How to get life insurance if you're over 55 |

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Thanks to improvements in technology, Americans are living healthier and longer than ever. But no one is invincible, and a life insurance policy can help support your loved ones if you’re not able to. Though finding life insurance when you’re over 55 can be more difficult than taking out a policy when you’re younger, it’s possible to find coverage that fits your budget.

Do I need life insurance if I’m over 55 years old?

There are plenty of reasons why having coverage in place could not only benefit you, but your family as well. A life insurance policy can help you:

  • Pay for debts such as a mortgage or ongoing bills after you die
  • Leave an inheritance to your loved ones
  • Set up a trust for your children
  • Protect your business in the event that you pass and have outstanding financial obligations
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Can I get cheap life insurance if I’m over 55?

Yes. Many providers offer life insurance policies designed for people 55 years and older. If you’re in good health, you should be able to find an affordable life insurance policy that suit your needs.

Estimated monthly costs for a 55-year-old

We pulled sample rates for a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy for a healthy 55-year-old man and woman in perfect health.

Legal & General$140.14$98.96
Pacific Life$138.76$98.93
Lincoln Financial Group$146.08$100.63
AIG Life Ins (American General)$144.88$107.73
Protective Life$141.09$98.97

*Based on sample rates from Policygenius, August 2019.

Can I get a no-exam life insurance policy?

Yes. While you may pay a bit more for a policy that doesn’t require a medical exam, this option could be useful if you don’t like doctors or want to avoid all underwriting.

It’s important to note that even though these policies are typically guaranteed as long as the premiums are paid, if the provider finds out that you were untruthful while investigating in the event of a potential claim, they can deny your benefit payment — making the coverage useless.

What factors affect premiums for people over 55?

Many factors can affect the cost of your life insurance policy if you’re 55 years and over, including:

  • Gender. Men often pay more in life insurance premiums than women due to a statistically higher risk for injury and death that they’re exposed to as they get older.
  • Age. As with most insurance policies, your premium rates tend to be higher in the later stages of your life due to higher health risks.
  • Occupation. Somebody with a high-risk job will likely pay more in premiums than someone who goes to work in an office every day.
  • Health condition. You can benefit from lower premiums if you’re generally healthy, But expect to pay more for your premiums if you need life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition.
  • Lifestyle. A 55-year-old smoker can pay nearly twice as much as a nonsmoker. Other lifestyle factors like alcohol consumption and your body mass index (BMI) can affect the amount of premiums you pay.
  • Hobbies. Are you a little bit on the adventurous side? While you can participate in any activities that you’d like, it’s important to note that dangerous sports such skydiving, rock climbing and any other high-risk activity will result in more expensive premiums.

Compare life insurance for people over 55

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
18 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
Haven Life
18 - 64 years old
10, 15, 20, or 30 years
No exams for some applicants
Fill out a quick online application and get approval in minutes with up to $3 million in coverage.
18 - 100 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Depends on policy
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
Nationwide life insurance
40 - 95 years old
10, 15, 20 and 30 years
Get term, whole, universal or no-exam life insurance with up to $1 million in coverage.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are my alternatives?

Aside from life insurance, you may also want to consider:

  • Personal accident insurance. This can provide a benefit payout in the event of an illness or injury that leaves you unable to work. You can receive your payout as a lump sum or in an annuity structure depending on the severity of your disability.
  • Accidental death insurance. This can provide a lump sum benefit if you pass away as result of an accident. This is included in most life insurance policies, but you can also buy it individually.

Does funeral or burial insurance make sense for people ages 55 and over?

If you’re finding it hard to be approved for a life insurance policy due to your age and other restrictions — such as occupation and health — you may want to consider final expense insurance as an alternative.

In the event of your death, this type of policy can provide a lump sum payment that can be used to meet your funeral expenses and any other related costs. Applicants can generally apply for a policy of $5,000 up to $20,000. And since you’re typically not required to complete any medical exam, your application will have guaranteed acceptance.

Bottom line

It’s not impossible to find life insurance that suits your needs and situation even if you’re over the age of 55. It’s important to compare different life insurance policies that are available on the market to determine the most suitable coverage for you and your family.

When in doubt, seek advice from an insurance adviser that has industry knowledge and expertise to help you find options tailored to your needs.

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