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AARP proclaims to be a senior advocacy group.

Therefore, it would be safe to assume that the life insurance products they endorse are the best.

As you will learn from this article, that is not true for their final expense insurance.

Here’s the bottom line about the AARP life insurance program.

Most other burial life insurance companies offer better prices and coverage.

 

How Does AARP Burial Insurance For Seniors Work?

AARP final expense insurance is usually a term life insurance policy. Most of their advertising directs customers to their term life plan.

Their term policy ends once you turn 80 years old. On your 80th birthday, the policy terminates, and you no longer have coverage. Also, the price increases every five years.

AARP does have permanent life insurance to cover end-of-life expenses. In fact, they have two kinds of whole life coverage. Both permanent policies last forever, and the premiums never increase.

First, their simplified issue whole insurance policy does require you to qualify medically. Your eligibility depends on your answers to the health questions. If you’re approved, there is no waiting period.

The second permanent type of life insurance is guaranteed issue underwriting. You don’t have to answer any questions.

It’s important to understand that there is a two-year waiting period. If you die in the first two years, AARP will only refund your premiums plus 10% interest.

It’s good they have whole life insurance to cover burial expenses. Buying term life insurance to cover final costs is a risky proposition.

However, their whole life insurance premiums (both kinds) are expensive compared to other life insurance companies.

All three life insurance plans come with an accelerated death benefit rider at no extra cost. This rider is triggered if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness with 24 months or less life expectancy.

It allows you to access up to 50% of your death benefit while still alive.

Last, AARP is not a life insurance company. They market a variety of insurance products to their members. New York Life is the insurance carrier providing life insurance to AARP members.

Below is a table that outlines the entire AARP life insurance program.

 

FeaturesTerm To 80Guaranteed Acceptance
Whole Life
Simplified Issue
Whole Life
Policy TypeTerm LifeWhole LifeWhole Life
New Applicant
Age Range
50-74
(Spouses: 45-74)
50-80
(Spouses: 45-80)
50-80
(Spouses: 45-80)
Death Benefit Options$10,000-$100,000$5,000-$25,000$5,000-$50,000
Has Health QuestionsYesNoYes
2-Year Waiting PeriodNoYesNo
Medical Exam RequiredNoNoNo
Age When The
Policy Expires
80NeverNever
How Often
Prices Increase
Every 5 yearsNeverNever
Terminal Illness
Rider Included At
No Extra Cost
YesYes
(only in effect after 2 years)
Yes

 

Term Life Insurance (To Age 80)

AARP level benefit term life insurance to cover funeral costs is the most common policy they recommend.

Here’s how this burial insurance policy works:

  • Issues ages: 50-74 (spouses: 45-74).
  • Coverage amount options: $10,000-$100,000.
  • Policy type: Term life insurance.
  • The monthly premiums increase every five years.
  • Coverage terminates on your 80th birthday.
  • Death benefits never decrease.
  • No-Medical exam to qualify. You only need to answer a few health questions.
  • You can pay the premiums with a credit card, bank draft, or direct bill (you mail in payments).
  • Insurance quotes are available via their website (requires personal information to see prices).
  • No waiting period if you’re approved (immediate death benefit payout).
  • New York Life will pay out a tax-free cash benefit to your family members or a funeral home upon death.
  • Only AARP members can apply.

Most people outlive a term policy. So it’s a significant risk to buy term insurance to cover end-of-life expenses.

If you outlive a term policy, there would be no death benefit coverage to pay for cremation or burial costs. Then your loved ones would have to pay for your funeral expenses out of their own pocket.

Thankfully there is also a conversion privilege for the life of the policy. This clause allows policyholders to convert the policy to a whole life contract.

Yes, you can get life insurance after 80. However, it can be very costly due to your age.

 

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

AARP’s guaranteed acceptance life insurance is a whole life policy with no underwriting.

No health issues would cause New York Life Insurance to deny you this plan.

Here’s how this funeral insurance policy works:

  • Issues ages: 50-80 (spouses: 45-80).
  • Coverage amount options: $5,000-$25,000.
  • Policy type: Whole life insurance.
  • The monthly premiums never increase.
  • Coverage lasts forever.
  • Death benefits never decrease.
  • It builds cash value.
  • No medical exam or health questions to qualify.
  • The policy includes a two-year waiting period for non-accidental death.
  • You can pay premiums with a credit card, bank draft, or direct bill (you mail in payments).
  • Insurance quotes are available via their website (requires personal information to see prices).
  • New York Life will pay out a tax-free cash benefit to your loved ones or a funeral home upon death.
  • Only AARP members can apply.

Since this policy is guaranteed issue life insurance, there is a two-year waiting period.

If you die during the first two years, New York Life will only refund 110% of your premiums.

Accidental death is the only exception to the waiting period. The policy would payout the full death benefit even during the first two years for accidental death.

Also, remember that the accelerated death benefit rider is only available on this guaranteed issue policy after it’s been in force for more than two years.

It’s only advisable to buy a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy if you have dire health conditions. Except for select high-risk illnesses such as being in a nursing home, most people can qualify for a policy with no waiting period.

Please speak with an independent insurance agent if you deal with numerous health conditions. They can compare offers from multiple funeral insurance companies.

That would give you the best chance to qualify for burial insurance plans with no waiting period.

 

Simplified Issue Whole Life

AARP members can apply for a simplified issue whole life insurance policy that has no waiting period.

This life insurance plan has underwriting (you answer health questions), so your health determines your eligibility.

You’re insured for the full death benefit when you make your first premium payment if you’re approved.

Here’s how this AARP whole life final expense insurance works.

