Life insurance choices are frankly overwhelming. That’s normal. So the first step is to narrow down your focus. Why are you getting life insurance? Then crunch the numbers. After all, life insurance is about money and math. Save gambling and guesses for the casinos. Finding affordable life insurance for seniors simply comes down to research.
Life insurance allows you to do a couple of things once you hit your golden years, pay for the end-of-life expenses, care for anyone financially dependent on you, and leave a financial legacy to your heirs.
The type of life insurance that is right for you will vary depending on your goals and your wealth. You could opt for a term policy if you need to provide for a financial dependent, but most seniors cite reasons for buying life insurance like end-of-life expenses. That means a permanent policy, while more expensive than a term policy, is often the best fit.
How We Chose Our Top Companies
Finding the cheapest life insurance for seniors doesn’t do you any favors if the company you purchase it from goes belly-up five years down the line.
The companies we evaluated all have extensive track records of performance and stability. Sticking with A-rated companies means that your life insurance company doesn’t take your money and invest it recklessly. They are stable and will be there for your heirs.
Honest claims practices were our second criteria. You can find claims horror stories about every insurance company in existence. Our top companies have complaints as the exception, rather than the rule. Their claims managers are sympathetic and bend over backward to make sure your heirs are taken care of.
Finally, we rate on pricing. There is no point in having the world’s best life insurance policy for your age, if you cannot afford it. Worse, it would be a waste of cash to buy a policy only to discover a few years in that it’s too expensive and you must let the policy lapse.
Do You Need Life Insurance as a Senior?
Honestly, not always. A narrow percentage of seniors have their estate plan all drawn up with liquid assets set aside to pay for funeral expenses, final medical bills, and any estate taxes. Finally, no one is financially dependent on them.
If your estate is extremely large, using life insurance to settle your estate and other tax obligations can save your children stress and money.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the liquid assets to cover funeral costs or any end of life bills, your estate and children can be left scrambling.
Life insurance for seniors provides a way to continue caring for your family even after you pass away.
If any of the following conditions apply to you, it may be a good idea to purchase life insurance as a senior:
What are my options for life insurance as a senior?
Here is the good news. You have a ton of options. Whether you are in the best shape of your life or are struggling with a medical condition, there is a company who can take care of you.
Term Life Insurance
Term is best if you are looking to cover a temporary need. For example, if you have a minor child, you could look at a policy that will last until they are self-sufficient. You could look into a policy that will pay off the mortgage and enable your spouse to continue to live in the family home.
Term life insurance offers a set death benefit (the amount the policy pays out) for a set number of years. By the time you hit your golden years, few (if any) companies offer 30-year terms. So the longest you are looking at is probably a 20-year term.
There aren’t any complicated components in this type of life insurance policy. If you pass away within the term, your beneficiaries get the face amount. If you outlive your term, you may have the option to renew or convert it into a permanent policy. Or you could just let it go.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance gets a tad more complicated since it’s an umbrella term for a variety of life-long policies. Each type serves a different purpose, but for most seniors needs, we find that a guaranteed universal life policy works best.
A guaranteed universal life policy is different from a universal life policy, even though the names are similar. A guaranteed universal life policy is the closest thing to term insurance in terms of price with all the benefits of lasting until a guaranteed age like 105 or 121.
Guaranteed universal life policies are simple. They don’t have the complicated components of universal life or whole life policies. There is no cash value accumulation. Because they are so simple, they are much cheaper than any other type of permanent life insurance policy.
Now, if you have an extensive estate, and are just entering your golden years, you might consider one of the other types so that you can accumulate cash value and use your insurance policy for other estate planning purposes. Those decisions are beyond the scope of this article and should involve your estate attorney, financial planner, CPA, and insurance agent.
No Medical Exam Policies / Guaranteed Issue
An attractive and frequently pushed policy is a no exam or guaranteed issue policy. (These are slightly different in nature but boil down to the same selling point.) They don’t require a medical exam and may not even ask medical questions. Everyone is accepted within the age issue ranges.
Pause for a moment and think about it from the insurance companies point of view. They aren’t in business to be nice. They need to be able to pay out all the claims that come in. So if they accept even the unhealthiest of people, no questions asked, how do they afford it?
