Life Insurance for Seniors
When you are a senior, which is defined as over the age of 55 in the life insurance industry, you understand just how difficult it can be to find affordable life insurance rates. If the term insurance plan that you purchased when you were younger is up for expiration, or you put off buying insurance, you will need to compare the products through several carriers before you select the right plan for you. Finding a reasonably priced life insurance policy is not impossible when you are a senior, you just need to understand what to expect and what the underwriters are looking at when qualifying you for coverage.
Mortality Tables and How This Affects Premiums
It is not difficult to understand why seniors pay more for life insurance than younger applicants. Life insurance rates are based on several different factors, but mortality is one of the biggest factors underwriters will consider. When an applicant is more likely to pass away in a shorter period of time, they will pay higher rates for insurance because this risk is present.
Aside from your age, your life experience can also affect your mortality tables. As a senior, you may be wiser, but you have also been through a lot more in life. You may have suffered injuries, been diagnosed with medical conditions, or picked up bad habits in your youth that affected your life expectancy in your older age. In order to approve an application and issue a policy to a riskier applicant in your age group, you may have to pay higher rates.
Not All Carriers Specialize in Every Demographic
If you really want to find the most competitive rates for senior life insurance, you need to know that not all carriers can offer seniors competitive rates. Most life insurance carriers in the industry target a specific demographic. Some companies will target middle-aged applicants looking for high face amounts, others will target parents of young children looking for permanent insurance. You will need to research the industry, and work with an agent who knows the ins and outs of the industry to identify which life insurance carrier is likely to offer you coverage at an affordable price. Only after you find carriers targeting your demographic can you feel comfortable with the policy you purchase.
The Most Common Factors Affecting Life Insurance Premiums for Seniors
Your body changes as you age, and some of these changes can affect your life insurance premiums. Just because you are a senior does not mean you are not in excellent health, and if you are, you can use your medical history to help you secure the best possible senior life insurance rates. Aside from age, insurance companies will consider the following when underwriting a life insurance application:
* Family history
* Height vs. weight
* Blood pressure
* Pre-existing medical conditions
* Tobacco use
* Hazardous avocations
* Driving record
Here are some common changes the body goes through around the age of 60 that could affect your premiums:
* A higher incidence of heart disease
* Diabetes: Glucose levels can rise between 5 and 15 mg every 10 years once you pass the age of 50. Underwriters will look at glucose levels closely to see if you are pre-diabetic. Luckily, because rising glucose levels are normal, insurance companies tend to be more lenient with these levels in applicants over 60.
* Blood pressure readings: You will receive the best rates when you have lower blood pressure, but typically seniors are given more leeway when they have higher blood pressure or cholesterol levels. If there is a dangerous combination, you may find it difficult to find affordable coverage.
In the past, the thought of buying senior life insurance scared many people. Today, because life expectancy has risen so dramatically, it is possible to find competitively priced policies. Make sure to do your homework, be honest about your health, and apply for the right plans through insurers who cater to applicants like you.
Guest Post by Chuck Malhab