Although AARP bills itself as a nonprofit senior advocacy group, its life insurance for seniors is subpar.

Learn how their policies work, the pros & cons, how much it costs and if their coverage is worth buying.

 

New York Life AARP Life Insurance Program

AARP is not a life insurance company. They partnered with New York Life Insurance Company to offer their members life coverage.

Tip:
You must be an AARP member to apply.

AARP life insurance policies vary in type. They have term, permanent, and guaranteed acceptance life insurance.

None of their policies require a medical exam, but eligibility for some of their plans depends on your health.

You can see instant life insurance quotes for all their policies directly on their website.

You can apply online, through the mail, or by calling and speaking with a licensed insurance agent.

 

Pros & Cons Of AARP Life Insurance

No product from any company is entirely good or bad.

Life insurance from AARP has some strong and weak points, all of which are outlined below.

The good

  • Online application: You can fully apply online for all their products.
  • Online quotes: Their online application allows you to get a quote for all their products.
  • No exam: No type of life insurance with AARP requires a medical exam.
  • Guaranteed acceptance option: They have a guaranteed issue whole life policy if you have dire health issues or prefer not to answer health questions.
  • Offers term and whole life: Whether you want term or whole life, they have both options.
  • Small coverage amounts: You can buy as little as $5,000 or $10,000, which is great if you only need an amount of coverage for funeral costs.
  • Term is convertible: Their term policy includes the guaranteed option to convert to whole life at any time.
  • Backed by New York Life: AARP life insurance is underwritten by New York Life, one of the nation’s oldest and most stable insurers.
  • Available in all states: Their policies are available in all states, including Washington, DC.

 

The bad

  • Prices are not competitive relative to other insurers: AARP’s three life insurance policies are more expensive than other life insurance companies.
  • Tough to qualify for: Their term and permanent life insurance plans with health questions seem to decline applicants with pre-existing medical conditions common among seniors.
  • Low coverage maximums: For term life, $150,000 is the most you can buy. For whole life, $50,000 is the highest they offer.
  • Have to be an AARP member: If you want to buy their life insurance, you must pay to be an AARP member. Membership costs $16 per year. You can slightly lower that cost by pre-paying for three or five years.
  • Term prices rise every five years: Their term life insurance has a price increase every five years. Most other term life plans from other providers cost less per month and have a fixed rate.
  • No permanent options under age 45: If you need permanent life insurance and are under 45 years old, AARP cannot help you.

 

Should You Buy AARP Life Insurance For Seniors?

AARP coverage is generally not the best option for most seniors.

First, they are almost always more expensive than other insurance providers.

Additionally, their underwriting is not very favorable to seniors.

They regularly offer applicants policies with a two-year waiting period and a higher price for common medical conditions prevalent among seniors.

If you need life insurance for a senior, you can likely get lower prices and no waiting period coverage from many other life insurance companies.

Use the quote tool on this page to compare AARP’s rates against multiple other providers.

 

AARP Level Benefit Term Life Insurance

The primary life insurance policy promoted through the AARP life insurance program is a term life plan that lasts until age 80.

On your 80th birthday, the policy terminates, and you’re no longer insured.

Tip:
If you outlive the policy, you do not get your money back once you turn 80.

Additionally, the monthly premium will increase every five years.

They call it a “level death benefit” because the life insurance coverage will never decrease in value.

If you die while the policy is in force, your beneficiaries will get the full death benefit in the form of a tax-free check.

There are no restrictions of any kind regarding how they spend the money.

The policy is convertible. At any point, policyholders can call AARP and convert from term life to whole life.

If you convert to whole life, they will price it according to however old you are when you initiate the conversion (expect a massive price increase).

AARP Term Life Insurance Product Details
Policy TypeTerm Life Insurance
Policy DurationUntil age 80
PremiumsIncrease every 5 years
Builds Cash ValueNo
Health QuestionsYes
Higher Rates For Tobacco UsageYes
Medical ExamNo
2-Year Waiting PeriodNo
States AvailableAll
New Applicant Age Range50-74 (45-74 for spouses)
Coverage Options$10,000-$150,000
Living Benefit RiderIf you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a life expectancy of 24 months (12 months in NY) or less, you can access up to 50% of your death benefit while alive.
Nursing Home Waiver Of Premium RiderPremiums are waived if you're confined to a nursing home for 180 consecutive days.

