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Shepherds Friendly Over 50s Life Insurance Review

Shepherds Friendly is one of the UK’s highest rated and most established over 50s life insurance companies in the UK. This is a well known mutual society offering a range of financial products such as income protection insurance and ISA’s.

Shepherd’s Friendly is one of the top choices on the MoneySavingExpert.com Over 50s Life Insurance guidance, written by Martin Lewis in 2023. In this guide, it mentions that Shepherds Friendly pays out the highest amount for each level of cover compared to all of the other over 50s life insurance products.

Other benefits of Shepherds Friendly over 50s life insurance:

  • 5 Star Defaqto rated policies and an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot.
  • Free access to the National Bereavement Service to support your loved ones in the event of your death.
  • Monthly premiums for your cover start from as little as £10 per month.
  • Financial security to help your family to pay for your funeral and other expenses.
  • Can opt in to receive an additional £250 toward the cost of your funeral (with Co-op Funeralcare only).

Our latest Shepherds Friendly over 50s review, we explore how their over 50s life insurance policies work for new and existing customers. We’ll explain all the benefits of these policies and all the rules that you need to know before you apply.

A picture of a stopwatch

60-Second Summary – Shepherds Friendly Life Insurance Review 2024

Shepherds Friendly is one of the main options for over 50s life insurance in the UK, with over 100,000 members across the country. Their policies offer decent value for money, with prices ranging from £10 – £50 per month depending on the level of cover that you need.

Their policies offer cost-effective cover without any medical checks, which can be useful if you have a serious condition such as cancer, MS, or Parkinson’s disease.

  • As a mutual insurance company, Shepherds Friendly can focus fully on customer experience as they don’t have any shareholders to pay.
  • Any UK resident can apply for Shepherds Friendly over 50s life cover if they are aged between 50 – 80 years old. Your policy is free after you turn 90 years old. This provides long term peace of mind and financial security for you and your loved ones.
  • This policy is a type of whole life insurance, meaning that you are protected until you either die or cancel your cover.
  • You can only claim for accidental death within the first 2 years of your policy for your loved ones to receive the full policy benefit. If you die of natural causes within the first 2 years, your loved ones will be refunded 150% of any premiums that you have paid.
  • If Shepherds Friendly doesn’t feel like the right choice for you, there are a wide range of other over 50s life insurance companies in the UK. This includes household names like Aviva, Legal & General and Post Office.

Shepherds Friendly offers over 50s life insurance and is known as one of the World’s oldest mutual insurance companies. This means that they are entirely owned by their members, and they currently have over 100,000 members as of 2024.

Shepherds Friendly over 50s cover is a guaranteed acceptance policy, meaning that anyone can buy these policies regardless of their medical history or lifestyle. Over 50s life insurance is a popular policy in the UK, having been widely advertised over the last 20 or 30 years by celebrities like Carol Vorderman.

Note: You can’t buy standard (term) life insurance policies from Shepherds Friendly, but there are a range of other insurers that you can contact for this type of cover.

Shepherds Friendly has been well rated by industry bodies, with a 5 Star Defaqto rating for both their over 50s and income protection insurance policies. Their customers have also rated them highly, having rated the insurer as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot (4.3 out of 5.0 Stars).

Their policies offer decent value for money, with additional benefits like an additional £250 funeral payment* included at no extra cost. Shepherds Friendly also provides their members with access to the National Bereavement Service, which can offer emotional support for your loved ones if you die.

Note: You must opt-in during your application to receive the £250 funeral payment which is paid directly to Co-op Funeralcare. The amount paid out can also vary if you choose an ‘essential’ funeral or direct cremation or burial.

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You can buy a Shepherds Friendly Over 50s life insurance policy if you are between the ages of 50 and 80 years old and you are a permanent UK resident (including Isle of Man). You won’t need to provide any medical details (except smoker status), as these policies are ‘guaranteed acceptance’.