  • Issues ages: 50-80 (spouses: 45-80).
  • Coverage amount options: $5,000-$50,000.
  • Policy type: Whole life insurance.
  • The monthly premiums never increase.
  • Coverage lasts forever.
  • Death benefits never decrease.
  • No medical exam to qualify.
  • No waiting period.
  • You can pay premiums with a credit card, bank draft, or direct bill (you mail in payments).
  • Insurance quotes are available via their website (requires personal information to see prices).
  • New York Life will pay out a tax-free cash benefit to your loved ones or a funeral home upon death.
  • Only AARP members can apply.
  • The policy builds cash value.

This whole life insurance coverage is valuable if you can qualify because it protects you immediately.

However, it’s hard to qualify for and expensive.

After reviewing their application, it seems as if they only accept people without any health conditions.

Secondly, their funeral insurance coverage costs much more than other insurance companies.

Many of the best burial insurance companies, such as Mutual of Omaha’s burial insurance plan, have much lower prices.

 

How Much Does AARP Burial Insurance Cost?

The cost of an AARP burial insurance plan could be as low as $12 per month or as high as $500.

Like all life insurance rates, your price depends on multiple factors—your age, gender, and health influence the net cost.

Below are tables that show actual AARP burial insurance rates. These prices were taken directly from their website.

 

AARP Guaranteed Acceptance Quotes

AgeFemale $10,000
(monthly rates)
Male $10,000
(monthly rates)
Female $25,000
(monthly rates)
Male $25,000
(monthly rates)
50$45$59$110$
60$31$80$147$199
70$87$108$215$268
80$112$145$278$360

AARP Simplified Whole Life Quotes

AgeFemale $10,000
(monthly rates)
Male $10,000
(monthly rates)
Female $25,000
(monthly rates)
Male $25,000
(monthly rates)
50$26$34$58$81
60$38$52$87$124
70$65$85$156$206
80$97$129$237$317

AARP Term Life Insurance Quotes

AgeFemale $10,000
(monthly rates)
Male $10,000
(monthly rates)
Female $25,000
(monthly rates)
Male $25,000
(monthly rates)
The monthly price increases every time you enter a new age bracket.
50-54$11$14$18$26
55-59$13$18$22$36
60-64$17$24$32$50
65-69$21$31$44$67
70-74$33$42$74$95

 

The Problem With AARP’s Final Expense Insurance

AARP burial insurance for seniors seems like a great deal on the surface. After all, they are backed by New York Life Insurance.

However, their life insurance program is not a good deal for many reasons.

  1. It’s group life insurance. No single AARP member has their own policy. They are all just buying into a group plan. The main red flag is that New York Life can change the group policy any time they want. They can change the cost or the terms and conditions of the coverage. If you buy an individual policy from a company, it’s locked in.
  2. The insurance is expensive. When you compare rates for AARP funeral insurance, you quickly see they cost much more than other insurance companies.
  3. Hard to qualify for. Two of their policies have applicants answer questions about health issues. Based on feedback from real customers who applied with them, they seem to deny most people. If you apply for coverage with AARP and they decline you, they’ll offer you their guaranteed acceptance plan. That policy has a two-year waiting period.

You can likely get less expensive coverage to pay for cremation or other funeral costs from another insurer.

Plus, coverage with no waiting period is usually obtainable if you deal with an independent broker.

 

A high number of complaints

No AARP funeral insurance review would be complete if we didn’t touch on their high number of online complaints.

When you look at websites such as consumeraffairs.com, you quickly see a lot of very unsatisfied customers. There are literally thousands of negative AARP life insurance reviews on that website alone.

The complaints range from billing issues to problems with the life insurance payout.

There are some positive reviews too, but most of them are negative.

Overall, it does not paint a good pitch, and you have to wonder why so many people are complaining.

 

How To Find The Best Burial Insurance Plan

If you need insurance to pay for your funeral expenses, you can do so much better than AARP’s funeral insurance.

That is especially true if you’ve experienced prior health issues.

The best burial insurance companies sell their coverage through independent agencies such as Choice Mutual.

That means you cannot buy their coverage directly from the insurer.

Independent brokers shop around for the clients to find the best deal possible.

That’s a powerful thing because it allows an agent to analyze all the top companies in your state. Then they can look to see if there is an insurer that will approve you for life insurance with no waiting period.

Plus, it allows them to compare prices to get you the best deal possible.

Dealing directly with insurers like New York Life, Colonial Penn, or TruStage always leads to higher prices (and frequently a waiting period).

In short, find a good independent broker. Then tell them what you’re looking for so they can find you the best deal possible.

If you need senior final expense insurance, call us at 1-800-644-2926. Burial insurance is all we do, and we partner with nearly 20 different insurance companies.

 

The Bottom Line

2.5/5 rating
Colonial Penn earned 2.0 stars out of 5 for overall performance. Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and financial strength ratings.

Learn about our rating methodology.

Price
2.0
Policy rates relative to other carriers
Financial Strength
5.0
Credit ratings from A.M. Best
Customer Reviews
1.0
Consumer feedback from third-party websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Trustpilot
NAIC Complaint Ratio
5.0
Up-to-date complaint score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Advertising Practices
2.5
Accuracy and trustworthiness of marketing
Available Products
3.0
Number of policy types, including no-exam options

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The AARP burial insurance program offers life insurance to members to cover cremation and burial expenses. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral in 2021 was over $7,000. An AARP expense policy can offset these costs.

AARP offers its members both term life and whole life burial insurance. The coverage is provided by New York Life exclusively for AARP participants. There is no medical exam required, and you can apply online. Depending on your health and budget, you can buy as little as $5,000. Or you can buy as much as $100,000 in life insurance protection.

AARP cremation insurance is a small whole life insurance plan to cover funeral bills. AARP endorses New York Life, the insurer that actually provides the coverage. You can buy $5,000-$50,000 depending on your needs and budget.