Life Insurance for Seniors Over 70

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Finding life insurance as a senior over the age of 70 may be a challenge for some – but it’s not an impossible feat. Your life insurance eligibility as a senior is shaped both by the policy type you choose and your own personal factors, like health and gender. 

Key Takeaways

  • Diverse Options: Seniors over 70 can choose from various life insurance types, including term life, whole life, and universal life, each offering distinct benefits and limitations.
  • Choosing Your Policy: Key factors to consider include your age, health, lifestyle habits, financial needs, and the amount of coverage you desire.
  • Consider Costs: Premiums for life insurance can be significantly higher for seniors with pre-existing conditions or those who smoke.

Life Insurance Options for Seniors Over 70 in Canada

Navigating life insurance choices can seem daunting for seniors over 70, but understanding your options is the first step toward securing your financial future. Here are four main types of life insurance policies available:

  • Term Life Insurance: Features fixed premiums and provides a tax-free lump sum to beneficiaries. It’s ideal for those on fixed incomes, offering predictability and terms ranging from 10 to 40 years for added flexibility.
  • Whole Life Insurance: This coverage lasts your entire lifespan and can accumulate cash value, making it a more comprehensive option, though it comes with higher premiums than term life.
  • Universal Life Insurance: Known for its flexible premiums and death benefits, this policy can grow cash value at variable rates but requires some financial savvy to manage effectively.
  • No Medical Life Insurance: Perfect for those with pre-existing conditions, this policy doesn’t require a medical exam (often referred to as simplified issue or guaranteed acceptance life insurance). It provides quick approval and coverage, though premiums may be higher due to the increased risk to insurers.

Each of these options has unique features to consider based on your health, financial needs, and coverage goals, helping Canadian seniors make informed choices.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance for Seniors Over 70

For seniors over 70 looking to skip the hassle of medical exams, there are convenient no medical life insurance options available. These include simplified issues and guaranteed acceptance policies, designed to eliminate the requirement for medical check-ups or needles. Approval can be quick, often providing immediate coverage. 

However, because these policies do not require a medical exam, insurers face a higher unknown risk. This typically means you'll pay higher premiums and the coverage amounts offered (the death benefit payout) may be lower. Such policies are ideal for seniors prioritizing ease and speed over cost, ensuring they can secure life insurance coverage with minimal fuss.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Policy

Picking out the right life insurance policy as a seniors over 70 isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, unfortunately. Several things will come into play for choosing the best policy for you. These factors include:

  • Age (in this case, age 70+) 
  • Health status and family medical history
  • Lifestyle habits and smoking status
  • Desired coverage amount & duration of coverage

Taking the time to consider each of these factors will ensure that you choose a policy that best fits your needs and circumstances.

Health Considerations:

Your health has a big impact on your life insurance premiums. Generally, younger seniors and women—who typically have longer life expectancies—receive lower rates. Lifestyle choices, like smoking, can greatly increase premiums, and specific health conditions might also lead to higher costs. However, even those with pre-existing conditions can find coverage, though it may come with higher premiums or limited options.

Financial Planning:

Choosing the right life insurance involves a careful review of your financial needs. Many seniors opt for coverage to support dependents, settle debts, handle estate taxes, cover funeral expenses, or contribute to charities. By selecting the right amount of coverage and the appropriate type of policy, seniors can ensure their legacy is secured and their dependents are well cared for.

Coverage Options:

Seniors over 70 can find policies offering up to $500,000 in coverage without a medical exam, depending on the insurer. However, it's important to note the coverage duration, as term life policies typically extend only up to age 85, with options to transition to permanent coverage. Planning ahead is crucial—exploring your options well before your term policy expires will help maintain uninterrupted coverage that aligns with your long-term financial goals.

How to Compare Life Insurance Quotes for Seniors

1. Compare Premiums: When shopping for life insurance, premiums can differ greatly depending on your age, gender, health, and the type of policy you are looking at. Break down how much of your premium goes towards the actual benefits, operational costs, and any potential cash value. This insight will help you make a choice that's financially sound.

2. Review Policy Features: Take a close look at what each policy offers, including the death benefit, potential cash value, and additional options like riders for Terminal Illness or Accidental Death coverage. These features can significantly impact the policy's value, and it's crucial to understand what you are potentially paying extra for.

3. Check Company Reputation: The reliability of the insurance company is just as important as the policy's terms. Choose an insurer known for its strong financial health and positive customer feedback. This ensures that when the time comes, your policy will deliver on its promise, providing peace of mind to your beneficiaries.

Strategies to Lower Life Insurance Premiums

Life insurance is a major financial commitment, and it makes sense to want to keep costs down. Thankfully, there are a few practical strategies that seniors can employ to potentially reduce their premiums:

  • Right-size Your Coverage: Make sure you are not over-insured. Assess your actual needs to avoid paying for more coverage than necessary.
  • Stay Healthy: Embracing healthier habits can lead to lower premiums, especially if it improves key metrics like blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Pay Annually: Opting to pay your premiums annually rather than monthly can often result in lower overall costs.
  • Bundle Policies: If you have the opportunity, bundle multiple policies (like home and auto) with the same provider to access discounts.
  • Review Regularly: Life changes, and so do your insurance needs. Reviewing your policy regularly ensures you are always getting the best rate for your current situation.

By following these tips, Canadian seniors can better manage their life insurance expenses while maintaining the coverage they require.

