It’s absolutely possible to get a new life insurance policy for someone who is over 85.

Hard to believe right?

This isn’t click bait. We can seriously help you get coverage for someone above 85.

In this article, you’ll find out which companies are available, the cost, and how to qualify.

Very Important Heads Up: If you are 85 or younger, go to this article. Your options are substantially different & better compared to someone who is 86+.

Policy Options For Life Insurance For Seniors Over 85

For anyone in their 80’s, let alone for those above 85, there is only one kind of life insurance policy available- whole life insurance.

As you may or may not know, life insurance is very broad term. There are many different kinds of life insurance (dozens actually). All other types are no longer an option due to your age.

There is no term life insurance for seniors over 85, universal life, or accidental death life coverage. None of that.

Not to beat a dead horse anymore than necessary, but just know: Only whole life insurance is available in this age range.

The way a whole life insurance plan works is incredibly simple. Here’s are the details:

  • Monthly premiums cannot increase
  • Coverage cannot decrease
  • Policy cannot expire due to age (it will remain in force forever)

Because it’s life insurance, the policy will merely pay out a tax-free cash benefit directly to the beneficiary(s).

There’s no restrictions how the money is used. For that reason, if there was money leftover after final expenses had been paid, that money would simply stay with your family.

That’s seriously all there is to it in regard to how these plans work. You don’t need to worry about some fine print that will come back to haunt you.


What About “Burial Insurance”, “Funeral Insurance”, Or “Final Expense Insurance”?

We get this question a lot, so let’s set the record straight on this issue.

First, burial insurance is the same thing as funeral insurance which is the same thing as final expense insurance.

All three of these terms mean the same thing. It’s like saying the word “dozen” or “twelve”.

Second, these three names are merely marketing labels that have existed for decades. At the end of the day, they are all referring to a specific type of life insurance.

That’s right; final expense insurance, burial insurance, and funeral insurance is life insurance! Again, it’s just a certain kind of life insurance.

You might be wondering…so what kind of life insurance is it?

When you hear any of these names used, a company is simply referring to a whole life insurance plan that has very lenient underwriting so folks with health issues can still qualify.

In addition, the face value options are incredibly small. Many of these whole life funeral insurance companies will sell you as little as $2,000 in coverage if that’s all you want.


Life Insurance Companies That Offer Coverage Above 85

Insurance for over 85 year olds is incredibly limited to say the least.

Essentially, you have only two insurance companies that will offer coverage to people at this age and they don’t offer more than $10,000 in coverage.


1) Aetna

  • Age Availability: 45-89
  • State Availability: All States Except NY
  • Face Amount Range Over 85: $2,000-$25,000
  • 2 Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
  • How To Apply: Through agencies such as Choice Mutual. It’s not sold direct.

Aetna is the best option due to their lenient underwriting and high coverage options.

If you are between 89 or younger, we can help you apply with Aetna. Call us at 1-800-644-2926.


2) Security National Life

  • Age Availability: 40-90
  • State Availability: All States Except CT, DC, DE, ME, MA, MT, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, RI, SD, VT, WA, WV
  • Face Amount Range Over 85: $2,500-$10,000
  • 2 Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
  • How To Apply: Through independent agencies. It’s not sold direct.

Although not a household name, Security National Life is a very financially stable insurance company based out of Utah.

Unfortunately, we do not work with them, so if you want to apply with them you’ll need to contact them directly. They would arrange to have an agent meet with you to fill out an application.

Very Important Note: If you are 90 years old, you’ll need to contact SNL. Aetna stops at offering new policies at 89.


How Much Will It Cost?

Below are some sample final expense life insurance quotes for seniors over 85. Bear in mind that you are not limited to just these face amounts.  You can purchase coverage in any amount between $2,000-$25,000.

Lastly, remember that you must medically qualify at this age. Plans with no health questions (guaranteed acceptance) are not available.

You’ll notice these monthly prices are high. That’s because of your age.


Female Non Tobacco


Male Non Tobacco


Female Tobacco


Male Tobacco



Will There Be A Waiting Period?

In case you aren’t aware of this, some life insurance plans have a waiting period that will last two years.

During this time, if the insured were to pass away for non-accidental reasons, the insurance company will not payout the death benefit.

Instead, they would simply return all premiums paid into the policy plus interest. It’s usually 10% interest with most companies.

Here’s the bottom line.

Life insurance for elderly over 85 will either have immediate day one coverage or there won’t be any coverage at all.

At this age bracket, they either accept you for the immediate benefit or they outright decline you. There is no middle ground.


The Contestability Clause Explained

All life insurance plans regardless of which type or which insurance company issues the policy will have what’s called the incontestability clause.

This clause entitles the insurance company to investigate any death that occurs during the first two years of the policy (in some states it’s only 1).

