Martin Lewis Advice on Over 50 Life Insurance?
MSE Review: 02/2024
*5 Mins Read
*What does Martin Lewis say about Over 50 Life Insurance?
In this Martin Lewis Over 50 Life Insurance MSE review we will look at whether 🔸 Money Saving Expert thinks Over 50 Life Insurance is worth it? 🔸 How much Life Insurance do you need? 🔸 Broker Top Tips re Over 50's Life Cover Money Saving Expert...
Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis view?
Looking for over 50 life insurance? MSE has reviewed some of the main Over 50's life insurance no medical plans cons & pros.
Well firstly for 2024, the Martin Lewis advises 💯 '100% Over 50s Life Insurance Is a Good Bet' for some people IF they've Poor Health & Life Expectancy.
Martin says...'Let me be blunt: this means that if you're likely to die sooner than the average, these Over-50's plans can be lucrative'.
In their Money Saving Expert over 50 life insurance guide, MSE Martin Lewis tries to give his usual balanced opinions on all UK financial matters.
Initially, whilst reading through their Martin Lewis Life Insurance over 50 UK guide in 2024 you perhaps wouldn't think so, as he points out more warnings via their Cons than Pros.
He does admit however halfway through their MSE Over-50's life cover guide about the fact that he's been ranting noxiously on over all the various downsides & pitfalls of these heavily marketed 'No Medical' plans.
MSE says this type of insurance policy is specifically aimed or touted at the older adults category ie; Obviously Over 50's & 60's.
Those people who may be priced out of trying to buy a traditional life insurance policy ie; who may have adverse health problems & may struggle (or not) to get affordable cover.
In other words, policies where Insurers may work out if they'll accept you and how much you would pay based on a number of factors including your age and health.
Martin comments, you can still play the odds if you do have adverse pre-existing medical health issues eg; heavy smokers or seriously obese.
So therefore here the good news is you don't need to answer any medical information & even though your life expectancy may be substantially lower.
We would add here, you must often still disclose your smoker status, but they usually don't ask how much you smoke.
He points out that if you do then understand what you are doing, and have weighed up the risks for these no medical whole of life insurance schemes, you can win.
So on Over 50's Life Insurance (Martin Lewis is a Fan...IF You've Poor Health & Life Expectancy) BUT less so, IF you have Good Health.
Martin Lewis Life Insurance Types Guide - Over 50s Life Cover
Bear in mind here, Martin Lewis is reviewing this particular type of 'no medicals' Over-50's Life Cover policy only... So therefore MSE are not against any other life insurance plan types available for all Over 50's & 60's ie; those that do ask health questions.
What we mean here, is a overall insurance comparison between basic 'no medical questions' over 50's & Over 60's life insurance plans versus other over 50 life insurance types that do ask 'medical questions'.
Which as brokers we will go to also explore, as these fully underwritten over 50s life insurance may offer you much better value if you are in average to good health. MoneySavingExpert do also touch on these, in their other life insurance reviews.
So Martin Lewis says please ignore what all those celebrities say based on their caring voiceovers, and these Insurers simple promise of funeral planning & leaving legacies.
Maybe being over 50 himself & perhaps whilst updating their MSE article, Martin was possibly also thinking to himself ...why would Insurers be always banging on calling their over-50s' plans ideal for funerals & legacies.
Especially at the now fairly young milestone over age 50 himself (so not an old age pensioner or over the hill just yet). Plus if you were still currently fit & relatively healthy?
*Over 50 Life Insurance Policy History
What he doesn't say or explore further, is the original idea of these no medicals Over 50's life cover plans were first setup in 1979. Back then, UK life expectancy was much lower.
In fact, SunLife say proudly they were the first UK Insurers to originally offer no medical life assurance plans, but that was way back in the early 1900's. UK Life expectancy was in that time then only into your mid to late 40's.
Those old penny policy plans were usually sold door to door to your dear old nan & grandad, over a cup of tea and a biscuit. They regularly handed over their cash to the salesman & these insurers records were all kept on paper in a receipts book.
This meant SunLife could easily insure people aged 50 or over. Those who could now get a small amount of life insurance cover & without the need for a medical examination.
Enough to help pay towards funeral costs, just by filling in some basic forms & without seeing anybody ie; an Insurance Salesman or GP nurse.
So, let's go back then into the 1970's. What were the Insurers & their sales marketing departments maybe perhaps thinking at the time.
Did it all sound a good idea for those industrial hard working Brits, back in the Maggie Thatcher grim 70's days with unemployment, power cuts & strikes?
1979 in the UK was also the same year the news was filled with the Winter of Discontent, Grave Diggers Strikes, 17% interest rates, Yorkshire Ripper, Sex Pistols etc;
Well, the average UK life expectancy was now only around late 60's for British men, who were often the main household breadwinners.
In other words, bad health may have onset much earlier for those men in the UK that were then aged Over 50 eg; different diets, lifestyles, stresses & strains, smoker status, NHS funding, medications etc?