There’s the rub. These policies, while packaged as easy, convenient, and all-inclusive are more expensive. They tell you that if you worry about being turned down, apply for one of these.
Don’t. Save your money unless you absolutely need one of those policies. Your first step instead should be working with a life insurance agent who can access dozens of companies. Then they can find the right one for you.
If you apply with one company and they turn you down, it’s not the end of the world. It does not affect your rates at other companies or your ability to get a policy.
Just be upfront about your health. Don’t worry. You agent has seen people come and go from all walks of life, with almost every medical condition under the sun. The more you tell your agent, the better they can help you save money.
Life Insurance Rates for Seniors
In your 50s, life insurance has not yet taken a steep incline in rates. You have plenty of options for term insurance. Final expense insurance is ridiculously low priced compared to other options and ages. Same with guaranteed issue policies.
Naturally, your needs will be different from your coworker’s. So talk with your life insurance agent to find the best policy for you.
These are some of the best deals from quality companies. The rates represent both men and women who are non-smoking and preferred plus. Your health class will depend on your current health and medical history when you apply.
Best Life Insurance Rates for Seniors Over 50
The chart below shows the best life insurance rates for men and women in their 50’s, who are in good health and are non-smokers for a variety of common life insurance policies for seniors.
|20 Year Term – $250,000||Prudential – $45.50/mo.||Protective – $34.19/mo.|
|GUL – $250,000||AIG – $2,525.00/mo.||AIG – $2140.00/mo.|
|Final Expense – $10,000||Assurity – $22.82/mo.||Mutual of Omaha – $24.67/mo.|
|Guaranteed Issue – $10,000||Gerber – $44.09/mo.||Gerber – $34.47/mo.|
For a term or guaranteed universal life policy, it would be wise to use a life insurance needs calculator. Exact coverage amounts prevent overspending. You also know your family won’t be underinsured.
The average funeral runs around $8,000. You could cut some of the monthly premiums off of the final expense or guaranteed issue policies by reducing the benefit. Many companies will offer policies as low as $5,000.
Best Life Insurance for Seniors Over 60
In your 60s, premiums still aren’t too bad. It’s a jump over your 50s, but waiting until your 70s will jump premiums again. Most insurance agents will say the best time to buy life insurance was yesterday. So don’t put it off any longer.
The following table has sample rates from our favorite (and most competitive companies. These rates reflect non-smokers at a preferred plus health class.
|20 Year Term – $250,000||Prudential – $128.84/mo.||Prudential- $89.25/mo.|
|GUL – $250,000||AIG – $4,127.50/mo.||AIG – $3,580.00/mo.|
|Final Expense – $10,000||Assurity – $45.65/mo.||Mutual of Omaha – $32.87/mo.|
|Guaranteed Issue – $10,000||Gerber – $63.89/mo.||AIG – $45.18/mo.|
Best Life Insurance for Seniors Over 70
Getting into your 70s is where life insurance starts to get tricky. Options diminish. Premiums spike.
The following table reflects some of our favorite companies and rates for 70-year-old, non-smoking men and women at preferred plus health class.
We chose to show rates for a 15-year benefit period. Companies offering 20-year benefit periods to 70-year-olds are few and far between. No competition means exorbitant rates. The 15-year term offers more options and more reasonable pricing.
|15 Year Term – $250,000||Prudential – $260.09/mo.||Prudential- $165.16/mo.|
|GUL – $250,000||AIG – $7,622.50/mo.||AIG – $6,550.00/mo.|
|Final Expense – $10,000||Mutual of Omaha- $73.70/mo.||Mutual of Omaha – $53.24/mo.|
|Guaranteed Issue – $10,000||Gerber – $99.18/mo.||Gerber – $75.53/mo.|
Best Life Insurance for Seniors over 80
Your 80s are the last decade you can get life insurance easily. Rates are creeping up, but you still have plenty of companies to choose from.
