Life Insurance for Seniors: Best Life Insurance Policy Options & Companies for Seniors

While seniors generally pay higher rates for life insurance, our team at MoneyGeek analyzed policy options for seniors to help you find the best policy options at a price that fits your budget.

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Last Updated: 5/31/2022
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Generally, people buy a life insurance policy to protect their loved ones from financial suffering in case of their death. After retirement, the best-case scenario would be that you don’t have any financial obligations left. However, if you have medical debt, a mortgage, dependents or want to cover your end-of-life expenses, it's best to get a life insurance policy.

In this guide, MoneyGeek researched the best life insurance companies for seniors. We categorized these companies according to age, policy types and product offerings.

Best Term Life for Seniors: State Farm

State Farm

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Offers a broad range of term life policies

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Policies are renewable up to 95 years of age

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Offers a no-exam term insurance policy

cons

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No-exam policy has benefit and age restrictions

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 97.4
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 820.5
AM Best Rating: A++
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.19

MoneyGeek's Take: State Farm offers you three types of term policies for a 10-, 20- or 30-year term at an affordable cost. Most of its policies are renewable up to 95 years of age.

Company description: MoneyGeek's top pick for term life insurance, State Farm, offers customers a term life insurance policy for 10-, 20- or 30-year terms. The company has three term life insurance policy types— Select Term, Return of Premium Term and Instant Answer Term.

With the Select Term life insurance policy, you can choose to get coverage for either a 10-, 20- or 30-year term, depending on how long you need it for. The company allows you to keep the policy active after the term expires, which can be annually renewed at your current age until you turn 95. State Farm also offers a Return of Premium Term policy. With this policy, you can get your premiums back if the death benefit is not claimed within the 20- or 30-year term. This policy can also be renewed up to 95 years of age, and the company allows you to borrow against its cash value.

The Instant Answer Term life policy offers you a $50,000 death benefit for a maximum of 10 years or until you’re 50 years old, whichever is longer. You can get this policy at an affordable cost and have the opportunity of applying and getting approved for it on the same day.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Select Term
  • Instant Answer Term

Best Whole Life for Seniors: Nationwide

Nationwide

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Offers several rider options

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Different payment plans available

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Most applicants require a medical exam

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 88.6
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 785.5
AM Best Rating: A+
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.10

MoneyGeek's Take: Nationwide offers customizable policies with several rider options and multiple payment plans, making it the one of the best choices for whole life insurance for seniors.

Company Description: MoneyGeek researched the best whole life insurance for seniors and found that Nationwide is the best insurance provider, as it offers customizable whole life insurance policies with several rider options and payment plans.

With Nationwide’s whole life insurance policy, you get lifelong coverage, a tax-free death benefit and a guaranteed cash value that you can borrow against. Premiums remain fixed, and the policy remains active as long as you pay the premiums on time. The company also has two payment plan options called Whole Life 100 and 20-Pay Whole Life.

With Whole Life 100, you’re required to pay premiums until age 100. The 20-Pay Whole Life plan offers you fixed premiums for 20 years, after which your policy is considered to be paid in full. The company offers policy customization according to your needs with multiple rider options for chronic illness, terminal illness, critical illness, accidental death, death of a child, disability and much more.

Nationwide has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any insurance provider. To buy a policy, you have to contact an agent directly.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Whole Life 100
  • 20-Pay Whole Life

Best for Seniors Over 70: AARP

AARP

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Offers no-exam policies

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Offers low-cost policies for minors

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Online quotes with transparent pricing

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Requires AARP membership

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 87.5*
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 771.5*
AM Best Rating: A++*
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.16*

MoneyGeek's Take: AARP offers different policies with guaranteed acceptance and does not require a medical exam, making it the best option for seniors over 70.

Company Description: If you’re over 70 years of age, AARP is MoneyGeek’s top pick for your life insurance provider. The company offers life insurance policies with guaranteed acceptance without a medical exam requirement. Policies are underwritten by New York Life, one of the oldest and most reputable providers in the life insurance industry.

