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Best Life Insurance For Seniors – Help Your Elders Find The Cheapest Quotes

06/11/2020



Helping an elderly loved one research and purchase life insurance may not be the most fun thing you do together, but it can provide three big benefits. First, it can lower multiple family members’ stress. Second, it can incentivize your loved one to adopt a healthier lifestyle to lower their premiums. 
Finally, for as little as $1,200 annually, a life insurance policy can lessen or eliminate the financial burden on the family in the event of your loved one’s untimely passing. 
If you do choose to purchase a policy for an aging loved one, where should you start? Here’s my list of the best life insurance marketplaces and providers for seniors in 2020. 

Overview of the best life insurance for elderly people

Policygenius
Offerings – Varies by provider, but typically 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms.
Policy amounts – Varies by provider.
Medical exam required? – Varies by provider, but typically no.
Policygenius is like Kayak.com for all types of insurance. From their homepage, you’ll click “life” and be taken through a slick and simple questionnaire about you or the loved one you’re buying for. The site offers plenty of helpful filters for term, medical exam requirements, and more. Plus, they have an extensive back-catalog of objective and helpful EDU material on life insurance. 
While clean and well-designed, Policygenius’s offerings aren’t particularly unique among competing aggregators. So where they stand out is in customer service. They actually employ full-time insurance consultants (not agents swaying you in a particular direction) readily available via a chat window. 
In total, Policygenius is an excellent place to segue from learning to searching for life insurance. 
Learn more about Policygenius or read our full review. 
LeapLife 
Offerings – Varies by provider, but typically 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms.
Policy amounts – Varies by provider.
Medical exam required? – Varies by provider, but typically no.
LeapLife is another life insurance aggregator/marketplace that shows you quotes from multiple providers in one place. Like Policygenius it offers a quick and efficient interface that doesn’t require any contact information for you to begin seeing prices. 
Its advantage over Policygenius is that it represents 12 providers to Policygenius’s 10. Because there’s little overlap, and getting quotes takes seconds, I recommend visiting both aggregators to see the most options quickly. 
Learn more about LeapLife or read our full review.
Health IQ
Offerings – Varies by provider, but typically 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms.
Policy amounts – Varies by provider.
Medical exam required? – Yes.
Branding themselves as “insurance for the health-conscious,” Health IQ is not shy about its exclusivity. They specifically target super-fit seniors and connect them with the best rates from a whopping 25 insurance providers. 
In effect, Health IQ is a broker connecting ultra-healthy and health-conscious individuals to big life insurance companies eager to insure them. In order to qualify for a policy offer from Health IQ, you or your elder must pass a medical exam, a physical fitness test, and a health knowledge quiz. Get through those and you’ll be rewarded with premiums up to 33% lower than average. 
If you’d qualify your elder loved one as a “health nut,” they’re probably a good fit for a life insurance policy through Health IQ.
Learn more about Health IQ or read our full review.
Sproutt
Offerings – Varies by provider, but typically 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms.
Policy amounts – Varies by provider.
Medical exam required? – Varies by provider, but likely yes.
If Health IQ wants seniors who are ultra-healthy, Sproutt wants seniors who are pretty healthy and open to becoming healthier. The platform’s QL Index exemplifies this; it’s an online assessment that you can take right now with your loved one that scores their Emotional Health, Nutrition, Sleep, and more while offering ways to improve them. The QL Index itself won’t affect your quotes, but it’ll identify risk factors that might be causing your rates to go up. 
In all, Sproutt’s mission seems to be to connect healthier-than-average people to providers for better-than-average quotes. If you feel that your loved one is in better shape than most, but isn’t the athlete Health IQ is looking for, Sproutt might be a good option for browsing quotes. 
Learn more about Sproutt or read our full review. 
Ethos
Offerings – 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms.
Policy amounts – $25,000 to $10 million.
Medical exam required? – No.
Available in all states but New York, Ethos is a slick website that underwrites policies for Banner Life Insurance. Although they don’t offer whole life insurance, they offer a variety of terms and most of their policies do not require a medical exam. 
Ethos’ chief competitive advantage is that all of their policies include accelerated death benefits. Although most things involving “accelerated death” should probably be avoided, accelerated death benefits are actually a huge perk since they allow you to submit a claim at the time of a terminal diagnosis, not the time of passing. Receiving an earlier payout could ease estate planning or help cover the upfront costs of funeral expenses. 
Learn more about Ethos or read our full review. 
Ladder
Offerings – 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year terms.
Coverage – $100,000 to $8 million.
Medical exam required? – No.
Ladder’s two primary tenets are convenience and flexibility. The platform enables you to get a quote in minutes and easily manipulate your budget and coverage amounts to find the right fit. Their coverage amounts fall higher than average, ranging from $100,000 all the way to $8 million, which could be a perk if your loved one does well and loss of serious income is a concern. 
Plus, perhaps you or your loved one would like the benefits of passing the medical exam but don’t want to deal with a doctor’s visit. Ladder has you covered; some applicants will qualify for a mail-in “spit kit” (eww) or an in-home visit by a practitioner to gather essential samples and data in under 30 minutes. 
Learn more about Ladder or read our full review. 
Bestow

