British Seniors is one of many specialist insurance companies catering for the over 50s market. While many elements of this specialist insurance cover are already available, British Seniors has brought them all together under one roof.
Who is behind British Seniors life insurance?
British Seniors Insurance Agency is a trading name of Neilson Financial Services Limited. The company is:
- Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Entered on the Financial Services Register
Regulatory boxes ticked. The products offered by the company are underwritten and administered by insurance giant AIG Life Limited. This company is:
- Authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority
- Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Entered on the Financial Services Register
When looking at any financial product, it is essential to know the companies behind the service. Numerous review websites publish interesting feedback – we have provided examples towards the end of this article.
Key elements of the British Seniors over 50 life insurance plan
While there is a lot to consider when looking at over 50s life insurance, the critical factors for the British Seniors insurance plan include:
- Immediate cover for accidental death
- Cover for any cause of death after your 1-year policy anniversary
- Guaranteed acceptance between 50 and 80
- Lump-sum benefit amounts from £1,000 up to £10,000
- Approval in just a matter of days
- Accidental death payments equate to 2 times life cover
- No need to answer medical questions or undergo a medical, and no exclusions
- Monthly premiums guaranteed for life
- Free cover after your 95th birthday
- Funeral benefit option available through Golden Charter
- As of December 2021, you could even get a free £100 M&S gift card for taking out a policy!
As the maximum benefit amount available with British Seniors is £10,000, this type of product is targeted at those who have paid off their mortgage and are otherwise financially secure. It's typically used by those who want to help their families cover their funeral expenses, clear outstanding debts, or contribute to their inheritance tax bill.
There is no doubt that many people looking for over 50s life insurance will be attracted by the above key elements. First, however, it is vital to dig a little deeper into the various benefits to see what it means for you.
Accidental death cover
When you bear in mind that as we get older, there may be an increased risk of accidents, accidental death cover could prove highly beneficial for many. In addition, the fact that accidental death cover is immediate from the day you start your policy certainly has attractions and offers peace of mind.
Death cover begins 12 months after the policy start date
Many people are surprised that most life insurance policies don't pay out on death cover until after 12 months. However, if you put yourself in the position of insurance underwriters, this makes sense. If cover began from day one, those in the unfortunate position of facing short-term death would take out a policy, and their beneficiaries would get a cash sum with the policyholder not having made many monthly payments. Unfortunately, this time lag is just business and commonplace throughout the insurance industry.
As we grow older, attracting different medical ailments, it is not easy to secure traditional life insurance. Therefore, for many people, over 50s life insurance cover has been a godsend. Acceptance is guaranteed for those aged 50 and 80, removing some of the stresses and strains of organising your finances.
However, as with any insurance policy, your premiums will reflect your health at the time. There is no one case fits all scenario, so you need to know how historical and current ailments may impact your premiums.
Life insurance cover from £1,000 to £10,000
Like other insurers, the level of life cover available with British Seniors is dependent upon your age. At this moment in time, the maximum cover for each age group is as follows:
|Age||Maximum life cover (x2 for accidental death)|
It is worth noting that even though you are allowed to take out multiple life insurance policies, the combined cover must not exceed the maximum for your age at the time. Each insurance company will have their own distinct age bands and maximum cover. While British Seniors does compare favourably, there may be occasions where you can secure a higher level of cover.
Whether applying online or via the telephone, your application will be considered in just a matter of days. As there is no need for medicals, and the maximum age group cover is already specified, there is every chance that your life insurance application will be approved.
Accidental death payments
Many people will be surprised to learn that with British Seniors, payments for accidental death are twice the level of life cover. So, if your life cover were £10,000, then the payment as a consequence of accidental death would be £20,000. However, it is essential to note that this level of cover is not commonplace across the industry. Some insurance companies will pay out the full life cover, while others will pay out based upon premiums received to date.
No need for medicals, no healthcare exclusions
As we alluded to in the guaranteed acceptance section, while there is no need for medicals and no healthcare exclusions, your premiums will reflect your overall health. Historically, before specialised over 50s life insurance, securing traditional life insurance was more difficult the older the applicant.
In reality, by the time we reach 50, our doctors will already have significant details on our historical and current ailments. Consequently, often uncomfortable and challenging medicals are no longer required.
Premiums guaranteed for life
It is essential to understand the potential knock-on effect if your premiums remain fixed for the rest of your life or when you stop paying into the policy. As the cost of living increases each year due to the effects of inflation, so the relative spending power of fixed payouts is reduced.
