The best life insurance for seniors in 2022

Seniors shopping for life insurance plans have special considerations to weigh since rates are based on age and health. Here’s how to find the best policy in your 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Katherine Murbach PolicygeniusAmanda Shih author photo

By

Katherine Murbach

Katherine Murbach

Associate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Katherine Murbach is an associate editor and a licensed life insurance expert at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

&Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Expert reviewed

Expert reviewed

This article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.

Learn more about oureditorial review process.

By

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

Updated|10 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

Shopping for life insurance as a senior can present some challenges, since we all become more expensive to insure as we age. However, most seniors can still benefit from life insurance to provide financial protection for their spouse or other dependents. We put together this guide to help you review the life insurance options that will help cover your outstanding financial responsibilities — whether you’re seeking a term life insurance policy, or you’re only looking to cover final expenses.

The best life insurance companies for seniors in 2022

Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for seniors in 2022

We don't get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.

Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

→ Read more about our reviews methodology here

Best overall life insurance

Prudential

3.4

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Prudential logo

With nearly four million policyholders and 150 years to its name, Prudential offers competitive coverage options for seniors, as well as people with some of the most common medical conditions, including asthma, depression, and fibromyalgia.

Pros

  • High financial ratings

  • Competitive underwriting for a range of medical conditions

  • Comprehensive online resources

Cons

  • High premiums

  • Mixed customer ratings

Why we picked it

Prudential has competitive term life insurance rates for seniors of all ages, making it our top choice for people over 60, including 70-year-olds. Prudential offers the most flexibility for people with health conditions associated with older age. Individuals with osteoporosis or other aging-related health issues, for example, can qualify for cheaper premiums with Prudential than with other insurers. It also offers more flexible income requirements than other insurance companies, making it easier for retirees to get the amount of coverage they need.

Runner-up: Transamerica

Why we picked it

Transamerica offers relatively affordable term life rates for seniors in their 60s and 70s. Seniors in their 60s can even apply for up to $50,000 of term coverage without a medical exam. Transamerica also accepts retirement income for financial justification, and offers a minimum coverage amount of $25,000, which is lower than many other companies, giving older adults more flexibility in choosing a coverage amount that's best suited for them. 

→ Read more about health classifications and how they affect your life insurance premiums

Cheapest life insurance

Protective

4.9

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Protective logo

Protective has some of the most affordable and comprehensive life insurance options available.

Pros

  • One of the best values on the market

  • Variety of coverage amounts and term lengths

  • Solid suite of online tools

Cons

  • Slow application approval

  • Zero no-medical-exam options

Why we picked it

Protective’s pricing makes it a top contender for seniors looking for relatively cheap term life insurance. Protective has flexible financial guidelines regarding unearned income such as pensions and Social Security, too.

Best term life insurance: Prudential

Why we picked it

As our best overall pick, Prudential also makes our top pick for term insurance for seniors due to its favorable guidelines toward health conditions associated with aging, its flexible income requirements, and its living benefits rider. 

Runner-up: Transamerica

Why we picked it

Consistent with our overall top contenders, Transamerica is a great option for term life insurance for seniors due to its options for coverage amounts, potential no-med opportunity, and flexible financial guidelines.

Best whole life insurance

MassMutual

3.8

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

MassMutual logo

MassMutual’s whole life insurance plan provides a lifetime coverage option that builds cash value with the potential to earn dividends.

Pros

  • Strong financial stability ratings

  • Potential for dividends 

  • Offers a variety of permanent life insurance products

Cons

  • No option to skip the medical exam

  • High premiums

Why we picked it

For seniors in good health seeking more than $50,000 of whole life coverage, MassMutual is a reputable company that pays higher dividends to its cash value policyholders than most of its competitors.

Best life insurance for estate planning

Pacific Life

4.6

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Pacific Life logo

Pacific Life has high third-party financial ratings and a competitive application process (also known as underwriting).

