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

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Legallybald, Dec 4, 2012.

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  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.
  2. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    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. 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.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. 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.
  7. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    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. Cheers.
  9. 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. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    '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. 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. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    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.
  15. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    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.