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AARP proclaims to be a senior advocacy group, so you would assume the types of life insurance they endorse are the best available.

As you will learn from this article, that is not true for their final expense insurance. Most other burial life insurance companies offer better prices and coverage.

Overview Of AARP Burial Insurance Plans

AARP offers three types of policies for final expense needs- Term life, whole life, and guaranteed acceptance whole life.

The most common policy they promote to cover funeral costs is a term life insurance policy that has a price increase every five years and completely terminates on your 80th birthday. When you turn 80, the policy ends, and you don’t get your money back. It has a level death benefit, meaning the coverage amount will not decrease over time.

To qualify for their term life plan, you don’t have a take a medical exam, but you must answer health questions.

Tip:
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.

AARP offers two types of whole life insurance- simplified issue and guaranteed issue. Both AARP whole life insurance options last forever, and the premiums never increase.

The simplified issue whole life insurance has eligibility requirements because you must answer questions about your previous medical conditions (no medical exam is required).

Conversely, the guaranteed acceptance life insurance option has no underwriting. You don’t have to take an exam or answer medical questions. Keep in mind that there is a two-year waiting period before AARP will pay out the full death benefit.

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 the policyholder to access up to 50% of your death benefit while still alive.

FeaturesLevel Benefit
Term Life
Guaranteed Acceptance
Whole Life
Permanent
Whole Life
Policy TypeTerm 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-$150,000
($100K in New York)
$5,000-$25,000$5,000-$50,000
States Where AvailableAllAll except AK, LA, NJ, & OR
Builds Cash ValueNoYes
Has Health QuestionsYesNoYes
2-Year Waiting PeriodNoYesNo
Medical Exam RequiredNo
Age When The
Policy Expires
80Never
How Often
Prices Increase
Every 5 yearsNever
Terminal Illness
Rider Included At
No Extra Cost
YesYes
(only in effect after 2 years)
Yes

 

Pros & Cons Of AARP Final Expense Insurance

The Good
  • They allow you to buy final expense insurance online, through the mail, or via telephone
  • Backed by New York Life which is an exceptionally financially secure company
  • Offers whole life and term life insurance
  • They have life insurance coverage with no waiting period (if you qualify)
  • Term life policies have the option to convert to permanent life insurance (must be done before age 80)
  • Quotes are shown online
  • All policy options don’t require a medical exam
The Bad
  • Prices are higher than most other providers
  • Applicants are regularly offered coverage with a two-year waiting period due to health conditions common among seniors
  • Many seniors mistakenly buy their term policy for final expense insurance needs, which leaves them uninsured after their 80th birthday
  • They don’t offer any life insurance for seniors over 80
  • The term life option has a price increase every five years
  • High number of consumer complaints
  • You must have an AARP membership which costs $16 annually

 

How Much Does AARP Burial Insurance Cost?

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

AARP life insurance rates depend on multiple factors—your age, gender, coverage amount, and health influence the net cost.

Below are tables that show actual AARP burial insurance rates. These monthly premiums were taken directly from the AARP website. If you use tobacco, AARP will charge you a higher price.

 

AARP Guaranteed Acceptance Quotes

AgeFemale $10,000Male $10,000Female $25,000Male $25,000
50$45$59$110$146
60$31$80$147$199
70$87$108$215$268
80$112$145$278$360

AARP Simplified Whole Life Quotes

AgeFemale $10,000Male $10,000Female $25,000Male $25,000
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 $10,000Male $10,000Female $25,000Male $25,000
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

 

Is AARP’s Final Expense Life Insurance Worth Buying?

AARP burial insurance for seniors seems like a great deal on the surface. They are backed by New York Life Insurance, a strong company, and their prices seem reasonable.

But the truth is their life insurance program is not a good deal for multiple reasons.

  1. AARP life insurance is expensive. When comparing rates for AARP funeral insurance, you see they cost much more than other insurance companies.
  2. Hard to qualify for their immediate coverage. AARP has life insurance with no waiting period, but you have to qualify for it by answering questions about your prior health issues. Based on feedback from real customers who applied with them, AARP appears to deny most applicants with pre-existing conditions. In response, they offer coverage two-year waiting period, and a much higher premium.
  3. It’s group life insurance. No single AARP member has their own policy. Everyone is merely buying into a group plan. The main red flag is that New York Life can change the group policy whenever they want. They can change the cost or the terms and conditions of the coverage. On the flip side, if you buy an individual policy from a company, it’s locked in.

The bottom line is that you can very likely get less expensive coverage from another insurer and one without a two-year waiting period.

 

AARP Consumer Complaints & Ratings

No AARP funeral life insurance review would be complete if we didn’t touch on their many online complaints.

When you look at websites such as consumeraffairs.com, you quickly see a lot of very unsatisfied customers. The Better Business Bureau also has many complaints and poor reviews from AARP customers.

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

AARP life insurance is like the 995 plan from Colonial Penn in that thousands of angry consumers have left negative reviews online.

While AARP may have a poor online reputation, the insurance company New York Life does not. For example, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index shows New York Life scored .27 for individual life policies in 2022. That score is well below the median, which means they get fewer complaints than most insurance companies.

 

How To Find The Best Burial Insurance Plan

If you need insurance for your funeral expenses, many other providers, such as Mutual of Omaha, Aetna, Alfac, and many others, offer lower prices (and no waiting period) than AARP’s funeral insurance. That is especially true if you’ve experienced prior health issues.

The best senior burial insurance is typically available only through independent insurance agencies such as Choice Mutual rather than being sold directly by the insurer.

Independent insurance agents (aka “brokers”) compare policies from multiple burial insurance companies for their clients to find 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 burial insurance to cover your end-of-life expenses, call us at 1-800-644-2926. Burial insurance is all we do; we partner with nearly 20 different insurance companies, so we can find you the best policy possible.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The AARP burial insurance program offers life insurance to members to cover cremation and burial costs. 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 in addition to paying medical bills or outstanding debts.

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. You can buy as little as $5,000 depending on your health and budget. Or you can buy as much as $100,000 in life insurance protection.

Only the AARP guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance policy has a waiting period. If you die during the first two years, your loved ones will only receive 110% of the premiums you’ve paid. Accidental death is the one exception to the waiting period.

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.

AARP offers members access to exclusive insurance policies, product discounts, and other benefits, but they do not assist with funerals. They don’t help pay for a funeral or with preplanning. At best, AARP can sell you final expense insurance, which can be used to pay for cremation costs or burial expenses.

Choice Mutual often cites third-party websites to provide context and verification for specific claims made in our work. We only link to authoritative websites that provide accurate information. You can learn more about our editorial standards, which guide our mission of delivering factual and impartial content.

  1. New York Life. https://www.aarp.org/benefits-discounts/all/nyl-life-insurance/
  2. costs. https://www.aarp.org/membership/cost-of-membership.html
  3. AARP website. https://www.nylaarp.com/Life-Insurance/Get-A-Quote
  4. consumeraffairs.com. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/aarp_life_insurance.html
  5. Better Business Bureau. https://www.bbb.org/us/dc/washington/profile/associations/aarp-0241-2126
  6. New York Life scored. https://content.naic.org/cis_refined_results.htm?TABLEAU=CIS_COMPLAINTS&COCODE=66915&REALM=PROD&COCODE=66915&REALM=PROD
  7. National Funeral Directors Association. https://nfda.org/news/media-center/nfda-news-releases/id/6182/2021-nfda-general-price-list-study-shows-funeral-costs-not-rising-as-fast-as-rate-of-inflation