Life Insurance Guide for 55 Year Olds
Looking for an Affordable Policy?
The idea of life insurance can be traced back to Ancient Rome. At that time, insurance companies were called Burial Clubs. They covered the expenses of the dead’s funeral and the injured medical aids. That being said, the first life insurance company in modern times is called Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office.
Life insurance isn’t necessarily expensive as most people think, even if your overall health isn’t currently as good as it was during your 30’s. You still have some affordable policies to consider.
In this article, we’ll be underlining the importance of life insurance policies, the common types of life insurance, the companies responsible for life insurance, and the insurance rates and costs. After that, we’ll be introducing you the life insurance guide for 55 year olds through which you can cover for your family members.
So, let’s get started.
Why 55 Year Olds Need a Life Insurance Policy?
Everyone on our planet knows well why life insurance is important. Yet, many of us ignore the fact that many bad consequences could happen if we died all of a sudden without any official, proper protection.
The results can be disastrous for your surviving family, leading them to dive in an ocean of large bills that can sometimes end them up losing their home since they’re unable to cover the mortgage anymore.
If you do not have a life insurance policy, you’re not alone. According to statistics, around 40% of American people don’t have any life insurance policy.
However, the majority of us are in a growing need for a life insurance policy.
Common reasons why 55-year-olds purchase life insurance is for the purpose of protecting a spouse. Life insurance is a form of caring for your family, especially after death.
There’re numerous fictional stories to underline the importance of life insurance, let’s mention one of them.
Eve and Jack have a 25 years old son named Adam who took a loan of $150,000 to pay for his private school’s fees. His parents co-signed the loan so that he can achieve his dream of building his future career.
Adam graduated from engineering school, got a great job, had his first baby, and started to pay off for his student loans. When his parents (aged 55, 60 respectively) died in a car accident, he all of a sudden became responsible for $120,000 and his own 8-year-old daughter.
Since he is the only inheritor of his parents, he is supposed to pay for the loan. And because his parents did not have a life insurance policy, the results are devastating.
Common Types of Life Insurance for 55 Year Olds
The two most common types of life insurance are term and permanent. There is a third type that is rarely purchased: burial insurance.
The right type of life insurance you need depends solely on the reasons of getting life insurance at the age of 55.
Term Life Insurance
Term insurance is a type of life insurance policy which covers for a specific period of time. In case the insured person dies during the period of this insurance, the policy is active, and accordingly, death benefits are to be paid.
That is, this type of life insurance lasts a number of years that when it expires, the contract immediately ends. Many companies renew contracts to another term. The common terms range from 10 to 30 years.
Term insurance is much less costly than permanent life insurance. Also, unlike permanent insurance, this type has no cash value.
Term insurance is perfect for reasons that do not last forever. Ensuring that your husband/wife can retire is a big advantage at the age of 55. The ability to continue providing for your offspring is another. Paying off your mortgage when you realize that your spouse would not be able to afford alone is a third.
Permanent Life Insurance
Unlike term life insurance, permanent life insurance is a type of life insurance that does not expire. It mixes death benefits with savings portion, paving the way for benefiting from cash value from which the policy owner can withdraw/borrow cash to meet some urgent needs like paying for their children’s school fees or covering medical expenses.
It’s worth noting that the most common types of permanent insurance are whole life insurance policy and universal life insurance policy. The first covers for the insured’s full lifetime; while the second offers an element of savings as well as death benefits. There is another type that is known as modified whole life insurance.
Permanent life insurance is perfect for your family in case it’s in need of covering for estate obligations or long-term loans. You might also need to purchase a permanent life policy to fund for your child or spouse after you’re gone.
Burial insurance is always permanent. However, experts recommend going for the permanent one since it almost is the same price, and therefore you won’t be gambling over when your demise will be.
This type covers for all funeral and burial cost which is less than $9,000 in the USA. It’s worth mentioning that over half of the American people have less than $1,000 in savings, which will, in turn, affect a family hard.
Life Insurance Companies for 55 Year Olds
Here are the best 5 companies that provide life insurance policies for 55-year-olds. However, there are few more of them and you can use our FREE QUOTES TOOL to find the rates for you.
Phoenix Life Insurance
Phoenix is considered one of the best companies when it comes to affordability with a B rating by AM Best. It offers competitive rates for both men and women under $250,000 benefits.
This company has been around for years now. It’s expected to remain around for more years with an A+ rating. It, in fact, excels in competitive rates for 55-year-olds.
This company is also an excellent life insurance company that it’s fruitful in terms of high-benefit term policies. Its customer service is rated as A+ by AM Best.