 

AARP Guaranteed Acceptance

The AARP guaranteed issue whole life policy has no health questions or underwriting of any kind.

You are guaranteed approval regardless of pre-existing conditions.

The main drawback that you must be aware of is the waiting period.

If you die in the first 24 months, New York Life will only refund 110% of your premium payments.

You must live for more than two years before the full death benefit is payable.

AARP Guaranteed Acceptance Product Details
Policy TypeWhole Life Insurance
Policy DurationForever
PremiumsRemain the same
Builds Cash ValueYes
Health QuestionsNo
Medical ExamNo
2-Year Waiting PeriodYes
States AvailableAll
New Applicant Age Range50-80 (spouses: 45-80)
Coverage Options$5,000-$25,000
Living Benefit RiderAfter the 24 month waiting period has passed, if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a life expectancy of 24 months (12 months in NY) or less, you can access up to 50% of your death benefit while alive.
Paid-Up At 95The policy becomes "paid up" at age 95. You don't have to make any future premiums at this point, and the policy remains in force indefinitely.

 

AARP Whole Life Insurance (Permanent Life)

AARP members can opt for a permanent coverage whole life policy that requires you to answer health questions.

It’s a no waiting period permanent life insurance policy.

So if you’re approved, you’re 100% covered for all causes of death (except suicide) the day you make your first payment.

AARP Permanent Life Insurance Product Details
Policy TypeWhole Life Insurance
Policy DurationForever
PremiumsRemain the same
Builds Cash ValueYes
Health QuestionsYes
Higher Rates For Tobacco UsageYes
Medical ExamNo
2-Year Waiting PeriodNo
States AvailableAll
New Applicant Age Range50-80 (spouses: 45-80)
Coverage Options$5,000-$50,000
Living Benefit RiderIf you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a life expectancy of 24 months (12 months in NY) or less, you can access up to 50% of your death benefit while alive.
Nursing Home Waiver Of Premium RiderPremiums are waived if you're confined to a nursing home for 180 consecutive days.
Paid-Up At 95The policy becomes "paid up" at age 95. You don't have to make any future premiums at this point, and the policy remains in force indefinitely.

 

AARP Final Expense Insurance

AARP regularly promotes ads to people looking for final expense insurance.

For context, final expense insurance (aka burial or funeral insurance) is just a marketing expression.

A funeral expense policy is just a small life insurance plan to cover the cost of a cremation or burial.

Technically, it can be term life or whole life.

AARP burial insurance is usually their term life insurance.

They likely offer their term life because it’s less expensive than whole life, and they’re hoping seniors won’t realize that the policy expires at 80.

Essentially, they’re hoping the lower premium is so attractive that nobody will stop to ask why it’s cheaper.

For senior final expense needs, we strongly advise you to seek out a whole life policy to have lifetime coverage.

With whole life, you can have guaranteed peace of mind and know that your funeral expenses won’t burden your loved ones.

AARP also has whole life insurance, but it’s much more expensive than other insurance providers like Mutual of Omaha and many others.

 

How Much Does AARP Life Insurance Cost?

The cost of AARP life insurance varies greatly because they offer different policy types.

A healthy nonsmoking 65-year-old male seeking $25,000 in coverage will pay a monthly rate of $67 for term, $158 for permanent whole life, and $225 for guaranteed acceptance.

The exact cost of final expense insurance (or any type) depends on your age, health, coverage amount, and which type of policy you buy (term or whole life).

 

AARP term life rates

Remember, AARP term life insurance rates increase every time you enter a new age bracket.

74 is the oldest age they’ll issue a new term policy on someone.

Then once you turn 80, the policy terminates, leaving you with no insurance.

Age BracketFemale $10,000Male $10,000Female $25,000Male $25,000
50-54Nonsmoker: $11
Smoker: $17
Nonsmoker: $14
Smoker: $23
Nonsmoker: $18
Smoker: $32
Nonsmoker: $26
Smoker: $48
55-59Nonsmoker: $13
Smoker: $20
Nonsmoker: $18
Smoker: $31
Nonsmoker: $22
Smoker: $41
Nonsmoker: $36
Smoker: $68
60-64Nonsmoker: $17
Smoker: $28
Nonsmoker: $24
Smoker: $43
Nonsmoker: $32
Smoker: $61
Nonsmoker: $50
Smoker: $97
65-69Nonsmoker: $21
Smoker: $38
Nonsmoker: $31
Smoker: $56
Nonsmoker: $44
Smoker: $84
Nonsmoker: $67
Smoker: $131
70-80
Nonsmoker: $33
Smoker: $62
Nonsmoker: $42
Smoker: $79
Nonsmoker: $74
Smoker: $144
Nonsmoker: $95
Smoker: $187

 

AARP guaranteed acceptance rates

The rate is the same whether you smoke or not since there are no health questions for a guaranteed acceptance policy.

