Life insurance is a necessity for anyone that has financial responsibilities or dependents that will be hurt financially by an untimely death no matter the age. While its best to get it early, there is never a time where it’s too late. If you have financial responsibilities, then you need life insurance. The thing is, as you age life insurance tends to get more expensive. When it comes to being 55, you’re still at an age where you’re not necessarily guaranteed to go anytime soon, so you can still get reasonable rates when shopping for coverage. There are, however, a few factors that will go into determining that rate.
Also, at the age of 55, your reason for getting life insurance can be numerous. So let’s discuss both in detail below, but first:
How much is life insurance for a 55-Year-Old?
If you’re a 55-year-old male, non-smoker, in fairly good health, here is what you can expect to pay for $500,000 coverage:
- 10 Year Term Life: $89
- 20 Year Term Life: $153
- 10 Year No Exam Term Life: $126
- 20 Year No Exam Term Life: $194
- Permanent GUL: $253 (for $200,000)
If you’re a 55-year-old female you can expect to pay:
- 10 Year Term Life: $67
- 20 Year Term Life: $107
- 10 Year No Exam Term Life: $92
- 20 Year No Exam Term Life: $155
- Permanent GUL: $223 (for $200,000)
Keep in mind these are just estimates, to get exact rates for yourself, use our quoter here.
As you can see, the rates you pay are mostly reflected by the coverage length. IT makes a big difference which company you go with. You may end up paying a much higher rate for the same product if you’re not diligent when you shop.
What Goes Into Calculating Your Rate
The rates above are determined mostly by your age and health, which is broken into a few different health class categories. Those particular examples above, are for fairly healthy 55-year-olds that qualify for a preferred health class. Let’s talk about the few factors that companies use to determine how much you will pay for coverage.
The first and most obvious factor is age. The older you are the closer you are to your last days, statistically. Because of this, life insurance companies see you as a higher risk than someone who is in their 20’s. The good news is that 55 isn’t necessarily considered that old. With life expectancy going up to the ’80s, you still have a good shot to get affordable coverage. Life insurance companies also don’t just use one factor to determine your rate, a lot of it has to do with multiple factors and how they relate to each other, so age is just the starting point.
Another big factor that is calculated into your rate is your current health. Depending on your health condition, you will be grouped into one of four classes. If you’re considered high risk, there will be something called “table ratings” which increases your rate further. The worse your health, the higher the rate. The severity of your condition plays a much bigger role than the condition itself. For example, if you have diabetes, your A1C levels and method of controlling it will determine which category you fall into.
Outside of your current health, previous health history also plays a role. This could include things like past ailments, injuries, disabilities or even things like accidents that may be effecting your livelihood today. During the underwriting process, the life insurance company will review all of this info and determine how your medical history will reflect the level of risk you pose and place you into a rate class.
Medical Exam Results
Life insurance companies don’t always trust that your doctor knows all. Especially since most people don’t go to the doctor every year. Because of that, they require a medical exam, in most cases, to confirm your health records, as well as look for anything new that may be of interest. They will look for things like prostate levels, drug use, sugar levels, and most things a typical doctor’s physical covers. This inculdes taking your blood work and urine sample.
Another important factor is your overall lifestyle. This can include things like smoking and drinking habits, as well as potentially dangerous hobbies or occupations. If your hobby, say skydiving or mountain climbing, is something you do frequently, then you will find that you get charged more for coverage than your average joe. This is because there is a level of risk attached to those hobbies. Other examples can include jobs like being a professional fighter or airplane pilot.
Your driving history can say a lot about you as a person, at least to life insurance companies. So if you are a speed demon or have been in many accidents, they look at that as a tool to judge future behavior. If your driving record is less than stellar, you may find yourself paying more for coverage.
Why Get Coverage At 55?
Being 55 doesn’t mean your responsibilities are behind you. In fact, they actually may be pilling on at this age, especially if you have grandkids. If you have anyone depending on you, then you may want to have coverage in place. Here are a few reasons you may need coverage.
The first, and usually the main reason to get life is having financial dependents. Whether it be your spouse, kids, or grandkids, if someone is depending on your income you want to have coverage in place that can replace that income if something were to happen to you. If you’re still paying on your mortgage you will want to calculate that into your coverage amount. The usual rule of thumb is at least ten years of income replacement, mortgage, and other outstanding debts, as well as the cost of any final expenses.
