10 Best Life Insurance Companies For Seniors In June, 2024

Based on extensive research, I believe Mutual of Omaha provides the best life insurance for seniors.

min read
Updated: 17 May 2024
Written by
Bob Phillips
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Seniors face several challenges when shopping for life insurance. They face paying the highest premiums of any age group, and they often have pre-existing medical conditions that either cause those rates to be raised even more or they won’t qualify for coverage. A catch-22, indeed.

If you’re a senior in search of life insurance, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be reviewing ten of the top life insurance policies for seniors, each of which excels in different areas. I believe each is a high-quality company and is dedicated to serving the elderly market.

Best Life Insurance For Seniors, 2024

As you’ll see in the list of category winners shown below, all of the companies I selected are highly-rated life insurance companies. They can all meet the needs of just about anyone looking for senior life insurance, but each has an area where it excels.

transamerica-icon-logo
Best Overall - Mutual of Omaha
aarpicon-logo
Best For Guaranteed Whole Life - AARP (New York Life)
transamerica-icon-logo
Best For Term Life - Transamerica
forestersfinancialicon-logo
Best For Seniors Over 80 - Independent Order of Foresters
lincolnfinancialicon-logo
Best For Seniors Over 70 - Lincoln National
Best Life Insurance, Seniors, 2024

Compare The Best Life Insurance For Seniors In 2024

In table format, here is a quick snapshot of our category winners. More detailed information on each company is provided below that.

Overall Rating Best For A.M. Best Rating J.D. Power Rating Online Experience Get A Quote
Mutual of Omaha
4.9

Overall

A+

801

9.7

Instant Quote
Transamerica
4.5

Cheapest

A

740

7.0

Instant Quote
AARP (New York Life)
4.8

Guaranteed Whole Life

A++

775

9.7

Instant Quote
MassMutual
4.7

High BMI

A+

791

9.8

Instant Quote
Mutual of Omaha
4.9

Pre-Existing Conditions

A+

801

9.7

Instant Quote
Transamerica
4.5

Smokers

A

740

7.0

Instant Quote
Nationwide
4.6

Simplified Issue

A+

791

9.5

Instant Quote
Transamerica
4.5

Term Life

A

740

7.0

Instant Quote
Independent Order of Foresters
4.6

Over 80

A

Not Rated

7.0

Instant Quote
Lincoln National
4.6

Over 70

A

Not Rated

7.0

Instant Quote
Scroll to see comparisons

Methodology

My assessment considered several factors: customer service ratings, product offerings, underwriting speed, and online experience. Moreover, my experience selling senior life insurance and interacting with agents from other companies gave me valuable insights into their products and services.

The Best Life Insurance Companies For Seniors In 2024


Best Overall

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Mutual of Omaha was selected Best Overall for several reasons. First, it is committed to the senior market. Older adults have been its preferred market for decades, as evidenced by its development of first-rate health and life insurance policies for seniors.

Second, its senior product line is consistently among the best. The elderly can find both simplified and guaranteed issue life products from Mutual of Omaha at competitive rates. The company’s career agents work personally with their clients to select the right policy.

Simplified issue life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, but you will have to answer health-related questions on your application. Based on your answers, coverage can be denied.

Guaranteed issue not only doesn’t require a medical exam, but you also aren’t asked any medical questions on your application. You are guaranteed to be issued a policy, hence the name.

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Mutual of Omaha is a household name for seniors who grew up watching its flagship program, Wild Kingdom. The company has one of the most respected names in the insurance industry.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • The company is committed to the senior market
  • Has both simplified and guaranteed issue products
  • Highly rated for its service
Drawbacks
  • Underwriting can be slow at times
  • Age restrictions can vary by state

Best Cheap Life Insurance for Seniors

Overall Rating
4.5

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
6/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Price is an issue for everyone but is probably most pronounced for seniors. Transamerica typically is among the most competitive for most age groups, particularly for seniors. It sells its policies through independent agents, many of whom have done your homework for you if you’re a price-oriented life insurance shopper.

Transamerica’s life insurance may be the cheapest life insurance for seniors, but it isn’t guaranteed to be issued. And, lower face amounts under $25,000 aren’t available. Transamerica will work well for you if you’re a healthy senior looking for affordable life insurance.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Wide range of life insurance products; term, whole, universal, and final expense
  • Offers death benefits up to $10 million on term life products
Drawbacks
  • Received far more complaints than expected for a company its size
  • Below average customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power

Best for High-BMI Seniors

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

A high Body Mass Index (BMI) can decrease your lifespan and cause other health problems. Life insurance premiums for people with high BMIs are generally higher than average.