The state UK pension age was also then age 60 for women & 65 for men. Now both males & females have the same state qualification pension ages. In 2024 this unfortunately for women is no longer the lower age 60.
Therefore it was a great marketing plan back in the 1970's to brand it as a 'Guaranteed Over 50's Life Insurance'. Maybe also sell the idea with a free gift pen for applying...
*Over 50 Martin Lewis on Life Expectancy
Either way today in 2024, average UK life expectancy stats shows this is now upto around age 80. Although women do still generally live longer than men by average around 4/5 years.
Then add into the equation that from 2012, all life insurance rates became gender neutral due to an EU ruling. This meant the cost of life insurance premiums was now the same for both men & women.
Martin Lewis says in their article, UK average statistics today shows that someone who has reached age 65 in good health - could then now be expected to hopefully live on until well into their mid to late 80's.
He comments of course, that nobody lives an average life. So factor in your health, plus the longevity of other members of your family, to see whether you are more or less likely to live for longer or shorter.
As brokers here we would also add therefore that back in the 70's UK Insurers could have perhaps taken upto 15/20 years life insurance premiums, before any death claims were finally paid out.
Now in 2024, it could be 30 or 40 years life insurance premiums & all charged at one single price for either male or female.
Or as Martin Lewis says poignantly, you wouldn't buy a lottery ticket ...if it then cost more than the jackpot prize.
So clearly the point he is trying to make is - you must pay it for longer, and the Insurers then receive your premiums for much longer.
Perhaps, now you may better understand why these no medical questions plans are poorer value in 2024 for those relatively fit and healthy, against alternative life insurance options.
To therefore continue marketing these no medicals life cover plans, and targeting people over 50 (and not at over 65s or over 75s etc;) for all those Insurers, well that sounds like good business sense for them.
MoneySavingExpert then give various examples whereby if you start paying in at 50, that by the time you get in to your early 70's, you will have already paid in more than its policy worth.
MSE don't really explore their various free gift vouchers and other offer enticements, but clearly this still means there must be a profit to be made by the Insurers.
*Over 50's Life Insurance & TV Celebrities
Martin Lewis says Maths genius Carol Vorderman may have put her face to it – but please don't listen to what she has said about insurance.
We saw when reviewing their Money Saving Expert Over 50 life insurance guide, that back in the day TV icon June Whitfield was perhaps one of the first celebrities to help promote these Over-50's plans
After doing this for several years, June comments then however she was possibly sacked from the Sun Life Insurers adverts due to ageism.
June Whitfield said she rather enjoyed playing that old biddy, who urges her contemporaries to consider taking out an AXA Sun Life insurance policy.
Noting that most of the celebrities that helped promote these plans were not over 50's... but more probably like mature over 60's or more at the time ie; Carol Vorderman, Michael Parkinson, Alan Titchmarsh, Cilla Black, Annette Crosbie & Frank Windsor.
*Poor Health & Over 50 No Medical Life Cover
Remember however here, the operative word is No medical questions needed to qualify....
So as Martin Lewis points out, if you have already diagnosed maybe with a critical illness like medical condition, or you are a heavy smoker or seriously obese, these plans MSE says can be a good gamble. Especially because you don't need to answer any medical questions & even though your life expectancy will be substantially lower.
In other words, the Insurers will guarantee to promise to cover you they say, if you died of natural causes and after their initial wait period of 1/2 years.
But the Insurers will still usually ask a smoker medical status question and then charge premiums accordingly
Their typical wording here is; Have you used tobacco products or nicotine replacement therapy, including vaping within the last 12 months?
Martin Lewis to reiterate says these plans may therefore make much more sense if you're in poorer health. Much less so, if in good health and which we will examine further exactly what this may mean.
Does Martin Lewis recommend Whole of Life Insurance?
Martin Lewis says Whole of Life Insurance plans are often investment-linked life insurance policies. This means their premiums can be variable or reviewable.
He then caveats that by saying they are not always ie; there are guaranteed whole of life insurance plans available also, which do offer fixed premiums.
The whole life insurance policy MSE points out means it will run indefinitely until you die, instead of after any fixed time period (like a term insurance).
Over 50's lifecover plans are also whole of life insurance, or a complete life insurance plan. Hence why they are also an expensive option, compared to term insurance.
Money Saving Expert says whole of life insurance are mainly used to mitigate inheritance tax (or in other words a much larger payout amount) which should help cover the inheritance tax bill on death.
Martin Lewis comments that whole of life insurance are usually a more expensive option, when compared to other policies like types of term insurance (which we agree & also compare).
We say as brokers, Over-50's plans are also a type of whole of life insurance. However, asking no medical questions means they will usually payout much smaller amounts.
But as Martin Lewis says maybe ideal if in poorer health & lower life expectancy. So instead are promoted mainly for funerals ie; you want a guaranteed payout at time of need.
The key difference between no medical Over 50's plans, is that the Life Insurers do ask you health & life style questions, so are fully underwritten. Yes, they may ask you for more medical information from your GP.
However, as long as you are in average to good health, and don't mind answering their questions, then underwritten whole of life insurance (also known as whole of life assurance) maybe a much better value bet.
