Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance for Seniors

Key Takeaway

Guaranteed universal life coverage can be a cost-effective life insurance policy with a primary focus on a payable death benefit. Purchasing life insurance protection as a senior person can provide the peace of mind knowing that your family will be taken care of upon your death. The right policy will always depend on your existing resources and assets, so be sure to carefully evaluate your options and speak with a trusted advisor or life insurance agent before making a decision.

Image that shows the life's adventures that a senior might display.
Image that shows the life's adventures that a senior might display.

Why Purchase Whole Life Insurance Coverage as a Senior?

Life insurance policies cover a broad scope and can provide a blanket of assurance that should you pass away, you have insurance protection in place to settle certain debts, help prevent a family member from losing property, or pay other expenses such as medical and funeral costs. 

Senior life insurance typically provides protection geared towards objectives such as: 

  • Leaving a lump sum payable to your designated family members 
  • Covering burial costs and any other expenses  linked to your estate 
  • Replacing your income, such as when a spouse or partner is financially dependent on your pension earnings or other income 

Purchasing life insurance protection as a senior person can provide the peace of mind that your family will be able to honor your wishes and celebrate your life comfortably, potentially without the burden of large medical bills or other debts.  

Well-structured life insurance policies may also offer tax advantages and present beneficiaries with an inheritance that is potentially less exposed to limited tax obligations. 

Considerations When Purchasing Senior Life Insurance Coverage

Data from Statista indicates that in 2022, 2.55 million children throughout the US were living with a grandparent within their household. A report published by AARP further shows that 2.3 million grandparents were primary caregivers for grandchildren in 2023.

These figures indicate a demonstrable need for seniors to secure insurance coverage to protect their interests, ensuring that grandchildren who depend on older relatives have the means to help maintain their lifestyle should a grandparent pass on.

Questions to Ask When Purchasing Life Insurance for Seniors

However, the most appropriate life insurance policy for you may depend on your expectations and objectives–for example: 

  • What level of life insurance coverage do you require, and which payouts or benefits matter most to you when selecting life insurance? 
  • Do you have a fixed budget available to pay insurance premiums, or is there a minimum death benefit you require with your policy? 
  • Are the rates for your preferred life insurance policy affordable for you, and are there any health-related circumstances that may impact your policy decision-making? 

We advise you to speak with an experienced, licensed insurance advisor should you need assistance evaluating your options or deciding on the right policy for you. 

  • Learn more about general life insurance FAQs here.

Understanding Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Policies for Seniors

Guaranteed universal life coverage is an insurance policy that can be purchased at a lower cost than other universal life options, with a primary focus on a payable death benefit rather than accumulating a cash value. Insurance applicants who are seniors may choose this insurance policy since the ability to accumulate cash value is less of a consideration than it would be for a younger person, given the potentially smaller period the policy would have to grow. 

The guaranteed universal life insurance policy that’s best for you will vary based on your circumstances and requirements, but in most cases, this insurance coverage offers lifelong protection, policy premiums that are typically more affordable, and a way to help make sure  your family is taken care of. 

Costs of a Whole Life Insurance Policy

Insurance costs naturally tend to increase with age. Still, the possible advantage of a whole life or a guaranteed universal life insurance policy is that policy applicants may be eligible at older ages. However, coverage availability is dependent on their assessed insurance risk.

The Benefits of Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance for Retirees

Guaranteed universal life coverage is designed to last for life, in a similar way to a whole life policy. Seniors may find this policy feature beneficial when searching for cost-effective life insurance that does not have an expiry date.

Lower Costs for the Life Insurance Policy

While guaranteed universal life insurance does not generally build cash value, forgoing this policy feature often makes insurance coverage more affordable, particularly for insurance applicants who have encountered high estimates for other kinds of policies.

Stable Insurance Death Benefit

This insurance coverage ensures that the benefit payable at death remains stable and assured provided you comply with the payment schedule and any other insurance policy conditions (based on the the claims paying ability of the issuer). Note that missed or late payments may impact your insurance policy coverage.

Flexibility to Modify Insurance Coverage

In some cases, you have the flexibility to modify your insurance coverage, which can be useful should your policy requirements change or if you would like to customize your life insurance. 

The primary advantage of guaranteed universal life insurance for seniors is that the policy does not run for a set period before expiring and typically has a lower cost for coverage than indexed or variable universal life policies because these kinds of policies aren’t designed to build cash value. The policy typically guarantees a payout of the death benefit, provided the policy is in good standing when the insured person passes away (guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer). 

Comparing Life Insurance Policies for Seniors

Insurance can be a viable solution in later life if you require the assurance of having a policy that can pay a suitable value to your beneficiaries and cover any financial obligations that may have otherwise been difficult to cope with. For many seniors and retirees, their long-term financial liabilities decrease, and they may have retirement policies and savings as a financial cushion and own their property without mortgage debt to worry about. 

However, end-of-life costs such as medical and funeral expenses may be high and can exceed the value of your savings or erode the value of the estate you wish to leave to your loved ones. You may also want to obtain life insurance to help take care of a spouse's or partner's financial needs after your death.

Choosing the Right Life Insurance for Seniors

Your policy coverage and costs will always depend on your existing resources and assets, whether you require a modest or significant insurance benefit payable to your family, your current age, health, and lifestyle, and what features you wish to add to your policy. For further information about guaranteed universal life insurance, policies designed for seniors, or assessing policies to meet your requirements, you should speak with a trusted financial advisor or licensed insurance agent.

Related Articles:

  1. Whole Life Insurance for Grandchildren
  2. What is Index Universal Life? IUL
  3. Life Insurance Loans from a Whole Life Policy

The information above is for educational use only and does not represent insurance, tax or legal advice. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy insurance. Please talk to your licensed insurance agent for more information about life insurance and your needs. Please consult with the appropriate professional for tax or legal advice. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. 

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Article Author: Meredith Bell
Author Bio: Meredith joined Everly in 2022 and has 20+ years of experience in the life insurance industry. She has held various roles in advertising, marketing, communications, sales and distribution support, and product development. Outside of the office, Meredith lives with her daughter Kennedy and their dog Mavis. Meredith enjoys cooking, camping, gardening, hiking, and bourbon (though not always at the same time). She is a live music enthusiast and an avid reader. Her favorite quote is by Thomas Jefferson: "I cannot live without books." Meredith agrees, but would add cheese, movies, and dogs to that list.

Policies are issued by Everly Life Insurance Company (“Everly Life”), Topeka, KS. Everly Life is not licensed in the state of New York and does not solicit or transact business in New York.

A.M. Best's 15 ratings are a measure of claims-paying ability and range from A++ (Superior) to F (in Liquidation). Ratings are current as of January 25, 2024 and subject to change at any time. While ratings can be objective indicators of an insurance company's financial strength and can provide a relative measure to help select among insurance companies, they are not guarantees of the future financial strength and/or claims-paying ability of a company and do not apply to any underlying variable portfolios. The insurance agency from which a policy is purchased, and any affiliates of those entities, make no representations regarding the quality of the analysis conducted by the rating agencies. The rating agencies are not affiliated with the above-mentioned entities, nor are these entities involved in any rating agency's analysis of the insurance companies.

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