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Martin Lewis Life Insurance Over 50 Guide

If you’ve searched for Over 50s life insurance then it’s likely that you will have come across some of the Martin Lewis life insurance over 50s guidance. You can take this advice two ways and many people might be put off getting a policy after reading what Mr Lewis and his team has to say.

It’s always good to get a few different perspectives before you buy certain products and over 50s life insurance is no exception.

A picture of a stopwatch

60-Second Summary – Martin Lewis Life Insurance Over 50 Guide

Martin Lewis Life Insurance guides are a useful starting point when considering new or reviewing existing life cover policies. There are lots of different types of life insurance options which is why Martin Lewis suggests you should seek advice from an expert or specialist.

  • Martin Lewis doesn’t speak as positively about over 50s policies compared to other options for life cover – but these policies do work well in certain situations.
  • Over 50s life insurance can often be the best option if you have medical conditions, as these policies don’t take your medical history into account when you apply.
  • Over 50s plans are an affordable way to leave an inheritance for your loved ones, to cover funeral expenses, repaying debts or even just as a cash gift for the people you love.
  • There are several over 50s life insurance providers operating in the UK. You should do your research or speak to an over 50s life insurance expert, to make sure you are 100% happy with the policy you choose.

Martin Lewis is a high profile financial journalist who has elevated himself to celebrity status. This is through his work to promote financial freedom for consumers in the United Kingdom. You might be familiar with him from his ITV financial series called ‘The Martin Lewis Money Show’, co-hosted by Angellica Bell.

Martin Lewis initially studied government and law at the London School of Economics before studying broadcast journalism at Cardiff University. This has helped in his career as a financial journalist and he regularly appears (and often guest hosts) on programmes like This Morning and Good Morning Britain.

You may also have visited Martin Lewis’s consumer website which is MoneySavingExpert.com which is the biggest of its kind in the UK. The website is dedicated to helping the British public understand their rights and to fight for fair deals on all types of financial products or services.

Martin Lewis’ Guide to Life Insurance – Different Types | This Morning

MoneySavingExpert.com is the most visited consumer website with over 16 million unique visitors each month. Millions of British households rely on the information provided by Martin Lewis and his team of financial journalists for everyday financial decisions.

The claim made by MSE is that an average UK household can save themselves an amount equal to a 25% pay rise, simply by being an ‘active, savvy consumer and moving to the best deals’.

A list displaying the services available on MoneySavingExpert.com

What ‘s Martin Lewis Over 50 life insurance opinion?

If you visit MoneySavingExpert.com then you’ll see that there is a page dedicated to Martin Lewis life insurance over 50 opinion.

There are some quite strong views on over 50s life insurance on this page which can be clearly seen from the very beginning of the article. The page starts with references to Carol Vorderman being used as a celebrity face for these policies and a comment saying “don’t listen to what she’s said about insurance”.

Whilst we do agree that there are some scenarios where over 50s life insurance won’t work for everyone, this is quite a damning statement and not fully deserved.

There are some caveats which can be taken from what is suggested in the article which you could see if you read between the lines. As Martin Lewis over 50 life insurance guidance says ‘for many they’re a seriously bad bet’, meaning for some that they’re actually not bad.

Martin Lewis often also speaks about other types of life insurance (e.g. level term and decreasing term) and policies such as critical illness cover.

Martin Lewis life insurance over 50 with pre existing medical conditions

In this rather sternly written article on MoneySavingExpert.com, you’ll also see a small section about ‘over 50 life insurance with poor health’ (but you’ll need to look for it!).

We definitely feel that this paragraph should be more prominent in the article and should be referenced earlier on. It seems very easy to rant about how bad something is without giving the entire picture and this is certainly the case with Martin Lewis over 50 life insurance guidance.

Martin Lewis even suggests that someone with a pre-existing medical condition could be better off with an over 50s life insurance policy. If that were the case then surely this point should be made earlier in the article to prevent putting people off unnecessarily.

Why is over 50s life insurance better for pre existing medical conditions?

One of the main reasons why an over 50s life insurance policy is more suitable for people with pre existing medical conditions is simply, life expectancy is generally lower. People who live to age 90+ are likely to pay more in than they would generally get out of this type of policy.

