There is an uncomplicated way to decide if you even need life insurance. Ask yourself: If I die, will anyone I care about suffer an economic adversity that I want to prevent? – Bob MacDonald, Forbes
In other words, if you have loved ones who depend on you financially, in all likelihood, you need life insurance.
The good news is: Seniors have plenty of no exam (no physical, non-med) options for purchasing life insurance. The process is easier and the prices are more affordable than you’re probably thinking.
Here, we’ll detail everything seniors need to know about purchasing no exam life insurance.
Table Of Contents
No Exam Life Insurance For Seniors
Seniors generally have five options to secure no exam life insurance coverage. Let’s look at each type in detail to help you make an informed decision:
Term life insurance, just as the name implies, lasts for a specific term with level premiums. Term life insurance can make all the sense in the world for seniors under certain circumstances.
Definition: Life insurance that pays a benefit in the event of the death of the insured during a specified term.
If you need financial protection for a specified period of time, term might be a good fit.
Details to consider:
Age cut-offs do exist for no exam term life insurance.
While each carrier is different, the following are general limits for the term length you are able to purchase:
- 80 years old – 10 year term
- 75 years old – 15 year term
- 70 years old – 20 year term
- 65 years old – 25 year term
- 58 years old – 30 year term
- Note – policy face amount age limits exist as well. Limits vary by carrier.
How is your overall health? Term life insurance is, unsurprisingly, more affordable if you are in good health.
As we age, it’s common to experience health concerns:
Bottom line – Seniors purchase no physical term life insurance all the time. It works best for those in good health. Especially after age 60, you will often pay noticeably more for non-med term life insurance compared to medically underwritten life insurance.
Whole life insurance lasts your whole life. In other words, as long as you pay your premiums, your life insurance policy does not expire.
Definition: Life insurance that pays a benefit on the death of the insured and also accumulates a cash value.
Additionally, whole life insurance accumulates a cash value. The cash value can have a number of uses, including:
- Tax-advantaged investments
- Policy loans
- Benefit paid to loved ones
- Pay for policy premiums
Whole life insurance is not commonly purchased by seniors.
In some situations, whole life insurance may make sense:
- You have a large estate
- You are interested in utilizing the policy loan option
- A desire to leave a specific amount to a beneficiary (i.e. loved one, charity)
Details about whole life insurance:
- Premiums remain level
- Whole life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance
- The policy does not expire
Bottom line – It’s not a popular option for seniors to purchase whole life insurance, but can make sense in certain circumstances. No physical whole life insurance is uncommon for seniors over age 75.
Guaranteed Universal life insurance (GUL) is one of the most popular types of life insurance seniors buy. Think of Guaranteed Universal as a bridge between term and whole life insurance.
Definition: Term life insurance designed to last your whole life that pays a benefit on the death of the insured.
Reasons seniors often purchase Guaranteed Universal:
- Provide a benefit to loved ones
- Financial planning for estate taxes
- Cover end of life expenses
Most GUL policies require medical underwriting, however, no exam options do exist.
Important details about GUL:
- Less expensive than whole life insurance
- Tends to cost more than term life insurance
- GUL is technically not whole life insurance because you choose the term length of your policy
- The term length of your policy is designed to last longer than your life
- For example, policy length often lasts to age 90 or even over age 100
- Premiums are often level for the life of the policy
- Premiums are not connected to interest rates or market volatility
Bottom line – Guaranteed Universal life insurance is often an excellent option for seniors. The policy typically lasts longer than your life, has level premiums, and often costs less than whole life insurance.
While the name is similar, Universal life insurance (UL) is different than Guaranteed Universal.
Definition: Whole life insurance with flexible premiums and death benefit, and a cash value connected to investments.
Universal is not commonly purchased by seniors.
Specifics to UL:
- Considered a form of permanent (whole) life insurance
- Policy includes a cash value element that is connected to the policy’s investments
- Premium payments are directly tied to investment performance
- Premiums may need to increase to maintain the policy, depending on investments
- The death benefit can be modified
Bottom line – Universal life insurance is usually not a good fit for seniors. The policy does last a lifetime, however, the integrity of your policy is connected to its investments.
Seniors regularly purchase Final Expense (FE).
Additionally, adult children often purchase this form of no medical exam life insurance for parents.
Definition: Whole life insurance designed to cover end-of-life expenses.
Final Expense life insurance provides funds for:
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Modest debts
Important facts about FE:
- Policy face amounts typically range from $25,000 – $100,000
- Polices are issued for applicants up to 90 years old
- Policy often include a cash value
- Considered permanent (whole) life insurance, meaning that your policy will not expire
- Easier to qualify for FE than other types of life insurance
- Approval can be instant, after a brief health questionnaire
Bottom line – Final expense can make all the sense in the world for seniors looking for a modest policy to cover end-of-life expenses.
Note – if you are unable to successfully answer the few health questions asked for a final expense policy, consider buying a guaranteed issue policy.
