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You may have difficulty finding life insurance if you aren’t in good health AND a senior over 60. You may even think no insurance company would insure you, especially given your health conditions.

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The good news is there is a policy for everyone – even high-risk applicants with chronic health conditions. If you haven’t secured life insurance yet or just discovered you don’t have enough money for your loved ones to cover your final expenses, it’s time to find the right type of life insurance.

What Makes a Senior a High-Risk Applicant?

First, let’s look at why you would be a high-risk applicant. Life insurance companies look at each applicant to determine the likelihood of you dying prematurely, putting the insurance company on the hook for your death benefit.

Senior Family

Seniors are automatically high risk because of their age. Once you’ve lived more than half your life, you’re closer to dying than not. Because the insurance company insures your life, they are at risk of paying out thousands of dollars on your behalf when you die.

Despite your age, another factor that makes many seniors high risk is their health condition. All life insurance companies conduct a health screening to see what issues you may have that would make you a higher risk.

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Common issues include:

  • Heart conditions
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Kidney disease

If you suffer from any ‘big’ issues, life insurance companies consider you an even higher risk and will either decline your application or charge incredibly high premiums.

Fortunately, there are ways around this situation.

Relevant: Here’s your option with pre-existing medical conditions.

What Type of Insurance is Available for High-Risk Seniors?

Many insurance companies offer a couple of options for high-risk seniors, including simplified issue insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue insurance suits those without major issues which may not pass a traditional health exam. For example, you may have high blood pressure but no cardiovascular issues (stroke, heart attack) or cancer.

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With a Simplified Issue policy, you answer a few basic medical questions but don’t undergo a medical exam. If you pass the questions, you can get a policy.


  • Lower premiums than guaranteed issue policies
  • Easy to get
  • A great way to protect your loved ones when you die
  • Accrues a cash value in addition to the death benefit


  • Higher premiums than a standard whole life insurance policy
  • There may be a waiting period of up to 2 years before your coverage kicks in

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is for those with major issues who know they won’t pass a medical exam or be able to answer the questions life insurance companies ask for Simplified Life Insurance.

As the name suggests, Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance is guaranteed. If you can apply for the policy, you’ll get it, but you must be able to afford the much higher premiums. Like the Simplified Issue Policy, it’s a whole-life policy with a death benefit and a cash value.


  • You can’t be turned away from the policy
  • The face value usually goes up to $50,000, which is enough to cover final expenses
  • It’s a great way to protect your loved ones upon your passing
  • Accrues a cash value in addition to the death benefit


  • Much higher premiums than a standard life insurance policy
  • Limited coverage amount based on your age
  • There may be up to a 2-year waiting period before your coverage begins

Which Policy is Best for You?

If you’re a senior with health conditions, you probably wonder if the Simplified Issue or Guaranteed Issue insurance is right for you.

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Ideally, if you can pass the Simplified Issue Insurance questions, it’s a better policy. You’ll get the same face value as any other guaranteed policy but at a lower premium. As long as you pay the premiums, the policy will be good for the rest of your life, and any money that doesn’t cover the death benefit premium will add to your cash value, which gets invested for even more growth.

The Simplified Issue policy can provide retirement supplements if you don’t have enough retirement income and protect your loved ones upon passing. The earlier you apply for it in your senior years, the more likely you will get approved.


Meet Aaron H., a senior life insurance agent from California with 15+ years of experience. With a major in finance, excellent analytical and communication skills, and a passion for helping clients find personalized solutions, Aaron is a trusted advisor in the industry. He stays up-to-date on the latest trends and developments by attending webinars and workshops, reading industry blogs, and writing informative blog posts on this website. Aaron also has a keen understanding of SEO and online marketing, which he uses to help his clients reach a wider audience and get the coverage they need. He cherishes spending quality time with his wife, two children, and elder parents.