The simple answer is, yes. Of course, what is affordable differs from person to person. As a rule, there is affordable life insurance for seniors if you are realistic. You must consider the differences in life insurance premiums as you age. Also, you need to get help to find the best policy for you. How can seniors get the most affordable life insurance?
Understanding the Rates
Although life insurance rates differ for many reasons, it is generally true that rates get higher as you get older! There is a big jump in life insurance premiums from age 50 to 60. However, affordable life insurance for seniors can be found if you use an independent agent specializing in people over 50. Your agent should understand that your needs are most likely different than when you were young. Your agent should know how to help you evaluate what your life insurance needs are and help you find the most affordable options.
Make Sure You Have Choices
Prices on life insurance for similar policies and similar ratings often don't vary much from carrier to carrier. If an insurance carrier wants clients in a certain niche in the market, they will keep their rates competitive with other low cost carriers.
Each carrier sets their rates and then they must be registered with every state's department of insurance. Therefore rates per carrier are set based on the amount of insurance, term of insurance and your underwriting rating. However, what does vary is the rating you get from any given company. One carrier may rate you preferred and another standard (not as good) based on the same exact information. (Another reason why an independent insurance agent can help you get the best price- they should be aware of different underwriting guidelines).
Insurance carriers base your underwriting rating on your:
- medical exam and blood tests
- height and weight
- family medical history
- smoking or non smoking
- lifestyle risks like scuba diving or flying a plane
- and other risk factors (driving record, criminal record, etc)
More choices in life insurance companies mean more possibilities of a carrier who looks favorably on your health situation. This increases your chances of finding affordable life insurance for seniors.
Life insurance doesn't have "specials" or "deals" like other types of products you buy. As explained before, the rates are set and inflexible based on amount of insurance, term, and your rating.
There are some life insurance companies that do offer programs like "table shaving," which means that if you purchase certain types of permanent life insurance, you may get a better rating. (This is true of clients who would be table rated- that means they would receive a rating poorer than standard, but it could be "shaved" to standard).
Another insurance carrier will not lower your rating if you have only one medical condition and it is controlled. (For example if you are a diabetic you can usually expect a standard or Table 2 rating. However, if you would qualify for a preferred rating and you are a well controlled diabetic, this company will rate you preferred!)
Companies with this kind of favorable underwriting can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your policy.
Why an Independent Agent is Best
How can you find out about special programs or the best carrier to get you the most affordable life insurance? An independent life insurance agent is your best guide. An independent agent is familiar with the underwriting of different carriers. They also know which companies have special programs to reduce your premium cost. They can help you choose the carrier whose underwriting guidelines will be most favorable to you.
The Bottom Line
As we age, we have more health issues, and not all life insurance companies treat those health issues in the same way. However, you can get affordable life insurance for seniors if you get help from a knowledgeable independent agent who understands life insurance for people over 50.
Photo Credit: Heidi Elliott