Best Life Insurance Companies For People Over 50

How to choose the right policy

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Over forty percent of United States citizens didn't have life insurance in 2020. And shopping for life insurance for people over 50 can be more challenging than for younger individuals. When you enter your 50s, suitable policies can become more difficult to find and premium rates less accessible.

We reviewed and evaluated providers based on factors including price, coverage limits, benefits, and ease of application process to make our top choices. Continue reading to find out which companies made our list of the best life insurance companies for those over 50.

Best Life Insurance Companies For People Over 50

Best Life Insurance Companies For People Over 50
Best Life Insurance Companies For People Over 50

Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Why We Chose It: With a range of life insurance policies available, competitive pricing, and options for simplified underwriting with no medical exam, Mutual of Omaha is our overall choice for the best life insurance for those over 50.

What we liked
  • Online quotations and purchase

  • Many policy options

  • Excellent customer service record

  • Coverage in all 50 states

  • Competitive rates

  • AM Best financial security rating of A+

What we didn’t like
  • No dividends

  • Only essential online account management

Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha now boasts a robust portfolio of insurance products, including permanent and term life insurance. They provide streamlined underwriting processes and low monthly premiums. This, combined with a JD Power top five rating for customer satisfaction, makes them an excellent choice for the best overall position.

People aged 18 to 80 can buy term life insurance of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years in length for $100,000 or more in coverage. You can renew to age 95 or even convert to permanent coverage.

What you’ll pay for a policy depends on your health status, age, and other factors. A sample monthly cost for an individual in their 50s would be around $100 per month for a 20-year policy with the $250,000 death benefit.

With the Living Promise Level Benefit whole life plan, you won’t need a medical exam and coverage up to $40,000 is available. Applicants must be between the ages of 45 and 85. You can also choose from a long list of riders such as long-term care coverage, accidental death, chronic illness, and others to customize your policy. 

Another benefit is Mutual of Omaha’s Mutual Perks program. This discount plan offers savings on mortgages, travel, and wellness services such as massage acupuncture and gym memberships.

Best For Term : Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

 Northwestern Mutual

Why We Chose It: We chose Northwestern Mutual for our best for term life insurance pick because of its reputation, reasonable rates, and ability to combine term and whole life insurance to suit your circumstances as they evolve.

What we liked
  • Financially stable

  • High scores in industry ratings

  • Guaranteed acceptance to convert to a whole life policy

  • May pay dividends to eligible policyholders

  • Available in all 50 states

What we didn’t like
  • Must use a local agent to buy a policy

  • Difficult to find detailed policy information online

Northwestern Mutual has impressive industry rankings, holding the highest possible rating of A++ from AM Best, an A+ from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it consistently earns top positions in the JD Power’s customer satisfaction survey. 

Companies that offer term life insurance must be financially stable, offer competitive coverage, and have good client feedback. Northwestern Mutual ticks all these boxes making them an easy choice for our best for term life insurance choice. They are also the only insurance provider that pays dividends on eligible term life insurance policies.

Term insurance policies have level premiums for either 10 or 20 years or you can opt for Term 80 with premiums that could potentially increase each year. Policies are available until the age of 80.

Northwestern Mutual also offers the Whole Life Plus option, a combined term, and whole life policy. It provides permanent coverage at the lower rates you would expect with term life insurance.

One of the challenges with Northwestern Mutual is the lack of detailed quotation tools. There is a basic system, but you’ll need to contact an agent for a comprehensive quotation. We were also unable to determine the waiting periods and exclusions from their website. Whether or not you need a medical exam depends on your age and health.

Policies are customizable with a waiver of premium and accelerated care benefit riders. There is also an additional purchase benefit rider that allows you to purchase further life insurance coverage at specific times without further medical exams.

Best For Budget : Protective

Protective

Protective

Why We Chose It: Protective is our best budget choice because their premium prices were some of the lowest we found. In fact, the company states they’re usually up to 43% less than the competition.

What we liked
  • Competitive rates

  • Online application

  • Rate readjustment after the first year

  • AM Best rating of A+

What we didn’t like
  • Slow approval process

  • Cannot cancel online

  • Not available in New York

Protective is our pick for the best budget choice as they offer low-cost premiums and will reconsider your rate following the first year of the policy should your health or circumstances change. 

