Each individual life insurer can decide the maximum age threshold that they are willing to cover. Unfortunately for those who are over retirement age, many life insurers draw this line at age 65. Although cover can carry on indefinitely until you pass away if you’ve taken the policy out beforehand, the majority of life insurers in South Africa will not allow you to take a policy with them for the first time if you are over 65. Remember that not all life insurers will disclose their maximum age limit on policies.

The reason for this is, quite simply, because of your risk. As you get older you become more risky to insure as your health and age mean that you’re more likely to pass away than someone in their thirties, for instance. This means that insurers run a higher risk of having to pay out a large fee (possibly even millions) before they’ve had a chance to come close to covering this amount with premiums collected over years.

Another reason is that typically, most people who look for life insurance are under 65. People may be looking to get life cover because they’ve got married, bought a house, had children, got a new job or simply because they’ve reached a point where they realise that their income would need to be protected should something happen to them. Often, these life-changing events - which spur people on to take out life cover and make sure their loved ones are financially protected  - occur earlier in life.

If you are nearing your 65th birthday and still haven’t taken out life insurance, don’t delay! Find out more and get a life insurance quote here. Typically, the younger you are the healthier you are and the lower your premiums as a result. If you’re taking your first policy in your 60s you are likely to pay a higher premium, but the peace of mind and benefits you get from knowing that your loved ones are protected may well outweigh the cons of higher premiums.