Ultimate Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors in Canada [2022]

Talk to one of our experienced advisors, today!

21 minute read
Originally published: February 16, 2022
Updated: May 24, 2022

Being a senior may make the application process more complicated, but it is especially important to consider it at this age. Different types of life insurance exist to aid different ages.

Ultimate Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors in Canada [2022]

Talk to one of our experienced advisors today!

21 Minute read
Originally published: February 16, 2022
Updated: May 24, 2022

Being a senior may make the application process more complicated, but it is especially important to consider it at this age. Different types of life insurance exist to aid different ages.

People over the age of 60 are likely looking for the right life insurance to guarantee their loved ones a source of income upon death. The older you get the more at risk you are of developing health conditions which will result in higher rates and a more difficult application process. However, different types of life insurance exist for your specific age and circumstance so you can get the coverage you need. This is our guide to life insurance for seniors in Canada. 

Can I get life insurance as a senior?

The different types of life insurance and a large number of existing policies for seniors make it very possible to acquire coverage. Barring any extreme health conditions, you may even qualify for traditional life insurance policies when you are in your sixties. As you grow older the opportunity and options available will decrease, but you should still be able to secure life insurance at a reasonable rate. These rates will be significantly higher than during the prime years of your twenties, but if you are in good health you should face a few difficulties.

An important thing to note is that most Canadian life insurance companies will no longer provide a free pass for you in your 60s. Most traditional policies will require a medical exam to allow the companies to assess your level of risk. However, if this is a concern for you, there are no-medical policies you can look into.

Can I get life insurance as a senior?

What age is considered a senior for life insurance?

There is no generally accepted age that determines when one becomes a senior citizen, but it is generally considered to be the age of retirement. In most industrialized Western nations, such as Canada, this age would be 65. Life insurance companies also do not have a definitive age that defines a senior citizen, but many limit their product offerings after age 60. At the age of 60 and older, the life insurance rates for seniors in Canada begin increasing dramatically due to the increased risk associated with insuring the individual.

Why is life insurance important for seniors?

Planning in advance is important especially for those of an older age. Many seniors are well equipped for retirement through retirement plans, savings and investments, and may determine this to be enough. However, unexpected circumstances may arise where the senior is responsible for outstanding debts that their dependents are left to cover upon their death. In some cases, the loved ones may find themselves unable to pay off these expenses and are left burdened by the responsibility. This adds unnecessary stress upon the already grieving family members and leaves your assets and life’s work in danger.

The notion that once you reach your twilight years your obligations decrease is false, and at this age, you need life insurance more than ever. Some key reasons that highlight the importance of life insurance for seniors are:

Increased life expectancy

Since the 1900’s there has been a significant increase in life expectancy, largely due to the increased quality of life standards. Statistics Canada estimates the current life expectancy to be 82 years; an over 30-year increase from the predicted age of 50 in 1900. This increased life expectancy puts a strain on social security, pension funds and retirement savings. Many have opted to stay in the workforce for longer, however, due to health reasons, this may not be possible for everyone. Retirement budgets and plans need to be well monitored in order to maintain a sustainable life upon retirement, but oftentimes seniors are left with some debt.

 If you worry that your existing savings and retirement income may not suffice, a life insurance policy is a great financial backup plan. Some life insurance policies offer accumulated cash value which can be borrowed to meet bills. These low-interest funds are taken as a loan and can be used towards any financial obligations. It is worth mentioning that this cash benefit is also tax-exempt.

Dividends are also a great benefit included in some policies. The amount will vary depending on how much is paid to the policy and is not tax-exempt. However, it can accumulate interest with the life insurance company and increase over time. This may provide higher payouts to satisfy living expenses.

Raising a second family

It is a common belief that younger family members will provide for the elders, but this is not always the case. Relying on family members is not only burdensome but also often unreliable. There has been an increase in seniors helping to parent their grandchildren, with 10% of kids reported to be living in the same household as their grandparents. For 2 out of 10 of these kids, their parents are not in the picture. This responsibility is large and often not planned for in advance; leading to financial challenges for the seniors.

A life insurance policy is an additional layer of protection for the child being left behind. This money can be used to help provide for the children in terms of living expenses, schooling and miscellaneous costs. This also applies to other loved ones helping to take care or being taken care of by the seniors.

