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Best Life Insurance for Seniors Over 70

As you enter your golden years, financial planning and security remain crucial for ensuring a stable and comfortable retirement. Among the various financial tools available, life insurance stands out, providing peace of mind and a tangible safety net for loved ones. Seniors above 70 should consider various factors to choose the right policy, including affordability, coverage options, and eligibility criteria. Let’s dive deeper into how life insurance works for seniors over 70 and discuss some tips for finding the right policy for your needs.

Do seniors need life insurance?

Life insurance for seniors works similarly to life insurance for people of any age, covering loved ones with a substantial death benefit if you pass away while the policy is active. This death benefit can help seniors over 70 in several ways:

  • Help cover your spouse’s living expenses when you pass away
  • Help cover end-of-life costs
  • Build wealth through a cash value growth component
  • Enhance estate planning by passing more wealth to heirs tax-free

How much does life insurance for seniors cost? 

A 10-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy for healthy, 70-year-old nonsmokers costs an average of $351 per month for men and $233 per month for women.1 Whole life insurance can be much more to account for lifelong coverage and cash value. A small, $35,000 policy for healthy, nonsmoking 70-year-olds can cost an average of $263 per month for men and $209 for women.2

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Factors that affect the cost of life insurance for seniors over 70

Here are some personal factors that can impact life insurance premiums for seniors over 70:


Premiums increase with age. Seniors over 70 will likely pay higher premiums than other age groups, although improving your health and shopping around may help you get lower premiums.


Men generally pay more than women for the same coverage because men have a lower average life expectancy.3

Health status

Applicants with personal or family health histories of certain issues may pay higher premiums, even for no-exam policies, since these ask medical questions on the application. However, some insurers may be more lenient on health status if you can demonstrate adequate management of the condition and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Smoking status

Smokers pay more for life insurance than nonsmokers. However, quitting for long enough, usually 12 months or more, can cause insurers to classify you as a nonsmoker.4

Policy type

Life insurance policy premiums can vary based on the policy type you get. For example, permanent life insurance policies cost much more than term policies for the same death benefit since the former offers lifelong coverage and cash value. Meanwhile, no-exam policies cost less overall since they’re smaller but tend to cost more per dollar of coverage.


Insurers may charge higher premiums for some hobbies and lifestyle pursuits that have a higher risk of injury. For example, rock climbers and scuba divers may have to pay higher premiums for the same level of coverage.

Life insurance policies for seniors over 70 

Here are some life insurance options for seniors over 70 to consider:

Term life insurance 

Term life insurance lasts for a fixed policy term of your choice, between 10 to 30 years, meaning you’ll have to renew or get new coverage if you outlive the term. However, term life insurance premiums are reasonable for a significant death benefit. This can help seniors over 70 get long-term coverage at a reasonable cost.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance offers lifelong coverage and a cash value growth component in exchange for higher premiums. Typically, some of each premium goes into the cash value, which grows tax-deferred at a fixed, guaranteed interest rate set by the insurer. Eventually, you can borrow against or withdraw from this cash value. Plus, you receive it minus surrender charges if you give up the policy.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed-issue life insurance is a type of whole life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam, making it a good potential option for seniors who want convenient coverage quickly. These policies don't typically offer high face value amounts (death benefits), but they help provide coverage for those who may have a difficult time getting approved for a life insurance policy.

Guaranteed issue life insurance policies may have a one to three-year waiting period during which coverage is not officially active. If you pass away during this period, the beneficiaries may only receive a refund of the premiums you paid.

Final expense insurance

Final expense insurance for seniors is another small whole life policy with no medical exam. This type of policy is designed to help loved ones with end-of-life expenses, like funeral costs and medical bills. Final expense insurance has a small death benefit but low premiums, like guaranteed issue life insurance. Its cash value works like other permanent life insurance policies as well.

Tips for getting life insurance as a senior over 70 

Follow these tips when looking for life insurance:

  • Determine your coverage needs: Evaluate your current income, assets, debts, and lifestyle expenses. Determine how much coverage your spouse, partner, or loved ones need. Aim to get enough insurance to help cover all your needs without getting too much coverage and overpaying.
  • Consider getting a life insurance rider: Riders are add-ons that further customize coverage. For example, you may get a long-term care rider that lets you withdraw from your death benefit while living to help pay for long-term care costs like a nursing home or caregiver.
  • Evaluate your health: If you’re in good health, a traditional policy could work. However, you may benefit from a no-exam policy if you are concerned about any health conditions.
  • Compare quotes: Life insurers may offer different rates for the same coverage. Comparing quotes helps you find the lowest rates on the policy you need.

Get a quote for senior life insurance

Life insurance can be a useful financial tool for seniors over 70 to provide loved ones with a payout in the event of their passing. Many policy types are available, including some with no medical exam, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help seniors qualify for lower premiums.

Aflac offers a range of life insurance options and works with you to help make your coverage and rates work for you. Speak with an agent today to learn more and get a quote.

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