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Senior Life Insurance FAQ's

If I'm Over 65, Can I Still Obtain Life Insurance?

Although choices tend to be more limited for seniors, there are both permanent and term life insurance options available to those over the age of 65. A lot of this will depend on your life insurance company. Some companies do have an age limit on certain term policies, which may make it necessary for you to either look elsewhere or opt for an annuity or permanent life insurance policy.

Even in cases where you are able to receive a term policy as a senior, the term you can choose may vary depending on your current age. For example, if you are 75 years old and above, you may be eligible to receive a 10-year term policy but not a longer term. If you aren't able to obtain a term policy at all or you're interested in another option, universal and whole life options are typically available to individuals of all ages.

Universal life insurance is also limited by age but the age restrictions are typically less limited and the coverage is very similar to that provided by term insurance. Again, these policies will differ between companies and can be purchased for a certain period of time or until you reach a certain age.


Is it Really Necessary, as a Senior, to Have Life Insurance?

Life insurance is beneficial to individuals of all ages, seniors included. There are numerous reasons to purchase life insurance, the most important of which is income replacement to help support a family in the event of death. Even if you've retired, your spouse and family may rely on your pension which might cease to pay out after your death, leaving your family in financial dire straits.

Life insurance not only serves as a financial buffer by supplementing any retirement savings you might have but it can also help your family to pay for necessary expenses following your death, including funeral costs, medical bills, and any loans that you might have been carrying. Additionally, if you still have dependents, such as a spouse or children who are minors, you will want to make sure that your family is well taken care of. Life insurance can also help to contribute to estate planning, family trusts, and the fulfillment of any business obligations and responsibilities you might still possess.


Is a Medical Examination Required for Senior Citizens to Receive Life Insurance?

Some life insurance policies do not require seniors to receive a medical examination prior to being granted life insurance. This mostly holds for term life insurance up to 250K. The term allowed will typically depend upon your age with the insurance being valid up until the age of 75. In other words, a 65 year old could receive a 10-year policy while a 55 year old may be able to receive up to 20. Again, this can vary depending upon your insurance company. Smaller benefits may also be available via term life insurance for individuals between the ages of 60 and 70.

If you have a known health issue, you may also be able to avoid a medical examination with a whole life or "graded senior" term policy. While they don't require an exam per se, you will be required to fill out a medical information sheet. For the most part, if you choose one of these policies, you will likely face elevated premiums as the lack of a medical exam will make you a greater risk to the insurance company.


Are There Circumstances Where it is Not Advisable for a Senior to Purchase Life Insurance?

While it is generally recommended that all adults, including seniors, have life insurance to protect loved ones after death, there are some situations in which life insurance is an unnecessary cost that can be avoided. For example, you might not require coverage if:

  • You have no dependents
  • You have no outstanding loans or other financial obligations
  • You have significant savings
  • You have your funeral already paid for
  • You have already purchased long term care insurance

How Can Seniors Save Money on Life Insurance?

Life insurance costs do not need to be prohibitive, particularly if you know some tips and tricks that will help you to keep the costs low. The following are some ideas:

1. Take care of yourself. Keeping yourself in good health is not only great for you but can also greatly reduce the rate you are charged by the insurance company.

2. Purchase sooner rather than later. It's a known fact that the older you are, the more insurance companies will charge. The sooner you pick a policy, the better off you will be.

3. Do your research. There are a seemingly endless number of insurance companies out there with different rates and policies. Researching several different options will increase your chances of finding the right choice for you.

4. Get quotes. Contact a number of companies to receive quotes or discuss your needs with an independent agent. He or she will be able to quickly provide you with rate quotes that you can easily compare to find a plan you can afford.