There are two basic types of life insurance policies. Term Life and Whole Life. Term will cover you for a temporary period of time such as for 10 years for instance if you were to buy a 10 year term policy. If you don’t see your need for life insurance as just something temporary then permanent (whole) life insurance coverage will probably be the right product for you to purchase. Fortunately, if you are a senior and needing whole life insurance coverage you have many options available to you. In this article we will examine what the best whole life insurance options for seniors are.
What Are The Different Types of Whole Life Insurance?
When people think of whole life insurance they think of permanent life insurance coverage which can provide coverage for your entire lifetime. However, whole life is actually just one type of permanent life insurance policy. Other types of permanent life insurance include universal life, indexed universal life, and guaranteed universal life.
So which one should you buy? Well, it depends primarily on how much coverage you are needing to get and your reason for buying the coverage.
If your objective it to buy low cost permanent life insurance then usually a guaranteed universal life policy will be your best choice. The reason being is that the product is designed to provide coverage for a particular period of time, and is guaranteed to stay in force as long as the premium is paid.
So if you are senior, and in your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even 80’s, and you want a policy that will be guaranteed to stay in force until you are 90, 100, 110, or even 120 years old then this is the best type of coverage to buy. It is the lowest cost and will be guaranteed to be there as long as you make your payments. The reason it is the lowest cost is because unlike other permanent life insurance policies, a guaranteed universal life insurance policy is not designed to accumulate cash value in the policy. You are strictly paying the least you have to pay to ensure that the death benefit will be there. It’s kind of like buying term life insurance. Term life insurance doesn’t build up cash value either.
For example, let’s say you are 60 years old and want coverage until you are 120 years old. You can get that with a guaranteed universal life (GUL) policy. It acts kind of like a term life policy in that you are just paying for the death benefit.
Whole Life is typically more expensive because part of the premiums that are paid go towards building a cash value within your policy. Building cash value through life insurance can work very well for the right person in the right situation. However, we don’t typically recommend that you do so if you are a senior buying life insurance. Usually it doesn’t make sense if you are over the age of 55. Perhaps age 60 at the oldest. The reason for this is that the internal cost of life insurance is usually too high on this type of policy for it to make sense. These cash building life insurance policies can be great policies for people in their 30’s and 40’s, but often they are not the best for seniors.
So the bottom line is this…if you are a senior and need low cost life insurance that we will there for you no matter how long you live, then a guaranteed universal life policy (GUL) will probably be your best best.
However, there are some exceptions and times when whole life will make more sense.
Whole Life Insurance For Seniors (Smaller Policies)
A whole life policy will likely be your best choice if you are needing a smaller policy. This is because most companies that offer guaranteed universal life (GUL) require you to buy a policy for at least $100,000. Some companies will offer coverage for $50,000 and just a few will offer coverage for $25,000. If you are needing less than $25,000 of coverage your only option is a whole life policy. These types of policies are designed to help pay for your final expenses such as burial costs and other bills or debts that need to get paid. Most companies will offer policies that start at $5,000 or $10,000. A few companies will offer coverage for as little $1,000 if that’s all that you need.
The other reason you will want to buy a whole life policy is that you can be approved for coverage very quickly…often times the same day you apply. To determine if you are eligible for coverage an insurance company will look at two things. First, your application which includes your answers to the health questions. Second, the insurance company will check your prescription drug history. Again, typically you will either be approved or not approved for coverage the same day.
Best Whole Life Insurance Companies For Seniors
As we mentioned above guaranteed universal life and whole life are likely your best options if you need lifetime coverage. A major factor that will determine what policy you should apply for will depend on how much coverage you need. Let’s look at some of the best companies for seniors to to consider. There are others but these are four of the best.
Protective Life insurance can be a great option for seniors. They have a very competitively priced guaranteed universal life (GUL) product. It is available for purchase up until the age of 85. Also, they are a financially sound life insurance company and have been around a long time. They are rated A+ by A.M. Best and were founded in 1907 in Birmingham, Alabama. One of the other nice things about Protective Life is the the high level of service they bring to the table when processing your application. Typically, they do a great job of reviewing and underwriting your application in a timely manner so that you can get your policy in place as quickly as possible.
AIG is another top company that seniors should consider. They’ve been around just over 100 years as well with a history going back to 1919. They are an A rated by A.M. Best. They also have a very competitive guaranteed universal life (GUL) product which seniors can purchase if they are 80 or younger.
Another solid company that is great for seniors is Prudential. They are a huge company and have high financial strength ratings. They’re rated A+ by A.M. Best and they’ve been around a very long time – over 140 years. The company began in 1875 to be exact. Their guaranteed universal life (GUL) product can be bought as late as age 85. One thing that is quite nice about their product is they go by what’s called actual age instead of nearest age. This may keep you from having to backdate your policy to get the lower rate. If a company goes by nearest age this means that if you’re birthday is in the next six months you will be considered insurance age one year older than you actually are. Prudential doesn’t do that. They go by what your actual age is when the policy is put in place.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha is a fairly well known company to a lot of seniors. Many will recall the Wild Kingdom which was an American documentary TV show about wildlife and nature. Mutual of Omaha has a long history as well and was founded in 1909. They have very high financial ratings and are rated A+ by A.M. Best. They have a very competitive whole life product which is available for seniors if they are between the ages of 45 and 85. It provides coverage for as low as $2,000 to as high as $40,000. Their rates are very competitive and the company is strong and stable. If you are needing low cost coverage to pay for final expenses such as funeral and burial costs Mutual of Omaha can be a great choice for you.
What Whole Policy Should Seniors Buy?
As we’ve talked about already this will in part come down to the amount of coverage that you are seeking. If you are looking for a bigger policy a GUL will probably be the best choice. If you need a smaller policy then a whole life policy will probably make most sense.
In addition, your health and lifestyle habits will make a difference as well. Every insurance company has different underwriting guidelines that they follow. One company may be more lenient if you are a cancer survivor. Another might be more lenient if you’ve had a heart problems or if you are diabetic.
We make sure to match your profile, as we call it, to the insurance company that will look at your application most favorably. And as a result offer you the most competitive rate. Of course we also need to make sure the insurance company offers the type of whole life or guaranteed universal life product that you need. And of course we need to do it with a strong, stable, and reputable insurance company so that when you do eventually pass away, whenever that day may be, the insurance company will be there to pay the death claim to your family when they will need it the most.
Work with an Independent Agent
We are team of independent life insurance agents that specialize in helping seniors over 50 years old secure the life insurance that they need. We are not married to any one company. We work for you and have access to over 40 of the top insurance companies. Understand there are hundreds of life insurance companies out there. Many of them haven’t been around that long and quite a few have low financial ratings. We won’t represent companies that we have concerns about it. Our rule is this…if we wouldn’t offer the policy from a particular insurance company to our mom, dad, brother, sister, or if we wouldn’t buy the policy ourselves then we won’t offer it to anyone.
Feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss your situation and help you get the policy you are needing at the most affordable price possible. Also, if you would like to you can run life insurance quotes for yourself here.