As with many other financial strategies, buying life insurance is one of those things that is ideally done while you’re young. That’s because purchasing a policy can become both more difficult and considerably more expensive as you get older.
There are many reasons that you may find yourself shopping around for new life insurance coverage at an older age, however. You could lose your employer-sponsored coverage due to job change or retirement, reach the end of a term policy purchased years earlier, or simply discover that you need more coverage (as was the case for 31% of baby boomers surveyed in 2016).
No matter the why, there’s a very real chance that you could find yourself shopping around for an insurance policy later in life than expected. We have compiled this guide outlining the best life insurance for those over 50 based on price, coverage, and more.
The 6 Best Life Insurance Providers for People Over 50
Whether you’re looking for a standard term policy or something unique like cancer or heart attack insurance, all with extended age ranges for approval, Mutual of Omaha's products and services make them the best overall provider for those over 50.
Whole life policies are available to those ages 45 to 85
Term policies can be issued between ages 18 and 80
Offers term life insurance renewal up to age 95
Whole life policies have a two-year graded death benefit
Whole life policies have low minimum death benefits ($2,000)
Larger policies will need to be purchased directly through an agent
First opening its doors in 1909, Mutual of Omaha has been providing a variety of financial services to customers for more than a century. They are trusted by nearly five million insurance customers and have an A+ (Superior) financial stability rating from AM Best.
In terms of life insurance, Mutual of Omaha offers a range of products including term life, whole life, universal life, and accidental death policies. Mutual of Omaha is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, though not all products and policy options are available in all states.
Term life insurance policies are available to customers from ages 18 to 80. Once the initial term expires, renewals can be made in one-year increments, not to exceed age 94. This offers peace of mind well into one’s older years. Terms are 10, 15, 20, or 30 years in length with coverage starting at $100,000.
Term insurance coverage can be converted to a permanent policy down the line. For a more permanent solution, though, Mutual of Omaha offers two options: whole life and universal life.
Whole life is available for ages 45 to 85 (or 50 to 75 in New York) and for coverage between $2,000 and $25,000. There are no medical exams or health questions required to obtain whole life coverage, and acceptance is guaranteed. If death occurs within the first two years of a whole life policy, beneficiaries will receive 110% of premiums paid rather than the full death benefit.
Underwriting guidelines for Mutual of Omaha life insurance policies can vary. As with most other companies, you can expect higher premiums or even denial for certain serious health conditions. If you are purchasing a whole life or universal life policy, though, there is no medical exam or health questionnaire required.
There are many riders and additional products to choose from with Mutual of Omaha, including Long-Term Care coverage; Accidental Death coverage; and even cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance.
We ran a quote and found that through Mutual of Omaha, a 50-year-old healthy woman could get $250,000 in coverage for 20 years for about $40 a month.
With guaranteed acceptance offered to customers all the way up to age 85, AIG's final expense life insurance can provide up to $25,000 in coverage for a variety of final expenses. With no health questions or medical exams to worry about, this is our review's top choice for final expense policies with no-fuss purchase at age 50 and well beyond.
Guaranteed issue whole life insurance is available without a waiting period or the need to speak with an agent
No medical exam required
Coverage is available from $5,000 to $25,000
Not offered in New York
Two-year graded death benefit
From its humble beginnings in 1919 to the present day, AIG has grown to provide life insurance coverage in 80 different countries and jurisdictions. In addition to being trusted by customers around the globe, the company’s life insurance division boasts an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best for financial stability and 88 million customers worldwide.
Final expense insurance coverage is provided by AIG’s Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance policy. As the name suggests, this policy is available with guaranteed acceptance to customers ages 50 to 85, with coverage ranging from $5,000 up to $25,000. There are no health questions to answer nor will you be subject to a medical exam in order to purchase this coverage.
AIG’s guaranteed issue whole life policies are underwritten by American General Life Insurance (AGL) in all states except for New York. Also, it’s important to note that AIG’s guaranteed issue policies come with a two-year graded death benefit. This means that if death occurs within the first two years of the policy, beneficiaries will receive 110% of paid premiums–not the full death benefit.
Of course, AIG offers more than just final expense insurance. Even if you’re over 50, you can still purchase term life coverage, for example. According to AIG’s online quote form, a 50-year-old woman in great health could purchase a 20-year, $250,000 term policy for about $32 a month (or $34 a month with select riders added).
For customers in their 50s and early 60s, Haven Life makes applying for term life insurance easy. Limits are as high as $3 million and with InstantTerm, customers up to age 59 can get a real-time decision for up to $1 million in coverage. For these reasons and more, Haven Life's term life insurance is our first choice for folks over 50.