There may be a possibility that your kids and your grandkids no longer depend on you. That doesn’t mean though that you don’t want to leave something behind. Getting life insurance to leave a legacy behind is a popular option amongst older folks who opt for life insurance coverage. Outside of it being a kind gesture, it also tends to be more affordable since the coverage amount you will seek isn’t meant to be income replacement for a decade or more.
Another legacy play is to get life insurance to leave behind to a charitable cause. If there is a cause that you want to donate some money too, life insurance can be a good tool for social good.
If you have a business or want to start a business, life insurance can be a great tool. If you own a business, you may have a key employee or a business partner that you dread losing to an accident because of their value to the business, life insurance can be a great way to protect you against it. It can also be structured to fund a buy-sell agreement in order to help you buy out your partner’s piece of the business in the case of their death.
If you’re looking to start a business and in need of a loan, then you may need to have a life insurance place in order to get the loan approved. SBA loans tend to require a policy in place that is equal to the loan amount.
When it comes to the type of products you need, you have a few options, but the best choice will depend purely on your situation. For the most part, it will be a choice between temporary and permanent coverage. Let’s break down your best options.
If you’re looking for temporary coverage, then term life insurance will be your best option. Term life insurance is life insurance coverage that covers you over a specific amount of time. So if you have a 10-year term life insurance policy. Then you will be covered for those 10 years, and not beyond. If you die within those ten years, your beneficiaries will receive a payout, however, if you pass after expiration, then they will not receive payment.
The good news is most term insurance plans have an option to renew without having to prove good health. This means that once your term reaches expiration, you will have the choice to renew to a permanent policy. The only rate adjustment would be to your new age, but no matter if your health took a turn for the worse, you will be approved with the health class you got at inception. This can be a good option if you feel your needs are extended beyond the initial term.
Permanent Life Insurance
While permanent life insurance comes in different flavors, most people are simply seeking life insurance for the sake of protecting them purely for financial responsibilities, rather than policies that come with a cash value or savings component. These types of policies tend to be much more expensive than pure protection coverage. Which is why Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance, or GUL, policies exist.
The GUL life insurance policy is a product that provides your life insurance for what is considered the entirety of your life. These policies range form giving you coverage to 90, or in some cases, 121 years old. They tend to be as much as 5 times less expensive than whole life policies and are often referred to as “permanent term” due to being an affordable permanent life insurance solution. The benefit of this product is that you don’t have to worry about an expiration date.
The reason whole life insurance may not be the best option is that, at this age, you may not have enough time to build up a significant amount of cash value. On top of that, the premium will be much more expensive than a GUL or term life policy. Whole life can be relevant in some cases, so in the end, it is best to speak with your insurance agent and let them weigh all your options.
Getting Quotes for 55-Year-Old Male
The best way to know for sure how much life insurance is for a 55-year-old is to compare quotes. Make sure you always shop around rather than getting one rate. What some people do is call different companies or visit the website of life insurance companies they’ve heard of before and run quotes there. The problem with that is you’re only getting the rates for that particular carrier and will spend way too much time trying to get quotes individually from each company.
The best thing to do is to work with a broker that represents most of the companies out there, and more importantly, A-rated companies.
There are a few reasons you will want to do this:
- It doesn’t cost you anything – working with an independent agent doesn’t cost you anything extra. They do all the work for you and in return, the life insurance company of your choice will compensate them, without adding more to your premium.
- They have an inside look – most independent agents are familiar with each company and how they insure certain risks. A good agent will be able to get you the lowest rate based on your specific situation. What many people don’t know is the lowest rate on the quote engine isn’t always the lowest rate for you.
- Save time – all you have to do is give the agent your info and they will do all the legwork. All that’s left to do for you is to kick back and wait for the recommendations to roll in.
You want to make sure that that the agent you choose to work with is knowledgeable in getting coverage for people over the age of 50. Once you hit that milestone, life insurance coverage can get complex and requirements for companies may start to pile on. This is why it is really important to have the right professional in your corner.
Another Option – Start Here
Another option that you have is to compare all the quotes all in one place with just a few clicks. At Over50lifeinsure we specialize in getting people life insurance over the age of 50. So if you’re wondering how much life insurance is for a 55-year-old, then you’re at the right place. We work with all the top carriers on the market and do all the life insurance shopping on your behalf. We do a thorough needs analysis and make sure we recommend you only what you need and nothing more or less. Our goal is to help you protect your family and your assets.
Contact us today to receive a consultation and see what options are available to you based on your unique situation. Or you can compare quotes on this very page and see what a ballpark cost would be for a 55-year-old to get life insurance coverage.