The Best Life Insurance for Seniors

Author: Kathryn Casna

If you’re looking for the best life insurance for seniors while approaching or enjoying retirement, you’re in the right place. Many people think they’re uninsurable after their 65th birthday, but that’s far from the truth.

While you have fewer or more expensive life insurance options than your children or grandchildren, plenty of excellent companies offer coverage that may fit your needs. To help you find quality coverage, we’ve analyzed more than 140 insurers to find the best life insurance companies for seniors.

Best Overall

A++ (from A.M. Best)

  • Age range: 50–80+

Compare quotes

Best Universal Life

A+ (from A.M. Best)

  • Age range: Up to 85

Get a quote

Best Final Expense

A+ (from A.M. Best)

  • Age range: 50–80

Get a quote

Best Term Life

A++ (from A.M. Best)

  • Age: Up to 70

Compare quotes

Best Value

A (from A.M. Best)

  • Age range: 50–85

Get a quote

Our methodology

“Seniors” can cover a wide age range and refer to people in a variety of life stages. Choosing the best companies for a group full of such unique individuals is a challenge, so we decided to focus on the types of life insurance that older adults commonly buy. We chose companies that excel at these types of life insurance and offer these products to older adults.

Next, we looked at customer service. Most of our top companies excel at taking care of policyholders and their beneficiaries. The exception is our best value pick, which prioritized a lower price over top-notch service.

Of course, we also considered our own rating system, which is an objective analysis of a company’s financial stability and claims history. The result is a list of the top five life insurance providers for older adults.

Best life insurance companies for seniors

  • AARP: Best Life Insurance for Seniors (read review)
  • Mutual of Omaha: Best Universal Life Insurance for Seniors (read review)
  • Banner Life: Best Final Expense Insurance for Seniors (read review)
  • State Farm: Best Term Life Insurance for Seniors (read review)
  • AIG Life: Best Value Life Insurance for Seniors (read review)

Skip ahead to read more about each company, or keep reading below to learn more about how to choose the right policy.


Best types of life insurance for seniors

Many companies offer several products designed for older adults, but the best policy for you depends on your health, goals, age, and other factors.

If you haven’t reached the 60-year-old milestone yet, you may have more coverage options than people who have. We suggest learning more generally about the types of life insurance. But if your 50s are in the rearview mirror, read on.

Term life insurance for seniors

This type of life insurance is typically best for older adults looking for inexpensive coverage for a limited number of years.

Term life insurance is usually the least expensive option for people of any age. Most insurers begin limiting the term lengths once you reach 55 or 60, so you may not find many 30-year term options after that. Once you reach 65 or 70 years, you’ll likely have limited 20-year term options as well, and so on.

Still, if you need coverage for only a limited number of years, term life will probably be your best bet.

Final expense life insurance for seniors

This type of life insurance is usually best for older adults wanting a small death benefit payout and to skip the medical exam.

Insurance death benefit payouts for final expenses insurance are typically $1,000 to $25,000, making them a popular option for covering end-of-life expenses, such as funeral and burial costs. But don’t let the name fool you. Your beneficiaries can use those funds however they see fit.

Typically, final expense life insurance policies are a kind of whole life insurance. You’re covered for life, provided you continue to pay your premiums. Additionally, many of these policies are either guaranteed issue or no exam life insurance, making them an excellent option for people who have preexisting conditions.

Indexed universal life insurance for seniors

This type of life insurance is usually best for older adults who want flexible, permanent coverage with an investment component.

Universal life insurance is permanent life insurance that allows the policy owner to adjust their premiums and coverage as needed. Older adults who see big changes in their future, such as retirement, travel, or downsizing, may want the flexibility of this type of policy.

All universal life policies come with a cash value, but indexed universal policies are the only ones that match your cash value growth to an index such as the S&P 500. By choosing this policy, you’ll have life insurance and a low-risk investment to help top off your retirement savings.

Guaranteed universal life insurance for seniors

This type of life insurance is usually best for older adults who want inexpensive, low-risk permanent life insurance.

This type of universal life insurance is popular among older adults. It’s less expensive than whole life but can cover you long after a term policy would end. Like other forms of permanent life insurance, guaranteed universal life coverage comes with a cash value that acts like a savings account that grows and shrinks over time with the market. Unlike other forms of universal life, this type of policy comes with minimal risk.