Pros

  • More affordable permanent insurance pricing

  • Strong financial stability ratings

  • Better for people with minor health conditions

Cons

  • No cash value whole life policy

  • Doesn’t pay dividends

Why we picked it

Pacific Life has high third-party financial ratings and competitive underwriting, along with affordable guaranteed universal life insurance — a solid option for estate planning since it provides a permanent death benefit at a relatively low cost compared to other types of permanent policies.

Best life insurance for people over 60: Pacific Life

Why we picked it

Pacific Life’s rates stay competitive in nearly every age group, including people in their 60s who might have trouble finding affordable coverage. Pacific Life also offers life insurance to people with several types of health concerns, such as diabetes. Pacific Life has a coverage minimum of $50,000 for term policies, while other companies have a minimum of $100,000, offering older adults more flexibility for their coverage amounts.

Best life insurance for people over 70

Transamerica

4.4

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Transamerica logo

Transamerica is one of the oldest and largest life insurance companies, with over 12 million active accounts today. It offers affordable rates for almost every age, and you can even skip the medical exam if you fall under a certain age or coverage amount.

Pros

  • Competitive rates for term life insurance

  • No-medical-exam available for people under a certain age or coverage amount

  • Former smokers may be eligible for lower rates

Cons

  • Uneven customer experience

  • Most policy changes require a paper form

Why we picked it

Transamerica provides relatively affordable term pricing, even for people over 70. Like Pacific Life, it accepts Social Security income and pension income when considering financial justification for coverage. It also offers a lower coverage minimum than other companies. You can apply for as little as $25,000 in term coverage, which can be convenient for seniors who don’t need a large amount of coverage. Transamerica also offers a term policy with living benefits, which includes terminal, chronic, and critical illness riders.

Best life insurance for people over 80

Mutual of Omaha

3.4

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Mutual of Omaha logo

Mutual of Omaha is a reputable company that offers a variety of life insurance products — including a no-medical-exam option — so that seniors can select the type of life insurance that best suits their needs.

Pros

  • No-medical exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than average

  • Slow turnaround time

Why we picked it

A burial insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha is the best choice for seniors age 80 to 85 (age 85 is when most insurers stop offering coverage), as well as the best no-medical-exam life insurance option for this age group. If you’re in your 80s, you might have difficulty buying a term or whole life insurance policy due to your age or pre-existing conditions, so a burial insurance plan, which offers coverage with few medical restrictions, is likely your best bet. Compared to other insurance companies, Mutual of Omaha’s coverage amounts are more flexible and policies are available in more states.

Best guaranteed life insurance: Mutual of Omaha

Why we picked it

Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed issue life insurance option offers near-certain approval and is best for seniors who may have a serious health condition. It’s more competitively priced than similar products from other companies

Runner-up: AIG

Why we picked it

AIG offers a guaranteed issue policy option as well, with coverage amounts between $5,000 and $25,000, and an application with near-certain approval rates.

Best life insurance for final expenses: Mutual of Omaha

Why we picked it

Mutual of Omaha offers several different final expense policies to account for older adults with varying health concerns.

Best life insurance for living benefits: Prudential

Prudential is also our top pick for people who want more living benefits options in a policy. Living benefits allow you to pay for qualifying medical care using part of your policy’s death benefit, but many riders only apply to a terminal illness. Prudential’s living needs benefit rider is included at no cost and offers access to 70% to 100% of the death benefit — depending on the diagnosis — to policyholders who are terminally ill, expected to permanently reside in a nursing home, or who need an organ transplant.

Runner-up: Transamerica

Why we picked it

Transamerica offers a living benefits term policy that includes a terminal illness rider, a chronic illness rider, and a critical illness rider. These features allow the insured to access part of the death benefit if they are diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness, or if they have suffered a critical health event such as a heart attack or stroke.

Ready to shop for life insurance for seniors?

