Learn what to look for in a life insurance plan when you’re in your 50s.
When you reach your 50s, your life and financial commitments probably look a bit different than they did in, say, your 20s. You may find yourself wondering whether you need life insurance at all.
Before you make your decision, there are some variables to examine to see if a life insurance policy still makes sense.
Companies that offer policies for adults aged 50 or older
Life insurance for people ages 50 to 59
The most common type of life insurance for those older than 50 is a policy that provides a lump sum payment if you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Why should I consider life insurance if I’m older than 50?
- Statistically, those in their 50s are most likely to make a claim for insurance.
- The lump sum benefit of a critical illness policy can offset financial stress if you undergo long-term treatment.
- A life insurance policy might protect your retirement savings.
Can I get a policy after 50?
Yes. You can find affordable coverage without sacrificing the quality of protection in your 50s. A simple way to get started is by comparing life insurance providers that offer policies in line with the coverage you need. As you look at policies, you’ll notice that starting from age 50 on, your life insurance premiums are likely to start increasing drastically as you get older.
Let’s look at the cost of a 20-year term life policy with $500,000 of coverage for a man in perfect health. According to our data, a 50-year-old man could get a policy from Banner Life or William Penn for around $74.39 a month. However, that same amount of coverage from those same providers would be double the cost if you bought the policy at age 57, with the monthly premiums increasing to $148.35.
So as you get into your 50s and start considering purchasing life insurance, you might want to buy a policy sooner rather than later to lock in a lower premium.
How much does life insurance cost for someone 50 or older?
The cost of a life insurance premium is based on the level of risk the applicant presents to the insurer, depending on factors that include:
- Your age, gender and occupation.
- Any existing medical conditions.
- Whether you use tobacco.
The tables below show what monthly premiums could cost for 10-, 20- and 30-year term policies offering $250,000 in coverage.
|Age||10 year||20 year||30 year|
What are my odds of passing away in my 50s?
As you get into your 50s, you have lots of memories to look back on. You might have bought a home, started a successful business or watched your kids graduate from high school. But you still have plenty of years ahead of you.
According to our life expectancy data, if you’re a typical healthy 53-year-old woman, your risk of passing away within the next five years is 2.38%. For a man, that number is a little bit higher at 3.86%.
As you look further into the future, your odds of dying will reflect your aging body. That same 53-year-old woman has a 17.09% chance of dying in the next 20 years. Meanwhile, the odds of a man passing away jumps to 25.67%.
To put all of this into context, let’s look at the average life expectancy in the US. A woman who turns 65 can expect to live to age 86.6, while a man is likely to live to age 84.3. These are just averages; about a quarter of all 65-year-olds in the US will make it to their 90th birthday.
Yes, life insurance underwriters will take your age into account when figuring out your rate, but a healthy 53 year old can still find affordable coverage.
What types of life insurance features are useful for those older than 50?
Some of the features and options available with life insurance for applicants age 50 and older include:
- Accelerated death benefit. If you’re terminally ill, with no more than 12 months to live, a benefit can be paid to help you and your family manage your financial affairs.
- Burial expenses. Most insurance providers offer a specified amount of burial insurance coverage to pay for any funeral-related expenses.
- Guaranteed insurability. You can make amendments to your life insurance policy — without further medical evidence or any underwriting— should your circumstances change due to a specific life event.
- Temporary life insurance. You may be eligible for this type of preliminary agreement while your life insurance application is being assessed by the provider. Should you die during underwriting, a death benefit would likely be paid out.
Other types of insurance to consider if you’re older than 50
- Critical illness insurance. Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum benefit upon a diagnosis of a life-threatening medical event listed in the policy. The medical conditions covered vary between providers but often include cancer, heart disease, strokes and major organ transplants. The benefit can be used toward medical treatment and rehabilitation facilities.
- Disability insurance. Disability insurance provides a lump sum benefit in the event that you are permanently disabled and unlikely to be able to ever work again. The benefit can be used as a source of income to keep up with living expenses and pay off any debts.
- Income protection insurance. Income protection insurance is designed to provide you an alternative source of income if you are unable to work as a result of an illness or injury. It generally provides a monthly benefit of 50% to 60%, but some policies even go up to 80%.
Can I apply for life insurance without having to take a medical exam?
You may be required to provide details of your previous medical history, including blood tests or medical examinations. This will help insurance providers get an accurate representation of your current health status so they can determine the level of risk you carry and the premium rates you pay.
You’re not required to undergo any blood or medical tests when you apply for funeral insurance. There is guaranteed acceptance provided you meet the application criteria.
If you’re 50 or older looking to apply for life insurance and don’t want to take a medical exam, consider no-exam life insurance instead.
How to get the right life insurance policy if you’re older than 50
While getting life insurance when you’re 50 or older is fairly easy these days, weighing your options is critical when trying to get the most affordable policy that meet your needs. Here are a few simple steps for you to consider when purchasing a life insurance policy:
- Read the terms and conditions. Be sure that you’re getting the correct protection without any unnecessary features to avoid overpaying for a policy. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about any details on the policy that are unclear to you.
- Consider your health. If the insurance provider you apply with requires a medical test, know that any pre-existing medical conditions, lifestyle habits and driving records can significantly affect the cost of your premiums.
- Look for discounts. When applying for coverage, consider insurance needs for your partner or spouse as well — you may get a discount on your premiums. Insurance providers will generally also offer discounts if you pay your premiums anually.
- Talk to an insurance adviser. If you’re unsure of which life insurance plan makes senses for you and is within your budget, an insurance consultant likely has the ability to provide recommendations on policies for you with competitive prices.
What if my application has been denied and I’m older than 50?
It’s usually possible to ask the provider for a reassessment of your life insurance application. They may ask for additional medical information to determine if they’re able to provide you with coverage and take on any risk you might pose.
If you’re still unable to get coverage and your application has been denied, consider other alternative options like funeral insurance or no-medical-exam life insurance.
To get the ideal life insurance policy if you’re older than 50, take time to shop around and compare coverage options and prices from different providers. If you don’t know where to begin, consider speaking to an insurance expert for policy recommendations for people who are 50 years and older.
Remember, there is no single best policy on the market — the best policy is the one that offers the coverage you need with flexible terms at an affordable price.