If you’re a senior, it’s not too late to get life insurance coverage. There are many reasons why seniors can benefit from life insurance, from paying for end-of-life expenses to leaving a legacy for loved ones. Yet many older Americans still don’t this important financial protection, according to recent studies.
If you’re one of them, life insurance is worth considering. But where do you begin? And which insurance policies are best suited to older adults? Below, we will analyze the best life insurance companies for seniors in six categories: flexibility, no-exam policies, term life, whole life, living benefits and max age limits.
If you’re in the market for life insurance, start by getting a free price quote now.
Best life insurance companies for seniors
In our comprehensive analysis, we considered a range of factors relevant to seniors, from maximum policy issue age to coverage amounts, in order to determine the best all-around life insurance companies for seniors in specific categories. These are our picks:
Best for flexibility: Ladder
When it comes to flexibility, Ladder is hard to beat. It allows policyholders to easily adjust their coverage as their needs change. For example, if you pay off your mortgage, you can “ladder” down your coverage amount, reducing your premiums. If you welcome a new grandchild you’d like to provide for, you can ladder up your coverage for a higher premium. You can adjust your policy whenever you want and as many times as you want at no charge.
Ladder provides term life insurance coverage for people ages 20 and 60. Policy amounts range from $100,000 to $8 million for terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. However, your current age plus the term amount cannot exceed 70. So, for example, if you’re 60 when you apply for a policy, the maximum term you can get is 10 years. Ladder does not require a medical exam for policies under $3 million.
Best for term life: Haven
Haven Term provides up to $3 million in coverage for terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. People up to age 64 are eligible for this policy. According to Haven, a medical exam is “likely” required for Haven Term, “but not in all cases.” Haven Term policyholders in some states may be able to purchase a rider called Haven Life Plus, which provides discounted or free-of-charge access to services like will creation, end-of-life planning and health clinics.
Haven Simple provides coverage from $25,000 to $1 million for terms of 10, 15 or 20 years. People ages 20 to 55 are eligible for this policy. Haven Simple is a no-exam policy, making it a great choice for those with pre-existing conditions. However, the Have Life Plus rideris not an option with this policy.
Both policies offer an accelerated death benefit rider, which allows policyholders with a terminal illness to access a portion of the death benefit if they become terminally ill.
Best for whole life: Amica
Whole Life 20 is available to people up to age 80 and has a 20-year payment term. Whole Life 65, available to people up to age 50, has premium payments that end at age 65. Whole Life 100, available to those up to age 80, has payments that end at age 100. With all three policies, you’re guaranteed coverage for the rest of your life, even after you’ve stopped making payments. Amica may require a medical exam for its policies.
Amica offers a free terminal illness rider, which allows you to receive some of your death benefit if you become terminally ill. It also offers discounts for bundling your insurance with other products, holding a policy for at least two years and being claim-free for three years.
Best for no-exam policies: Ethos
No-exam life insurance is ideal for seniorswithpre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes. With policies requiring a medical exam, pre-existing conditions can result in a higher premium or even denial. No-exam policies guarantee you’ll get coverage no matter your health.
Ethosis unique in that none of its policies require a medical exam. Itsterm life policyprovides $20,000 to $2 million in coverage for terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years for people ages 20 to 65. People ages 66 to 85 are eligible for itswhole life policy, which provides $1,000 to $30,000 in coverage.Ethosstates that some of its policies include riders, but you must contact them to learn more. Ethos life insurance policyholders can also get free will andestate planningtools.
Best for living benefits: AIG
AIG offers a wide range of life insurance products, from term and whole life to universal. For seniors, its appeal lies in its living benefits options, which allow you to receive funds while you’re still aliveif your health declines.
AIG’s guaranteed issue (no-exam) whole life insurance is available to eligible seniors ages 50 to 80 and provides $5,000 to $25,000 in coverage. Unlike traditional whole life insurance, this policy does not build a cash value, but it offers living benefits at no extra cost. The Chronic Illness benefit returns all premiums paid if the policyholder cannot perform two out of six “activities of daily living” (such as bathing, dressing and eating) or if they’re severely cognitively impaired. The Terminal Illness benefit provides 50% of the death benefit if the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
You can also purchase quality-of-life insurance riders for other AIG policies. These riders are Chronic Illness, Terminal Illness and Critical Illness (which pays a portion of the death benefit if you experience a critical illness, such as a heart attack). Just note that policies other than guaranteed issue may require a medical exam.
Best for max age limits: John Hancock
Out of all the life insurance providers we analyzed, John Hancock was noteworthy for its maximums — specifically, its maximum age and coverage limits. John Hancock provides term coverage from $250,000 to $65 million for terms of 10 to 30 years for people up to age 80. Its permanent policies provide coverage from $50,000 to $65 million for those up to age 90. That said, these perks come at a cost. You typically must take a medical exam, and most of its accelerated death benefit riders (such as critical illness and long-term care) cost extra.
Still, John Hancock is worth considering if you qualify. It has a unique wellness program called Vitality, which offers rewards and discounts (including premium savings) for making healthy choices and maintaining healthy habits. And its Aspire program makes it easier for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to get coverage (and provides benefits like diabetes management tools, health coaching and discounts).
The bottom line
This list is meant to be a starting point for your life insurance search. As with any financial product, it’s important to shop around and consider your individual needs and goals. If you need assistance, contact an independent insurance agent for customized guidance.