Top 7 Mistakes To Avoid For Life Insurance For Seniors

Heidi Mertlich Heidi Mertlich
Posted in Advice

Here is the ultimate truth about life insurance: the only policy that matters is the one that is in force on the day you die. – Tom Hegna, economist, author, retirement expert

If you have loved ones who would suffer financially should you pass away, you need a life insurance policy that is in force.

Seniors buy life insurance for this very reason.

There are seven top mistakes seniors need to avoid before applying for a life insurance policy

When you’re ready to apply, you can be confident that you’re purchasing the best policy you qualify for at the most affordable price.

Mistakes To Avoid For Life Insurance For Seniors

  1. Overview [#5 is imperative]

Life Insurance Quotes For Seniors

  1. Seniors Over 60
  2. Seniors Over 70
  3. Seniors Over 80

Types

  1. Term
  2. Guaranteed Universal
  3. Whole
  4. Universal
  5. Final Expense
  6. Comparison Chart

Next Steps

  1. FAQs
  2. Apply

7 Mistakes To Avoid For Life Insurance For Seniors

senior life insurance

There are 7 top mistakes seniors need to avoid in order to buy the best life insurance they qualify for.

Let’s cover them and find out what to do instead.

Mistake #1: You Do Not Analyze The Types Of Life Insurance

Seniors have a number of options for a life insurance purchase.

If you neglect to evaluate the different types of life insurance, you run the risk of buying a policy that does not fit your needs.

For example, if your life insurance requirements are only temporary, avoid higher premiums by purchasing a term life insurance policy.

What To Do Instead

You will want to review the different types of life insurance available to you. That way, you are protecting those you care about most with the type of life insurance that makes sense for you.

In this article, we will define and review the main types of life insurance available to senior citizens:

  1. Term
  2. Guaranteed Universal
  3. Whole 
  4. Universal
  5. Final Expense

Mistake #2: Your Face Amount Does Not Match Your Financial Needs

The face amount of your policy is also known as the death benefit your beneficiaries receive.

Note – In addition to the face amount, permanent policies (like Whole, Universal, Final Expense) also have a cash value component.

Life insurance is not for you. You purchase life insurance to financially protect your loved ones.

If your policy is not for the right amount, especially if it’s too small, those you care about most may be left in a tough spot financially.

What To Do Instead

Conduct a needs analysis, as elderly individuals have unique life insurance needs. An independent agent can help you with this.

Grab a pencil and some paper and calculate the following:

  1. Annual income.
  2. Current financial obligations. (e.g. mortgage, debts, bills, personal loans)
  3. Future financial obligations plans. (e.g. charitable giving, college tuition for loved ones)

At the end of the day, your policy should cover the financial loss your loved ones would experience should you pass away.

Important – Some life insurance is better than no life insurance. Even if you are unable to purchase a face amount that meets all of your financial needs, a modest policy (such as Final Expense) will provide some financial relief.

Mistake #3: Your Beneficiaries Are Not Properly Established

If your policy does not appropriately list who you want your death benefit to go to, there is a chance your life insurance payout will not reach the people you want it to.

Instead, your death benefit may be directed to your estate (think taxes and time-consuming process).

This can easily happen to seniors.

What To Do Instead

Plan to do three things, thoughtfully:

  1. List your primary beneficiaries. A primary beneficiary is first-in-line to receive the death benefit. (e.g. spouse)
  2. Select a contingent beneficiary. It’s possible your primary beneficiary will be unable to receive your death benefit. Establish second-in-line beneficiaries. (e.g. children)
  3. Consider a tertiary beneficiary. Some policy owners opt to list tertiary beneficiaries, who are third-in-line to receive the death benefit. (e.g. grandchildren)

Note – There are some situations in which contingent and tertiary beneficiaries are unnecessary. For example, sometimes seniors establish an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT).

Important – Revisit your policy regularly. Especially if a major change has happened in your life (marriage, divorce, birth, death), be sure to verify your policy’s beneficiaries are updated as needed.

Mistake #4: You Do Not Consider The Parties To Your Life Insurance Contract

If there are multiple people involved in the purchase of your policy, and there often is for seniors, you will want a firm understanding of the different parties to a life insurance contract.

