Inflation threatens more than one in five over-50s life insurance policies

Kevin Brown (Scottish Friendly)

RISING inflation is putting pressure on over-50s life insurance customers to carry on paying their monthly premiums, research reveals.

A study of 1,000 over-50s by financial mutual Scottish Friendly found that more than one in five (22%) customers are thinking about cancelling their monthly payments because of the cost-of-living crisis.

Women are most affected with 28% of those with an over-50s life insurance plan considering no longer paying into their plan, compared to just 17% of men.

The consequences for customers could be severe as it would put their cover at risk and mean they could possibly end up with nothing. 

Nearly six in ten (57%) respondents with an over-50s life insurance plan said they took out a policy to cover funeral costs, while 46% did so to provide financial support for their family in case of their death.

Meanwhile, just under one in ten (9%) started a plan to help pay off their mortgage.

However, as people’s incomes are squeezed by inflation, which rose to an annual rate of 10.4% in February, consumers are looking at ways to reduce their outgoings.

The survey revealed that payment certainty and lower premiums are two of the biggest draws to potential new customers.

Nearly a third (35%) of respondents said the most important feature respondents would look for in an over 50s life insurance plan would be guaranteed cover.

This was closely followed by a low monthly payment (31%) and fixed monthly premiums (27%).

Jill Mackay, Head of Marketing at Scottish Friendly, comments: “Inflation has increased again after falling for three consecutive months and continues to affect household budgets.  

“Dealing with price rises is particularly difficult for those on fixed incomes, such as those in retirement.

“When times are hard, people will naturally look at ways to save money by cutting back on their spending, and protection may be one of the areas in which they look to do so.

“However, while it might be true that not all types of insurance are indispensable, it is important to think carefully before cancelling life insurance cover.

“If customers choose to stop paying in then it risks ending the policy and they may end up not getting back what they paid in.

“The best over 50s life insurance policies do offer some payment flexibility and customers could be entitled to a proportion of their cash benefit if they stop paying in, but it’s vitally important to speak to your provider first before making any final decisions.”

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