Learn which insurance companies are available, the cost, how to apply, and much more.

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

Final expense insurance is the only 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 at age 86+.

Final expense policies are small whole life insurance plans that don’t require a medical exam to qualify. Above age 85, $25,000 is the most coverage you can buy from any one 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 out 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 (there are no restrictions).

Because these policies are whole life insurance, you can rest assured that the payments will never increase, coverage won’t decrease, and it will never expire.


What about burial insurance?

Some people are under the impression that burial insurance differs from life insurance.

That 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.

Senior final expense insurance is just a small whole life policy with very lenient underwriting, so seniors with health issues can still qualify.


Over 85 Life Insurance Companies

Only a handful of insurance providers offer coverage to seniors 86+.

Also, keep in mind that each of 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 TypeWhen Policy
Can Pay Out
Aetna company logoAge:
Whole Life InsuranceNo waiting period
american home life company logoAge:
Whole Life InsuranceNo waiting period
Security National Life company logoAge:
Whole Life InsuranceNo waiting period
Security National Life company logoAge:
Whole Life InsuranceNo waiting period
Guarantee Trust Life company logoAge:
Whole Life InsuranceRefund 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 life 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

GENDER & RATING$3,000$5,000$10,000$15,000
Female No Waiting Period$53.85$87.41$171.32$255.24
Female Tobacco & No Waiting Period$79.44$130.07$256.64$383.21
Male No Waiting Period$73.32$119.87$236.25$352.62
Male Tobacco & No Waiting Period$120.57$198.62$393.75$588.87

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


87-year-old burial life insurance rates

GENDER & RATING$3,000$5,000$10,000$15,000
Female No Waiting Period$64.24$104.74$205.97$307.21
Female Tobacco & No Waiting Period$92.15$151.24$298.99$446.73
Male No Waiting Period$85.45$140.09$276.67$413.26
Male Tobacco & No Waiting Period$138.42$228.37$453.25$678.12

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


88-year-old burial life insurance rates

GENDER & RATING$3,000$5,000$10,000$15,000
Female No Waiting Period$74.64$122.06$240.62$359.19
Female Tobacco & No Waiting Period$104.85$172.42$341.34$510.26
Male No Waiting Period$97.58$160.30$317.10$473.90
Male Tobacco & No Waiting Period$156.27$258.12$512.75$767.37

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


89-year-old burial life insurance rates

GENDER & RATING$3,000$5,000$10,000$15,000
Female No Waiting Period$85.03$139.39$275.27$411.16
Female Tobacco & No Waiting Period$117.56$193.59$383.69$573.78
Male No Waiting Period$109.71$180.51$357.52$534.54
Male Tobacco & No Waiting Period$174.12$287.87$572.25$856.62

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


Is There A Waiting Period Over 85?

In short, some life policies 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.

It does not matter which carrier 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).

After the incontestability clause expires after 12-24 months, insurance companies can no longer investigate death claims. 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 claim 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 would be paid even if you died 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 often ask us why NY 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.

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

You do not have to take a medical examination, but you’ll have to fill out a health questionnaire.


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. You don’t have to make a down payment. You can choose when the premiums begin. Remember, your policy covers you the day your first payment is set to process.
  2. We’ll read you the health questions (no exam is required) and gather all the necessary information to complete the application.
  3. You’ll sign the application by providing an answer to a security question (such as “what’s your mother’s maiden name?”).
  4. Then we can submit the application to underwriting. Generally, we’ll get a decision within 15 minutes to a few business days.

If your application is approved, you’ll get the physical paper policy via US mail within two-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

Perhaps you don’t qualify for coverage. That’s certainly possible at this age.

For example, if you receive home health care, use a wheelchair or have dementia, you will not qualify (there are other disqualifying conditions).

Or perhaps you feel the insurance is simply not worth it due to the cost.

There are a host of reasons why seniors above 85 cannot get or don’t want life insurance.

So what other end-of-life financial preparations can you make outside of insurance?

You have a few different options:

  • Religiously put money into a savings account.
  • Contact local funeral homes to see what pre-arrangement options they can offer. That would be akin to layaway, where you make payments to reduce a balance over time. It will not be an insurance policy.
  • Rely on your estate to pay for your final expenses. Assuming you have some valuable assets, they can sell them to pay for your funeral costs. That is not ideal since it will take many months for your loved ones 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

Yes, you can get life insurance if you’re over 85. However, there are not many insurance companies available. Also, you can generally only buy $25,000 in coverage or less at this age.

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).

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.

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.