Backed by MassMutual, a trusted name since 1851
Policies offered from $100,000 up to $3 million in coverage
Qualifying applicants as old as 59 can purchase up to $1 million coverage with instant-approval
Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
Term life coverage cannot be purchased beyond age 64
Not available for active-duty military or those currently enlisting
Policies cannot be used for business purposes or as a replacement for existing coverage
Haven Life is a fairly new name in the life insurance world, having been founded in 2014. However, its parent company, MassMutual, has been in business since 1851 and brings with it a trusted name and nearly two centuries of financial stability. In fact, MassMutual wholly owns and backs Haven Life with an A++ rating—AM Best's highest rating possible.
If you’re hoping to buy term life insurance at age 50 or beyond, Haven Life may be worth a look. The company provides term policies ranging from $100,000 to $3 million in coverage for customers up to age 64. Terms range from 10 to 30 years, though, if you’re 59 or younger and qualify, you can even apply for InstantTerm, which offers instant eligibility decisions for coverage up to $1 million.
Haven Life is available to U.S. citizens living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. You cannot purchase a term life policy through Haven Life if you are active duty military or are currently in the process of enlisting. Term life policies through this company are also not available for business purposes or as a replacement for an existing life insurance policy.
Also, while Haven Life still invites those with certain significant health concerns, such as diabetes, to apply for coverage, they do warn that the company may not be able to extend an offer in the end.
Through Haven Life’s quick online quote tool, we were able to see that a 50-year-old woman in excellent health (and a non-smoker) could purchase a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy for about $41 a month.
Principal offers some of the highest coverage limits around, while also allowing customers to purchase policies through age 80. The company has been selected as best for estate planning in our review thanks to its high coverage limits, which help when dealing with potentially thousands in estate tax bills.
Term policies are available from $200,000 to $5 million
10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term options
Term coverage can be issued between the ages of 20 and 80
Policies are renewable annually up to age 95
Four types of permanent life insurance available
Offered in all 50 states
Purchasing a policy involves calling or meeting with an agent
Low coverage options not available
Recognized as another established and respected financial services provider, Principal Life Insurance company was founded in 1879. Unlike some other companies who eventually found their way into this vertical, Principal started out as a life insurance company.
Today, Principal offers five total life insurance products: one term life and four permanent options—universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life, and survivorship insurance. They serve more than 18 million customers worldwide and have an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best.
If you are looking to purchase a large life insurance policy—especially with the intent of using those benefits for estate-planning purposes—Principal might be a company to consider. With a $200,000 term coverage minimum, it’s not the best choice for customers looking to buy modest policies.
However, customers are able to buy up to $5 million in life insurance protection through the company. This makes a Principal life insurance policy a viable option for creating generational wealth, funding a family trust, or even establishing an endowment for an important cause. And because policies can be purchased from ages 20 to 80, and term coverage can be renewed in one-year increments up to age 95, the peace of mind these policies provide is long-lasting.
We shopped for a policy through Principal’s online quote generator and found that a 50-year-old healthy woman could get $250,000 in coverage for 30 years at $52 a month.
Transamerica is our best choice for index life insurance coverage because it offers new policies all the way up to age 85, along with the option for a terminal illness rider. This rider allows you to access funds before your death if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness, up to 100% of your policy’s death benefit.
Available in all 50 states and DC
Offers indexed life insurance coverage up to age 85
Coverage offered from as little as $25,000
Certain factors—such as a history of heart disease, cancer, or diabetes—weigh heavily in primary classes and will preclude you from coverage
If you want to make beneficiaries changes on your policy, you’ll need to submit a paper form
Transamerica has been providing trusted financial services for over a century and has been offering life insurance policies from as early as 1858. Its companies are licensed to provide life insurance coverage in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
Transamerica’s parent company, Aegon, ranks third of 16 in terms of financial stability, according to AM Best, and also holds an A (Excellent) rating.
You can purchase a Transamerica Index Life Insurance policy, called a Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL) up to age 85, or through age 75 if you’re in Florida. Coverage is available from $25,000 to $500,000 and beyond, depending on your age band.
When purchasing an FFIUL policy from Transamerica, you are able to customize your coverage with the addition of optional riders. Choices include Income Protection Option (IPO), guaranteed insurability rider, terminal illness accelerated benefit rider, and even a disability waiver of premium rider, just to name a few.
Personal factors considered during the underwriting process include BMI (height and weight), cholesterol, blood pressure, tobacco use, health history (including chronic diseases or cancer), family health history, and risky hobbies or activities. These factors will be used to determine eligibility as well as premiums for coverage.
Certain diagnoses, for example, may result in higher premiums or even preclude you from coverage altogether. With Transamerica FFIUL policies, however, you can still purchase a policy even with a number of risk factors present, including prior tobacco usage and skin cancer.
Some life insurance companies begin limiting products and coverage options once customers hit 50 and above, often taking weeks or months to underwrite. At Fidelity Life, they have embraced the older crowd by offering policies with RAPIDecision® features usually saved for younger individuals, making them the best in this review for receiving a quick decision on your life insurance application.
