Senior Life Insurance: Questions & Answers
It is important to note that there are unethical life insurance salespeople who are agents for some of the less than reputable life insurance companies who prey on seniors over 75, selling low quality final expense policies.
Commissions for these agents are based on a percentage of the first year premiums (in some cases up to 110%) and their job is sell these low quality policies to unsuspecting and vulnerable seniors. We encourage anyone who is being solicited with these types of policies to contact an independent agent for a second opinion on the policy being offered and to obtain other quotes from higher quality companies before making your final decisions.
In most every case, the cheapest life insurance for seniors is going to be a fully underwritten policy (with medical exam); however, some insurance companies are only willing to go up to a certain age for coverage on a life insurance policy like this. In this case, we recommend either a guaranteed issue policy (provides guaranteed acceptance life insurance coverage, but a low death benefit) and a group term life insurance policy if you are still in the workforce.
In many of these cases, your insurability is going to be based largely on your age attained. Some companies stop underwriting traditional policies around 65, leaving seniors with very few options of affordable and cheap life insurance.
When it comes to seniors with cancer and finding the best rates on life insurance, health history is going to play a huge role in the overall determination. While age is a concern for underwriters, a poor health history with cancer treatment is another red flag for many insurance companies out there.
If the issue with cancer is less than 5-10 years old, guaranteed issue life insurance is most likely your best option. These types of final expense life insurance policies are designed to cover your burial costs and a few medical bills. Many also come with “graded benefits”, meaning that death by natural causes are not covered (but accidental death is) for the first 2-3 years.
Another option to consider, especially if the battle with cancer has been more recent, is an accidental death and dismemberment policy which is one of the most affordable life insurance policies on the market. These types of policies only cover death in the event of an accident and have some of the lowest premiums on the market. They usually care little, if at all, about your health status because they only pay out the death benefit if you were to die accidentally.
If you are looking for life insurance as a senior, yet don’t want to deal with any health questions, then a Guaranteed Issue life insurance policy would be the most ideal option for you. AIG American General offers one of the most affordable guaranteed acceptance policies on the market with no health questions required and we recommend this product for those seniors looking for final expense coverage from a financially strong company. Another great company with no medical questions is Gerber Life and is a popular option for many seniors looking for life insurance.
While Gerber is best known for the Grow Up Plan, their product that insures kids from 14 days old and up; Gerber also provides a very popular and financially strong Guaranteed Issue policy that is extremely popular in the senior life insurance market. Rates are extremely competitive and provide final expense protection at a reasonable cost.
AIG is an international brand and one of the largest life insurance companies on the market, writing everything from small guaranteed acceptance policies to multi-million dollar life insurance policies for CEOs in Fortune 50 companies. Offering almost every type of life of insurance policy, AIG gives customers one of the largest selections of products of any life insurance companies on the market. Competitiveness of AIG depends largely on the product selected, however the guaranteed life insurance policies tend to be one of the most affordable options for seniors looking for life insurance.
A relatively unknown life insurance, Great Western provides a high quality product for seniors looking for life insurance with a company that is one of the most financially life insurance companies in the marketplace. On top of life insurance, Great Western also is a leader in the pre-need insurance which is used to cover predetermined funeral expenses and often sold through local funeral homes.
Similar to Great Western, Columbian Life Insurance offers guaranteed issue policies and pre-need coverage on top of some standard type life insurance policies. This company does focus heavily into the permanent life insurance market (whole life and universal life) but also offers standard term policies. Columbian Life tends to be more expensive than some of the other options offered on the market and is worth looking at all options before making a decision to purchase.
Being around for 100 years helps when it comes to life insurance companies want to tout their overall stability and Americo is one of those companies that have been around past the 100 year mark. Focusing on annuities, final expense, and mortgage protection; Americo provides multiple options for customers to place themselves in a better position with a buffet of end of life options.
One of the best options in the final expense and guaranteed issue life insurance markets, Assurity provides a strong life insurance solution with affordability for seniors looking for a life insurance policy. Their guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy is often one of the cheapest life insurance policies on the market for those looking for final expense coverage.