Offerings – 10- and 20-year terms.
Coverage – $50,000 to $1 million.
Medical exam required? – No.
Bestow underwrites just two term policies, 10-year and 20-year, for North American Company for Life and Health Insurance. Their competitive “advantage” is that they don’t require a medical exam from any of their applicants. 
If you think your elderly loved one will grumble and refuse to go in for a medical exam, and you just need a policy for them in minutes, not days, Bestow may be your best option. Plus, if your only worried about estate planning, attorney fees, and funeral expenses, their lower-than-average $50,000 policy may be perfect for your situation. 
Learn more about Bestow or read our full review. 
Pacific Life
Offerings – 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year terms.
Coverage – Varies by state.
Medical exam required? –No.
With all of these startups and small firms hiding behind fancy websites, you and your loved one might feel more comfortable with a provider as old and reliable as your grandad’s Ford F-150. If so, look no further than Pacific Life.
Having been around since the Civil War, Pacific Life has developed both a reputation for outstanding customer service and a unique menu of coverage options. First, there’s long-term care benefits coverage, which can either pay out in a lump sum at passing or be partially cashed out early to help cover medical care. Second, there’s the budget-friendly annual renewable life term which gives you the option to renew each year so you’re not beholden to your premiums. 
If you think your elder will feel more comfortable with a long-standing institution, consider Pacific Life. 
Learn more about Pacific Life.
AIG
Offerings – 10-, 15-through 30-, 35-year.
Coverage – $5,000 to $2 million.
Medical exam required? – No.
Similar to Pacific Life, AIG is a long-standing institution backed by solid customer service. Their competitive advantage is their unprecedented flexibility when it comes to putting together policy terms. 
First, term limits vary from 10 to 35 years, though you can choose any amount of time between 15 and 30 years. This is especially helpful if you have a year in mind when life insurance will no longer be necessary, i.e. when all of the policyholder’s dependents become financially independent. 
Second, AIG’s coverage amounts can be as little as $5,000. If you’re only worried about, for example, funeral expenses, you can purchase a highly affordable policy with coverage of just $20,000 for 20 years, and not have to worry about the sudden financial burden of your elder’s passing. 
If you and your loved one decided that you need life insurance terms “somewhere in the middle”, AIG is your best bet. 
Learn more about AIG.
Summary of the best life insurance companies for seniors

Marketplace/providerCoverage optionsTerm limitsCompetitive advantage
PolicygeniusVaries by providerVaries by providerBacked by library of educational materials
LeapLifeVaries by providerVaries by providerHigh # of providers
HealthIQVaries by providerVaries by providerConnects ultra-fit and health conscious seniors to excellent rates
SprouttVaries by providerVaries by providerConnects reasonably healthy seniors to good rates with tools to support a healthier lifestyle
Ethos$25,000 – $10 million10, 15, 20, 30Accelerated death benefits included in all policies
Ladder$100,000 – $8 million10, 15, 20, 25, 30Convenient in-home / mail-in medical exams
Bestow$50,000 – $1 million10, 20Instant coverage
Pacific LifeVaries by state10, 15, 20, 25, 30Variety of coverage options
AIG$5,000 – $2 million10, 15 through 30, 35Build your own coverage flexibility

