Best Life Insurance for Seniors [Top 10 Companies For Ages 65-85]

Written by: Steven Gibbs | Last Updated on: May 11, 2024
Fact Checked by Jason Herring and Barry Brooksby (licensed insurance experts)

Insurance and Estates, a strategic life insurance provider composed of life insurance professionals, is committed to integrity in our editorial standards and transparency in how we receive compensation from our insurance partners.

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With over 70 years of combined life insurance experience, our company specializes in serving seniors, offering personalized recommendations from our extensive knowledge of life insurance companies that cater to individuals over 65 years old. Our daily interactions with seniors enable us to understand and address the unique needs of this age group, ensuring we match our clients with the most suitable senior life insurance options​.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  1. Determine Your Life Insurance Goals: Whether you’re seeking a policy for substantial coverage or just to cover final expenses and burial, it’s crucial to define your objectives before choosing a senior life insurance plan.
  2. Consider Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Your health status plays a significant role in determining the type of life insurance you can qualify for, so it’s essential to take any pre-existing conditions into account when exploring your options.
  3. Explore Beyond Death Benefits: Life insurance can serve additional financial purposes beyond providing a death benefit to your beneficiaries. Investigate how a policy might help you achieve broader financial goals.
  4. Choose the Right Type of Policy: For seniors, whole life insurance is often recommended over term life due to its lifelong coverage and potential to build cash value, which can be utilized during your lifetime, along with benefits for terminal and chronic illness.
  5. Consult with Experienced Professionals: Engaging with life insurance professionals who specialize in serving seniors can provide you with personalized recommendations, ensuring you match with the most suitable life insurance options for your specific needs.

<h3Questions to Consider When Buying Life Insurance as a Senior

Knowing what is the BEST life insurance for seniors depends on a variety of factors such as:

  • What’s your goal with buying life insurance? Are you in need of a substantial policy, or just something to cover your final expenses and burial?
  • Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions that could make it challenging to qualify for coverage?
  • Are you looking to leverage your life insurance policy to achieve other financial objectives beyond just offering a death benefit to your loved ones?

How you answer these questions will help us determine which company and policy will be the best choice for you. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best life insurance companies for seniors.

Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors

Most of our visitors looking for the best whole life insurance for seniors want to know who the top companies are. So we are including our top 10 list here at the outset of the article.

The following list of life insurance companies for seniors focuses on the policies offered and the strength of the company to meets its financial obligations. We list the companies in alphabetical order, as there is no one “best” life insurance for seniors company out there, although there are certainly some that are better than others.

Criteria

The criteria used are as follows:

  • Financial Strength Rating
  • Underwriting Favorable to Older Clients
  • Diverse Policy Offering
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) customer complaints index

When determining the financial strength rating of the company we focused on A.M. Best Company. Each company in our list has a rating of A or better, which demonstrates a company’s strong financial position.

CompanyPolicies OfferedFinancial RatingsRead the Review
foresters life insurance for elderlyTerm, Universal & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: AForesters Life Insurance and Annuity Company
Guardian life insuranceTerm & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Guardian Life Insurance Review
Term &, Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Lafayette Life Insurance Company Review
lincoln financial group senior life insurance policiesTerm &, Universal LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
massmutual elderly life insurance policiesTerm, Universal & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A++MassMutual Life Insurance Company
mutual of omaha insuranceTerm, Universal & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A++Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Review
northwestern mutual whole life insuranceTerm & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Northwestern Mutual Review
penn mutual senior life insuranceTerm, Universal & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
pruco life insurance for seniorsTerm & Universal LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Pruco Life Insurance Company
Transamerica life insurance for elderlyTerm, Universal & Whole LifeA.M. Best rating: A+Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Highlighting the Top Life Insurance Companies for Seniors

Let’s take a moment to look at a few of our top life insurance companies for seniors in more detail.

Foresters: Financial Strength Rating: A-

Forester Plan Right provides multiple simplified issue, no exam whole life insurance policy options for seniors up to age 85. With maximum face amounts up to $35,000, this is an excellent choice for senior life insurance to cover final expenses and provide for burial costs at an affordable price. NAIC complaint index: .031997% (Below Average).

Penn Mutual – Financial Strength Rating: A+

Penn Mutual provides one of the best dividend paying whole life insurance policies available. With flexible paid up additions, Penn Mutual’s Guaranteed Whole Life provides excellent payment flexibility and design options for those who are looking for a more robust policy beyond final expense insurance. NAIC complaint index: .004571% (Very Low).

Mutual of Omaha – Financial Strength Rating: A+

Mutual of Omaha’s Living Promise Whole Life provides permanent coverage for final expenses. Available for ages 45-85, the whole life plan offers face amount up to $50,000. A graded benefit whole life insurance plan is also available for seniors up to 80 years old. The policy is simplified issue and does not require a medical exam and is a great option to cover funeral expenses. NAIC complaint index: .091240% (Low).

Whole Life Insurance Rates for Seniors

The following sample whole life insurance quotes for seniors for face amounts ranging from $100,000-$1,000,000 are from A rated carriers or better for a preferred plus male. The policy is ordinary whole life to age 100. These senior life insurance rates are for informational purposes only, are subject to change, and must be qualified for.

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
65$416$1019$2032$4059
70$546$1359$2842$5470
75$738$1868$3732$7458
80$1097$2801$5541$11076
85$1455$3628$7178$14351

$10,000 Whole Life Insurance Rates

For those looking for smaller whole life insurance policies for funeral expenses and burial costs, here are some sample $10,000 whole life insurance rates by age. These smaller whole life insurance policies do not require a medical exam, and  guaranteed issue life insurance does not require answer to health questions.

