Are you over the age of 50 and looking for life insurance? In this article, we’ll look at some of your options, breaking them down into several categories to help you make a smart choice when shopping for coverage.
Yes, there are life insurance options for those over 50.
If you’re in the market for life insurance, it helps to be young. Younger people generally find they have more coverage options available to them, and usually pay less than their elders.
Age, of course, is something we can’t control. And you may have good reasons for shopping for life insurance when you’re a bit older. Maybe the term life policy you bought years ago has expired, and you want coverage for the future. Maybe you lost your group life insurance when you changed jobs or retired. Or maybe your financial situation or other life circumstances have evolved, and you realize now that you need coverage.
The good news is that there are many options for life insurance available, even if you’re past the age when most people buy it. You can also find reviews and ratings at multiple sites to help you make a smart choice. Here, we’ve picked through some of those online reviews to develop our list of the companies you ought to check out if you’re over 50 and looking for life insurance.
Our categories include:
- Best overall
- Best final expense
- Best term life
- Best for estate planning
- Best for no waiting
- Best for those on a budget
- Best no medical exam
Best overall: Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha earns high overall rankings from both Investopedia and Verywellhealth for its age acceptability (term life policies are available for those age 18 to 80, while whole life is available to those from 45 to 85).
Term life policies are available for 10, 15, 20, or 30 year periods, and can be renewed for a one-year increment once the initial term expires. A term policy can also be converted to a permanent policy. Premiums may vary based on the policyholder’s health and presence of any serious conditions.
Guaranteed acceptance whole life policies are available with coverage limits between $2,000 and $25,000. However if the policyholder dies within two years of policy inception, their beneficiaries receive 110% of premiums paid in lieu of the full death benefit.
In addition to term and whole life, Mutual of Omaha’s offerings include universal life and accidental death policies. It’s available in all 50 states, and the company has an A+ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best.
Best for final expenses: AIG
AIG has the leading final expense coverage, according to Investopedia. The company offers it as part of its guaranteed issue whole life policy, which is underwritten by American General Life Insurance.
The coverage is relatively easy to get: The company provides limits ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, with no waiting period, and no medical exam. Note that if the policyholder dies within two years of the policy’s inception, their beneficiaries receive 110% of the premiums paid, in lieu of a full death benefit.
AIG has been in business for over a century, and today covers policyholders in more than 80 countries. The company has an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
Best term life: Foresters
Foresters ranks at the top of Value Penguin’s rankings of term life insurers. The company is lauded for its low rates and availability for people over age 70. The company also provides an option for accelerated death benefits if the policyholder contracts a chronic, critical or terminal illness. Forester term life policies can be converted to permanent life should the policyholder continue to want coverage after the end of the policy term. To get a quote or buy a policy, you need to contact one of the company’s agents — these functions are not available online.
Founded in 1874, Foresters Financial today offers term, whole, and permanent life insurance. The company has an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
Best for estate planning: Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual takes the top spot for wealth transfer and estate planning at The Balance. Founded in 1857, the company today serves 4.5 million clients, and carries an A++ (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
The company’s universal life insurance policy allows the policyholder to put a lump sum into a permanent life policy to provide the beneficiary with a tax-free lump sum death benefit.
Northwestern Mutual offers a wide variety of plans, including term life, while life, universal life, and more. Term policies are available either for a specific term length, such as 10 or 20 years, or up to a specific age, such as 80. And a term policy can be converted to a permanent policy if the policyholder’s needs chance. Rates are affordable; and as a mutual company, it pays dividends on eligible term life policies. However, policies are available only through the company’s network of financial advisors.
Best for a quick decision/no waiting: Fidelity Life
Those needing life insurance in a hurry would do well to contact Fidelity Life. The company was the top choice for no-wait coverage at Investopedia. The company’s RAPIDecision Senior Life Term and RAPIDecision Senior Life Whole policies are designed specifically for those age 50 to 85. Coverage amounts range from $10,000 to $150,000 for either policy, and is available in just days. There’s no medical exam or underwriting, and coverage is guaranteed for policies up to $25,000.
Best no-medical-exam life insurance: AARP
If you’d prefer to skip the traditional medical exam when getting life insurance, and you’re a member of the country’s best known advocacy group for seniors, check out AARP life insurance. It’s Verywellhealth’s choice for no-medical-exam (NME) life insurance. The company’s life insurance policies are underwritten by New York Life, and has an A++ (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
AARP offers permanent and term life insurance policies with no exam, to association members or their spouses between the ages of 50 and 80. Coverage is available from $10,000 to $100,000 for term life and $50,000 for permanent life. These policies require completion of a health questionnaire online.
The association also offers an easy acceptance life insurance with up to $25,000. Acceptance is guaranteed unless the applicant has a terminal illness.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get life insurance after age 50?
Yes, you can get life insurance after age 50. Numerous companies offer life insurance to older people. Those companies offer term life, whole life, and other types of coverage.
Should I buy life insurance at age 50?
It depends on your needs and family situation. Life insurance is typically purchased by younger people, looking to ensure their families will be financially secure should the unthinkable happen. A policy can, for instance, help your spouse pay off your home mortgage, or help your children pay for college.
As you get older, your responsibilities to your family may evolve. Your need for life insurance may evolve as well. With your home paid off and your children on their own, you might consider life insurance to help your family cover your final expenses, to help protect your estate or to fund a charitable gift.
What’s different about life insurance over 50?
You may find that life insurance costs more than when you were younger, or that you have lower maximum coverage amounts available to you. You may also find it more difficult to get coverage if you have certain health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
What type of life insurance is best for a 50-year old?
Each of the primary types of insurance has benefits and drawbacks for those over 50. Term coverage is generally less expensive, but will expire at the end of a set term. At that point, you’ll need to try to get another policy, or go without insurance (although some term policies have an option to convert to whole life coverage).
A whole life policy generally costs more. But the policy will remain in force for the rest of your life, ensuring your beneficiaries receive a death benefit.
At what point do you no longer need life insurance?
It’s also a good idea to ask yourself whether you even need life insurance after age 50. Are your family’s finances solid? Are your home mortgage and other major debts paid off? Do you have any future financial obligations that you wouldn’t want to leave to your spouse and children? Will your family be able to keep up with their daily expenses?
As stated in a recent article in Forbes, “Life insurance exists primarily to prevent your loved ones from struggling financially if you pass away before your family is in good financial standing.” If your family will be able to get along without any sort of death benefit, then it may be time to consider going without life insurance.
Get help sorting through your life insurance options
There may be many reasons why you’re looking for life insurance over the age of 50. The good news is that you have multiple options for life insurance companies and coverage types. If you need some guidance sorting through these options, consider contacting a life insurance agent. Agents are licensed by your state, and are dedicated to helping you understand your options so you can make the best possible choice.