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Need for term Insurance coverage beyond 65.


March 19, 2020

By : Bajaj Allianz Life

Term insurance has traditionally been considered as a protection plan that’s best taken when you’re younger. Since most people commonly retire between the ages of 60 and 65, term insurance plans are generally structured so that they offer coverage until the investor reaches 65 years of age.

However, in recent years, the conventional practice of obtaining term insurance coverage only up to the age of 65 appears to be changing. With the average life expectancy in which is at 68.7 years as per the National Health Profile 2019, the share of senior citizens in the country’s overall demographics is quickly on the rise. An increasing number of elderly people are showing interest in continuing to remain insured well past their seventies. And clearly, senior citizens stand to benefit from longer term insurance coverage in more ways than one.

Here’s why you should opt for term insurance that offers a life cover well past the age of 65.

1. You may prefer to remain employed

You may have been dreaming of the day you finally get to retire and exit the rat race, but often, when the time comes, you might decide to continue working. This could be for any one of many reasons. Perhaps, after years of staying on your toes, you could simply find the alternative of staying home too lacklustre. Or maybe, you’ll grow to love what you do so much that it feels comfortable to continue working for a few more years. Alternatively, life could throw a curveball your way and land you in a financial crunch that might require you to keep working for a bit longer. Whatever the case may be, it’s a smart move to opt for a longer cover if there’s even the slightest chance that you may remain employed past the average retirement age.

2. Your healthcare expenses will increase

On one hand, life expectancy has increased steadily over the past few years. However, on the other hand, this means that while more people will grow to see old age, they will also have to deal with the possibility of suffering the ailments or critical illnesses that may come along with it. To add to this, the cost of healthcare is also on the rise. And coupled with inflation, the costs of medical treatment are bound to escalate further. What this means is that if you’re in your forties now, the cost of healthcare can go up by around four times by the time you reach your sixties. Given this, it can be incredibly expensive to pay for your future medical costs out-of-pocket. A term insurance plan can help you handle these critical illness or disability related expenses more comfortably, if it’s coupled with the right riders while choosing the right term plan that includes these features.

3. It helps your spouse remain independent

If you live past your sixties, it’s also likely that your spouse may survive just as long. There is also the possibility that your spouse may outlive you. Now, if your term plan only offers coverage up to the age of 65 as per convention, and if you outlive the tenure of the plan, your spouse receives no death benefits in the event of your demise. This can be particularly difficult if your spouse was dependent on you financially, since it leaves them without any source of income to fall back on. Fortunately, by opting for a term plan that offers a life cover well past the age of 65, you can give your spouse the opportunity to remain independent even if something untoward happens to you. With the death benefits that are paid out by the insurer, your spouse can continue to remain financially secure.

4. Your dependent children stand to benefit

Various factors such as an increasing shift towards the nuclear family structure and a desire to become financially independent before tying the knot have pushed the average age at which people get married upward. It’s now not uncommon for people to get married in their mid-30s or later. With this kind of a shift in the timeline, it’s likely that your children may continue to remain financially dependent on you even as you inch closer to retirement. In such a case, having a term plan that provides extensive coverage will ensure that your children have a financial safety net to fall back on in case of your untimely demise. The death benefits paid out by the insurer can help your children meet any significant expenses associated with their life goal of getting the desired higher education. It can also be reinvested to provide a steady stream of income.

5. You may have unpaid liabilities

Major purchases such as buying a car or a house often require you to avail a loan to finance the transaction. Over the course of your working years, you may borrow a personal loan, a car loan, or a home loan to fund significant purchases or meet major expenses. If you avail these loans later in life, it’s possible that you may need to continue repaying them well after you reach the age of 60. Alternatively, even if you avail a loan or two early in life, opting for a longer repayment tenure will mean that the liability may remain unpaid for a long time. In case of your death, the burden of repaying your loans may pass on to the surviving members of your family. And the death benefits obtained from a term plan can help them close the debt without any financial distress.

These scenarios are all reasons that show how a term plan for senior citizens can help you and your family later in life. With that said, the question that follows is this – How practical is it to obtain a term insurance plan that provides coverage after 65?

While it may previously not have been easy for investors to continue enjoying a life cover up to the age of 99, it’s now a reasonable financial target to have. This is because the insurance industry has evolved over the years, and investors now have many options to choose from if they wish to continue remaining insured right up to old age.

