Once you reach your eighties, many of your priorities change, including financial priorities such as your life insurance coverage and preparation for your final expenses.
Getting a life insurance policy when you are over the age of 80 is much different than when you are in your fifties, sixties, and seventies. Your coverage options, the amount of coverage you can obtain, and your reasons for getting a policy have changed.
Most seniors in this age range who don’t have anything in place, or just not enough coverage, begin to think about the financial burden that can be left on their family members after they die.
If you are shopping for life insurance over the age of 80 then there are some key things to be aware of that will help you find the most affordable policy for your needs.
Important Factors to Consider
- Age 85 is the maximum age to attain life insurance. If you don’t get a policy by age 85, then you will not be able to qualify with any insurance company for any amount of insurance.
- Your coverage options are limited. Once you reach your eighties, a majority of companies will only offer whole life insurance, also known as permanent coverage or burial insurance.
- The policy amount you can qualify for is limited. If you are hoping to get a one million dollar life insurance policy at 80, it is unlikely (though not impossible if your health is perfect and you can afford it), but luckily you probably don’t need a million dollars worth of coverage. Just understand that most companies have a cap on the amount of life insurance you can obtain once you get to your eighties. This will depend on the type of policy you choose and your health.
The first step is to figure out how much coverage you actually need.
In most cases the clients that I meet at age 80 and older are looking for a simple whole life insurance policy to cover their burial costs. These are smaller policies, typically less than $50,000 and are designed to cover the costs associated with the passing of a loved one.
A typical list of expenses that are incurred when someone dies:
- Funeral costs and burial expenses. The average funeral cost is around $7,000 and that price continues to go up.
- Debts and bills that are left behind. If you have unpaid credit card balances, or outstanding loan balances like a mortgage or auto loan, or just final bills such as utilities or other things, these are all costs that are left to your loved ones after you pass away.
- Medical bills. Many times seniors battle a long-term illness before their death or there could even be an accident that leaves someone hospitalized for a time before they pass away. In either scenario, there will most likely be thousands of dollars in medical bills that are left to be paid.
- Taxes and probate costs. If you have a large estate, then your family can be left with a pretty big tax bill. You should also consider that if your estate goes through the probate courts, there are attorney fees and court costs.
Besides the expenses associated with death, you may also be thinking about leaving some money behind to your spouse for income replacement or for your children or grandchildren for education costs.
How Much is Life Insurance for Someone Over Age 80?
Most seniors who have reached their eighties are looking for enough coverage to provide their family with what is necessary to bury them and take care of their final expenses. This means that a simple burial insurance policy is adequate. Burial life insurance is permanent coverage, which means that the premium never increases and the policy will last for the remainder of your life. Although it is called burial insurance, the money paid out from the policy can be used to pay for more than just funeral expenses. It can be used for income replacement, leaving money to heirs, or to pay other bills left behind.
The policy amount that you choose will depend on what you want to leave money for and what your overall budget is. Many seniors are on a fixed income so this is a very important aspect to consider. The rate that you pay will depend on your age (an 80 year old will pay less than someone who is age 85), your smoking status (smokers typically pay 3o% to 40% more than non-smokers), and your health history. Most seniors who have reached their eighties have some type of health issue.
Here are some average monthly premiums for a whole life insurance policy:
AGE 10,000 25,000 50,000
80 Year Old Male 80.13 193.79 383.24
80 Year Old Female 65.78 157.93 311.50
81 Year Old Male 86.81 210.50 416.64
81 Year Old Female 70.65 170.11 335.86
82 Year Old Male 94.08 228.68 453.01
82 Year Old Female 75.91 183.24 362.14
83 Year Old Male 101.99 248.45 492.55
83 Year Old Female 81.59 197.45 390.54
84 Year Old Male 110.59 269.96 535.57
84 Year Old Female 87.71 212.76 421.17
85 Year Old Male 119.96 293.39 582.42
85 Year Old Female 94.33 229.29 454.23*
*These rates are for a healthy, non-smoking male and female. Your rates could be higher depending on your health history, smoking status, etc.
You Can Compare Multiple Rates Online
As you can see, rates vary depending on your age, the type of coverage and the policy amount. You should also be aware that rates will vary by as much as 50% from one company to another. This is because all carriers have different underwriting criteria and some specialize in insuring seniors over the age of 80.
It is important to choose the right company because it could literally save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can get started today by comparing multiple life insurance rates from top rated companies. that specialize in insuring seniors and the elderly. It only takes a minute to get a personal rate quote.