AgeLevel BenefitGraduated BenefitGuaranteed Issue
4522.5027.88N/A
5027.3534.8844.09
5535.7043.2156.90
6043.6856.1163.17
6555.2066.91
84.15
7072.9386.0098.18
7599.51110.99138.55
80130.78
145.18246.44

Mistakes Made by Seniors Looking For Whole Life Insurance

There are a lot of companies vying for your attention. If you have been looking for life insurance as a senior for any amount of time you probably have come across companies such as AARP (New York Life), Gerber Life, Globe Life, and Colonial Penn, which are primarily final expense insurance companies.

Just know that these final expense insurance companies are typically not going to be the best life insurance for seniors, unless you simply want to cover final expenses. Even then, you will most likely find far superior final expense whole life insurance policies by shopping with an agency, such as us here at Insurance&Estates, where we can draw from a deep pool of potential carriers, including options covering burial insurance for seniors.

For more on these final expense life insurance companies, read our reviews on:

Types of Life Insurance for Seniors

The primary life insurance types are term life and permanent life insurance. We will give a short synopsis of both types below.

Term Life Insurance

When it comes to life insurance for seniors, we typically don’t recommend term life insurance because it will not last your entire life and can get very expensive down the road once the policy’s term period ends.

Another thing to be aware of is some companies offering final expense insurance for seniors provide policies that have an increasing premium every five years. The problem with these policies is you think you can afford the premiums only to be surprised in five years with much higher premiums. Instead, you want to try and get a policy that provides level premium payments that will not increase.

Whole Life Insurance

The benefit of whole life insurance for seniors is the policy will be there for the rest of your life as long as you pay the premiums. Whole life insurance policies build cash value that you can tap into to pay premiums or to help if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or chronic illness.

Some whole life insurance companies pay an annual dividend to policyholders, helping your policy grow by purchasing paid up additions. The top dividend paying whole life insurance companies in our top 10 list for seniors above are

  • Penn Mutual
  • Lafayette Life
  • MassMutual
  • Northwestern Mutual

Guaranteed Universal Life

Another possibility if only a death benefit is sought after is a guaranteed universal life insurance policy. The advantage of this kind of policy is that it isn’t too much more inexpensive than term life insurance and yet offers a permanent death benefit. For seniors, this may be critical because term life insurance for seniors premiums increase with age and may be prohibitively expensive for those over age 65.

Cash Value Life Insurance

Various types of cash value life insurance, referring to permanent life insurance that emphasizes accumulating cash value within in the policy, can be used any number of estate planning goals.

Remember that the types of cash value life insurance vary based upon the formula for accruing cash value within the policy but the most common variations are dividend paying whole life insurance or indexed universal life insurance.

Second to Die Life Insurance

Another possibility is a second to die life insurance policy because the death benefit will only be payable upon the death of the last spouse. This type of life insurance is cheaper than conventional coverage and may be preferred if the surviving spouse does NOT need the life insurance death benefit proceeds.

Final Expense Insurance for Seniors

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

When selecting coverage levels for final expense and burial policies, you should consider the anticipated expenses of your estate. If you plan on a simple cremation and a modest memorial service, you might opt for a policy with a lower payout. Insurers often issue funeral coverage policies with face values as low as two or three thousand dollars, resulting in correspondingly low premiums.

On the other hand, if you envision a large memorial service and burial arrangements with a higher price tag, or if you expect significant creditor claims against your estate, you might choose a policy with a higher death benefit. It’s important to note, however, that guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies typically cap the death benefit at $25,000.

Waiting Period

Be mindful that many final expense policies include a waiting period, often around two years. During this time, if you pass away from natural causes, the insurer won’t pay out the full death benefit. However, if your death results from an accident within the first two years, the policy will generally pay out the death benefit according to specific provisions.

Should you pass away during the policy’s initial two years, the benefit is usually limited to the amount paid in premiums plus interest, often around 10%. This is essentially a refund of premiums paid, with interest added. Some insurers offer “graded-benefit” policies that pay a portion of the face value (typically 25 or 50%) during the first year or two, with full coverage beginning after the initial period.

The existence of waiting periods is largely to prevent individuals from securing insurance when terminally ill. These provisions help insurers maintain lower rates by avoiding large payouts on policies with minimal premium contributions.

For those in good health, “immediate coverage” policies without waiting periods are available, though significant medical conditions might disqualify you from such coverage.

Beneficiary

Upon your passing, the insurance company pays the proceeds to your named beneficiary or to the executor of your estate, if the estate is the beneficiary. These funds are then used to cover funeral services and burial costs. Any remaining funds can address other final expenses like taxes, creditor claims, and legal fees. Should any funds remain after all estate expenses are met, they are distributed to heirs or retained by the policy’s beneficiary, depending on how the proceeds are paid.

Tax Free Death Benefit

It’s crucial to understand that the proceeds from a final expense policy are not considered taxable income for the beneficiary or on your final income tax return. In some cases, life insurance proceeds might be included in your taxable estate for federal estate tax purposes. However, this affects only a small percentage of estates, and there are estate planning strategies to potentially reduce or eliminate estate tax liability on life insurance proceeds.

Conclusion

With our team’s years of life insurance expertise, we’re committed to guiding you towards the best coverage for your unique needs. Working with seniors daily, we leverage our extensive experience with various life insurance companies that cater to older clients to provide tailored recommendations. Whether your goal is to secure a substantial policy or simply cover final expenses, we can help navigate any preexisting medical conditions and explore how your policy can support additional financial objectives beyond just a death benefit for your loved ones. Please give us a call today or reach out to one of our Pro Client Guides to see what we can do for you!

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