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Compare the best life insurance for seniors

Find the best life insurance companies for seniors and how to get the best rate.

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Senior life insurance is an important decision for those entering or in their retirement years. In the event of your death, a life insurance policy can offer a financial safety net to take care of any final expenses or debt you may have remaining.

5 best life insurance companies for seniors

Seniors face two major obstacles when shopping for life insurance: costs and the level of coverage. These five life insurance companies cater to seniors in terms of cheaper premiums, competitive underwriting and flexibility.

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Best overall pick: New York Life

New York Life logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
Get quotes from similar companies on Policygenius. Read review
$100,000 – $25,000,000
Coverage range
18 – 90 years
Issue age
Any term length between 10 years and 20 years years
Term lengths
New York Life's insurance lineup caters to a wide range of needs. Its guaranteed universal life policies start at $25,000, which suits budget shoppers and those who don't need a lot of coverage.

On the flip side, its death benefits top out at the company's retention limits — which are reported to be in the millions. Also, the insurer offers a living benefits rider that allows policyholders to access up to $250,000 of the death benefit if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness.

  • Offers GUL policies up to age 85 without a medical exam. This is great news for seniors with pre-existing health conditions who might not otherwise qualify for coverage.
  • Sells term life policies in terms between five and 20 years, with the option to convert to a permanent policy before a deadline.
  • Depending on your policy, you might have access to a chronic care rider and disability waiver of premium.
    Coverage range $100,000 – $25,000,000
    Term lengths Any term length between 10 years and 20 years
    Issue age 18 – 90 years

    Best for lenient underwriting: Legal & General

    Legal & General logo
    Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5

    ★★★★★

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    securely at Legal & General
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    $100,000 – $10,000,000
    Coverage range
    20 – 75 years
    Issue age
    10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years years
    Term lengths
    In many cases, insurers charge seniors sky-high prices or deny coverage because their age and health pose a risk. But Legal & General has a more relaxed approach to underwriting — and in turn, offers slightly cheaper rates to seniors. Its competitive underwriting caters to those with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and poor family health histories.
    • Offers a final expense policy worth $15,000, with guaranteed acceptance for those aged 50 to 80.
    • Provides convertible term life policies up to age 70.
      Coverage range $100,000 – $10,000,000
      Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years
      Issue age 20 – 75 years

      Best for guaranteed universal life policies: Mutual of Omaha

      Mutual of Omaha logo
      Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5

      ★★★★★

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      securely at Mutual of Omaha
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      $2,000 – $500,000+
      Coverage range
      18 – 68 years
      Issue age
      10, 15, 20, 30 years years
      Term lengths
      This insurance giant issues guaranteed universal life (GUL) policies up to age 85, and waives the medical exam for policies worth less than $250,000. Since the need for life insurance decreases with age, this number should be sufficient for most seniors' needs — making Mutual of Omaha an attractive option.
      • GUL policies start at $50,000, which is ideal for people looking for larger death benefits.
      • Excellent reputation for customer service. Mutual of Omaha ranked fifth of 23 insurers surveyed in J.D. Power's latest life insurance study.
      • Offers indexed universal life policies that provide coverage up to age 85, or longer if you pay a fee for a no-lapse guarantee.
        Coverage range $2,000 – $500,000+
        Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 30 years
        Issue age 18 – 68 years

        Best for generous death benefits: Lincoln Financial Group

        Lincoln Financial Group logo
        Finder Rating: 4 / 5

        ★★★★★

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        securely at Lincoln Financial Group
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        $100,000 – $1,000,000
        Coverage range
        18 – 60 years
        Issue age
        10, 15, 20, 30 years years
        Term lengths
        If you're looking for a larger policy, Lincoln Financial might be a good fit. The death benefit for its permanent policies start at $100,000, which is a higher entry point than most of its competitors. With this face value, you'll have access to a longer list of riders and be able to build cash value faster. Cash value grows with interest, too, so your earnings will be higher than they would be with a smaller policy.
        • A guaranteed insurability rider allows you to boost your death benefit at any time.
        • Other riders include an accelerated death benefit, disability waiver of premium, child or spouse rider.
        • Offers term life policies spanning 15, 20 and 30 years, with death benefits ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
          Coverage range $100,000 – $1,000,000
          Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 30 years
          Issue age 18 – 60 years

