The best life insurance for seniors in 2023

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.

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Katherine MurbachKatherine MurbachAssociate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance ExpertKatherine 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.

Edited by

Antonio Ruiz-CamachoAntonio Ruiz-CamachoAssociate Content DirectorAntonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.
Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis 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.

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Patrick Hanzel, CFP®Patrick Hanzel, CFP®Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team LeadPatrick 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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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.

A note on the word "seniors"

While the term “seniors” is becoming less common, we recognize that many older adults and their loved ones still use it, and we strive to make our content visible to everyone. We also use other terms recommended by the American Medical Association, like “older adults” and “people age 65 and over.” For more information about the use of language when referring to older adults, see this article from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The best life insurance companies for seniors in February 2023

Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for seniors in 2023

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 for seniors: Prudential

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2023 Policygenius award winner

Prudential

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starEmpty gray star

4.1

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

All 50 states

Why we chose it

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 and cons

Pros

  • Good for people over 60

  • More flexible income requirements than some other insurers

  • Considers applicants with a variety of immigration statuses (visas and green cards)

Cons

  • Younger applicants will likely find better prices elsewhere

  • No-med option can end up requiring a medical exam most of the time

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. People with osteoporosis or other aging-related health issues can qualify for cheaper premiums with Prudential than with other insurers.

Prudential 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

Transamerica

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.6

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

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 and cons

Pros

  • Competitive rates for term life insurance

  • No-medical-exam available for qualifying applicants, including smokers and people between 60 and 70, which is rare

  • One of the fastest turnaround times in the industry for traditionally underwritten term policies

Cons

  • Term life not available in New York

  • Not a good option for people with a history of cancer, alcohol abuse, or asthma

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.

This company 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. 

Transamerica also accepts retirement income for financial justification, making it a good choice for retirees looking for coverage.

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

Cheapest life insurance for seniors: Protective

Protective

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.8

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

30+ year terms

Why we chose it

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

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Competitive rates for all ages and health classifications

  • Good for people with mental health conditions, kidney conditions, and some cancers, including prostate cancer

  • Term lengths up to 40 years

Cons

  • Not available in New York

  • Not great for people who have had bankruptcy, marijuana users, or visa holders

  • No no-medical-exam policy options

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 for seniors: Prudential

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. 

Term life insurance is one of the most popular types of life insurance because it’s affordable and comes with few rules and tax restrictions. 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.

Runner-up: Transamerica

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 for seniors: MassMutual

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2023 Policygenius award winner

MassMutual

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.9

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A++

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

All 50 states

Why we chose it

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

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong financial stability ratings

  • Higher potential for dividends for whole life policyholders than many competitors

  • Good customer experience ratings

Cons

  • High term life premiums

  • Term life not available through Policygenius

For seniors with minimal health complications 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.

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. Because of that, it’s usually five to 15 times more expensive than traditional term policies.

Whole life and other types of permanent life insurance are good options for people looking to use life insurance to diversify their investment portfolio or those with long-term financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care.

Best guaranteed universal life insurance for seniors: Pacific Life

award icon

2023 Policygenius award winner

Pacific Life

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.8

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

All 50 states

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

Pacific Life offers some of the lowest rates for term life insurance across age brackets. It also has the most competitive rates for many health conditions and builds.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Extremely affordable across age brackets

  • Affordable guaranteed universal life insurance option for people who need lifetime coverage

  • Favorable underwriting for many health conditions

Cons

  • Traditional term life not available in NY

  • There are better carriers for active duty military, people who have a history of alcohol abuse, and people who have been through bankruptcy

Pacific Life's guaranteed universal product is a solid life insurance option for estate planning for seniors, since it provides a permanent death benefit at a relatively low cost compared to other types of permanent policies.

The company has high third-party financial ratings and competitive underwriting, too.

Best guaranteed issue life insurance for seniors: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.5

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

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

Pros and cons

Pros

  • No-medical-exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than average

  • Slow turnaround time

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. Its rates are more competitively priced than similar products from other companies. And you can get approved on one phone call with minimal health questions. 

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 doesn't require a medical exam and offers near-certain approval rates.

Runner-up: AIG

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

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

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.

This type of policy can also be referred to as “simplified issue.” Simplified issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that doesn't require a medical exam and uses a simpler form of underwriting. Simplified issue can refer to burial insurance, but some companies offer simplified issue term policies.

Best life insurance for people over 60: Pacific Life

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.

