5 best senior life insurance companies in 2021 | finder.com

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Find the best life insurance companies for seniors with cheap rates and lenient approvals.

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You might consider life insurance in your 60s and above to pay off debt or funeral expenses after you die or to leave a sum behind for loved ones. The best life insurance companies for seniors have high maximum ages for issuing policies, offer incentives for healthy living and relax approvals even with pre-existing health conditions.

To help you compare policies, our life insurance experts spent over 500 hours researching 100+ life insurance companies, bringing you cheap options with unique features that cater to seniors.

What are the best life insurance companies for seniors?

These five companies cater to seniors with cheaper premiums than the standard, lenient approvals and flexible coverage amounts. When analyzing the best senior policies, we rate each life insurer for its reputation, policy and rider selection, financial strength, underwriting standards and ratings from independent agencies like J.D. Power.

Best overall pick: New York Life

New York Life logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

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$100,000 – $25,000,000
Coverage range
18 – 90 years
Issue age
Any term length between 10 years and 20 years
Term lengths
New York Life's policy lineup includes guaranteed universal life policies with coverage as low as $25,000, ideal for budget shoppers and those needing low coverage.

If you need more coverage, you can buy coverage up to millions of dollars. Or choose a living benefits rider so you can access up to $250,000 if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness.

  • Offers guaranteed universal life policies up to age 85.
  • Provides term life policy lengths between five and 20 years
  • Lets you convert a term policy to permanent life insurance
  • You could opt for 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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$100,000 – $10,000,000
Coverage range
20 – 75 years
Issue age
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years
Term lengths
Legal & General has a relaxed approach to underwriting — and in turn, offers slightly cheaper rates to seniors.

It caters to those with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or a poor family health history.

  • 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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    $2,000 – $500,000+
    Coverage range
    18 – 68 years
    Issue age
    10, 15, 20, 30 years
    Term lengths
    This insurance giant issues guaranteed universal life policies up to age 85 and waives the medical exam for coverage less than $250,000.

    This coverage level should be sufficient for most seniors — making Mutual of Omaha an attractive option.

    • Guaranteed universal life coverage starts at $50,000, high for this policy type.
    • Excellent customer reputation, ranking high in J.D. Power's life insurance study.
    • Offers indexed universal policies until age 85, or longer if you pay 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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      $100,000 – $1,000,000
      Coverage range
      18 – 60 years
      Issue age
      10, 15, 20, 30 years
      Term lengths
      Lincoln Financial's death benefits for permanent policies start at $100,000, which is a higher entry point than most competitors.

      You also can choose from a long list of riders and build cash value faster than with a smaller policy since you're paying more into the policy.

      • A guaranteed insurability rider lets you boost your death benefit at any time.
      • Offers an accelerated death benefit, disability premium waiver, child or spouse rider.
      • Offers term life policies spanning 15, 20 and 30 years with coverage up 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

        ★★★★★

        This brand isn’t available on Finder right now.
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        $25,000 – $10,000,000
        Coverage range
        18 – 75 years
        Issue age
        10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
        Term lengths
        If you're covering end-of-life expenses or want to skip the medical exam, you might consider Transamerica's final expense policy.

        This policy becomes effective immediately once approved and the premiums never change. The insurer has multiple payment plans too, though you need to speak to an agent for more details.

        • Offers a variety of policies, including term, whole, universal and indexed universal life
        • Term life plans can convert to permanent insurance later
        • Term policy lengths go as short as 10 years
        • You can 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
        Watch: 5 best senior life insurance picks

        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 from Quotacy.

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

        Compare life insurance policies for seniors

        Compare top life insurance companies by medical exam requirements and coverage levels, then get a quote from your top picks to score the best price.

        Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
        Bestow
        18 - 60 years old
        $50,000
        $1,500,000
        10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
        No
        Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
        Haven Life
        18 - 64 years old
        $100,000
        $3,000,000
        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.
        Sproutt
        18 - 100 years old
        $50,000
        $10,000,000
        5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
        No
        Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
        Ladder
        20 - 60 years old
        $100,000
        $8,000,000
        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.
        Policygenius
        18 - 85 years old
        $50,000
        $10,000,000
        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.
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        Compare up to 4 providers

        Ask an expert: What is the #1 consideration seniors should keep in mind when shopping for life insurance?

        Ross Quade

        Ross Quade
        Licensed life insurance agent & co-owner of Prime Mutual

        The key considerations seniors should keep in mind when shopping for life insurance is how much coverage they can afford and what needs they want to meet with a plan. Seniors have different priorities than a young family whose concerns likely surround caring for the financial needs of their dependents. They may want to leave a legacy, provide an inheritance, support a charity, or cover estate taxes and funeral costs. Seniors should also consider any outstanding debt, supplemental income for a surviving spouse, or caring for an adult child with special needs.

        Of course, seniors can lower their life insurance rates by shopping around, but it’s important to know what to look for when doing so. Know what your specific risk factors are, and which insurers look upon these issues more favorably. Term life insurance will be the cheapest option, especially if you are willing to take a medical exam and are in excellent health for your age.

        If a senior is on a fixed income and their primary concern is covering the cost of their funeral or not passing on debt to loved ones, they can consider final expense insurance as an affordable option. Unlike a term life insurance policy, the policy won’t expire after a set time. Regardless of how long a person lives, as long as premiums are up-to-date, a final expense policy will pay out a death benefit. The lump-sum can pay for funeral costs, medical bills, credit card debts, and/or inheritance for loved ones.

        Ultimately, the best life insurance policy is one you can afford and meets your specific needs.

        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.

        6 factors that affect life insurance premiums for seniors

        You may see higher life insurance rates, especially with these risk factors, according to our analysis of life insurance rates.

        • Age. Your risk of running into health complications rises — so insurers charge higher premiums as you age.
        • Gender. Men often pay more for coverage than women since men have a lower average life expectancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
        • Smoking status. You might pay two to three times more than a non-smoker if you’ve touched tobacco within a year.
        • Medical history. If you have a poor medical history or serious pre-existing conditions, you may see expensive premiums.
        • Driving record. If you’ve had major traffic violations within three to five years, you could face higher premiums.
        • Lifestyle and occupation. If you have hazardous hobbies or a dangerous job, your insurer will raise your rate.

        Am I eligible for life insurance as a senior?

        The policy maximum age for life insurance is typically 90 years old with coverage stopping at 121 years old. But the maximum age you can apply depends on your insurer and the type of policy you choose.

        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. Marketed to seniors over 50, these policies offer guaranteed coverage while forgoing the health questionnaire and medical exam — no questions asked.
        • Final expense insurance. Also known as burial insurance, this policy is designed to cover end-of-life expenses, like funerals and unpaid medical bills.

        Does life insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

        Traditional policies typically won’t cover pre-existing conditions like heart disease or diabetes, so you may not qualify for a traditional policy or your insurer may specifically exclude coverage for your pre-existing conditions.

        If you aren’t approved for a traditional policy, you can opt for a policy that specializes in pre-existing conditions or no medical exams — just know the premiums are typically 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

          What are the alternatives to senior life insurance?

          Whether you don’t qualify for or don’t want traditional life insurance, consider critical illness or disability insurance policies to pay expenses if you suffer from an illness or injury. You could 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 cover any ongoing medical costs or treatments.
          • Nursing home. If you can’t stay at home, you may need to move to a nursing home — which can be expensive.
          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

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          Bottom line

          If you have debt, financial dependents or want to make sure your loved ones aren’t burdened with funeral costs or medical expenses, it’s worth looking into a policy as a senior.

          But premiums increase significantly as you age. To get the lowest possible premium, compare life insurance companies.

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