Life insurance for seniors

Getting life insurance later in life is a great way to support your loved ones, especially if they would struggle to take care of your final expenses when you pass away. There are many different life insurance options for seniors, but keep in mind that many insurance companies have age restrictions for certain types of policies. It's just a matter of matching your needs to the right type of policy.

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What is life insurance for seniors?

Life insurance for seniors works the same way as it does for younger policyholders, the only difference is that you may have less policy options and also pay higher premiums. For example, insurers may not offer 30-year term life policies to those aged 60 or older. And since many people develop health conditions as they get older, insurance premiums are usually higher for older policyholders to offset their higher risk of developing a life-threatening condition.

What's the best life insurance for seniors?

As an older adult, the best life insurance policy for you is the one that fits your financial goals and physical health. A term life policy may fit the bill If you're a healthy adult in your 60s with few time-sensitive financial obligations. A burial insurance policy may suffice if paying for funeral expenses is your only concern.

Here's a quick rundown of some common life insurance options for seniors:

Term life insurance for seniors

When to consider: If you still have major financial obligations, such as a mortgage or outstanding credit card or loan debt, and are in good health, then a term life policy may make sense. Since term life insurance is temporary and generally costs less than other policy types, it can provide affordable coverage until you've paid off your debt. Plus, being in good health will help keep your premiums low.

Things to keep in mind: Your coverage will lapse if you outlive your policy term, leaving your beneficiaries without a death benefit when you pass away. If you want to leave money behind for your family regardless of when you die, consider a whole or universal life policy instead. Life insurers may restrict term lengths for older adults or not even offer term policies above a certain age.

You may also need to fill out a health questionnaire and undergo a medical exam as part of the application process unless you opt for simplified or guaranteed issue term life insurance (more on those options later).

Pro tip:

Your income before and after retirement can impact which type of life insurance you may need once you retire. For example, if you expect your income to decrease after retirement, and your beneficiaries would only suffer a small financial loss once you pass away, then a term or burial life insurance policy may suit your needs. Learn more about how life insurance can fit into your retirement planning.

Whole & universal life insurance for seniors

When to consider: Whole life and universal life are both forms of permanent life insurance, meaning they last for your entire life and offer a guaranteed payout. Permanent life insurance is a good option for those who want to leave something behind for their family besides paying for funeral expenses or other financial obligations.

Things to keep in mind: Permanent life insurance is more expensive than term life, so you should ensure the premiums fit your budget, especially if you're retired or will be soon. Both whole and universal life insurance include a cash value feature that — while it'll take time to grow — you may use to take out a loan, pay your premiums, and more. You may also need to complete a health questionnaire and get a medical exam.

Burial life insurance for seniors

When to consider: Also known as final expense insurance, burial life insurance is a type of whole life that's designed to cover funeral expenses. It's a good option if you're looking for a low-cost policy and are only concerned with paying for the cost of your funeral.

Things to keep in mind: Burial life insurance offers much smaller coverage amounts, ranging anywhere from $2,500 to $40,000. But the policy will remain active for your entire life, so you don't have to worry about your coverage expiring.

Simplified & guaranteed issue life insurance for seniors

When to consider: Simplified and guaranteed issue life insurance have fewer or no health restrictions, so they're worth looking at if you have a health condition that might disqualify you from conventional life insurance and need coverage fast. With simplified issue term life insurance, you typically need to fill out a health questionnaire. With guaranteed issue permanent life insurance, you don't need a health questionnaire or medical exam. Learn more about non-medical exam life insurance.

Things to keep in mind: Both simplified and guaranteed life insurance generally cost more than conventional life insurance. The amount of coverage you can buy is also typically less in comparison. But the application process is quick, allowing you to get coverage faster.

How to get life insurance for seniors

You can quote life insurance online. All you have to do is answer some questions and fill in the details of your desired policy, including your coverage amount and policy type. You can also call 1-866-912-2477 to speak with a licensed Progressive Life by eFinancial representative who can help you find the right policy for your needs.

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Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.