When should I get life insurance?

30 July 2018

As long as you’re over 18 years-old, there is no ‘right’ age to get life insurance. It’s true that life insurance is more expensive the longer you leave it, but there are many stages of life where it’s something you may want to consider, and your age is not necessarily important.  

Life insurance is there to offer peace of mind that if you were to pass away while covered by the policy, those you leave behind would have some financial protection in place. Or if you're responsible for a mortgage and you pass away before the mortgage is paid off, life insurance could help pay the remaining amount. 

So you should think about the financial impact on your family if you were to die? Could your partner afford the mortgage without you?  Would your family be able to maintain their current lifestyle? For example, would your partner struggle to work and cover the cost of childcare? If the answer is yes, it’s never too early to start thinking about financial protection to help cover those closest to you.

Do I need life insurance?

Let’s look at some of the life stages where you may start to think about life insurance.

Young and single – You might not have a partner or children yet, but you may still be interested in life insurance as a young adult. Do you have a mortgage that you're responsible for? Perhaps you have a parent who relies on your earnings? Both of these would be reasons to consider life insurance.

Homeowners – A first-time buyer is typically in their early 30s1. If you’re buying your home with your partner, your mortgage repayments could be calculated on the basis of two salaries. If you or your partner died while your mortgage loan was still outstanding, would one of you alone be able to keep up the regular mortgage repayments? If you are a homeowner, a mortgage is likely to be the biggest debt you leave behind should the worst happen, so having a policy in place can help give you peace of mind.

Married couple – On average, first-time marriages in the UK take place when a couple is in their mid to late 30s2. Once you’re married, you could have shared financial commitments, so life insurance is important if you depend on one another financially.

Parents – The average age of a first-time mother is around 30, and for fathers, about 333. It’s a difficult subject to think about, but if you passed away, could your partner afford your little one’s childcare and everyday living costs?

What is the best age to get life insurance?

Life insurance premiums tend to increase as you get older. However, if you don't have anyone that relies on you financially, no mortgage or no other need to leave money behind if you were to pass away, you may not have a need for life insurance just yet.  

However, if you do have a need for life insurance, you should be aware that age is not the only factor that will determine the premiums you pay. There are other factors that are considered when you apply:

  • The type of cover you need, the amount of cover and how long you want the protection to last
  • Your smoker status
  • Your health
  • Your lifestyle
  • Whether you choose to pay your premiums annually rather than monthly. 

So there is no definite ‘best age’ to get life insurance as your age is not the only factor to consider. But certainly, if you’re young and healthy and have financial dependents getting the life insurance you need sooner rather than later is a sensible idea.

Is life insurance worth it yet?

So taking all of the above in to account, it’s still not uncommon to put off getting life insurance. Despite the fact that you may own a property or have a partner and family members who depend on you financially, many people manage to find reasons to avoid taking out a policy.

When we surveyed 1,000 parents4 as to why they didn’t have life insurance, the three most common responses we heard were:

  1. It’s too expensive.
  2. It’s too complicated.
  3. I’m too young.

But when you start looking more closely at life insurance, you might find that these are not reasons to delay sorting out financial protection for your loved ones after all.

Simple and straightforward

Our life insurance starts from only £6 per month, depending on your circumstances and needs, which is equivalent to around 20p per day.

And getting a quote couldn’t be quicker or easier. All you need is a couple of minutes, some basic information about yourself and access to our online quote system.

Please remember that life insurance is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.

As for the argument that you’re too young, if loved ones depend on you financially, you may have a need for life insurance regardless of age. It is also worth considering that life insurance costs can go up as you get older, so if you take out cover in a year’s time rather than now, the cost of your premiums could be higher.

The cost of delaying life insurance

It’s human nature to put off big life decisions, but when it comes to life insurance this could affect the cost of premiums if you delay arranging the cover you need. The example below illustrates the difference in premiums as you get older, by comparing the premiums for a 35-year-old and a 45-year-old, taking out a policy on the same day:

£150,000 cover for 20 years Premium
DOB - 2/3/1985 - non-smoker *£8.96
DOB - 2/3/1975 - non smoker *£18.95

*All quotes taken from legalandgeneral.com on 16 August 2020. Premiums depend on individual needs and circumstances.   

A great way to find out how much cover you might need for your situation is to use our Life Insurance Calculator. You can also get a life insurance quote and find out in just a couple of minutes what your premiums could look like.

1 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news

2 https://www.ons.gov.uk/

3 https://www.ons.gov.uk/

4 Poll conducted in January 2017 with 1,000 parents from around the UK.