If you are a senior over 80 looking for life insurance you want the best policy available. How do you know what that is? There are 3 types of policies you can buy in this age group. Which will be best for you?
Different Policies Available
At 80 and older you can buy any of the following types of policies:
- universal life
- whole life
- guaranteed issue life
Term insurance is available up to age 80, although it is probably not the best choice at this time of life. Seniors who want or need coverage, should consider a permanent policy, one that will last for your lifetime.
Universal Life Coverage
- If you are relatively healthy you may qualify for a universal life insurance policy.
- You must be willing to take a paramedical exam, where they will take blood and urine samples.
- This is a fully underwritten policy. They will order doctor records to review. There may be special programs to improve your health rating with table shaving.
- The policy can be structured so that there is no cash accumulation, essentially acting like a term policy for your lifetime.
- If you can get this type of insurance you will get more coverage for your money.
- $25,000 is the minimum available for this type of policy.
Whole Life - Final Expense Policies
- There are final expense policies available for this age group. They last for your lifetime. .
- They have simplified underwriting. That means you have to be able to answer "no" to a number of health questions to qualify.
- The carrier will check several data bases, including one for medications.
- These policies are generally anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000. They will cost more that the universal policies described above but are easier and much faster to obtain.
Guaranteed Issue Coverage
- These policies can be purchased by anyone with any health issues. There are no exceptions.
- They have a waiting period of two years, meaning if the insured dies within the first two years from any illness, the company returns the premiums paid plus interest to the beneficiary. (If death is caused by an accident, the full face amount will be paid.)
- If the insured dies after two years, the beneficiary will receive the full face amount of the policy.
- These policies are only for people who cannot qualify for universal or final expense policies.
- The cost of these policies will be higher than the cost for a universal or final expense policy.
Health Concerns for Underwriting
- The first question is do you have Alzheimer's or Dementia? Are you taking any medication for these illnesses? If so, you will only be able to buy a guaranteed issue policy. You will not qualify for universal or final expense policies.
- You may not be confined to a wheelchair or bed to be able to buy a final expense policy. You may not live in a nursing home, be in hospice care or use oxygen equipment. The questionnaire will ask about certain other health issues as well. Many people will be able to qualify for this coverage.
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol do not affect your ability to purchase universal or final expense life insurance policies.
- Each company has somewhat different questions so you may qualify with one carrier but not with another.
Which Is the Best Policy for Me?
What's the best life insurance for seniors over 80? The best one will be the one you can get. If you are willing to take the exam and can qualify for a universal policy it will be your best buy. If not, a final expense policy will be the next best buy, if you meet the requirements. If not, your only other option is a guaranteed issue policy. Additionally the amount of coverage you want will possibly determine that kind of coverage you get.
Your health, and your willingness to take an exam will help you to choose what the best life insurance is for you when you are over 80.
The Bottom Line
Now that you have some idea how the policies work, you should talk to an independent life agent. They will help you determine what policies your health qualifies you for. They will help you find the company with the best pricing as well.