*Martin Lewis Best Over 50 Life Insurance Providers?
Martin Lewis says for best Over 50's Life Cover - there are actually no one particular MSE best buy providers that standout.
MSE says it depends upon your age and how much you pay in. To help out, they gave 3 simple steps for finding a policy.
- Get Several Insurers Quotes eg; Shepherds Friendly, L&G, Sainsburys Bank & One Family
- Check to see if any comparison sites are cheaper
- See if you can get cashback on top of any cheapest quotes
They have recommended Howden Life Assured Futures.
*Does Martin Lewis recommend Sun Life Over 50 Insurance?
Martin Lewis says although SunLife is the dominant market leader of these Over-50s plans, he states they are far from the best, both in costs & favourable terms.
Martin identified 4 problems with the SunLife plan. It's not just SunLife he says, but as it's the main provider of these Over-50's policies he chose to focus on.
Turning to the 4 Problems they have identify mainly with SunLife is that for some Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis says the maths doesn't add up... (we have added our broker comments in brackets & where some other Insurers may slightly differ).
- You need to pay the premiums for life with some Over 50's no medicals whole life plans (some Insurers stop premiums collection at age 90 but maintain cover)
- If you decide to end your plan early then you will get nothing (guaranteed life insurance does operate this way as it has no cash investment surrender values)
- You could pay in more than the plan sum is worth (especially if you started say from age 50 & still paying at age 90)
- These Over 50's plans lock you in (all whole life insurance is as it sounds longer term to ensure full cover until you die)
- Missed premiums & so behind on payments plan ends (Some Insurers offer payment holidays & allow all missed back premiums for the policy to restart)
- If you died after you missed payments then nothing is paid out (different providers may offer back a lower level of cover if you had made 1/2 lifetime costs)
- Inflation erodes a level cover payment policy (consider rising costs of living impact on both future premiums & cover)
In this overview, we will therefore examine more overall pro's and cons of these no medical Over 50's Lifecover BUT more importantly also look at some Over 50 life insurance broker value alternatives to consider.
MSE summing up on all of these main Over 50 policies say they will a) require you to pay for them monthly b) will pay out a lump sum c) they don't ask for a medical.
What they don't mention is these no medical Over 50's plans may often limit their premiums you can pay upto either £50>£75pm maximum.
Also, typically limit their payout maybe to maximum of only around £10,000/£15,000 life insurance, with some offering much less cover as you get older.
In other words, many UK Insurers are protecting their overall individual risk levels post-pandemic 2020's.
So as MoneySavingExpert also point out, (unless index inflation linked) then what looks like reasonable at the start of the policy in 2024, risks becoming an amount that won't stretch far enough when needed. Possibly they say not enough to even fully pay for your funeral plan.
These premium & cover restrictions we see as brokers, show these Over-50's are often far less competitive than any life insurance plan that is fully underwritten. Ones whereby the Insurers do ask you about your overall health & lifestyle.
*So Should I Cancel the Over 50's plan?
Martin Lewis then asks if this all doesn't add up, so 'should I then cancel my Over 50's life insurance'? The answer he says just isn't that simple...because if you stopped paying now, all past premium contributions will then be lost.
Clinical logic demands he says if trying to add up the maths is you should ignore those previous contributions made. Note, these no medical Over 50's plans usually have no surrender cash in values.
The word guaranteed with these plan types also generally means there is no investment elements to either return. Or either affect the Insurers reviewing premiums, so then asking you for more money, like some whole lifecover plans.
He says, do all these sums as if you had started paying today, and then work out if you're likely to put in more from now on than it will pay out.
Obviously, the more years you have been paying in he says, there will be less point in you consider cancelling.
He concludes that point by advising whilst these over-50s' plans aren't right for everyone, he wouldn't want to discourage anyone from helping protect their loved ones from bills once they are no longer here.
Martin Lewis says on Savings v Insurance even this isn't entirely risk-free – if you died earlier, you might not have saved enough to pay for a funeral.
As brokers, we would add to his point here. For example, if you have paid in already for 15 years from age 50, and your cover is worth £7,000 and costing you £40pm.
So if you then decide stop paying in now at age 65 and cancel, firstly you would immediately lose all your life insurance of £7,000.
Then you suddenly died a few following months later, your family won't have that money to rely on anymore towards final expenses & funeral costs.
Secondly if you thought, well I will just buy a better deal from another Insurers. However, you are now 15 years older. So that 15 years means the costs are more expensive, plus another potential 1/2 years initial policy waiting period.
Thirdly, if you decided to just save the £40pm money instead into a top savings account or ISA (as you feel you could live another 15 years plus still).
As brokers, we often get people tell us this is what they will confidently do, because they can see themselves living to a very ripe old age ie; their Auntie Flossie smoked too much & drank too much but lived 'till she was well over 100.
BUT as we point out to them, if you didn't and then died after only 5 or 10 years, your family would now be out of pocket.
*Over 50's v Funeral Plans?