The “guarantee” in this type of policy refers to your coverage. No matter how your cash value investment changes over time, your coverage won’t lapse as long as you pay the same minimum premium. Unlike other permanent life insurance policies, however, this policy’s cash value may not grow much. Guaranteed universal life insurance also provides the same low risk as whole life insurance.

If you’re looking for inexpensive permanent coverage, a guaranteed universal policy could be right for you–as long as growth of cash value is not one of your priorities.

Hybrid life and long-term care insurance

This type of life insurance is typically best for older adults concerned about covering long-term care expenses before death.

The cost of long-term care insurance is on the rise, making it increasingly unattainable for many older adults. Add to that the fact that 30% of people will never need long-term care,1 and this type of insurance may not seem worth the cost. Still, if you do someday need long-term care in a nursing home or with home health care, Medicare won’t pay for most of these services.

But here’s where hybrid policies and long-term care riders can help. These products allow policy owners to combine two types of coverage—life insurance and long-term care insurance—with a single, cost-effective premium.

Here’s how it works: as with other life insurance policies, you’ll choose a death benefit amount, say $500,000. If you require long-term care later in life, you’ll be able to pull from your death benefit to pay for those services. Keep in mind, your beneficiaries will receive a lower payout. But if you never need long-term care, your beneficiaries will receive the full $500,000 death benefit when you pass away.

If you’re considering long-term care insurance and feel trapped between a rock and a hard place, a hybrid policy could be right for you.

Whole life insurance for seniors

This type of life insurance is typically best for older adults who can afford large premiums and want to leave an inheritance.

Whole life insurance is a kind of permanent life insurance. In general, it’s also the most expensive type of life insurance, so it’s the rare senior who can afford the premiums for this type of life insurance.

If cost isn’t an issue, whole life insurance can be a great way to leave a tax-sheltered inheritance for your beneficiaries.


Compare the top life insurance companies for seniors

Provider Policy type Monthly premium Why we chose it Learn more
AARP Non-level term
$100K
No exam
$272
  • Designed explicitly for seniors
  • Backed by New York Life
Quote
Mutual of Omaha Guaranteed universal
$100K
$253
  • Excellent financial and customer service marks
  • Available until age 80
Quote
Banner Life Final Expense
$15K
$130
  • No exam final expense after age 50
  • Premiums only until age 90, coverage continues for life
Quote
State Farm Level term for 10 years
$100K
$82
  • Fine-tune coverage to exact number of years
  • Convert to permanent life until age 95
Quote
AIG Guaranteed issue
Whole life
$15K
$111
  • Competitive pricing for older adults
  • Excellent final expense insurance
Quote

All rates are for a healthy, 70-year-old female. Rates are for illustration purposes only. Actual quotes may vary.  Rates are from NYLAARP.com, LGAmerica.com, StateFarm.com, Chris Abrams at MJLifeInsurance.com and a Clearlink partner. Data effective 8/8/2019.

AARP—Best Overall

#1

Available only to AARP members, this insurance is provided by top insurer New York Life.

Compare quotes

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is well-known for recommending quality products and services for older adults, and AARP’s life insurance is no different. Backed by one of the largest life insurers in the US, AARP policies offer coverage without a medical exam for people 50 and older.

Pros

  • No medical exam required
  • Term, whole, and guaranteed acceptance
  • Backed by New York Life

Cons

  • For AARP members only
  • $100K coverage limit

AARP offers both term and permanent policies. You can buy term life insurance, as well as convert this policy to permanent coverage, up to age 80. Meanwhile, all AARP policies are backed by New York Life Insurance Company, which earns top financial stability marks (AM Best gives New York Life its highest possible rating2) and offers excellent customer service.3

Who might choose AARP?

  • AARP members: If you trust AARP to provide you with the best resources for retirees, you might consider this organization’s life insurance too.
  • People who want to avoid a medical exam: You can skip a medical exam with every AARP life insurance policy.
  • People looking for low coverage: The highest death benefit you can choose is $100,000 for a term life policy.

Learn more about AARP life insurance.

Mutual of Omaha – Best Universal Life

#2

Available until age 85, Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed universal life policies are top-notch.