This can be appealing for people with serious health issues or multiple medical conditions, as this can make getting traditional life cover more difficult or expensive.

Shepherds Friendly recently released a video which explains more about how their over 50s life insurance policies work for customers in the UK.

What is Over 50s Life Insurance? | Shepherds Friendly

As noted in the video above, your loved ones will receive a cash pay out from Shepherds Friendly if you have one of their over 50s policies. Most people buy these policies will the aim to help their families with funeral costs and other expenses associated with their death.

Below is a brief summary of how Shepherds Friendly policies work, including age limits and occasions when you can’t claim (policy exclusions).

Policy typeShepherds Friendly Over 50s life insurance
Premium optionsGuaranteed (fixed) monthly premiums that never change.
Prices start from £10 and go up to £50 per month maximum.
Can I get joint life insurance?NO – You can only buy single life cover through Shepherds Friendly.
Is Waiver of Premium included?NO – Waiver of Premium isn’t available for Shepherds Friendly life insurance.
What are the age limits for Shepherds Friendly over 50s life cover?Minimum age 50 at policy start.
Maximum age 80 at policy start.  
Cover can continue past age 80, but must be bought before your 80th birthday.
How do I pay for my policy?You pay for your policy via Direct Debit and your cover will end if you miss two payments in a row.  
You will not have to pay for your policy anymore if you have had your cover for 30 years or you have reached 90 years old.
Are there any exclusions?You will only be covered for accidental death until your policy has been active for 2 years (24 months).  
This will exclude claims for death caused by:  

Self inflicted injuries
Flying a plane
Illegal activities
Drug or alcohol misuse
War, rebellion, or riot

Shepherds Friendly Over 50s Life Insurance Plan Summary – CLICK HERE

Note: You need to be a permanent UK (or Isle of Man) resident when you apply for your policy. You can move abroad after this and keep your cover, provided that you still have a valid UK bank account.

Guaranteed to accept your application, which is useful if you’ve been declined in the past.Can’t tailor your cover to suit your mortgage, outgoings etc.
Cost-effective policies (maximum policy premium is £50 per month).Policies will cost at least £10 per month as this is the minimum price.
Includes access to the National Bereavement Service for free.Standard life insurance will pay out a larger amount in most cases.
Can have multiple insurance policies with Shepherds Friendly, as long as both plans don’t exceed the £50 per month limit.Doesn’t include popular life insurance benefits like Waiver of Premium.

Your Shepherds Friendly life insurance policy could cost anywhere between £10 – £50 per month, depending on your age and the level of cover that you want. Unlike standard life insurance, the cost of your cover won’t be affected by your lifestyle or medical history.

Shepherds Friendly’s website contains an example of a customer who is paying £23 per month for their policy. This would equal a pay out of £4,809, compared to only £4,363 with SunLife or £4,449 with Aviva for the same monthly premium.

When you apply for Shepherds Friendly life insurance, you can choose either the amount of cover that you need or the amount that you would like to pay. This will then generate your quotes, so that you can see how much cover you can get and how much this will cost each month.

Our insurance experts have gathered a variety of quotes from Shepherds Friendly to highlight how much your policy could pay out based on your monthly premium.

Monthly premium (£s)Cover amount
£10 per month£2,691
£15 per month£4,334
£20 per month£6,051
£25 per month£7,072
£30 per month£8,321
£35 per month£9,765
£40 per month£11,283
£45 per month£12,645
£50 per month£13,795

Note: These quotes are based on an example applicant who is a 55-year-old non-smoker. The level of cover that is available can vary slightly for older applicants, and these figures are only intended as an example.

Unlike many life insurance companies, Shepherds Friendly does not sell critical illness insurance alongside their life insurance policies. Critical illness cover isn’t added on to over 50s life insurance in most cases anyway, and you can buy a separate critical illness policy from a range of UK insurers.

