March 16, 2019

Life Insurance Quotes Over 50

Read more about Life Insurance

Looking for life insurance in your 50s? You'll need to consider what type, how much, and other important questions. Read on.

This article will guide you through the life insurance process, covering the topics you need to know to find a policy that fits your needs and budget.

Common Reasons for Needing Life Insurance over Age 50

Life changes as we age. Like many 50-somethings, you may be considering life insurance for any one of these reasons:

Loss of employer through retirement
This is the most common reason people over 50 need life insurance. Usually when you retire from a company, your life insurance coverage ends.

Some companies give the option of paying out-of-pocket to keep your current life insurance. Before doing so, consider these factors:

  • What type of coverage your employer-sponsored policy provides. Often, premiums increase and the death benefits decrease as you age.

  • Whether the policy actually meets your needs now and later in life.

  • Getting some quotes to compare the cost of various policies to the out-of-pocket cost of your work plan.

Replacing coverage from military service
Military personnel have the option of keeping their life insurance policy. But it can get rather expensive after age 50. It's worth comparing quotes for other life insurance options.

Protecting an adult child with a permanent disability
A life insurance policy not only provides death benefits. It can provide financial security for those left behind.

Loss of coverage due to layoff
Both you and your spouse rely on your income. You may have a mortgage and other bills to pay.

Numerous life insurance options provide this security at an affordable rate until you get back on your feet. Then, you can add additional coverage if needed.

You're working, but are self-employed or your company doesn't offer life insurance benefits.
At this stage, adults over 50 can use life insurance as either income replacement or a death benefit for funeral and burial expenses.

You have an estate and don't want to burden family members left behind with estate taxes.
Used as estate planning, life insurance saves your loved ones from paying estate taxes.

You want to save money for your later years and provide an inheritance to your loved ones.
Many people 50 and older find they haven't saved enough. It's common, considering you were raising a family and putting your children through college.

Life insurance later in life starts building a nest egg to use in later years or to leave to your loved ones.

You own a business and need funds to keep the business running while you find a new owner.
Life insurance used in business succession planning helps business owners over age 50 with their exit strategy. The proceeds from a life insurance policy ensure your business continues to run while you look for your replacement or a buyer.

Key Point: When getting a quote for life insurance, look for policies that match your needs with the coverage. Avoid applying for coverage you don't need.

Will I Get Approved for Life Insurance at My Age?

Getting approved for life insurance over 50 depends on several factors:

  • Your Age
  • Health
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Type of Insurance

Keep in mind that some life insurance companies are stricter with their underwriting guidelines. One company may deny you coverage, while another may approve you.

Key Point: If you don't get approved for the policy you're seeking, consider guaranteed life insurance. It costs more, but coverage is guaranteed, no matter what. Learn more below.

Whole Life Insurance or Term Life Insurance?

Pay close attention to the type of coverage being quoted when obtaining a quote for life insurance.

Life insurance has two options: whole and term. Within these two product categories are additional types of coverages.

The main difference between whole and term life insurance is coverage length.

Whole life insurance never expires. And your premium amount stays the same throughout your life.

Term life insurance does expire. You buy coverage for a specific term, say 10 years. When those 10 years are up, your coverage ends. If you choose to enroll in another term, the cost will be more because you're older.

Here are some other differences:

  • Term life only provides death benefits. Whole life provides death benefits plus savings and investment benefits.

  • Term life costs less when you're 50, but increases as you get older. Whole life costs more than term, but your premium remains stable as you age.

  • Term life pays out only when you die. Whole life pays benefits during your life, such as dividends. It also builds cash value, which you can use for a loan or savings.

Examples of Whole Life and Term Life Insurance Quotes for Over 50

The cost for life insurance increases between 8% and 10% every year after age 50. Let's look at some actual examples:

Whole Life Costs for People Over 50
(Annual cost based on $250,000 in coverage; average health)

 Age Yearly Cost 
Age 55$7,548
Age 60$9,624
Age 65$12,228
Age 70$16,308
Age 75$22,416
Age 80$33,612
Age 85$43,536

Term Life Costs for People Over 50
(Annual cost based on $250,000 in coverage for a 20-year term; average health)

 Age Yearly Cost 
Age 55$1,455.36
Age 60$2,492.40
Age 65$4,172.04
Age 70$5,020.20
Age 75$8,881.25
Age 80NOT AVAILABLE
Age 85NOT AVAILABLE

Different Types of Whole Life Insurance

People over age 50 have different life insurance needs than younger people. For that reason, life insurance companies design permanent life insurance policies for the older generation. Among the policy types are:

Whole Life Insurance: This policy provides a death benefit and pays out dividends.

Other types of whole life policies offer an investment feature, where you can put policy earnings in stocks, bonds, or money market mutual funds.

With whole life insurance, you choose a coverage limit and one or more beneficiaries. As you pay your premium each year, part of the amount goes to your death benefits and part is invested by the company. As the invested part grows, you can use the savings as you see fit.

When applying for whole life insurance, you can choose from fixed premium or graded premium.

  • Fixed Premium: Has an amount that you pay for the life of the policy.

