Insurance for the over 50s

Other insurance considerations for over 50

It's a well-known fact that the insurance industry regards people over 50 as a little special. Once you hit that magical number premiums tend to fall and you are eligible for all sorts of special offers, special rates and rewards galore. But are all these offers really worth it? Is a company that specialises in insurance for the over 50s really any different to one that doesn't claim to care what age you are? Below we take a look at the two areas of insurance where age seems to matter; life insurance and motor insurance.

Life Insurance

Perhaps one of the most common and well-publicised types of term insurance is over 50's life cover. These are specialist policies for people over the age of 50 that allow them to buy basic insurance relatively cheaply. As with many things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to this type of insurance policy. If you are between the ages of 50 and 75 (up to 85 on some policies) then you are guaranteed to be accepted and, as is often advertised, there are no medical checks. This means you pay a standard monthly fee regardless of your financial and health status, and the premium is inevitably higher than, say, someone in their twenties with good health.

Over 50 policies tend not to pay out within the first couple of years of you taking up the policy, and some can be longer - although quite a few will pay out if you die as a result of an accident or repay the premiums paid so far. As ever, check the details of the policy. There is also the risk that you could be paying into the policy for 30 or 40 years, or even longer, which means you could pay more in premiums than the policy pays out. However some policies allow you to stop paying once you hit 85, for example, and still be covered. Again, you need to check the fine print, especially as over 50 policies will not pay out if you cancel the policy at any time - you don't want to stop paying once you hit 85 because you think you don't have to any more, only to find that you have no cover and you can't any of your money back.

Motor Insurance

Like being female, being over 50 is cited as a reason for cheaper premiums from car insurance providers, and there are some companies that claim to be the best for this group because they don't insure anyone under 50, thus being able to offer lower premiums. However that isn't necessarily the case.

While age is undoubtedly a factor in calculating the cost of a premium it is only one of many, and those other factors can push your premium up. You may find, for example, that a company that has decided to be competitive for people living in the countryside has a lower price than one that targets the over 50s market. Plus, when you look at the fine print, many policies targeted at people 50+ aren't that different from those available to younger drivers. However there are some good terms that are more often available to older drivers at better prices. Here are some you might want to look out for:

  • A guaranteed no-claims bonus. Better than a protected bonus, this means it doesn't matter how many claims you have in a year, your bonus will not be reduced.
  • Zero excess to pay if hit by an uninsured driver, or if the car is written off or stolen and not recovered.
  • Some insurers will provide cover for lost or stolen car keys. (I wonder if it's known as senior moment cover?)
  • Car insurance premiums are often raised if you have been in an accident, even if the other driver was at fault. The protected no-claims discount is still in place, but your premium goes up any way. There are some insurers that won't do this though.
  • It is a common misconception that anyone with car insurance or a valid driving licence can drive another person's car with third party, fire and theft cover provided by the drivers insurer or the car owners. While it's true that such cover exists it almost always comes with specific criteria and it is not on all premiums automatically. Some policies for over 50s will allow a licenced driver to drive your car in a medical or motoring emergency provided you are in the car.

This article was written by Rob Powell from Confused.com, the car insurance comparison website.