Offers a range of policies including term life, whole life, accidental death, and final expense
RAPIDecision® Senior Life Term and RAPIDecision® Senior Whole Life policies are designed exclusively for adults 50+
Two different policy options for final expense coverage
Term life policies are only available with up to $500,000 in coverage
Accidental death coverage is only available until age 59
Some senior policies only offer partial coverage for the first few years
Since its start in 1896, Fidelity Life has been providing a variety of life insurance coverage options to customers across the United States. The company is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (though some products may be unavailable in certain states), and holds an A- financial stability rating from AM Best.
Life insurance products offered by Fidelity Life include term life, whole life, accidental death, and permanent life, each with a range of optional riders to choose from. With term life, final expense, and permanent life policies, Fidelity Life offers the RAPIDecision® feature. This feature provides applicants with fast coverage—in days, instead of weeks or months—often without the need for a medical exam.
Age and coverage limits depend on the type of policy purchased. For instance, RAPIDecision® Senior Whole Life is available from ages 50 to 85 and in coverage amounts ranging from $10,000 to $150,000. RAPIDecision® Senior Life Term, however, is available for those 50 to 70, with terms between 10 to 30 years and ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 in coverage. Also, RAPIDecision® Final Expense is designed for those between ages 50 and 85 looking for $5,000 and $35,000 in coverage.
If you have certain health concerns, you may not qualify for term life coverage. With RAPIDecision® Guaranteed Issue, though, there is no medical exam or underwriting. Approval is guaranteed as long as you’re between 50 and 85 and seeking $25,000 or less in coverage.
Aside from offering so many different products to the 50-and-up crowd, Fidelity Life is also competitively priced. A healthy 50-year-old woman would be able to purchase up to $250,000 in term life coverage for 20 years for as low as $46 a month.
What Is Life Insurance for Those Over 50?
At its core, life insurance for the over-50 crowd provides the same financial benefits as life insurance policies purchased by 20- and 30-year-olds. The difference, of course, is that as you get older, your financial needs change, so you may intend for your life insurance to cover very different things.
When it comes to buying life insurance over age 50, it’s also important to note that it is typically more difficult—and more expensive—to obtain. Many life insurance companies set age cutoffs for buying certain policies, and premiums climb with every birthday.
Why Do You Need Life Insurance Over 50?
When buying life insurance at a younger age, it may be intended to protect your children until they reach adulthood or your spouse until he or she reaches retirement. You may plan for that death benefit to pay off shared debt or even cover the mortgage on the family home.
Once you reach your 50s, however, you're in a different season of life. As your spouse nears retirement, your home is paid off, or your children grow up, life insurance takes on a new meaning. Instead, you may now intend for those benefits to provide for your final expenses, protect your estate, or even fund a charitable gift.
How Easy Is It to Get Life Insurance Over 50?
While you can certainly buy insurance at age 50 and beyond, it does become more difficult with each passing year. That happens for a few reasons.
The first is that as we get older, our chances of developing certain health concerns will increase. For example, obesity, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can result in higher premiums or even coverage denials. If you have specific health conditions, a family history of them, or indications that you are headed in that direction, you may find it difficult to obtain affordable life insurance coverage.
Another reason it’s harder to buy life insurance at 50 is that you pose a higher risk to the insurance company with each year that passes. The average life expectancy in the United States right now is 78.6 years; the closer to that number you are, the greater the risk an insurer takes on by offering you coverage.
As a result, many life insurance companies have imposed age limits for certain policies. And even if you’re able to purchase a policy as you get older, you will likely pay a higher premium to do so.
What Are the Expected Costs of Life Insurance Over 50?
The cost for life insurance will vary—whether you’re over 50 or not—based on a number of personal factors. Everything from your age to your health, family history, job/hobbies, and even location can play into the premiums you’ll pay for coverage.
With that said, here’s a look at what a 50-year-old woman in great health, who is a non-smoker, could expect to pay for term life insurance:
As mentioned, these are just estimates, and your experience may vary according to your own personal details. It’s always best to get a few different quotes for coverage before making a choice, to ensure that you not only get the policy that best meets your needs but that you also get the best price possible.
How We Chose the Life Insurance Companies
To determine the best life insurance companies for those over 50, a number of different factors were evaluated. Each of the top 20 insurance companies (by market share) was examined, looking at financial stability ratings, experience and history, the number and variety of products offered, and the flexibility of the policies.
Since this list was designed to help readers buy life insurance at age 50 or older, only companies offering policies up to age 59 or beyond were considered. Preference was given to insurers that are willing to write new policies (or renew expired ones) well into the policyholder’s 70s, 80s, or even 90s. Finally, price was taken into consideration, looking at how each of the top companies fared in terms of competitive premiums.
Statistica. "Perceived level of life insurance coverage in the United States in 2016, by age (login required)." Accessed May 21, 2020.
CDC. "Life Expectancy." Accessed May 21, 2020.