Let’s compare the 5 types of no exam life insurance for seniors:
No Exam Life Insurance For Seniors
|Larger Policy Size Option||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|No Exam Option||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
** Guaranteed Universal is not permanent life insurance, but it’s designed to outlast the policy holder’s life.
Keep in mind – Comparisons provide a general overview. Some product features are optional and are subject to change.
To start, let’s define no exam life insurance.
The term, no exam (also called no physical, non-med), means life insurance issued without the physical examination of the applicant.
The benefits are many for this type of life insurance:
- Often priced competitively
- Quick application turnaround time
- No needles
- No nurses
- No liquid samples
- Different kinds of policies available
Purchasing life insurance without a physical is typically a straightforward simple process:
Depending on the carrier and type of coverage, your application and policy issuance can take just minutes to complete.
In general, expect the following four steps when buying simplified issue (no exam) life insurance.
Step 1: Application Submission
Your life insurance application will likely be submitted online or over the phone.
The type of policy you apply for determines how much information you need to provide.
Step 2: Phone Interview
Seniors who are applying for a simplified issue policy (like term), should plan to participate in a phone interview.
You will be asked basic questions about your health and lifestyle:
- Basic information – name, date of birth, address
- Occupation (if any)
- Tobacco use
- Health history
- Physician information
- Health history of close blood-related relatives
- Military status
- Hobbies (e.g. rock climbing)
Note – this step is skipped for guaranteed issue. And, final expense coverage only asks a few health questions.
Step 3: Review
Your underwriting will evaluate your application, phone interview and check online databases.
Databases that are looked at typically include:
- Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)
- Medical Information Bureau (MIB)
- Prescription history database
Step 4: Decision
Quickly, a decision is made on your life insurance application. Depending on the carrier and specific type of policy, the decision will take somewhere between minutes and a few days.
Seniors should expect one of four possible decisions:
- Approved as applied – this is the best-case scenario. You are approved for the exact policy you submitted an application for.
- More information required – sometimes, your underwriter wants more information. This often occurs as a result of the health interview or database check.
- Approved other than applied – you are approved for the exact policy you applied for, but at a different health class. Typically, this means your policy is rated (higher premiums) as a result of a health condition.
- Declined – sometimes, life insurance applications are not approved. Not to worry, there are always other life insurance options.
Bottom line – the process of buying no medical exam life insurance is faster and simpler than opting for fully underwritten coverage.
Sample Life Insurance Quotes For Seniors
How much do the different types of no exam life insurance cost?
Keep in mind –
- Quotes are samples only and are based on healthy individuals
- Quotes are for non-tobacco
- Your personal quote may be different
- Quotes are based on monthly premiums unless otherwise noted (GUL quotes are annual premiums)
Term No Exam Life Insurance For Male 55 - 75 Years Old
|10 Year Term||15 Year Term||20 Year Term||10 Year Term||15 Year Term||20 Year Term|
|55 Year Old||$23.36||$28.96||$38.31||$40.25||$51.65||$70.36|
|60 Year Old||$36.15||$47.63||$64.34||$66.03||$89.01||$122.42|
|65 Year Old||$84.06||$113.07||$136.80||$161.82||$219.83||$276.90|
|70 Year Old||$150.93||$215.93||NA||$295.56||$424.08||NA|
|75 Year Old||$254.25||NA||NA||$502.20||NA||NA|
Term No Exam Life Insurance For Female 55 - 75 Years Old
|10 Year Term||15 Year Term||20 Year Term||10 Year Term||15 Year Term||20 Year Term|
|55 Year Old||$18.97||$22.53||$28.32||$31.68||$38.80||$50.37|
|60 Year Old||$27.47||$32.31||$42.26||$48.67||$58.35||$78.26|
|65 Year Old||$51.06||$74.91||$92.47||$95.81||$143.53||$178.64|
|70 Year Old||$88.65||$148.05||NA||$171.00||$289.80||NA|
|75 Year Old||$171.63||NA||NA||$336.96||NA||NA|
Note – Additional term policies are available with medical underwriting.
Also Note – Be sure to clarify whether or not you are okay with possibly participating in a medical exam as some carriers use “Accelerated Underwriting“, meaning that a physical exam could be ordered.
However, other carriers are truly no exam, without the need to participate in a medical exam whatsoever.
Whole Life Insurance Male 55 - 75 Years Old
|55 Year Old||$270.46||$402.54||$543.63|
|60 Year Old||$340.99||$508.33||NA*|
|65 Year Old||$441.44||$659.01||NA*|
|70 Year Old||$605.06||$904.44||NA*|
|75 Year Old||$936.51||$1401.62||NA*|
Whole Life Insurance Female 55 - 75 Years Old
|55 Year Old||$245.70||$365.40||$485.10|
|60 Year Old||$309.84||$461.61||NA*|
|65 Year Old||$398.83||$595.09||NA*|
|70 Year Old||$548.63||$819.79||NA*|
|75 Year Old||$835.45||$1250.03||NA*|
Note – Medically underwritten whole life policies are typically available up to age 85.
Also, Note – Whole life policies for over $150,000 (after age 55) are available for medically underwritten policies.
Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) Male 55 - 65 Years Old
|55 Year Old||$427.99/Year||$855.97/Year||$1403.78/Year|
|60 Year Old||$587.17/Year||$1174.33/Year||$1973.41/Year|
|65 Year Old||$701.83/Year||$1403.66/Year||$2386.16/Year|
Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) Female 55 - 65 Years Old
|55 Year Old||$366.20/Year||$732.39/Year||$1166.99/Year|
|60 Year Old||$502.73/Year||$1005.45/Year||$1640.88/Year|
|65 Year Old||$588.86/Year||$1177.72/Year||$1939.41/Year|
Note – Quotes are for annual premium amounts and policies are set to age 121.
Also, Note – Policy face amounts for over $100,000 are available with a medical exam.
Final Expense Male Ages 55 - 90
|55 Year Old||$27.75||$65.56||$148.50||$319.91|
|60 Year Old||$35.79||$85.66||$182.16||$407.77|
|65 Year Old||$47.35||$115.18||$228.23||$782.48*|
|70 Year Old||$61.18||$149.13||$302.94||NA|
|75 Year Old||$83.89||$204.66||$408.81||NA|
|80 Year Old||$120.42||$297.86||$593.60||NA|
|85 Year Old||$167.36||$414.57||$840.10||NA|
|90 Year Old||$302.74||NA||NA||NA|
Final Expense Female Ages 55 - 90
|55 Year Old||$22.31||$51.96||$130.36||$256.57|
|60 Year Old||$28.02||$66.22||$159.69||$315.03|
|65 Year Old||$35.65||$85.30||$194.84||$522.09*|
|70 Year Old||$44.68||$107.89||$244.95||NA|
|75 Year Old||$61.11||$148.94||$338.13||NA|
|80 Year Old||$88.36||$217.07||$505.64||NA|
|85 Year Old||$135.90||$334.95||$682.51||NA|
|90 Year Old||$256.36||NA||NA||NA|
*Graded benefit option (meaning that full benefits are not available until the waiting period is over)
Note – Quotes are for level benefits. Graded benefit quotes cost less, however, full benefits are not immediately available.
Pros And Cons Of No Exam Life Insurance For Seniors
Before applying, evaluate the good and the bad pertaining to life insurance without a required medical exam.
For most seniors, the good outweighs the bad.
For many seniors, the sheer ease of purchasing life insurance without a required physical is reason enough to go the no exam route.
Here’s how the process is simple:
- Needles, nurses, blood pressure cuffs, scales, and liquid samples are avoided
- Application is usually completed online or over the phone
- A face-to-face interview is typically not required
You are able to secure life insurance in a matter of minutes (depending on the type of policy), rather than waiting weeks.
The entire underwriting process is streamlined.
By skipping the paramedical exam, and the hassle it entails – scheduling, providing liquid samples, scales, blood pressure cuffs – that life insurance contract can be in your hands much faster.
Note – Depending on the type of life insurance policy, the wait time varies – somewhere between minutes and a few days.
Although, no medical exam underwriting is (almost) always much faster than traditional underwriting.
Skip Red Flags On Application
By participating in a medical exam, it’s possible that something concerning will pop up, healthwise, that you may have not known about.
Especially if you haven’t had a recent checkup, your lab work or blood pressure reading might expose something concerning to underwriters.
As we age, it’s common to develop conditions that life insurance carriers will place us in a higher risk category (AKA – higher premiums):
If seniors opt for a no exam policy, they skip the possibility of a “medical red flag” appearing during lab work.
However, seniors should consider possible pitfalls of no exam life insurance.
Sometimes, life insurance that skips medical underwriting costs more. This is especially true for term life insurance for seniors. (Younger applicants need not worry about premium rate differences as much.)
Because carriers are potentially absorbing more risk by insuring someone they do not have a complete health picture of, they may charge more in premiums.
Keep in mind, some life insurance policies always skip the medical exam – such as final expense and guaranteed issue. A difference in price doesn’t exist because there is never an exam.
Face amount, or your policy size (such as a $100,000 life insurance policy), is often limited for no exam life insurance.
However, some life insurance companies are expanding their coverage amounts for policies with no required physical.
That said, seniors looking for a large policy, such as over $1,000,000, may need to participate in a medical exam.
Conversely, stacking life insurance policies (laddering) is another option if you are set on skipping an exam.
Seniors have excellent options for life insurance. Your specific needs will determine the ideal face amount and policy type.
Be sure to review the best no physical life insurance companies before moving forward.
The best time to secure life insurance is today. And, remember, some life insurance is better than zero life insurance.
You will want to do two things when you apply for no exam life insurance for seniors:
1. Partner with an independent agent
- An independent agent will be able to access senior-friendly life insurance carriers to find the best policy to fit your needs.
- They have your best interest in mind because they’re not held captive to a particular carrier.
- Avoid applying directly with a life insurance company. Let’s say a medical condition shows up on your application. That information could then be available to other life insurance companies, via the Medical Information Bureau, and potentially affect future applications.
2. Be ready for the application
- Have your information, including full name, date of birth, address, and social security number readily available.
- Your application is processed fastest when you can answer all application questions upfront.