Insurance providers typically use BMI to determine rates, but some have their own guidelines and consider other factors more important. Companies that use BMI as a rating factor sometimes classify people with a high muscle mass percentage as obese because of their high BMI.

MassMutual does a good job of not only fairly underwriting and reconsidering the rates for individuals with a high muscle mass percentage, but it also has the cheapest rates for individuals with High BMIs.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Wide range of term and permanent life insurance policies
  • Offers an instant life insurance policy
  • Supports online claims
Drawbacks
  • Term life insurance can’t be converted to permanent life insurance coverage
  • Most policies require a medical exam

Cheapest For Smokers

Overall Rating
4.5

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
6/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Since smokers have an increased likelihood of developing lung and heart disease and other health conditions during their lifetimes, life insurers consider them high-risk individuals and charge them higher premiums.

For example, a life insurance policy for someone who smokes can cost as much as 285% more than one for someone who doesn’t.

Transamerica offers the most affordable life insurance for smokers. Like their competitors, they charge smokers much higher premiums than nonsmokers because of the shorter life spans of smokers. Its policies are not simplified or guaranteed issue.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Wide range of term and permanent policies
  • Offers high death benefits, up to $10 million
Drawbacks
  • Large number of negative reviews online
  • Lowest J.D. Power rating of insurers we reviewed

Best for Guaranteed Whole Life

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

AARP offers affordable life insurance plans to adults over age 50, but AARP is more than an insurance provider for seniors. It also offers a wide range of financial and educational services for older adults.

AARP life insurance, underwritten by New York Life, is one of the cheapest life insurance providers for the elderly, especially considering that it doesn’t offer life insurance to anyone under the age of 50. Most other insurers offer plans to anyone 18 years or older, which helps subsidize their senior life business that has many more death claims.

New York Life’s guaranteed whole life insurance plan not only pays a death benefit, but it also builds cash value. N.Y. Life’s history of paying dividends to policyholders, which are applied to the cash value portion of your policy, is among the most consistent in the life insurance industry.

These reasons make AARP the best whole life insurance for seniors.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Low premiums for seniors
  • No medical exams required
  • High age limit (80)
Drawbacks
  • Must be an AARP member to apply
  • AARP membership fees can increase over time

Best for Pre-Existing Conditions

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Underwriters are one of the key employees of any life insurance company, and they are faced daily with making decisions to approve or deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Mutual of Omaha’s underwriting department, with which I have personal experience, is very fair when underwriting and examining applications for those with a lengthy medical history.

If you do have a pre-existing condition that keeps you from qualifying for standard coverage, Mutual of Omaha offers a guaranteed issue policy for seniors with health challenges.

It doesn’t require you to answer health questions or undergo a medical examination. Pricing is on the higher side, but the company is also taking on the additional risk of early claims.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Policies available up to age 85
  • No medical exam options available
  • More agents providing service than any other insurer
Drawbacks
  • Limited to $25,000 for guaranteed whole life policies

Best For Simplified Issue

Overall Rating
4.6

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

By offering a simplified issue life insurance policy, Nationwide satisfies an important need for many seniors in good, not great, health – affordable life insurance they can qualify for.

Simplified issue costs less than guaranteed issue life because although a medical exam isn’t required, there are medical questions on an application that need to be answered. This gives the insurance company more information on which to decide about rates and insurability.

Simplified issue life insurance is not guaranteed to be issued. You can be denied coverage based on your answers on the application about pre-existing medical conditions. If you are declined coverage, you can apply for guaranteed issue coverage, though you will pay a higher rate.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Ranked sixth in J.D. Power’s 2022 customer satisfaction study for life insurance
  • Low volume of complaints for a company of its size
Drawbacks
  • Not as many local offices as some major competitors
  • Not all policies can be paid online
  • Need to be a Nationwide customer to buy life insurance

Best For Seniors 80+

Overall Rating
4.6

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
7/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Though it’s not a household name, Foresters (Independent Order of Foresters) offers the most affordable life insurance for seniors age 80 and older. The premiums for seniors in this age group are the steepest you’ll find because of their statistically shorter life expectancy.

Most insurance companies won’t issue a new policy to anyone over age 80, but Foresters does, even though for many people this age, the premiums may not be affordable.

