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The Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors

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    As you’re enjoying your golden years, the last thing you want to worry about is finances. But even the best-planned retirements can go awry due to circumstances out of your control. If life insurance has crossed your mind, you’re not alone; it’s actually incredibly common to purchase coverage after the age of 55. To help you decide if this is the right financial decision for you, we’ve found the best life insurance for seniors based on customer satisfaction, financial strength, coverage options, and more.

    The 5 Top Life Insurance for Seniors

    Compare the Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors

    Reviews.com Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options. AM Best Financial Strength AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim. J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin State Farm5/5A++838
    Pin Northwestern Mutual5/5A++790
    Pin Nationwide4.8/5A+803
    Pin New York Life4.2/5A++784
    Pin Mutual of Omaha4.2/5A+789

    Information accurate as of 10/25/2020

    State Farm

    Best Customer Service

    State Farm claims the top spot in customer satisfaction ratings according to J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study.
    • 5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 838* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    State Farm claims the top spot in customer satisfaction ratings according to J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study.

    Pros

    • Excellent customer service ratings
    • High coverage limits
    • Final expense quotes available online

    Cons

    • Limited website functionality
    • Must purchase through an agent
    • Not available in Massachusetts
    Read More

    Insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life

    Unique features

    State Farm offers flexible payment terms, letting you choose between a single premium or spreading payments out over 10, 15 or 20 years.

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on State Farm

    Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

    Best Online Tools

    Northwestern Mutual’s online calculator helps you decide how much life insurance coverage you need before you talk to an advisor.
    • 5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 790* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Northwestern Mutual’s online calculator helps you decide how much life insurance coverage you need before you talk to an advisor.

    Pros

    • Helpful online calculator
    • Offers long-term care planning
    • Available in all 50 states

    Cons

    • Requires working with an advisor
    • No final expense policy
    • Limited policy information online
    Read More

    Insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • whole life
    • Universal life
    • Long-term care

    Unique features

    Northwestern Mutual advisors can help you tailor your policy to specific needs like retirement and estate planning.

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Northwestern Mutual

    Nationwide

    Best Coverage Options

    Nationwide offers a wide range of options for seniors through its whole, universal, and variable life insurance policies, all customizable with more than a dozen riders.
    • 4.8 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 803* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Nationwide offers a wide range of options for seniors through its whole, universal, and variable life insurance policies, all customizable with more than a dozen riders.

    Pros

    • Diverse policy types
    • Long-term care coverage available
    • Offers online quotes

    Cons

    • No guaranteed acceptance option
    • Complex policy types are hard to understand
    • Less affordable than competitors
    Read More

    Insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Variable life
    • Long-term care

    Unique features

    Riders are available to include spouses and children in the coverage you choose.

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Nationwide

    New York Life

    Best Living Benefits

    New York Life’s policies can be customized with disability waiver, chronic care and living benefit riders, helping you stay prepared for every possible scenario.
    • 4.2 AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 784* AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.

    Why we chose it

    New York Life’s policies can be customized with disability waiver, chronic care and living benefit riders, helping you stay prepared for every possible scenario.

    Pros

    • Coverage options for disability and illness
    • Purchase a policy up to age 90
    • Partners with AARP

    Cons

    • Policy terms aren’t very flexible
    • Has to be purchased through a financial advisor
    • No online support
    Read More

    Insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Variable life

    Unique features

    New York Life offers an interesting variable life policy that isn’t included in most competitors’ lineups.

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on New York Life

    Mutual of Omaha

    Best Guaranteed Acceptance

    If you can’t pass the medical exam requirement for traditional life insurance coverage, Mutual of Omaha will issue you a policy up to $25,000.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 789* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    If you can’t pass the medical exam requirement for traditional life insurance coverage, Mutual of Omaha will issue you a policy up to $25,000.

    Pros

    • Policy benefits start at $2,000
    • Purchase whole life coverage online
    • Offers guaranteed acceptance insurance up to $25,000

    Cons

    • Limited coverage options if enrolling after age 80
    • No online quotes for term and universal policies
    • Outdated customer service channels
    Read More

    Insurance products offered

    • Term life
    • Whole life
    • Universal life
    • Children’s whole life
    • Accidental death
    • Guaranteed acceptance

    Unique features

    Seniors interested in protecting future generations may want to look into Mutual of Omaha’s standalone children’s whole life policy.

