Life Insurance for Seniors Over 55
Life insurance is cheap and simple when you’re in your twenties or thirties and in good health. In fact, nowadays a thirty-year-old healthy male non-smoker can get a $1 million term policy for about $30 a month. That’s less than two large pizzas!
But what about those folks who are past that monumental fiftieth birthday? They celebrated like crazy when they turned 50 and are now they’re facing the next big hurdle and all the while they find their life and health insurance is costing more and more.
If you are in this age group and find yourself needing life insurance because you don’t have any or you don’t have enough, we want you to know that you still have options and you can find affordable life insurance for seniors over 55. By the way, if you find the word “senior” offensive, just pretend it’s not in this article.
You Have Options
Believe it or not, you still have options when you’re shopping for life insurance for seniors over 55. You can still purchase affordable term life insurance, universal life insurance, and final expense whole life insurance. Which kind of insurance you choose depends on your individual circumstances and your monthly budget.
Since all life insurance quotes are based on your age, your health, and the amount of coverage you want, we should take a moment and address each of these underwriting issues:
- Age – On this one you’re stuck. You cannot lower your age on your application. However, you can shop with all of the major insurance companies and get a quote back instantly which allows you to choose a company that we’ll call “age-friendly.” Here’s an example: Joe Jones is a 57-year old male non-smoker in very good health. Joe wants a quote for a 20-year term policy that will pay a $250,000 death benefit to his spouse. Here are the top 5 quotes for Joe to consider:
Based on these actual life insurance quotes, if Joe’s main concern is the monthly premium, he would likely choose Banner Life with a $91.91 monthly premium. That’s certainly more than 2 large pizzas but at least it’s less than a room at the Holiday Inn.
- Health – It’s certainly not unusual for people who work hard to put their career ahead of their health. Working very hard and working long hours typically takes a toll on our health. For those of us who are not committed to exercise and healthy eating, we usually end up paying the piper with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even diabetes. If you’re in this category, this is when your independent insurance agent really earns his or her stripes.
Most independent agents with some years of experience represent many insurance companies and over time they have learned which ones are “health issue friendly.” What we mean by this is that there are insurance companies that have sweet spots for different health issues and you will likely get a better rate if your agent chooses the right company.
By the way, this isn’t true for company or captured agents who represent only one company with very strict underwriting guidelines.
- Death Benefit – Believe it or not, the “how much insurance do you need question” is usually answered with a guess when we first speak with a prospective client. How much insurance you need depends on why you’re buying the insurance and what you want it to do for you? If you tell your agent “I just want to make sure my family will be okay,” then your agent will help you calculate that using an insurance calculator. Frequently this is referred to as an “insurance needs analysis.”
If you have a specific purpose for buy life insurance like paying off a mortgage if you die, or paying for final expenses, then your agent can help you with that as well. As long as we establish why you need life insurance, we can calculate how much you will need and the best kind to buy.
Types of Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
There are two types of life insurance for seniors over 55;
- Term Life Insurance for Seniors
- Permanent Life Insurance for Seniors
Each type has several sub-types that most people might be familiar with. For example, term life insurance for seniors and whole life insurance for seniors or universal life insurance for seniors.
Term Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
Term life insurance for seniors over 55 only lasts for a specified number of years but permanent insurance for seniors lasts for a lifetime.
Term life insurance for seniors also does not build cash value because the policyholder is only charged for the cost of the death benefit and riders plus the associated fees.
Since term life insurance for seniors only covers for a specified amount of time like 5, 10, 20, 25, or 30-years, it costs much less than permanent life, that has coverage for a lifetime.
Permanent Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
Permanent life insurance for seniors over 55 has more options to choose from than term life especially if you have had health issues in the past.
Types of Permanent Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
Depending on your health, you will have 3 options to choose from for permanent life insurance for seniors over 55
Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
If you have not had any major health issues such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, or uncontrollable diabetes, then guaranteed universal life insurance is going to be the cheapest option for permanent life insurance for seniors over 55.
These policies come with a guaranteed premium and death benefit to age 120. They do build up some cash value, but are used more as a death benefit policy rather a cash accumulation policy.
Final Expense Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
Final Expense insurance is used for seniors looking to cover their end of life expenses, such as funeral costs. These policies are more lenient with their underwriting process, which means some pre-existing conditions are approved.
Final expense life insurance for seniors over 55 limit death benefits to a maximum of $50K, but could be less depending on age and health issues.
Check out our top Final Expense Insurance companies for 2019
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for Seniors over 55
Guaranteed issue life insurance for seniors over 55 is used when the consumer has no other options. In other words you have been declined for traditional life insurance and final expense life insurance.
When you purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy you are actually buying a whole life policy. The coverage will last forever and premiums are usually guaranteed. There are no health questions at all.
The major downfalls to guaranteed issue life insurance for seniors over 55 are:
- Premiums can very high
- A two year waiting period on claims if death is natural
Life Insurance for Seniors over 55 Compared
Here is a chart that shows the different life insurance quotes for seniors over 55. For this comparison, we’ll use a male non-smoker in average (good) health and a death benefit of $100,000:
When you review these actual life insurance quotes for seniors over 55, you can certainly see how your age affects your cost of life insurance and how much higher the price is from one type of insurance to another. It’s also important to mention that if you are a smoker, your insurance rates will be at least 50% higher than the quotes we’ve listed here. So by all means, if you are a smoker you should certainly consider the cost of your habit; not just for life and health insurance rates, but also the cost on your health.
What types of life insurance can seniors over 55 buy?
Seniors over 55 can qualify for term life, universal life, and whole life insurance policies. Which one you would qualify for depends on your health and the amount of coverage needed.
Can I still buy term life insurance at age 55?
Yes, you can buy term life insurance at age 55 and some companies don’t require an exam depending on the amount of coverage.
What are my options for life insurance at age 55?
Believe it or not, you still have options when you’re shopping for life insurance for seniors over 55. You can still purchase affordable term life insurance, universal life insurance, and final expense whole life insurance.
Should I buy life insurance at age 55?
Yes, If you don’t already own life insurance you should look at purchasing a policy, at least to cover burial expenses.