If you're a senior, you might not be sure if you need life insurance. After all, life insurance is meant to replace income. If you're retired, or close to retirement, you might wonder if there's any reason to have life insurance. If you are considering life insurance, you might be wondering if it's still possible to get a policy at a good rate.
The truth is that a life insurance policy is always a good investment, and it's not too late to buy one. Seniors can buy life insurance policies that fit their specific needs and circumstances. If you're still confused, we've got you covered. Our guide will breakdown the policies available for seniors, the costs you might see, what the application process will look like, and more.
Life insurance companies often offer their most competitive rates to customers who are young and healthy. As a general rule, the older you are when you start your life insurance policy, the more you'll pay. However, most people also need a lot less coverage as they age. It's likely that a shorter term and a smaller benefit amount will meet your needs. So if you're a senior without a policy in place, don't worry. Even though the premiums might not be the ones offered to a healthy 30-year-old, a policy that protects your family can be a lot more affordable than you think.
The charts below show average term life insurance rates for seniors. Check them out to get a better idea of the premium you might pay for the coverage you need.
If you're in your 60s and looking to buy a life insurance policy, you're not alone. Many Americans in their 60s are still healthy and active. Often, people in their 60s are still working but looking toward planning retirement. The financial adjustment and planning of retirement can motivate the decision to take out a life insurance policy. Luckily, while some companies cut off their term policies at 60 or 65, you'll still have a variety of options. Plus, if you are still healthy and active, you can still get a good rate on your policy.
In many cases, you can take an exam and qualify for a policy just like someone younger could. You might also want to consider a simplified underwriting policy, especially if you'd like to skip the medical exam. Some rates you might see in your 60s can be found in the chart below. These are average 10-year term rates for a non-smoking male in very good health.
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It can be more difficult and much more expensive to secure a term policy in your 70s. Fewer companies offer term policies to customers in their 70s and those that do often charge higher rates. However, it's not impossible. There are a few companies that offer term products to people in their 70s. Your term length will likely be limited to 10 years, but you can still get a policy that meets your needs. You can check out some rates below for a non-smoking male in very good health looking for a 10-year term.
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A very common life insurance policy for seniors is what is called a universal life policy. Universal life insurance is a perfect blend between term and whole life insurance. It is a type of life insurance designed to last the entire lifetime of the insured as long as payments are made. A universal policy may not carry cash value as significant as a whole life policy, but it will provide the reliability of knowing you will have coverage in force for the remainder of your life. For example, it's common to see a universal life insurance policy that will remain in-force beyond age 110. UL is a good option for those who want to ensure a burial and leave a little bit extra to the family. Here are some example rates for a healthy non-smoking male.
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Many companies offer life insurance for seniors. Both the products offered and the rates for them vary depending on the company. For example, some companies will limit the term length that seniors you can qualify for. Other companies will limit the benefit amount seniors can apply for. The best company for you will depend on your specific needs. For example, if you know you need a certain benefit amount or have a term length in mind.
Keep in mind that different insurance companies will also have different underwriting standards and risk tolerance. This means that one company might offer a policy to someone who is 66 and has high blood pressure, but another company might deny that same application. Other companies will offer policies to customers in their 60s but not in their 70s.
The five companies below are a great place to get started. They offer competitive rates on policies for seniors, so getting a quote from one or more of them is a smart first step when you're shopping for coverage.
A.M. Best Rating: A++ (Superior)
New York Life is an established name in the life insurance industry. The company offers term and whole life insurance for people up to 85 years-old. The company offers a range of unique benefits and flexible options. For example, term policyholders can lock in their rate for the length of their term, or select to have their rate start low and gradually go up with each year of the policy.
New York Life also allows you to add additional coverage later or convert your term policy later on without a medical exam. Plus, the company has a unique spousal benefit that allows spouses of policyholders who've died to get a policy of their own without an exam. Riders include a living benefits rider that gives you access to some of your benefits during your policy and a disability waiver that will pay your premiums if you become disabled.
A.M, Best Rating: A+ (Superior)
Mutual of Omaha has been offering life insurance since 1909. Today, the company offers life insurance policies for customers up to 80. Term and whole life policies are available. Term policies start at $25,000 and customers can get a policy of up to $250,000 without a medical exam up to age 65. After your term expires, the company allows you renewal on an annual basis up until age 95. You can also choose to convert your policy to a whole life policy at any time.
Term plans can include a number of unique riders. For example, Mutual of Omaha offers a rider that can be used to pay for damages to your home. Another rider pays out extra benefits if you die while you're a passenger on an airplane, train, or bus that you paid to ride. You can also customize your policy with optional riders such as a disability income rider.
Mutual of Omaha also offers between $2,000-$40,000 of final expense whole life coverage. Mutual is unique in that coverage becomes available for applicants at age 45 while most companies require an applicant be age 55.
A.M. Best Rating: A- (Excellent)
Customers up to 65 can get a term policy of up to $350,000, without a medical exam. Assurity calls this policy Non-Med 350 and offers it to customers in all states except:
The Non-Med 350 policy can be converted to a whole life policy after you turn 65. The policy includes an accelerated death benefit, and customers have the option to add riders like the disability income or return or premium.
A.M. Best Rating: A+ (Superior)
Principal offers policies for customers up to age 60. Term policies are available without an exam. The company offers benefit amounts of $50,000 to $1,000,000 making them a good fit if you need a high coverage amount.