  • Graded Premium: Starts with a low premium, but it increases over time. Consider your circumstances and whether this increase will strain your budget later in life.

Universal Life Insurance: Also called "Adjustable Life Insurance," this type of permanent life insurance is known for its flexibility.

For example, you can increase the policy's death benefit amount. It also pays interest, which you can withdraw or let accrue to pay future premium payments.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance: Also called "Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance," this guarantees coverage for ages 50 to 85.

It doesn't matter whether you have past or current health issues, you will be accepted for coverage.

Be aware that some guaranteed issue policies have a graded death benefit. This means the full death benefit isn't paid until two years after the policy is issued. If you die before then, your beneficiary receives only the amount of premiums paid to date, plus interest.

Key Point: Because it's guaranteed coverage, these types of policies generally cost more to offset the risk the insurance company is taking on to insure you.

Final Expense and Death Benefit Life Insurance: As the name implies, this type of policy pays final expenses, like outstanding medical bills and debts.

It also pays a death benefit in the amount of coverage you selected for funeral and burial expenses.

NOTE: Be careful of companies selling final expense and death benefit life insurance as term insurance. Those term policies end at a certain age and their premiums increase every five years.

Burial Insurance: This type of whole life insurance pays a lump sum death benefit to the policy's beneficiary.

Since its purpose is solely for funeral and burial expenses, available coverage amounts are typically low, from $5,000 to $25,000.

Survivorship Life Insurance: This type of coverage is designed for older adults with spouses or estates.

It's a joint policy that pays out when the second person named on the policy dies. This ensures the surviving spouse remains covered and can use the savings benefits of this whole life insurance policy.

In estate cases, it avoids beneficiaries who inherit the estate from paying estate taxes or liquidating estate assets to pay taxes.

Different Types of Term Life Insurance

Term insurance fills the need of older adults just looking for death benefits at a low cost. Among the different types are:

Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance: This type is the least expensive and can be purchased in terms of 10 to 30 years.

When the term expires, your coverage ends. You can renew the policy or choose a new term, but it will cost more because you're older. For an additional cost, you can buy a return of premium policy. When your term expires, you get back the premiums you paid.

No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance: As its name states, this type of insurance requires no medical exam. However, you still need to answer certain health and medical related questions when applying for coverage.

You have a choice of two types of policies:

  • Guaranteed issue: Available to ages 50 to 80. No medical records review, but you will be asked four health-related questions on the application. Based on your responses, the cost could be expensive for a low death benefit amount.

  • Simplified issue: Medical records review may be requested, plus more detailed medical questions on the application. Your application could be rejected due to certain medical conditions. However, the cost of the policy is less expensive.

Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) Insurance: This policy is known as "no lapse" or "secondary guarantee universal life." It combines elements of term life insurance and whole life insurance.

Rather than term-specific, it is age-specific. You choose at what age you want the coverage to end, with some policies going as high as age 120.

The policy can be customized to your needs, for example, death benefits only or death benefits and cash value. You can also change its face value and premium payments.

Key Point: While more expensive than term life insurance, a GUL policy costs less than a whole life insurance policy.

Convertible Term Life Insurance: This term life policy converts to a whole life insurance policy when the term ends. Most insurers include a deadline for when the conversion must take place.

This is an age-based conversion, so the amount of your whole life insurance premium will be based on your current age. As such, your premiums could be high.

You can convert at the age you purchased the term life policy. However, you'll pay a lump sum of the difference in what you paid for term life and what you would have paid for whole life during this time span.

With that option, you will have a lower whole life premium going forward.

How Do I Choose Between Whole Life and Term Life?

Choosing between whole and term life comes down to why you want life insurance. The goal with any insurance policy is to match the coverage with your needs and how long you need it.

Consider this scenario:

You're 54 and just refinanced your home with a 30-year mortgage. You want life insurance that will cover you until you pay off your mortgage. A 15-year term life policy would NOT meet your needs.

Here are some other variables to think about when deciding between whole life insurance and term life insurance:

  • Whether you are the primary or sole income earner

  • The financial needs of your family

  • Your current age and health status

  • The age of your dependents and their future needs

  • Whether your existing savings and investment funds are enough to cover your retirement, funeral and burial expenses, a long-term illness, your mortgage, and other debts
  • How much you can afford to pay for life insurance throughout the rest of your life.

As a general rule, choose term life insurance if:

  • You want to replace your income for a certain time, like until you pay off your mortgage.
  • You're looking for inexpensive coverage.
  • You only want death benefits.

Choose whole life insurance if:

  • You can't get the length of term insurance you want at your age.
  • You want to provide for your spouse/partner.
  • You want to provide funds to your heirs to pay estate taxes.
  • You want to ensure lifelong support for a dependent, such as a child with special needs.
  • Your retirement benefits aren't enough to pay for your funeral costs and other expenses.
  • You want to leave money to your loved ones when you die.

TIP: Consult with an insurance agent or financial adviser. They are the best resource to help you determine which type of insurance you need.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

Both term and whole life insurance come in various policy amounts, from as little as $10,000 to as much as $1 million and more.