Key features of over 50s life insurance:

  1. No medicals
  2. No medical underwriting
  3. Premiums not based on health
  4. Less questions to answer
  5. Better value

How does over 50s life insurance work?

Over 50s life insurance is a cost-effective form of life cover often used for funeral planning (e.g. to cover funeral costs and money is often paid straight to a funeral director).

If you read the Martin Lewis over 50s life insurance guide then you’ll see a lot of references to SunLife over-50s products. You will also hear some quite aggressive wording like ‘scathing’.

Some of the main points raised on Martin Lewis life insurance over 50:

  1. Fixed lump sum when you die – the key points here are ‘when you die’ which as it suggests means that payouts are guaranteed. The other point is that you’ll have no link to investment funds which means that there are performance risks.
  2. No medicals – as suggested if you are aged between 50 and 85 then you won’t need to answer medical questions or have any medical exams, so acceptance is guaranteed.
  3. Monthly premiums from £3.70 – costs and payouts are based on your age and smoker status, so will vary from person to person.
  4. No payouts in the first 12 months – most over 50s life insurance policies won’t pay out if you die in the first 12 or 24 months (depending on the provider). Your monthly payments will be repaid and some will pay a small amount on top to account for any interest. The other exception that is pointed out on Martin Lewis over 50s life insurance is, you will be paid out on accidental death in the first 12 months with most policies.

These four points also apply to the vast majority of over 50s life insurance providers and policies but with some slight variations.

Something else that you’ll find on the Martin Lewis life insurance over 50 page is a section called ‘Four problems with the SunLife plan’. There are actually problems with all of these policies as they tend to be similar and the same rules apply across the board.

1) The maths doesn’t add up

This is a great point and as we said earlier, this is why these products tend to be more cost effective for people with pre existing medical conditions or lower life expectancy. If you work on averages then you would almost always pay more in that you would receive in pay outs, but that’s just part of the risk of this policy.

In reality, most of these policies wouldn’t be cost effective for the majority of fit and healthy adults over 50. BUT, we can’t predict what might happen in the future and this is another gamble like most insurance policies.

Loads of policies would end up paying out less than is paid in but you may also be one of those who pays in less.

Note: Over 50’s life insurance is better for people who die younger or those with a lower life expectancy. If you don’t feel that this type of product is right for you then we wouldn’t advise you to buy a policy.

2) You’ll be locked in

Martin Lewis life insurance over 50 also mentions a very interesting story about an episode of Watchdog on BBC One which featured a film made by Mr Lewis. This feature included a story about Mary Vickers who was 84 years of age and had 2 SunLife over-50s plans with a combined payout of £2,710. Mrs Vickers had already paid £3,700 in to the policies and was required to continue to pay £22 until she died to get anything back.

Note: We understand that this story was a major exposé for the over 50s life insurance market and gave a great insight in to how these policies work. It’s genuinely awful to hear of consumers in this situation and we applaud Martin Lewis for his efforts to expose these kinds of issues.

3) Missed premiums mean no payout

This is a bit of an exaggeration and doesn’t actually apply to most over 50s life insurance policies any more. The reality is that most, if not all over 50s policies will usually allow you 3 or 6 months to make up any missed payments (check policy wording carefully).

We’re also aware that MoneySavingExpert.com helped a lady in a similar situation with an AXA over 50s life insurance policy. We believe that the policy paid out in the end and that the claim was successful which is a fantastic piece of work by MSE.

4) Inflation proof payouts

One of the big changes in the life insurance market in recent years is the introduction of indexation. Indexation gives policyholders the option to increase benefits with inflation (roughly). Over 50s life insurance generally don’t have the same options to protect against inflation. You’ll need to take in to consideration that your pay out will be worth less in 20 or 30 year’s time.

There are currently only a handful of inflation proof over 50s life insurance products that are available (e.g. Sainsbury’s Bank over 50s life insurance). You still need to check to make sure that this is the best value as even with indexation, this might still be more expensive..

One of the key points about MoneySavingExpert.com is providing support to people who are treated unfairly or mis-sold financial products.

