Which? reveals poor-value insurance and savingsOver-50s specialists charging over the odds

22 September 2016

Over 50s products

Over-50s products and options can represent poor value

Specialist over-50s insurance and savings products can offer worse value than their mainstream equivalents, a Which? investigation has found. 

Which? analysed dozens of financial products targeted at over-50s and found some truly terrible deals.

High-price car insurance

In one price comparison, a specialist insurer, Castle Cover, quoted £1,364 for car insurance for a 71-year-old – while LV’s price for an equivalent policy was just £330.

Which? analysed car insurance website rates from four specialists and 10 leading non-specialists for a 51-, 61- and 71-year-old wanting car insurance for a BMW kept in Cambridge.

The car insurance specialists were all expensive for all three age scenarios, apart from Saga’s quote for our 71-year-old driver (£419). 

The quotes were particularly high for the oldest motorist with Castle Cover (£1,364), Rias (£1,187) and Age UK (£919). 

This driver would save more than £1,000 with LV (£330) or John Lewis Insurance (£342).

For more: Car insurance for older drivers

Pitiful savings rates

Which? found that age-restricted savings accounts are nothing special. Thankfully, there are only a handful left - and they should be avoided.

The optimistically named Danske Bank Midas Gold pays a paltry 0.05% to 50+ savers, as does West Bromwich BS’s Oak. Darlington BS’s Emerald (0.4%) is little better.

Checking for the best savings rates beyond age-specific accounts is sensible as most savings accounts don’t have eligibility restrictions. 

You can get 5% or 6% if you opt for a regular saver via some well-known current account providers such as HSBC, First Direct and Nationwide BS.

Over-50s life insurance

Our analysis shows that over-50s life insurance plans can prove costly. These plans pay a fixed lump sum upon death in exchange for a monthly premium. 

Premiums for over-50s plans are payable for life, and you could end up paying more than you’ll receive. The longer you live, the more you pay, while the amount you get stays the same. If you stop paying premiums, you'll usually get nothing back.

We found that the fixed pay-outs vary sharply between the different providers. For a 60-year-old paying £50 a month, the lowest pay-outs are £11,500 from LV and Standard Life. But those you get from Rias (£13,425) and Shepherds Friendly (£13,325) are far more generous.

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