Life Insurance for Seniors – A Quick Guide

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If you are a senior, it is not necessarily too late to buy life insurance. Whether you want coverage for funeral expenses or to help your loved ones pay off debt, you can find an option to help protect your family. We’ll give you questions to ask before you buy and an overview of your options.

Questions to Ask Before Buying Life Insurance for Seniors

Before you buy life insurance for seniors, review your needs to determine if you need life insurance and how much. Consider your financial circumstances, and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I already have a life insurance policy?
  2. Will my current assets, including retirement income or investments, be enough to cover funeral expenses and care for my dependents?
  3. Will my dependents need a life insurance payout to cover my estate taxes?

Term Life vs. Whole Life or Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

You can find term life, whole life, and guaranteed universal life insurance policies for seniors. The right option for you will depend on your age, financial goals, and your overall health.

Term Life Insurance for Seniors

Term life insurance for seniors is a temporary insurance that can help your survivors pay off debts or a mortgage.

  • Details – Most term life policies for seniors are available up to age 70 or 75. You can get a policy for a 10-, 20-, or 30-year term. Depending on the insurer, death benefits range between $100,000 and $250,000.
  • Availability – The term length of your policy will be based on your age.
  • Qualifying – Your term life insurance application will include questions about your health and lifestyle. You may need a medical exam.

Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Whole life insurance for seniors lasts your entire life if you pay the premiums on time. If you purchase a whole life policy in your senior years, it is among the most expensive life insurance types.

  • Details – You can find policies for seniors between the ages of 50 and 85. Depending on the insurer, death benefits range between $1,000 and $40,000.
  • Availability – If premium payments are current, the policy will be active throughout your life.
  • Qualifying – Your whole life insurance application will include questions about your health and lifestyle. You may need a medical exam.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance for Seniors

Guaranteed universal life insurance for seniors blends term and whole life insurance features. Instead of choosing a term of 10, 20, or 30 years, you choose the age at which you want the policy to expire.

  • Details – You can find policies for seniors between the ages of 45 and 85. Depending on the insurer, death benefits range between $25,000 and $100,000.
  • Availability – You can select a policy that expires when you reach a certain age – usually up to age 120
  • Qualifying – Your application will include questions about your health and lifestyle. And a medical exam is usually required.

Do You Need an Insurance Rider?

Some insurance companies offer riders—or add-on features—to policies for seniors. Get an overview of how insurance riders work from the article, Do You Know How to Use an Insurance Rider or Endorsement, published by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

A life insurance rider might offer:

  • An accelerated death benefit if you become terminally ill
  • Long-term care coverage
  • Smaller benefits for children and grandchildren under the age of 18

If you are interested in life insurance for seniors, Hunt Insurance of Raleigh can help. Call or text us or submit our contact form to start the conversation and get a hassle-free quote.

How many life insurance policies can I own?

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Owning a life insurance policy makes sense. When you are no longer living, a life insurance payout helps your dependents manage debt, pay for education, and cover daily living expenses for a limited time. But how much life insurance do you need? And how many life insurance policies can you own?

How Many Life Insurance Policies Can You Own?

No rule limits the number of life insurance policies you can own. Many people own more than one policy. There are reasons to buy another policy—and reasons to consider alternatives.

Reasons to Buy Another Life Insurance Policy

  • You need additional coverage – Your current policy might not be enough if you get married, have children, or start a business. The monthly premium for a new policy might be less expensive than increasing coverage on an existing policy.
  • You want enough to pay off current debt but decrease coverage over time – Some consumers buy multiple term life insurance policies of varying length—10, 20, or 30 years. The insurance policies expire as they pay off specific debts, like a mortgage or another large loan. Or you may choose an additional policy that expires when you start receiving retirement benefits.
  • You don’t want to rely on one company – Just as many investors prefer to diversify their portfolio, many insurance policy owners want to buy coverage from more than one company. Although it is rare for an insurance company to go out of business, a policy from more than one company can give you peace of mind.

Reasons Not to Buy Another Life Insurance Policy

  • Cost of premiums – Buying another life insurance policy means paying another premium. And that might not be the most cost-effective option for you and your family.
  • An insurance policy rider might be enough – A policy rider is an add-on feature that features more benefits for an existing policy. Ask your life insurance company about policy riders that can increase your coverage and prevent the need to buy another policy.

Examples of benefits from a policy rider:

  • Purchase coverage at later dates
  • Convert a term life policy to a permanent policy
  • Pay for long-term care
  • Cover loans if you own a business

Before You Buy Another Policy

Before you buy another insurance policy, look at your current contract terms, and ask your insurance company about policy riders. Weigh the pros and cons of paying premiums for a second policy. If you decide to buy a new policy, ensure the terms satisfy your purchase goals. For more insight, read the post, How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? You can also visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website to download the Consumer’s Guide to Life Insurance.

Hunt Insurance of Raleigh is here to help you navigate the process of deciding if a new policy is right for you. Call us or complete our contact form.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

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You need enough life insurance to replace your income and cover your dependents’ current and future financial obligations, including outstanding debt, childcare, health care, and education expenses.

How to Calculate How Much Insurance You Need

You can calculate how much life insurance you need by adding your salary, debt, and other obligations. From that total, subtract your assets. The balance represents how much insurance you need. Multiply the balance by how many years you want the coverage to last. You can use an online insurance calculator or calculate it yourself. Need more details?

Income and expenses

When you calculate your income and expenses to determine how much life insurance you need, list everything. Your list might include:

  • Your yearly, after-tax income from all sources
  • Outstanding debt that your survivors might become responsible for, including credit cards, autos, or a mortgage
  • Cost of raising children, including childcare
  • Cost of caring for an aging parent
  • Current and future education expenses
  • Food, clothing, medical, and vacation expenses
  • Funeral expenses


Assets and resources vary with each person. For accuracy in calculating how much life insurance you need, make a comprehensive list. Your assets might include the following:

  • Savings
  • College funds
  • Existing insurance policies

What’s Next?

  • Subtract your assets from the total of your income and expenses. After subtracting your assets, the total represents the amount of insurance your dependents need each year.
  • Multiply the total by ten for ten years of coverage. Other factors can influence the years of life insurance coverage you choose:
    • Age of your dependent children
    • Number of years left before you’re eligible for retirement income
    • Family members who will remain dependents due to illness or other factors, regardless of their age

Factors that Can Change How Much Insurance You Need

Life events can increase or decrease how much life insurance you need.

  • Just starting your family – If you’re starting a family and want to have children, the amount of coverage you need will increase with each child.
  • Children become adults – As your kids complete their education and become independent, you might be able to reduce the amount of coverage you need.
  • Family responsibility – If a family member becomes ill and medical expenses increase, or if you become responsible for an aging parent, think about how much life insurance you need.
  • Retirement – As you reach retirement age and have access to more savings and investments, the amount of life insurance your dependents need will likely decrease.

As you’ve read, many factors influence how much life insurance you need. We encourage you to contact us at Hunt Insurance of Raleigh, NC. We’ll answer your questions, explain other factors to consider, and give you a hassle-free quote. Call, text, or e-mail us.