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.

Rebecca Shoenthal author photoAmanda Shih author photo

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Rebecca Shoenthal

Rebecca Shoenthal

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Rebecca Shoenthal is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius. Her insights about life insurance and finance have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, The Balance, HerMoney, SBLI, and John Hancock.

&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.

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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.

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Seniors can use a life insurance policy to support dependents, pay off debt, or cover funeral expenses and end-of-life medical costs. Term life insurance is the most affordable choice for healthy seniors, but burial insurance with no medical exam requirement is available for people with serious medical conditions.

Although people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s will pay more for life insurance, some companies offer more competitive prices than others. To help you find the coverage you need at an affordable price, we rounded up the top life insurance company recommendations for seniors and life insurance rates by age group.

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The best life insurance companies for seniors in 2022

Because life insurance coverage isn’t one-size-fits-all, the best life insurance company for you depends on your unique risk profile, including age, gender, and health history. Here are our recommendations for seniors.

CompanyPolicygenius ratingBest for
Prudential

3.4

Overall, Best for term life insurance, Best living benefits
Protective

4.9

Value, Best for healthy seniors
Pacific Life

4.6

Age 60+
Mutual of Omaha

3.4

Age 80+, Best burial insurance

Not sure which company is the best fit? A licensed Policygenius agent can talk you through the options, help you compare quotes, and walk you through the application process so you can find the company — and policy — that works for you.

Best overall

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

Best overall

Best for term life insurance

Best living benefits

One of the top life insurance carriers for seniors aged 60 to 65, and people with many different medical conditions.

Pros

  • High financial ratings

  • Competitive underwriting for a range of medical conditions

  • Comprehensive online resources

Cons

  • Very high premiums

  • Mixed customer ratings

  • Complicated quote tool

Prudential has the best 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 lower 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.

Best value

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

Best value

Best for healthy seniors

Competitive rates, ease of use, and up to $50 million in coverage make Protective a top-tier choice for a straightforward life insurance policy.

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

Protective also offers extremely competitive term life rates for seniors in their 60s and 70s — with an emphasis on healthy applicants. Compared to other top companies, Protective has some of the most affordable and comprehensive life insurance options available, including several different term lengths and coverage amounts up to $50 million. However, seniors with some minor health issues may find more affordable pricing elsewhere.

Best for people over 60

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

For age 60+

Pacific Life offers competitive rates at every age and solid coverage options for people with mental health concerns.

Pros

  • Affordable prices at every age

  • Strong financial ratings

Cons

  • No accelerated underwriting

  • No online quote tool

Pacific Life’s rates stay competitive in nearly every age group, including people over 60, who typically have trouble finding affordable coverage. Pacific Life also offers life insurance to people with several types of health concerns, such as mild depression and anxiety, obesity, and sleep apnea.

Best 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

For age 80+

Best burial insurance

With competitive underwriting for a range of health conditions and strong financial and customer ratings, Mutual of Omaha is one of the best companies out there.

Pros

  • Competitive underwriting for a range of health conditions, like a history of cancer

  • No-medical-exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than the average

  • Slow turnaround time

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), and the best no-medical-exam life insurance option for this age group. If you’re in your 80s, you can have difficulty buying a term or whole life insurance policy due to older age and pre-existing conditions, so a burial insurance plan, which offers coverage with few medical restrictions, is likely your best bet. Compared to other Policygenius partners, Mutual of Omaha’s coverage amounts are more flexible and policies are available in more states.

Best for living benefits

Prudential

Prudential is also our top pick for people who want more living benefits options in a policy. Living benefits let you 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.

How much does life insurance cost for seniors?

A life insurance policy will be more expensive for older buyers than younger ones, and rates will be higher still for seniors with illnesses that could shorten their lifespans, such as heart disease or kidney disease. Below is a quick comparison of life insurance rates for seniors in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Life insurance for people in their 60s

AgeSexTerm lifeWhole lifeSimplified issueGuaranteed issue
60Female$33.93$163.00$114.10$148.20
Male$42.57$198.00$154.90$186.07
65Female$52.62$209.00$144.60$182.29
Male$69.03$250.00$202.53$248.84

Life insurance for people in their 70s

AgeSexTerm lifeWhole lifeSimplified issueGuaranteed issue
70Female$85.24$290.00$190.40$220.43
Male$112.35$321.00$270.43$290.25
75Female$143.87N/A$262.20$316.75
Male$195.14N/A$365.43$409.29

Life insurance for people in their 80s

AgeSexTerm lifeWhole lifeSimplified issueGuaranteed issue
80Female$381.50N/A$359.67$512.78
Male$488.51N/A$514.33$519.08
85FemaleN/AN/A$500.00N/A
MaleN/AN/A$712.87N/A

N/A indicates no policies are available.

Methodology: Rates are for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health rating, buying a $100,000, 10-year term life insurance policy, $50,000 whole life insurance policy, $40,000 simplified issue life insurance policy, and $25,000 guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Longer term lengths or different coverage amounts can reduce the number of policies available and change your premiums, especially at age 70 and above. This calculation is a composite of the 10 carriers that offer policies through Policygenius, including AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica. Rate illustration valid as of 5/02/2022.

What are the different types of life insurance available to seniors?

