create an estimate on how much you are willing to spend on life insurance premiums. Consider whether or not your current and future financial situation will allow you to keep up with premium payments in the long run.
- Compare quotes. Shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best deal as they may vary significantly. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision.
- Look into the features and benefits that are on offer. Different policies will have different features and benefits that are available for additional costs. Therefore, it is important to compare them to assess whether the policy is suitable for your situation.
The importance of over 50s life insurance
Make sure you have the right protection in place for any eventuality with life insurance plans for over 50s. Ensure you have the right policy to cover for financial obligations after you pass away, even if your kids have moved out, such as outstanding debts, unpaid taxes, funeral expenses and legal fees to list a few. Compare tailored life insurance quotes for you and make the right decision for your life insurance policy.