You cannot buy life insurance in the USA from ANY company where this clause is not a provision in the policy.

Basically, if the insured passes during the first two years, the insurance company will order copies of their physician records.

Their goal is to determine whether or not the applicant misrepresented their health in some way when they applied (they aren’t looking for health issues after the policy was issued).

If they find no evidence of health misrepresentation, they by law have to and will pay the full death claim. This is true even if you only had the policy for two days.

However, if they do find evidence of misrepresentation, intentional or not, they will rescind the policy and not pay any of the death benefit. Instead, they would refund all premiums that had been paid thus far.

In addition, the agency that sold the policy would also have to pay back any commissions they received.

Here’s the bottom line

If you are honest on your application, you have nothing to worry about. Your policy will pay out in full even if it were only in force for two hours.

Just know going into this that it’s just going to take a little time for them to do their investigation if death occurs during the first two years.


States Where Coverage Is Not Available

New York is the only state where you cannot get life insurance over 85.

If you live in any U.S. state, it is possible to get coverage.

If you’re in New York, you should look into pre-planning with a local funeral home. There is no insurance you can buy from them, but it’s your best option for end of life planning.


Here Are The Eligibility Requirements

Since there are no guaranteed acceptance plans (plans with no health questions or medical underwriting) available between 86-90, you will have to medically qualify for coverage when you are above 85.

Fortunately, life insurance over 85 requires no medical exam. You just have to answer health questions.

If you are trying to find parents life insurance coverage, you can rest easy knowing they won’t need to endure a full medical exam to qualify.

Assuming you live in one of the states where coverage is indeed available, you’ll need to be able to answer no to all the following health questions.

Unfortunately, if you have any of these conditions, you will not medically qualify. At this age, it’s either an accept or reject and any yes answer would result in an auto decline.


1) Right now are you:

  • In a hospital, nursing home, hospice or other medical facility
  • Confined to a bed
  • Been prescribed oxygen (even if you don’t use it)
  • Have an aneurysm that hasn’t been fixed via surgery
  • Use a wheelchair
  • Awaiting a pending surgery, diagnostic test or other procedure that has not yet been completed

2) Have you ever had:

  • Been advised to have a stem cell, bone marrow or organ transplant
  • Had dialysis
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
  • A mental incapacity
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
  • Been told you have 12 months or less left to live
  • AIDS, HIV, or any AIDS related complex
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cirrhosis
  • Part of your body amputated due to a diabetes
  • Require a mechanical mobility device or wheelchair
  • Neurological conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy

3) In the last 12 months have you had:

  • Stroke or mini stroke (TIA attack), angina (chest pains), heart attack or had a surgery on the heart/circulatory system
  • Pending surgeries, diagnostic test or other procedures that haven’t yet been completed

4) In the last 24 months have you had:

  • Hepatitis
  • Any form of internal or external cancer (excluding basal cell)
  • Treatment or counseling for the abuse of drugs or alcohol


They Also Check Your Medications


In addition to asking the health questions, the insurance company will electronically analyze your prescription history. Their goal is to validate what health issues you may have.

For example, if you say no to the question about dementia, but you have previously filled a prescription for a dementia related drug, you will get declined.

They know what every medication is used for, and they will take that into account as part of the qualification process.

Ultimately, if you say no to all those questions, and you’ve not taken any drugs (within the time frames mentioned in the questions) to treat those conditions, you’ll qualify.


How To Apply With Aetna For Elderly Applications Over 85

To apply with Aetna is ridiculously simple.

  1. We will collect all the information from you to completely fill out the application and ask you the health questions.
  2. You will sign the application via your voice by providing the answer to a security question (such as “what’s your mother’s maiden name?”).
  3. Then we can submit it to underwriting. Within roughly 10 minutes Aetna will render an approval, decline or send it for review. If they send it for review, expect it to take 2-4 business days before we get a decision.

If you’re approved, the policy will fully cover you on whatever day you set up the payments to start, and you will get a printed policy in the mail.

In case you didn’t notice, at no point will you need to have someone come into your home. We can completely assist you while you maintain your privacy.


What You Can Do When Insurance Isn’t An Option

There are many reasons why you may not be able to get insurance. This especially true when it comes to life insurance for people over 85.

You may not be able to get insurance because you don’t medically qualify, you’re over 90, the state you’re in is one where no companies are available at your age, or it’s just too expensive for your budget.

Regardless of the reason, the big question is… what can you do when you can’t get insurance?

You essentially have three choices.

  1. Religiously put money aside each and every month to save up as much as you can.
  2. Do a pre-planning arrangement with a funeral home.
  3. Rely on your estate to pay for funeral expenses. This option isn’t the greatest since it can take many many months for your loved ones to access your estate. Even then, they have to liquidate it which can take months.