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Last Updated on 16 August 2018

Over 65? What You Need to Know About Life Insurance


Is it possible to get life insurance if you’re over 65? Do you really need life insurance if you’re over 65? Australians may assume that the answer to these questions is no, but that’s not the case.

As long as someone is depending on you financially, you are in a position to seriously consider life insurance—including those who are over 65.

Key Points
  • People over 65 can purchase life insurance, though they will need to check the maximum entry age. It varies by insurer and is usually between 64 and 75.
  • Life insurance tends to be more expensive as you get older due to an increased likelihood that insurers will need to pay out on the policy.
  • Term life insurance and funeral insurance may be better options for over-65s than income protection insurance, trauma insurance, and TPD insurance. This is due to the type of benefit and cut-off age for entry.

Can People Over 65 Get Life Insurance?

Yes, people over 65 can get life insurance. Most insurers have a ‘maximum entry age,’ which is the cut-off age for getting life cover. This is usually anywhere from 64 to 75, though the age limit will vary by insurer.

Although term life insurance is considered ‘guaranteed renewable,’ there is usually a policy expiry age set by the insurer. At this age, your policy will automatically terminate.

If you had life insurance through your super, it’s a good idea to check the expiry age. The maximum entry age and expiry age for life cover through super tends to be lower than it is for life cover outside of super.

If you are over 65 and getting a new life cover policy, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Benefit limits may decrease with age
  • Premiums may increase with age
  • Typically insurers will charge stepped premiums
  • Policy expiry age is usually 99 years old
  • Life insurance through super usually has a maximum entry age of under 65
Insurer Maximum entry age
clearview 75
zurich 69
asteron 74
bt 69
tal 74
mlc 69
amp 69

*Information correct as of May 2018

Is Life Insurance for People Over 65 More Expensive?

Life insurance is all about risk, though that word may mean something different to you than it does to your insurer. Basically, your premium is based on how likely you are to pass away during the policy term.

Unfortunately, the older you are, the higher your risk of death. Insurers tend to charge over-65s more for life insurance, because statistically it’s more likely that they’ll have to pay out. It may cost more, but the benefit is just as valuable to the family members you leave behind.

What are Stepped and Level Premiums?

If you’re buying life insurance for the first time and you’re over 65, you will most likely pay stepped premiums.

  • Stepped premiums: Your premium increases the older you get. Starting premium is generally lower.
  • Level premiums: You do not face annual premium increases. Starting premium is generally higher.

However, there are other factors that may affect the price of your premium, whether it’s stepped or level. Premiums may change in line with CPI, rate increases, and any adjustments you make to your benefit level. Your insurer should inform you in writing about any changes before they occur.

Is Life Insurance for People Over 65 Worth It?

If anyone depends on you financially, then it’s worth considering life insurance. Without your ongoing support, your spouse, children, or grandchildren may not be able to sustain their lifestyle. This can be very difficult, especially when families face financial challenges while processing the pain of losing a loved one.

Fortunately, life insurance can help. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that your support can continue even after your death, which means your family won’t have to worry about money.

What Type of Life Insurance Should Over-65s Get?

You may want to consider different types of life cover before making a decision. Here are some options:

  • Term life insurance: Pays a lump sum benefit if you die or become terminally ill
  • Trauma or Total and Permanent Disability cover: Lump sum benefit following a critical injury or illness. Many insurers will not offer these policies to over-65s.
  • Income protection cover: Covers a percentage of your income if you are unable to work; generally not applicable to those past retirement age
  • Funeral insurance: Good option for those with pre-existing conditions or who cannot afford standard life cover

For over-65s, the smart options are usually term life insurance or funeral insurance. The one you choose will depend on what you are hoping to achieve with your life insurance cover.

I Am Over 65. How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

This is a great question to consider when buying life insurance, no matter what your age. However, it is especially significant when you’re over 65. What is it that your benefit will need to cover for your family if you pass away?

It could be a mortgage, ongoing bills, school fees for grandchildren, or even your funeral costs. Life insurance is personal. There is no wrong or right amount of life insurance and the decision is up to you. Determining what expenses need to be covered can give you a better idea of how much life insurance you might need.

I Have a Pre-existing Medical Condition. Can I Still Get Covered?

This is a common concern for people over 65 who want to purchase life insurance for the first time. The answer to the question will depend on your insurer.

While term life insurance often covers pre-existing conditions, trauma, TPD, and income protection insurance may not. However,, some will offer a compromise. You may be able to get cover that excludes your condition or pays a partial benefit. Other insurers may offer coverage at an increased premium rate.

How Can I Find Cheap Over-65 Life Insurance?

When shopping for life cover, remember that cheaper does not equal better. Look for a life insurance policy that offers you value: a fair price with the level of cover that you want. Shop around and compare policies to find one that suits you.

Still have questions? Let's talk!

Confused? Not sure if this applies to your situation? Phone us on 1300 904 624 for some free, no obligation advice.

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