Life Insurance Companies for 50 Year Olds – Too Old? Never!

Written by Jeff Root

As you get older your needs start to change. When you were in your twenties you probably only needed a limited amount of coverage so that your parents wouldn’t be responsible for covering any outstanding student debt or funeral expenses.

As you reach 50, you might have a dependent spouse and children still living at home and you will certainly have any remaining debt that you want to cover so that they don’t have to.

Choosing a permanent or term or even a burial plan is really based on your needs.

You might be financially stable at the age of 50 and looking to find a better investment in which case the options you get with a permanent plan could be better for you.

You may only need to offset the cost of your burial in which case the guaranteed-issue coverage is better.

Why Do 50-Year-Olds Need Life Insurance?

While at 50-years-old, you may no longer have the same need for life insurance you once had in your 30’s and 40’s, you still likely should have some form of life insurance.

More than likely, by your 50’s, your children have grown up and are at the stages in their life where they are now on their own financially, or soon will be. In your career, you are likely looking towards retirement in the next 15 years, and your mortgage is also likely approaching the point where it is mostly paid off.

Because you have less financial dependents and debt, your need for life insurance coverage will be lower, but not entirely gone. If you have any outstanding debt or want to leave a legacy for your family in the event of your death, life insurance is still a viable option for 50-year-olds.

When it comes down to it, while thinking about death is not a pleasant thought, it is a reality we all must face. It is essential to make sure that debts are paid off and financial dependents are taken care of in the event of your death.

Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance

As a 50 year old, it is important to get your life insurance situation figured out. There are two basic choices when you are considering insurance. The first is term life insurance and the second is permanent life insurance. It is important to understand the key differences between them before you choose one.

1) Length of Coverage

The first thing you want to understand is the length of their coverage. As the name suggests, permanent life insurance is one which includes your whole life. It is meant to give you lifelong financial protection for the length of time that your policy is in force. You never have to worry about it again. By comparison, term insurance is one set up for a specific length of time. You can set up term life insurance for ten years at a time, fifteen years, twenty years, twenty five years, or thirty years at a time. With these, you can renew the policy each time the term is up and choose a new length if you want.

2) Cost

There are different costs for each type of insurance. Permanent life insurance payments are obviously higher. The cost is more because it is permanent and the cost will stay the same no matter how long you live. You set up the premiums and never worry about a change in cost again. Term life insurance premiums, however, are lower in their costs but the cost you pay will increase each time you have to renew the plan.

3) Cash Value

If you opt for the permanent insurance plan, you get a savings called cash value. The longer you are paying into the policy, the more your cash value will increase. You can opt to cash in that value or you can borrow against the life insurance policy and use the money as you need it. With term life insurance this is not an option at all because you do not have any savings components.

4) Changing Policies

If you opt for a term policy you have the ability to convert it later. You can change your policy to something permanent. However, once you get the permanent policy, there is no going back.

5) Death Benefits

Both term and permanent policies will pay out for a death claim that is made by any beneficiary. In cases where your term expired before passing, a claim is not going to be paid. If you have permanent insurance though, as long as the policy was in force when passing away, there are death benefits that will be given to the beneficiaries.

Figuring out which is best really means figuring out what it is you want more: the cash value or short-term savings. If you prefer the cash value and other benefits, then you will want the permanent. If you want to save short term on your premiums, then pick term life insurance. Weigh the decision with loved ones and partners/spouses, then find a great provider.

What to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Life Insurance

When purchasing life insurance as a 50-year-old, the most important thing to keep in mind is that term life insurance only typically provides coverage to age 75. While a few policies extend beyond this, for the most part, this is not the case.

So, if you need life insurance that is permanent, you may want to weigh your options between purchasing a permanent insurance policy now or looking towards a term life insurance policy that can be converted to a permanent policy before the term is through.

Other Life Insurance Options for 50-Year-Olds

Perhaps you are not in ideal health to afford a term or permanent life insurance policy. A medical exam may unveil more health issues which could make you uninsurable under most circumstances. Perhaps you only need a small amount of coverage to take care of your remaining debts for your family when you pass.

If these criteria fit your situation, you are likely a good candidate for no medical exam life insurance.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance 

This type of life insurance is exactly what it sounds like, life insurance with no medical exam. No exam life insurance policies are more expensive in terms of cost per thousand dollars of coverage than traditional policies, but they are offered in smaller face amounts. They also typically provide permanent coverage or coverage that lasts until you pass.

