Life insurance provides a lump-sum payout to you if you become terminally ill, or to your family when you pass away. The process starts by getting approved by a provider and then setting your benefit amount (how much you want your family to receive). This will vary depending on the exact insurer you choose – you might be asked to undergo a medical test before taking out cover, or your benefit amount may be capped depending on your age bracket.

What does life insurance cover?

Life insurance covers death by any cause, although suicide is usually excluded for a set period of time. That means your family will receive a pay out if your death is related to an event such as:

  • accidents
  • medical complications
  • natural causes
  • acts of violence.

Life insurance also covers you for terminal illnesses, so you can access your benefit amount if a doctor concludes that you will likely pass away in the near future. Although every provider has their own criteria for a terminal illness, the diagnosis from a doctor is usually at having 12 months or less to live in order to claim.  

It’s important to remember that every life insurance policy has specific exclusions and limits. Make sure you read the Product Disclosure Statement carefully to know what you’ll be covered for and what limits are placed on your cover.

Is life insurance for seniors different?

Some insurers offer policies designed more closely for seniors. For example – some policies let you apply for cover at an older age than others, or even offer specific discounts. Depending on the insurer, you may be able to apply without going through the usual hassle of a blood test or medical exam.

Find out more about how life insurance works for seniors >

What should you check before getting life insurance in your 50s, 60s, and beyond?

If you’re considering life insurance, the first thing you should check is whether you already have cover. Despite decades in the workforce, a lot of us don’t realise that life insurance is sometimes included in our superannuation fund. However, keep in mind that life insurance through your super isn’t always tailored to your exact needs, which could mean you are under-insured. You should contact your superannuation provider to check how much you may already be covered for.

Don’t forget to review any other insurance policies you have in case you are already covered for your expected needs. It’s also important to understand any limitations when claiming on more than one policy with the same insurer.

Finally, don’t forget to consult your loved ones when considering life insurance. The amount of cover you need will depend on what your plans are for their future, and whether they could manage financially if you passed away. Without a financial safety net, your family may need to make some lifestyle changes. This might include relocating, downsizing and selling the family home, or even postponing their retirement. 

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When might be a good time to take out life insurance?

The sooner you consider getting life insurance the better, because as you age it may become harder to get approved for cover. Applying for, and taking out cover while you’re still healthy generally works out easier, since your premiums and insurability depend on whether or not you have any pre-existing medical conditions and if you’re of an eligible entry age. 

If you’re considering term life insurance, then it’s also worth looking at how long the cover period is. Term policies can last 10 or 20 years, or until you reach a certain age, so make sure your policy covers the portion of your life where you will need it most.

How much life insurance do seniors need?

Life insurance is designed to meet the personal needs of you and your family. By thinking about your personal circumstances and plans, you can get a good idea of how much cover might be right for you.

The cover amount you choose may depend on what stage of life you’re at. This is because your personal needs are likely to change as life goes on and you increase your overall wealth (e.g. you may still have a mortgage at 45 years of age, but you may already have paid it off by the time you are 65).

45-50

You may still have dependant children and an outstanding mortgage, so you could consider cover that is enough to provide for these. Consider how long it will take for your children to become financially independent or for your partner to make alternative income/living arrangements if you passed away.

50-60

If your children are finally ready to move out, you may want to give them a head-start in buying their first home or planning a wedding. You may consider how this could be done if you were no longer around. If you prefer to keep your family home instead of downsizing, you may need to consider whether your partner could afford to make the repayments if you were gone.

60-70

You may be thinking about retirement or even lucky enough to be there already. Without a large income, you choose to make sure that you or your partner can afford to live out the plans that you’ve made. An expensive health concern such as a terminal illness could get in the way of any late plans that you may have.

70+

Even if your current lifestyle is within your means, data suggests that many people in this age bracket may experience reduced health or increased physical restrictions, which can increase your cost of living. Now could be the time to consider a safety net to protect you or your partner’s quality of life in case of the unexpected.

You can also use the MoneySmart life insurance calculator to help you work out an estimated cover amount. If you’re still not sure or prefer a more detailed analysis, you can speak to a financial advisor.

What is the claims process for life insurance?

When you first set up your policy, you’ll need to nominate your beneficiaries, which are the people who are authorised to make a claim and receive your cover amount if you pass away while the policy is active. While every insurer has their own claims process, here is a quick run-down of what it’s like to make a claim with Australian Seniors:

Notify

You (if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness) or your nominated beneficiaries (if you pass away) will need to let us know that a claim will be lodged. At this stage, a dedicated claims agent will contact you to discuss the claims process and provide further instructions.

Forms

You will need to complete the required claim forms, depending on what exactly you are making a claim for (i.e. death or terminal illness).

Mail

Send the completed forms back to us. You will receive a notification that your claim has been lodged, and we will keep you updated on the outcome.

You will need:

  • your policy details
  • current proof of identification
  • all required forms filled out correctly.

Any official documents that you supply to your insurer (such as a death certificate or identification) need to be certified copies according to Australian law.

How Australian Seniors can help

Seniors Term Life Insurance helps put you back in control of your family’s financial future, with up to $100,000 in cover right when it’s needed most.

Benefits of choosing Seniors Term Life Insurance

A flexible cover amount that suits you – choose how much you or your family will receive if you pass away or become terminally ill. You can set a benefit amount from $10,000 up to $100,000.

Cover for when you need it most. We know that the older you get, the more you have to protect. That’s why our cover is designed for people aged 45 to 79, protecting you for up to 20 years or until age 85, whichever comes first.

Immediate cover. Once your policy is set up, you’ll be covered straight away for death by any cause, and for terminal illness (excluding suicide for the first 13 months).

20% advance payout to cover funeral costs. When your family makes a claim, we’ll give them 20% of the benefit amount in advance, so they won’t have to worry about the cost of your funeral or other immediate expenses.

Triple payout for Accidental Death. Your family’s benefit amount will be tripled if you pass away from an accident, helping with any last-minute expenses they might face.

Easy to apply with no medicals. Simply answer eight questions about your medical history over the phone. Once approved, you can get covered in minutes.

We’ll keep your premiums manageable. Unlike some life insurance policies, your annual premium increase won’t be based on your age which will help with budgeting later in life. Plus, we offer lower starting premiums for non-smokers.

Your own Australia-based personal claims specialist. If you or your family need to make a claim, we’ll assign one of our local claims specialists to look after everything. No need to explain things to multiple people.

See more benefits

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