Policy Types

Understanding Life Insurance for Seniors

Funeral or burial insurance, is used to cover funeral costs and other final expenses when you die; however, it may not be necessary for you.

Senior Life Insurance 101

It seems that every time you turn on the television there is an advertisement for how senior citizens can get affordable life insurance. But what exactly is, "senior life insurance" and what is it typically used for?

As you become older, your needs for life insurance change. Generally, by this time in your life, your children are grown and having families of their own, you're carrying less debt, and either in or getting ready to enjoy your retirement years. The fact is, the type of coverage and the policy amount you need at age 35 can be very different than when you reach milestone ages of 50, 60, 70, and older.

"Senior life insurance" - what is it?

"Senior life insurance" may be used to describe policies such as burial or final expense insurance which are often purchased by older Americans to cover funeral costs, as well as other final expenses when they die. Both term and permanent life insurance policies are available. However, with a term policy, you may run into some age limitations. For example, an insurer may only offer you life insurance up to age 70. If you reach this cut-off age limit for a term policy, you may still be able to get a small permanent life insurance policy such as whole or universal life.

Policy benefit limits will vary between life insurance companies, but are generally lower than traditional policies. This is because they're meant to cover a specific purpose - your final expenses - not to replace your income. They typically range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $25,000 or more, again, depending on what the insurer offers.

Qualifying for coverage

As with most life insurance plans, there is generally some form of underwriting in order to qualify you for coverage and to determine your premium. Final expense insurance policies are typically offered two ways - either simplified or guaranteed issue. What you need to know is that both of these policies will require that you complete some type of a medical questionnaire/application, even if you aren't required to have a medical exam.

Life insurance is an excellent way for seniors to protect their families from becoming financially burdened with end of life expenses, providing financial protection and peace of mind for all ages. However, it may not be necessary if you:

  • Have the available funds set aside for your final expenses
  • You have long-term care insurance
  • Have made pre-paid arrangements with a funeral home

For more information on life insurance, visit the Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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