Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Whole life insurance for seniors can come in a few different forms, and the right type of insurance for you depends on your specific circumstances.  While there are more options available, there are three primary options for whole life insurance for seniors: 1) Final Expense or Burial Insurance, 2) Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) Insurance, and 3) Cash Value Whole Life Insurance.  We will cover each of these three types of life insurance for seniors to help you decide which type of coverage is right for you.

Why Should You Work With Us?

Senior Whole Life is an independent life insurance agency, helping seniors find the best final expense insurance, guaranteed universal life insurance, and cash value whole life insurance rates available.  As experienced field underwriters, we help seniors find the right life insurance coverage for their individual specific needs and situation.  Working with an independent agent can mean the difference between obtaining the policy you need, rather than the one that a captive agent is selling you.  We understand how to place you with the best possible company for your specific needs.

We believe in taking our time with each client to ensure the best possible outcome. We will shop the market for you using the most recognized “A+” rated companies in our industry. It is our job to determine the best value with the right carrier to save you time, money, and effort.

Did you know that all life insurance carriers are not created equal? Your health, hobbies, occupation, travel, etc., can all adversely affect your insurability.    Let your trusted independent agent take the guess work out of applying for life insurance.

At Senior Whole Life, we act as a consultant for our clients. We share our knowledge of many different life insurance companies, and use our experience with different carriers to help our clients find the best whole life insurance plan. We provide the information about different carriers, how to determine the right amount of coverage, and help our clients figure out what fits comfortably within their budget.  We never pressure our clients to obtain as much insurance as possible.  We understand that most of our clients are on a fixed income, and that burial insurance should fit into your budget.

Senior whole life insurance rates are based on a person’s age, gender, and health.  Different companies treat different health conditions in different ways.  What does that mean?  You could apply for the exact same amount of coverage with two different companies and get VERY different rates.  For example, some companies will increase rates if you have ever had an irregular heartbeat, while others won’t.  Some increase rates higher for smokers than others.  So how do we help?

Our value is in our INDEPENDENCE.  We do not work for any specific insurance company.  We are contracted with many different senior whole life insurance carriers.  And our job is to work for YOU, to find YOU the best rates for YOUR specific, individual circumstances.  We use our experience with all of the different life insurance carriers to help find you the best rates that you can qualify for.

Final Expense Insurance

The first type of senior whole life insurance plan we will explain is what is commonly known as final expense insurance or burial insurance.  Final expense insurance is used to cover funeral costs, burial costs, and other final expenses.  Final expense insurance is also called burial insurance – there is no difference between final expense insurance and burial insurance.  For the majority searching for whole life insurance for seniors, a final expense plan is the best option.

Final expense insurance is a great solution for seniors looking to cover their funeral costs and leave a little extra money to their loved ones.  All final expense policies share a few common traits.  First, final expense insurance provides coverage that lasts forever.  Unlike term insurance, which only lasts for a specific period of time, final expense insurance coverage does not have an expiration date.  This means that final expense insurance policies are a type of whole life insurance policies.  This is crucial because insurance meant to cover funeral costs should never expire.  You want your coverage to be there for your loved ones when they need it the most, and coverage that lasts forever is a critical element of a final expense policy.

Second, the death benefit for final expense insurance never decreases.    Unlike certain term insurance that has a decreasing death benefit over time, final expense or burial insurance has a benefit that never decreases.  This is important, because folks who are interested in burial insurance want to make sure the death benefit will be there for their loved ones at the most important time.  The guaranteed level death benefit is a very important to ensure that your coverage remains in place for your loved ones.

Third, the premiums for senior whole life insurance are guaranteed never to increase.  I cannot emphasize this point enough.  Certain companies advertise on TV that you can get life insurance for $1.  Have you heard the expression if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is?  Well, with that type of policy, the premiums rise dramatically over time, so that by the time your loved ones would be hoping to receive the benefit, the policy would be so expensive that almost nobody could afford to keep it.  Obtaining a final expense policy with affordable premiums that fit into the budget and are guaranteed never to increase is very important.

Finally, with senior whole life insurance, you are not required to take a medical exam.   This makes it easier to qualify, and much simpler to obtain.  In fact, with many companies, you can GET APPROVED THE SAME DAY YOU APPLY.  It really can be that easy.

Most people who secure burial insurance coverage are between the ages of 50 and 85.  If you are over the age of 85 or younger than 50, it is possible that you could still qualify for a burial insurance policy.

 What Are The Different Types of Final Expense Insurance?

There are three types of final expense insurance policies – level, graded, and guarantee issue.  Whether you end up in a level, graded, or guarantee issue policy will depend on your health.  But before we get into that, you are probably wondering what is the different between a level, graded, and guarantee issue policy?