Critical Illness Cover provider reviews

If you need to speak to Shepherds Friendly about your policy, you can contact them via phone, email, or post. They also have a Contact Us form that you can fill in on their website and one of their team members will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Shepherds Friendly contact details

Telephone – 0800 526 249

Email – members@shepherdsfriendly.co.uk

Opening hours – Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm / Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm


Shepherds Friendly,
Haw Bank House,
High Street,

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Rated "Excellent" 5 out of 5

"This company went above & beyond to get me cover even though I have MS, I am very happy I managed to get cover, Amazing staff, Dean went above & beyond, I highly rate this company."

by Elizabeth Turner-Long - 9th August 2023

There are a few rules to be aware of when claiming on a Shepherds Friendly life insurance policy. If you die within the first 2 years (24 months) of your policy, your loved ones can’t claim your full policy benefit unless you die due to an accident.

Important points about Shepherds Friendly claims:

  • If you die due to natural causes within 2 years, your loved ones can claim 150% of the premiums that you have already paid for your cover. For example, if you had paid £20 per month for 12 months (£240), your policy would pay out £360.
  • If you die after 2 years (24 months) for any reason, your loved ones can claim the full cover amount from your policy (sum assured).

How to claim on Shepherds Friendly life insurance

To make a claim on a Shepherds Friendly over 50s policy, your loved ones will need to contact Shepherds Friendly directly to start the claims process. Their team will be able to talk your family through any next steps or information that they need to verify the claim.

If you have chosen the ‘Funeral Benefit Option’, the benefit from your policy will be paid directly to Co-op Funeralcare to help with the cost of your funeral. If your funeral costs less than your benefit amount, your loved ones will be paid the difference.

You can cancel your policy with Shepherds Friendly at any point after you have bought your cover. Though this is a ‘whole life’ insurance policy, you aren’t actually tied in indefinitely if you need or want to cancel your cover.

If you cancel within 30 days of buying your policy, Shepherds Friendly will refund any premiums that you have paid but you won’t be refunded if you cancel after this time. You can cancel your policy by emailing their member services team and telling them your full name and plan number.

It’s possible that something could go wrong with your Shepherds Friendly policy, or you’re not happy with how you were treated during the application or claims process. If this happens, you are entitled to contact them and make a complaint.

They ask that you provide them with the following details if you need to complain:

  • Your name and address.
  • Your preferred contact phone number.
  • Plan details (if relevant to the complaint).
  • Why you are complaining and how you would like the complaint to be resolved.

Their website states that they aim to resolve any complaint straight away if possible, and they will send a letter to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days.

Shepherds Friendly complaints contact details

Telephone 0800 526 249



Shepherds Friendly Society,
Haw Bank House,
High Street,

Note: If your complaint hasn’t been resolved after 8 weeks, you can refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for further support with your issue.

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


Who owns Shepherds Friendly?

As Shepherds Friendly Society is mutual society, they are fully owned by their members and do not have shareholders. Many consumers prefer mutual insurers, as the focus can be on reinvesting into the quality of policies and not paying shareholders.

Is Shepherds Friendly safe?

Shepherds Friendly is a reliable insurance company and investment firm, which is fully registered with and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Because of this, they are obligated to treat consumers fairly and can be fined if they are found to be behaving poorly.

Is Shepherds Friendly FSCS protected?

Shepherds Friendly insurance policies and investments will be protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The Financial Services Compensation Scheme protects consumers and can provide compensation if your insurance company goes bust.

You can apply for Shepherds Friendly life insurance through their website or with the help of a specialist over 50s life insurance broker. Though it can be tempting to apply directly, you won’t be able to compare quotes from other providers which will limit your options.

A qualified over 50s life insurance broker can compare available quotes from across the market, to ensure that you get the right level of cover for a fair price. You can speak to our experts for free, impartial advice by CLICKING HERE or calling 0800 009 6559.

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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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https://www.iaminsured.co.uk » guides

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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https://www.iaminsured.co.uk » guides

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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