Enjoying a term insurance cover past the age of 65 is now more feasible than it was earlier. Here’s why -

1. Limited premium payment options

Earlier, aside from the single premium payment option, a regular premium payment schedule was the only other alternative available to investors. This meant that the policyholder was required to continue paying premiums right up to the point where the plan expired. So, if you opted for coverage up to the age of, say 80, it meant that you would have to pay premiums regularly until that age. And with most people retiring by the age of 60 or 70, it was difficult to continue paying for a life cover post-retirement.

Now, however, most insurance companies offer the option of limited premium payment, wherein you only need to pay premiums for a specified period such as 5 or 10 years. It also gives you the opportunity to limit your liabilities to only a few years instead of having them stretched out till the expiry of the policy. So, you can opt for a limited premium payment schedule during your working years and continue to enjoy a life cover long after you’ve retired.

2. Whole life coverage

Ordinarily, term insurance plans come with a fixed policy period such as 10, 20, or 30 years. Most term insurance schemes also limit the age up to which an investor can enjoy coverage. However, insurers also offer term plans that come with the option of whole life coverage. This essentially means that your term insurance can offer you a protective cover well past the age of 65, right up to when you’re 99 years of age.

With this option, combined with other features like limited premium payment, seniors find it easier to prolong their insurance coverage without carrying on the associated financial liability into their post-retirement life. It has also made it possible for older people who’ve been primary breadwinners to ensure that their dependent spouse or children are financially protected after their demise.

3. Enhanced coverage with add-on riders

When you buy term insurance, it typically only includes death benefits to your beneficiaries. However, by adding on riders to the base plan, you can enjoy various kinds of benefits over and above the agreed sum assured. Here are some of the most commonly preferred riders and the benefits associated with them. However, riders are subject to rider terms and conditions

a. Waiver of premium rider: This rider ensures that the insurer waives off all future premiums due, if the policyholder suffers from illness or disability. The benefits under the policy remain unaffected.

b. Accidental death benefits: With this added cover, the insurer pays out additional benefits to the beneficiaries if the policyholder dies on account of an accident. This is over and above the base sum assured by the term plan.

c. Critical illness rider: With age, the possibility of suffering from a critical illness like cancer or heart disease also shows a proportionate increase. With the critical illness rider, the policyholder receives benefits like a lump sum pay-out or periodic payments upon diagnosis of a critical illness.

d. Terminal illness benefits: This rider benefits the families of senior citizens who are diagnosed with a terminal illness like lung disease, advanced cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease. These diseases are not defined as such and are acted subject to diagnosis, where the doctor says that the life assured will die certainly within a defined time, the insurer pays out a part of the sum assured in advance, so it can be used to provide treatment or care for the patient.

e. Accidental disability benefits: In case the policyholder suffers an accident that results in total or partial disability that renders them incapable of working, the accidental disability benefit ensures that the insurer either pays a lump sum amount or periodic payments to sustain the insured person.

4. Tax benefits

The Income Tax Act provides many concessions for senior citizens such as a higher basic exemption limit and a greater level of deductions. Even with these tax benefits, if your tax liability remains high, your term insurance plan can help you reduce the tax burden. As per section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, premiums paid during the year are deductible from the total taxable income of the assesse. Furthermore, the benefits received under the term plan are also not taxable, owing to the provisions of section 10 (10D). These term insurance tax benefits are subject to changes in tax laws.

5. Additional life cover at affordable costs

After you’ve retired, your periodic income is bound to take a dip. Term insurance can ensure that you get to enjoy a protective life cover without suffering the burden of steep premium charges. This is because term insurance is relatively more affordable than other kinds of life insurance, since it’s essentially a pure life cover. So, if you’ve planned smartly for post-retirement life, you can continue to afford the premiums needed to keep your policy active. Note that the earlier you plan, the better it is for you. One cannot take a term plan at a later stage since all term plans have a defined age at entry and exit, hence it is better to check with your advisors or research for term plans online to get a better idea.


All things considered, it’s clear that senior citizens stand to benefit a great deal from term insurance plans. Before choosing your term plan, study your options carefully, so you can enjoy maximum coverage at the most affordable rates. Ask your insurer if they offer the limited premium payment option, so you can complete all the payments for your policy during your working years, which is when you enjoy a steady stream of income. Also, ensure that you add useful riders to your basic term plan, since they can be particularly helpful once you’ve crossed the age of 65. Plan early in life to secure yours and your family’s life goals.

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The above information is for general understanding and is meant to educate the general public at large. The reader will have to verify the facts, law and content with the prevailing tax statutes and seek appropriate professional advice before acting on the basis of the above information.