How to Find the Best Life Insurance for Seniors and Keep Survivors Out of Debt
Life insurance for seniors might seem impossible to get – that is, unless you know where to find coverage to fit specific needs at an affordable premium price.
The truth is that senior clients can have some strikes against them when applying for life insurance. These issues will often include age and/or having an adverse health condition.
But there are some insurance carriers that offer coverage for applicants who are in their 60s, 70’s and even in their 80s at the time of application.
If you’re worried, don’t. Having an Insurance Geek on your side can help you to narrow down the best carriers for senior life insurance, as well as provide quotes so that you know what to expect.
Why does a senior need life insurance
There are many reasons why a senior needs life insurance. These can include making sure that survivors are able to pay off debt, replace lost retirement income (particularly if pension income stops at the death of the insured), or even to donate to a favorite charity.
In addition, many seniors want to ensure that funeral and other final expenses can be paid, without loved ones having to dip into savings in order to cover these costs.
Is term life insurance for seniors a good option?
While everyone’s financial goals are different, there are some viable reasons why term life insurance may be a good fit for seniors.
For instance, because term insurance offers death benefit protection only (without a cash value component), it can be much more affordable than a comparable permanent life insurance plan.
But the disadvantage of term life insurance for a senior is you can outlive the term, and the policy would expire worthless, leaving you with no coverage.
When a senior buys a term life insurance policy, the first thing they look at is the conversion guidelines.
Conversion options are important because you do not have to prove insurability when converting from a term to a permanent policy. So if you get sick and your term is about to expire, you can convert it to a permanent plan.
For instance, if the plan is not convertible to a permanent insurance policy, the insured – and his or her survivors – could be left “stranded” without financial protection if the insured survives throughout the entire length of the policy. Worse yet, it could be that they are no longer insurable due to age and health at that time.
Seniors should consider riders on a term policy
In your 60’s rider are more crucial than ever — riders such as critical and chronic illness riders.
How do these benefits work?
The Critical Illness rider gives you the option to accelerate a portion of your death benefit while you’re still living if you are diagnosed with:
- Heart attack
- Renal failure
- Major organ transplant
The Chronic Illness rider gives you the option to accelerate a portion of your death benefit early if a Physician certifies you as being unable to perform at least two ADLs or activities of daily living such as:
- Or if you require substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairment.
Adding these riders cost pennies compared to what one of these conditions would cost you out of pocket. These are excellent riders and become even more available over the last few years.
An Insurance Geek can easily and quickly help you compare all these options and make sure you get the best policy.
Seniors in their 60’s
If your in your 60’s you still have plenty of life insurance options, especially if you are still in good health. Term and permanent insurance are both still options. However, in your 60’s, permanent insurance is going to cost much more than a term plan. Mainly because the permanent plan can build cash value and it will eventually pay a death benefit.
So term life is probably the best life insurance for seniors over 60 if you need more coverage than just a final expense plan of say around $25,000.
Many carriers will offer term plans as long as 20 years in your 60’s. There is one carrier who will even provide a 20-year term until age 65.
If you opt for term coverage in your 60’s, you will want to make sure you have a conversion option on your term policy. Like we said above this is an essential feature on policy because it gives you the ability to convert your term to a permanent plan without having to prove insurability.
Seniors in their 70’s
Seniors over 70 may also be able to obtain affordable term life insurance protection, depending on their health at the time of application. Most insurance carriers will offer 15-year term life coverage up to age 70, and a few will also offer 15-year term life insurance for seniors up to but not over age 75.
Depending on the need for coverage, term insurance for a senior may or may not be the best option. For example, with people living longer lives today, even if someone purchases a 15-year term policy at age 70 or 75, there is the risk of outliving the coverage.
So, if the goal of the coverage is to pay for funeral and other final expenses, a permanent life insurance policy may be the better choice – even though the term coverage may be more affordable in terms of the premium. In this case, being able to shop and compare policies and premium prices from multiple insurance carriers can be beneficial.
Seniors in their 80’s
There are only a handful of insurance carriers who will offer life insurance for seniors over 80.
Term life insurance can still be an option, but the longest term option possible is 10 years and you can not be over age 80.
While there are no term insurance options for seniors 81 or over, there is the opportunity to secure a permanent life insurance plan. Here, for instance, the purchase of a guaranteed issue policy that provides coverage for final expenses can oftentimes be a good solution.
Premiums on burial and final expense insurance for seniors can still be somewhat affordable especially when a small death benefit amount is needed. Burial life insurance plans can also provide much-needed protection so your loved ones do not get stuck with a bill. Plus you can not outlive these polices unlike a term life insurance policy for seniors.
We have included an image below that shows the cost of a 10-year term policy, non-smoking male, at age 80.
While the best life insurance for seniors may initially seem difficult to find, the reality is that there are a number of options available in the marketplace. Working with an Insurance Geek can help to narrow down the alternatives, as well as assist with the application process.
At Insurance Geek, we offer life insurance from more than 30 different carriers, so finding the right policy can be much easier than doing all of the research on your own. We can provide side-by-side comparisons of both coverage and quotes, and will also guide you through the entire process so that all of your questions are answered. With Insurance Geek, finding the right coverage is only a few clicks away.