The internet has given us all pages and pages of information on every imaginable subject. When someone starts looking for life insurance, I imagine most people read up on it before starting to get quotes. But learning about life insurance for seniors over 70 is a case of what you don't know can hurt you, or actually what you don't know can cost you money! (And that hurts!).What Products are Available Over Age 70?
You can buy any type of life insurance policy over age 70, including term life, universal life and whole life policies. There are some age and term limits as follows:
- Term life insurance policies-
- Term insurance policies- at age 70 you can purchase up to 20 years of coverage.
- Term insurance policies- at age 75 you can purchase up to 15 years of coverage.
- Term insurance policies- at age 80 you can purchase up to 10 years of coverage.
- Universal life insurance policies- available for purchase up to age 90
- Whole life insurance policies- available to buy up to age 90
Different companies each have a maximum age, so not all types of insurance are available at the specified ages from all companies.
What's the Big Secret?
You will read all over the internet that term life insurance policies are generally less expensive than permanent policies. This is true in most cases, especially below age 70. However, underwriting guidelines are more lenient for permanent policies than for term policies.
This is where it gets interesting. As we age, we tend to have more health issues. When you apply for life insurance, your health is a big factor in determining your underwriting rating. Your rating determines the price you will pay for insurance. (Of course, the amount of insurance and the length of the policy also factor in here.)
If you are a senior over 70 looking for life insurance this difference in rating can cause a permanent policy to cost less than a term policy. You read that correctly- A policy that lasts for your lifetime may cost less than a term policy (which has a set premium for a specified time period).
What's the Big Secret's Little Helper?
Another way to improve your premium is a program called "table shaving". Here's how it works...
- It is only available with a few different insurance carriers
- It is only available on permanent policies
- If you would be rated Table 1 through Table 3, instead you will receive a standard rating. (Table ratings cost more than preferred best, preferred and standard ratings. So this will improve your rating up to 3 levels.)
This is a great program for seniors as we tend to be a bit less healthy than the younger generations.
Wow. How Do I Find Out if I Qualify?
Easy. Contact your independent life insurance agent. Of course, you will want to deal with someone who has experience with the senior life insurance market. Many independent agents have in-house underwriters who can help the agent determine the best company to use.
Remember, every company has slightly different underwriting guidelines. Those slight differences are important when you have any medical issues. For example company A might be stricter than company B for diabetics. But, company B has more lenient guidelines on heart disease than company A. Which company you apply with makes a difference.
Avail yourself of the expertise of an independent life insurance agent to help you get the best pricing for your insurance. They have the knowledge that you can't find anywhere on the internet...it just isn't information that's in print. Your agent's experience is invaluable to you, it's not something any amount of internet searching can replace.
Be certain to let your agent know all of your issues, as the more information your agent has, the better they can serve you. If you don't disclose everything to your agent, they may not find the best company for you and you are ultimately the one who loses.
The Bottom Line
The fact that permanent life insurance for seniors over 70 is often less expensive than term insurance is probably a surprise to many people. Your personal circumstances will determine if any of these opportunities are available for you. Talk to you independent life insurance agent today. What are you waiting for?