What Type Of Life Insurance Can A Senior Over 85 Get?

Final expense life insurance is the only type of policy available to seniors over 85, and 90 is the maximum life insurance age limit for new applicants.

Term life, universal life, or any other type of traditional life insurance does not exist for people aged 86 and older.

Final expense policies are small whole life insurance plans that don’t require a medical exam to qualify. For those above age 85, $25,000 is the most coverage you can buy from any insurance provider. Although, you can buy more than one policy from different companies, which would allow you to get more than $25,000 in total coverage.

Burial insurance policies pay the death benefit as a tax-free cash payment upon the insured’s death. Your loved ones can spend the money on funeral costs, medical bills, debts, or anything else (no restrictions).

Because these policies are a type of whole life insurance, the payments will never increase, coverage will never decrease, and coverage will last forever.


What about burial insurance?

Some people are under the impression that burial insurance differs from life insurance, which is not true.

Burial insurance is life insurance (read burial vs. life insurance).

“Burial insurance” is also frequently referred to as “final expense insurance” or “funeral insurance.”

A burial only happens when someone dies, which is why funeral insurance is still a type of life insurance.


Over 85 Life Insurance Companies

Below are the five providers that offer life insurance to seniors over 85. Also, remember that these funeral life insurance companies may not be available in all states.

These insurance companies only sell their products through licensed agencies such as Choice Mutual. You cannot call them directly to purchase a policy. If you’re interested in applying with any of these companies, call us at 1-800-644-2926.
Insurance CompanyCoverage Options & Max Age For New ApplicantsPolicy Type & Waiting Period
Aetna company logoAge: 89
Coverage: $2K-$25K
• Whole Life Insurance
• No waiting period
american home life company logoAge: 89
Coverage: $2K-$25K
• Whole Life Insurance
• No waiting period
Security National Life company logoAge: 89
Coverage: $2K-$15K
• Whole Life Insurance
• No waiting period
Security National Life company logoAge: 89
Coverage: $2,500-$10K
• Whole Life Insurance
• No waiting period
Guarantee Trust Life company logoAge: 90
Coverage: $2K-$10K
• Whole Life Insurance
• Refund of premiums in first 12 months, 50% payout in 2nd year, then full benefits after 2 years


How Much Does Senior Life Insurance Over 85 Cost?

The cost of life insurance for seniors over 80 could be as low as $80 per month or as much as $800. The net price is determined by age, gender, health, state of residence, tobacco usage, and the coverage amount.

That being said, below are some sample online final expense quotes.

You can also use our quoting tool to see prices for different coverage amounts.

As you can see from the sample monthly quotes below, getting final expense insurance for senior citizens at this age is costly.

The only way to reduce these prices would be to buy less coverage ($2,000 is the absolute minimum).


86-year-old burial life insurance rates

Female non tobacco$54$87$171
Female tobacco$79$130$257
Male non tobacco$73$120$236
Male tobacco$121$199$394

Read more about life insurance for 86-year-olds.


87-year-old burial life insurance rates

Female non tobacco$64$105$206
Female tobacco$87$143$284
Male non tobacco$85$140$277
Male tobacco$138$228$453

Read more about life insurance for 87-year-olds.


88-year-old burial life insurance rates

Female non tobacco$74$121$239
Female tobacco$96$157$311
Male non tobacco$98$160$317
Male tobacco$156$258$513

Read more about life insurance for 88-year-olds.


89-year-old burial life insurance rates

Female non tobacco$80$131$260
Female tobacco$104$171$338
Male non tobacco$109$180$357
Male tobacco$174$288$572

Read more about life insurance for 89-year-olds.


Is There A Waiting Period Over 85?

In short, some life policies for people over 85 have a waiting period, and some do not.

The most important thing to understand is that you must qualify for life insurance that starts immediately (at any age).

You don’t have to take a medical exam to get a no waiting period policy.

However, you will have to answer health questions and be approved.

All policies with no health questions have a two-year waiting period.

Believe it or not, seniors above 85 can still qualify for an immediate plan despite high-risk medical issues.

Please don’t assume you won’t qualify because you have pre-existing conditions.

It’s worth a call to an agent who can quickly diagnose your situation by asking a few questions.