An alternative Martin Lewis says is a standard funeral plan, whereby you pay for your funeral in advance, at 2024 prices. However, these aren't totally hitch-free either he says.
For example, MSE points out a funeral plan might cover cremation costs in full, but then only partially cover burial costs and also not include a church service (see their Death Happens: Plan For It guide).
Plus, they say always ask what happens to the money if you died abroad or if the funeral director goes bust that you have chosen.
Yet even this isn't risk-free, which he doesn't also go onto mention on that part of their article on Over-50's lifecover.
For example; if you died earlier with some Funeral Plan Providers, in their policy T&C's FAQ it may state: what happens if you might not have saved or paid enough into the plan to fully pay for your funeral etc;.
In that instance, these Providers would only just refund back those premiums paid in to date. In other words, the family would have to make up the extra funds paying fully for the funeral.
We say therefore as brokers instead ....
As long as you are in good to average health, medical questions Over 50's life insurance are often a much better bet for Day 1 cover ie; you don't mind answering some basic health/lifestyle questions.
We say also, please don't confuse this with some newer direct to market Over 50 providers. Those who say they will also offer lifecover with a promise of 'no medicals' once your application is successful.
BUT then still ask you a range of medical questions to pre-qualify, and if they may or may not then offer your any life cover....as they won't be asking for GP medical reports or Nurse medicals.
These buy direct NO medicals but YES medicals questions Over 50's plans however may still not represent your best overall comparison value (but you may get a free gift voucher).
MoneySavingExpert have not reviewed these other types of whole life assurance as yet. However, as brokers we would comment they are an option if you only wish to go direct & not shop around.
Martin Lewis on Life Insurance says generally for a good rule of thumb in 2024, his Best Over 50's Life Insurance Formula is "NEVER BLINDLY BUY DIRECT" expensive policy offers via your Bank or one Insurer direct ie; Shop around or use a Broker.
Lastly, MoneySavingExpert also said generally remember, not all insurers plans are featured on insurance comparison sites. As brokers, we would also agree here – so let us help you shop around for your best broker deals.
Pros & Cons: 'Life Insurance Over 50 Martin Lewis'
They clearly state upfront in their 'Life Insurance over 50 Martin Lewis' guide, that these 'simple plans' usually all promise a fixed lump sum when you die.
They point out the Insurers say there is no investment risks. You always know what your loved ones will get when you die.
So MSE Martin Lewis chose to focus on Axa SunLife website, as it's one of the main UK providers of these policies...with its glossy pics and their deliciously simple sales pitch he says.
If you are aged 50 to 85, you do not you need any medicals, so you are guaranteed to get their Over 50's plan.
The costs start from as low as under £4pm month. However, what is paid out will then all depend on your age when you sign up.
Problems: Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis?
We as brokers would add that someone aged over 80 is a higher life insurance risk, than someone just aged over 50. So they would get less lifecover for their money.
If you died within the first year exclusion period however (re natural causes & because no medicals are required we would add) you will not get any fixed lump sum. Some Insurers do have a 2 years exclusion.
Instead you would typically get back from the Insurers what you paid in MSE say ie; a full refund.
Some other Insurers may often add on an additional small refund payment formula, only if you died within that initial time frame due to natural causes.
The exception to that, is if you died in an accident (such as a car crash he says as an example) you would then get the full lump sum due.
They don't add that there often exclusions usually here for example; alcohol/drug abuse, hazardous pursuits, self-inﬂicted injuries or involvement in criminal acts.
Who's Martin Lewis Over 50 Money Saving Expert?
Background: Who is the highly respected Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis Lewis OBE & CBE?
Born in 1972, so now over 50... Martin Lewis is a very successful Financial Reporter & Money Expert, and the founder of the well known UK consumer website Money Saving Expert.
He also has his own current affairs TV Money Show on ITV. This was all initially broadcast after all the London Olympics back in autumn 2012.
Martin Lewis is now often seen on TV commenting on current financial matters & affairs. Or daytime TV like This Morning Martin Lewis being the popular go to person for sound advice.
In 2012, his popular Money Saving Expert website was sold to The Money Supermarket.Com group for reportedly £87 million. Since 2015, Martin Lewis remains executive chairman and in these challenging 2020's all round UK Consumer Champion & Finance Guru.
Martin Lewis has sadly told of his own life story over 40 years ago, where he unfortunately lost his late Mother Susan Lewis at only age 11, in a tragic road accident.
What happened to Martin Lewis as a Child then reportedly left him emotionally unable to sometimes leave his own house - for upto 6 years (Times Newspaper Article).
Except for going to study at school, this emotional impact left him he said looking back with both extreme anxiety & trauma. As such, Martin Lewis illness mentally as a teenager back then & during some darker days says he sometimes “struggled to even get out of bed”.
The tragedy on the longer term impact of someone losing a parent so young in their lives, whether this be financial, psychological or both.
As such today in 2024 he says 'Financial problems and mental health issues are often locked together — it’s about time treatments were linked too', urges Money and Mental Health Policy Institute & its chair founder Martin Lewis.