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Prudential

    Methodology

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the life insurance companies, our editorial team compared financial strength, number of riders offered, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and website functionality from each company to produce our very own Reviews.com score. These ratings were evaluated with you, our readers, in mind, and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which life insurance company is best for you. Since life insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to continue researching options that fit your specific needs.

    Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors

    Life Insurance Options for Seniors

    Seniors can choose from several different types of life insurance that vary in coverage and cost. The policy you choose will depend on your budget and your financial goals.

    • Term life: Term life insurance is a type of life insurance that lasts for a specific period of time, often between 10 and 30 years. This type of insurance isn’t as popular for seniors since the cost of coverage increases with age, but some companies are willing to issue policies up to age 80.
    • Whole life: Most seniors choose whole life insurance as it’s the most affordable and lasts for your entire life as long as you continue to pay premiums. Whole life policies are often taken out to cover final expenses such as funeral costs.
    • Universal life: Like whole life insurance, universal insurance lasts for the rest of your lifetime. While premiums are more flexible, the death benefit depends on market performance so it’s generally considered riskier.
    • Variable life: This type of policy gives you both life insurance and a financial account that you can invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds of your choosing. This is generally considered the riskiest type of life insurance.   
    • Long-term care coverage: If you’re worried about family members being burdened with expenses should you become seriously ill, a long-term care policy can ensure you’ll get the treatment you need.
    • Guaranteed acceptance insurance: Also called guaranteed issue insurance, this type of whole life policy is useful if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and can’t pass a medical exam for a standard policy.

    Life Insurance Riders and Features for Seniors

    Not every life insurance policy fits every person or family’s unique needs. Riders are one way that insurance companies offer a greater variety of options to their customers. Each rider covers certain situations or circumstances that aren’t covered in base policies. For example, riders might offer financial benefits to policyholders if they get seriously ill, or waive monthly premiums in the event policyholders become disabled. Typically, these riders incur an additional cost.

    • Accelerated death benefit: This benefit allows you to use some of your life insurance death benefits, tax-free, while you’re still alive. Some common circumstances that this benefit applies to include terminal illness, a life-threatening diagnosis, or confinement to a nursing home and requiring help with basic daily activities.
    • Accidental death and dismemberment: Should you suffer an accident that results in death or causes a serious condition such as paralysis, this benefit typically offers additional benefits to the regular life insurance policy. Death due to an illness or other natural causes aren’t usually covered by this insurance.
    • Waiver of premium: In an insurance policy, this clause indicates that the policyholder doesn’t need to continue paying the premium if they become disabled for an extended period of time.
    • Chronic care: This rider allows policyholders to pay for serious, permanent illnesses. To apply for this benefit, a doctor may be required to certify the severity of the illness.
    • Living death benefit: A living death benefit rider is another phrase for an accelerated death benefit and offers policyholders tax-free benefits while they’re still living.

    Learn more details about riders and how they work on our full page about life insurance riders.

    Do you need life insurance after 70?

    If you’re over the age of 70, most insurance companies will still issue you a whole life policy – and some even offer term insurance. However, coverage gets more expensive as you age. If life insurance premiums don’t fit within your budget, you can also consider putting funds into low-risk investments to leave a legacy for the next generation.

    Buying life insurance in your 20s vs. your 50s

    If you purchased life insurance in your 20s, you probably looked for a term policy with a high benefit that would cover your financial obligations in case you passed away prematurely. When you reach your 50s, however, you may be more interested in covering future medical expenses and preserving wealth for future generations. Permanent life insurance is more affordable and better meets these needs in your 50s and beyond.

    How easy is it to get life insurance after 50?

    Getting life insurance after 50 is easier than you might think. Most life insurers offer specific policies tailored to seniors based on what you’re hoping to achieve with coverage. Typically, you’ll need to undergo a medical exam before the insurance company will issue you a policy. However, some companies (such as Mutual of Omaha) offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance, which doesn’t require an exam.

    FAQs

    About the Authors

    Lisa Melillo is a personal finance writer for Reviews.com. Over the past seven years, she’s covered insurance, travel, and home-related topics for a variety of online publications and businesses.

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