How to Get Life Insurance for Senior Citizens Living in Australia

Published: March 27, 2018

The Australian population is ageing. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of people aged 65 and older have increased to 15.3%. 9.7% of which need assistance with core activities, like mobility, communication and self-care.

What’s more, at the start of 2018 payments for carers have gone up an extra $2.40 a fortnight to remain in line with inflation, which is especially concerning if you have Dementia. Getting older is becoming more and more expensive.

Purchasing life insurance when you’re over 50, 60 or more needs to be easy, available and at an affordable price.

However, because older Australians are so diverse, with different age groups, responsibilities, and lifestyles, it makes sense that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ option.

Key Summary:

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5 reasons why people over the age of 65 might still need life insurance

  • Unpaid debts: You might still have outstanding mortgage payments or debts, and you need help covering these end-of-life expenses.
  • You're still providing for someone: Even when your children are financially independent, you might be caring for an elderly parent or your spouse.
  • Changing circumstances: You may have re-mortgaged your property, or perhaps you or your spouse requires frequent medical assistance. Life insurance could help secure your financial future in these changing circumstances.
  • Estate equalisation: Life insurance gives you an easy, cost-effective solution to estate equalisation so that you can keep your business, holiday home, and other assets in the family by leaving the assets to one beneficiary while providing the others with a payout from your life insurance policy.
  • You want to leave a legacy: Many retirees keep their life insurance policy for the benefit of leaving their loved ones with an inheritance.

What seniors should consider when reviewing their insurance needs

  • Home modification: You may need to install ramps or safety features to your home due to decreased mobility.
  • At home assistance: You and/or your partner may need someone to help you with your daily tasks.
  • Ongoing medical care: Due to improvements in medical care you are more likely to survive treatment, thus requiring a greater need for continuing care.
  • Nursing home care: You may need 24-hour care if any of the above is no longer a viable option.

What types of life insurance are available to seniors?

For many seniors and retirees, the only life insurance they have is a funeral plan. However, you might still require protection against the financial costs associated with severe medical conditions and disability. There are some ways life insurance can help.

Seniors in Australia can choose from several life insurance products, depending on your needs. Although there is no specific Long Term Care insurance product available, we do have life insurance solutions that can provide either a lump sum benefit or monthly payments to help you with the costs of living.

Best life insurance for senior citizens

  • Term life insurance: Generally, provides a lump sum payout to your nominated beneficiaries when you die or are diagnosed with terminal illness. The typical maximum entry age ranges from 50 to 75, with a general expiry age of 100, depending on your insurer.
  • Trauma insurance: If you suffer from one of the critical illnesses listed in your policy documents, the insurer pays you a lump sum benefit. The typical maximum entry age is 59, and as long as you continue to pay your premiums, your trauma insurance policy could last up to your age 70.
  • Modified TPD Insurance: Pays a lump sum to you if you become totally and permanently disabled due to an accident or illness. Disability entails an inability to care for yourself which includes eating, drinking, bathing or showering without assistance.
  • Funeral Insurance: Provides your beneficiaries with a lump sum to be explicitly used for your funeral expenses. The typical maximum entry age is 80.
  • Living Expenses cover: Usually pays a monthly benefit if you become significantly disabled (for example, unable to dress yourself or use the bathroom) due to an accident or illness, and remain so during your waiting period.

With a combination of term life, TPD, trauma and living expenses cover, you can structure a comprehensive personal insurance plan to complement your retirement plans; giving you financial security well into retirement.

Calculating term life insurance rates for seniors

Specific factors affect your life insurance rates as a senior, especially your age. The older you are, the higher your premiums will usually become. This is because you are at a higher risk of developing health problems, such as heart failure and stroke.

Additional factors that affect your life insurance rates:

Finding affordable life insurance plans for senior citizens

Senior life insurance can be costly, which is why you need to shop around and compare quotes from some of Australia’s leading life insurance companies. Obtaining a quality and affordable senior life insurance policy is possible. Review your options while considering your budget, stage of life and unique requirements.

How retirees can reduce the cost of life insurance premiums

  • Shop around: Gather a variety of quotes from different insurers. Be sure to compare "apples" with "apples".
  • Improve your health: Quitting smoking can reduce your premium by more than half. With exercise and diet, you can reduce your chances of stroke, heart disease and cancer.
  • Go for level premiums: Some insurers offer level premiums up to the age of 70. This premium structure does not increase as you get older like stepped premiums do and could be much more affordable in the long run.
  • Look for discounts: Keep an eye out for special offers and discounts that could reduce your premium price. For example, multiple lives on one policy discount.
  • Remove CPI increases: Inform your insurer that you don't want your policy to keep up with the rate of inflation.

Find Cheap Life Insurance for Seniors

What to consider when doing senior life insurance review

With there being so many options when shopping around for a policy, having some criteria in mind might help you narrow down your top choices.

