What is the best life insurance for seniors?

Seniors may find that their life insurance options are limited; the older you are, the more you will pay and the harder it is to qualify. However, there are still good options, and the best life insurance for you will depend on your needs.

For most seniors, the main goal of a life insurance policy is to cover end-of-life and funeral costs. Final expense insurance policies are geared towards this particular need. This type of policy requires no medical exam and little in the way of health questions, and it's easy to qualify for. Coverage is usually limited, usually capped at $50,000.

Top life insurance companies for seniors

Below are some of the best-known companies that offer coverage to seniors. Find the best choice for you by comparing rates and quotes. The companies below all offer a range of products for seniors, including no medical exam and guaranteed issue options.

Company Senior life insurance options
Mutual of OmahaOffers term life up to age 80 and whole or universal life up to age 85.
Whole life is available with no medical exam and guaranteed level premiums.
Whole life coverage ranges from $5,000 to $25,000, with instant acceptance available.
AM Best rating: A+
AIGTerm and whole life are available up to age 80; universal may also be available.
Quality of Life plan includes living benefits that can cover medical expenses.
Guaranteed Issue Whole Life is available with no medical exam and no health questions and with coverage up to $25,000.
Higher coverage levels are available through the traditional whole life plan.
AM Best rating: A
Aetna/CVSFinal expense insurance is available up to age 89 with either level, modified or graded death benefits.
Death benefits range from $3,000 to $35,000.
There is no medical exam, but some health questions are required.
AM Best rating: A
TransamericaOffers term life up to age 80 and whole or universal life up to age 85.
Whole life is available with no medical exam and guaranteed level premiums.
Whole life coverage ranges from $5,000 to $25,000, with instant acceptance available.
AM Best rating: A+
Gerber LifeOffers final expense life insurance with death benefits of up to $50,000.
Coverage is available up to age 85.
No medical exam coverage with same-day approval is available.
AM Best rating: A
John HancockTerm and whole life insurance are available along with a guaranteed issue whole life policy for those aged 50-80.
Guaranteed issue coverage up to $25,000; other policies offer higher limits, up to $1 million.
No medical exam for guaranteed issue, other policies may require an exam for those over 51 applying for more than $100,000 in coverage.
AM Best rating: A+

How much does senior citizens' life insurance cost?

Life insurance costs can vary based on the policy type, the carrier, your age, and your preferred death benefit.

The average annual cost of a $25,000 final expense life insurance policy for a 65-year-old is $1,326 for a female and $1,724 for a male, based on rates gathered by Insurance.com from Compulife in 2023.

Term life insurance is more affordable, but rates increase as you age. Term life policies either increase as you age or stay level, depending on the policy.

"Life insurance companies factor your age and health in determining the premium because the older you get, the more health impairments you tend to have. Age and health impairments affect life expectancy and the cost of your life insurance," says Randy VanderVaate, president/owner of Funeral Funds of America. "That's why the average premium cost for most seniors will be between $30 and $100 per month."

How much does senior term life insurance cost?

Here are the average annual costs for 10-year and 15-year level term life insurance policies for nonsmokers who are classified as regular health for up to age 75. As you can see, rates rise dramatically as you age and are higher for males than for females.

10-year term15-year term
65-year-old male$4,726$6,649
65-year-old female$3,116$4,455
70-year-old male$8,819$12,164
70-year-old female$5,831$8,231
75-year-old male$15,421$22,666
75-year-old female$9,809$15,849

Source: CompuLife, September 2023

What is the cheapest life insurance for seniors?

The most inexpensive life insurance option or policy type will depend on your age, need, and death benefit.

A low-benefit final expense policy that requires medical underwriting is often the most affordable option for seniors who don't currently have life insurance.

"The cheapest life insurance option for seniors is first-day coverage final expense life insurance or burial insurance. The healthier you are, the better your rates will be," VanderVaate says. Final expense insurance is cheap because it has a small death benefit; for what you get, it's actually pricey. However, it may still be the most affordable option.

A term life insurance policy can also be considerably cheaper but may be difficult to qualify for based on age and health condition.

Life insurance FAQs

What happens if you die a month after getting life insurance?

If your policy has a waiting period, which is most commonly two years, your beneficiaries will most likely receive only what you have paid in premiums. If there is no waiting period, the death benefit will be paid, but only after an investigation. Life insurance companies have a contestability period, again usually two years, during which they may contest the payout if they suspect fraud. For example, the claim may be denied if you didn't reveal a terminal diagnosis on your application.

Is there an age limit for life insurance?

Each insurance company sets its maximum issue age. For most, it's between 80 and 85, but John Hancock issues life insurance up to age 90.

What is the best life insurance for seniors over 70?

If you're over 70 but still in good health, both term and whole life are likely available to you. If your health is poor, however, the best choice is likely a guaranteed issue final expense policy.

What is the best life insurance for a senior in poor medical condition?

A no-medical exam policy that offers guaranteed acceptance may be the best or only option if you are in poor health, although you can expect to pay more for this type of policy.

"These policies are approved for seniors in poor health as long as they don't have a terminal illness, are not confined to a nursing home or hospice, and can perform activities of daily living on their own," VanderVaate says. "People under these circumstances can also be approved for guaranteed issue life insurance, but they need to wait two years before they will be fully covered."