Your options for term life insurance are dwindling, the longest term length available is 10 years. The rates you see below are for men and women in the preferred plus health rating category who don’t smoke. Check with your insurance agent to see where you would likely fit.
|10 Year Term – $250,000||Mutual of Omaha – $890.05/mo.||Mutual of Omaha – $617.92/mo.|
|GUL – $250,000||Sagicor – $21,162.71/mo.||Sagicor – $16,685.08/mo.|
|Final Expense – $10,000||Mutual of Omaha – $132.65/mo.||Mutual of Omaha – $98.43/mo.|
|Guaranteed Issue – $10,000||AIG – $175.15/mo.||AIG – $135.12/mo.|
Best Life Insurance for Seniors Over 90
Once you achieve your 90s, saying options are extremely limited would be an understatement. An extreme understatement. Your best bet is to give us a call so we can find the right company to fit your needs.
Our 7 Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors
These are not in any particular order, nor is there one clear overall winner. Each company will have pros and cons for different people. For example, Mutual of Omaha is the only life insurance company offering term insurance to people in their 80s. They also tend to offer cheaper policies for women. Protective also favors women in their pricing.
Our top six companies (plus one bonus) are based on our criteria of financial strength, customer satisfaction, and affordability. Here is our list of Top 7 Life Insurance Companies for Seniors:
Prudential is well known in the insurance community for their affordable term policies. They’ve earned an A+ rating from AM Best and AA- from Standard & Poor’s.
Prudential was founded almost 150 years ago in 1875. That gives them one of the longest track records on the list. They are also generous in their rates for smokers and cancer survivors. Talk with your insurance agent if you have survived cancer. The longer it has been since your recovery, the better your rates will be.
Prudential offers a variety of policies, mostly focused on term and universal life. These include:
Protective, like Prudential, earned an A+ from AM Best and an AA- from Standard and Poor’s. They were founded in 1907 and are still headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. They’re also one of the more charitable life insurance companies. They donate extensively to United Way and fund multiple education programs for at-risk kids across the United States.
Protective offers dozens of policies, mostly geared toward whole life and variable universal life. However, their term policies are also leaders in the industry. Protective’s life insurance policies include:
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha is renowned for their customer service and easy to understand policies. They also have some of the lowest rates across all products in the insurance industry.
With another A+ from AM Best, it’s no wonder why they’re so popular.
Mutual of Omaha likes to keep things simple. They focus on a select few types of policies:
AIG currently boasts an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s along with an A2 rating from Moody’s. They are the only company our life with no AM Best rating. That means in the expert’s opinion, they’re stable.
Their policies are affordable. They tend to be liberal in their underwriting of medical conditions. Finally, they are extremely competitive in the final expense and guaranteed issue arenas.
AIG boasts a range of policies. They can accommodate just about everyone from someone in perfect health to people who have a medical history that may otherwise make it difficult to get life insurance. AIG Life Insurance policies include:
Sagicor holds a solid A- rating from AM Best. This is a great rating. It means the financial community regards them as a company that manages its finances well and should around for years to come.
Sagicor is another company who keeps it simple. They stick to what they’re good at. You can get the following types of policies from Sagicor:
Gerber’s life insurance might be best known from daytime TV commercials about buying life insurance for children or grandchildren. But their life insurance for seniors is also extremely competitive with straightforward, no-nonsense policies.
AM Best rates them a solid A. Their guaranteed issue policy is one of the most competitive for ages 50 thru 70. Without any frills and gimmicks, they offer you family financial protection without any fuss.
Aside from Gerber’s Grow-Up Plan for children, they offer several great senior policies as well. The types are:
Special Mention – Assurity
Assurity deserves a special mention. They are the resounding winner of the affordable criteria for men in their 50s and 60s looking for final expense policies.
AM Best holds them at an A-, meaning excellent with a stable outlook.
Best Life Insurance for Seniors – Wrapping it Up
There are hundreds of life insurance companies in the United States. Each one is trying to beat out its competitors for narrow segments of the market. One company might have better policies for women. Another might offer lower rates for someone with diabetes.
The research doesn’t end with which companies are the best. It ends with “which company is the best for you.” You will need to employ several strategies from looking at the financial rating of the company, to what you can afford, to which company is best for which medical conditions.
That sound a little overwhelming. But resist the temptation to take the first policy that comes along. Talk to an independent agent who can sift through all of these companies for you to find the handful that will treat you and your heirs well.