How to Get Life Insurance as a Senior Citizen
As life expectancy rates continue to climb, an increasing number of senior citizens are looking into life insurance policies. Life insurance can provide peace of mind and financial security for loved ones in the event of your death. However, life insurance for seniors can be tricky to navigate. Here's what you need to know about getting life insurance as a senior citizen.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policyholder and an insurer, where the insurer agrees to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the "death benefit") upon the death of the insured person.
Life insurance policies are used as a way to help financially protect loved ones in the event of your death.
Life insurance can also be used as part of retirement planning, as cash value life insurance policies can accumulate cash value over time that can be accessed during retirement.
Types of life insurance:
Understanding the differences in life insurance is crucial when looking into policies. The pricing and benefits of term life insurance for seniors is very different from whole life insurance for seniors.
- Term life insurance: This is the most basic type of life insurance. It provides coverage for a set period of time, typically 10-30 years, after which the policy expires. If the policyholder dies during the term of the policy, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. If the policyholder does not die during the term, there is no death benefit payout and the policy expires with no value.
Whole life insurance: This type of life insurance provides coverage for your entire life, as long as you continue to pay premiums. Whole life insurance policies also have a cash value component, which means they can accumulate cash value over time that can be accessed through policy loans or withdrawals.
Universal life insurance: This type of life insurance is similar to whole life insurance, but with more flexibility in terms of premium payments and death benefits. Universal life insurance policies also have a cash value component that can be accessed through policy loans or withdrawals.
What is the best life insurance for senior citizens?
The best life insurance for seniors depends heavily on a number of factors. To start, it's difficult to define which policy is "best" since a good life insurance policy is going to vary from person to person, depending on their specific circumstances. For example, the best life insurance for seniors over 60 is going to be different in terms of price, coverage, and benefits when compared to life insurance for seniors over 70. Additionally, life insurance for seniors over 80 may include a lot more term insurance options compared to those who are younger due to their ages.
Before you begin looking into senior life insurance plans, you need to understand what life insurance companies generally base their life insurance policy pricing on. Pricing factors include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Your age
- Your health
- Whether you smoke or not
- Your family health history
- The amount of life insurance coverage you need (what you want your death benefit to be)
- The type of life insurance policy you choose
- The life insurance company you choose to work with
Another critical component when researching affordable life insurance for seniors is choosing a life insurance company that does not ask any health questions vs. choosing a life insurance company that does ask health questions. If you're looking for a company that asks no health questions, you'll likely be looking at more expensive policies. If you're okay with companies that ask health questions (and use that information to determine your policy price), you may be able to find some of the cheapest life insurance for seniors.
It's important to compare different life insurance policies before deciding which one is right for you.
Life insurance companies for seniors
Here are some of the best life insurance companies for seniors:
- Prudential: Prudential offers a variety of life insurance policies for seniors, including whole life, term life, and universal life. They also have a "no medical exam" life insurance policy for seniors.
- MetLife: MetLife offers whole life, term life, and universal life insurance policies for seniors. They also have a "no medical exam" life insurance policy.
- AIG: AIG offers whole life, term life, and universal life insurance policies for seniors. They also offer an "accelerated death benefit" rider on their life insurance policies, which allows the policyholder to access a portion of the death benefit while they are still alive, if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Northwestern Mutual: Northwestern Mutual offers whole life and term life insurance policies for seniors. They also offer an "accelerated death benefit" rider on their life insurance policies.
- New York Life: New York Life offers whole life, term life, and universal life insurance policies for seniors.
- Lincoln Heritage: Lincoln Heritage offers insurance geared towards seniors alongside resources and information for those looking for life insurance or final expense insurance.
To compare life insurance quotes from different companies, you can use an online life insurance calculator.
Life insurance quotes for seniors
When looking into life insurance quotes, you need to remember that life insurance quotes vary depending on the company, your age, health, life expectancy, and whether you're looking for term life insurance, universal life insurance or whole life insurance. Here are some averages according to Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage.
$5,000 death benefit quotes
On average, if you're a male senior above 50, you can expect to pay around $16-$65 a month for a policy that provides a $5,000 benefit (if the insurance company asks health questions and you are determined to be in good health). For no-medical-questions-asked policies, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 - $82 a month. Younger policyholders pay less, and as your age increases, you'll be looking at higher monthly payments.
If you're a female senior age 50 or older, you can expect to pay between $14-$48 a month for policies where health questions were asked and you were determined to be in good health. To have no health questions asked, expect to pay $15-$64 per month for a $5,000 benefit.
$10,000 death benefit quotes
If you're a male senior 50 or older, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30-$126 a month with a company that asks health questions and you are determined to be in good health. To have no questions about your health asked, expect to pay anywhere from $40-$162 per month.
If you're a female senior 50 or older, expect to pay $25-$93 a month for a policy where health questions were asked and you were determined to be in good health. For no-health-questions-asked policies, expect to pay between $28-$126.
Choosing the right plan
The best life insurance plan for you depends on your needs and budget. When considering what type of death benefit you'd like to leave your beneficiaries, consider your final arrangements and any debts or final expenses you may have. The average cost of a funeral in the United States is $9,000 and if you expect the life insurance policy to cover more than just your final expenses, you'll be looking at pricier options.
Lastly, if you're looking for life insurance that doesn't require a medical exam, keep in mind that these policies generally have higher premiums and smaller death benefits.
No matter what type of life insurance policy you choose, make sure you compare quotes from different companies to get the best price. Additionally, if you’re looking for life insurance and want to set your family up for success, consider keeping track of key information that your family will need when the time comes.