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Life insurance for seniors: 3 surprising things to know

Life insurance for seniors doesn't have to be expensive. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Like most insurance types, life insurance benefits a wide range of people and demographics. 

For young people, a life insurance policy could be secured in a significant sum for an insignificant cost each month. For homeowners, a policy could help protect their homes long after they have died. And for parents of young children, a term plan could provide protection and security for the complete family both while the policyholder is alive and in the event of a death.

One group often left out of the life insurance discussion is seniors. For older adults, life insurance is sometimes considered not "worth it" relative to the cost of securing a policy. However, this view of life insurance for seniors is often tied to a broad generalization and some misunderstandings

As with all financial products, the advantages and disadvantages are tied to the individual's personal circumstances and goals. A life insurance policy for a senior could possibly be both cost-effective and valuable, depending on the plan you choose.

If you're in the market for life insurance then start by getting a free price quote online now so you know exactly what to expect.

3 surprising things to know about life insurance for seniors

If you're a senior considering life insurance - or a loved one considering a policy as a gift - here are three surprising things to know that can better inform your decision-making.

It doesn't have to be expensive

As mentioned before, senior life insurance is often considered to be expensive relative to the policy amount that can be obtained. But, depending on a few factors, a policy actually doesn't have to be expensive. It can even be secured for less than $100 a month. 

For example:

  • A 64-year-old female living in New York can obtain a 10-year term life insurance policy in the amount of $150,000 for $70.11 per month from Haven Life. That's for a non-smoker considered to be in good health.
  •  A 64-year-old male living in New York, meanwhile, can secure a 10-year term life insurance policy in the amount of $150,000 for $98.74 per month from Haven Life. That's also a quote for a non-smoker considered to be in good health. 

If you don't need coverage in the above-mentioned quantity then you may be able to secure a policy for even less. Still, the broad belief that life insurance for seniors is too expensive is untrue.

See what you could qualify for now by getting a free price estimate from Ladder

You don't need to take a medical exam

While it's generally true that a medical exam will help secure a cheaper rate, you won't necessarily be disqualified for coverage if you don't take one. In fact, many insurance providers offer no-exam life insurance policies for those who can't or refuse to take medical exams as part of the application process. 

If you don't want to head to your physician - or if you're afraid that an exam could lead to a higher cost - this could be an option for you. No-exam life insurance policies come in two forms: simplified issue life insurance (which, as the name implies, has a much simpler approval process) or guaranteed issue life insurance (which guarantees applicants coverage, albeit at higher rates and with a possible waiting period prior to the benefits kicking in).

But if you're a senior concerned that medical exam results could disqualify you from coverage, don't worry. You can apply (and get approved) for a policy without it. 

You can use it for cash

There is a misconception that life insurance is something you set and forget, only to be cashed in by beneficiaries after your death. However, just like there are policies for those who don't want to take a medical exam, there are policies in which you can access a cash portion of your account while you're alive. 

Granted, whole life insurance policies tend to be more expensive due to this benefit. And it will take time to build up the cash reserves before accessing them. But if you're a senior just starting with a policy you'll have time to accumulate money.

You can start exploring policies and life insurance providers here now or by using the table below.

The bottom line

The benefits of life insurance for seniors are relative to the senior in question. But don't be misled by the cost (it doesn't have to be expensive) or a potential disqualification (you don't need to take a medical exam). And, if you want to be able to use it while alive, you can even set up a policy that allows cash access.

Start by getting a free price estimate online now

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