Life policy written in 1957 - what's it worth now?

#1
Does anyone know what life companies pay out now on pre-decimalisation sums assured (eg £1000 old money)? Can't see anything obvious on the web other than RPI/earnings comparisons. Thanks in advance.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
Depends what it is.

Whole of Life - With Profits?
Whole of Life - Without Profits?
Term Assurance?
 
#3
Your post doesn't say a lot about the policy but I claimed against some old policies for my mother not too long ago and they paid out with no problems.

Don't expect fortunes if it's a small premium that's been paid in but the only way to find out what it will actually pay is to make the claim.

You presumably have probate etc?
 
#4
Depends what it is.

Whole of Life - With Profits?
Whole of Life - Without Profits?
Term Assurance?
It's an old type of policy, I don't recognise it - basically it guaranteed a sum for the first twenty years of its existence and then subsequent to that period guarantees £1000 on death. It became paid up about 15 years ago according to the documentation I have. I've confirmed today that the policy is still in force but wasn't able to get a modern valuation.
 
#5
Your post doesn't say a lot about the policy but I claimed against some old policies for my mother not too long ago and they paid out with no problems.

Don't expect fortunes if it's a small premium that's been paid in but the only way to find out what it will actually pay is to make the claim.

You presumably have probate etc?
Early days in rounding up the estate, just trying to get a feel for what the life company is likely to pay out for "£1000" in new money.
 
#6
I reckon most companies will honour the policy. The nearest we got to it was an old GPO savings book from pre WWI, I had hoped we'd be minted, but there was less than a pound in it, so no interest, but we did get some stamps to the same value, and the book went into the post office museum.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#7
It's an old type of policy, I don't recognise it - basically it guaranteed a sum for the first twenty years of its existence and then subsequent to that period guarantees £1000 on death. It became paid up about 15 years ago according to the documentation I have. I've confirmed today that the policy is still in force but wasn't able to get a modern valuation.
Right. With it being paid up it'll be a percentage of the sum assured calculated at that time. If it was a policy that attracted bonuses these would still be paid on top of the reduced sum assured albeit at a reduced rate.

I expect they'll need to have the final value manually calculated or dig out the paperwork from when the plan became non premium paying.
 
#8
Right. With it being paid up it'll be a percentage of the sum assured calculated at that time. If it was a policy that attracted bonuses these would still be paid on top of the reduced sum assured albeit at a reduced rate.

I expect they'll need to have the final value manually calculated or dig out the paperwork from when the plan became non premium paying.
Cheers.
 
#9
Early days in rounding up the estate, just trying to get a feel for what the life company is likely to pay out for "£1000" in new money.
Probably a £1000 but I'm not an expert in any way. Out of interest, let us know if it is more than an actual grand.
 
#10
There was no difference at all in the value of each £ after decimalisation. It was only the pence that changed. Before decimalisation, 240 pennies made a pound. After decimalisation 100 pennies made the same pound.

Obviously inflation since then has decreased the value of the quid, but hasn't been due to decimalisation.

You probably knew that anyway, but just in case....
 
#11
'None of this will affect the pound in your pocket.' Harold Wilson 1967 devaluation, (£1 bought 11 pints of bitter in 1967.)

I'd be surprised if a policy from the 1950s had any index-linking written in.
 
#12
'None of this will affect the pound in your pocket.' Harold Wilson 1967 devaluation, (£1 bought 11 pints of bitter in 1967.)

I'd be surprised if a policy from the 1950s had any index-linking written in.
That cogently summarises a few good points made above. I'd always assumed there was some kind of old/new "exchange rate" between pre and post decimalisation £s.

It's just good old inflation.
 
#13
That cogently summarises a few good points made above. I'd always assumed there was some kind of old/new "exchange rate" between pre and post decimalisation £s.

It's just good old inflation.
Inflation hit a peak of 25% a year in 1975. If you didn't own a house, gold, and other real stuff your wealth went down the swannee. £2000 in 1960 would have bought a modest semi-detached house (or £1200 in my neck of the woods), so the policy had real value when it was taken out.
 
#14
Cumulative inflation in the US over that period is a pip under 700 per cent if that is any guide.

So your policy is worth £700,000 ish - or £1.40. Or not, I dunno, really.

Inflationdata.com
 
#15
Right. With it being paid up it'll be a percentage of the sum assured calculated at that time. If it was a policy that attracted bonuses these would still be paid on top of the reduced sum assured albeit at a reduced rate.

I expect they'll need to have the final value manually calculated or dig out the paperwork from when the plan became non premium paying.

Easiest thing to do is ask the life office to give you the valuation if there is one.

I'd be interested in knowing what type of contract it is, purely from a historical perspective. Sad I know but I've got an interest in policy docs and how they've changed.
 
#16
Easiest thing to do is ask the life office to give you the valuation if there is one.

I'd be interested in knowing what type of contract it is, purely from a historical perspective. Sad I know but I've got an interest in policy docs and how they've changed.
For those with an interest it's a "Prudential Assurance Company Limited / Ordinary Branch / w/o Profits - United Kingdom Class - World Wide / Heritage Policy" with a sum assured in two parts:

1. death within 20 years of the commencement: £3,200 diminished by £32 10s per 3 month that the assured survives commencement payable as follows:

a) £1,000 on death

b) £32 10s in addition on death and a similar payment at the expiration of each period of three months (to) 20 years.

2. £1,000 on death after 20 years.

Various exclusions (suicide, narcotics/drugs, war(!)) are printed on the back of the A3 document.
 
#17
For those with an interest it's a "Prudential Assurance Company Limited / Ordinary Branch / w/o Profits - United Kingdom Class - World Wide / Heritage Policy" with a sum assured in two parts:

1. death within 20 years of the commencement: £3,200 diminished by £32 10s per 3 month that the assured survives commencement payable as follows:

a) £1,000 on death

b) £32 10s in addition on death and a similar payment at the expiration of each period of three months (to) 20 years.

2. £1,000 on death after 20 years.

Various exclusions (suicide, narcotics/drugs, war(!)) are printed on the back of the A3 document.

Bloody hell an OB policy not too many of those left thanks to the Labour Government.

Havent seen anything like that for a while, the oldest I've seen recently is a 1970's plan.
 

phil245

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
I'm the youngest of 7, My mum took out life insurance policy's on all of us back in the 60s. Mum died in 2001, my eldest sister was sorting out mum's papers and found the policy's. she sent them to each of us and we then contacted Prudential to find out if they were worth anything. For some reason, my policy paid out just under £2000, but my brother who is a year older only got £57.63. None of the other policy's paid out more than a couple of hundred quid.
 
#19
Bloody hell an OB policy not too many of those left thanks to the Labour Government.

Havent seen anything like that for a while, the oldest I've seen recently is a 1970's plan.
I remember the Man from the Pru walking round the village to collect the premiums; from those that were too posh for the burial clubs in the working mens' clubs or the Co-op.
 
#20
Always worth checking old assurance policies out .... when my father died some 20 years ago I came across a couple of Penny Policies taken out in the 1930's ... they were with profits and classed as fully paid up IIRC in the 1950's ... well on his death again IIRC they were worth in total over £1000 .
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top