Many octogenarians want to buy life insurance for final expense insurance that provides their survivor’s cash to pay funeral costs and other final expenses. The average face amount for this group is $10,000.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Issues policies up to age 80
  • Cheapest on the market for this demographic
Drawbacks
  • Many seniors are not familiar with Foresters
  • Not rated by J.D. Power
  • Very little information online about the company

Best For Seniors Over 70

Overall Rating
4.6

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Satisfaction
10/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Many adults in their 70s buy life insurance, and they do so for a couple of reasons. First, they no longer have life insurance from their employer. Many new retirees are now in their 70s, and they leave their group life policy behind when they leave if it’s not portable or convertible.

Second, after spending down their pensions, some seniors realize that they aren’t going to be leaving behind as much money as they originally thought they were, necessitating the need for more life insurance.

Lincoln National doesn’t aggressively advertise, but it is rated “A (Excellent)” by AM Best for its financial strength and ability to pay claims. Its pricing indicates an interest in the 70+ market.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Lowest premiums for this age group
Drawbacks
  • Company is relatively unknown, which may concern some seniors

Best for Term Life Insurance

Overall Rating
4.5

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
6/10 Customer Satisfaction
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

As you’ve probably noticed, Transamerica pops up in many categories for having among the lowest premiums for life insurance. This includes senior term life insurance, which many elderly people still want to buy.

Transamerica is a well-known name in the senior market, and some seniors want low-priced term insurance with higher face amounts to provide cash for final expenses or pay off a mortgage if they die.

They also often want to leave money behind for grandchildren and their education costs. This is what Transamerica offers, making it our pick for the best term life insurance for seniors.

It should be noted that Transamerica’s term life policies for seniors are not simplified or guaranteed issue products.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Very competitive rates
  • Fast underwriting
Drawbacks
  • Lower customer service ratings

Cheapest Senior Life Insurance Rates – By Age

Unlike group insurance, individual life insurance rates change with every birthday when you’re buying a new policy. The incremental increases in rates for seniors are larger than other age groups. For example, depending on the insurer, rates for a 60-year-old can be as much as 40% higher than those for someone age 55.

Cheapest Life Insurance Quotes For Seniors Age 55

Transamerica offers the lowest 10-year term life insurance rates for females age 55, at $561 per year.

Life Insurance Provider Annual Rate $250,000 for female age 55
Transamerica $561
Pacific Life $597
Protective $595
Symetra $596
Penn Mutual $605

Cheapest Life Insurance Rates For Seniors Age 60

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans offers the lowest 10-year term life insurance rates for females age 60, at $761 per year.

Life Insurance Policy Provider Annual Rate $250,000 for female age 60
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans $761
Protective $872
Pacific Life $873
Symetra $874
Penn Mutual $883

Cheapest Life Insurance For Seniors Age 65

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans offers the lowest 10-year term life insurance rates for females age 65, at $1,344 per year.

Life Insurance Company Annual Rate $250,000 for female age 65
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans $1,344
Protective $1,462
Pacific Life $1,462
Penn Mutual $1,479
Illinois Mutual $1,484

Cheapest Life Insurance Rates For Seniors Age 70

Lincoln National, Penn Mutual and Principal offer the lowest 10-year term life insurance rates for females age 70, at $2,395 per year.

Life Insurance Company Annual Rate $250,000 for female age 70
Lincoln National $2,395
Penn Mutual $2,397
Principal $2,399
Pacific Life $2,366
Protective $2,369

Cheapest Life Insurance For Seniors Age 75

Illinois Mutual offers the lowest 10-year term life insurance rates for females age 75, at $4,534 per year.

Life Insurance Company Annual Rate $250,000 for female age 75
Illinois Mutual $4,534
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans $4,862
Transamerica $4,915
Ameritas $5,121
Cincinnati Life $5,190

 Cheapest Life Insurance For Seniors Age 80

Foresters Financial offers the lowest 10-year term life insurance rates for females age 80, at $11,596 per year.

Life Insurance Company Annual Rate $250,000 for female age 80
Independent Order of Foresters $11,596
Transamerica $11,929
United of Omaha $12,452
Pacific Life $13,569
Cincinnati Life $15,186

 Cheapest Life Insurance Rates For High BMI Seniors

Life Insurance Company Monthly Rate
MassMutual $227
Mutual of Omaha $244
Nationwide $262
Transamerica $305
State Farm $317

Cheapest Life Insurance Quotes For Senior Smokers

Life Insurance Company Monthly Rate
Transamerica $672
MassMutual $757
Mutual of Omaha $759
State Farm $831
Nationwide $836

Average Cost Of Life Insurance For Seniors

As you can see, the rate you’ll pay as a senior buying life insurance increases significantly very quickly.