Sometimes, seniors will finalize a life insurance purchase before understanding the main parties (and their roles) to a policy.

What To Do Instead

Familiarize yourself with a life insurance contract’s primary parties so that you know how you want your policy to look. This is especially important if someone else would like to own and make the premium payments on your life insurance.

Life insurance policy parties:

  1. Insured – the person whose life is insured.
  2. Policy Owner – the person (or entity) who owns the contract and is responsible for making premium payments.
  3. Beneficiary – the recipient of the death benefit should the insured die.

[Imperative] Mistake #5: You Do Not Evaluate Riders

Often overlooked, life insurance riders are additional benefits to your life insurance contract. Seniors regularly secure a life insurance policy without considering what riders are available on the policy.

Ignoring riders means potentially forgoing the opportunity to utilize funds during a time when you might need it most.

As an example, you are diagnosed with a serious illness, not having the proper rider in place can be devastating financially.

6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What To Do Instead

When evaluating which life insurance company to apply with, be sure to look at the specific policy’s included (and available) riders.

For instance, the most commonly used rider is the Accelerated Death Benefit. It gives you the option to accelerate a portion of your death benefit if you are diagnosed with a qualifying chronic, critical or terminal illness.

Additionally, other common riders for seniors to consider are

  • Children’s Term – option to provide life insurance for a child (or grandchild) on your policy.
  • Waiver of Premium – ability to waive premium payments under certain circumstances, like disability.
  • Accidental Death – your death benefit increases (typically doubles) should you die as the result of a qualifying accident.

Mistake #6: You Ignore Options For No Exam Life Insurance For Seniors

No medical exam life insurance for seniors is regularly an excellent option.

Sometimes, seniors unwittingly sign themselves up for a physical exam when it’s in their best interest to skip it.

What To Do Instead

Know your no medical exam options.

There are two situations in which we recommend seniors opt for a no exam life insurance policy:

  1. You can’t stand the thought of needles, nurses or liquid samples (or you’d rather bypass the inconvenience).
  2. Your best life insurance option is a policy that never includes a medical exam (e.g. Final Expense is always no exam).

Mistake #7: You Buy Life Insurance Directly From A Carrier

Occasionally, seniors will apply for life insurance directly with a carrier.

We advise against this.

If you submit an application directly to a life insurance company, you run the risk of not securing the best policy or the best rates.

What To Do Instead

Partner with an independent life insurance agent.

It is in the best interest of elderly individuals to analyze multiple quotes from multiple carriers.

Here’s why – Your unique situation – age, health status, financial obligations, desired riders – will determine the ideal company to apply with. Each carrier is different and seniors will want to collaborate with an agent acting as an advocate for their needs.

Life Insurance Quotes For Seniors

To get a general idea of cost, we have provided life insurance quotes for seniors from age 60 to over 80 years old.

Quotes include Term, Guaranteed Universal, Whole and Final Expense. That way, you can have a comprehensive understanding of approximately how much different types of life insurance might cost you.

Couple things to keep in mind – Term life insurance quotes are for a 10-year term. And, quotes are based on healthy individuals, although Final Expense underwriting is very lenient and health conditions are not as much of a concern.

Life Insurance For Seniors Over 60

Senior Term Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 60

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
60 Year Old$23.23$28.39$60.16
61 Year Old$24.70$32.64$65.19
62 Year Old$26.47$36.84$72.41
63 Year Old$28.66$38.68$80.94
64 Year Old$31.35$40.51$91.00
65 Year Old$34.68$42.35$96.69
66 Year Old$36.58$54.34$116.38
67 Year Old$38.85$63.79$129.06
68 Year Old$40.85$69.21$144.38
69 Year Old$43.15$73.41$158.34
Quotes are for 10-year term life insurance. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Term Life Insurance Quotes Women Over 60

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
60 Year Old$17.53$23.26$42.14
61 Year Old$18.37$24.92$46.23
62 Year Old$19.41$26.73$51.19
63 Year Old$20.72$28.74$55.34
64 Year Old$22.35$30.90$60.59
65 Year Old$24.39$33.43$67.38
66 Year Old$26.90$37.35$73.50
67 Year Old$29.83$42.50$80.72
68 Year Old$31.32$44.98$88.77
69 Year Old$33.19$49.26$97.79
Quotes are for 10-year term life insurance. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 60