What is the incontestability clause?

The incontestability clause is present in every life insurance contract, regardless of which provider you buy from or the type of policy.

This provision exists in every life insurance policy.

The incontestability clause entitles the insurance company to investigate any death during the first 24 months of the policy (in some states, it’s only 12 months).

Insurance companies can no longer investigate death claims After the incontestability clause expires after 12-24 months. They must simply pay the claim.

Basically, they will order copies of your medical records to ensure you didn’t misrepresent your health when you first applied.

They will deny the claim if they find evidence that you had a medical condition (before the application) that would have caused them never to issue the policy.

However, they will pay the entire death benefit if they find you answered the questions honestly (which is usually the case).

If they deny a claim due to health misrepresentation, they will refund 100% of the paid premiums.

Here are a few critical points to keep in mind about the incontestability clause:

  • Life insurance with no incontestability clause does not exist.
  • You have nothing to worry about if you’re honest when you apply.
  • Waiting periods are different from the incontestability period. A waiting period means there is no chance of payout in the first 24 months.
  • Health issues you develop after the policy is issued are not applicable. Only medical conditions before applying are relevant when investigating a contestable claim.

Just answer the health questions honestly, and you can feel comfortable knowing that your claim will be paid even if you die the next day.


States Where Seniors Over 85 Cannot Get Life Insurance

New York is the only state in the USA with no life insurance options over 85.

All other states (including DC) have products available for ages 86+.

Many New Yorkers ask us why New York is excluded.

In short, insurance companies must select each state they want to offer their products.

They avoid New York because of the overly burdensome regulations that don’t exist in other states.


Is There Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance For Seniors Over 85?

No life insurance companies offer a no health question guaranteed issue policy after age 85.

Guaranteed acceptance plans are only available at age 85 and below.

You’ll have to answer health questions to get insurance between the age of 86-90.


How To Apply For Life Insurance For Elderly Over 85

First, you must verbally speak with one of our agents.

There is no way to apply via mail or entirely online. If you’re unwilling to speak to an agent via telephone, you cannot get life insurance for a senior over 85.

That said, here’s how the process works.

  1. We’ll read you the health questions (no exam is required) and gather all the necessary information to complete the application.
  2. You don’t have to make a down payment. You can choose when the premiums begin.
  3. You’ll sign the application either verbally or electronically via email or text.
  4. Once signed, we can submit the application to underwriting. Generally, we’ll get a decision between 15 minutes and 24 hours.

If your application is approved, you’ll get the physical paper policy via US mail within two to three weeks.

Your insurance will be effective on the day of your first payment.

To get started, call us at 1-800-644-2926. We can assist you with all of the companies you see on this page.


Non-Insurance End Of Life Planning Options

If you don’t want life insurance over 85 due to the cost or for some other reason, you can make other end-of-life financial preparations outside of insurance.

You have a few different options:

  • Religiously put money into a savings account.
  • Contact local funeral homes to see if you can start pre-paying for a funeral plan.
  • Rely on your estate to pay for your final expenses. Assuming you have some valuable assets, your loved ones can sell them to pay for your funeral costs. That is not ideal since your family will take many months to process everything.

The financial aspect aside, everyone should aim to plan their own funeral.

Doing so ahead of time will ensure your loved ones do not have to make those tough decisions when you pass away.

You can document your final wishes on any sheet of paper or download a free online guide.


Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, life insurance over 85 does not have a waiting period. Some plans do, but most do not. Usually, a waiting period is inevitable only if you have dire health conditions.

You don’t have to take a medical exam to qualify for life insurance after age 85. However, you will need to answer questions about your medical history. After 85, there are no policies with no health questions (guaranteed acceptance).

Yes, you can buy life insurance for your elderly parents over 85. However, your parents or grandparents must participate in the application process. They must answer the health questions and agree that you are purchasing the policy on their behalf.

Life insurance for seniors over 85 is expensive because of your age. Since people over 85 don’t typically live a very long time, offering them life insurance is risky. With all forms of insurance, a higher risk translates into a higher cost.

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. incontestability clause. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/incontestability-clause.asp
  2. download a free online guide. http://mdcps.fbmcbenefitscommunications.com/assets/30517---full-funeral-guide.pdf