Start calculator

Summary of the best life insurance companies for seniors

Company

Policygenius rating

Best for

Types of policies

Prudential

3.4/5

Seniors, living benefits

Term life, whole life, universal

Protective

4.9/5

Term life, affordability

Term life, whole life, universal

MassMutual

3.8/5

Whole life

Term life, whole life, universal

Transamerica

4.4/5

Term life, affordability

Term life, whole life, universal

Pacific Life

4.6/5

Term life, universal life for estate planning

Term life, whole life, universal

Mutual of Omaha

3.4/5

Final expense, guaranteed issue, people over 80

Term, simplified issue, guaranteed issue whole life, universal

AIG

4.6/5

Guaranteed issue

Term, guaranteed issue whole life, universal

What is life insurance for seniors?

There are several different types of life insurance available to seniors. The goal of life insurance in general is to provide your loved ones financial support if you were to die. Depending on health and financial need, seniors can apply for term, whole, or final expense life insurance. 

Pros and cons of buying life insurance as a senior

The pros to buying life insurance as a senior are similar to buying life insurance at other stages of life — you’ll have peace of mind knowing your financial obligations are covered and your loved ones won’t struggle financially in your absence. Seniors likely need less coverage than younger adults who are just starting their families. On the other hand, life insurance premiums increase every year we age at the time of application, so it’s increasingly more expensive to buy life insurance the older you get.

What should seniors consider when shopping for life insurance?

First, think critically about your financial obligations. How would your loved ones pay for your final expenses? Is there any outstanding debt that you need covered? Are you more focused on estate planning and minimizing estate tax for your children? 

Once you’ve determined how much coverage you actually need, you can start shopping around to apply with a company that has strong financial ratings. It’s also important to apply with a company that is a good fit for your health profile, since some insurance companies calculate risk associated with various health conditions differently. 

Most insurance companies want to see that seniors have a primary care physician, especially if they are applying for a term policy. If you're above the age of 70 and don’t have a doctor you see regularly, you may find it more difficult to qualify for a term policy. 

What is the best type of life insurance for seniors?

For people in their 60s, term is likely still going to be the cheapest life insurance option, especially if you are preparing to retire or still have any outstanding liabilities, like a mortgage. For people in their 70s, it’s important to think through your financial obligations to determine if a term policy would be better suited for you, as opposed to a final expense policy. And for people in their 80s, a final expense policy is typically the best fit if your main financial concern would be your loved ones paying for a funeral and other final bills. 

Every person’s coverage needs are different, so below are policy options for seniors to consider. A licensed advisor can help you determine which type of insurance is the best fit for you. 

Term

Term life insurance is one of the most popular types of life insurance because it’s straightforward and affordable. Term life insurance rates increase by an average of 4.5% to 9% every year you age, so it will be more expensive to buy as a senior, but still more affordable than other types of life insurance. 

Whole

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance policy that does not expire. It also includes a cash value separate from the death benefit that grows tax-deferred. Whole life insurance is generally best for high income earners and people with long-term financial obligations. 

No-medical-exam

No-medical-exam life insurance refers to life insurance that does not require the standard medical exam. The no-medical-exam options that are available to seniors typically consist of simplified issue and burial insurance. No-medical-exam term options are usually not available over the age of 60, because of the way insurance companies assess risk.

Guaranteed issue

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of permanent coverage geared toward paying final expenses, especially for those who may have some health concerns. It does not require a medical exam and offers near-certain approval rates. 

Simplified issue

Simplified issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that does not require a medical exam and uses a simpler form of underwriting. This allows you to get coverage faster. Simplified issue can refer to burial insurance, but some companies offer simplified issue term policies. Simplified issue term policies often have a maximum coverage amount of around $100,000, but it depends on the specific company.

Burial insurance

Burial insurance, also called final expense insurance, is a type of permanent coverage designed to pay a small death benefit to cover end-of-life expenses. Maximum coverage amounts are typically between $20,000 and $40,000.

Hybrid long-term care insurance

Hybrid long-term care insurance typically refers to life insurance policies that include long-term care benefits. Some permanent policies combine the need for permanent life insurance policies and long-term care. You can also add long-term care riders or benefits on certain term insurance policies.

What is the difference between term, whole & burial insurance for seniors?

Term life insurance is generally the most straightforward type of life insurance: it lasts for a set amount of years, and expires at the end of the term. 