This then means that he can also speak now with some authority around the subject of mental health and explore the link with money management.
Important Note: This overview on Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis on Over 50 Life Insurance blog is not a scam fake advert re Martin Lewis recommending our own broker services. As you may be aware he & MSE are fully impartial. Therefore, he does not endorse or support any particular products or providers. Any Martin Lewis Money video's or images shown may also have some out of date information on them - due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Often these life insurance MoneySavingExpert articles may no longer be personally updated or written by Martin Lewis himself. MSE do state he oversees site content, especially the MSE weekly email. Naturally, although MSE is an independant website finance allows no advertising nor subscription, it may receive a revenue via 'affiliate links' to the top products or providers (which we aren't mentioned)
If Over 50...How much Life Insurance does Martin Lewis recommend?
Well firstly YES, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis does overall '100% recommend Life Insurance', especially if you still have any dependant's reliant upon your financially (whether they are old or young).
On the main 'Money Saving Expert Life Insurance' website section, Martin Lewis is generally asked how much life insurance do I need? He doesn't put any age limits upon this ie; over 50 etc;
Martin Lewis suggests for a good rule of thumb in 2024, his Best Life Insurance formula is using 'THE 10 x RULE' ie; aim to cover 10 x the Annual income of the highest earner or the main breadwinner until at least any kids have finished their full-time education & other dependants.
If Over 50 what's Martin Lewis say on Life Insurance?
'The 10 x RULE' = Formula For Success
However, Money Saving Expert also suggests that to better help you to calculate a figure that may best work for you & your family based on your affordable monthly budget, it is worth ensuring any over 50 life policy should also help to cover these following 4 main finance items:
- Any Outstanding Debts that would need to be paid off eg; include any mortgage loans, unless covered by a separate life policy already
- Immediate Outgoings ie; what your dependants could need to regularly pay
- Future Spending you may have wish to make eg; further educational & university fees
- Any Additional Expenses that your death may then trigger eg; funeral & final expenses costs
Note however; this formula doesn't distinguish between does Martin Lewis recommend over 50 life insurance (or whatever age you are) but mainly seems to look logically at those with younger dependant children.
MoneySavingExpert does point out that this 10 x the highest earners annual income may seem a high amount, but they say it is likely to then leave enough money (after the impact of rising inflation) to help cover mortgage loan repayments, expenses or any ongoing childcare costs.
MSE states it could also go some way to help supplement the incomes of those left behind if they had to unfortunately then leave employment eg; to care for any dependant children or relatives.
How much Life Insurance Over 50 Martin Lewis?
Over 50's Life Insurance Case Study Example
Being just 50, you could now be in an established job role at your UK company? Let's say you typically earned average salary of £50,000pa gross but have no company death benefits.
You are the main breadwinner and re-married with a younger family. You do intend to carry on working until at least age 70 and maybe longer, as all your children will finish further education you hope by then.
By using that Money Saving Expert principle formula therefore above (ie; 10 x the per annual gross income), MSE re life insurance says you should maybe consider insuring yourself (assuming after any mortgage, loans & debts are fully repaid) for £500,000 or £1/2 million life insurance.
Interestingly, Money Saving Expert here do simply recommend insuring your main gross income of £50,000pa & not net after tax income in this Martin Lewis over 50s life insurance 10 x rule example.
Following on from this simple Martin Lewis best over 50 life insurance example formula above, if you then actually worked for the next 20 years from aged 50 until your intended retirement age 70, you could potentially earn over £1 million gross ie; £50,000pa salary x 20 years [or more with any future inflation wage rises].
As such, unlike the 10 x £50,000 gross salary Martin Lewis life insurance example - you could now therefore protect your family and dependants with either;
- Income = £4,166pm or £50,000pa family income benefit FIB lifecover policy
- Lump sum = £1 million level term life insurance policy if invested at 5% = £50,000pa
- Or a mixture of the 2 policy types over the next 20 years - all dependant on your family circumstances
- You can decide wether you want the cover to be level or inflation linked
- Single plan | 2 x seperate plans | Joint life insurance 1'st claim | Lump Sums or Family Income Benefits options
Is your Over 50 Life Insurance enough?
Let's compare that same example case study above of the married person age 50 above (male or female), earning £50,000pa and in fairly good health, vaping daily.
They decided instead to just take out a well advertised no medicals Over 50s Life Insurance Martin Lewis advice not withstanding any insurance alternatives ie; It was a default choice just because they're now over 50.
Checking via some well known providers, they may only get for their maximum premium costs allowable on smoking rates, around £13,000 whole of life assurance now.
Rather than looking to insure for a certain time period from age 50 like say next 20, 30 or 40 years but focusing instead on the rest of life.
Concerned more about any final expenses death planning if they died at say age 96 like Her Majesty The Queen did?
Or in other words, although being over 50, is the life insurance policy chosen appropriate & reflects the overall situation & family needs in this example or indeed real life?
Meaning in this example are they inadequately insured for the next 20 years plus to around age 70, when still having some people dependant upon you financially.