How I came up with this list
To make this list, providers and marketplaces needed to score above average in most of the key metrics in the life insurance industry:
Customer service – does the company receive above-average user ratings on sites like Trustpilot.com? Furthermore, does the company respond to critical feedback and take steps to make things right? 
Premiums – does the company compete to offer the most affordable premiums and convenient methods of payment? Furthermore, is the company innovating clever ways to keep premiums affordable into the future?
Ease of use – is the company’s website easy to understand and navigate for a senior citizen? Or do they play a common trick, burying critical legalese in tiny font disclaimers?
A.M. Best rating – does the company have the technology, customer service, and financial backing to pay out claims quickly and generously? Or do they exercise legal but immoral loopholes? 
Variety of offerings – does the company offer a variety of insurance options, from basic and affordable to premium and robust? Variety shouldn’t be discounted (no pun intended) because it ensures that you and your elderly loved one don’t overpay for insurance that you don’t need. 
And more. I also wanted to provide a mix of reliable institutions (New York Life, AIG) and disruptive startups (Ladder, Bestow) so that you can explore the best of old and new. 
Who offers the cheapest life insurance for the elderly?
Like the “best”, the “cheapest” is subjective to your specific case. 
If your loved one is healthy with few-to-no pre-existing conditions, you can probably find the lowest rate for them at Health IQ or Sproutt. If the opposite, the old guard like New York Life or AIG can probably offer them the best options. 
But it all depends, so my advice is to get as many quotes as possible before committing to a policy. 
Why do some providers require a medical exam?
Insurance is all about risk, and providers want to know how much risk they’re taking on when they insure you. For that reason, many providers still require that you get a medical exam so that they can factor your overall health and lifestyle into your premium. 
To remain competitive and offer customers instant coverage, some providers have scrapped the required medical exam. However, to compensate for the overall higher risk they’re blindly taking on, premiums are usually higher. 
So, if you’re shopping for an insurance policy on behalf of a loved one who’s fit as a fiddle and likely to pass their medical exam with flying colors, you might want to seek out a provider who requires a medical exam so that you have the chance to show your loved one’s superb health and secure a lower premium. 
What is the best option for seniors that don’t require a medical exam? 
If your loved one isn’t in perfect health, you might consider a provider that doesn’t require a medical exam for either convenience or because you’re concerned that the results of a medical exam might work against you. Either is totally fair. 
If that’s you, consider that most of the providers on this list do not require a medical exam with the exception of Health IQ and some of the providers you might find through Sproutt. 
What is whole vs. term life insurance?
Whole life insurance is a policy that covers the policyholder until their passing. Sometimes referred to as “permanent” life insurance, whole life insurance is somewhat complex. 
In its simplest form, whole life insurance is a hybrid between a life insurance policy and a tax-deferred savings account. After you pay premiums for around 10 years, your policy generates a cash value that you can even withdraw from. 
It sounds great, but the chief drawback of whole life insurance is that premiums are MUCH higher than a term life insurance policy.
Term life insurance, as the name implies, covers you for a specific period of time. Generally speaking, term options range from 10 years to 30 years, though exceptions exist. Most folks buy term life insurance versus whole because a) it’s much more affordable and b) they only need term coverage until their dependents are financially stable. 
Does my loved one need life insurance? 
Life insurance serves to cover big expenses or lost income left in the wake of someone’s untimely passing. If the loss of an elderly loved one would create a big financial burden on the family, covering them with a life insurance policy might be a good idea.
If your elder loved ones meet one or more of these qualifications, you might consider helping them purchase a life insurance policy:
They have outstanding debt that would pass on to the family.
The family would not be able to afford their funeral expenses (~$20,000 in some states).
Their dependents would suffer from lost income.
How much life insurance do they need?
The primary two factors you’ll be considering are term and limits. 
Term is the length of time your loved one is covered. You’ll want to pick a term to cover the time period when their untimely passing would be most burdensome on the family. For example, if your father will be dependent on your mother’s income for the next 10 years, but you think that you and your sister could support him after that point, 10 years would be a good term. 
Your limit is how much your life insurance policy will pay out when your loved one passes away. Life insurance limits can range from $50,000 all the way to $5 million. To determine the right limits, consider how much of a financial burden your loved one’s untimely passing would place on the family. If you’re only concerned about an expensive funeral, $50,000 is plenty, but if you’re also concerned about decades of lost income, you may want to consider $500,000 to $1m. 
What is the average cost of life insurance by age?
Annual premiums for term life insurance can vary wildly depending on health, term, limits, etc., but the going national average for a 60-year-old with no pre-existing conditions and $250,000 of coverage for 20 years is around $1,300. 
As a healthy young person shopping for yourself, you can expect to pay as little as $150 annually for a 20-year term and $250,000 of coverage. 



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