AARP offers three types of life insurance plans — level benefit term, permanent and guaranteed acceptance. The best feature of AARP’s policies is that you do not need to undergo a medical exam to qualify. For the company’s guaranteed acceptance life insurance, you also aren’t required to answer health questions.

With the level benefit term life plan, you can get up to $100,000 coverage. However, you can’t choose your term, and the policy expires when you turn 80. The Permanent Life plan offers you up to $50,000 of whole life coverage, so your premiums never increase.

If you opt for the guaranteed acceptance plan, you won’t be asked medical questions or required to pass a medical exam, but coverage is limited to $25,000.

*These scores are for New York Life, the company that underwrites all AARP life insurance policies.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Level Benefit Term Life
  • Permanent Life
  • Guaranteed Acceptance Life
  • Young Start Life

Best Final Expense for Seniors: AIG

AIG

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Does not require a medical exam for all policies

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Several rider options available

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Guaranteed acceptance for some policies

cons

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Does not offer online quotes

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 77.2
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 737.2
AM Best Rating: A
NAIC Complaint Index: N/A

MoneyGeek's Take: Since AIG does not require a medical exam and offers guaranteed acceptance for most policies, it’s the best choice if you’re looking for final expense insurance.

Company Description: If you’re looking for an insurance policy to cover your funeral and burial expenses, AIG is MoneyGeek’s top choice. The company offers a wide range of flexible policies and multiple rider options, and some of the policies offered do not require a medical exam and have guaranteed acceptance.

With AIG’s guaranteed issue life insurance plan, you get lifelong coverage up to $25,000 and don’t need to pass a medical exam or answer any health questions. This plan offers you guaranteed acceptance if you’re between 50 and 80.

AIG accidental death insurance provides your family with $500,000 worth of coverage in case of your death or serious injury in an accident. If you’re between 18 and 80, you don’t need a medical exam to qualify.

This provider also offers quality of life insurance, which can provide financial support to your loved ones while you’re still alive. Your beneficiaries can access these living benefits if you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, critical illness or terminal illness.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Accidental Death
  • Guaranteed Issue Whole Life
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Quality of Life Plans
  • Universal Life

Best Guaranteed Acceptance for Seniors: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

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Offers many different policy options for seniors

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Several rider options available

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Smoking habit does not affect your rates

cons

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Limited online resources

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 90.8
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 783.4
AM Best Rating: A+
NAIC Complaint Index: 1.20

MoneyGeek's Take: Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed whole life policy and accidental death insurance do not require a medical exam and offer guaranteed acceptance, making it a good option for seniors.

Company Description: Seniors looking for a policy that does not require a medical exam and has guaranteed acceptance can benefit the most from Mutual of Omaha’s life insurance policies.

While Mutual of Omaha offers a range of term and whole life insurance policies, you would benefit the most from its Guaranteed Plus Whole Life policy if you’re looking for life insurance without the requirement of a medical exam or health questions. Applicants between 45 and 85 are eligible for $2,500–$25,000 in permanent life insurance coverage. Your benefits will not be reduced due to age or health status, and premiums are guaranteed not to increase. The Guaranteed Plus Whole Life policy also offers to build cash value on a tax-deferred basis. The best feature of this policy is that all of the claims are paid out within the first 24 hours.

The company offers accidental death insurance, which does not require a medical exam and has guaranteed acceptance. This policy provides your family with financial support in case of your death in an accident. It’s available for anyone between 18 and 70 and can be renewed up to 80 years of age. With this policy, you can have coverage up to $1 million.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Guaranteed Plus Whole Life
  • Accidental Death Insurance
  • Living Promise Graded Benefit Plan
  • Living Promise Level Benefit Plan

Best With Living Benefits Rider Options: New York Life

New York Life

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Offers a wide range of rider options

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Offers Spouse Paid-up option

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You can a convert term policy into a permanent policy

cons

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Does not offer online quotes

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 87.5
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 771.5
AM Best Rating: A++
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.16

MoneyGeek's Take: Since New York Life offers living benefit riders and several other rider options, seniors can benefit the most from its policies.

Company Description: New York Life is an excellent option if you’re looking for a life insurance provider that offers different types of customizable insurance policies with several rider options.

