AARP life insurance review 2019 |

AARP life insurance review

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You could qualify for guaranteed coverage for life with no medical exam required.

Life insurance is a heavy subject, and it usually takes a lot of time and effort to wade through the programs that exist. Your family’s future can depend on what coverage you choose, so all facets of what’s offered should be explored to fully understand the benefits. We’ll review the life insurance AARP provides through its partnership with New York Life Insurance Company to help you on your way to a better understanding.

Minimum coverage$2,500 with Guaranteed Acceptance
Terms availableN/A
Payment methodsN/A
Medical exam requiredNot required for any plans
Temporary underwriting coverageN/A


  • Up to $100,000 in coverage is available.
  • Premiums start at just $11.
  • Spousal coverage available.
  • Two options have no waiting period.
  • 30-day guarantee.


  • Level Benefit Term includes premium increases.
  • Not all benefits are available in every state.
  • Limited benefit period with Guaranteed Acceptance.
  • Online applications are not available in all states.
As of this writing, AARP is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, though it receives an A+ overall rating based on how the business is likely to interact with its customers. Among the many reviews online, customers seemed to be happy with AARP’s customer support team in getting questions answered about their life insurance policies, though some wished that its rates were a bit cheaper compared to other brands.However, like other brands, there are a fair share of negative comments about difficulty in getting AARP to pay out claims quickly. Customers also warn individuals looking into AARP life insurance to make sure they understand the two-year waiting period with Guaranteed Acceptance policies, which means that death from natural causes during the first two years of coverage pays just a portion of the benefit amount.

Four major agencies rate life insurance companies based on their financial stability and ability to meet the obligations of their insurance policies. Since AARP’s policies are administered by New York Life, we looked at New York Life’s financial ratings. All of the company’s positive ratings, listed below, are a sign of good financial wellness, which means it’s likely it can make good on its claims.

A.M. BestA++

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What is AARP known for?

AARP, or the American Association of Retired Persons, is an organization created in 1958 by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus in response to retired teachers needing health insurance. Dr. Andrus established insurance benefits programs, discount mail-order pharmacy services and created coalitions to promote the wellbeing of aging persons among countless other services.

A membership with AARP affords benefits ranging from health to entertainment, but arguably one of the most important is access to life insurance. New York Life is the administer of AARP’s Life Insurance Program, and you need only mention your AARP membership number to receive a quote. Quotes can be completed online or over the phone, and applications can be completed online or by mail.

Pros and cons of AARP life insurance


  • Up to $100,000 in coverage is available. In some cases you may be able to purchase coverage for more than $100,000, but the Level Benefit Term plan offers up to $100,000.
  • Premiums start at just $11. The Guaranteed Acceptance program offers premiums that start at $11 per month for women who are 50 years old and select $2,500 in coverage. Level Benefit Term offers $11 premiums for women from 50 to 54 years old who select $10,000 coverage.
  • Spousal coverage available. Spouses between the ages of 45 and 80 may be eligible to apply for group coverage.
  • Two options have no waiting period. Both Level Benefit Term and Permanent coverage come without a waiting period. As soon as the program takes effect, you’re covered in full.
  • 30-day guarantee. After receiving your Certificate of Insurance, you have 30 days to decide whether you want to stick with the insurance plan you signed up for or return it for a refund.


  • Level Benefit Term includes premium increases. Premium increases are at set five-year age ranges: Ages 45 to 49 are in the first five-year band and ages 75 to 79 are the final, with coverage ending at age 80.
  • Not all benefits are available in every state. Guaranteed Acceptance is not available to New Jersey and Washington state residents. Accelerated benefits are also not available to Massachusetts and Washington state residents.
  • Limited benefit period with Guaranteed Acceptance. Benefits in the event of a death due to natural causes don’t kick in completely until after two-years. Death due to an accident will be covered from the first day the policy is active.
  • Online applications are not available in all states. Depending on where you live, you may have to apply by mail. Due to paperwork requirements, and just by the nature of the postal service, it may take more time to fully process your application by mail.

What life insurance coverage does AARP offer?

AARP offers both term life insurance and whole life policies. Its term life insurance policies are set with lower initial rates that increase over time. These policies don’t offer a cash value accumulation. If you’re looking for permanent coverage, then you’d want to go with one of its whole life policies. These offer protection that lasts a lifetime with higher initial rates that usually don’t increase. These plans build cash value during the life of the policy.

