7 Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors 2022

Here are the best life insurance companies for seniors looking for coverage.
Dec 21, 2021
A Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors

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Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t find a life insurance policy that meets your needs. The cost of coverage can increase with age, but many insurers will accommodate older adults, even if they'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 star ratings for each company, as well as policy features like the maximum issue age.

The best life insurance for seniors

Insurance company

NerdWallet rating

Max issue age

Learn more

Guardian Life

Whole: 90.

Term: 75.

AARP

Whole: 80.

Term: 74.

MassMutual

Whole: 90.

Term: 75.

New York Life

Whole: 90.

Term: 75.

State Farm

Whole: 80.

Term: 75.

Northwestern Mutual

Whole: 85.

Term: 70.

USAA

Whole: 85.

Term: 70.

How we ranked the top life insurers

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. 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. Read our editorial guidelines.

Best life insurance policies for seniors

Learn more about each company in our list by reading the brief summaries below and checking out the NerdWallet review links.


Guardian Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Good for extended coverage and range of policy options.

Our take: Guardian Life 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.

Policy type: Term.

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

Coverage: $100,000+

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+

» Read the full review: Guardian Life insurance


AARP

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Good for people looking to skip the medical exam.

Our take: Applicants need only answer a few health questions to qualify for either term or whole life coverage. Although AARP products are typically for members only, life insurance coverage is also available to members’ spouses (even if those spouses are not AARP members).

Policy type: Term.

Max issue age: 74 (AARP members only).

Coverage: $10,000 to $100,000.

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 80 (AARP members only).

Coverage: Up to $50,000.

» Read the full review: AARP life insurance


MassMutual

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Good for older seniors and anyone looking for high coverage amounts.

Our take: Few providers issue whole life products to applicants over age 85, which makes this insurer a good bet for older seniors looking for permanent coverage. Plus, there’s no limit to how much term life coverage you can buy (subject to restrictions), which you may find appealing if you’re looking for a substantial death benefit.

Policy type: Term.

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

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+.

» Read the full review: MassMutual life insurance


New York Life

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Good for broad coverage ranges.

Our take: 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.

Policy type: Term.

Max issue age: 75.

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $10,000+.

» Read the full review: New York Life insurance


State Farm

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Good for add-ons and customer satisfaction. 

Our take: 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 21 companies for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 life insurance study.

Policy type: Term.

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

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $10,000+.

» Read the full review: State Farm life insurance


Northwestern Mutual

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Good for customer experience and paying dividends. 

Our take: 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.

Policy type: Term.

Max issue age: 70.

Coverage: $100,000+.

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 85.

Coverage: $50,000+.

» Read the full review: Northwestern Mutual life insurance


USAA

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Good for flexibility and skipping the medical exam. 

Our take: 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.

Policy type: Term.

Max issue age: 70.

Coverage: $100,000 to $10 million.

Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 85.

Coverage: $25,000 to $10 million.

» Read the full review: USAA life insurance


Other life insurance options for seniors

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.

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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