7 Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors 2021

Here are the best life insurance companies for seniors looking for coverage.
Georgia RoseJun 29, 2021
A Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors

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Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t find the best life insurance policy for your needs. The cost of coverage can increase with age, but many insurers will accommodate older adults, even if you’re not in the best of health. Here are our top picks for seniors looking for term or whole life insurance policies.

When deciding which insurers to include in our list, we took into account NerdWallet’s company-level star ratings as well as specific policy features, such as issue age.

The best life insurance for seniors

Company

Best term life insurance for seniors

Best whole life insurance for seniors

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Term life.

Max issue age: 70.

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy name: Whole life.

Max issue age: 85.

Coverage: $50,000+.

Our take: Good for customer experience and paying dividends. With far fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size, Northwestern Mutual is a trustworthy choice. And whole life policyholders may be eligible to receive dividends, which the company has paid out consistently since 1872.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Term life.

Max issue age: 75 (10-year term), 70 (15-year term), 65 (20-year term).

Coverage: $250,000+.

Policy name: Whole life.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+.

Our take: Good for extended coverage and range of policy options. Guardian allows you to renew an expiring term policy for five more years if you want to keep the coverage a little longer. If you’re looking for other types of permanent coverage, you may want to consider Guardian’s universal and variable universal life products, which are issued up to age 85.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Term life.

Max issue age: 75 (10-year term), 60 (25-year term).

Coverage: $100,000 to $3 million.

Policy name: Whole life.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+.

Our take: Good for older seniors and anyone looking for high coverage amounts. Few insurers issue whole life products to applicants over 85, which makes this insurer a good bet for older seniors looking for permanent coverage. Plus, you may find MassMutual’s $3 million maximum coverage appealing if you’re looking for a more substantial death benefit.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Level term life.

Max issue age: 70 (10-year term), 65 (15-year term).

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy name: Simplified whole life.

Max issue age: 85.

Coverage: $20,000+.

Our take: Good for flexibility and skipping the medical exam. USAA allows you to convert your term policy to permanent coverage before it expires, which can be useful if you think you’ll want lifelong coverage at a later date. For anyone looking to skip the medical exam, the company’s simplified whole life may be a good bet — you’re only required to answer a few health questions to qualify for coverage. USAA life insurance isn't limited to military families.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Level benefit term life.

Max issue age: 74 (AARP members only).

Coverage: Up to $100,000.

Policy name: Whole life.

Max issue age: 80 (AARP members only).

Coverage: Up to $50,000.

Our take: Good for older applicants and people looking to skip the medical exam. Applicants need only answer a few health questions to qualify for either term or whole life coverage. Although AARP products are for members only, coverage is also available to spouses.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Term life.

Max issue age: 75.

Coverage: $10,000+.

Policy name: Whole life.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $10,000+.

Our take: Good for broad coverage ranges. With face values for both term and whole life starting as low as $10,000 and reaching into the millions, New York Life’s wide coverage range is notable.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Policy name: Select term life.

Max issue age: 75 (10-year term), 65 (20-year term).

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy name: Final expense whole life.

Max issue age: 80 (75 in New York).

Coverage: $10,000.

Our take: Good for add-ons and customer satisfaction. State Farm gives you the option to add more coverage for you or another person through a term rider. This can be useful if you need to buy a small amount of coverage for a partner, but don’t want to purchase a separate policy. If you’re looking for a company with a great reputation, State Farm ranked first out of 23 companies for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 life insurance study.

If you can’t find a traditional term or whole life policy, there are some alternatives to consider, such as guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies don't require a life insurance medical exam, and acceptance is guaranteed.

Alternatively, you may want to look at burial insurance, sometimes referred to as final expense insurance. These are small whole life policies that can help cover end-of-life costs like funeral expenses.

METHODOLOGY: LIFE INSURANCE RATINGS

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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