  • Policy price and which premium structures they offer.
  • How easy is it to apply and claim benefits?
  • Check that your policy is guaranteed renewable. Meaning, regardless of your changing health, your insurer cannot downgrade or cancel your policy if you continue to pay your premiums.
  • Can you speak to a human when wanting to make changes to your cover?
  • The insurer you choose should have an excellent financial rating.
  • Find out if you can customise your policy, for example, add a Trauma rider, so you are also covered for critical illnesses.
  • The maximum age you can be to take out a policy and at what age it expires.
  • Does the insurer provide a premium freeze option? Your premiums will stay the same price, although your insured amount will reduce each year.

Please note. Below calculations have been provided by lifeinsurancedirect.com.au and is based on a retail life insurance policy of $700,000 for a non-smoking individual living in Queensland (March 2018).

Best life insurance for seniors over 50

People are marrying (or remarrying) and having children later in life. By the time you’re in your 50s, you are still very likely to have financial dependants, like your spouse and kids and would thus need a higher level of coverage.

How much is life insurance for a 50-year-old?

Life Insurance Company Policy Gender Average Monthly Premium
Priority Protection Vitality – Life Cover Male $94.83
Female $67.36
Complete – Healthy Life Option – Life Cover Male $98.21
Female $74.14
Elevate Insurance Solutions – Healthy Start – Life Insurance Male $105.88
Female $78.45
Insurance with On Track – Life Cover Male $106.03
Female $77.50
Accelerated Protection – Health Sense – Life Insurance Male $108.69
Female $79.60

Where to find life insurance if you’re over 65

If you’re over 65 years old, you've probably paid off most of your mortgage and don't have financially dependent children. However, statistically you have another 20 years of life to look forward to. You might want to purchase or upgrade your trauma and TPD cover while ensuring you have enough life cover to pay for your funeral expenses and leave money to your spouse.

How much is life insurance if you're over 65?

Life Insurance Company Policy Gender Average Monthly Premium
Insurance with On Track – Life Cover Male $825.13
Female $490.06
Protection – Life Care Male $845.40
Female $501.49
Priority Protection Vitality – Life Cover Male $780.37
Female $510.40
Wealth Protection – Death Cover Male $877.25
Female $528.60
Life Solutions – Life Cover Male $905.29
Female $534.55

Life insurance quotes for seniors over 70

The maximum entry age for most life insurers is up to 75, which means, a 70-year-old may still be able to find life cover. However, it is probably going to be very expensive. At this point in your life having just a standard funeral insurance policy and trauma cover might be enough.

How much is life insurance for a 70-year-old?

Life Insurance Company Policy Gender Average Monthly Premium
Priority Protection Vitality – Life Cover Male $1,490.79
Female $932.72
Complete – Healthy Life Option – Life Cover Male $1,565.59
Female $1,020.63
Accelerated Protection – Health Sense – Life Insurance Male $1,599.95
Female $951.67
OneCare – Life Cover Male $1,605.01
Female $1,034.17
Life Solutions – Life Cover Male $1,657.74
Female $877.89

Life insurance for seniors over 80

Very few insurers offer life insurance to people over the age of 80. Instead of life insurance, you might want to compare funeral insurance alternatives.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need life insurance after you retire?

Once you’ve reached the age of retirement and your partner is self-sufficient, and your children are financially independent then you might not need much life insurance. However, life insurance is generally worth it if you have outstanding debts or a mortgage you are still paying.

When does life insurance for seniors not make sense?

Life insurance for seniors tends not to make sense when:

  • You have enough savings set aside for your retirement,
  • You don’t have any outstanding debts,
  • Your children are financially independent, and
  • Your funeral expenses are provided for, and
  • Your private health fund provides sufficient coverage for illnesses and injuries. 

What is the age limit for life insurance?

The maximum entry age limit depends on the insurance company and product you choose. In Australia, some companies provide life insurance for ages up to 75 years old.

Can I buy life insurance for my parents?

Yes, you can take out life insurance for your parents. However, the type of cover that’s available depends on a variety of factors, including how old your parents are. During the application process, you will need to inform the insurer who the policy is for and let them guide you through the steps. Talk to a specialist for assistance.

What is the cut-off age for life insurance?

The expiry age of your life insurance policy refers to your age at which your policy stops covering you. In Australia, the general expiry age of a life insurance policy is 99 or 100 years old. However, ages can vary between insurance companies and policy types.

What is the oldest you can be and still get life insurance?

This depends on the insurer, because some have a maximum entry age of 50, while others extend it up to your age 79. There is no standard rule in Australia, so this is something that you need to check when comparing quotes.

How to get cheap term life insurance for seniors?

As an older person looking for affordable life insurance, you should start by comparing life insurance quotes online for seniors, from Australia's top life companies and then choose a policy that suits your budget and requirements.

Start Comparing Life Insurance Quotes for Seniors

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