Learn the requirements to buy a policy for a grandparent, coverage options, see monthly cost estimates, and the best companies for seniors.
The only requirement for a grandchild to take out life insurance for a grandparent is that they (the grandparent) are willing to answer the health questions (if any) and sign the application. If your grandparents are unwilling to participate in the process, there is no way to insure them.
If they refuse to participate, your best end-of-life planning option would be a pre-paid burial plan or putting money into a savings account.
Life insurance companies require beneficiaries to have an insurable interest when buying coverage for another person. Insurable interest is whether or not the beneficiary would suffer a financial loss due to the insured’s death.
A grandchild’s most common insurable interest is to cover their grandparent’s funeral costs, medical bills, and other end-of-life expenses (there are other reasons).
That said, burial insurance coverage up to $50,000 requires no explanation regarding why you want the insurance. However, if you want more than $50,000, you may need to demonstrate how their death would cause a financial burden to justify higher amounts such as $75K.
Final expense insurance is likely the best life insurance for your grandmother or grandfather since covering funeral expenses is why most grandkids want to insure their grandparents.
That said, which type of policy and company is best depends on their health, age, and why you need coverage.
|Policy Type||Age Range For New Applicants & Typical Coverage|
|Medical Exam Required?|
|Final Expense Whole Life||0-90|
|End of life expenses, final medical bills, or other last debts||No|
|Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life||40-85|
|Very dire health issues that renders you uninsurable for products with underwriting||No|
|Traditional Whole Life||0-85|
|Estate planning, debt payoff, spousal income protection, very high funeral costs, or leave a legacy for your heirs.||0-80: No
|You want permanent coverage with flexible payment options, estate planning, debt pay payoff, spousal income protection, retirement supplementation, final expenses, a legacy for heirs||0-80: No
|Financial debts or income replacement||0-79: No
Final expense insurance
They don’t need to be in good health to qualify because the underwriting is very lenient, and there is no medical exam.
The policy will pay out a lump sum cash benefit to the beneficiary, and there are no restrictions on how the money is spent. Because the policy is whole life, the premiums will not change, and the coverage lasts forever.
Guaranteed life insurance is a type of whole life insurance policy with no health questions or underwriting. Because acceptance is guaranteed, there is a two-year waiting period.
If they die during the waiting period, the insurance company will only refund your premiums plus a small amount of interest. This type of policy is only advisable if they have dire health conditions such as heart failure, renal failure, or Dementia.
Traditional whole life
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that builds cash value. Whole life insurance rates never change, and the coverage doesn’t expire or decrease in value.
Traditional whole life plans typically require you to buy $100,000 or more in coverage, and you’ll need to be in good health to qualify.
Term life insurance
A term policy is a life insurance plan that will expire after a predefined period of time. It might last a certain number of years (such as 5, 10, or 15) or until a certain age (such as 70, 75, or 80). After the policy expires, you no longer have insurance.
Generally speaking, nearly all term life coverage will expire at or around age 80.
Universal life insurance
A universal life policy is technically considered permanent insurance (although it rarely lasts forever).
They’re often sold to supplement retirement or diversify your investment portfolio. The main thing to understand is that these plans rarely last forever.
They’re usually marketed as permanent coverage that is less expensive than whole life.
While they are less costly than whole life (for the same amount of coverage), it’s generally an illusion.
We say that because universal life policies often crash shortly after age 75 or 80, leaving the policy owner without coverage.
Buying life insurance for a senior can be tricky, given their age and potential health complications.
Consider these tips to ensure you find the right policy at the best price to meet your needs.
- The type of policy matters greatly: There are many types of life insurance plans (whole, term & universal). Furthermore, they all function differently. Be sure to choose the correct type to accomplish your goal rather than deciding solely on price.
- Obtain their consent first: It’s best to have a quick conversation with your grandparents, informing them that you want to buy life insurance coverage for them. Just make sure they are on board with participating in the process. If they aren’t, there is no way to insure them.
