What’s different about policies for over 50s?

It’s a cold hard fact that health insurance as you get older, gets more expensive. After all, health insurance is always calibrated on your age and how good your health is at any given time. However, at any age, there are significant arguments for and against health insurance. We understand it is a personal preference, an individual’s choice and their financial position that may determine their decision. The advice below is to help you make an informed decision that is best for you.

Approaching the big 50! Consider how this effects your insurances.

With an aging population and an over-stretched NHS, it can be worth not only thinking about health insurance, but also the more niche insurances that can be invaluable for specific instances and times of your life (critical illness cover, life insurance etc, which are all detailed below and on Mr Insurer’s articles.)

Regarding health insurance (also known as private medical insurance / PMI), there are many levels and types of insurances you can consider when you’re younger and once you’re bound to a policy/provider, ongoing loyalty has the potential to serve you well as you get older.

With most other insurances it’s better to switch frequently and make sure you’re on the best deal, but with health and Pet insurance, it may pay to stay with one provider. This concerns the concept of “pre-existing conditions”. If you have a policy and develop a condition and are treated for that condition, the policy provider will pay-out. However, if you then try to switch providers and disclose that condition, it may become “pre-existing” in the eyes of the potential new provider and thus not covered by their policy. Therefore, remaining with one provider, in that way, is beneficial. Often insurance companies will offer a price fix product if you pay a little more which can be attractive.

With health insurance, the categories remain the same - fully comprehensive and moratorium. Fully comprehensive means you disclose your entire medical history to the insurer, and they underwrite a policy having considered your health position. Moratorium policies are when insurers only require a scant knowledge of your history and offer more generic policies based on a national average. If you are in excellent health at any age, it is beneficial to choose a fully underwritten policy. The biggest change in the policies as you age, is the cost of the premiums. Therefore, health insurance in your 50s, 60s and 70s is vastly more expensive than insurance in your 20s and 30s. You can see it from their perspective – it does stand to reason that someone in their 70s (even if they’re in excellent health!) is far more likely to claim against a policy than someone in their 20s.

There are specialist companies that deal with all types of insurance for people over 50 for example Saga, Sunlife, and the Post Office. However, although these “specialist providers for over 50s” exist, it can be worth also going through the mainstream comparison sites like GoCompare, MoneySuperMarket etc. to ensure that you’re definitely getting the best deal. There is a very interesting article on MoneyWise that discusses issues for the over 50s market .

Some of the benefits of specialist cover are that they understand the needs of the older generation and their advantages can lie in customer service – for example helping via phone contact rather than email.

As you get older, it might not be the health insurance that is the be all and end all. There are many types of more specialised insurance that could be better for your individual situation. For example, in retirement, many people decide to travel and see the world and therefore it is best to research travel health insurance. Life insurance can give you peace of mind to protect your loved ones when it’s your time and critical illness cover can provide the same security.

Mr Insurer recommends you do your research and speak to direct specialist providers and go through comparison sites to see which one can be tailored to best fit you and your life, to provide you with health and happiness in your retirement.

An insurance provider we like is called Vitality. Vitality enable a health insurance policy to be fully tailored to very specific needs which saves money. Vitality also offer a range of other insurances and financial products which can be managed more simply in one place. We also really like the rewards they offer when you hold a policy which promotes a healthy lifestyle. 50% of gym memberships, Fee coffees, discounts on amazon prime, discounts with Nike and lots more. A final benefit is they give you points when you are active which in returns reduces your insurance premiums. As always take your time and use the cashback and comparison websites to see what other benefits maybe offered for taking out a new policy. If you are going to have a policy for 30 years it is a significant investment.

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