Are you looking to buy life insurance? It's one of the simplest ways to protect those who matter most. However, there are certain restrictions that may limit your eligibility for getting covered. Read on to learn more about the criteria insurers use to assess your risk for life insurance.

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Who is eligible for life insurance?

To apply for cover, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Live in the UK, with a legal residency status

  • Consider the UK as your permanent residence

  • Be aged between 18 and 77 (this varies depending on the insurer)

  • Answer all questions truthfully

  • Complete a medical exam if required

Why would I need life insurance?

There are just some risks that we cannot control in life. While we all hope to live long and healthy lives, it's not a sure thing. Without protection in place, your family and/or loved ones could be left vulnerable in the event of your death.

By owning life insurance, you can help make sure your family/loved ones are taken care of financially if anything happens. Following a successful claim,  life insurance can provide a lump sum payment, helping your family and/or loved ones cover expenses such as funeral costs, outstanding debts, mortgage repayments, and everyday living expenses. Not to mention peace of mind.

Still unsure? See: How do I know if I need life insurance?

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At what age should I get life insurance?

There is no specific age that is considered the "best" to get life insurance, but it’s advised to do so sooner rather than later. Premiums are typically lower when you are younger and healthier. So getting cover at a younger age can mean more affordable rates for the duration of your policy.

Despite their age, many people take out cover once they need it, such as when they have dependents or have just bought a home.

For more information, see: When should you buy life cover?

What is the maximum age for life insurance?

This can vary depending on the insurer’s guidelines, as well as the type of policy you are looking to purchase. Generally, most insurers will accept applications up to the ages of 70-90, but this can differ.

If you're 50 or over, an over 50s life insurance may be a suitable option for you. This policy is designed for older individuals and does not require a medical exam. In doing so, they have a higher maximum age than standard policies.

Will I need to undergo a medical exam?

If you have a history of certain pre-existing medical conditions, a medical exam may be required as part of the application process.

During the exam, you may be asked about your medical history and any medications you are taking. The results determine your overall health and assess your risk factors.

How much does cover cost?

Once you take out a policy, you will be required to pay monthly premiums to your insurer. Several factors can determine how much you pay for life insurance premiums, including:

  • The amount of cover required

  • Age

  • Health history

  • Smoking status

  • Occupation

  • Lifestyle

For example, someone who is older and has health issues may pay more for life insurance than someone younger. Similarly, smokers may face higher charges due to the increased risk of death associated with smoking.

The same goes for the type of life insurance you wish to buy. Permanent policies like whole life insurance are often more expensive than term life insurance - which covers you for a set time.

Please note: If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit.

If you are facing financial difficulty, please contact your insurer before cancelling your policy or letting it lapse. They may have options available that means you don't have to lose the plan.

How can I apply for life insurance?

At Cavendish Online, there are three ways to apply for cover online:

  • Route 1 - get a quote online: For those who know exactly what they need, are generally in good health, and are comfortable writing their policy in trust. This option offers low-cost online life insurance quotes. By applying online, decisions can be made quickly, with cover possible within 30 minutes.

  • Route 2 - quote & apply with guidance: If you need guidance in selecting the best policy and have minor health issues, this option is the way to go. Our life insurance consultants can help you through the quote process, ensuring you get the cover you need. You can call our guidance team on

    01392 241 850 (Monday to Thursday 10am – 7pm, Friday 10am – 6pm)


  • Route 3 - request a callback for advice: For individuals with medical disclosures or hazardous occupations. Our advisers can suggest a suitable policy tailored to your needs. This is especially helpful if you have had medical conditions in the past. You can call our advice team on

    01392 436 193 (Monday to Thursday 9am – 5.30pm, Friday 9am – 5pm) 

At Cavendish Online, when you buy with one of our advisers, we’ll automatically place you on an annual review scheme. We’ll get in touch every year to check that your policy is still adequate, and look into alternatives if it’s not.

Speak to the experts...

Give our advisers a call today.

Our team of friendly and professional advisers are on hand to help with any questions you may have regarding Life Insurance.

The advisers can also make recommendations tailored to your current situation and will research the market on your behalf, ensuring you secure the cover you need and supporting you every step of the way. 

01392 43 61 93(Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm)

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