All AARP life insurance plans aside from Young Start have a living benefit, which gives you access to half of your benefit in the event that you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. To qualify for this benefit you must have a life expectancy of 12 months or less in most states, 24 months if you’re a resident of Illinois and Texas. Massachusetts and Washington residents don’t qualify for this coverage.

Here’s what you can expect from each of AARP’s four life insurance plans:

PlanCoverageMedical examWaiting periodRate increaseProtection untilPrice rangeSpecial disclaimers
Level Benefit Term$10,000–$100,000NoneNoneYes, based on fixed 5-year age bandsAge 80$11–$306 per monthGuaranteed ability to exchange for permanent life insurance at age 80
Permanent Whole Life$5,000– $50,000NoneNoneRates are based on age upon issue and won’t increase due to your health or ageFor life$15–$522Premium payments end at age 95
Guaranteed Acceptance$2,500–$25,000NoneYes, two years in most casesRates are based on age upon issue and won’t increase for any reasonFor life$11–$227Premium payments end at age 95
Young Start$10,000– $20,000NoneYes, two years in most casesRates may increaseFor life$5–$10Child becomes the owner of the policy at age 21

What’s not covered in my policy?

Here are a few things that aren’t covered in every one of AARP’s policies:

  • Children’s rider is separate. You may have noticed above that there’s a Young Start plan. This is specifically for children younger than 18 who you’d like to insure and isn’t automatically included with the other AARP programs.
  • Cash value. Only the Permanent Life and Guaranteed Acceptance plans offer a cash value to borrow against. But remember that any loans taken out accrue interest and decrease the benefit payout value.
  • Premium waivers. The Guaranteed Acceptance program doesn’t provide premium waivers, so if you join a nursing home before age 95, you’re required to pay your monthly dues. However, 180 days in a qualified nursing home, as ordered by your doctor, may result in a waiver of premiums if you take part in the AARP Level Benefit Term or Permanent Life plans.

How can I get a low rate?

AARP’s life insurance plans through New York Life don’t have any direct tiers that are readily available. Generally there are some qualities life insurance companies look for when assessing a client’s personal and medical history. The following may lead to higher rates:

  • Frequent tobacco use.
  • Alcohol or controlled substance abuse.
  • Certain medical conditions in your family history.
  • DWIs or DUIs on your driving record.
  • High-risk hobbies or occupation.
  • High blood pressure or BMI.

How do I file a life insurance claim with AARP?

To file a claim, you’ll need to go to the New York Life AARP website. Click Claims in the upper, right-hand corner of the page. From there, follow these three steps:

What other services does AARP offer?

AARP offers many services to its members, including:

  • Health and wellness benefits that include medical, dental and vision insurance plans.
  • Restaurant discounts for select national chains.
  • Entertainment discounts and news.
  • Advocacy available at national chapters.
  • Clothing, grocery, gift and technology discounts.
  • Community events and volunteer opportunities.
  • Travel service discounts including car rentals, airfare, cruise passes, tours and more.
  • Access to an assistance directory, recipes and security systems.
  • Caregiving tools and resources.
  • A job board and resources for starting your own business.
  • Financial products and retirement tools.
  • Auto insurance, roadside assistance, car buying guides, car maintenance and safety resources and more.

New York Life also offers other programs outside its AARP life insurance plans, including:

  • Term, whole, universal, variable universal and survivorship life insurance.
  • Annuities
  • Mutual funds
  • Retirement plans
  • Long-term care plans

Bottom line

AARP has several programs available through New York Life, none of which require a medical exam. Lower-coverage plans can be used to supplement existing policies, and it has a few low-cost options that fit the bill.

Other options may be worth considering if you’re looking for something more comprehensive or with different coverage. You can compare your options to get a better idea of what’s out there and what might work best for your and your family’s needs with our comprehensive guide to life insurance.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MarieOctober 10, 2018

    I have a policy with New York life through AARP. I quit my subscription with AARP. Does that mean that in the event of my expiring, New York Life will not honor the policy?

    • finder Customer Care
      CharisseOctober 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Marie,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      When you request for your AARP membership to be cancelled, they will also notify their member benefit providers such as New York Life, that the account has been canceled. Though they did not mention that your New York Life insurance policy will be automatically cancelled the moment you stop your AARP membership, it says on their website that AARP membership is required for program eligibility.

      It’s better for you to contact New York Life directly and inform them that you have cancelled your AARP membership so they can advise you on matters concerning your life insurance policy.

      I hope this helps.


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