Get a quote

Mutual of Omaha was founded in 19094 as a mutual company, which means policyholders own the company and may receive dividends each year. This insurer receives high marks for financial stability and has a squeaky-clean claims history. Meanwhile, J.D. Power ranked this insurer number 8 of 23 for overall customer service in 2018.5

Pros

  • Financially stable
  • Excellent customer service
  • Possible annual dividends

Cons

  • Prices aren’t typically the lowest

Mutual of Omaha offers four types of universal life. Two of these policies focus on guaranteeing a death benefit to age 85 (or, if you choose, your lifetime) and focus less on building cash value. Choose from straight universal life or an indexed universal life policy.

Finally, while this insurer earns our Best Universal Life Insurance for Seniors title, its term life policies are robust too. You can apply for them until age 74 and have coverage until your 80th birthday. These policies also come with the option to convert to permanent life insurance.

Who is Mutual of Omaha best for?

  • People who want guaranteed coverage: Those who prioritize coverage over cash value growth can apply for one of Mutual of Omaha’s two guaranteed universal options.
  • People who can pay a little more: Mutual of Omaha’s prices are middle-of-the-pack. For some, financial stability and customer service may be worth the extra cost.
  • People up to 85 years old: Mutual of Omaha offers some of the highest age caps in the industry.

Learn more about Mutual of Omaha.

Banner Life – Best Final Expense

#3

Banner provides low-cost, quality coverage under the Legal and General brand.

Get a quote

Banner was founded in 1949 and sells life insurance under the Legal and General brand. This insurer has stable financial strength ratings and a clean claims history, making it a reliable company all around. Banner also offers some of the best final expense insurance on the market for older adults.

Pros

  • Apply online
  • Low prices for final expense and term life
  • One-day claims

Cons

  • Relatively young company
  • Low maximum death benefit

Banner Life’s final expense policies provide a death benefit of up to $15,000 for people ages 50 to 80. While most insurers offer higher final expense death benefits, Banner provides other benefits that make it stand out for older adults. No matter what age you apply for a policy, for example, you won’t have to take a medical exam, acceptance is guaranteed, and you can apply online. 

With Banner’s final expense insurance, you’ll pay premiums only until age 90 but receive lifelong coverage. Policies $10,000 and under come with fast-tracked claims, so your beneficiaries could receive the death benefits payout in as little as one business day.

While Banner earns our Best Final Expense for Seniors award, its term and universal life policies offer quality coverage as well.

Who is Banner Life best for?

  • Retirees with little to no debt: If you don’t need income or debt protection, the maximum final expense death benefit payout could be all the coverage you need.
  • People who have been turned down before: Banner’s guaranteed acceptance policies are an excellent option if you’re looking for life insurance with preexisting health conditions.
  • People on a budget: Banner’s final expense and term life are some of the lowest-cost options on the market.

Learn more about Banner Life insurance.

State Farm—Best Term Life

#4

Unsurpassed customer service and convertible term life policies make State Farm a top-notch option for older adults.

Get a quote

State Farm consistently reaches the top of J.D. Power’s US Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction, snagging #1 in both 2018 and 2017.6,7 While this insurer is best known for auto coverage, its transparent approach to service and policy variety are also a boon for older adults looking for life insurance.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • Convertible policies
  • Transparent website

Cons

  • High health standards
  • Known for auto insurance

State Farm offers term life insurance to applicants up to 75 years old. Premiums are guaranteed level for the length of your term, then increase annually until age 95. Or, you can convert your policy to permanent life insurance.

Since many companies stop offering term life or limit conversion options starting at age 65, State Farm’s options stand out. Still, this insurer is best for healthy people and those without preexisting conditions. That’s because State Farm’s health rating standards are more rigorous than other insurers. If you’re in excellent health, however, you could see competitive rates with this company.

Who is State Farm best for?

  • Healthy people: Rigorous medical underwriting makes it hard to qualify for the best rates with State Farm.
  • People with temporary coverage needs: State Farm excels at term life, which comes in 10-, 20-, and 30-year terms.
  • People who want to research providers online: State Farm is super transparent about their rates, policy details, and applicant requirements on its website.

Learn more about State Farm life insurance.

