By Catherine Gasson

Whether you want to think about them or not, funerals are an inevitable part of life. And although they’re not happy occasions, they can be a time when friends and families come together to celebrate the life of someone who’s passed and look back on happy memories they’ve shared.

Facing up to funeral planning

As you get older, your expression of wishes might extend further than your will. Perhaps you’ll want those closest to you to know where you’d like to be laid to rest after you’ve died, or maybe where you want your ashes scattered. You might choose a certain song to play at your funeral, or a particular reading that holds a special meaning for you.

Making plans to cover the cost of your funeral could help you feel more in control of what will happen after your death. It can also reduce the financial burden for those you care about most. Here we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of life cover vs funeral plans when it comes to putting money aside to cover these costs.

What is over 50 life insurance?

Over 50 life insurance offers you cover for the rest of your life, rather than for a fixed term. For many, it’s an affordable and flexible option when it comes to setting aside some cash for the future. It can also be easier to get life cover with this type of plan because you won’t have to answer any questions about your health or medical history to be accepted.

We guarantee to pay out every penny of the cover amount as a lump sum if you die for any reason after the first 12 months of having the policy – or if you die because of an accident within the first 12 months. However, if you die before the first 12 months are up, and it wasn’t an accidental death, we won’t pay out the cover amount, but we’ll pay a sum that’s equal to the premiums that have already been paid. It's also worth knowing at this point that an over 50 life insurance policy has no cash-in value. This means, if you no longer want the cover and cancel it, your cover will end and you won't get back any of the money you've paid in.

Because you’re guaranteed a payout on death, you can use it to make sure money will be available to cover, or put towards, your funeral costs. But it’s worth bearing in mind this money could also be used as a gift or to pay off other debts.

What is a prepaid funeral plan?

In contrast, money paid out from funeral plans will only cover funeral costs. There’s a range of different plans out there, all offering different benefits. Take your time when comparing your options and always check what’s included under the terms and conditions.

Once you’ve decided on a funeral plan, you’ll either pay for it all in one go as a lump sum, or as instalments over a set period. When it’s all paid for, your provider will cover the cost of the agreed funeral services outlined in your plan. And because the amount you pay is based on funeral prices at the time you take out your cover, you’re protected against inflation.

What's the difference between over 50 life insurance and a funeral plan?

Over 50 life insurance Funeral plan
More flexible, the payout doesn’t have to go towards funeral costs Can only be used to pay for funeral costs
You’re guaranteed to get cover if you meet the criteria Can be paid in instalments over a set period, or all at once as a lump sum
You’ll pay premiums for 30 years or until the first policy anniversary after your 90th birthday Inflation proof, the amount you pay is based on current funeral costs, but the payout will be based on how much a funeral costs when you die
Premiums are fixed and can be more affordable than a funeral plan, ours start from £5 a month When you die the funeral expenses covered by your plan are paid for in full
Your funeral could cost more than the lump sum paid May or may not cover extra costs, such as flowers and other special arrangements
The cover amount isn't protected against inflation  

Weighing up the features of both types of cover can explain some of the key differences and help you decide whether either, or both, would work for you.

Can you have both over 50s life insurance and a funeral plan?

Luckily, it’s not a case of either/or, so some people have both life insurance and a funeral plan. Similarly, some may choose to have neither. When it comes to deciding, being clued up about what’s available can be a helpful first step to understanding what will meet your needs.

Woman standing by the coast

You’ll also need to bear your budget in mind. With a variety of optional extras available, the cost of funeral plans can quickly add up, but if you can afford one you’ll have the reassurance of knowing your funeral is paid for. Over 50 life insurance could be a more affordable option, but it’s not guaranteed to cover all your funeral fees.

Getting a quote for over 50 life insurance with Aviva

While we don’t offer funeral plans, if you’re aged between 50 and 80 and a permanent resident in the UK, you’re guaranteed to be able to get over 50 life insurance with us. You can find more information and get a quote online through our dedicated page.

You can also explore our fixed term life insurance on our life insurance page.

As always, if you’re not sure which type of policy’s right for your needs, you can speak to a financial adviser for help. Or if you don’t have one, you can head over to Unbiased to find one.

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