A level policy is the best possible final expense policy you could qualify for.  These policies provide 1st day coverage, meaning you are covered 100% beginning the 1st day you pay your premium and the policy is issued.  Level benefit policies have the lowest premiums, and the best coverage.  If you are answer no to all of the health questions, then you will likely qualify for the level policy.  Level final expense policies are for healthier people, although you can still qualify for level coverage with certain health conditions (diabetes, bipolar disorder, high blood pressure or cholesterol, COPD, etc.) 

A graded policy will not provide 100% 1st day coverage. Rather, it provides for a percentage of the face amount if you pass away in the 1st year of the policy, and a higher percentage if you pass away in the 2nd year of the policy.  One common scenario for graded policies is a 30% payout in the 1st year if the insured dies from natural causes, a 70% payout in the 2nd year, and anything beyond the 2nd year is 100% paid.  Graded policies are for people who may have answered yes to one of the health questions.  Because different companies treat different health conditions differently, working with a knowledgeable independent agent can mean the difference between qualifying for a graded policy and qualifying for a guarantee issue policy.  So what does guarantee issue mean, anyway?

A guarantee issue policy is a type of life insurance policy that anybody can qualify for, regardless of their health.  In fact, insurance companies don’t even ask health questions in a guarantee issue application.  Sounds too good to be true, right?  Well, the downside to a guarantee issue policy is that there is typically a 2 year waiting period before benefits will pay out.  The common scenario is if the insured passes away within the first 2 years from natural causes, then the company will pay the beneficiary the sum of all the premiums paid, plus 10%.  Guarantee issue policies are great for individuals with more serious health issues who would like to get some coverage in place. 

The big question – should I purchase final expense insurance?

Many people wonder if they are a candidate for senior whole life insurance, and our experience has shown that there are 5 qualities shared by most senior whole life insurance clients.  Without further ado, here are the five qualities of a great senior whole life insurance candidate:

1)  They are between the ages of 50-85.  While some companies do provide senior whole life insurance (or burial insurance or final expense insurance) for certain individuals who are younger than 50 or older than 85, the majority of senior whole life insurance candidates fall between the ages of 50-85.  This is why companies focus on selling senior whole life insurance to seniors (although certainly individuals in their 50’s and early 60’s would, rightfully, object to being classified as seniors).  The reason for this is simple: these people are beginning to think about end-of-life planning.  And for those who may not have been able to save or who do not have traditional life insurance, final expense insurance begins to look like a good answer to a real problem.

2)  They have a combined annual income of less than $100,000.  Frequently, the combined income of a senior whole life insurance candidate is far lower than $100,000 per year.  Individuals and couples in a lower income bracket sometimes do not have savings that would cover a funeral.  For them, it is easier to budget a smaller monthly payment for burial insurance, rather than trying to rush to build up savings to cover it.  If you do not have $10,000-$15,000 saved for burial, funeral expenses, and debt payoff, then a final expense insurance policy is a cost effective way to address those issues.

3)  They have seen a loved one struggle after the death of a spouse.  This is by no means a requirement, but for those who have seen the struggle of a loved one after losing a spouse, the impact is stunning.  If the couple were not able to save enough to cover the aforementioned burial, funeral, and debt expenses, then there is added pressure and stress, not to mention the grief of losing a loved one.  Those who have seen the financial strain add to the grief of losing a loved one know that there has to be a better way.  Senior whole life insurance can solve that problem.

4)  They do not own traditional life insurance.  If somebody owns a  Guaranteed Universal Life or Cash Value Whole Life Policy, then their loved one will be taken care of in their time of need.  If someone owns a term policy, then that policy will last to a specified age, when the coverage will end.  Someone who owns a term policy and who has not saved for burial, funeral, and debt expenses should consider a burial insurance policy to take care of their loved ones in their time of grief.  Frequently, people shopping for senior whole life insurance 1) recently left a job that was providing group insurance coverage that they no longer have, or 2) recently had their term policy expire and are desperately in need of coverage quickly.  If you 1) don’t have any life insurance, 2) recently left or will soon leave a group who provided you coverage, or 3) recently had your term policy expire, then you should strongly consider a senior whole life insurance policy.

5)  They have someone in their life that they care deeply about.  This could be a spouse, a child or children, or grandchildren.  If someone has somebody they care deeply about, and they have not saved enough money to cover their funeral and associated expenses, then a burial policy can solve their problem and take the burden off their loved one.  Rarely does a person consider purchasing a final expense (burial) policy if they do not have someone in their life that they care deeply about.

So that’s it.  Obviously there are many more qualities that could be added to this list, but these are 5 of the most common qualities of a burial insurance candidate.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance is a great option for seniors who are looking to leave a legacy, or just to leave something to loved ones after death.  Guaranteed universal life insurance is seen as a middle ground between term insurance and cash value whole life insurance. 