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
60 Year Old$118.47$166.88$383.42
61 Year Old$125.64$176.13$409.45
62 Year Old$133.21$186.70$435.65
63 Year Old$141.47$197.07$461.01
64 Year Old$149.91$208.21$488.25
65 Year Old$158.77$219.39$519.77
66 Year Old$168.92$234.49$555.87
67 Year Old$179.72$251.01$594.15
68 Year Old$191.68$267.39$626.74
69 Year Old$204.13$285.02$661.68
Quotes are for Guaranteed Universal life insurance to age 121. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 60

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
60 Year Old$105.24$142.16$323.68
61 Year Old$111.28$150.47$342.91
62 Year Old$118.21$159.17$363.07
63 Year Old$125.12$168.34$384.32
64 Year Old$132.45$177.89$406.43
65 Year Old$140.43$187.81$429.48
66 Year Old$149.57$199.83$458.66
67 Year Old$159.23$213.00$490.70
68 Year Old$169.80$227.32$525.58
69 Year Old$182.23$242.62$563.08
Quotes are for Guaranteed Universal life insurance to age 121. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Whole Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 60

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
60 Year Old$173.64$324.71$802.33
61 Year Old$183.71$343.96$837.59
62 Year Old$193.73$360.96$876.74
63 Year Old$203.79$377.75$919.37
64 Year Old$213.81$396.70$966.57
65 Year Old$223.87$416.64$1019.21
66 Year Old$240.23$438.92$1076.63
67 Year Old$256.59$462.67$1138.40
68 Year Old$272.96$488.33$1205.17
69 Year Old$289.32$516.26$1278.47
Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Whole Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 60

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
60 Year Old$158.07$279.62$670.55
61 Year Old$166.95$291.62$700.57
62 Year Old$175.88$304.50$733.19
63 Year Old$184.76$318.33$768.86
64 Year Old$193.68$333.47$808.01
65 Year Old$202.56$350.09$850.64
66 Year Old$217.57$367.75$895.88
67 Year Old$232.53$386.28$943.30
68 Year Old$247.49$406.29$994.85
69 Year Old$262.46$428.48$1052.27
Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 60

Age$10,000$25,000$50,000
60 Year Old$35.79$85.66$181.40
61 Year Old$37.63$90.25$192.27
62 Year Old$39.47$94.84$198.31
63 Year Old$42.19$101.66$207.15
64 Year Old$44.93$108.50$216.96
65 Year Old$47.35$115.18$228.23
66 Year Old$49.87$121.49$240.85
67 Year Old$52.61$128.33$254.53
68 Year Old$55.59$135.70$269.45
69 Year Old$58.50$142.42$285.56
Samples only. Subject to change.

Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 60

Age$10,000$25,000$50,000
60 Year Old$28.02$66.22$159.69
61 Year Old$29.37$69.59$166.61
62 Year Old$30.72$72.97$173.83
63 Year Old$32.22$76.73$180.48
64 Year Old$33.93$81.01$187.44
65 Year Old$35.65$85.30$194.84
66 Year Old$37.36$89.57$202.14
67 Year Old$39.07$93.86$209.80
68 Year Old$40.94$98.54$220.20
69 Year Old$42.81$103.21$232.03
Samples only. Subject to change.

Life Insurance For Seniors Over 70

Senior Term Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 70

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
70 Year Old$51.07$79.36$178.06
71 Year Old$57.03$97.78$207.87
72 Year Old$63.95$109.31$236.73
73 Year Old$71.99$121.19$268.68
74 Year Old$81.52$127.49$301.32
75 Year Old$92.74$133.79$325.28
76 Year Old$147.41$155.75$380.19
77 Year Old$176.53$177.71$435.09
78 Year Old$211.60$199.68$490.00
79 Year Old$253.86$221.64$544.91
80 Year Old$304.76$243.60$599.81
Quotes are for 10-year term life insurance. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Term Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 70

