Are you a senior citizen looking for life insurance? Or perhaps you are looking for insurance for your parent(s) or another family member? Either way there are several issues you should carefully consider before you buy a policy.
Do you have any health issues? As we age, generally we have more things "wrong" with us. Some of these may impact your insurance rating, and your rating determines your premium. Some of the more common medical issues that may affect your premium are:
- Heart conditions
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Each of these issues can affect your premium. Additionally how you take care of yourself will be seriously considered. Do you go to your doctor regularly? Do you follow your doctor's instructions? Are you pro-active about your medical conditions? If you have diabetes is it well controlled? Insurance companies like to see seniors with pre-existing issues being compliant with their doctor's instructions and taking good care of themselves.
Not knowing how these can change your premium makes you using an online calculator almost a waste of time. It's difficult to know what rating you can qualify for if you have any of these or other medical conditions that will affect your rate.
What type of policy should I get?
There are three major policy types:
- term life insurance
- universal life insurance
- whole life insurance
Term life insurance is usually the least expensive. It has a level premium and level face amount for the duration of the policy. It lasts for a specific period of time.
Universal life insurance is a permanent policy and will usually cost more than a term policy. It can be structured so that there is no cash accumulation thereby making it the lowest priced type of permanent coverage. (When you get to age 70 or thereabouts, you may find that a universal life insurance policy costs about the same (or occasionally less than) a term policy. You may be able to get a better rating on a permanent policy as several companies have special programs available to improve your rating.)
Whole life insurance is a permanent policy that accumulates cash value. This is probably the most expensive type of permanent policy. If you are purchasing a small amount of coverage for final expenses, such as $2,000 to $20,000 this will be your only option. These policies are easy to get as they do not require any medical exam. If you can't qualify medically for any of these policies, you can get guaranteed issue coverage. Anyone who applies for this coverage is accepted.
What else can affect my premium?
There are several factors that go into determining the price you will pay for life insurance. Some of them are:
- Your current age
- Your medical issues (as we discussed earlier)
- Your lifestyle (do you scuba dive?, do extreme sports? have multiple moving violations? have a DUI? Etc.)
- Your height and weight
You can't have these factored in on most online quote engines so you can't evaluate their impact on your premium.
How can I get the best quotes?
Being that getting a quote is so difficult to do on your own we suggest you talk to an independent life insurance agent. They have access to many more insurance carriers than you can find on the internet by yourself.
The agent can enter your build, cholesterol and many other issues to be screened during the quoting process. This helps you get a more accurate quote. The more information that goes in, the better the quote result.
If you are a particularly complex case, we have an independent in house underwriter who can help us evaluate your case. If necessary, they can talk to the carrier underwriter and help us sort out problem areas.
All of this allows us to take you to the company that will look most favorably at your medical and lifestyle issues. It gives you many more options than you can get on your own.
The Bottom Line
To get the best quotes for senior life insurance we strongly recommend working with an independent life insurance agent. If they have experience in the senior market that is helpful too. They have the tools, the knowledge, the experience and the resources to make your search for life insurance smooth sailing.