          Best for simplified issue policies: Transamerica

          Transamerica logo
          Finder Rating: 3 / 5

          ★★★★★

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          securely at Transamerica
          Read review
          $25,000 – $10,000,000
          Coverage range
          18 – 75 years
          Issue age
          10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years years
          Term lengths
          If you're buying life insurance to cover your end-of-life expenses, or if you want to skip the medical exam, you might be in the market for a simplified issue policy. Transamerica offers a solid final expense policy. Once your policy is approved, it's issued immediately, and the premiums never change. The insurer has various payment plans to choose from too, though you'll need to speak to an agent for more details.
          • Sells term, whole, universal and indexed universal life policies, along with accidental death coverage.
          • Term life plans are convertible and available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year lengths.
          • Policies can be as small as $25,000, and cap out at $10 million.
          • Depending on your policy, you might be able to choose a level, increasing or decreasing death benefit.
          Coverage range $25,000 – $10,000,000
          Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
          Issue age 18 – 75 years

          Compare life insurance rates

          Compare quotes for life insurance policies starting at $15/month.

          How we picked these insurers

          When analyzing the best senior life insurance companies, we assess the insurer’s reputation in the industry, as well as their product lineup, rider selection and underwriting standards. To determine industry reputation, our editorial team researches the company’s financial strength, accreditations, ratings and customer reviews.

          WATCH: Our top picks for life insurance for folks over 60

          Ratings and customer reviews for the best senior life insurance companies

          An insurer’s financial strength rating is important because your beneficiaries might not file a claim for years — or even decades — to come. To find out how companies treat their policyholders, we referred to the Better Business Bureau. Ratings and reviews reflect each company as a whole — and not just their life insurance departments.

          Agency Legal & General Mutual of Omaha New York Life Lincoln Financial Transamerica
          AM Best A+ A+ A++ A+ A
          Moody’s N/A A1 Aaa A1 A1
          Standard & Poor’s AA- AA- AA+ AA- AA-
          Fitch AA- N/A AAA A+ A+
          J.D. Power N/A 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 2 out of 5
          BBB rating A+ A+ A+ A- A-
          BBB customer reviews None 1.5 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars None 1.5 out of 5 stars

            How much does life insurance for seniors cost?

            The cost of life insurance becomes more expensive as you age. To get an idea of how much you might pay for coverage, compare monthly premiums for a 20-year term life policy with a $250,000 benefit.

            Age Monthly premium for a non-smoker Monthly premium for a smoker
            50 $76.58 $233.21
            55 $121.28 $372.47
            60 $207.70 $555.73
            65 $347.67 $988.32

            *Sample rates provided by Quotacy.

            Compare other life insurance policies for seniors

            Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
            Prudential
            18 - 75 years old
            $100,000
            $10,000,000
            10, 15, 20, 30 years
            Yes
            Customize your term life insurance with a long list of life and disability riders. Get a free quote on Policygenius.
            Transamerica
            18 - 75 years old
            $25,000
            $10,000,000
            10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
            Depends on policy
            Purchase a policy worth anywhere from $25,000 to $10 million, with the option to skip the medical exam. Get a free quote on Policygenius.
            MassMutual
            18 - 80 years old
            $2,000
            $10,000,000
            10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
            Depends on policy
            Purchase term life insurance up to age 80 with Finder's #1 ranked company. Get a free quote from this A+ rated insurer on Policygenius.
            AIG
            AIG
            20 - 85 years old
            $5,000
            $2,000,000
            10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 years
            Yes
            Buy term life insurance all the way up to age 85, and choose a policy that lasts up to an incredible 35 years. Get a free quote on Policygenius.
            John Hancock
            18 - 65 years old
            $25,000
            $1,000,000
            10, 15, 20 years
            Depends on policy
            Score a low rate on term life insurance with discounts and rewards for your healthy habits. Get a free quote on Policygenius.
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            Compare up to 4 providers

            How can I get cheap life insurance as a senior?