Martin Lewis life insurance over 50 guide is no exception and you’ll find some very useful information about complaints procedures. As with any financial services products, you have standard consumer rights which are backed by the Financial Ombudsman Service and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

There are several key areas where you might want to make a complaint about over 50 life insurance, including:

  • Poor customer service
  • Mis-selling
  • Bad advice
  • Payment problems
  • Claims procedures

As with any complaint, you are always advised to reach out to your insurance provider in the first instance to give them the opportunity to resolve your issue. If you don’t feel that the outcome is satisfactory then you have the right to escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsmen Service (FOS).

Financial Ombudsman Service Logo

Making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an impartial and free service for financial services customers in the UK. This service can be used to settle any disputes between life insurance companies and their customers in the United Kingdom. If they feel that you have suffered any financial loss as a result of your life insurance policy, then they may rule for compensation to be awarded.

Telephone – 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Telephone (outside the UK) – 0207 964 0500


British Insurance Broker's Association (BIBA) Logo

What to do if you can’t find life insurance

There are certain options and support mechanisms that are available to you if you’re struggling to find life insurance. One of the bodies to support consumers with life insurance is the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) which covers all insurance services in the United Kingdom.

BIBA provides a Find Insurance service that allows you to search for a recommended member who might be able to help you.

Telephone (Insurance Help)- 0370 950 1790

Telephone (General Enquiries) – 0344 7700 266


How to buy the best over 50s life insurance

It’s important to make sure that you make a good decision on this before you commit to an over 50s life insurance policy that is more expensive or bad value for money.

We’ve carefully selected a small panel of over 50 life insurance providers that offer good value cover and benefits. It is important to compare several providers and products to make sure that you’re getting good value for money. Often you will be able to save money and get a great level of cover by speaking to an expert.

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Is it worth paying for life insurance?

Yes, if you’ve got children or financial dependents then you should have life insurance to protect them if you die. Martin Lewis and the Financial Conduct Authority recommend that you take out life insurance to protect your family and your home. Generally, life insurance premiums start from as little as £5 per month and will be cheaper for younger adults.

Common myths about life insurance:

  • Life insurance won’t pay out (pays out 98% of claims)
  • People with medical conditions can’t have life insurance
  • Life insurance is expensive
  • Savings can be just as effective as life insurance
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Is life insurance worth it? - iam|INSURED

What is the average cost of life insurance per month?

Based on recent research carried out, the average cost of life insurance is approximately £38 per month and the average level of cover is £152,000. Life insurance premiums also vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another and you can reduce your monthly premiums by shopping around.

Fundamentally, life insurance premiums vary depending on your age, health and the amount of cover that you need, starting from as little as £5 per month. You can also get life insurance to protect your family and your home against financial loss if you die.

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Average cost of life insurance - iam|INSURED

What does life insurance cover you for?

Life insurance is a monthly renewable ‘term insurance’ contract that pays out a cash lump sum or regular payments on death to your family or beneficiaries. Policies are most commonly used for family protection or mortgage protection for your loved ones if you die and your household income reduces, plus the additional issues of losing a parent or carer.

Traditional life insurance will not exclude any pre-existing medical conditions and will cover suicide after 12 or 24 months. You can also use life insurance for business protection purposes as well as tax-efficient business life insurance for directors or key people.

What are the disadvantages of life insurance?

The biggest and most common problem that consumers have with life insurance is the cost and the monthly premiums. This is the top reason for policy cancellations and why more people don’t take out life insurance to protect their family.

Another key disadvantage with life insurance is that it holds no investment value, nor can you cash it in. Life insurance works like any other traditional general insurance policy (e.g. car insurance, house insurance, pet insurance etc.), you pay a monthly premium and it will pay out in the event of a claim. Some people decide to use savings instead of taking out life insurance but you need to make sure that you have sufficient savings to cover the costs of death for your family.

Why do I need life insurance?

The fact is that nobody actually ‘needs’ life insurance, but it is strongly recommended that families and couples have cover to protect their loved ones in the event of death. Martin Lewis recommends life insurance and says “this is something that every parent, partner, or person with any other type of dependent needs to consider”.

Life insurance financially protects your loved ones if you die and pays out a cash lump sum to repay your mortgage, pay for school fees, replace lost income, and pay for regular outgoings. Mortgage life insurance is not linked to your mortgage debt so you can use it to pay off some or all of your mortgage.

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