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
70 Year Old$39.06$55.48$107.62
71 Year Old$43.33$66.18$128.89
72 Year Old$48.20$74.80$151.19
73 Year Old$53.90$85.10$179.74
74 Year Old$60.51$90.74$198.99
75 Year Old$70.07$96.25$217.73
76 Year Old$106.53$115.85$280.44
77 Year Old$131.78$135.45$329.44
78 Year Old$163.31$155.05$378.44
79 Year Old$202.69$175.53$429.63
80 Year Old$250.69$195.21$478.84
Quotes are for 10-year term life insurance. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 70

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
70 Year Old$216.95$304.39$699.94
71 Year Old$234.04$328.26$747.08
72 Year Old$253.63$354.70$802.73
73 Year Old$275.68$378.03$866.33
74 Year Old$297.98$408.70$929.73
75 Year Old$321.56$446.71$997.42
76 Year Old$359.06$483.55$1124.03
77 Year Old$395.97$524.08$1219.45
78 Year Old$434.53$566.45$1319.19
79 Year Old$468.96$610.36$1422.51
80 Year Old$502.34$661.61$1543.05
Quotes are for Guaranteed Universal life insurance to age 121. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 70

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
70 Year Old$216.95$304.39$699.94
71 Year Old$234.04$328.26$747.08
72 Year Old$253.63$354.70$802.73
73 Year Old$275.68$378.03$866.33
74 Year Old$297.98$408.70$929.73
75 Year Old$321.56$446.71$997.42
76 Year Old$359.06$483.55$1124.03
77 Year Old$395.97$524.08$1219.45
78 Year Old$434.53$566.45$1319.19
79 Year Old$468.96$610.36$1422.51
80 Year Old$502.34$661.61$1543.05
Quotes are for Guaranteed Universal life insurance to age 121. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Whole Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 70

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
70 Year Old$305.68$546.97$1359.38
71 Year Old$314.87$578.64$1443.11
72 Year Old$337.71$611.00$1528.81
73 Year Old$360.50$646.67$1623.64
74 Year Old$383.29$688.17$1734.56
75 Year Old$406.13$738.11$1868.98
76 Year Old$437.98$791.70$2014.49
77 Year Old$469.83$847.29$2166.30
78 Year Old$501.68$912.02$2342.69
79 Year Old$533.68$992.84$2562.15
80 Year Old$565.43$1097.07$2801.93
Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Whole Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 70

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
70 Year Old$277.46$453.36$1117.30
71 Year Old$277.42$480.15$1187.99
72 Year Old$298.73$508.43$1262.81
73 Year Old$320.03$539.40$1345.24
74 Year Old$341.34$574.29$1438.76
75 Year Old$362.64$614.22$1546.43
76 Year Old$390.29$656.07$1660.40
77 Year Old$417.94$698.96$1778.28
78 Year Old$445.59$747.77$1912.26
79 Year Old$473.24$807.36$2074.52
80 Year Old$490.66$882.53$2277.66
Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 70

Age$10,000$25,000$50,000
70 Year Old$61.18$149.13$302.94
71 Year Old$63.86$155.83$320.88
72 Year Old$66.55$162.54$339.24
73 Year Old$72.17$176.59$359.30
74 Year Old$77.78$190.61$382.08
75 Year Old$83.39$204.66$408.81
76 Year Old$89.00$218.68$439.75
77 Year Old$94.61$232.71$474.09
78 Year Old$103.50$254.92$511.45
79 Year Old$111.99$276.78$551.44
80 Year Old$120.42$297.86$593.60
Samples only. Subject to change.

Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 70

Age$10,000$25,000$50,000
70 Year Old$44.68$107.89$244.95
71 Year Old$46.55$112.56$259.39
72 Year Old$48.54$117.51$276.18
73 Year Old$52.66$127.82$294.50
74 Year Old$56.88$138.38$314.68
75 Year Old$61.11$148.94$338.13
76 Year Old$65.34$159352$364.75
77 Year Old$69.56$170.09$394.02
78 Year Old$75.83$185.75$426.52
79 Year Old$82.09$201.41$463.32
80 Year Old$88.36$217.07$505.64
Samples only. Subject to change.