They also offer the unique Custom Choice policy, which they market as an alternative to term life insurance with a lower cost. This plan has a level premium for a term between 10 to 30 years. Following the initial term, the payments remain the same but coverage reduces. It could be a good option for someone who wants to keep some level of coverage until the end of their life but who does not need extensive coverage in their later years.

Using the straightforward online quotation tool, for $500,000 in coverage, a 50-year-old man can expect to pay around just $40 per month for a 10-year term life policy with Protective. For a woman, the premium drops to $35.

Age limits vary by the individual policy with a maximum age of 85 and coverage up to $5 million. You may require a medical exam depending on your age, health status, and which policy you choose. There was no information provided regarding how long it took for policy coverage to kick in.

One great strength with Protective is its range of riders. People can customize their policy with a waiver of premium, accelerated death benefit, children’s term life insurance, disability benefit, accidental death benefit, and more.

Another is that Protective does not typically exclude people for health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.  

Although many details surrounding policies are not available online, cost-conscious people should be able to find a Protective life insurance option to suit them.

Best For No Waiting Periods : Fidelity

Fidelity

Fidelity

Why We Chose It: Fidelity Life is our category leader for no waiting periods as even older people can take advantage of their RAPIDecision policies providing coverage immediately upon approval.

What we liked
  • Range of coverage options

  • No waiting period

  • No medical exam options

  • Online quotes

  • Term coverage up to $1 million with RAPIDecision Life

What we didn’t like
  • Must answer health questions

  • Not available in Wyoming and New York

Based in Illinois and with an AM Best rating of A-, and a BBB rating of A+, the Fidelity Life Association has some great, almost instant, coverage options with no invasive medical exams for people aged from 50 to 85. Their aptly named RAPIDecision policies can usually provide coverage right from the application date, making Fidelity our top pick for no waiting periods. 

Provided you are less than 65 years old, you can get up to $1 million coverage with the RAPIDecision Life term policies for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Using the online tool, we found a quote of $50 every month on a $500,000, 10-year term policy for a woman. The same policy costs $70 per month for men. 

Customers can choose from coverage options including term, whole, and permanent life insurance. Some products are customizable with accelerated benefits, accidental death, and child life insurance riders. Most policies include a free terminal illness rider which allows beneficiaries to access benefits early.

Policies vary in their age limits and benefit amounts. If people opt for the RAPIDecision Guaranteed Issue rather than Life option, there is no medical exam or underwriting and, therefore, no health exclusions. However, for this option, coverage is limited to $25,000.

Best For No Medical Exams : AARP

AARP/UnitedHealthcare

 AARP/UnitedHealthcare

Why We Chose It: AARP is the category leader for no medical exam coverage as acceptance isn’t dependent on a comprehensive physical, and you don’t need to answer a medical history questionnaire.

What we liked
  • No medical exam required

  • Online quotations

  • No further payments once you reach age 95

What we didn’t like
  • Restricted to AARP members

  • Not available in New Jersey and Washington

It isn’t surprising that an organization that advocates for older people’s health provides a range of life insurance policies with simple underwriting that negates the need for invasive physical examinations. This is precisely the case with AARP which offers permanent and term life insurance with no medical exam, making them an easy choice for our best option in this category.

AARP has the highest possible A++ rating with AM Best, and their policies are underwritten by the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States, New York Life.

You will need to be an AARP member or spouse between the ages of 50 and 80 to buy a policy. AARP offerings include the level benefit Term 80 policy, permanent life, and the easy acceptance whole life insurance. There is no refusal of coverage for any pre-existing health conditions with the easy acceptance option, although one exception is a terminal illness. Coverage on this policy is limited to $25,000 and there is a two-year waiting period.

The website provides a simple quotation tool for the Term 80 policies. Premiums for $100,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man costs $79 monthly or $52 for a woman.

People looking to customize their policy with different add-ons may be disappointed as AARP only offers accelerated benefit and waiver of premium riders.

However, those who value customer service will be pleasantly surprised. New York Life’s complaint index, which is the company’s share of all complaints from the U.S. market, divided by its share of premiums, is just 0.22. This is much lower than the industry national complaint index of 1.0.

Final Verdict

If you’re over 50, buying life insurance means that you won’t have to worry about financial dependents, debts, or final expenses when you pass away. In our roundup, we investigated some of the leading choices for people over 50. 