            There are a few ways to reduce the costs of life insurance:

            • Choose the right level of coverage based on your existing financial obligations.
            • Take steps to improve your health.
            • Ask your insurer about bundling different types of coverage for a discount.
            • Consider various premium payment structures.
            • Compare quotes from a handful of insurers to get the best possible premium.

            What factors affect life insurance premiums for seniors?

            Life insurance premiums are calculated based on risk factors. To set your premium, your insurer will assess the following:

            • Age. As you age, your risk of running into health complications rises — so insurers charge higher premiums to compensate.
            • Gender. Men have a lower average life expectancy than women, so they tend to pay more for coverage.
            • Smoking status. If you’re a smoker, you’ll likely pay two to three times more in premiums than a non-smoker. Most insurers consider you a non-smoker if you haven’t touched tobacco within at least a year, though some have stricter guidelines.
            • Medical history. If you have a poor family medical history or a number of preexisting health conditions, you may end up with more expensive premiums. But if your health issues are minor, you may be able to qualify for the standard rate class.
            • Driving record. If you have major traffic violations on your record in the past three to five years, you could face higher premiums.
            • Lifestyle and occupation. If you have hazardous hobbies or a dangerous occupation, your insurer will raise your rate.

            Am I eligible for life insurance as a senior?

            The maximum age you can apply for depends on your insurer, and the type of policy that you decide to go with. Generally, the policy maximum age for life insurance is 90 years old with the coverage cutoff age set at 121 years old.

            Will I need to take a medical exam?

            It depends on the policy you’re interested in. Most traditional policies are medically underwritten, which means you’ll need to complete a health questionnaire or take a medical exam to qualify for coverage.

            But if you’d rather skip the medical exam, these are your options:

            • Guaranteed issue life insurance. Typically marketed to seniors over 50, these policies forgo both the health questionnaire and medical exam and offer guaranteed coverage — no questions asked.
            • Final expense insurance. If you’re simply looking to take care of your funeral costs, look into final expense insurance. Also known as burial insurance, it’s designed to cover end-of-life expenses, like funerals and unpaid medical bills.

            Does life insurance cover preexisting conditions?

            If you have a preexisting condition — like heart disease or diabetes — you may not qualify for a traditionally underwritten policy as a senior. But if you still need coverage, you can opt for a no medical exam policy — just know the premiums are typically much higher.

              What expenses can life insurance cover?

              Your beneficiaries can use the proceeds from your life insurance policy however they wish. These are some of the most common ways people spend the money:

              • Outstanding debt
              • Funeral and burial costs
              • Legal and probate fees
              • Everyday living expenses
              • Child care or aged care
              • College tuition

              Alternatives to life insurance: Critical illness and disability insurance

              While life insurance is still beneficial into retirement age, it primarily focuses on protecting your loved ones when you die. However, critical illness and disability insurance offer monetary benefits if you suffer an illness or injury while you’re alive.

              If you take out one of those policies, you may be able to use the cash to pay for:

              • Modifications to your home. Think ramps or safety features to aid your mobility.
              • In-home assistance. Cover the costs of an at-home nurse or helper.
              • Ongoing medical needs. Bridge your health insurance gap and use the money to cover any ongoing medical costs or treatment.
              • Nursing home. If you’re unable to stay in your home, you may need to move to a nursing home — which can be expensive.
              Protect your loved ones
              Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.

              Need help? Talk to a customer specialist

              X

              Bottom line

              Most people buy life insurance for income replacement purposes. With that in mind, many seniors might not need life insurance. But if you have debt, financial dependents or want to make sure your beneficiaries aren’t burdened with your funeral costs or medical expenses, it’s worth looking into a policy.

              Coverage becomes more expensive as you age. To get the lowest possible premium, compare life insurance companies.

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