Explore Life Insurance

Life is unpredictable at the best of times, and whether you’re 27 or 65 – nobody can foresee the future. Aussies over 50, 65, and 70 years of age may want to consider their options before settling on a particular policy.

Life insurance protects your family from the burden of picking up sudden or unexpected costs should the worst take place – like death or terminal illness. That is why acquiring a suitable level of cover as a senior can be important.

 happy senior couple holding hands and walking on summer beach

In 2017, a survey of a nationally representative panel of 1,000 Australian adults commissioned by Compare the Market, gauged how well Aussies lined up their emergency fund for unforeseen events. The results indicated that over a third (37%) of respondents do not save for unexpected events, such as loss of income or worse – death.

Even if you’ve built up a nest egg over the years, life insurance ensures your family won’t have to reach into your hard-earned savings to cover any unexpected costs. Seniors who take out life insurance and have reached (or are approaching) retirement, may seek to safeguard their family’s financial stability.

At Compare the Market, we understand that life insurance isn’t the most uplifting subject of conversation at the dinner table; nonetheless it is a discussion that still needs to take place.

Disclaimer: There are no specific life insurance products titled ‘senior’s life insurance’. However, there are certain factors that may affect life insurance, such as age, health status, and pre-existing conditions. This information is a guide for senior Australians looking to tailor a life insurance product to their circumstances.

Can senior Australians or non-Australian senior residents take out life insurance?

Life insurance is available to most senior Australian citizens (typically between the ages of 60 and 75), provided they don’t have any serious pre-existing conditions. In some cases, you may be required to take a medical examination or have blood tests during your application, but this is relatively common, even when purchasing cover earlier in life. Calculating the costs of your premium depends on various circumstances, such as your level of cover and current health status and medical history.

Life cover can also be available to senior non-Australian residents, and permanent residents, however there may be different application and procedural assessments which are dictated by the insurer. Therefore, it is imperative to check with your life insurer if you’re considering taking out cover. Generally, non-Australian senior residents applying for life insurance need to ensure:

  • they are from a listed country classified by the federal government (Level 1 or 2),
  • have been living in Australia for at least 12 months (with an intention to stay longer), and
  • their Visa status is accepted by the insurer (different providers vary).

What are the costs of life insurance when you’re a senior?

The cost of taking out life cover can depend on many factors, such as your insurance provider, as well as the level of cover you choose. Life insurance tends to get more expensive the more you age.

As costs are circumstantial, one of the best ways to find a policy tailored to your needs and budget is to compare life insurance from a range of different options.

What options are available for seniors looking at life insurance?

There are four main life insurance options available. Each type of cover varies in terms of its purpose, conditions, lump sum benefit, minimum and maximum age limits. These include:

Term Life Insurance

A lump sum your dependent(s) receive in the event of your death. Suitable for people wanting to ensure their family is provided for after their death, or to cover the cost of medical expenses if diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Total Permanent Disablement (TPD) Insurance

TPD pays you a lump sum of money if you’re permanently disabled. Total permanent disablement insurance can provide the money to cover expenses related to treatment, rehabilitation, or compensate for lost income, and can be taken out with your life insurance policy, or as a separate product.

Trauma Insurance

Also known as critical illness cover, trauma insurance pays a lump sum in the event of a serious medical condition. There are many medical conditions that fit the criteria of a trauma event, including cancer, circulatory diseases, and nervous system diseases. Each policy will specify exactly which conditions are covered.

Income Protection

Income protection generally replaces up to 75% of your income if illness or injury prevents you from working.

Options for Aussies over 50, 65 and 70 years of age

Reaching the half century is a significant milestone in anybody’s life. It’s also a time to think wisely about your savings plans, retirement goals, and family’s future. You may also want to consider life insurance during this period to ensure your family’s debts are covered.

Aussies over 65 years of age have so much to look forward to – retirement, travel, and relaxing. Unfortunately it’s not all smooth sailing, and overtime your health will likely become a big factor in determining where you choose to allocate your resources.

When you’ve matured to beyond the age of 70, now is the time (if you haven’t already) to seriously consider your health status. If you’re considering Life Insurance then please take the time to read the insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement. Features and benefits, terms and conditions, or maximum entry age are all factors you will want to consider. If you’re unsure of any clauses in your product, it might be wise to speak to a life insurance expert to discuss your options.

NB: Applicants may not be eligible to take out the required cover due to specific entry age limits, or other requirements set by an insurer.

Should you consider life insurance after retirement?

While there is no simple way to answer this question, it’s always wise to consider your circumstances, without forgetting about your family’s future and livelihood. If your family’s finances are in order, and you have taken your household debt into consideration, then you may only require a low level of life insurance cover, or may not require cover at all.

You may want to acquire life insurance after retirement for a variety of reasons:

  • your family are dependent on your financial contributions to pay debts and living expenses,
  • your children require ongoing financial support due to medical needs or school/university fees,
  • your spouse or dependents would require fiscal assistance to cover funeral costs (in the event of your death) and/or legal fees, and
  • you aim to give your family an inheritance to invest in their future.

Does your life insurance expire after a certain age?

Another component of life insurance you need to be aware of is your policy’s expiry age. These age limits vary between providers and policies, but are generally:

  • Term Life Insurance – expires at 99 years of age
  • Total Permanent Disablement (TPD) Insurance – expires at 65 years of age
  • Trauma Insurance – expires at 70 years of age
  • Income Protection – expires at 70 years of age

These expiry ages are a guide only. It’s imperative to always read your policy brochure to find out what age your cover becomes void or may change to a different type of cover.

Compare your options

Compare the Market understands that people have different circumstances, so finding the right life cover even as a senior is an important decision to make. For that reason, we give you a hand finding a policy that caters to you by offering a simple online life insurance comparison tool. In just a few minutes you’ll be able to select a range of options that matter to you the most so you can compare the results.

Sources:

Pure Profile Survey 2017

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