Best Life Insurance for Seniors Over 80: What Are Your Options?

Like many senior citizens, if you are over 80 and have decided to look into purchasing life insurance, it is likely to be an intimidating thought.

You do not want to pass on any financial burden to your family, which is admirable.

Funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses for numerous health problems, and other financial obligations need to be paid after you have passed. 

You may have been told...

You have likely heard over and over again that purchasing life insurance for senior citizens is difficult—actually, next to impossible—whether you are looking to purchase for the first time, or your previous policy was not renewed by the life insurance providers.

You may also heard that if you are approved at all after a medical underwriting and factoring in your life expectancy, that your monthly or annual premiums on your insurance policy will be through the roof.

While, as someone who is over 80, you may have many more obstacles in your way (not just financial or poor health reasons) than someone in their 20s, 40s or even in their 60s, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on the thought of obtaining coverage, irrespective of any medical conditions.

Life insurance is important at any age for those that you are leaving behind and it is always a good investment. If you or someone close to you is in their 80s and looking for a life insurance policy, here are a few things to know.

Obtaining Life Insurance at 80

Best Life Insurance for Seniors Over 80

First of all, you might be contemplating whether it is really necessary have life insurance as a senior over 80.

Do you really need to?

That answer mostly depends on what you already have in savings. If you feel that you already have enough in your account to cover outstanding debts, funeral expenses, and medical bills, then a life policy with monthly premiums may not be necessary.

However, you may not realize the expense of these “afterlife” costs.

The average funeral can range anywhere from $7,000 to $11,000 and, therefore, the benefit of expensive insurance may not seem so expensive after all.

If you are at all concerned that you may not have enough money to cover these expenses, and you do not want to risk that burden on your family, then obtaining life insurance, even in your 80s, is certainly a wise decision.

Ease the Burden of Expenses after Your Passing

We’ll come out and say it:

Term life insurance in your 80s is not your best bet.

If you are still in your 70's, then it's something to consider but over 80, we don't suggest it.

Insurers may take you on for a 10-year life insurance term; however, you won’t be able to renew it if you live until 90.

What you are essentially going to be searching for is permanent or “whole” life insurance policy, as this will last you right up until the time of your death. In your 80s, this type of life insurance will provide you with mainly end of life-related expenses, such as funeral expenses and medical bills, but will also help to pay off your debt, so it is not a burden on family members. 

Whole life insurance will also accumulate a cash value over time, which will be paid out in a lump sum to your beneficiary after you pass away and could be the best policy for you and your family. Term life insurance has no cash value, and the benefits end the day your term ends.

What About Those Guaranteed Acceptance Policies You see Advertised?

Guaranteed issue insurance is another option. This option may be incredibly tempting. It means no medical exam, no waiting period.

This type of life insurance is generally designed for seniors, those with moderate to severe medical issues, or both.

Be careful:

This coverage is certainly the most expensive and, unless you feel as if you would not qualify for other final expense policies due to severe health issues, this option is not going to be your best choice financially.

It's important to explore other options first with an independent professional that knows the underwriting guidelines.

Ease the burden of your passing by providing

Cut out Drinking and Smoking

If you are one of the many senior citizens over 80 and looking to ensure that the final expense doesn’t become a burden on your family, you can still do your absolute best to get the lowest possible premium that is available to you—without having to obtain guaranteed life insurance.

If you are a drinker or a smoker (especially the latter), you are contributing to what is already going to be a higher than average premium. By refraining from either of these activities for 12 months, your premium will be much lower.

If you have any medical issue whatsoever that may be in your control to change or improve, before obtaining a life insurance quote would most definitely be the time to do so.

Consider Burial Insurance as an Option

If the only cost that you are concerned about not being able to cover after you die is your funeral expenses, then burial insurance may be your best and most promising bet.

Burial insurance is an excellent alternative to term life insurance, especially for those who don’t qualify for traditional life insurance.

Burial insurance is much less expensive than your typical life insurance, and you also do not need to sit through a medical exam to qualify. Just as in whole or term life insurance, you are required to name a beneficiary on your policy, and the lump sum is paid straight to the beneficiary after you die.

What you must keep in mind, is the amount that is paid out is relatively low, and is usually just enough to cover your funeral and some end of life expenses. However, if you are struggling financially, or just feel that given your current finances or situation that this would be the right choice, it very well might be the best way for you to go.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see from the options above, there really are a number of different options when it comes to life insurance for seniors over 80.

Yes, many of these options highlighted the fact that you more than likely will have to pay a higher premium than a healthy, middle-aged person.

That's just the way it is. 

However, we hope that we have also shed some light on the fact that there are plenty of options available to you. If you are still feeling that you are unsure of what the best type of life insurance is for you in your golden years, Simple Life Insure can give you quick and easily accessible access to multiple life insurance quotes at once.

You can simply enter your information online or, if you are more comfortable, you can give us a call. It is important to remember not to be intimidated by the options there are available to you.

There is no “bad” time to purchase life insurance for the first time if you are interested in making sure that your family and loved ones will be protected financially after your passing.

Get started comparing quotes instantly right here on the site. 


  • Ty Stewart

    Ty Stewart is a founder and contributor of He started researching and studying about life insurance when he got his first policy for his own family. He has been featured as a life insurance expert speaker at agent conventions and in top publications. As an independent licensed life insurance agent he has helped clients nationwide to secure affordable coverage while making the process simple. Stewart Ty
  • Bennett Bier

    I’m Bennett Bier, owner, author and fact checker of Simple Life Insure. I believe working with a small independent broker offers consumers more personal attention and superior customer service. As an independent agent licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia I have access to many of the top A+ rated life insurance carriers. This lets me locate a plan that you will qualify for while saving you money at the same time. Over the years I have mastered the art of underwriting, getting approvals even for my highest risk clients. I’m also likely the person that will answer the phone when you call. Bier Bennett