insurance

This article looks at some of the common features of life insurance policies, particularly those that are designed with the over 50s in mind.

Many people start to think more carefully about the future when they get older. Whilst some employers provide death in service benefits, cover only operates whilst you are employed. With job uncertainty becoming commonplace many people look to arrange their own life insurance cover, particularly as they begin to edge closer towards retirement.

Different Types Of Policies
Those looking to take out over 50s life insurance will find a number of different types of policies available. There are three main types of cover. Mortgage term assurance is usually bought to pay off the balance of your mortgage if you die and the level of cover gradually decreases in line with the amount you still owe. Whole of life insurance pays out whenever you die. The premiums you pay in are invested and, if you choose not to continue with the policy, you can surrender it. Term life assurance is more straightforward. If you die within the term of the policy then a pre-agreed lump sum is paid out.

Is A Medical Exam Necessary?
It is not always necessary to have a medical exam when arranging over 50s life insurance. Some insurers require completion of extensive underwriting information and, if they consider you higher risk, require that you have an exam before they agree to cover you. There are a number of insurers, however, who accept new customers without requiring a medical or even any information about medical history. Where this is the case it is usual for there to be an initial period of one to two years where the policy will not pay out if you die.

Some Points To Remember
It is important to remember that if you stop paying the premiums for your life insurance then the policy will stop too. Additionally, if you take out term assurance and do not die within the term then there will be no payout at a later date.

It is essential that you tell the insurer fully about any information they request. If you do not do so then they may be able to avoid paying out your claim. Bear in mind that your premium will depend on a number of factors, some of which you can change. Smokers and drinkers, for example, will usually pay more for cover or have greater restrictions placed on their policies.

Before purchasing a policy it is also a good idea to think about whether you need insurance and, if so, how much cover you require. If you are a single person with no dependants then there may be alternative ways to plan financially for the future. If you have a number of family commitments, however, then life insurance is one way to help plan ahead.

Whether you are 50 or 70 (or even older) it is not usually too late to take out life insurance. Make sure that you know what level of cover you require, how much you can afford to pay for it, how long you need it for and shop around to make sure that you get the right deal.

Michael Gill writes for a range of websites and blogs about insurance and financial matters. He is particularly interested in over 50s life insurance and other products that can help to give peace of mind and make it easier to plan for the future.