I frequently get questioned about obtaining life insurance over 50 and whether it is worth the cost. In today’s market life insurance is an essential purchase for just about every individual. Having a life insurance policy not only brings peace of mind, but it can also provide for your family if anything awful were to happen to you. Life insurance can provide your family with the funds they need to cover all of your final expenses after your passing.
Everyone has heard terrible stories of families being left with thousands of dollars in debt after their loved ones passed away. Between the cost of a funeral, mortgages, student loans, and car payments, your loved ones could be left underneath a mountain of debt that they cannot pay for.
You’re on this page because you’re probably looking to see if you can get affordable life insurance over 50 or above. In this article, I will cover the types of life insurance you may want to consider if you are over 50, some examples of pricing for life insurance, tips on how to get the best rates on life insurance, and how to deal with getting life insurance if you have a pre-existing health condition.
Getting life insurance over 50 or older is more common than you might think. Many people who buy term life insurance in their 20’s and 30’s have expiring policies in their 50’s and 60’s and would still like to have life insurance in place. Others are getting married for the 2nd time and might want to have a life insurance policy for their new spouse, or perhaps to cover a new mortgage so that their spouse or kids can keep the house without a mortgage.
What Type of Life Insurance Should I Get?
Depending on your needs and current health, I would recommend three types of life insurance for you based on the goal you are trying to achieve. The most common life insurance that people get, including those over 50 is term life insurance. Depending on your age, you should still be eligible for all term policy lengths – 10, 20, and 30-year terms.
I will also discuss options for permanent life insurance, and also final expense life insurance, and no exam life insurance. Each option has advantages and disadvantages that you must consider when purchasing an insurance policy.
Term Life Insurance Over 50, or in Your 60s or 70s
Most people who buy life insurance choose term life. Why? Simply because term life insurance provides the most amount of life insurance at the lowest possible premium. If you are looking to save money and get the most amount of insurance for the money and are ok with being insured for a specific period only, then I’d recommend applying for term life insurance coverage.
For example, if you are 50 and planning to retire at 65, a 15-year term policy that would replace your income should you pass, might be the perfect fit for you. Or perhaps you just bought a home or refinanced your mortgage; you might want a 20 or 30-year term policy. This way if you are still paying on your mortgage after you retire you have the backup of life insurance should anything happen. And since you are getting your policy at 50 instead of trying to find life insurance after age 65 you are going to get much better rates.
The downside of term insurance is that it expires; however due to the low cost of term life insurance, it is the most popular option among seniors and a common choice for life insurance over 50.
Permanent Life Insurance Options
It may be important for you to have your life insurance last your whole life. For example, if you have children you would like to leave an inheritance to, or perhaps a younger spouse who relies on you for income, you might be considering getting coverage that lasts forever. So what are your options for permanent coverage? There are several confusing options, so I’d like to make it simple for you. You can categorize permanent life insurance into two categories permanent life insurance that can build cash value – such as whole life, or universal life. Or permanent life insurance that does not build up cash value called No Lapse Guaranteed Universal Life.
Guaranteed Universal Life.
No Lapse Guaranteed Universal Life is what I would recommend if you would like a permanent policy. It is cheaper than whole life and is guaranteed to last your entire life without lapsing – unlike other universal life policies. While many people are not familiar with No Lapse Guaranteed Universal Life, when they hear about this type of policy, it typically makes sense to them if they are looking for a permanent life insurance policy.
Each type of policy is excellent for anyone that is looking for permanent coverage that will never expire. While you can save money with a No Lapse Guaranteed Universal Life policy, some people choose permanent life insurance because of the ability to build cash value. The cash value can be borrowed upon if you ever find yourself in need of money.
Final Expense Life Insurance
If your primary goal in getting a life insurance policy is to cover burial costs, then I’d recommend you buy a final expense life insurance policy. Final expense policies have low minimums, typically starting at $5,000 and can go up to $25,000. These policies last your entire life and are specifically bought to take care of final expenses so that you don’t leave a burden to your loved ones when you die.
Over 50 Life Insurance: Getting the Best Term Life Rates
Rates for life insurance are based on the amount of coverage you want, as well as your health, and I would recommend you fill out our quote form or call us for a customized quote. However, I’d like to give you some examples of term life rates. So that you get an idea of what rates might be, I’ll quote a $250,000 20 year term policy for a 50 year old male at 3 rate classes – Preferred Best Non-Tobacco (the best possible rate), Standard Non Tobacco (a rate you might get if you are overweight, or have high cholesterol for example), and Standard Tobacco (rates for smokers).