New York Life offers different types of term, whole and universal life insurance policies. Generally, term life insurance policies cost less, and the term lasts for 10–20 years. If you pass away during this period, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit. With New York Life’s whole life insurance policy, you get lifetime coverage and cash value, which grows tax-deferred. You may also be able to earn dividends on your policy.

New York Life offers universal life policies for more flexible long-term life insurance, which can be customized according to your coverage needs. To enhance your life insurance coverage, the company offers several rider options for accidental death, chronic care, disability and much more.

New York Life also offers a living benefits rider with its term life and whole life insurance policies, which allows you to access part of the death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, which can be used for any reason. The best feature of New York Life’s term life policy is the Spouse Paid-up option, which lets your spouse use your death benefit to get an insurance policy without a medical exam.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance

Best Life Insurance for Seniors Summary

Many life insurance companies offer high-quality life insurance coverage for seniors. The table below summarizes MoneyGeek's top providers for this age group.

  • Companies
    AM Best
    J.D. Power Score
    Age Range
    Final Expense Coverage Range
  • State Farm
    Best Term Life

    A++

    820.5

    • Select Term 10: 18–75
    • Select Term 20: 18–65
    • Select Term 30: 18–45
    • Return of Premium Term Life 20 (non-tobacco
      premium classes): 18–60
    • Return of Premium Life 20 (tobacco & preferred
      tobacco classes): 18–55
    • Return of Premium Life 30: 18–45
    • Instant Answer Term Insurance: 0–50

    Fixed $10,000

  • Nationwide
    Best Whole Life

    A+

    785.5

    • Nationwide Simplified Whole Life (non-tobacco): 0–80
    • Nationwide Simplified Whole Life (tobacco): 18–80

    N/A

  • AARP
    Best for Seniors Over 70

    A++*

    771.5*

    • Yearly Convertible Term: 15–75
    • Custom Universal Life Guarantee: 18–90
    • Variable Universal Life Accumulator II: 0–80
    • Custom Whole Life Insurance: 0–80

    N/A

  • AIG
    Best Final Expense

    A

    737.2

    • Guaranteed Insurance Whole Life: 50–80

    N/A

  • Mutual of Omaha
    Best No Medical Exam

    A+

    783.4

    • Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance: 45–85
    • Accidental Death Insurance: 18–70

    N/A

  • New York Life
    Best with Living Benefits

    A++

    771.5

    • Yearly Convertible Term: 15–75
    • Custom Universal Life Guarantee: 18–90
    • Variable Universal Life Accumulator II: 0–80
    • Custom Whole Life Insurance: 0–80

    N/A

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What Policy Options Are Best for Seniors?

Considering seniors' age and coverage needs, MoneyGeek analyzed several insurance policies suitable for this age group, including term, permanent, simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance.

1

Term Life Insurance

Generally, a term life insurance policy provides coverage for a specified term, usually 1030 years. However, since this type of policy is more affordable than other types, it’s suitable for people of all ages.

A term life policy is temporary, expiring after the specified term is over. That’s why it's best to opt for a term life policy if you have temporary financial obligations like a loan or a mortgage. If you’re looking for a policy to cover your final expenses, better options are available.

2

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance includes both whole life and universal life insurance. With a permanent life insurance policy, you’ll have lifelong coverage. After you pass away, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit, which they can use to cover your financial responsibilities. This type of policy also offers a cash value component.

You can use your policy's cash value by either borrowing it or taking a loan against it. However, if you buy a permanent life policy late in life, you should know that building the cash value will take some time. Some companies offer permanent life policies that do not require a medical exam.

3

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

The simplified issue life insurance policy allows you to get coverage within a matter of days, without a medical exam requirement. Instead of a medical exam, you must fill out a health questionnaire.

It’s pretty quick and easy to get life insurance with a simplified issue policy. However, the death benefit is usually limited and used to pay for funeral expenses or provide a small inheritance.

4

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

A guaranteed issue life insurance policy is often the best option for seniors in poor health. This is a type of life insurance that does not require a medical exam or answer any health questions, and you can’t be turned down in any case. However, with a guaranteed issue policy, the premiums are generally higher, and coverage amounts are lower.