Best life insurance for people over 70: Pacific Life

Pacific Life is also a great option for people over 70. In addition to its flexibility with some health conditions, the company 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 80: Mutual of Omaha

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. 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 life insurance for living benefits: Foresters Financial

Foresters Financial

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.4

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

For people under age 55 and in relatively decent health, Foresters Financial's Your Term policy is a solid choice for a term life policy. You can get it without a medical exam and coverage can be offered within 24 hours.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Accelerated death benefit rider includes coverage for critical, chronic, and terminal illnesses

  • Includes several no-cost riders that aren’t available through other insurers, including Family Health Benefit Rider and Charity Benefit Provision

  • No-medical-exam option available for people up to age 55

Cons

  • Not available in New York or Maine

  • People with complicated health histories will likely find their best rates elsewhere

Foresters Financial offers multiple living benefits to its term policy option at no additional cost. In addition to the accelerated death benefit rider, it offers chronic, critical, and terminal illness riders. 

These extra features allow the insured to request a portion of their death benefit should they receive a diagnosis for an illness that impacts their ability to complete activities of daily living.

Runner-up: Prudential

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. The exact amount of the death benefit you’d have access to will depend on your diagnosis.

While you can apply for a life insurance policy with living benefits, if long-term care is one of your primary concerns, you may want to look into hybrid long-term care insurance

This type of policy combines the benefits of life insurance and long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance provides funds to cover costs associated with assisted living.

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Summary of the best life insurance companies for seniors

Company

Policygenius rating

Best for

Types of policies

Prudential

3.4/5

Seniors

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, guaranteed universal life, 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

Foresters Financial

4.2/5

Living benefits

Term life , whole life, universal

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What's life insurance for seniors?

Life insurance for seniors is the same as life insurance for any other age group. The goal of life insurance 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. Some life insurance products, like final expense life insurance, are geared toward people over the age of 45 or 50.

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's a good fit for your health profile, since each insurance company calculates risk associated with various health conditions differently. 

Most insurers want to see that seniors have a primary care physician, especially if they’re 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.

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How much does life insurance for seniors cost?

A 60-year-old with only a few minor health conditions can expect to pay around $70 per month for a term life insurance policy with a $250,000 death benefit payout and a duration of 10 years. A 70-year-old with a similar health profile can expect to pay around $200 per month for the same coverage.

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

Term

Age

Sex

$100,000 coverage amount

$250,000 coverage amount

60

Female

$34.20

$58.53

Male

$42.51

$79.31

70

Female

$85.89

$164.61

Male

$112.01

$235.76

80

Female

$389.44

$697.03

Male

$488.01

$917.12

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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 non-smoker health class. Average term life insurance rates are based on policies offered by AIG, Banner Life, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, Foresters Financial, 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 02/01/2023.

Whole

Age

Sex

$50,000 coverage amount

$100,000 coverage amount

60

Female

$163.00

$313.00

Male

$198.00

$373.00

70

Female

$290.00

$565.00

Male

$321.00

$629.00

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 02/01/2023.

Guaranteed issue

Age

Sex

$15,000 coverage amount

$25,000 coverage amount

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

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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 02/01/2023.

Burial

Age

Sex

$20,000 coverage amount

$40,000 coverage amount

60

Female

$62.53

$121.86

Male

$84.32

$165.43

70

Female

$103.28

$203.35

Male

$146.01

$288.82

80

Female

$193.66

$384.12

Male

$276.26

$549.31

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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 02/01/2023.

How much life insurance should a senior have?

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's 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’re 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. At Policygenius, our agents are licensed in 50 states and can help you understand your policy options and determine which type of insurance is the best fit for you.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best life insurance for seniors over 60?

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

What's 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.

What's better for seniors: whole life or term life insurance?

The type of coverage that's 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.

What’s the oldest age you can get life insurance?

You can get life insurance coverage up to 85 years old. Guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies are the most flexible coverage options when it comes to age eligibility — people ages 80 to 85 can usually apply.

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. However, people can apply for most final expense coverage options starting at age 45.

What’s the difference between term, whole, and burial insurance for seniors?

Term life insurance lasts for a set number of years and expires at the end of the term. It’s the most cost efficient type of life insurance. Whole life insurance is more expensive but doesn’t expire, and burial insurance refers to whole life policies with smaller coverage amounts. This kind of policy is intended to cover costs related to funeral expenses and other final bills.

Author

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

Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

Expert reviewer

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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