Centenarian Life Insurance: The future of the insurance industry?
Article by David John Martin
As the world population increases, it has become less of a surprise that economically developed countries have begun to experience the trend of an aging population. This has resulted in the increase of life insurance policies that are specially tailored to the needs of older people.
Such policies, usually sold as final expense insurance (but sometimes referred to as preneed or prepaid insurance), have been introduced by some insurers in order to give older members of the public the opportunity to buy insurance as they may not be able to afford a standard life policy. Final expense insurance policies typically offer immediate cover (although, a vesting period isn’t uncommon) which does not expire over a certain time, and the payout is usually used for funeral expenses such as travel and hearse hire.
The benefits of final expense insurance for customers, as well as companies eager to make themselves stand out from the pack, are quite obvious – so what does the future hold for the industry? According to a press release sent out by specialist life insurance company, Life Insure, they have embarked on an unprecedented move – to offer an insurance policy exclusively for those aged 100 or over.
On first reading, the notion seems absurd but possible at the same time. For someone who writes about the insurance industry frequently, I have seen many interesting trends and gimmicks develop in this highly competitive market, and one insurance company offering cover for a small but growing target market does seem like quite a good idea. Suffice to say, I was a little disappointed to find that the policy does not explicitly exist in reality – and was most likely a PR stunt. This conclusion was further enhanced by the comedic tone of the release and the overly senile responses of the centenarians who attended the product launch. (‘Gary Foss was more concerned with taking a nap’!)
That said, the prospect did get me thinking. Whether such policies do or do not yet exist, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to believe that they will do soon enough. The fact that the population is aging is one thing, but as a marketing aid – being the first company to seriously offer centenarian life insurance will no doubt be a very positive step indeed. Not to mention a sign of changing times!
About the Author
By David John Martin, writing about life insurance and life insurance policy for the elderly.