Just like the previous company, SBLI offers affordable rates for high-benefit term policies. It’s rated by AM Best as A-.
Life insurance policies from Foresters are affordable. That is, the company offers a 20-year-pay option wherein you only pay for 20 years. According to AM Best, Foresters is rated as A.
Saving on Life Insurance for 55 Year Olds
The ideal way to save money on life insurance is by shopping around, getting quotes from many companies, and finally comparing them to get a clear idea.
However, this isn’t the final destination as you should also recognize the way your company will underwrite you.
The majority of life insurance companies adopt similar, if not the same, guidelines. In order for you to hire the company that best fits your needs and expectations, you should get the help of a life insurance agent.
Life insurance agents work independently for their clients. They don’t work under any life insurance company; however, they establish ties with many life insurance companies, so that they can choose the best one for you and your needs.
When contacting an independent life insurance agent, don’t forget to inform them about your medical history. I know it’s unusual to contact a person you don’t know and tell them about your private stuff, but it’s their job because equipped with your information, they can decide which company is best for you.
Factors Affecting Life Insurance Costs
- Health History: It includes diagnosis and prescription leaflets.
- Age: Life insurance costs increase by 8% each year you get old.
- Medical Exam: Because life insurance companies require policyholders to take medical exams, costs can increase.
- Weight: Your premium can be affected by your weight as well.
- Lifestyle: Lifestyle is a major factor that affects your premiums.
- Occupation: If your occupation involves risky activities, you will be charged with a higher premium.
- Driving History: Your driving history is required by life insurance companies to determine your policy costs.
Lastly, the most important factor is the company. That is, costs vary from a company to another. That’s why experts recommend exploring many companies before deciding which one to purchase a policy from.
How to Apply
The first step to take is to decide why you need a life insurance policy. This step will, in fact, help you and your insurer decide what type of life insurance you need. If you aren’t sure, a life insurance agent will decide on your behalf based on your case.
Let’s take an instance of this. Some people apply for both term life insurance and burial insurance policies concurrently. The first will enable your spouse to retire peacefully on time, and the latter will provide cash for the funeral from A to Z.
So, you’re recommended to contact an expert who can pave the way for you to get an insight into what exactly you need and accordingly make the right decision for you and your beloved ones.
Let’s assume that you have applied, and after a couple of years, you’ve decided to change the policy. So, what are the things you should take into account before taking this step?
Things to Take into Consideration
After successfully exploring the following, you are more likely to be on the safe side.
Life Insurance Medical Exam
Before purchasing your life insurance policy, you undoubtedly passed a life insurance medical test. If you’re thinking of changing your life insurance policy, the first thing you should consider is taking a new life insurance policy.
Bear in mind that you might and might not be eligible for a new life insurance policy. Sometimes you might need to purchase a costlier policy than the one you originally quoted. So, it can sometimes be a big risk.
Consider Dealing with the Same Insurer While Changing the Policy
Since your insurer has had a full idea about your condition, private information, and needs, experts don’t recommend changing the insurer when deciding to change the policy. So, consider staying with the same insurer even if you wish to convert the policy.
Dealing with the same insurance company also helps you avoid taking another medical exam since, as mentioned before, your insurer already has a full image of what your condition is like and what your needs are.
Don’t Forget Comparing Costs
When you decide to change your life insurance policy, you’ll need to consider the costs as they change according to the policy. Below is a list that helps you compare costs.
- What are the fees imposed on the policy you need to change?
- You need to figure out whether there are costs to adopt a new policy.
- Will there be any tax consequences when changing the policy?
- Are the benefits going to vary as you change the policy?
Information Required for the New Policy
When replacing an old life insurance policy with a new one, you’ll have to answer a few questions. These questions help protect you from any frauds.
These questions include:
- What is your current life insurance policy number?
- What is your insurance carrier?
- When does your life insurance policy expire?
- Do you plan to change your current policy and replace it with a new one?
Is the Life Insurance Agent You’re Contacting Licensed?
One of the most important things that many people ignore is whether the agent they are dealing with is licensed or not. So, how can you know if your agent is licensed or not?
By exploring the following signs, you’ll be undoubtedly able to figure out if your agent is licensed.
- If the agent asks you to signs some paper that you don’t understand or are a blur.
- If the agent makes some bad remarks about other agents and/or insurance companies.
- If the agent asks you not to inform your life insurance company of your decision of changing your current life insurance policy.
- You can also simply ask the agent to bring you the official documents proving that they’re licensed, professional, and trustworthy.