This page outlines the life insurance that is available from probably the world’s longest-established insurance company and part of Europe’s largest.
SunLife started in 1810 when the oldest documented insurance company in the world, Sun Fire Office, launched a separate life assurance company, with premises just across the road from the Bank of England in London. Its first employee was Joshua Milne, who retired 33 years later in 1843.
In 1900 it became the first company to offer life assurance without the need for a medical. In 1979 it introduced the first over-50s life insurance plan.
Its Guaranteed Over-50 Plan is the biggest-selling over-50s plan, according to statistics from the Association of British Insurers, with more than 819,000 policyholders at 28 May 2020 and had paid out more than £400m in claims by that date.
The company was owned by AXA until 2016 and is now owned by Phoenix Group, the largest life and pensions group in Europe.
As of 18 September 2020, SunLife had a TrustScore rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot, based on 2,047 reviews.
As the name suggests, this is life insurance that is aimed at people who are over 50. In the case of SunLife, it can be taken out at any age from 49 to 85. One of the main advantages of over 50s life insurance is that there are no lifestyle or medical questions.
So even if you are in poor health or have had health problems in the past, you can still obtain insurance. It is particularly useful for people who have paid off most of their mortgage or who have other life insurance in place.
Over 50s life insurance is known as whole of life cover - it covers you for the whole of your life irrespective of how long you live.
The SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan is an insurance policy. It guarantees to pay for your chosen funeral service provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd, which has more than 800 funeral directors across the country. On your death, the money from the Guaranteed Funeral Plan is paid directly to Dignity.
There is guaranteed acceptance with no medical or health questions if you are between 50 and 80. Monthly premiums start at £9.25 for a 50-year-old taking the direct cremation plan but premiums increase every year for up to 20 years.
Cover starts after 2 years, unless you die in an accident, when you are covered immediately. If you stop paying the premiums, the insurance lapses.
Guaranteed acceptance without a medical or medical questions, as long as you are 49 or over and a UK resident, even if you have a poor medical history
The cover lasts as long as you live if you keep up the premiums, although there is an option to cap the number of premiums you pay if you take out PayStop.
You can choose the level of premiums and the amount insured up to a maximum of £100 a month and £18,000 of cover.
The monthly premiums and the pay-out are fixed for the length of the insurance.
You can take out cover at a later age than with standard life insurance: until 85.
Policies are not linked to inflation so the pay-out loses value over time.
You could pay more in premiums that you receive.
There is a waiting period of one year before full life cover comes into effect, except for accidental death.
If you miss premium payments, you invalidate your policy and lose what you paid in.
You are immediately covered for accidental death and for other causes after one year.
The payout is guaranteed.
The lowest monthly premium is £3.70, equal to less than 86p a week.
PayStop gives you the option of paying a slightly higher premium in return for having your premiums stopping on an agreed date without losing cover.
Free £110 gift card for stores including M&S, Argos and Iceland after 6 months’ premiums paid.
Free Funeral Benefit Option offers £250 towards a funeral through Dignity Funerals Limited.
Each valid policy is entered into an annual £50,000 prize draw, except for policyholders in Northern Ireland.