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Compare life insurance for your 50s

You might want life insurance in your 50s and beyond if you're the breadwinner or haven't paid off your mortgage.

Narrow down life insurance companies by coverage levels, riders offered, medical exam requirements and more to get a quote.

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
No, for coverage up to $3M
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
18 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Apply for term life insurance in minutes and get an instant decision all online. Plus, you’ll get to skip the medical exam.
Policygenius - Life Insurance
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
18 - 80 years old
10, 15, 20, and 30 years
Depends on policy
Select Go to site to apply for Nationwide Life Essentials: 21-55 years, no medical exam required.
JRC Life Insurance
JRC Life Insurance
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years to lifetime/age 121
May be required
Compare policies up to $10 million from 45+ top insurance companies with the click of a button.

We compare the following brands

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, consider if a life insurance policy still makes sense — and if the higher premiums fit into your budget.

Do I need life insurance if I’m older than 50?

As a baby boomer, it’s worth looking into life insurance in these situations:

  • You have people relying on your income. Above all, life insurance is an income protection policy. If you have loved ones relying on your income to cover their living expenses, a policy can ease their financial burden when you pass away — especially if you don’t have much in savings.
  • You want to protect your estate. Life insurance is a payable-upon-death asset, which means the proceeds of your policy typically won’t go through probate. If you’ve accumulated assets over your lifetime, a policy can help your heirs to hold onto those assets and pay any taxes owed.
  • You want to make sure you’re covered if you fall ill. You can add an accelerated death benefit or critical illness rider to most policies. These riders pay out a portion of your policy if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, which can offset financial stress if you need to undergo treatment.
  • You’d like to take care of your funeral costs. Many people in their 50s purchase a policy to simply pay for their burial and end-of-life expenses. A funeral can cost $10,000 or more, so the payout from a life insurance policy can help your family through the grieving process.

Protect your loved ones
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.

Need help? Talk to a customer specialist


Types of life insurance for people over 50

These policies are the best choices for someone in their 50s:

  • Term life insurance. This offers temporary coverage for a set period, like 10, 15 or 20 years. You could purchase a policy that would expire when you no longer have financial obligations — for example, the year you retire or pay off your mortgage, or when your grandchildren go to college. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a guaranteed death benefit.
  • Whole life insurance. If you want to treat your life insurance policy like a cash asset, look into whole life. A portion of your premiums are invested to give your policy a cash value, which earns interest over time at a set rate. Once you’ve built up enough cash value, you can begin to borrow against your policy — which can be useful if you have large expenses to cover, like a home renovation.
  • Final expense insurance. Often marketed to those aged 55-plus, these policies are designed to cover end-of-life costs, such as a funeral and medical bills.
  • Simplified issue life insurance. If you have a preexisting health condition, you can forgo the medical exam with simplified issue life insurance. You may need to complete a health questionnaire, though.

Can I apply for life insurance without a medical exam?

Yes, though these policies are expensive compared to traditional policies and capped at small amounts, like $25,000 or $50,000. Unless you have a preexisting condition or need coverage quickly, you’ll likely be able to get lower your premiums by taking a medical exam.

Riders to consider on life insurance over 50

Depending on your insurer, you may be able to customize your policy with riders that can help you plan for retirement and cover unexpected medical costs.

  • Accelerated death benefit. Allows you to access part of the death benefit while you’re still alive if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, and you can use the money however you like — not just on medical bills.
  • Critical illness rider. Pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness, like heart disease or a stroke.
  • Disability income rider. Offers a monthly benefit if you become ill or injured and can’t work for a specified period of time.
  • Long-term care rider. Pays out a portion of the death benefit to help you cover long-term care expenses, like a nursing home or private nurse.
  • Term conversion rider. Available on term life policies, this rider gives you the option to convert to permanent coverage later on — usually before your 65th or 70th birthday.

How much does life insurance for people over 50 cost?

The average cost of life insurance for a $500,000, 20-year term policy is $78.14 for a healthy 50-year-old man, and $61.46 for a 50-year-old woman. However, premiums increase significantly with age. For example, premiums for a 50-year-old man double by 57-years-old. So as you get into your 50s, consider purchasing a policy sooner rather than later to lock in a lower premium.

AgeM/W$250,000 policy$500,000 policy$1,000,000 policy

Rates are provided by Quotacy based on 20-year term policy, and valid as of April 2021 in all states except Montana.

Smoker vs. non-smoker life insurance rates for people over 50

Along with age and health, your smoker status is a huge factor that affects how much you’ll pay for life insurance. In our research of smokers and non smokers purchasing a $500,000 policy, a 50-year-old man who smokes pays nearly five times more than a non-smoking man of the same age.

AgeMan non smokerWoman non smokerMan smokerWoman smoker

Rates are provided by Quotacy based on a $500,000, 20-year term policy, and valid as of April 2021 in all states except Montana.

How to get cheap life insurance over 50

Your best bet is to compare insurers. Each insurer has its own underwriting guidelines, which means they weigh factors like your health, medical history, occupation and lifestyle differently. There are other ways to secure a lower rate, including:

  1. Achieve a healthy weight. Insurers look at your BMI when setting rates, so maintaining a healthy weight according to your doctor can help you lock in a lower premium.
  2. Quit smoking. Since smoking is linked to a host of health issues, smokers pay between two and three times more for coverage. If you can kick the habit, you’ll potentially save hundreds or thousands of dollars in premiums over the life of your policy.
  3. Monitor your health conditions. If you have a health condition like high blood pressure in your 50s, you’ll likely be charged a higher rate. But if you can prove to your insurer that you’re staying on top of your condition and taking your prescribed medications, you may not be penalized as much.
  4. Apply for coverage as soon as you need it. Age is the number one consideration for life insurance rates. The older you are, the more you’ll pay — so apply for a policy sooner rather than later to get a cheaper rate.
Protect your loved ones
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.

Need help? Talk to a customer specialist


How to find the right life insurance policy if you’re over 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 meets 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 annually.
  • Talk to an insurance broker. If you’re unsure of which life insurance plan makes sense for you and is within your budget, an insurance consultant likely has the ability to provide recommendations on policies for you with competitive prices.

Life insurance for 59-year-olds

While the average rate for a $500,000 term policy jumps around $25 monthly from 59 to 60 years old, it isn’t far off from how much more you’ll pay each year you wait to purchase a policy between 50 to 60 years old.

However, some newer online life insurance companies, like Sproutt and Ladder have a maximum issue age of 60, which means now is the best time to shop around if you want access to all insurers. Other insurers limit your option to choose a 30-year term once you hit 60. As always, the best time to buy a life insurance policy is as soon as you identify a need for one.

Alternatives to life insurance if you’re older than 50

If a life insurance policy isn’t the right fit for you, consider these types of policies:

  • Critical illness insurance. This coverage pays a lump sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening condition as specified in the policy. The medical conditions covered vary between providers but often include cancer, heart disease, strokes and major organ transplants. The payout can be put toward medical treatment and rehabilitation facilities.
  • Disability insurance. The truest type of income protection, disability policies pay monthly benefits if you become disabled and can no longer work. Depending on your coverage, your policy can replace between 40% and 80% of your paycheck.

Bottom line

To get the ideal coverage if you’re older than 50, take the time to shop around and compare life insurance policies and premiums. 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.

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