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that is more expensive but does not expire. Whole life insurance includes a cash value that can accumulate in addition to the standard death benefit. 

Burial life insurance is a type of permanent insurance with a smaller death benefit– it also doesn’t expire. This type of insurance is generally reserved for people with more health conditions or who are just looking to cover final expenses, but don’t have a need for more coverage.

Ready to shop for life insurance for seniors?

Start calculator

How much does life insurance for seniors cost?

Your premiums will depend on your age, health, and the type of policy you decide to purchase. Below are approximations of rates for seniors applying for the different types of life insurance policies. 

Term

Age

Sex

$100,000 policy

$250,000 policy

60

Female

$33.93

$58.32

Male

$42.63

$79.09

70

Female

$85.38

$164.48

Male

$111.94

$235.73

80

Female

$377.35

$697.48

Male

$474.64

$917.71

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female applicants obtaining a $100,000 and $250,000 10-year term life insurance policy at a Preferred health class. Average term life insurance rates are based on policies offered by AIG, Banner Life, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica, and may vary  by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 08/01/2022.

Whole

Age

Sex

$50,000 policy

$100,000 policy

60

Female

$153.00

$313.00

Male

$198.00

$373.00

70

Female

$290.00

$565.00

Male

$321.00

$629.00

80

Female

N/A

N/A

Male

N/A

N/A

Methodology: Monthly rates are calculated for male and female applicants obtaining a $50,000 and $100,000 whole life insurance policy. Whole life insurance rates are based on policies offered by MassMutual. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer’s rate. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 08/01/2022.

Guaranteed

Age

Sex

$15,000 policy

$25,000 policy

60

Female

$71.71

$126.71

Male

$93.02

$163.38

70

Female

$107.47

$189.31

Male

$143.75

$252.71

80

Female

$236.54

$414.20

Male

$271.77

$455.09

Methodology: Average estimated monthly rates are calculated for male and female applicants for a $15,000 and $25,000 guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy. Average whole life insurance rates are based on policies offered by Mutual of Omaha and AIG. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 08/01/2022.

Burial

Age

Sex

$20,000 policy

$40,000 policy

60

Female

$62.53

$121.86

Male

$84.32

$165.43

70

Female

Male

$103.28

$146.01

$203.35

$288.82

80

Female

Male

$193.66

$276.26

$384.12

$549.31

Methodology: Estimated monthly rates are for male and female applicants for a $20,000 and $40,000 burial life insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer’s rate. Rate illustration valid as of 08/01/2022.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance for seniors over 60?

The best life insurance for seniors over 60 will depend on their health and financial obligations. In many cases, term insurance will likely still be the most affordable.

What is the best life insurance for seniors over 70?

The best life insurance for seniors over 70 can be either term, whole, simplified issue, or burial insurance, depending on their needs.

How much life insurance should a senior get?

Seniors should get enough life insurance to cover their remaining financial obligations– the amount will depend on the remaining needs, such as income for a surviving spouse, a funeral, or the remainder of a mortgage. Speaking with an advisor can help you determine how much coverage is ideal for your situation.

What is better for seniors — whole life or term life insurance?

The type of coverage that is best for you will depend on your specific situation and your health. If you’re seeking coverage for estate planning or to cover final expenses, whole life is probably a good fit.If you’d like a few more years of coverage to pay off a mortgage and are healthy, a term policy is probably a better fit.

At what age is life insurance no longer needed?

Life insurance is no longer needed when you can self-insure with your existing assets. If you have no dependents, no outstanding debts, and have self-insured for a funeral, you likely don’t need life insurance.

Are there any life insurance policies just for seniors?

Burial insurance policies are primarily intended for seniors who don’t have a need for high coverage but would like to cover final expenses, but most options like this begin eligibility as early as 45.

Authors

Associate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Katherine Murbach

Associate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

gray twitter icon linkgray linkedin icon link

Katherine Murbach is an associate editor and a licensed life insurance expert at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

gray twitter icon linkgray linkedin icon link

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Expert reviewer

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

gray linkedin icon link

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

Questions about this page? Email us at .