Customers can convert their term policy to a whole life policy after their term ends. The company also offers flexible term lengths. You can choose from a 10, 15 20, or 30 year term length, or you can take out a one-year policy if you have a short term need.
AM Best Rating: A- (Excellent)
Sagicor offers both term and whole life policies to seniors up to age 75. You can buy a term policy with a coverage amount ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000. 10, 15, and 20-year terms are available. Sagicor also offers an easy application process you can complete in about 20 minutes. The company uses accelerated underwriting, which means you won't need to take a medical exam.
If you're approved, your coverage will go into effect within 24 hours. When your term ends, you can renew your policy on an annual basis until you reach 95. You can also convert your term policy to a whole life policy without a medical exam.
No exam life insurance is an option for seniors, but it is typically available for those under age 65. After age 65, the available term life insurance products are limited. For seniors over 65 who don’t want to take an exam, guaranteed issue or final expense life insurance is available. These policies will have lower death benefits, but seniors over 65 usually require less coverage due to their reduced financial obligations.
It's important to buy a life insurance policy that covers all your financial needs and obligations. Younger people often need to consider factors like income replacement, mortgage payments, and their children's education. Most seniors find that their expenses have gone down. Their mortgages might be paid off, or they might have downsized to a less expensive home. With fewer expenses to plan for, you'll need less life insurance coverage.
In fact, it's important not to buy a policy with more coverage than you need, since expensive premiums could stretch your budget. This could cause your policy to do you more financial harm than good; the last thing an insurance policy should do. Instead, you should make sure you have enough to cover all your financial obligations if you pass away. This could include medical bills, debts, and any funeral expenses. It's a good idea to sit down and estimate those expenses so that you have a good idea of how much coverage you actually need.
A life insurance policy is an investment, no matter when you buy it. You'll want to make that investment with a company you trust. Before applying with any company, it's a good idea to:
It's also a great idea to look at what the application process requires. For example, you'll need to know if the process is accelerated or if there is a medical exam needed. Some seniors might benefit from taking a medical exam. If you're in great health, you could lock in a low rate. Conversely, if you have health conditions, the exam could uncover further issues that lead to a rate increase or at worst, a decline.
There are some things you shouldn't do when you're shopping for a policy. Buying a policy, especially online, can be confusing and overwhelming. Many websites are filled with advertisements that don't tell the whole story. Others might promise you won't need an exam, only to tell you after you apply that you need one after all. It's important to make sure you're getting a policy that fits your needs. One way to do that is to avoid these common mistakes:
Using an agent can be a great way to secure a policy and avoid mistakes. They can help direct you to policies that will meet your needs and to companies that offer policies to seniors. They can guide you through the application process and reduce your chances of getting denied. Plus, agents get a commission from the policies they sell, meaning you won't pay them anything. However, it's a good idea to be careful when using an agent. Some agents will try to sell you more coverage than you actually need, or will only show you policies from the company they work for. It's important to choose a reputable agent who can guide you, not sell to you.
Researching is one of the best steps you can take to avoid a scam. You should always research the company you're considering applying to before taking any additional steps. Make sure they're reputable and well-reviewed.
Your research doesn't stop there. If you're using an agent, you'll also want to check out their license. Make sure they have a license and read any reviews of them you can find online. Many agents are listed on professional or insurance websites. You can also look for a professional email address. Most agents will have an email address that matches a company name. Be cautious with agents who only contact you with email addresses from services like Yahoo or Gmail.
Additionally, you need to read the fine print on any policy you apply for. Look out for things like rates that increase over the years or taxable benefit amounts. In general, it's a good idea to be wary of websites or agents promising policies that sound too good to be true, Remember that while buying life insurance online can be a fast and easy process, you do need to apply and meet underwriting standards. Look out for red flags like increasing rates or language that say the company can change your plan details years after you sign.
You can choose from a few types of insurance as a senior. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type, and the right type for you will depend on your financial situation and personal needs.
Term life policies cover you for a set amount, or term, of time. Term lengths generally include 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. Term policies are more affordable than whole life policies, no matter your age. They allow you to get a large amount of coverage for a comparatively small premium. However, term policies don't build cash value and they won't cover you after the term ends. Types of term policies include:
A whole life policy covers you for your whole life as the name implies. Whole life policies don't end and your payout is guaranteed, no matter how long you live. Whole life policies also have a cash value that you can borrow against. However, whole life policies are significantly more expensive. They have much higher premiums, even though the benefit amounts might be lower. Types of whole life include:
A final expense policy is slightly different than standard life insurance. While most policies are meant to replace your income and meet your financial obligations, a final expense policy is only meant to cover things like your funeral costs or medical bills. Since they're designed to cover less, final expense policies normally have smaller coverage amounts of $50,000 or less. Final expense policies are easy to qualify for. Most are simplified or guaranteed issue policies, meaning the underwriting is quick. They're a good option if you only need a little bit of coverage and you're having trouble qualifying for a term or whole life policy.
The right policy for you will depend on your circumstances. However, a term life policy is often the best value for seniors. If you can qualify, you'll get a lot of coverage without paying a lot of money. Plus, you can lock in a rate for up to 30 years, meaning the coverage will last a long time.
A final expense policy can also be a good value, especially if you can't qualify for a term policy. This kind of policy can ensure your loved ones aren't overwhelmed with expenses after you pass without a huge price tag. The payout amount isn't huge, but it can still provide peace of mind with much lower premiums.