Senior Life Insurance: Life Insurance for Each Phase of Life

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by Justin F. Corral last reviewed August 2022
A couple shares a laugh while sitting on their couch after learning more about what senior life insurance is

Life insurance is a sure way to guarantee your loved ones are financially secure should the unexpected happen—no matter your age. Whether you’re nearing retirement, relishing in some time off or are still finding enjoyment at work, it’s never too late to consider purchasing a senior life insurance policy or expanding your current coverage.

What is life insurance for seniors?

Life insurance for seniors is all about planning for your family’s future after you’re gone, like covering burial expenses and taking care of outstanding debts. The money from a life insurance policy can help cover the cost of a funeral service and any remaining nursing home or medical bills. With some types of insurance policies, leftover funds can be used however your beneficiaries see fit.

Types of Life Insurance for Seniors

With so many different types of life insurance available for the elderly, it can seem overwhelming to sift through the options, prices and fine print. At SelectQuote, we can shop some of the most trusted carriers on your behalf quickly and efficiently, comparing prices and coverage from the companies we represent to provide you with your best options. Learn more about the different types of life insurance available below.

  • Term Life Insurance – Typically a straightforward choice that allows you to choose how long you want to be covered. Terms start at 10 years.
  • Whole Life Insurance – Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance, which provides a set amount of coverage with a stable premium for as long as you live.
  • Universal Life Insurance – Universal life insurance also provides lifetime coverage, but can be used as a savings account and often runs higher in cost. 
  • Final Expense Insurance – Also known as burial insurance, final expense insurance helps cover funeral expenses and debts to lessen the burden on your family. If you’re between the ages of 45-85, you can’t be turned down for final expense insurance and there’s no medical exam required.

Term Life Insurance for Seniors

Term life insurance is often an affordable way to protect your family’s financial security if something were to happen to you. As the name suggests, you have the option to choose the term (or length) and only buy it for as long as you need it. Term lengths can range anywhere from 10 to 30 years, and while it doesn’t build up a cash value like permanent life insurance options, it can still provide peace of mind. 

Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides a set amount of coverage for as long as you live. Like all types of permanent life insurance, whole life insurance has three distinguishing features:

  • Lifetime coverage.
  • Set premium, meaning what you pay for the first month is what you’ll pay every month the policy is in force.
  • As your premiums accrue (and at a time specified by the insurance carrier) you can borrow against your whole life policy’s cash value.

Universal Life Insurance for Seniors

Similar to whole life insurance, universal life insurance is another type of permanent insurance, but as the value accrues from monthly premium payments, the account can also serve as a savings account. Oftentimes the downside of universal life insurance is the cost, with premiums typically being much higher than other life insurance options. 

Final Expense Insurance for Seniors

Final expense is a common choice of life insurance for seniors, as it is typically a very affordable option and does not require a medical exam in most cases. Even if you have a traditional form of life insurance (such as term or whole), it can be beneficial to also have final expense insurance to ensure your loved ones have the financial security they need when you’re gone. 

If you’re between 45-85, you can’t be turned down for final expense insurance regardless of your health. Plus, your rates are guaranteed—they’ll never go up and your coverage will never go down. Final expense insurance highlights include:

  • Quick and easy application process, usually taking about 10 minutes
  • No medical exam required
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Covered as soon as your application is received and accepted

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Senior Life Insurance

Does a senior really need life insurance?
Everyone can benefit from having life insurance, regardless of age. As you get older, the amount of coverage you need might not be as significant, but the security of life insurance can help cover the cost of any outstanding bills, debts or burial costs in the event of your passing. This can relieve a tremendous amount of financial strain from your family, giving both you and them peace of mind.  

As a senior, how much life insurance do I need?
Since life insurance replaces lost income if something happens to you, the proceeds from your policy should be enough to cover immediate expenses like the cost of a burial, paying off a mortgage, or taking care of outstanding medicals bills, as well as to provide for your beneficiaries if you would like to leave a legacy behind.

Use our life insurance calculator to see how much insurance might work best for your situation. 

What is the most affordable life insurance for seniors?
The most affordable types of life insurance tend to be term life insurance or final expense insurance. Individual needs and circumstances vary, so it’s best to work directly with SelectQuote to see what option would be right for you. We can quickly shop from highly-rated carriers and sift through hundreds of policies to find the right life insurance policy for your exact needs.

What determines senior life insurance rates?
Life insurance rates are determined by several factors. The type of policy you are shopping for will also impact rates—for example, the length of a term policy or the amount of benefit you choose. Other considerations for life insurance rates include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Current health and medical history
  • Lifestyle factors, such as if you smoke, use tobacco or have a high-risk occupation or hobby (like jobs in construction or you are a frequent skier)

Final expense insurance rates can also consider:

  • Driving history
  • Pharmacy report (since this insurance type typically doesn’t require a medical exam)
  • Financial history, including credit report

With so many factors at play, it might seem daunting to get coverage. At SelectQuote, we streamline this process for you by shopping dozens of carriers at the same time. Our experienced license insurance agents tailor their searches to your exact needs, working to find the right amount of coverage at a price you can afford.

Senior Life Insurance Quotes

At SelectQuote, we make the process as seamless and personalized as possible. We’ll get to know your situation, learn more about the coverage you’re looking for, and then provide free life insurance quotes from some of the most trusted companies— all in just minutes.

We can also answer any questions you have about life insurance for seniors, match you with the best carrier for your lifestyle or health condition, and find opportunities to try and save you money. Shop with us today for peace of mind tomorrow!

We do the shopping. You do the saving.