What life insurance is best for me?

7 minutes

Life insurance can offer valuable protection to your family, whatever your age.

The type of policy you’ll need may alter as you get older and your priorities change.

Deciding on the best life insurance policy for you will ultimately come down to your family situation and the stage of life you’re at. Whether you’re considering life insurance for parents or over-60s life insurance, our guide covers what you might need at each stage of the journey.

The following information should not be taken as advice. If you have any concerns about which type of life insurance is right for you, please contact a financial or mortgage adviser.

1. Insurance needs in your 20s

From graduating and leaving your parents’ home to building a career and forging new connections, your third decade is a busy time full of social and financial change. 

Life insurance can be useful at any time, by offering loved ones a lump sum if you pass away unexpectedly. However, you may find it’s a lower priority during your 20s, when you’re less likely to have a mortgage and children to think about. Saving into a pension for the first time and raising enough money for a deposit on a new home could prove more pressing financial concerns.

2. How to choose life insurance during your 30s

Life can take many twists and turns in your 30s, whether you’re getting married and starting a family, or buying and renovating your first house. 

This is the age when life cover and other forms of protection can really come into play. For example, if you’ve just welcomed a little one into the world, it’s important that as a new parent, you think about the benefits of life insurance for you and your family.

Income protection insurance and critical illness cover could also play a vital role if your partner and children rely on your salary to pay the mortgage and other essential bills each month.

Income protection policies pay a significant portion of your wage when an illness or accident threatens your livelihood and ability to work. You might also consider critical illness insurance, which safeguards your family and home through a one-off payment should you experience serious medical conditions, such as cancer, stroke or heart disease.

3. What type of life insurance do I need in my 40s?

Your schedule may become slightly less hectic once you reach 40. It’s a time when many people’s lives settle down as the tribulations of raising young children and setting up a home for the first time fade into memory. 

That doesn’t mean you can forget about the benefits of insurance, however. After all, you may still have a mortgage to take care of, and children who are dependent on you, even though they’re slightly older.

As you progress through your career and your wages rise, you might find yourself in a more financially comfortable position. That gives you greater options when working out how to choose life insurance. It’s worth researching the following types of policy:

  • Level cover life insurance. With these policies, your premiums and the amount you’re covered for don’t change. You can also decide how long you want the policy term to last – between five and 50 years, for example.
  • Decreasing cover life insurance. As the name suggests, the amount you’re covered for decreases over the policy term. These policies are best suited to people looking to cover loans, such as a repayment mortgage. They tend to be cheaper than level cover life insurance products.

4. What’s the best life insurance option for people over 50?

Your 50s can prove to be a transitional decade between working life and retirement. With many people given the chance to start withdrawing their pension savings from 55, it’s understandable if your focus falls heavily on retirement planning.

Life insurance is worth keeping hold of at this time, even as your financial circumstances shift. You may still need to support your children with university fees or a housing deposit, for example, and your life insurance policy could help cover those expenses if the worst happened.

5. Weighing up over-60s life insurance

As you head into retirement, life insurance may feel less relevant. Your children are likely to be fully independent – and may even have youngsters of their own – while your mortgage may be paid off. 

However, over-60s life insurance and over-70s life insurance might still be options to consider. These can help cover the cost of funerals, bills and outstanding debt, among other things. A life insurance pay-out to your loved ones could even be used as a small gift after you’re gone. To help make sure the pay-out goes to the right person, it can also help to make sure this is detailed in for example, a will.


What’s the best life insurance option for couples?

The best life insurance policy will depend on the needs of you and your partner. You may have a choice between ‘single life’ and ‘joint life’ cover. A single life policy insures each person, paying out a lump sum if they pass away. With a joint life policy, both members of the couple are insured for the same term, with the same amount of cover. A pay-out is normally made on the first claim.

What conditions can critical illness insurance cover?

Critical illness insurance can cover significant medical conditions such as:

  • Cancer
  • Strokes
  • Heart and circulatory disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

How long does life insurance last?

Your life insurance cover will last for the term you select at the beginning of your policy. The available terms differ between insurers, but you can typically choose a policy lasting between five and 50 years.