Life insurance for seniors explained

As we get older, many of us find our financial priorities change. Maintaining your lifestyle might become more difficult as you near or enter into retirement and focus shifts from raising a family to helping our adult tamariki start a family of their own.

Whatever your circumstances, having a life insurance policy in place can give you the peace of mind you need to help you get on with living your best life.

Seniors Term Life Insurance is designed specifically to meet the needs of the over 50s, with cover available for Kiwis aged between 45–79. If you pass away or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you or your loved ones will receive a lump-sum payout that can be used for living costs or any bills that crop up, such as funeral or estate fees.

With Seniors Term Life Insurance, rest assured knowing that – once approved – your family’s financial future will be protected for up to 20 years, at a time when it’s needed most.

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Everything you need to know about life insurance

Which life insurance policy is best for seniors

When deciding which insurance policy is best suited to the needs of you and your loved ones, it’s important to review not only the amount of cover you can get, but the product features and benefits that differ between policy types. While this information is designed to help you make an educated decision, it is up to each person to decide what option is best for their needs.

Do I really need life insurance?

According to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, “life insurance coverage softens the financial impact of events such as death, disablement and major illness, allowing insured individuals and their families to maintain their living standards".

Life insurance provides financial assistance to help take care of your family in the event of you passing away. This type of cover could also help if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness (usually defined as having been given 12 months or less to live), allowing you to focus on spending time with your loved ones instead of worrying about bills.

There are no restrictions on what the payout can be used for, which could include day-to-day living costs, paying off the family home, medical expenses or any outstanding debt. Even if you’re not the main provider, your family could have trouble covering these costs without you.

How much life insurance does a senior need?

While the amount of cover needed will be different for everyone, careful planning and budgeting will help you work out a figure that will meet the needs of you and your loved ones.

Your amount of cover should consider and be based on:

  • Your future plans
  • Your family’s living costs
  • Your assets and personal savings
  • Your debts (mortgage, loans, credit cards, etc)
  • Other income your family will have access to after you pass away (superannuation, etc).

Everyone is unique, that’s why it’s important to speak to a New Zealand Seniors specialist. To help you with your cover, one of our friendly team members will walk you through all available options and tailor a personalised quote for you.

Life insurance by stage


Even if you don’t have any dependents and aren’t too worried about your debts being paid off after you pass away, you still need to consider how you’re going to manage your twilight years. For example, on top of everyday living expenses, consider how a terminal illness might impact your budget. With the median weekly spend of single adult Kiwis being $645, adding the cost of palliative care to this could make budgeting difficult without an ongoing income.


With basic living expenses averaging $1,349 per week for Kiwi households, having household income halved due to your sudden passing could leave your partner with unexpected financial stress. If you have a mortgage, consider how much your partner could pay if they were on their own.

Family with older children

If you passed suddenly, how long would it take your family to recover some financial stability? Even if you aren’t the main provider, you need to consider what else you offer your family that would impact them financially, such as childcare arrangements. When working out the amount of cover your loved ones will need, consider both their weekly living expenses as well as any long-term plans you have for your dependent children and grandchildren.


During the 2021 financial year, cost-of-living rose 4.0% on average across all Kiwi households, so it’s important to keep inflation and cost-of-living in mind when reviewing your financial needs. The amount of cover you’ll need should factor in long-term expenses such as any outstanding mortgage, as well as immediate costs that your partner would face without you such as downsizing or planning your funeral. If you’re old enough to access your superannuation, you should factor this in also.

Want to know more about Seniors Term Life Insurance?

Who needs term life insurance?

As we get older, our insurance needs change. That’s why it’s important to know about the different types of life insurance products that are available and which one is best for your specific situation. At New Zealand Seniors, we believe insurance should meet your needs, not someone else’s. That’s why we focus on providing beneficial cover for Kiwis over 50.

With Seniors Term Life Insurance, anyone aged 45 to 79 can apply for up to $100,000 cover, which means you can protect your family financially for the next 20 years – or until you turn 85, whichever comes first. You don’t need to take a blood test or fill out any complicated paperwork to apply. Just answer eight questions about your health, then decide on the amount of cover that works for you and your loved ones – it’s that simple!

How can New Zealand Seniors help?

With New Zealand Seniors, you can tailor your policy to suit your individual needs and budget. Choose the level of cover you need, and rest assured knowing you’re backed by a respected and award-winning insurer.

Benefits of choosing Seniors Term Life Insurance

Flexible cover amount that suits you

Choose how much you or your family will receive if you pass away or become terminally ill. You can set a benefit amount from $10,000 up to $100,000.

Easy to apply with no medicals

Simply answer eight questions about your medical history over the phone. Once approved, you can get covered in minutes.

Immediate cover

Once your policy is set up, you’ll be covered straight away for death by any cause, and for terminal illness1 (excluding suicide for the first 13 months).

20% advance payout to cover funeral costs

When your family makes a claim, we’ll give them 20% of the benefit amount in advance, so they won’t have to worry about the cost of your funeral or other immediate expenses.

Triple payout for accidental death

Your family’s benefit amount will be tripled if you pass away from an accident, helping with any last-minute expenses they might face.

Your own personal claims specialist

If you or your family need to make a claim, we’ll assign you a dedicated claims specialist to look after everything. No need to explain things to multiple people.

We’ll keep your premiums manageable

Unlike some life insurance policies, your annual premium increase won’t be based on your age which will help with budgeting later in life. Plus, we offer lower starting premiums for non-smokers.

Cover for when you need it most

We know that the older you get, the more you have to protect. That’s why our cover is designed for people aged 45 to 79, protecting you and your family for the next 20 years or until you turn 85 – whichever comes first.

How to get life insurance

If you’re a New Zealand resident aged 45 to 79, the process is quite simple:

  1. 1 Request a quote

    Answer eight questions about your health and we’ll get you a quote in minutes.

  2. 2 Choose your cover

    Tailor your policy and choose the level of cover you need.

  3. 3 Get covered

    Rest easy knowing the people you care about most are in safe hands.

Need more help deciding?

Request a FREE information pack

Everything you need to know about life insurance

        1. Terminal illness with diagnosis of 12 months or less to live.

How can we help?

To find out more about New Zealand Seniors,
speak to one of our friendly insurance specialists now