Life Insurance For Seniors Over 80

Senior Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 80

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
81 Year Old$545.26$805.29$1858.72
82 Year Old$591.92$903.90$2094.66
83 Year Old$655.90$1016.25$2351.25
84Year Old$737.07$1153.28$2689.72
85 Year Old$810.80$1254.63$2926.47
Quotes are for Guaranteed Universal life insurance to age 121. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 80

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
81 Year Old$499.58$726.46$1677.07
82 Year Old$556.18$785.31$1834.01
83 Year Old$614.58$849.58$1985.14
84Year Old$695.03$919.05$2148.53
85 Year Old$779.97$994.35$2325.60
Quotes are for Guaranteed Universal life insurance to age 121. Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Whole Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 80

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
81 Year Old$598.50$1190.70$2967.30
82 Year Old$631.58$1256.85$3132.68
83 Year Old$664.65$1323.00$3298.05
84Year Old$697.73$1389.15$3463.43
85 Year Old$730.80$1455.30$3628.80
Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Whole Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 80

Age$50,000$100,000$250,000
81 Year Old$509.86$975.27$2524.11
82 Year Old$529.99$1053.68$2624.74
83 Year Old$550.99$1095.68$2729.74
84Year Old$573.72$1140.74$2824.39
85 Year Old$597.76$1189.21$2963.58
Samples only. Subject to change. Quotes based on healthy individuals.

Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Quotes For Men Over 80

Age$10,000$25,000$50,000
81 Year Old$129.29$320.05$637.97
82 Year Old$138.66$343.46$684.80
83 Year Old$148.46$367.33$734.10
84 Year Old$157.91$390.96$785.87
85 Year Old$167.36$414.57$840.10
86 Year Old$215.88NANA
87 Year Old$233.60NANA
88 Year Old$254.68NANA
89 Year Old$277.44NANA
90 Year Old$302.74NANA
Samples only. Subject to change.

Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Quotes For Women Over 80

Age$10,000$25,000$50,000
81 Year Old$95.21$234.20$531.59
82 Year Old$104.07$256.34$567.21
83 Year Old$112.30$276.93$604.22
84 Year Old$121.18$299.12$642.69
85 Year Old$130.05$321.30$682.51
86 Year Old$166.98NANA
87 Year Old$183.01NANA
88 Year Old$195.83NANA
89 Year Old$207.50NANA
90 Year Old$256.36NANA
Samples only. Subject to change.

Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors

senior life insurance

1. Term

As the name implies, term life insurance provides a benefit for a specific amount of time. Contrary to popular belief, term life insurance is purchased by seniors regularly.

Important Considerations

  • How old are you? At some point, your age can disqualify you from purchasing term. Each life insurance carrier is different, but generally, age limits look like this:
    • 80 years old – 10 year term
    • 75 years old – 15 year term
    • 70 years old – 20 year term
    • 65 years old – 25 year term
    • 58 years old – 30 year term
    • Unsurprisingly, term life insurance premiums increase with age.
  • How is your health? Less than perfect health means higher premiums or a possible decline. As we age, it’s common to develop chronic health conditions including:

Bottom Line

Your age and health are two main components to securing life insurance. It’s possible you will need to complete a paramedical exam that often includes an EKG.  Typically after age 70, many carriers will include a cognitive and physical function test.

One More Thing

There are no exam (simplified issue) term life insurance options for seniors, too. At up to age 65, healthy seniors may be able to purchase a moderate amount of term life insurance (up to $500,000). From ages 66 – 80, healthy seniors may have the options to purchase a modest no exam policy of up to $99,000.

2. Guaranteed Universal

Think of Guaranteed Universal life insurance (GUL) as a branch between term and whole life insurance. GUL is regularly recommended to seniors because it has some of the appealing aspects found in both term and whole life insurance.