Term life insurance for seniors

Many older adults don’t need life insurance since they tend to have few financial obligations or dependents. For those that do need coverage, term life insurance is the best option for people over 60 looking for a benefit higher than $25,000 because of its low cost and flexibility.

You’ll need to answer medical questions and take a medical exam to get covered. If you have a history of health complications, it may be difficult to qualify for a term policy or your premiums could be costly. Seniors are usually limited to policies that last 10 or 20 years.

→ See term life insurance rates for seniors

Whole life insurance for seniors

It isn’t cost-effective to buy a whole life insurance policy when you're older. Whole life isa type of permanent life insurance that's 5 to 15 times more expensive than term life, and the cash value feature takes years to build significant value. 

But that doesn’t apply if you have an existing policy. “Seniors with good permanent policies with affordable premiums should, in many cases, maintain them,” says James M. Wallace, a certified financial planner and senior partner at Millennium Planning Group. Unless the premiums don’t fit your budget anymore, a cash value account that has had time to earn interest can be useful in retirement. 

→ See whole life insurance rates for seniors

Burial insurance for seniors

Burial insurance, also called final expense insurance, is the best option for seniors with medical conditions that make getting term or whole life insurance too costly or difficult. There are two types: guaranteed issue and simplified issue. These policies offer a small death benefit for end-of-life costs and have few medical restrictions. 

“Final expense policies can benefit seniors with few assets and the need for cash for final expenses,” says Wallace. However, both policies come with higher premiums because they don’t require a medical exam to qualify.

→ Learn more about burial insurance

No-medical-exam life insurance for seniors

People over age 60 can buy burial insurance without taking a medical exam, but your options are very limited for no-medical-exam term life insurance (also known as accelerated underwriting or instant decision), which is typically geared toward applicants with few health issues. Seniors with more complex health concerns who want or need to skip the medical exam should look into burial insurance instead.

Only one provider on the Policygenius marketplace, Mutual of Omaha, offers no-med term policies to people over age 60. Whereas most other instant decision policies don’t offer coverage over age 50 or 60, Mutual of Omaha’s are available up to age 70. However, they are limited to 15 years and $150,000 of coverage. As noted above, you’d need to meet certain health and income criteria to qualify.

→ Learn more about no-medical-exam life insurance

Hybrid long-term care insurance for seniors

Hybrid life insurance or hybrid long-term care insurance is a life insurance policy with an added long-term care (LTC) rider. An LTC rider is a type of living benefits rider that allows you to use your policy’s death benefit to pay for long-term care expenses like assisted living. 

“Even having a modest amount of insurance like long-term care insurance allows a family to take care of their loved one’s immediate needs and buys them time to come up with long-term solutions,” says Melissa B. Brennan, a certified financial planner at ARS Private Wealth.

If you don’t qualify for a life insurance policy, you can consider a costlier standalone long-term care policy. No matter which type of coverage you’re leaning toward, a Policygenius agent can help you weigh your options and make the best choice.

→ Read more about hybrid long-term care insurance

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What should seniors look for in a life insurance policy?

Because life insurance becomes more expensive as you age and if your health worsens, seniors have a few special considerations when shopping for life insurance. 

  • How much life insurance do you need? You can save money if you need less coverage, but make sure you’re not overlooking any gaps in your financial plan.

  • What type of policy should you buy? If you need less than $50,000 in coverage or have health issues, you may need a different type of policy than someone who needs $100,000 in coverage.

  • Which insurer is best for your age and health? Rates change significantly between age 65 and 85, and your health can change a lot during that period too. 

  • What riders does your provider offer? Check with your provider if certain add-ons, like living benefits riders, are important to you.

Life insurance is rarely a worthwhile investment if you’re a senior with no dependents or outstanding debts. But if you still have financial obligations or need help covering end-of-life expenses, a policy can help your family take over those responsibilities. Work with an independent agent to find the best insurer for your circumstances.

→ Read our full guide to buying life insurance

Methodology: How we chose the best companies for seniors

Policygenius takes a comprehensive approach to determine the best life insurance companies out there. We don't get paid for reviews and evaluate an extensive set of criteria to come up with an unbiased analysis to help you find the right insurer. 

Our independent analyses consist of life insurance recommendations by experts in the field, data from the life insurance companies we offer in our marketplace, and third-party life insurance ratings agencies.

These ratings evaluate an insurer’s ability to meet its financial obligations, financial health, customer satisfaction, marketing practices, and more. 

→ Learn more about our ratings methodology for life insurance reviews here

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance for seniors?

Healthy seniors in their 60s and 70s may qualify for term life insurance through Prudential, Protective, or Pacific Life. Older applicants with serious medical concerns can apply for burial insurance through Mutual of Omaha, which offers lower coverage amounts.

What is the oldest age to buy life insurance?

Seniors can get some life insurance up to about age 85. Life insurance is more expensive for people over the age of 60, so seniors should comparison shop to get the best rates.

What is the catch with senior life insurance?

It’s harder for people over age 65 to find low-cost life insurance, especially if they have health issues. Term policies come with coverage restrictions for older buyers and no-med policies offer limited coverage at high rates.

Does COVID-19 affect the life insurance application process or eligibility?

Due to the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, some insurers are modifying processes and/or imposing coverage restrictions on certain health conditions or age groups. Speak to a Policygenius agent for free to find out how to get the most affordable policy.