What's Martin Lewis Over 50 Life Insurance policy?
People will naturally ask, What does Martin Lewis say concerning Over 50 Life Insurance and does Martin Lewis recommend Over 50 life insurance?
Well if we turn away from the age of 50 for now, MoneySavingExpert recommends when considering any Life Insurance protection cover generally...these '7 helpful pointers' and need to knows for your family:
Follow their advice & 'Martin Lewis life insurance top tips with their Money Saving Expert 'Life Insurance 7 Need to Knows'. Note; These apply to any MSE life insurance tips, so not specifically Over 50's.
- Go for Guaranteed Fixed Insurance Premiums NOT Reviewable Plan Premiums
- Disclose all your Health Conditions & Risks to help avoid potential non-valid claim
- 2 x single policies can be sometimes be better than joint 1'st claim policy
- Write your over 50 life policy into trust helps avoid the taxman & probate delays
- Switch & Save on existing insurance eg; quit smoking or your health improved
- Protected under FSCS if an Insurer or the Insurance Brokers goes bust
- Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis advice recommends you seek Professional Advice if unsure
*No Dependants (So don't need over 50's Life Insurance)?
MoneySavingExpert on life insurance generally says if there is no one you would want the monies to go to, then maybe don't bother.
Equally, they also say if you do have dependants' (but there would be little financial impact if you died), then you still might not need any life policy cover.
But conversely if your income (or indeed pension) helps pay the regular bills, mortgage loans, food shopping and more would be a struggle, then life insurance is often a cheap way to solve that.
We would comment as financial advisers, that although you maybe an Over 50's single or have no immediate dependants currently, you could still have a various ongoing loans or debts & unpaid bills.
If you sadly died with ongoing current financial commitments, this means it could leave your overall wider family struggling to then cope with all those financial burdens you may have now left them.
More importantly for us all...even paying for a proper decent burial for yourself to now be dealt with. Where are these immediate final cost funeral funds all coming from?
Martin Lewis on reviewing prepaid funeral plans, says typically funeral costs could mount up to around £10,000 including burial plots, headstones etc; & rising.
Then perhaps further debt stress re creditor claims against the estate from the either the mortgage loan companies, credit card providers etc;
You may then ask that (even if you are single) is that fair & what you would want for your wider family as your final last wish?
Life Insurance choices for the Over 50s?
Yes, all the main UK providers offer a variety of life insurance cover policies to those in their 50's, so don't worry here.
Even when you are over 50, the need for some form of life insurance protection is perhaps always there.
However, apart from helping looking after yourselves, your own kids or grandkids financially, The Bank of Mum & Dad may still need help to pay-off their own existing mortgage payments, outstanding debts or credit cards.
There are currently 3 main types of Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis discusses across their various guides.
Over 50's Life Insurance MSE 3 Main Options
- Over 50's Whole of Life Insurance (Yes > Medical & lifestyle evidence)
- Over 50's Guaranteed Life Cover (No > medical or lifestyle evidence)
- Term Life Insurance Over 50's (Yes > Medical & lifestyle evidence)
*Over 50 Whole Life Insurance (Medical Evidence)
General Key Features
- Whole of Life Insurance means you covered - even if you live until 125
- Policy is underwritten insurance Insurers ask medical lifestyle questions before offering terms
- Could involve GP reports & medical tests before agreeing underwriting terms
- Best deals usually available for those who have no adverse health or lifestyle issues
- Age at entry available is up to late 80's dependant on Insurers
- Terminal Illness is often included for free on whole of life assurance plans
- This means you have 12 months to live, so pays out earlier 'death insurance claim' in advance
- If you have medical issues eg; raised blood pressure or cholesterol Insurers may still offer cover
- Immediate coverage with no initial exclusion periods before a whole of life insurance claim
- Suicide exclusion clauses may initially apply on whole life insurance for over 50s
- Own life, dual life or joint life insurance 50 and over upon death or terminal illness
- Plan options for fixed or reviewable premiums
- Premiums maybe guaranteed non-reviewable or investment-backed reviewable
- Plan costs and must be paid for rest of life ie; until a claim
*Over-50's Life Cover (No Medical Evidence)
General Key Features
- 1 or 2 years exclusion periods before any natural causes death claims
- Usually no in depth medical & lifestyle questions to qualify
- Accidental death claims only for initial exclusion periods
- Refund of premiums only if you died of natural causes during this exclusion period
- Insurers may stop taking premiums from age 90/95 but maintain your over 60 lifecover
- Over-50s no medicals life insurance is whole of life meaning indefinate cover
- Smoking status affects life insurance for over 50s smokers
- Age at entry from 50 usually upto 80 dependant on Insurers on a single life basis only
- Providers may limit fixed premiums per plan or total amount of Lifecover per person
- No investment cash in plan surrender values
- Lower life insurance levels generally offered versus other Over 50's plans
- Many use Over 50's plans instead of a prepay funeral plan
- Funeral funding benefit option with some plans ie; use COOP or Dignity etc;
*Over 50's Term Life Insurance (Medical Evidence)
General Key Features
- Over 50s Term Life Insurance is for a fixed period ie; max available usually upto age 90
- To qualify it asks health & lifestyle 'underwritten' questions
- Unlike whole life assurance you may live out that term period leaving no lifecover after
- Terminal Illness is also included for free on over 60 term life insurance plans
- May have much more affordable costs than whole life assurance as plan runs a defined term
- Age at entry available usually up to 85 dependant on Insurers
- Once underwritten, this life insurance policy has no initial exclusion period before claim
- Suicide exclusion clauses apply on term life insurance for the over 60s
- Premiums usually fixed and have to be paid for life of the policy term with no cash value
- Options of life insurance for the over 60s via own life or joint life policies
- Life Insurance upto age 90 as a 'bills back up plan' instead
Term Life Insurance Over 50 Martin Lewis?