There are two main types of no exam life policies:

Simplified Issue 

Simplified issue life insurance is coverage that comes with a few health-related questions. The underwriting process is quick and easy, and there is no medical examination required. Usually, this type of life insurance coverage is available within a week of application.

Face amounts for simplified issue life insurance are usually between $5,000 and $25,000, but some companies do offer coverage up to $100,000.

Guaranteed Issue 

Guaranteed issue life insurance coverage does not require a medical examination or medical questions. This type of life insurance is guaranteed to anyone, and can usually be secured within 24 hours of application.

Because of the risk associated with applicants, this is the most expensive type of life insurance per thousand dollars of coverage. However, for people in poor health who need coverage, this is a great way to protect your family for relatively cheap.

Burial Insurance

Burial insurance is life insurance designed to cover the end of life expenses that people do not often consider.  The average funeral in the United States can cost upwards of $8,000. With most families lacking $1,000 in funds for emergencies, unexpected funeral costs can leave a large negative financial impact on families who are already in the grieving process of their loved ones.

Burial insurance seeks to provide the family of the deceased with the funding necessary to cover the costs of a funeral and other death-related expenses in order to provide a financial cushion in the event of the death of the insured.  While it is not often pleasant to think about, death is a fate we will all meet.  It is better to be prepared than not.

5 Best Policy Riders for 50-Year-Olds

Each life insurance policy comes with its own selection of policy riders. Policy riders are essentially add-ons to a life insurance policy that allow the policy owner to have additional coverage, typically at an additional cost.

There are some great policy riders that people in their 50’s should consider when purchasing a life insurance policy:

(Grand)children’s Rider

This rider allows you to extend your coverage to children and grandchildren. Typically, this allows you to set up policies in their name as well, for children under the age of 18 to 25, depending on the company. Once they are adults, this coverage can usually be turned into a fund in their name which can then be used towards college education.

Long Term Car Rider (LTC) 

With the average American lifespan lasting well into the 80’s now, long-term care is growing in demand like never before. With costs upwards of $5,000 per month (easily) for long-term care, this is a rider that really helps you rest easy knowing that if you need it, your family will not have to handle the financial burden of funding your long-term care living.

Disability Income Rider

While you are still working, this rider allows you to receive a certain portion of your life insurance face amount each month if you are disabled and unable to go back to work to make an income.  You must prove your disability, and many things vary based on policy and company, so be sure to read the fine print.

Waiver of Premium Rider

This rider allows your life insurance premium to be waived in the event that you are permanently disabled or become victim to a list of certain illnesses and disorders within your age group.  Again, this differs based on company and policy.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider

This rider allows for the policyholder to renew their policy or convert it into a permanent policy without the need to retake your medical examination. This can be especially powerful for 50-year-olds purchasing term life insurance policies, because it can be used to convert them to permanent later on. However, rates will still be very high when getting a permanent life insurance policy at this age.

Sample Life Insurance Rates for 50-Year-Olds 

At 50, your health plays a big role in the cost of coverage. Depending on your lifestyle and the type of habits you have, you may fit into one of the following health categories:

  • Preferred health
  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol

Based on these different categories, your life insurance rates will fluctuate accordingly.  Let’s take a look at what life insurance rates for 50-year-olds in each of these categories look like.

Preferred Health 

Below is what a healthy individual with a preferred rating would pay:

Policy Type $100,000 Male (monthly) $100,000 Female (monthly) $500,000 Male (monthly) $500,000 Female (monthly) $1,000,000 Male (monthly) $1,000,000 Female (monthly)
10 Year Term 15 13 46 37 83 67
20 Year Term 24 19 82 61 155 112
30 Year Term 41 31 140 107 270 206
Whole Life 209 165 682 484 1287 902


Smokers pay more because of their increased health risk. The example below is for a smoker who smokes 20 cigarettes per day, has no health problems other than that, and last smoked a cigarette today:

Policy Type $100,000 Male (monthly) $100,000 Female (monthly) $500,000 Male (monthly) $500,000 Female (monthly) $1,000,000 Male (monthly) $1,000,000 Female (monthly)
10 Year Term 50 41 198 149 355 274
20 Year Term 80 62 327 239 622 459
30 Year Term 116 94 530 398 1050 775
Whole Life 660 550 2783 2156 5269 4059