Mutual of Omaha is extremely well known and trusted throughout the Midwest as one of the big names in the life insurance and financial services industry. For seniors, Mutual of Omaha provides a no-exam whole life final expense policy which gives you the best coverage from one of the best life companies providing final expense coverage.
Recently acquired by Nassau RE and subsequently receiving an injection of capital, Phoenix has rebranded itself as one of the major players in the retirement income and final expense marketplace. One of the biggest downsides to Phoenix is that some of their policies terminate when the insured reaches 75, making it not the best option for those looking for long lasting final expense coverage.
Unite Home Life is a little known company with great options for life insurance for seniors. The application is simple, there are no exams to deal with, and they issue policies up to age 80. UHL is a great source for life insurance coverage for those diabetics who are insulin dependent or those on disability as well. Highly recommended for those with less than ideal medical histories, but are still looking for affordable final expense life insurance coverage.
For those about to turn 65 and are looking for affordable life insurance options, Sagicor’s term life insurance product works extremely well as a life insurance solution. Their term life insurance policies are convertible to age 70 and the Accelerated Death Benefits are included at no cost, providing the lesser of 50% or $300,000 to the insured in the event they are terminal or confined to a nursing home .
Given the fact that many of the life insurance underwriting standards change during the twilight years, seniors are often left with limited options the older they get. While everyone is looking for cheap life insurance, life insurance prices for those over 60 are not what many consider cheap. Here’s what we recommend based on your current age:
-Best Life Insurance For Seniors Over 60
If you are under 65, we recommend you focus on a standard term life insurance or a no medical exam term life insurance policy. With policies like this you can still get a better value and bigger bang for your buck; however, many companies will stop offering these policies the minute your turn 65.
-Best Life Insurance For Seniors Over 65
Once you hit the age of 65, life insurance becomes instantly more expensive and options become less. In this situation, you may be better off looking into a universal life policy like one from Sagicor that provides life insurance coverage to age 121 if you are seeking bigger dollar amount, permanent coverage.
-Best Life Insurance For Seniors Over 70
Depending on the amount of coverage you need, life insurance for seniors over 70 becomes more difficult and we see more of a shift to guaranteed issue and other final expense products to help cover some of the end of life expenses and left over medical bills.
-Best Life Insurance For Seniors Over 75
Once you are in the 75 year old range, your options for life insurance are even more limited. In most cases a Gerber Life or Mutual of Omaha guaranteed acceptance policy (or another similar company) may be the best option on the table from a cost perspective.
-Best Life Insurance For Seniors Over 80
After you reach 80, the majority of life insurance companies will no longer extend coverage even for guaranteed issue. A handful of companies will offer coverage and AIG’s guaranteed issue life insurance tends to be the most affordable, in general, coming in 25% cheaper than others in some situations.
-Best Life Insurance For Seniors Over 85
To get life insurance at 85, you are left basically one choice main choice for guaranteed issue and that is AIG’s guaranteed issue again. Mutual of Omaha does provide a simplified issue whole life insurance policy (has health questions) that cuts off at 85, but it isn’t a guaranteed acceptance policy. Both companies provide great coverage, but after 85 your options start becoming scarce.
Depending on the age of the insured and the extent of the medical issues, a policy through a company with more flexible underwriting regarding health issues like AIG or United Home Life may be the best solution. If the medical issues are more severe or there is a more recent history of cancer, guaranteed issue may be the best (or only) option for life insurance. The most important thing is to talk with an independent agent and let them shop around to find the best policy at the best price given your conditions.
The main options for seniors looking for life insurance but are not wanting to deal with a medical exam is either a No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance policy (if you qualify based on age and health standing) or a guaranteed issue/ final expense policy. These types of policies don’t require a medical exam, but some may ask health questions and verify that information with a MIB and pharmacy report. Guaranteed issue policies will not ask any health questions, but will often be more expensive to the other options on the table.
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