For people over age 50, the purchase of life insurance usually takes a back seat to financial priorities such as trimming expenses and ramping up retirement savings. However, sometimes the need arises to acquire more protection as life circumstances change or persist.

New or continuing debt obligations and timely estate planning pursuits may necessitate additional life insurance coverage. While there are numerous carriers, these 10 companies stand out as the best options for individuals who are shopping for life insurance after age 50.

Northwestern Mutual

Offering annually renewable term products to age 80 for temporary insurance needs, the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Inc. also issues whole life policies with flexible premium options. For policyholders with permanent needs, the company offers flexible plans that allow premiums to cease at age 65 or age 90. Permanent policies pay dividends that can offset premiums or accumulate to increase cash value.

MetLife

MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) issues guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance. If medical conditions prevent the acquisition of coverage from other carriers, this product requires no health questions or medical exams. Applicants between ages 50 and 75 cannot be declined coverage for any medical conditions, and face amounts of insurance start at $2,000.

Key Takeaways

  • After age 50, saving for retirement may take precedence over purchasing life insurance. 
  • Consumers over age 50 can purchase life insurance from a variety of companies.
  • Healthy consumers over age 50 have more life insurance options, but consumers with higher BMI, type 2 diabetes, and other illness may still be able to purchase life insurance.  

Transamerica Life Insurance

Catering to the needs of older insureds who may pay higher premiums or be declined for medical reasons at other companies, the Transamerica Corporation offers the best rate classes to applicants over 71 despite elevated blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Transamerica also underwrites term policies for customers beyond age 80.

Prudential Financial

Existing for over a century, Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU) exhibits considerable financial strength for policyholders concerned with safety. The PRUCO Life Insurance Company, which is rated A+ by A.M. Best, issues single life or second-to-die policies with face amounts up to $65 million for applicants with large, complex estate-planning needs.

Gerber Life Insurance

On the other end of the spectrum, applicants older than 50 who are seeking a simple, cost-effective solution for final expenses can turn to the Gerber Life Insurance Company. The company offers fixed-premium plans for policyholders between ages 50 and 80. Face amounts are issued up to $20,000 and policies build cash value that can be loaned out or used to pay premiums.

New York Life Insurance

The New York Life Insurance Company partners directly with AARP to market life insurance products directly to consumers age 50 and above. The AARP website offers instant term life quotes for online shoppers. Electronic applications can be completed online for permanent life insurance options. The whole life underwriting process requires that applicants answer three health questions related to major illnesses and recent hospital confinement.

Lincoln Financial offers preferred rate status to individuals with type 2 diabetes, provided they have seen a physician within the previous 12 months.

Lincoln Financial Group

As the personal financial arm of Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE: LNC), the Lincoln Financial Group eases underwriting guidelines for applicants over age 70 with regard to body mass index (BMI).

Fidelity Life Insurance

Fidelity Life, established in 1896, maintains unique policy designs that allow customers to acquire coverage within 48 hours of applying. Its quick-issue hybrid-term life policy is composed of one-third term life insurance with the remaining face amount completed by an accidental death benefit. Term can be converted to permanent insurance by qualifying medically up to six months after policy issuance.

MassMutual

The Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has been around since 1851 and earns the highest A++ rating from A.M. Best. For clients over 50 who seek tax-deferred capital accumulation as well as a death benefit, MassMutual's multiple variable universal life policies present many growth-oriented investment sub-accounts from mutual fund families, such as American Funds and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW).

Kemper Senior Solutions

A division of the Kemper Corporation (NYSE: KMPR), Kemper Senior Solutions targets the guaranteed issue market that extends to applicants with significant health concerns. Issued to persons between ages 40 and 80, its modified whole life product pays an accidental death benefit of 120% of premiums paid in the first two policy years. Thereafter, the policy becomes a standard whole life policy design.

The Bottom Line

If you are nearing age 50 and do not have life insurance, don't assume it is impossible to qualify for it. The above-mentioned 10 companies offer affordable options for older consumers seeking life insurance policies.