Life insurance after 80 years old isn’t as easy to get as it was when you were younger. Fortunately, most seniors don’t have as many pressing debts, like a mortgage, putting kids through college, or replacing income if they should lose it.
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But many seniors over 80 find themselves without a safety net for their loved ones to cover things like their final expenses or other necessary bills.
There are insurance options for seniors over 80, but they are limited.
Insurance Options over 80
As you get into your upper senior years, your options for life insurance dwindle, but the prices increase.
There’s one reason for this.
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Insurance companies take a much higher risk of insuring someone over 80 years old because you are much more likely to die sooner than someone who is, for example, 40 years old.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t options. You have options; they are just more expensive and have more restrictions than the life insurance you would buy in your younger years.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance over 80 is the most challenging insurance to get. Most insurance companies require a health exam, and people over 80 often have health issues that don’t allow them to pass the requirements for term life insurance.
If you qualify, there’s another downside.
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Term life insurance over 80 years old costs an average of $10,000 per year for every $250,000 in coverage on a 10-year term.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance or permanent life insurance may be an option, but it’s an expensive one. You only have until the age of 80 with most insurance companies to buy whole life insurance, so you must decide fast if you’re already 80-years old.
Whole life insurance lasts for your entire lifetime – the premiums don’t change, and a portion of your premiums get invested. However, since you’re already 80 years old, it won’t likely amount to much of anything of use. If you don’t cash in your investment account before you die, it gets absorbed by the insurance company, reducing the amount they have to pay out of pocket for your death benefit.
Whole life insurance is very costly, though. At around $100 per $10,000 in coverage per month, you’re looking at an average of $500 a month for $50,000 in coverage.
Final Expense Insurance
Final expense insurance is the more common life insurance option for seniors over 80. It’s a form of permanent life insurance, but it’s less expensive than traditional whole life insurance, and it was made for seniors.
Final expense insurance is meant to cover your final expenses (wake, funeral, burial, and final medical costs). The average policy is no more than $20,000, but there’s good news.
There’s no medical exam. You may have to answer a few medical questions, but they aren’t anything significant.
The policy lasts for your lifetime as long as you make the payments and you can get covered in a matter of a few days.
There’s even better news.
There’s no waiting period. If you die a week after you take out the policy, your loved ones will still receive the full death benefit, unlike other policies with a waiting period.
The rates are somewhat high, as you could imagine since the coverage is guaranteed. If you answer medical health questions, you’ll pay less with an average of $150 per month for $10,000 in coverage. If you can’t pass the medical questions and need guaranteed coverage, you’ll pay closer to $250 a month for $10,000 in coverage.
Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance
Guaranteed Universal Life insurance is guaranteed, which means anyone can get it, but it’s expensive again because of the guarantee.
The maximum coverage most seniors over 80 can get is $25,000, and unlike final expense insurance, there is a 2-year waiting period. This means if you buy it today and die one year from now, your loved ones wouldn’t get the death benefit unless you died in an accident.
GUL is another costly insurance plan for seniors over 80, with the average plan costing $250 a month for $10,000 in coverage, and again, you don’t have coverage for at least 2 years.
Exploring your life insurance options for seniors over 80 is essential if you don’t feel secure in your finances and what you’ll leave your loved ones. Life insurance after 80 isn’t about leaving a financial legacy; it’s more about leaving money for your loved ones to cover your final expenses, allowing you to die with peace of mind.