Cost of Life Insurance for Seniors

Generally, the cost of the best life insurance for seniors varies depending on age, health status, policy type and the coverage amount. MoneyGeek researched the price of a 10-year term life insurance policy for seniors with different coverage limits in the table below.

Average 10-Year Term Life Insurance Costs for Seniors

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  • Policyholder Age
    $250,000
    $500,000
    $1,000,000
  • 50
    $38.75
    $54.97
    $100.89
  • 60
    $82.56
    $137.08
    $262.21
  • 70
    $220.26
    $413.85
    $779.67

The average cost per month was determined by analyzing 10-year term life insurance quotes for nonsmoking males and females in good health at each age category.

Average Guaranteed Acceptance Cost for Seniors

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  • Policyholder Age
    $10,000
    $25,000
  • 50
    $63.87
    $101.73
  • 60
    $55.76
    $138.15
  • 70
    $91.15
    $215.76
  • 80
    $175.07
    $419.54

The average cost per month was determined by analyzing guaranteed acceptance life insurance quotes for nonsmoking males and females in good health at each age category.

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Life Insurance Considerations by Age for Seniors

Depending on your age, your coverage needs may be different. MoneyGeek analyzed the following policy options according to your age.

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    Ages 50–60

    The type of insurance policy you choose entirely depends on your financial obligations. If you’re in your 50s and have a mortgage or any debts to pay, a term or whole life insurance policy would be a good option for you. With a term life policy, you can choose the term length according to the duration of your loans. A whole life insurance policy will offer you permanent coverage with fixed premiums and a cash value, which can be used later in life.

    If you don’t have any temporary financial obligations or dependents, you can also opt for a final expense life insurance policy.

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    Ages 60–70

    If you’re in your 60s and are in good health, you can reap significant benefits from a whole life insurance policy. However, it’s usually expensive for older people, and most providers require you to take a health exam to qualify. If you can’t afford it, there are other, more affordable options.

    A term life insurance policy is a good option for seniors over 60 looking for affordable life insurance. However, the downside is that these policies require a medical exam, and if you outlive your policy, you won’t get the death benefit.

    For seniors over 60, the best option is often to get a final expense insurance policy. With this policy, you won’t have to pass a medical exam and pay lower premiums than other policies. However, the coverage amounts will also be lower.

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    Ages 70 and up

    When you’re in your 70s or older, buying final expense life insurance would be the best option for you. This type of policy is permanent, and its premiums are fixed. With this policy, you’re not required to pass a health exam, and you don’t have to answer health questions unless you’re enrolling in a simplified issue final expense plan. The approval of this policy will be easy and quick, and the funds can be used for burial or other final expenses.

    For seniors over 70, other types of policies — like term, whole or universal life — may be quite expensive and difficult to qualify for.

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FAQs About Life Insurance for Seniors

The following frequently asked questions about the best life insurance for seniors may help you make a better and more informed decision while buying a policy.

Expert Advice: Finding the Best Life Insurance for Seniors

  1. How can seniors determine what type of life insurance policy is the best fit for them?
  2. Why might the best type of life insurance policy be different for older seniors versus younger seniors?
  3. Beyond cost and policy type, what other factors should seniors consider when looking for the best life insurance?
Linda Chavez
Linda Chavez

Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder

Gordon Conwell III
Gordon Conwell III

Professional Life Insurance Specialist at American Term

Tony Steuer, CLU, LA, CPFFE
Tony Steuer, CLU, LA, CPFFE

Author & Financial Wellness Advocate

Life Insurance for Seniors Ranking Methodology

We go the extra mile so that you can feel confident about the information in our life insurance content from MoneyGeek. Our life insurance ranking for seniors incorporates a significant number of data points from insurance industry research companies, such as J.D. Power and Associates. It also includes data from our unique proprietary qualitative and quantitative policy research, including real quotes for seniors aged 50–80. Cost and quote information comes from analyzing real-life insurance quotes manually gathered using the personal profiles mentioned under each table. To learn more, visit our complete methodology page.

About the Author


expert-profile

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.