Also, your actual age determines your premium. The sample prices below are only for these precise ages.

AgeFemale $10,000Male $10,000Female $25,000Male $25,000
50$45$59$110$146
55$52$69$129$169
60$60$80$147$199
65$72$91$177$225
70$87$108$215$268
75$100$123$248$306
80$112$145$278$360

 

AARP whole life rates

As you look at the whole life rate chart below, remember that the price for AARP whole life insurance is based on your exact age.

For example, a 55-year-old will pay a slightly higher premium than someone who is 54.

AgeFemale $10,000Male $10,000Female $25,000Male $25,000
50Nonsmoker: $26
Smoker: $42
Nonsmoker: $34
Smoker: $55
Nonsmoker: $58
Smoker: $99
Nonsmoker: $81
Smoker: $131
55Nonsmoker: $31
Smoker: $49
Nonsmoker: $44
Smoker: $69
Nonsmoker: $72
Smoker: $116
Nonsmoker: $104
Smoker: $169
60Nonsmoker: $38
Smoker: $58
Nonsmoker: $52
Smoker: $83
Nonsmoker: $87
Smoker: $138
Nonsmoker: $124
Smoker: $201
65Nonsmoker: $49
Smoker: $75
Nonsmoker: $66
Smoker: $103
Nonsmoker: $114
Smoker: $181
Nonsmoker: $158
Smoker: $251
70Nonsmoker: $65
Smoker: $103
Nonsmoker: $85
Smoker: $137
Nonsmoker: $156
Smoker: $252
Nonsmoker: $206
Smoker: $335
75Nonsmoker: $83
Smoker: $138
Nonsmoker: $106
Smoker: $170
Nonsmoker: $203
Smoker: $343
Nonsmoker: $259
Smoker: $423
80Nonsmoker: $97
Smoker: $179
Nonsmoker: $129
Smoker: $209
Nonsmoker: $237
Smoker: $444
Nonsmoker: $317
Smoker: $521

 

AARP Complaints And 3rd Party Ratings

From a financial stability perspective, this is one area where AARP shines bright. New York Life is the insurance company that underwrites AARP life policies.

They have some of the highest financial strength ratings possible.

They have an A++ rating with A.M Best (the highest possible rating), AAA with Fitch Ratings, Aaa with Moody’s, and AA+ with Standard and Poor’s.

The bottom line is that New York Life isn’t going anywhere, and they have the means to pay their claims.

There’s positive and negative customer feedback about AARP’s life insurance program.

For example, there are an exceptionally high number of negative reviews on the website consumeraffairs.com.

On the flip side, New York Life’s complaint ratio with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for group life was .93 in 2021, which is a good score.

The 2021 J.D. Power life insurance study ranked them 9 out of 21 with a score of 777, which is above the average (776).

 

Company Background

AARP was started in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus and Leonard Davis.

It was started as a nonprofit interest group focused on senior-related issues.

Leonard later created Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company which is famous for featuring Alex Trebek promoting their $9.95 plan on TV.

AARP heavily lobbies the government to advance issues that affect seniors.

In addition, they sell paid memberships, granting them access to various discounts and benefits, including insurance products.

At present, AARP markets life, pet, health, home, auto, long-term care, and many other types of insurance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of AARP life insurance depends on which policy you buy, your age, health, and how much coverage you buy. For example, $10,000 costs a 65-year-old female $31.00 per month for term, $66.00 for whole life, and $91.00 for guaranteed acceptance.

AARP has a level benefit term life with a five-year increasing premium, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance whole life. None of their policies require a medical exam.

AARP’s term life policy ends on your 80th birthday. They also have two types of whole life insurance, both of which last forever.

AARP used to offer a young start program that was a whole life policy for children under 18. However, it has been discontinued and is no longer available. Now, AARP only offers life insurance to adults.