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A Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors Over 80 

Although financial needs change throughout life, a life insurance policy can benefit nearly everyone, including seniors over 80. Although you may need to do more research to find an option that fits your needs and budget, there are plenty of policies that can get you the right coverage. Let’s dive deeper into how life insurance for seniors over 80 works, including policy types and factors that impact premiums, to help you find a policy that works for you.

How life insurance for seniors over 80 works

Life insurance for seniors over 80 works like most other policy types, offering a death benefit payout that your family can use for various purposes. However, some of these life insurance policies are designed specifically for older adults to help cover final expenses and help provide financial support for loved ones in their absence.

Types of life insurance policies for seniors over 80

There are several types of life insurance available for seniors:

Term life insurance

Term life insurance for seniors over 80 lets you choose a term length of 10 to 30 years, with longer lengths costing more in premiums. This type of policy may be best suited for those with short-term coverage needs.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance lasts for life, meaning you don’t have to worry about coverage expiring. This type of policy also comes with cash value that grows with each premium payment. You can borrow against or withdraw from it as it grows. However, keep in mind that premiums for seniors over 80 can be higher.

Final expense insurance

Final expense insurance is a small whole life insurance policy that helps your loved ones cover funeral costs, medical bills, and other end-of-life costs. The death benefit is smaller, with higher premiums per dollar of coverage but lower overall premiums. Plus, this policy comes with cash value, and a medical exam may not be required.

Guaranteed issue life insurance 

Guaranteed issue life insurance skips the medical exam and may ask few or no health questions, making it an excellent potential option for seniors. Like final expense insurance, it’s a small whole life insurance policy that offers cash value and low premiums, although you may pay more per dollar of coverage.

Simplified issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance provides a middle ground between traditional policies and guaranteed issue life insurance. It offers a quicker application process and no medical exam, but does ask some medical questions. Simplified issue life insurance offers cash value, lower premiums, and smaller coverage amounts.

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Cost of life insurance for seniors over 80 

Seniors over 80 may pay more in premiums since they increase with age. A healthy, non-smoking senior could pay $718 to $960 for a 10-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy. Meanwhile, a $40,000 final expense insurance policy can cost $549.31 and $384.12 for men and women over 80, respectively.1

What factors affect the cost of life insurance for seniors?

Several factors can impact the cost of life insurance for seniors:


Premiums generally increase with age. Therefore, seniors over 80 may face higher costs for life insurance. However, shopping around can help you compare quotes and find lower rates.


Men tend to pay more than women for the same coverage since they have a slightly lower life expectancy.2 This difference tends to widen the premium gap at higher levels of coverage or more expensive policies.


Health is a crucial factor in determining premiums. Personal or family health history of medical conditions could result in higher premiums. Fortunately, you have some level of control over your health. Maintaining good health and demonstrating your commitment to managing any conditions to the insurer could help reduce premiums.

Policy type

Each policy type charges different premiums overall and per dollar of coverage. For example, term life insurance has low overall premiums and is the most cost-efficient. Permanent life insurance costs more due to lifelong coverage and cash value. Meanwhile, final expense and guaranteed issue life insurance cost less, but the small death benefit means you may pay more per dollar of coverage.


Insurers vary in their underwriting standards, pricing structure, policies, competition, and financial positions, which impact the price they may charge for a given policy. Life insurance industry competition can help reduce costs, as insurers must compete for your business. This is why shopping for multiple quotes is crucial.

Which type of senior life insurance is right for me?

The right senior life insurance policy for you may depend on your situation and coverage needs:

You want coverage for the rest of your life

If you want lifelong coverage, you can consider getting a permanent life insurance policy. Whole life insurance can provide significant coverage so that your loved ones can receive a large death benefit payout after you pass away. Smaller policies like final expense or simplified issue insurance may be better if you want to skip the medical exam and your loved ones don’t need as much support.

You have debts, such as a mortgage 

Term life insurance can be an excellent option for seniors with outstanding debts, such as a mortgage. You can get a substantial death benefit at a lower cost, making it easier to fit premiums into your budget. However, you may also consider a smaller permanent policy, such as guaranteed issue life insurance, if you have a smaller outstanding balance and want to avoid a medical exam.

You want coverage for end-of-life expenses

Final expense insurance may be the best policy for covering end-of-life expenses since it's designed to help cover these costs. Simplified and guaranteed issue policies can also work, especially if you want a faster application process and easier approval.

Aflac life insurance can get seniors the coverage they need 

Life insurance can be more expensive for seniors over 80, since age is a crucial factor insurers consider. However, comparing quotes can help you find the right policy without breaking the bank.

At Aflac, we offer a range of life insurance policies to help seniors get the coverage they need, such as term, whole, and final expense insurance. Contact an agent today to learn more and get a quote.

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