How long do you need cover for?

Cover until you die

If you want a policy that pays out whatever age you are when you die, you could apply for whole of life insurance.

You could take out a term life insurance policy, but if you die outside of the term, there will be no payout.

Cover while you have a mortgage

You could choose a decreasing term life insurance policy that reduces each month, in line with your mortgage repayments.

You can also choose to keep the payout the same throughout the term, so you could pay off the mortgage and give some money to your family too.

Cover when you are older

As you get older, life insurance policies can become more expensive.

This is usually because:

  • You are getting closer to your life expectancy age

  • You have developed health issues

However, there are life insurance policies you can choose:

  • If you are over 50 and healthy: You could get a term or whole of life insurance policy, but the longer you wait to apply, the more expensive your premiums will become.

  • If you are over 50 and have suffered from health issues: You may get accepted for term or whole of life insurance, but your premiums are likely to be very expensive.

You could apply for an over 50s life insurance policy, which guarantees acceptance, and offers a fixed payout based on the premiums you can afford.

What kind of payout do you want?

There are two types of payout, depending on the policy you choose:

  • A lump sum: This could help pay off your mortgage, or give the ones you leave behind a pot of money to live off.

  • An income: This could help your family pay their monthly bills monthly, e.g. mortgage or rent. However, the income usually stops at the end of the policy's term.

You only get a lump sum payment with a whole of life or an over 50s life insurance policy, but you could find both options with a term life insurance policy.

Which payout is best?

It depends on when you die:

  • If you die a few months before your policy ends, an income is only paid for the remaining months, but if you choose a lump sum payout, your loved ones will get the entire amount in one.

  • If you die early on during the policy, an income will pay out for the remaining years, giving support to your family. However, if you choose a lump sum, they get the entire payout as one payment, potentially offering them more in return for your premiums.

Policy pros and cons

Here are the main pros and cons for each type of life insurance policy:

Whole of life insurance

  • Pays out whenever you die

  • No age limit for claims

  • Not all causes of death covered

  • Premiums can exceed payout

Term life insurance

  • More payout options available

  • Can fit around your mortgage

  • Not all causes of death covered

  • Can only claim during term

Over 50s life insurance

  • Guaranteed acceptance

  • Can have low premiums

  • Only available for over 50 years

  • Premiums can exceed payout