Life Insurance Options for Seniors with Pre-Existing Conditions

Securing life insurance can be tough for seniors with pre-existing conditions, but there are still viable options available. Products like final expense insurance or funeral expense insurance are designed to meet these specific needs, and converting an existing policy to a permanent plan is another route to consider. 

Additionally, simplified issue life insurance and guaranteed acceptance life insurance are tailored for those who might not qualify for standard plans. It's crucial for applicants to be honest when applying for these policies. Being upfront ensures your policy remains valid and prevents potential cancellation due to undisclosed conditions. These options provide Canadian seniors a way to secure necessary coverage despite health challenges.


  • Attainable Coverage: With the right approach, seniors over 70 can successfully obtain life insurance.
  • Understand Your Options: Familiarize yourself with the different types of life insurance available.
  • Choose Wisely: Consider important factors like your coverage needs and budget when selecting a policy.
  • Simplified Options: Look into no medical exam life insurance for an easier application process.
  • Shop Smart: Compare quotes to ensure you are getting the best value for your premium.
  • Lower Your Premiums: Adopt healthy habits to potentially reduce life insurance costs.
  • Coverage for All: Explore options tailored for seniors with pre-existing conditions to secure necessary protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get life insurance if you are over age 70?

Absolutely, seniors over 70 can still secure life insurance, though the range of options might be narrower than for younger individuals. Many insurers in Canada offer guaranteed issue life insurance, which doesn't require a medical exam—making it a practical choice for seniors. These policies are particularly designed to accommodate older adults who might have health concerns that could complicate more traditional insurance applications.

While it's true that premiums for these policies are generally higher and coverage amounts tend to be smaller, they provide crucial benefits. They can help cover final expenses, such as funeral costs, and also enable seniors to leave a financial legacy for their loved ones. This makes life insurance a valuable tool for managing your financial affairs and ensuring peace of mind for both yourself and your family in your later years.

Is there a maximum age limit for purchasing life insurance for seniors over 70?

Yes, there is typically a maximum age limit for purchasing life insurance, but it varies by policy and insurer. For seniors over 70, finding life insurance options is still very possible in Canada. Most insurers set upper age limits for initiating new policies—commonly around 85 years old for term life insurance and sometimes even older for whole life or guaranteed issue policies. This gives seniors the opportunity to secure coverage well into their later years, addressing specific financial needs such as legacy planning or covering final expenses.

It's important for seniors to begin their search for life insurance earlier rather than later, as options may become more limited and premiums higher with increasing age. Consulting with a licensed insurance advisor can provide clarity on which policies are available based on your age and health profile, ensuring you find a policy that fits your needs and provides peace of mind during your golden years.

Can seniors over 70 still get life insurance if they have already retired?

Yes, seniors over 70 can absolutely obtain life insurance even after they've retired. Retirement status itself doesn't affect eligibility for life insurance, but other factors such as age, overall health, and the type of policy you are interested in might impact the cost and availability of coverage. As you explore your options, it's crucial to consider how these factors could influence the premiums and terms you are offered.

For Canadian seniors over 70, it's wise to shop around and compare different life insurance policies. Each insurer has its own criteria and offerings, so taking the time to compare can help you secure a policy that not only fits your financial situation but also provides adequate coverage. This step ensures you find the best possible coverage at a price that aligns with your budget, helping you protect your loved ones without straining your retirement savings.

Can seniors over 70 borrow against their life insurance policy?

Yes, seniors over 70 can often borrow against the cash value of their life insurance policies, specifically if they hold whole life or universal life insurance. Not every policy provides this option, so it's essential to check the specifics of your policy. This feature can be particularly useful for covering unexpected expenses or providing a financial cushion in retirement without having to liquidate other assets.

However, it's important to remember that taking a loan against your life insurance policy reduces the death benefit available to your beneficiaries and typically incurs interest. This means that if the loan isn't repaid, the amount owed (including any accrued interest) will be deducted from the payout when the policy is claimed. For seniors considering this option, it's crucial to weigh the immediate benefits against the potential reduction in the financial legacy you might leave behind.

Can seniors over 70 transfer ownership of their life insurance policy?

Yes, seniors over 70 can transfer ownership of their life insurance policy, a process often referred to as a policy ownership change. This can be a strategic decision for managing estate planning or assisting with financial management. Transferring ownership involves designating a new owner, who could be a family member, a trust, or even a charity. This new owner then assumes responsibility for maintaining the policy, including premium payments.

Before making a transfer, it’s crucial to understand the implications, such as potential tax consequences and changes in control over the policy. Seniors should consult with a financial advisor or a lawyer to ensure the transfer aligns with their overall financial and estate planning goals. This step is especially important in Canada, where provincial nuances may affect the process and outcomes of transferring policy ownership. It’s all about making sure your assets are handled exactly as you intend, now and in the future.

Should seniors over 70 buy life insurance for estate planning purposes?

Absolutely, purchasing life insurance for estate planning purposes can be a wise decision for seniors over 70, but it really depends on your specific financial situation and goals. Life insurance offers a straightforward way to leave a legacy for your loved ones, handle final expenses, or manage estate taxes upon your passing. It ensures that your family has the financial support they require without the immediate pressure to liquidate assets.

However, life insurance isn't the right move for everyone. The proceeds from the policy (known as the death benefit) provide quick liquidity to your estate, which can be crucial for your beneficiaries to cover immediate expenses. But before making a decision, seniors should carefully assess their overall financial health and estate planning needs. Consulting with a financial advisor can also provide valuable insights into how life insurance fits into your broader estate strategy, helping ensure that your legacy is managed according to your wishes.