The best way to calculate how much insurance you need is to put an amount on why you are buying insurance. Is it to:

  • Pay off debts? If so, how much do you need and for how long?
  • Pay your funeral and burial expenses? If so, allow at least $25,000.
  • Provide for your children and grandchildren? If so, how much and for how long?
  • Invest extra money? If so, how much extra?
  • Leave an inheritance? If so, how much?

TIP: Be sure to account for life's uncertainties when choosing a policy amount. Things happens, even during retirement. So prepare accordingly.

Getting a Life Insurance Quote and What It Means

Getting a quote is the first step toward applying for coverage. You can get a quote several ways:

  • Search online for life insurance quotes
  • Use the online quoting system of an independent insurer that caters to people over 50
  • By phone or in person with a local independent life insurance agent
  • A sales agent who works for a life insurance company

Getting a quote is free and usually takes less than 10 minutes.

Typically, you should expect to provide the following information:

  • The state where you live
  • Date of birth
  • Gender at birth
  • Your current height and weight
  • Your health condition (usually on an excellent, above average, average, poor scale)
  • Whether you currently use or have used tobacco, other nicotine products, or marijuana
  • How much coverage you want
  • How long you want the coverage for (if requesting a term life insurance quote)
  • How often you want to pay premiums, such as annually, biannually, quarterly, or monthly (administrative fees may apply to payment modes other than annually)

NOTE: Be wary of online quoting systems that require you to provide your name or email address. Such personal information is not needed for a quote.

After submitting the information, you'll obtain a quote. It typically shows a side-by-side comparison of different life insurance plans and the estimated cost for the coverage you requested.

Some quotes also contain:

  • The name of the policy
  • The rating class you were assigned based on the information you provided
  • Brief information about each insurance company and its company rating

Some quoting systems allow you to get multiple quotes for different coverage amounts and lengths of coverage without having to re-enter all your information again.

By selecting one of the quoted policies, the quoting system usually has an option to move forward with the application process.

If you prefer to speak with someone, look for a quote number and contact information on your quote.

Keep in mind, the quote does not mean:

  • You are automatically accepted for coverage. You still have to go through the application process, where the final decision will be made.

  • The quoted price is the price you will actually pay. It is only an estimate.

Applying for Life Insurance

Life insurance quotes are usually only valid for a set amount of time, like 90 days. If you don't apply for coverage by then, you have to begin the quoting process again.

The application process is much more in-depth than the quoting process. It consists of four stages: documentation, medical exam, underwriting, and the decision.

Depending on the type of policy you're applying for, your application may skip through some of these stages.

The Documents
Once you apply for life insurance, you need to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of identification, such as a valid driver's license or passport, birth certificate, permanent resident card, or employment authorization card

  • Proof of residency, such as a property tax statement, mortgage bill, utility bill, or signed lease or rent receipt

  • Proof of income, such as a tax return, pay stubs, an earnings statement from your bank, unemployment benefits statement, or letter of employment

Some life insurance companies may schedule a phone interview to gather additional details. This information usually pertains to your lifestyle, hobbies, your financial health, and other life insurance policies you may have.

The Medical Exam
Depending on the type of life insurance you are applying for, you may need to take a medical exam. This exam is scheduled through the life insurance company using their medical testing firm. You don't have to pay for this medical exam.

This basic checkup includes:

  • Your height and weight
  • Blood pressure and pulse
  • Blood test and urine sample

You can request a copy of the results from the life insurance company.

They may further request an attending physician statement. Your doctor completes this document with your medical history.

The Underwriting Review
All the information gathered during the application process goes to the life insurance company's underwriting department.

Underwriters look at the risks involved for the company to insure you. Those risks include:

  • Your age
  • Your medical history
  • The condition of your health
  • The prescriptions and medications you take
  • Whether you use tobacco products
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Your family history of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer
  • Whether you have any convictions or traffic offenses
  • The type, amount, and length of the policy for which you're applying

Depending on your risk, the underwriter assigns a rate classification. Generally, rate classes run from Preferred Plus (the best rating) to Substandard (the lowest rating).

You Should Know: This rate class determines if your application will be approved and how much your life insurance policy will cost. For example, if your application is rated Preferred Plus, the cost of your policy will be much lower than someone whose application for the same coverage is rated Substandard.

You should allow up to six to eight weeks for the entire application process. Often, the process is shorter.

The Decision
You will receive notification on whether your life insurance application has been approved or denied.

  • Denied: The insurance company will provide the reason. You have the right to appeal its decision.

  • Approved: You will receive your life insurance policy. It will include a document for you to sign and return indicating your acceptance of the policy's coverage and terms.

You also select a payment frequency and submit your first payment. Store your policy in a secure place and be sure your loved ones know where it is.

Bottom Line

Before buying life insurance, you'll need to know exactly why you want life insurance, how much you need, and for how long. This will help determine whether whole life or term life insurance is best for your situation.

The cost of life insurance for people over 50 differs between life insurance companies, so be sure to get as many quotes as possible. However, keep in mind that the quotes are only estimates until you actually submit an application for the coverage.

More from CreditDonkey:


Life Insurance for Seniors Over 70


What is Whole Life Insurance?


Why Life Insurance

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