7 Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors in January 2023

Guardian, MassMutual and Northwestern Mutual top our list of the best life insurance companies for seniors.
Georgia Rose
By Georgia Rose 
Edited by Lisa Green
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. 

To put together this list, NerdWallet reviewed insurers that offer term or whole life policies to seniors, taking into account our star ratings for each company, as well as policy features like the maximum issue age. Here are our top picks.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners, and here’s how we make money.

The best life insurance for seniors in January 2023

Company

Maximum issue age

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Term: 75.

Whole: 90.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Term: 75.

Whole: 90.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Term: 70.

Whole: 85.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Term: 75.

Whole: 90.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Term: 75.

Whole: 80.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Term: 70.

Whole: 85.

NerdWallet rates insurers at the company level, not the policy level.

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.

Jump to:


Best for payment flexibility
insurance-product-card-logo

Guardian Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: Depending on your age, you may have the option to pay off your whole life policy in 10, 15 or 20 years.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent
Best for payment flexibility
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Guardian Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: Depending on your age, you may have the option to pay off your whole life policy in 10, 15 or 20 years.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent

Overview: Guardian also offers whole life policies that are paid up by age 65, 95, 99 and 121. 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: $250,000+


Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+

» Read the full review: Guardian Life insurance review


Best for elderly applicants
insurance-product-card-logo

MassMutual

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: 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.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for elderly applicants
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

MassMutual

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: 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.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: With MassMutual, there’s no limit to how much term life coverage you can buy (subject to restrictions). You may find this appealing if you’re looking for a substantial payout for your life insurance beneficiaries.

Policy type: Term.

Max issue age: 75.

Coverage: $100,000+.


Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+.

» Read the full review: MassMutual life insurance review


Best for the potential to earn dividends
insurance-product-card-logo

Northwestern Mutual

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: With far fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size, Northwestern Mutual is a trustworthy choice.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent
Best for the potential to earn dividends
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Northwestern Mutual

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: With far fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size, Northwestern Mutual is a trustworthy choice.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent

Overview: Northwestern Mutual's 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+.


Best coverage range
insurance-product-card-logo

New York Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: New York Life offers both term and whole life policies that span a significant range of coverage.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent
Best coverage range
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

New York Life

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: New York Life offers both term and whole life policies that span a significant range of coverage.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent

Overview: Depending on your needs and policy type, you can select payout amounts anywhere from $25,000 to well into the millions.

Policy type: Term.

Max issue age: 75.

Coverage: $100,000+.


Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: 90.

Coverage: $25,000+ (for applicants ages 18 and over).

» Read the full review: New York Life insurance review


Best for customer satisfaction
insurance-product-card-logo

State Farm

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a company with a great reputation, State Farm ranked first out of 22 companies for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for customer satisfaction
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

State Farm

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a company with a great reputation, State Farm ranked first out of 22 companies for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: State Farm offers its customers broad, customizable coverage. For instance, you can add more coverage for yourself 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. 

Policy type: Term.

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

Coverage: $100,000+.


Policy type: Whole.

Max issue age: Varies by policy (80 for final expense whole life).

Coverage: $10,000+.

» Read the full review: State Farm life insurance review


Best for coverage flexibility
insurance-product-card-logo

USAA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: 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.
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for coverage flexibility
insurance-product-card-logo
COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

USAA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Bottom line: 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.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: For anyone looking to skip the medical exam, USAA offers a guaranteed issue policy, underwritten by Mutual of Omaha. You’re not required to answer any health questions or take a life insurance medical exam to qualify for coverage. Plus, unlike some of its other financial products, the company’s 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 review


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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 2019-2021. 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. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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