Guaranteed universal life insurance expires at an age of your choosing.  For example, if the oldest person in your family lived to be 89, you could conservatively select 95 as the expiration age of the policy.  Or, you could more conservatively select 100 as the expiration age. 

The great thing about guaranteed universal life insurance is that the premiums do not increase year-to-year, but policies typically allow some flexibility in premium amounts from month-to-month. 

Unlike cash value whole life insurance, guaranteed universal life insurance does not accumulate cash value.  This means that the premiums for guaranteed universal life insurance are lower than cash value whole life insurance. 

Guaranteed universal life is a great option for seniors who would like to secure life insurance that will be their at the end of their life, but who do not care about growing cash within the policy and would rather pay less in premiums each month.  Guaranteed universal life can also help with estate tax planning, paying for funeral costs and final expenses, and paying off debts.

Cash Value Whole Life Insurance

Cash value whole life insurance (also just called “whole life insurance”) is great for seniors who would like to leave a legacy, and who would like to accrue cash value within their policy.  The premiums for cash value whole life policies are the same each year, and the coverage never expires.  The policy will accrue cash that you can borrow against, which provides some great flexibility to the policy owner. 

Cash value whole life insurance can be a tremendous estate planning tool.  For seniors in the right situation, cash value whole life insurance can be a great way to leave a legacy, to reduce estate taxes, and to gain some flexibility with an increasing death benefit.  However, cash value whole life insurance is not for everybody.  The biggest factor in determining the right type of life insurance is the reason why you need it.  Understanding your motive will help determine which type of senior whole life insurance is right for you.

Whole life insurance questions answered

Final Expense Life Insurance is designed for anyone age 50-85 that would like to ensure all their final expenses are covered at the time of their passing.

Typically a final expense policy will start as low as $2,500 in coverage with a maximum amount of $35,000. Final expense is only sold as a whole life product which ensures your family will receive the proceeds regardless of when the insured was to pass away.

Once the coverage has been initiated the insured will need to simply keep the policy in force by keeping with their monthly or annual payments to ensure their beneficiary’s receive these funds.

No, you will not be required to complete a medical exam. Most policies are approved and issued the same day.

Just a simple health questionnaire and database check and you will be on your way!

Underwriting is much simpler than a traditional life insurance policy because of the smaller death benefit amounts. Final Expense policies typically will have fewer than fifteen medical questions and never require a medical exam.

Most carriers will issue an approval on the spot.

In fact, with many carriers, you can complete the application process entirely over the phone, and the insurance company will approve the policy by the end of the phone call!

Simple underwriting, no medical exam, and quick approval.  Final expense insurance is a practical solution for those in need of a smaller amount of life insurance coverage.

Level Benefit: This means the policy will begin immediately and will not have any waiting period for the coverage to begin. Level benefit whole life means as long as the insured has paid their premiums on time, the death benefit will be paid in full to their beneficiary at any time the client passes away. Typically a client will need to be free of any terminal health conditions in order to qualify.

Graded benefit: Typically a graded policy will have a two to three year waiting period before the policy will pay out the death benefit due to an adverse health condition on the insured. If the insured passes away before the two year waiting period, the insurance company will typically pay the beneficiary any insurance premiums paid by the insured along with an additional 10%. If the insured passes away after the two year waiting period the full death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary.

Yes you can. Health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, non-reoccurring cancer, cardiovascular impairments, depression, and many other health ailments can all be approved by our insurance carrier in most cases.

No.  All policies purchased through Senior Whole life have level premiums that never increase.  We do not utilize carriers that advertise one price in order to entice you to purchase a policy, only to increase your premiums later.  We know that our clients need their coverage to last for the rest of their life.  We emphasize the importance of securing coverage that fits into the budget.  You can rest easy knowing that your premiums stay flat – fully guaranteed never to increase.

Upon your passing your family will contact the insurance carrier to submit their claim. Once the insurance carrier has received the required paperwork the insurance payment is typically released within 48 hours!

There is a short window in which insurance companies can investigate and deny potentially fraudulent claims.

The period is two years in most states and one year in others, and it begins as soon as a policy goes into effect. The most important thing you can do when applying for life insurance is to be honest.

The rule of thumb is that if you tell the truth on the application you can rest assured knowing your family will receive the death benefit at the time of your passing.

Suicide is not covered in the first two years of any life insurance policy sold in the U.S.

Contact us for assistance!

Senior Whole Life is a professional life insurance agency, specialized in whole life insurance for individuals ranging age 50 to 85.

We understand acquiring a life insurance policy is an important choice, so we want to help you to make the decision as easy as possible.

Fill out our easy Quote form for instant rates, call us at (423) 565-8806 or send us an email at Ryan@seniorwholelife.com for instant help. Our staff is standing by and ready to help!

Life insurance agent: Ryan Smith

License number: #18512736

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