In their main guide to Life Insurance Money Saving Expert focuses on various term life insurance. These are mainly for families with dependants rather than over 50's no medical life cover plans for say funerals.
But what happens if you don't have younger dependants, who may decide to leave home in say 10 years time?
Instead, you now want life insurance cover for something that will run well into retirement & that is affordable when being on pensions
A Term life insurance upto age 90 - sometimes could be as much as 1/2 the cost of a whole life insurance Over 50's comparison.
The reason being that 'it may not payout' - as you could outlive the known plan time frame. eg; You live to age 92.
Many UK Life Insurers now offer broker life insurance terms upto to age 90, others may stop at age 85 or sooner dependant on their deals. MSE on term insurance plans stop around age 80, which isn't factually correct.
Note: That average life expectancy in the UK is currently around age 80. Women however statistically live longer than men. However, life insurance rates are the same for both due to EU gender neutral rates applied since 2012.
As long as you feel that a term life policy ''backup plan" realistically is not needed after these ages, then this could be a different & cheaper over 50's life insurance alternative to whole of life assurance?
Over 50's Life Insurance
'NO Medical Questions' versus 'YES Medical Questions'
|Over 50's Life Insurance
'NO MEDICAL' Info (Key Features)
|Over 50's Life Insurance
'YES MEDICAL' Info (Key Features)
|* Poor value if fit & healthy
|Ideal if reasonably fit & healthy
|* Wait first 1/2 years before fully insured
|Fully insured once terms agreed
|* Some may include Terminal Illness
|Terminal illness benefit included
|* Accidental death only first 1/2 years
|Fully insured once deal agreed
|* Low lifecover levels available
|Higher lifecover levels available
|* No medical questions | No GP health check
|Medical questions | Maybe GP health check
|* Smoking / Vaping rates affects pricing
|Smoking / Vaping rates affects pricing
|* Short application process
|Longer application process
|* Good value if unfit & unhealthy
|Lesser value if unfit & unhealthy
|* Whole Lifecover
|Whole or Term Lifecover
|* Don't want any broker advice
|Don't mind getting broker advice
|* Funeral Funding Options
|No Funeral Funding
|* Miss premiums & plan may end
|Miss premiums & plan may end
|* Restricted premiums
|No premium restrictions
|* No investment risks
|No investment risks on guaranteed plans
|* Inflationary risks if level cover
|Option to index your lifecover
|* 1 provider only choice
|Choice of Brokers marketplace
|* Advertised by a Celebrity
|Usually not Celebrity advertised
|* May get a Free Gift or Pen
|May not get a Free Gift or Pen
|* Could pay in more than premiums
|Less likely to pay in more than premiums
|* No premiums after ages 90/95
|Premiums paid for whole of plan life
MSE Over 50 - How to buy Life Insurance?
The Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis website main aim is always advising about getting the best value deals & how to save costs.
Whilst this may seem true, the Over 50's life insurance marketplace is often more confusing.
It is highly advertised and focused solely on these branded no medical Over 50's lifecover plans.
So Money Saving Expert over 50 life insurance website review give few real alternatives for those who are generally fit & healthy. Those who maybe able to get alternative underwritten life cover.
As such therefore buying what appears to be simple & cheap whole of life assurance for example, as he says often could work out the most expensive, in more ways than one.
People in the UK look therefore for his money saving expert advice, searching online to get his Martin Lewis best over 50 life insurance wisdom & tips.
Noting that as he is not a financial adviser, so he does not personally give advice, just cover the main issues and problem areas.
So firstly for any general life insurance Martin Lewis hints, let's look at the 3 main ways they say you can buy life insurance.
1] Execution Only Sales
Money Saving Expert attempts to educate people about many types of financial matters. The normal best advice is to always shop around & if unsure always seek professional advice.
Apart from going direct either online or old fashioned paperwork to the various Insurers for their Over 50's life insurance offerings (which as mentioned - they don't recommend), they suggest the cheapest life insurance option is instead via an online 'execution only' discount broker.
Note: MSE point out that here, you must pay a fee first to that Provider to access their services. For example MSE recommend either using Cavendish online, Moneyworld, Moneyminder.