For example, if a funeral cost £6,000 today and inflation was running at 5% per annum, then, in theory, the cost would increase to £6,300 next year. While inflation is a variable, to give you an idea, the current Bank of England target is 2% inflation per annum. Even if we take the lower inflation rate of 2%, within five years, the funeral cost will have increased from £6,000 to £6,624. So the longer your policy is in place, the more significant the potential impact of inflation.
Consequently, it is possible to take out increasing benefit options with life insurance packages. This means that premiums would increase in line with inflation, as would the life cover. This ensures that the relative spending power of your life cover is maintained.
Free life cover beyond age 95
Unless you have researched life insurance previously, you may not be aware that free life cover beyond age 95 is commonplace. The idea is simple. Due to the minimum and maximum age limitations, by the time you reach 95, you will likely have paid more in premiums than your life cover. Consequently, insurance companies can offer free life cover beyond 95.
Optional funeral benefit
British Seniors work with the well-known Golden Charter funeral directors to arrange funerals across the UK. If you decide to use the services of Golden Charter, they will contribute an additional £300 to the cost of your funeral. So if your life cover is £10,000, you would receive £10,300 if using their services. While this is a valuable contribution, the benefit should be measured against the cost of funeral services offered by other companies.
If, for example, a local funeral director was able to offer a similar service at £400 less than Golden Charter, you would be £100 down. Many people fail to take advice regarding their life insurance cover even when they don't fully understand the consequences.
Additional factors to take into consideration
While over 50s life insurance is a specialist market, many additional factors to consider are the same for traditional life insurance. These include:
There are joint over 50s life insurance plans available which provide cover for two policyholders under one plan. Upon the first person's death, a first payment would be made, and a second one made when the remaining policyholder passes away. This ensures that couples can provide for one another and family after both have passed away. Remember, these features are unique to British Seniors. Some other joint life insurance polices have the option of paying out in full upon the death of the first person, for example.
Over 50s life insurance policies are relatively simple. The cover will be in place as long as you pay the premiums. Once you stop paying the premiums, your cover is removed. This type of policy does not tie you down for several years, has no cash in value and is very flexible. However, you should seriously consider the financial consequences before cancelling your policy.
We live in a world where small print has caught many people out regarding life insurance cover overseas. Thankfully, the British Seniors over 50 life insurance policy offers worldwide coverage. There is only one stipulation when applying; you must be a UK resident.
Death in the first year of the policy
As discussed above, accidental death is covered as soon as the policy is signed. This is not the case for non-accidental death in the first 12 months. Therefore, while you will not receive a life cover payment, your family/beneficiaries will receive repayment of your premiums up to the date of death.
The threat of Covid-19
Whether medical science will ever remove the threat of Covid-19 is debatable. This then prompts the question: Are you covered under British Seniors life insurance if you die from Covid-19. Yes. However, as standard, if you took out a policy today, you would not be covered for non-accidental death for 12 months.
A deep understanding of the market
We have attempted to cover as many of the main factors associated with British Seniors over 50s life insurance cover as possible. While there is no doubt that British Seniors is an insurance policy targeted at the over 50s, and they have a deep-seated knowledge of the market, others are available. There are many different issues to consider, and as a consequence, it is crucial to take professional advice.
Are customers satisfied with British Seniors life insurance?
There are many customer review websites available today, with Feefo one of the leading names. It is essential to look at customer feedback before you commit to any service, financial or otherwise. However, as helpful as this information is, it is just one part of the jigsaw when looking at an over 50s life insurance provider.
There are other review sites, such as Trustpilot and Defaqto, but in this instance, we have used data from Feefo. It offers a selection of feedback specifically on over 50s life insurance services and can be used as a helpful guide to finding a policy that suits you. The following information is based on reviews over the last 12 months, reflecting an up-to-date service rating.
|Insurance Provider||Feefo Rating|
|Royal London Insurance Society||4.7/5|
While British Seniors does not have the same number of reviews as Sun Life, it is fair to say that the rating is broadly comparable with other leading over 50s life insurance companies.
British Seniors life insurance
The over 50s life insurance market is vast and continues to grow as life expectancy is extended. While many specialist insurers tend to grab the headlines, comparing and contrasting life insurance cover with traditional policies is essential. For example, many people will be surprised that life cover is extended free of charge beyond 95 years of age. However, it is precisely the same for the vast majority of traditional life insurance policies. As well as providing information on its website, you can also get a free information pack to learn more about what British Seniors life insurance has to offer.