The following individual was diagnosed in 07/2013, has Type 1 diabetes. Their last A1C reading was 5.4 with average reading of 5.6. Otherwise they have no current health complications, are undergoing treatment, and take a daily dosage of 30 insulin units. Look at the chart below to see what a 50 year old diabetic would pay:

Policy Type $100,000 Male (monthly) $100,000 Female (monthly) $500,000 Male (monthly) $500,000 Female (monthly) $1,000,000 Male (monthly) $1,000,000 Female (monthly)
10 Year Term 43 32 112 82 179 131
20 Year Term 62 48 161 119 301 222
30 Year Term 94 75 289 209 542 406
Whole Life 550 418 1386 1012 2541 1870


There are of course other health concerns that might impact the rates you are charged. Obesity can influence your costs tremendously and it may very well be worth it to wait before getting a policy just one or two years if it means getting healthier during that time. Below is a sample for a 50 year old male who is 5 ft. 9 in. tall and weighs 215lbs. The female sample is 5 ft. in. tall and weighs 185 lbs.

Policy Type $100,000 Male (monthly) $100,000 Female (monthly) $500,000 Male (monthly) $500,000 Female (monthly) $1,000,000 Male (monthly) $1,000,000 Female (monthly)
10 Year Term 19 16 59 47 104 85
20 Year Term 28 21 98 72 186 135
30 Year Term 47 37 181 128 347 239
Whole Life 242 198 858 616 1584 115

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol or heart disease, even high blood pressure can influence your costs. Look at what these factors do to the rates a 50 year is given:

Policy Type $100,000 Male (monthly) $100,000 Female (monthly) $500,000 Male (monthly) $500,000 Female (monthly) $1,000,000 Male (monthly) $1,000,000 Female (monthly)
10 Year Term 15 13 46 37 83 67
20 Year Term 24 19 82 61 155 112
30 Year Term 41 31 140 107 270 206
Whole Life 209 165 682 484 1287 902

Life Insurance Rates for 55-Year-Olds

But what if you wait to get coverage? Well, waiting just five years results in the following financial changes:

Policy Type $100,000 Male (monthly) $100,000 Female (monthly) $500,000 Male (monthly) $500,000 Female (monthly) $1,000,000 Male (monthly) $1,000,000 Female (monthly)
10 Year Term 20 18 76 55 141 101
20 Year Term 36 27 133 97 255 181
30 Year Term 73 57 271 194 534 381
Whole Life 297 231 1089 715 2057 1331

Best Life Insurance Companies for Applicants 50 or Older

We chose these Top 3 Best Life Insurance Companies for 50-Year-Olds based on the criteria discussed in this article.  While there are dozens of options out there on the market depending on your coverage needs, these 3 companies provide a wide variety of life insurance products for 50-year-olds, which are both competitive in terms of price and also in terms of features available with your coverage.

In order to find the best life insurance company for your specific situation, it is best to work an independent life insurance agent who can help you find and compare companies, rates, and policies that best fit your needs and goals.

Our life insurance agents represent dozens of the best life insurance companies and can help you understand your policy options to find the best life insurance coverage for you and your family.

Haven Life

Haven life is great for a fast and simple form of coverage. They are connected to the company MassMutual so they have some of the highest Financial ratings in the industry. You can get great term life insurance policies with them.

Banner Life

Banner life is a leading life insurance company, particularly for high-risk individuals.  they have been in the industry. You can apply for return policy up to 95 years of age which is roughly 20 or 30 years higher than the average industry cut off.


Given the size of the company, this is best. If you are pushed into a lower class rating because of something like Health this is going to be the best company for you.

Below is a comparison of a $1,000,000 policy at a 20-year term and a 30-year term for Banner compared to AIG:

Company 20-year term 30-year term
Banner $64.22 per month $107.97 per month
AIG $47.92 per month $87.71 per month
Annual savings $195.60 $243.12
Total policy savings $3,312 $7,293

Finding the Best Life Insurance

When it comes to finding the best life insurance coverage for 50-year-olds, the best thing to do is speak with a professional.

With so many choices on the market, and such an important asset being protected – your family, it is essential that you make sure you understand the options available to you before making a life insurance purchasing decision.

Give our life insurance agents a call today.

Our independent life insurance agents represent dozens of the best life insurance companies on the market and can help you compare your options for rates, policies and companies in order to find the best life insurance policy for your family.

Call us today to get started, or use our online quoting engine to get quick and easy life insurance quotes for 50-year-olds instantly.

Compare the Best Life Insurance Rates for 50-Year-Olds

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