Our overall choice with an extensive range of policies, competitive pricing, and solutions for those who prefer to qualify without a medical exam was Mutual of Omaha.

Northwestern Mutual was our best for term life insurance choice. They offer a solid reputation and high industry ratings, coupled with reasonable rates, and the option to combine term and whole life insurance.

Protective, with low premium prices and claim that their premiums are usually 48% less than the competition, made sense as our best budget choice. 

Fidelity Life is our category leader for no waiting periods as their RAPIDecision policies provide immediate coverage upon approval.  

Some people are concerned about health status and feel a medical examination could unduly influence their ability to qualify for life insurance. In this case, our category leader for no medical exams, AARP, is worth consideration.

Compare Providers

Best Life Insurance for Over 50s
Insurance provider Why we picked it Monthly premium
Mutual of Omaha Best Overall $100
Northwestern Mutual Best For Term Life $30
Protective Best For Budget $40
Fidelity Best For No Waiting Periods  $70
AARP Best For No Medical Exams $79

FAQs

What Is Life Insurance for Those Over 50?

Fundamentally, life insurance for people over 50 is the same as policies purchased by people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. It’s a policy you purchase to financially protect your family or other beneficiaries in the event of your death. As long as you pay your monthly premium, the company holding your policy will issue a death benefit to cover expenses such as funeral costs or debts.  

Life insurance provides the same benefits no matter your age. However, a person in their 50s will likely have different financial obligations than a younger person. For example, older people may not need to put children through college, but they will need to plan for retirement or final expenses.

Another key difference is the cost. Life insurance frequently becomes more expensive with age, and the full range of life insurance policies may not be available to someone in their 50s.

How Much Does Life Insurance for Those Over 50 Cost?

Life insurance costs depend on numerous factors including your age, health, family medical history, employment, and location. The choice of policy and death benefits also affects the price. For example, whole life policies are typically more expensive than fixed-term policies, and a policy paying out $250,000 will be less costly than one paying out $1 million.

During our research, we found a 50-year-old woman could purchase policies from around $20 a month for a 10-year term, $100,000 policy. This increased to about $70 a month for a 30-year term policy.

Finding pricing for whole term life insurance is difficult online as many insurance companies prefer that you use an agent for more comprehensive policies.

Are There Multiple Options for Coverage?

Although there are a variety of life insurance policies, they generally fall into one of two categories: term life insurance and whole life insurance.

Term life insurance spans a specified amount of time such as 10 or 25 years. If the policyholder dies within this timeframe, the company pays the death benefit to the beneficiary.

In contrast, whole life insurance lasts throughout someone’s life. It does not expire after a set time. The whole life policy, there is a death benefit, and it also has a cash value that accrues interest. This is why, typically, whole life policies are more expensive than term life insurance.

Each type of life insurance has pros and cons that depend on your circumstances and for what you would need to use the death benefit. For example, term life insurance can be used to ensure children can attend college. In contrast, a whole life policy is more useful for estate planning and covering any financial dependents’ living expenses. 

Can You Be Denied Coverage for Health Reasons?

Life insurance becomes more expensive as someone gets older, and coverage may not be available to those with specific health conditions. For example, some companies will deny coverage due to certain health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia, which become more common as we age. Additionally, conditions (or a family history of them) such as HIV, cancer, or precursors to diseases such as high blood pressure make it riskier for an insurance company to cover you and you may be denied. 

You can even be denied coverage for being overweight which puts you in higher-risk categories for chronic diseases.

Is Life Insurance Worth It if You’re Over 50?

Whether or not life insurance is worthwhile to you depends on your specific circumstances. Although you may not need to pay off a mortgage or cover the cost of college children, you may enjoy the peace of mind that life insurance provides. It means that your final expenses are protected and that your spouse or family will receive a lump sum when you die.

However, if no one relies on your income to survive, and you do not have any debts, then life insurance may not be a worthwhile expense.

Methodology

We evaluated 19 insurance companies that provide life insurance policies to people over 50 before making our top choices.

In addition to factors such as price and benefit amount, we considered how easy it was to obtain a quote and complete the application plus the number of optional riders you can use to customize a policy. We also reviewed companies' customer service and reputation along with data from AM Best and JD Power.

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Article Sources
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