- Learn about their health: If you know about their past and current health issues, an insurance agent can give you detailed product information. That includes accurate life insurance quotes, policy options, and waiting period provisions (if any), to name a few. Without their health information, you’ll only get very general information that is not specific to your grandparents.
- Utilize an independent insurance agent: Independent agents can represent multiple insurance providers for your benefit. They will compare offers from each insurance company to find you the best deal possible, and their services are free. Captive insurance agents, on the other hand (State Farm is one example of a captive company), cannot represent other insurance providers, so they cannot check if there is another provider that would offer you a better policy.
- Be open-minded about insurance companies that aren’t household names: There were hundreds of life insurance companies in the USA. Conservatively, less than 1% advertise in mass media to become a household name like Aflac or State Farm. When buying life insurance for parents or grandparents, it would be best not to exclude 99% of the companies available.
Please remember that all life insurance prices are based on the insured’s resident state, gender, tobacco usage, coverage amount, and health.
With funeral life insurance, there are three different types of plans. Which one your grandparents are eligible for depends on their health.
- Full 2-3 year waiting period: During this time, the insurance company will only refund all premiums paid plus interest. They will not pay out for natural causes during the waiting period.
- Partial waiting period: The insurance carrier will pay out a portion of the death benefit during this time. It’s usually 30-40% for months 1-12 and 70-80% for months 13-24. After two years, the total coverage amount is payable.
- No waiting period: An immediate coverage plan will pay out 100% of the death benefit starting on day 1 of the policy. The only exception is suicide or if you lie about your health when you complete the application.
To get partial or immediate coverage, you must apply for a plan with health questions. Your grandparents don’t have to take an exam, but they must complete a health questionnaire.
Truthfully, most seniors can qualify for immediate or partial coverage.
At the end of the day, if you want immediate coverage life insurance for your grandparents, you’ll need to speak with an agent.
Only a licensed insurance agent can determine which life insurance companies will approve your grandparent for no waiting period life insurance coverage.
If you have a grandparent with pre-existing conditions and want to get them no waiting period coverage, call us at 1-800-644-2926. At Choice Mutual, we have over 15 different insurance companies that we can offer your grandparents. If your grandparents can get immediate coverage, we’ll find it.
Getting life insurance for a senior over 80 is still possible with many companies.
Use our quoting tool to get quotes for any of these companies.
|Insurance Company||Coverage Options Above 80||Max Age For New Applicants||Policy Type||When Policy
Can Pay Out
|$2,000-$50,000||85||Final Expense Whole Life||No waiting period|
|$1,000-$25,000||85||Final Expense Whole Life||No waiting period|
|$2,000-$25,000||89||Final Expense Whole Life||No waiting period|
|$2,500-$10,000||90||Final Expense Whole Life||No waiting period|
|$2,000-$10,000||90||Final Expense Whole Life||Refund of premiums in first 12 months, 50% payout in 2nd year, then full benefits after 2 years|
A grandchild can buy a life insurance policy for a grandparent so long as they agree to the coverage and participate in the application process. First, they must answer the health questions, should there be any. In addition, they will need to sign the application either verbally, electronically, or physically with an ink pen.
You cannot legally buy life insurance coverage for a grandparent without their knowledge. Even if you have power of attorney over them, your grandparent(s) will still need to sign the application agreeing to the coverage. If they won’t partake in the process, there is no way to insure them.
On average, buying a final expense insurance policy for a grandparent will cost $75-$200 monthly. Your price depends on their age, gender, health, and how much coverage you select.
No medical exam is required if you’re buying burial insurance for a grandparent. However, other types of coverage, such as term or universal life, might require an exam. Medical exam requirements vary based on their age, health, death benefit amount, and which type of policy you’re interested in.
Many life insurance companies will issue new coverage to a senior over 80. The coverage amounts available at this age are usually $50,000 or less because covering funeral expenses is typically the only need at this age range.