Life Insurance for seniors over 60s and 65s

Finance Writer · 30 July 2021
The kids may no longer be at home, but life insurance could still be important, even in your senior years.

It’s hard to know what life has planned for us, so if you’ve been worrying about your family’s financial future when you’re gone, then you may be considering getting life insurance. Even if retirement is on the cards, an active life insurance policy could protect you and your family from unexpected expenses.

In this article:

Can you get life insurance over 60 years of age?

Generally speaking, someone over 60 should be able to take out a new term life insurance policy, provided they’re under the maximum entry age.

In Australia, life insurers typically have a cut-off age for new life insurance customers. Once you pass this maximum age, you can no longer apply for cover with that provider.

Some providers have maximum entry ages of up to 74 years. Entry ages may be lower for some types of life insurance.

Why would someone who’s retired or over 65 get life insurance?

Life insurance is designed to secure your family’s financial future and protect all your hard work over the decades building a nest egg.

When you’re in your 60s, you may have a mortgage, personal debts, legal fees, funeral expenses and dependants or family members who might need taking care of in the event that you are injured, become ill or pass away. So, taking out a life insurance policy might bring some peace of mind that loved ones may be able to cover sudden expenses without chipping into your savings.

However, if your family’s finances are in order, you have minimal household debt and you no longer have dependants, then you may not require any cover. You may also find that you’re adequately covered for life insurance through your super fund. Keep in mind, however, that total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance cover in super usually ends at age 65, and life cover usually ends at age 70, according to Moneysmart.

The table below displays a snapshot of direct life insurance policies on Canstar’s database, sorted by maximum entry age (highest to lowest) then provider name (alphabetically). These results are based on a non-smoking policyholder in a professional occupation group. Click here for results based on your circumstances.

What types of life insurance are seniors eligible for?

Life insurance for older Australians works like any other policy. There are a few different types of cover, which can be bought separately or bundled into one policy. These include term life insurance, trauma insurance cover, total and permanent disability (TPD) cover, and income protection insurance, should you still be working in your 60s.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance (sometimes referred to as ‘death cover’), is what we usually mean when we talk about life insurance. It provides a lump sum payment to your nominated beneficiaries in the event of terminal illness or death, so could be suitable for people wanting to provide for their family. This type of policy only provides coverage for a set term, so you’ll need to check the maximum entry age and the expiry age when considering options.

It could also be worth checking out any additional features or add-ons offered, such as a Funeral Advance Benefit (an upfront payout to help cover funeral costs).

Total and permanent disability cover

Total and permanent disability (TPD) cover pays you a lump sum if you become totally and permanently disabled. It’s designed to help partially or fully cover the costs of rehabilitation and support you financially with making debt repayments, or to compensate for lost income. TPD cover can be purchased as a standalone policy or be bundled with life cover.

Trauma insurance

Trauma insurance can provide a lump sum of money to help you meet medical expenses and other financial needs when you have suffered medical trauma. While the type of medical trauma covered will differ between policies, some of the more commonly defined events can include cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Income protection

If you still have a few years of work ahead of you, and you and your family rely on a stable income every month, income protection insurance could help. It generally pays you up to 75% of your income if you’re unable to work for a certain period of time because of illness or injury. However, you may find policies only offer cover to new customers up to age 60, and expire at (or before) age 65.

The table below shows a snapshot of income protection policies sorted by maximum entry age (highest to lowest) then by provider name (alphabetically), with links to providers’ websites. Please note these results are based on a non-smoking male aged 55-59 in a white collar occupation. Click here for results based on your circumstances. 

How much does life insurance cost when you’re over 60?

Each insurer takes into account different factors when assessing an applicant, so there is no simple answer to how much life insurance costs for seniors. Age, as well as gender, smoking habits, your occupation and medical history can all affect your life insurance premiums. However, Canstar research shows a continuous increase in premiums for both men and women as they age.

Average monthly direct life insurance premiums

$500,000 sum insured
Age Female Male
Non smoker Smoker Non smoker Smoker
Twenties $32 $54 $48 $84
Thirties $34 $61 $46 $88
Forties $64 $124 $80 $165
Early fifties $122 $236 $162 $330
Late fifties $213 $395 $300 $593

Source: Based on quotes obtained for Canstar’s 2021 Direct Life Insurance Star Ratings (May 2021).

How long will life insurance cover last?

One important component of life insurance you’ll need to factor in is your policy’s maximum entry and expiry age. While these age limits vary between providers and policies, the policies on Canstar’s database often have the following age requirements:

  • Term life insurance – maximum entry age of 69 and an expiry age of 100.
  • Total permanent disability (TPD) insurance – maximum entry age of 62 years of age and an expiry age of 99.
  • Trauma insurance – maximum entry age of 65 years of age and an expiry age of 70.
  • Income protection – maximum entry age of 59–60 years of age and can be a maximum benefit period of up to 5 years or expires at 65 years of age.

Who has the cheapest life insurance for seniors?

While price is an important factor when choosing a life insurance policy, it’s not the only consideration. It’s a good idea to take into account the level of cover provided, any exclusions, and the expiry age of your preferred policy. You may like to find out which providers came out on top in Canstar’s Life Insurance Star Ratings, to help find some life insurance policies that may suit your needs and circumstances.

Cover image source: simona pilolla 2/

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