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Best life insurance for seniors
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Each life stage may come with different life insurance coverage needs. For instance, many middle-aged adults want coverage to pay off debts and replace income should they pass away. However, older adults may have a different set of concerns. Seniors may want to purchase life insurance to pay for funeral costs or to meet estate planning goals.
The best life insurance for seniors depends on the type and amount of coverage you need. Bankrate's insurance editorial team evaluated top life insurance companies to narrow down five that may offer excellent coverage for seniors. Based on our research, Mutual of Omaha, Haven Life, New York Life, Prudential and Transamerica all have features that make them stand out as some of the best life insurance companies for seniors.
The best life insurance companies for seniors
Seniors looking for the best life insurance may want to consider companies with coverage options tailored to older adults. The following life insurance companies are among the best based on Bankrate’s analysis of coverage options for seniors, financial strength ratings from AM Best, customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power and digital tool availability. However, the best life insurance company for you may vary based on your preferences and priorities for life insurance and other financial considerations.
|Company||J.D. Power score||AM Best financial strength rating|
|Mutual of Omaha||801/1,000||A+ (Superior)|
|Haven Life*||780/1,000||A++ (Superior)|
|New York Life||775/1,000||A++ (Superior)|
*Score based on MassMutual, Haven Life’s underwriter
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha underwrites its policies through United of Omaha Life Insurance Company. The company offers term, whole and universal life insurance policies. Seniors can purchase a policy up to age 80, although final expense whole life insurance is available through age 85.
Mutual of Omaha may be worth considering as a senior life insurance company thanks to its Mutual Cares program. The online resource was designed to inform seniors about the topics they may be interested in, such as combating loneliness, along with health and wellness topics specific to seniors. However, if you value digital tools, you may be disappointed that the company doesn’t have a mobile app.
Mutual of Omaha also received a high score in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, with a score of 801 out of 1,000 for overall satisfaction, earning it third place in the study.
Learn more: Mutual of Omaha Insurance revie
Haven Life underwrites its life insurance policies through MassMutual, which received an overall customer satisfaction score just above industry average from J.D. Power. Haven Life only offers term life insurance, but it offers two types of term life insurance policies: Haven Term, which is available up to age 64, and Haven Simple, which is available up to age 55. Haven Term policyholders may be able to purchase Haven Life Plus. This endorsement that grants policyholders access to fitness apps and Lantern, an end-of-life wishes and estate planning service.
Haven Life is an entirely digital insurance company, which may appeal to digitally-savvy shoppers. The carrier's parent company, MassMutual, came in above average in the J.D. Power study for customer satisfaction.
Learn more: Haven Life Insurance revie
New York Life
New York Life specializes in life insurance, retirement planning and long-term care. The company offers term, whole, universal and variable universal life insurance for seniors. Endorsement options include a living benefits option and a spouse insurance rider, which allows your spouse to purchase insurance without a medical exam if you pass away.
AARP members have access to exclusive pricing and coverage through a partnership with New York Life. Members can get term and permanent coverage up to $100,000 with no medical exam, though you still have to answer health questions to qualify for coverage.
Learn more: New York Life Insurance review
Prudential offers two basic types of life insurance: term life and universal life. Prudential may be a great company for seniors looking to customize their policies as policyholders may be able to choose from over a dozen riders, including overloan protection and survivorship benefit access. Prudential has local agents across the country, but its J.D. Power score is slightly below average and its complaint index from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is high, so potential customers may want to speak with existing policyholders about their customer service experience.
In addition to life insurance, Prudential offers retirement products and other financial services, which may appeal to shoppers who prefer to manage all their insurance and financial needs with a single company.
Learn more: Prudential Life Insurance review
Seniors looking specifically for final expense insurance might want to consider Transamerica. The company is known for offering robust and customizable final expense insurance options that do not require medical exams. In addition to final expense insurance, Transamerica also offers whole, term, universal and index universal life insurance policies.
Transamerica has an insights page with helpful resources on life insurance and other financial products. However, the company placed well below the industry average in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, with a score of 740 out of 1,000, so you may want to speak with existing policyholders about their experience before purchasing coverage.
Learn more: Transamerica Life Insurance review
What type of life insurance policy is best for seniors?
