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Best Life Insurance Companies for People Over 50

Buying life insurance can become more difficult as you get older, but it’s certainly doable. In part, this is because life insurance gets more expensive as you age. But it’s also because you may have developed health issues that make life insurers less inclined to approve your application. But if you’re over 50 and in need of a new life insurance policy or additional coverage, you still have plenty of options. Best not to wait though.

We’ve researched the best life insurance companies for different situations and types of coverage. All have stellar reputations and financial strength ratings, plus offer valuable perks to the 50-plus crowd.

Best Life Insurance Companies for People Over 50

Why Trust UsWe collected over 5,000 data points from 91 life insurance companies to measure financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, and the overall buying experience. We then evaluated each company based on 55 metrics to develop unbiased, comprehensive reviews.

91Companies reviewed

55Features considered

5,005Data points analyzed

Best Life Insurance Companies For People Over 50

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Nationwide


Nationwide

You generally can’t get an online quote for permanent coverage from any life insurance company. Call 1-844-457-7984. to get a quote for permanent coverage (whole life and universal life) from Nationwide.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ranked second for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power
  • Receives few customer complaints
  • Three living benefits included on most policies
  • Allows credit card payments

Cons

  • Men over 50 not eligible for 30-year term

It’s no surprise that Nationwide takes our top spot for best life insurance company for applicants over 50 years old, since it’s also our pick for best life insurance company of 2022. Nationwide is ranked second in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study for customer satisfaction, has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best, and has received very few complaints over the past three years for a company of its size.12It offers a wide range of policy types. 

Most Nationwide policies include three living benefit riders at no additional cost—which is a standout benefit, considering many other companies only include one. Living benefits, also called accelerated death benefits, allow you to access the death benefit early if you experience certain triggering events. Nationwide policies include critical, terminal, and chronic illness accelerated benefit riders and offer an optional long-term care rider. 

But Nationwide falls short if you need term coverage. You face more age limits here than you do elsewhere. Men over 50 and women over 55 aren’t eligible for 30-year term coverage.

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Read the Full Nationwide Life Insurance Review 2022

BEST FOR FINANCIAL STABILITYGuardian


Guardian Life Insurance

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fewest complaints among top companies, relative to its size
  • Highest financial strength rating
  • Dividend-eligible policies
  • Well-priced term coverage
  • Policies available to 90-year-old applicants

Cons

  • Online application and claim filing not available
  • Just below average J.D. Power ranking

Guardian receives an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which is the credit rating agency’s top-tier grade and means the company has a superior ability to honor its ongoing insurance obligations, such as paying claims.3 It’s one of only two companies on this list with an A++ rating, and one of only nine companies of the 91 we reviewed with the rating. Plus, it has a low number of customer complaints relative to its size.4

The company pays dividends, and in 2022 made a record $1.13 billion in dividend payments to all eligible policyholders.5 It offers well-priced term coverage to 50-somethings based on our review of quotes for 55 year-old males and females in excellent health for 30-year $250,000 policies. It also offers policies to 90-year-olds, which is the highest issue age of any company we reviewed.

While this is an impressive collection of attributes, Guardian’s website does not impress. Neither online applications nor claim filing are available. Plus, the company provides few policy details online, which means you’ll need to call an agent for specifics. It also ranked just below average in J.D. Power’s 2021 Life Insurance Study, trailing all the J.D. Power ranked companies on this list, except Protective.6

Read the Full Guardian Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR TERM INSURANCEProtective


Protective Life

Pros & Cons

Pros

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  • Cheap term policies
  • High issue ages on term coverage
  • Allows credit card payments

Cons

  • Ranked 16 out of 21 companies for customer satisfaction

Protective is our pick for best term insurance company for over-50s because term policies are very affordable and issue ages are high. We collected quotes for $250,000 30-year term policies for healthy 55-year-old male and female applicants. We found that Protective’s quotes were among the cheapest we evaluated.

Importantly, the company has some of the highest issue ages for term coverage we’ve seen. If you’re 58 or younger, you’re eligible for a 30-year term policy; if you’re 50 or younger, you’re eligible for a 35-year plan. Most companies don’t even offer 35-year term coverage—only four of the 91 life insurance carriers we reviewed do. An added benefit is that the company accepts credit card payments, which is also uncommon among life insurance carriers.

However, customer satisfaction is lacking, according to J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. Protective came in 16th out of 21 of the largest life insurers, well below the industry average.

Read the Full Protective Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR DIVIDENDSMassMutual


MassMutual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Dividend-eligible policies
  • Long history of paying dividends
  • Highest financial strength rating
  • Very few complaints

Cons

  • Only one living benefit included

Of the three dividend-paying companies in this list, we chose MassMutual as the best for dividends because it makes eligible policies available to older applicants and has one of the longest histories of dividend payments of all companies we reviewed. MassMutual has been paying dividends since 1869 and made its largest-ever dividend payment of $1.85 billion in 2022.7 It backs this up with the highest financial strength rating bestowed by AM Best (A++), as well as a better-than-average J.D. Power ranking, and a record of very few customer complaints over the past three years for a company of its size.68

But if you’d like to have access to your death benefit in the event of a chronic, critical, or terminal illness—the three most common living benefit riders—MassMutual falls short. It includes a terminal illness accelerated benefit rider with most policies, which lets you receive a portion of the death benefit if you have fewer than 12 months to live. While this is nice, Mutual of Omaha and Nationwide do MassMutual one (or two) better by including two or three living benefits free of charge with most policies.