Key Features

  • More affordable than whole life insurance.
  • Tends to be more expensive than traditional term life insurance.
  • GUL is technically not considered permanent life insurance because you select the length of the policy.
    • However, the policy length is routinely expected to outlast your life.
  • Many GUL policies do not accumulate a cash value.
  • Premiums can be level for a lifetime.
    • Premiums are not tied to investment volatility or interest rates.
  • GUL is often used for:
    • Minimizing estate taxes.
    • Providing a legacy to a beneficiary.
    • Financing end of life expenses.
  • The underwriting process is often the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom Line

Guaranteed Universal life insurance is commonly purchased by seniors. Level premiums, a policy term that outlasts your life, and the ability to leave a legacy to your beneficiary(s) are primary reasons many seniors select a GUL.

3. Whole

Whole (permanent) life insurance provides a death benefit for the rest of your life and also accumulates a cash value. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance remains in force as long as you pay your premiums. Additionally, your premiums remain the same amount for the life of the policy.

What is a cash value?

Cash values, which accumulate on a tax-deferred basis just like assets in most retirement and tuition savings plans, can be used in the future for any purpose you wish.  – Permanent Insurance, Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness organization

Main Characteristics

  • Not common for seniors to purchase, however, can make sense in some instances:
    • A desire to leave a specific amount to a beneficiary (i.e. family member, university or charity).
    • Utilize the policy loan option.
    • As a strategy to minimize estate taxes.
  • Policy lasts a lifetime.
  • Premiums are more expensive than term life insurance.
  • Accumulates cash value.
    • Ability to take policy loans from the cash value.
  • Underwriting guidelines are similar to term life insurance for seniors.
    • Usually, the cutoff age for purchasing whole life is 75-80 years old.
    • Your age and health factor into whether or not you qualify for whole life insurance.

Bottom Line

Whole life insurance isn’t purchased by seniors all the time, but it can make sense in certain circumstances. Underwriting is similar to term life insurance.

4. Universal

Universal life insurance (UL) lasts a lifetime. The name implies that it’s similar to a GUL. However, there are some key differences and Universal life insurance is usually not purchased by seniors.

Let’s Examine The Specifics

  • Universal life insurance is considered a form of permanent life insurance as it lasts a lifetime.
  • UL does have a cash value component.
    • Cash value is directly linked to policy’s investment performance.
    • Ability to take policy loans against the cash value of the policy.
  • Designed to provide flexibility in your policy:
    • Premium payments must be made to cover the cost of the policy.
    • Additional premium payments can be made to the savings component of the policy.
  • The volatility of its investments directly affect the policy.
    • In other words, there is no guarantee of investment earnings.
    • Depending on the policy’s performance, premium payments may need to be increased to maintain the policy.
  • Death benefit is adjustable.
  • Underwriting guidelines for UL are usually the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom Line

Seniors do not usually buy Universal life insurance. The policy does last a lifetime and provides flexibility, however, there are risks associated with the structure of the policy.

5. Final Expense

Final Expense (FE) life insurance makes all the sense in the world for seniors under certain circumstances. Aptly named, Final Expense works well for those seeking funds to cover end-of-life financial needs.

What You Need To Know

  • Final expense is permanent life insurance and lasts a lifetime.
  • FE secures funds for end-of-life costs:
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
    • Medical bills.
  • Policies amounts typically range between $50,000 – $100,000.
  • Often FE policies can grow a cash value, meaning that you can access funds during the life of the policy (policy loans).
  • Underwriting for Final Expense is different than standard term life insurance:
    • Approval can be instant after you pass the health questionnaire.

Bottom Line

Final Expense is a popular life insurance option for seniors. While the policy amounts are modest compared to other life insurance options, it may be the right amount of life insurance needed for your family. Further, the underwriting process is more lenient and instant approval is possible.

senior life insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much life insurance do seniors need?

There is a simple question to ask yourself when deciding how much (if any) life insurance you need.

Will someone I care about suffer financially when I pass away?

If the answer is yes, and for many it is, you will want to purchase life insurance.

Calculate The Following

First, determine the amount of financial loss someone would experience. For instance, it could be your annual salary if you are still working. Or, you may have debt or a mortgage balance you are responsible for.

Next, calculate how long that financial need will exist. For some, the need may be temporary, like 10 years. For others, your loved ones may depend on your indefinitely.

Finally, determine the face amount (and policy type) to fit your needs.

Consider a couple of examples.