Age Annual Rate $250,000 for female
55 $559
60 $761
65 $1,344
70 $2,395
75 $4,530

Senior Life Insurance Costs For Females

Company Annual Rate $500,000 for female age 70
Protective $2,319
Pacific Life $2,322
Principal $2,319
Penn Mutual $2,388
Ohio National $2,395

 Senior Life Insurance Costs For Males

Company Annual Rate $500,000 for male age 70
Transamerica $3,394
Protective $3,686
Pacific Life $3,687
Principal $3,690
Penn Mutual $3,735

Life Insurance Cost For Senior Term Life Insurance

Life Insurance Provider Monthly Rate $250,000 10-year term policy
Transamerica $10
MassMutual $11
Nationwide $12
Mutual of Omaha $12
AAA $13

Senior Life Insurance Cost For Whole Life Insurance

Life Insurance Provider Monthly Rate
AARP (N.Y. Life) $60
State Farm $75
USAA $77
Progressive $80

Senior Life Insurance Cost For Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance (60-Year-Olds)

Policy Amount Average rate (men) Average rate (women)
$10,000 $823 $632
$15,000 $1,228 $942
$25,000 $2,093 $1,630

Senior Life Insurance Cost For Final Expense Life Insurance

Life Insurance Policy Provider Monthly Rate
AARP (N.Y. Life) $60
State Farm $75
USAA $77
Progressive $80

How To Find The Best Life Insurance Policies For You

To find the best life insurance policy for you, use sites like Insuranceopedia to get quotes from multiple insurers across different categories. Determine the amount of coverage you need and check the financial ratings of the insurers you’re interested in.

Once you’ve decided on a company, complete your application and read the policy carefully when you receive it. Following these steps will help you find the company that best meets your needs.

Do Seniors Need Life Insurance?

Seniors need life insurance to meet a variety of needs, including:

  • Final expenses: pay funeral costs and related expenses
  • Legacy: leave money for loved ones and build your legacy
  • Debts: provide funds for survivors to pay large debts
  • Special needs child: provide for a dependent who needs lifetime financial support
  • Charitable giving: create a lump sum to replace your ongoing financial support

What Should Seniors Look For In A Life Insurance Policy?

If you’re a senior buying life insurance, look for these three things:

  1. Company: select an insurer that is capable of paying a death claim when called upon and is known for excellent customer service when a claim is filed
  2. Price: find a premium you can comfortably afford so you never have to give up your policy because of cost
  3. Face amount: many insurance sites have a financial calculator to help you determine the amount of life insurance you need. Get enough and don’t be oversold by an agent.

Is There An Age Limit To Buy Life Insurance?

Most companies will sell seniors life insurance up to age 80, though some stop at 55 and some continue to 85. If you’re over the age limit or don’t qualify because of health reasons, consider buying an annuity or setting up a separate savings account to fund payment of your final expenses and anything else you need to settle your estate when you pass away.

What Is Life Insurance For Seniors?

Life insurance for seniors, often referred to as “Final Expense Insurance,” can be either a term life or whole life policy The primary need for life insurance for a senior is to provide income for someone who is financially dependent on you, just the same as it was when you were younger.

Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors

There are several types of life insurance available to seniors:

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance covers you for a set term (i.e., 10,20,30 years) and only pays a death benefit if you die during the coverage term.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life coverage remains in force for your entire life, provided you continue to pay your premiums. In addition to paying a death benefit when you die, a whole life policy accumulates cash value that you can access while you’re living.

Is There Life Insurance For Seniors With No Medical Exam?

There are several types of life insurance available that don’t require a medical exam: simplified issue and guaranteed issue policies. Both types of policies can cost at least 50% more than standard policies, but they’re invaluable for seniors with pre-existing medical conditions that can’t qualify for standard rates.

Alternative Life Insurance Options For Seniors

Two no-medical life insurance options for seniors are simplified issue and guaranteed issue coverage. Simplified issue policies require you to answer health questions but not undergo a medical exam. Guaranteed issue policies require neither answering health questions or undergoing a medical exam.

FAQs

What type of life insurance should a senior citizen get?

Seniors should get a life insurance policy that they can afford and not outlive. Whole life insurance typically best meets this need.

Is life insurance worth it after 70?

It is worth it if you have anyone who would suffer financially if you were to die today.

Is life insurance worth it for the elderly?

Many elderly individuals find life insurance to be valuable because it meets their financial needs and provides them with peace of mind.

How does life insurance work for the elderly?

It works the same as it does for younger people: the insurance company is obligated to pay your survivors a death benefit if you die while your policy is in force. Some policies for seniors will have a graded death benefit for the first several years and pay the full face amount after that

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