Note cheapest here means you also won't get any advice or be speaking to anyone ie; No comeback if what was chosen by yourself, direct via their website, was appropriate to your ongoing situation.
For example, you choose no medical over 50's lifecover with your free gift but you actually are in reasonable health, so could have better chosen alternative better value whole life assurance offering underwritten day 1 cover.
2] Non-Advised Guidance
Then there are other life insurance sales agents MSE mention who may operate as FCA regulated brokers but via non-advised sales'. Now this part gets a little bit more confusing.
Although you are now speaking to someone about your life insurance enquiry this time, actually again you won't be getting any advice.
You only just get information & guidance from their Sales Agent for you (not them) to then make a more informed decision on the policies available you have now chosen to take out
So - No real comeback if your chosen Over 50 life insurance plan was later found inappropriate to your longer term care needs.
For example, you take out a life policy upto age 90, which you think is the same as over 50's life cover you have also read about, and the insurers will also pay your premiums after age 90. You however died at age 91 in a care home, and your family are surprised there is no life insurance payout.
There are plenty of large Life Insurance Brokers online offering 'information guidance only' eg; Reassured, Lifesure & Protect Line, mainly operate via non-advised sales.
3] Professional Advice
Finally, there are 'advised brokers or financial advisers', who as the name implies give advice.
The Financial Adviser will fully assess your own personal situation, then document this to you in your demands & needs report. They will advise you after their research on your personal situation why they recommended the particular Insurers plans & benefits.
They can either cover & address every aspect of protection needs or alternatively just look at a few particular areas eg; you just wanted to discuss your own over 50 life insurance needs for now. Later down the line, your adviser could then re-look into any highlighted other protection shortfalls maybe for your partner for example.
There are plenty of Life Insurance Brokers online offering advice. MSE Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis would recommend several that also may offer incentives & vouchers like either Howden, Activequote, Lifesearch.
Martin Lewis Life Insurance for Over 50s & Complaints
Should you wish to complain about your over 50 life insurance company MSE have given you a free complaints tool link to a website called Resolver.
Their tool they say helps you to manage your complaint, should you have one and need to monitor it.
Money Saving Expert do say if the insurance company doesn't play ball, it can also help if you wish to escalate your complaint then contact for the free Financial Ombudsman Service.
'Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis' Conclusion
As mentioned therefore, re those looking for Martin Lewis life insurance for over 50s plans advice, he is not a big fan of the packaged 'no medical' style of life insurance unless you are in poorer health.
Check the above Pro’s and Cons chart for our own Martin Lewis over 50 life insurance comparison analysis.
Over 50’s no medical lifecover plans are as MSE mentions maybe only ideal for people who do have serious health issues thus a shortened life expectancy.
Alternatively, some who perhaps just don’t want to answer any lifestyle questions. Or maybe just like the idea of a free gift?
Martin Lewis best life insurance for over 50s again should note that most no medical lifecover plans may usually have upto initial 1/2 years waiting period before any full death claim.
This means if you died of any natural causes during this ''initial period', the Insurers will not payout fully (other than usually return premiums plus maybe interest) unless if you died due to an accident.
Any full medical questions underwritten lifecover will potentially offer you more cover immediately and more importantly, without this 1/2 years waiting periods of no medical plans.
These life insurance plans usually also will offer much higher lifecover amounts but for a similar monthly cost. They are also often used for those concerned about Funeral Costs, Family Protection & Inheritance Tax Planning.
Ultimately though, you pay’s your money and takes your choice of perhaps one or all product over 50 combinations. How much can you afford to set aside each week to help protect yourself, family and loved ones ?
If you can afford it, my own thoughts aside from what does Martin Lewis say about life insurance for those insurers offering plans for those over fifty, are ideally following these same principles as mentioned above.
Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis Review
- Lump Sum > Repay any mortgage loan & debts, funeral costs
- Income > Help cover your ongoing monthly bills & expenses
- Lump Sum > Back up for holidays, education, emergencies
Take care of yourself & Family and loved ones.
Article on 'Martin Lewis Over 50 Life Insurance' Guide by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser February 2024
For reassurance re health for men & women – we review many of the best Life Insurers selling Over 50 Life Insurance in UK (inc NI)
*Any comments & views expressed on this Over 50 Life Insurance Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert review are for generic information only. They are not personalized advice or necessarily reflect MSE views.
This overview on Martin Lewis Guide to Over 50's Life Insurance 2020 's is not a scam fake or advert re Martin Lewis recommending our own broker services. As you may be aware he & MSE are fully impartial. As you may be aware he & MSE are fully impartial which means never putting his name or face / logo to anything. Yes, they mention individual products and services on their site, but they don't 'support' them. Any Martin Lewis Money video's or images shown may also have some out of date information on them - due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Often these life insurance MoneySavingExpert articles may no longer be personally updated or written by Martin Lewis himself. MSE do state he oversees site content, especially the MSE weekly email. Naturally, although MSE is an independant website finance allows no advertising nor subscription, it may receive a revenue via 'affiliate links' to what they believe are the top products or providers (which we aren't mentioned)