There are many different kinds of life insurance for seniors to choose from, and each option comes with potential pros and cons. It may be helpful to understand the various types of life insurance so that you can make the best choice for your individual needs.
Term life insurance for seniors
Term life insurance covers you for a specified period of time, usually ranging from 10 to 30 years. If you purchased a conversion rider, you may be able to convert your policy to permanent life insurance before it ends. The older you are, the more expensive a term policy will likely be. If you are a senior and considering a term life insurance policy, you may want to think about your future budget and if you will want to renew the policy at the end of the term.
Term life insurance policies are typically much cheaper than permanent life insurance policies.
May be sufficient if you only need coverage for a set period of time
If you pass away after your policy expires, your beneficiaries will not receive a death benefit.
No cash value component
Permanent life insurance for seniors
Permanent life insurance covers you until your death (under most circumstances) or until you choose to surrender the policy, provided the terms of the policy are met and premiums are paid. Permanent life insurance comes in two main forms: whole life insurance and universal life insurance. Diving deeper, there are subtypes of each form, such as variable universal life insurance. Since it covers you until death in most cases, permanent insurance tends to be more expensive than a term life insurance policy but may provide the peace of mind that the policy will provide financial assistance to your loved ones after your death.
Comes with a cash value account that may be used as a savings or investment account or to pay policy premiums
Remains in effect for your whole life (under most circumstances)
Typically much more expensive than term life insurance
Guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance for seniors (Final expense insurance)
Guaranteed acceptance whole life, sometimes called guaranteed issue whole life or final expense insurance, is a whole life policy for which coverage generally cannot be denied. Coverage amounts are low, usually between $10,000 to $25,000, and are typically used to cover funeral expenses such as headstones and funeral home fees.
Generally no medical exam required
Coverage typically cannot be denied
Premium may be high for the level of coverage you’re receiving
Low level of coverage
How to choose the best senior life insurance policy for you
Seniors generally have different priorities than other age groups. They may be paying off debts and phasing into retirement, helping children and grandchildren with their finances or preparing for end-of-life costs. Before purchasing life insurance, it may be helpful to understand what factors you might need to consider at various ages.
Life insurance for seniors over 60
In your 60s, you may still be working and starting to think about retirement. It might be a good time to make sure your life insurance is in place because life insurance premiums are generally less expensive the younger you are. You may want to think about replacing your lost income if you were to pass away suddenly so that a spouse or other loved ones who depend on your income would be provided for. Additionally, if you have children or grandchildren (or anticipate that you will in the future), you may want to consider if you will leave them a financial gift when you pass away.
Life insurance for seniors over 70
If you are in your 70s, you may be well into retirement. If you are retired, replacing lost income for your spouse or loved ones might not need to be a factor when shopping for life insurance. However, you may want to consider what your family members will be left with when you are gone. Are you still paying off a mortgage? Do you have any other debt? Do you have enough savings for your loved ones to pay for your funeral expenses and other end-of-life costs? Life insurance may help ease the financial burden of your death for your loved ones, as well as potentially leave a financial gift for them when you are gone.
Life insurance for seniors over 80
If you are 80 or older, your life insurance options may be limited. You may be considering all the same life insurance factors that you did in your 70s, but if you did not obtain insurance at a younger age, you may have fewer choices than you would have earlier in life. A final expense policy may be the best option to obtain coverage, although the death benefit may be low and the premiums may be high. If you're having trouble finding the coverage you need, it may be helpful to speak with a licensed insurance agent or financial professional about your options.
How much is life insurance for seniors?
There are several factors that contribute to the cost of a life insurance policy. The main factors are age, health history, gender and lifestyle. Typically, younger people pay less for life insurance than older people. Additionally, healthy individuals will usually pay less for life insurance than people who have pre-existing health conditions or people who smoke.
When looking at a senior life insurance company, it is important to keep in mind that term life insurance is typically less expensive than a permanent policy, but those costs will increase the older you are regardless of policy type. Because the cost of life insurance is so personalized, everyone will pay a different premium based on their own specific rating factors, but rates for the same life insurance policy will not vary greatly between companies like other insurance types.
Before purchasing life insurance, you may still want to shop around and get quotes from multiple life insurance companies to find the best option for you, such as the company with the policy type or riders you're looking for.