AIG – Best Value

#5

With some of the lowest rates for older adults, AIG earns our Best Value for Seniors award.

Get a quote

Also known as American General, AIG is a financially stable company that’s been in business since 1919. This centurion has some of the most affordable life insurance for seniors and a clean claims history, but its customer service could be better.

Pros

  • 18 term-length options
  • Living benefits
  • Guaranteed acceptance whole life for ages 50–85

Cons

  • Below average customer service

AIG offers multiple products that appeal to older adults. This insurer’s guaranteed acceptance whole life policies essentially act as final expense insurance, providing low death benefits at a low cost. Meanwhile, AIG’s term life prices are steep for young people—but highly competitive for adults 50 and older.

AIG’s Quality of Life products automatically add living benefits, such as chronic, critical, and terminal illness insurance, to your coverage. Applicants can choose from Quality of Life versions of AIG’s term, guaranteed universal, and indexed universal life insurance policies.

Who is AIG best for?

  • People considering long-term care insurance: AIG’s living benefits riders offer a reliable alternative to long-term care insurance.
  • Price-conscious people: With some of the lowest rates for seniors, you could save on premiums with AIG.
  • People looking for unique term lengths: AIG offers 18 total term lengths ranging from 10 to 35 years.

Learn more about AIG life insurance.


How to choose the right life insurance for seniors

Every person’s situation is different, but people in the same age bracket tend to have similar coverage needs. If you’re an older adult who’s not sure which type of life insurance you need, find your age group below. We’re going to break down some common concerns your peers have, which may apply to you too.

Life insurance for seniors in their 60s

You might feel some sticker shock if you look at life insurance rates when you’re in your 60s. But chances are, you’ll still have plenty of options. You’ll be able to get quotes for longer term life policies, such as 20 and 30 years.

If you’re looking for permanent life insurance this time around, try indexed universal life. Its flexibility could satisfy your coverage needs for the rest of your life. This policy can also provide low-risk cash value growth you could use to supplement your retirement income later.

Finally, if you’re looking to knock out two insurance needs—life and long-term care—a hybrid policy is often cheaper than two separate policies. Just keep in mind that using your long-term care benefits may drain the death benefit payout your beneficiaries receive.

Life insurance for seniors in their 70s

If you’re in your 70s and no longer work, your income probably consists of a mix of Social Security benefits and retirement savings. You may not need to protect your income with life insurance and set aside enough funds to cover your final expenses instead. Hooray for financial independence!

If you’re still building your savings, however, you may want a short-term policy to help tide you over for a few years. A 10- or 15-year term could be a good option for you.

If you think you’ll need life insurance coverage indefinitely, however, a guaranteed universal policy might be a low-cost, low-risk choice.

Life insurance for seniors in their 80s and beyond

At age 80 and beyond, you’re unlikely to find a company that will offer you term life insurance. Instead, your lowest-cost option is likely final expense insurance. The death benefit will be low (typically $1,000 to $25,000), but most policies won’t require a medical exam.

If cost isn’t an issue and your main goal is to minimize estate taxes on an inheritance, consider whole life insurance. Premiums will be some of the highest in the industry, but you’ll have coverage for life, and your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit payout tax-free.


Bottom line: Seniors have multiple life insurance options

People have different life insurance needs while enjoying their 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. You may want the low cost of term life or a sure thing like guaranteed universal life. Or, you could have minimal coverage needs that a final expense policy would handle.

While older adults may not have as many coverage options as younger people, many top companies offer quality life insurance for seniors. Depending on your needs, one of the following life insurance companies may be right for you:

  • AARP: Best Overall Life Insurance for Seniors
  • Mutual of Omaha: Best Universal Life Insurance for Seniors
  • Banner Life: Best Final Expense Insurance for Seniors
  • State Farm: Best Term Life Insurance for Seniors
  • AIG: Best Value Life Insurance for Seniors

Still not sure which company is best for you? Compare life insurance quotes and let your budget weigh in.

Want to learn more about life insurance? Check out these pages next:


Reviewed by a licensed life insurance agent

Chelsie Ball has been a licensed life insurance agent for more than 9 years. She is focused on matching you with the best life insurance policy for you & your family.

103 comments... add one

Leave a Comment