Joe’s wife depends on his annual salary of $25,000. He plans to work for 10 more years. After that, his pension will begin. Joe purchases a 10-year term life insurance policy for $250,000 to protect his income until he retires. 

Carol’s young grandson lives with her. He will depend on Carol indefinitely. She plans to leave a financial gift for her grandson regardless of the age she passes away. Carol purchases a whole life insurance policy for $50,000. 

2. Is cheap life insurance for seniors available?

The type of policy you want (and how your application is evaluated) determines just how cheap your life insurance will be.

In other words, your unique circumstances will determine what the cheapest life insurance option will be.

If You Are Healthy

For seniors that qualify, term life insurance is the biggest bang for your buck. Term provides the largest fact amount for the lowest premiums.

Keep in mind, you will want to verify that your life insurance needs are temporary.  As the name implies, term lasts for a specific period of time, like 10 years.

For life insurance that will last your entire life, guaranteed universal life insurance is likely the most affordable option for healthy seniors.

If You Have Health Complications

It’s common for seniors to have health conditions. There are still plenty of life insurance options.

For seniors with fairly serious medical complications or who take certain prescription medications, final expense life insurance is often the cheapest option.

3. Can seniors buy no medical exam life insurance?

Yes.

Seniors are able to bypass the medical exam and purchase life insurance without needles or blood pressure cuffs.

Be that as it may, you may be limited in the face amount and policy type.

For example, guaranteed issue life insurance is always issued without a medical exam.

On the other hand, depending on your age and health, you might be required to take an exam if you’d like a term, guaranteed universal or whole life insurance policy.

4. What is the best life insurance for seniors?

It depends.

The best policy for you is the one that financially safeguards your loved ones for an appropriate amount and length of time.

Additionally, the best life insurance for you is the kind you qualify for, as age and health conditions may preclude you from certain life insurance policies.

In general, the most popular types of life insurance for seniors are:

  • Term – best for seniors in need of a large face amount for a specific period of time.
  • Guaranteed Universal – ideal for seniors looking for longterm coverage with a large face amount.
  • Final Expense – recommended for seniors looking for a permanent policy to cover end-of-life expenses.

How To Apply

Seniors have specific life insurance considerations and as an independent life insurance agency, we’ll collaborate with you to find the best policy at the most competitive price. Independent agents are not held captive to a particular life insurance carrier. You will receive multiple quotes from multiple carriers.

This is important – Some life insurance is better than none. And, the best time to become insured is today.

To get started, simply fill out our instant quote.

 

8 Comments
Hannah Schroeder

I'm glad you said that the guaranteed universal life insurance policy is usually purchased by seniors because the term outlasts your life. My dad wants to get life insurance because he just retired, and he's worried about my mom after he dies. Maybe I should tell him to look at the GUL policy.

October 17, 2017 at 12:39 am
    Jeff Root
    Jeff Root

    It's a great option. Any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.

    February 13, 2018 at 1:54 pm
Kayla

My mom plans to purchase insurance for my grandparents. My aunt suggested life insurance and to ask the assistance of financial experts. She also sent my mom this article to help her decide what type of insurance she wants to purchase them.

October 31, 2017 at 3:30 am
    Jeff Root
    Jeff Root

    Thanks Kayla!

    February 13, 2018 at 1:53 pm
Elsa Anderson

Basically, GUL is the perfect common ground between whole life insurance and traditional term life insurance in terms of affordability. Additionally, it's commonly advised for elders too since the length of the policy can be controlled or pre-determined. That's perfect since my parents are quite late in the dance when it comes to insurance policies. I'll refer this Guaranteed Universal to them since it is both affordable and gives them control over the premiums length as you've mentioned. Thanks!

November 29, 2017 at 12:16 am
Kayla

I agree that the only policy that matters is the one that is in force on the day you die. My dad wants to have my mom feel secured whatever happens to him. My aunt suggested purchasing life insurance and shared this article with him. It says that age and health are two main components to securing life insurance.

December 13, 2017 at 6:48 am
nola jones

Would like a quote

January 27, 2018 at 6:55 pm
    Jeff Root
    Jeff Root

    Hi Nola, There's instant quotes on the side of this page. Complete the form and rates are displayed on the next screen.

    February 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm
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