Senior life insurance rates: finding the best option for you

1 min readLast updated February 1, 2024by Unbiased team

Discover the differences between various life insurance options for seniors and how to pick one that best suits your age, lifestyle, and budget.

Summary 

  • Senior life insurance covers a person’s final debts and expenses after they’ve died. 

  • Factors that affect senior life insurance rates include age, lifestyle, health history, and the type of policy taken out. 

  • The best life insurance for seniors will depend on the type of policy and the policyholder's requirements. 

  • Comparing senior life insurance rates can ensure you find the most suitable policy.  

What is senior life insurance? 

Senior insurance is a type of life insurance designed to cover a person’s final expenses after their death, including hospital bills, funeral costs, and any outstanding debt the senior in question may owe.  

Unlike regular life insurance, which is available for any aged adult, senior citizen's life insurance focuses on providing specific coverage for people in the later phases of life.  

Life insurance for seniors generally covers people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s and may include end-of-life medical costs, funeral and burial costs, and other financial needs associated with a person's final expenses. This type of insurance gives seniors peace of mind that they don’t leave their families burdened with debt long after they’re gone and that they can afford the funeral and burial they prefer.  

Which factors affect senior life insurance rates? 

There are several key factors that influence senior life insurance rates. The higher a senior citizen’s risk of death is, the greater the debt they may owe, and other aspects of life all result in different rate amounts.  

Let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect senior life insurance rates: 

  • Age – Life insurance for seniors becomes more expensive with age.  

  • Health – The healthier a person is, the lower their senior life insurance rates are likely to be.  

  • Lifestyle – Smokers, heavy drinkers, and people who have a history of substance abuse are likely to pay more for senior citizen life insurance.  

  • Gender – Gender is almost always used as a factor in determining insurance rates due to the statistical associations of risk that men tend to carry. Senior life insurance for women tends to be lower than that of men because they have a higher risk of death and debt.  

  • Family history – If a senior citizen’s family has a history of a particular illness, it may be factored into the rates they pay for life insurance.  

  • Policy type – Different insurance companies and policies have their own rules and rate factors to consider.  

What is the best life insurance for seniors? 

There are a few different life insurance policies that are suited to seniors.  

The following four senior citizen's life insurance policies all focus on providing coverage for people in the retirement and elderly phases of life: 

1. Term life insurance  

Also known as pure life insurance, this policy is a temporary insurance option that guarantees the insurer will receive their death benefit within the specified period after they pass. The average time period for term life insurance is 10-15 years.  

2. Whole life insurance  

Whole life insurance policies provide the insurer with coverage over their entire lifetime, not just in the senior phase of their life.  

Different from term life, whole life insurance comes with a savings option called the cash value, which enables policyholders to borrow or withdraw cash from the insurance package itself if needed. In order to obtain whole life insurance, you must undergo comprehensive medical examinations, especially if you are a senior.  

3. Survivorship life insurance  

Survivorship life insurance covers two people (typically a married couple) and only pays out the benefits once both spouses have passed away. This type of insurance is often obtained by senior couples who want to simplify the processing of their joint estate or bank accounts after their deaths.  

4. Simplified issue insurance policy 

If you have been denied coverage in the past due to health or debt repayment complications, a simplified issue insurance policy can be a good fit for seniors.  

The premiums can be more expensive, but the insurance does not require a medical examination, and its policies can be a convenient choice.  

What should I consider when comparing senior life insurance rates? 

There are several senior citizens' life insurance options available, and selecting the right one for your situation and needs is crucial for staying within your budget and getting what you need out of the deal.  

  • Understand rate differences - The rates set for different senior citizens' life insurance vary significantly. Make sure you develop a full understanding of what they are and how they work before committing to a policy.

  • Understand your health status and needs - Being prepared with clear answers about the state of your health, lifestyle, and debt circumstances can expedite the policy-choosing process.  

  • Hire a financial advisor - If you feel unsure about how to move forward with finding good life insurance for seniors, working with a financial advisor can provide practical and professional help.  

  • Start early - The later you set up senior citizen life insurance, the more you are likely to pay. Sort out your life insurance affairs as early as possible to avoid excessive rates.  

How to find the best policy and financial advisor 

The cost of life insurance for seniors differs depending on the type of coverage required, your age, lifestyle factors, and other variables. However, this type of life insurance can offer peace of mind and is an excellent option for those who are getting older. 

You can find out more about life insurance for seniors and how to choose the best option by consulting a financial advisor.  

Get matched with a professional advisor by Unbiased so that you can make confident financial decisions about your future and find the best life insurance for seniors in your situation.  

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.