Read the Full MassMutual Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR FINAL EXPENSEMutual of Omaha


Mutual of Omaha

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Policies available to 85 year olds
  • Some policies include a terminal illness rider
  • A+ financial strength rating
  • Online application available
  • Some policies don’t have a graded benefit

Cons

  • More complaints than some competitors

Mutual of Omaha is our overall winner for best burial insurance company. Burial insurance, also called final expense or funeral insurance, designates a small whole life policy available to older applicants (generally 45-85) that’s meant to cover immediate expenses after death, such as the funeral and bills. Application and approval are typically easy, especially since there is no medical exam and few or no health questions. 

Mutual of Omaha offers two types of final expense policies. Both are available to applicants aged 45 to 85. One is a guaranteed-issue plan, meaning you can’t be denied coverage. An application is available online, there are no health questions, and coverage is available up to $25,000. The other involves a few health questions (but no exam), is only available through an agent, and the maximum death benefit is $40,000. If you have preexisting conditions, you may not qualify for this option.

We like Mutual of Omaha’s final expense policies in particular because you have options, plus $40,000 is a relatively high amount of coverage for this type of policy. And if you qualify for this particular plan, a terminal illness rider is included at no additional cost and there is no graded death benefit period, which is unusual. Many burial insurance policies limit the death benefit during the first two (or three) years of coverage, meaning your beneficiaries don’t get the full death benefit if you die of natural causes. Note that Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed-issue plan does have a graded benefit period.

Read the Full Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR NO-MEDICAL-EXAM LIFE INSURANCEPenn Mutual


Penn Mutual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong dividend-paying history
  • Very few customer complaints for a company its size
  • No-medical-exam coverage up to $7.5 million
  • Well-priced term coverage for 55-year-olds

Cons

  • Limited website information
  • Online applications and quotes unavailable

Penn Mutual offers possibly the most generous no-medical-exam coverage options in the industry. Of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed, Penn Mutual has the highest coverage amount available to the oldest applicants. The company offers up to $7.5 million in coverage to applicants up to 65 years old. Penn Mutual claims it’s the only carrier to offer up to $7.5 million in no-medical-exam life insurance and our research supports that claim. 

Plus the company has a very long history of paying dividends to its policyholders—it’s done so since 1847—and has very few customer complaints.9 We also like that its term policies for applicants in their 50s are well-priced. We collected quotes for healthy 55-year-old male and female applicants for 30-year $250,000 policies across 32 companies. Penn Mutual’s policies were more than $20 below the overall company average.

One drawback to Penn is that you’ll need to work with an agent to get any policy. Online applications and quotes are unavailable on the company’s website. In fact, the website leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to providing information on which specific products are available and their features.

Read the Full Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR SENIORSNew York Life


New York Life

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Policies available to 90-year-old applicants
  • Long history of paying dividends
  • Superior financial strength rating
  • Few customer complaints
  • Wide selection of riders

Cons

  • No online quotes
  • Limited policy information online
  • Must talk to an agent to apply

Why We Chose It

New York Life is a very attractive option for seniors who prefer to work directly with an agent and aren’t looking for an online purchase experience. In fact, the company is our top pick for best life insurance companies for seniors.

New York Life issues policies to applicants as old as 90 (the highest issue age we’ve seen) and it has an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best—the highest grade available. Plus, the company has been around for over 170 years, which makes it the oldest insurer on this list.

Over the last three years, New York Life has received far fewer complaints than expected, according to the NAIC. It also pays dividends to eligible policyholders and has been doing so consistently since 1854—an impressive track record.

New York Life lets you customize your policy with a wide array of riders including living benefit riders for critical, chronic, and terminal illness as well as a disability income rider. Where the company falls short is in its online presence. You can’t get a quote online and few policy details are available without contacting an agent. Plus, you’ll need to provide your personal information (name and phone number) to access information.

Read the Full New York Life Insurance Review

Final Verdict

Every company in this list has excellent options for life insurance coverage for people 50 and older. Which company works best for you will depend on your needs and your age. Unfortunately, some policy types, like term, become unavailable the older you get. In general, you’ll struggle to find 30-year term coverage if you’re 55 or older. This is one reason Protective is our go-to choice for term coverage if you’re in your 50s. Another is that its quotes were the cheapest for this age group. However, other good options for term are Penn Mutual and Guardian, which both offer affordable coverage to 55-year-olds. 

If you’re in the market for permanent life insurance coverage, you’ll find more options in your 50s, as most insurance carriers offer whole and universal life insurance policies to people up to age 80 or 85. Some companies also make policies available to 90-year-old applicants. But check out which living benefits each company offers. If getting an early payout due to a chronic, critical, or terminal illness is important to you, Nationwide policies include the most living benefits at no additional cost.

If you want high-coverage life insurance without having to undergo any medical screening, your options are much more age-dependent and, potentially, limited. If you’re over 50, check out PennMutual, which offers up to $7.5 million in coverage to applicants up to age 65, and Nationwide, which offers up to $1 million in coverage if you’re between 50 and 60. 

But if you have health issues and just need a small policy for which approval is very likely or guaranteed, try Mutual of Omaha. And if you’re an existing Nationwide policyholder, check out its final expense coverage.

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