- $250,000 20 year term Preferred Plus Non Tobacco – $43.28 per month
- $250,000 20 year term Standard Non Tobacco- $79.17 per month
- $250,000 20 year term Standard Tobacco – $221.16 per month
While you may not receive these EXACT rates, these will give you a rough idea of what you could be paying. The best way to receive the lowest rates is to get quotes from several life insurance companies. I recommend shopping for the best rates for term life, and at chooseterm.com we can do that for you – you can fill out our quote form.
Factors to consider
Many people don’t know what insurance companies look at when they are determining quotes for an applicant. Of course, the insurance company will review basic information like age, height, weight, and tobacco usage, but there several more factors that go into your monthly rates. The insurance company will look at your family history to see any trends in early deaths or any hereditary diseases like heart complications. The insurance company will also look at your occupations and hobbies to determine if you are a high-risk applicant.
What if I am not in Good Health?
Many people assume that they can’t get approved for life insurance if they have some health condition, or have had one in the past. Don’t assume that you can’t get approved for a traditional life insurance policy, because you very well might. Because each life insurance company uses different standards for their policy, one company may decline you while others will look at your health more favorably.
If you can’t, however, get approved for a traditional policy, there are graded death benefits policies that you would be able to get approved for. These type of policies are designed for individuals with pre-existing health conditions and have typically have a 2-3 year waiting period before the full death benefit goes into effect.
With people living longer, buying life insurance over 50, or 60’s and even 70’s or 80, has become quite common. It is typically cheaper than what most people think, and you could have a variety of options to find the right coverage for you.
Graded death benefits policies have a unique aspect that could make them perfect for you. The insurance companies have the graded death benefits restrictions to protect themselves against paying for an applicant with severe health complications. If you have one of these policies, and you die before the waiting period is over, the insurance company is not legally obligated to payout the face value of the policy. Depending on the insurance company, they will return the paid premiums, sometimes with interest. If you are going to buy one of these policies, be sure to consider what would happen to your family if something were to happen to you before the waiting period is over.
If you have any type of pre-existing health condition, or you are in a bad health, there are other options for life insurance. One of the most common alternatives to a traditional life insurance policy is no exam life insurance. These policies can give you the coverage you need without having to undergo the physical exam like most other policies. These policies are ideal for anyone that has been rejected for traditional coverage because of health, family history, or age.
There are two main types of no exam life policies. Simplified issue and guaranteed issue. Simplified issue is the standard type of no exam life insurance, these policies don’t require a medical exam, but do require a medical questionnaire. While there is no medical exam to impact your premiums, if you have any severe health complications or diseases, they will be revealed in the questionnaire.
The other type is the guaranteed issue policy. As you can guess from the name, anyone that applies for this type of life insurance can be accepted. The application process is simple and requires little information. There is no medical exam and no health questionnaire to fill out.
Be warned, if you receive quotes for a no exam life insurance policy, the monthly premiums are going to be higher than most other policies. Because there are no medical exams, these policies are riskier for the insurance companies to uphold. Typically these type of policies are seen as a “Plan B” option, reserved for people that can’t get coverage otherwise.
Getting lower rates – Lifestyle changes
Even for someone over the age of 50, life insurance rates don’t have to be through the roof. There are plenty of ways that you can lower your monthly premiums to get the best rate possible.
The best way to get better quotes from the insurance company is to be active and maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you lower your pants size and your monthly insurance payments. Determine what weight you should be based on your height by looking at a Body Mass Index chart. Most insurance companies will base their rates off of a chart similar to the BMI chart.
Because insurance companies will look at your driving record, being a safe driver can also help save on your life insurance policy (probably your auto insurance plan too). Having speeding tickets or auto accidents on your driving record can cause your rates to go up. Instead of racing to work every morning, slow down and become a safer driver.
One obvious way to receive better rates is to put down the cigarettes. Tobacco users pay much higher premiums because of the increased health risks associated with tobacco. If you’re looking to get better rates, quit smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco, it could save you thousands of dollars every year (not to mention what you save by not buying cigarettes).
Which over 50 life insurance policy should you choose?
Deciding which life insurance policy works best for you is not easy and should be done lightly. Finding the perfect life insurance policy will impact your monthly budget as well as your family’s budget if anything were to happen to you. Spend some time researching each policy type and assessing your situation.
If you are in decent health with no major illnesses, more like likely a traditional term life policy is the best option for you. These term policies will save you money and still provide the coverage you need. If you’re worried about outliving your term coverage (which many people are), a permanent life insurance will ease those fears and still give you affordable coverage. If you are in a health condition that will not allow you to be accepted for either of these options (you should still apply, you might be surprised), don’t despair. No exam life policy is still adequate coverage but will cost you a little more every month. No family that wants life insurance should ever have to go without it.