Large amounts of debt

With the continuous increase in prices within the housing market, most adults carry mortgage debt. The number of older adults still having mortgage debt post-retirement has increased 22% since 2000. With 1 of 3 seniors averaging a mortgage debt of almost $80,000. This may be a result of other expenses, schooling costs and unexpected circumstances, but will cause a large dip in retirement savings regardless.

If you still have a mortgage or other forms of large debt, a life insurance policy will prevent these negative balances from being transferred to your loved ones. The sum of money provided will be beneficial to helping your family members get back on their feet in the event of your death, and prevent future burdens and regrets for them.

Do I need life insurance as a senior?

Ideally, by the age of 60, you will have paid off most of your existing debts, have no dependents and have enough money to carry you through your retirement comfortably. Unfortunately, not everyone fits into this idyllic scenario.

If you are over the age of 60, and any of the following apply to you; it may be a good idea to consider life insurance:

  • Have large debts (eg. mortgage)
  • Unsustainable living costs
  • Supporting family members of any age
  • Plan to contribute to the education costs of your children/grandchildren
  • **Relied on group benefits

**upon retirement, you will lose the life insurance benefit connected to your company

If you already have life insurance and are currently paying those premiums, you should look into possibly replacing your policy. As a senior, your premiums may have drastically increased or you may be set up with a policy that no longer suits your need.

Contact Protect Your Wealth today to learn more about senior policies that may better suit your needs.

Benefits of life insurance for seniors

Life insurance policies are meant to give you peace of mind for when you pass away. When deciding on a policy it is important to consider what you are trying to achieve and who you are trying to predict. The right life insurance product will allow you to meet these goals. Common benefits of life insurance that seniors look for include:

Protecting loved ones

Often the most important reason seniors consider is protecting those that they are unfortunately leaving behind. In some cases, when the death is sudden or unplanned, family members are left with unresolved debt. This can take any form from mortgage, vehicles or even just outstanding loans. A spouse or child may struggle to pay off this debt upon your death.

Some seniors may also choose to use their life insurance policy as a way of leaving money for their grandchild in the future. This sum can be used towards helping fund a university education or business venture.

A life insurance policy can supply death benefits and allow for those who survive to have time to better manage their finances. You have the option to choose who will receive this amount and it can be provided in two ways: a lump sum or distributions.

Covering funeral expenses

Funerals are not cheap events, and many worry about how the burial expenses will be covered when the time comes. It may feel selfish to burden your loved ones with the expenses, especially while they are grieving.

Life insurance can help cover these costs and more. The addition of a final expenses policy can supply necessary finances to cover the cost of laying someone to rest.

A life insurance policy is an additional layer of protection for the child being left behind. This money can be used to help provide for the children in terms of living expenses, schooling and miscellaneous costs. This also applies to other loved ones helping to take care or being taken care of by the seniors.

Donations and other charitable acts

If you are not concerned about retirement savings or the financial conditions of your loved ones; you may consider your legacy. Many seniors consider life insurance in order to make a donation to a cause that is meaningful to them by naming a charity as the beneficiary. This act can be done in complete privacy if desired.

Protecting against estate taxes

If you have large estates including property or expensive vehicles, you fall victim to higher tax liabilities. Seniors can choose to use their life insurance policy as a way of transferring wealth and avoiding inheritance tax associated with high net worths. If this is what you are looking for, consider whole or universal life insurance coverage.

When is life insurance for seniors, not a good choice?

The benefits associated with life insurance policies are tempting and important to weigh into your decision. However, sometimes it simply may not make financial sense to purchase life insurance. Life insurance premiums are largely based on factors such as age and health and will increase if the companies deem you a risk to insure. At a certain age, usually above 80, the companies will no longer offer policies. If you are nearing said age, or have health conditions that cause high premiums; it may not be a good idea to purchase life insurance.

You have options to consider such as lifestyle changes to decrease premiums, other types of life insurance with no medical exam or questions or guaranteed issue options where age and health are not a factor. However, these options come with higher premiums or lower coverage and may not be beneficial to your financial goals.

Another important factor to consider is that your full death benefit is not offered during the first two years of the policy. If you are suffering from a life-threatening condition or your health is extremely detrimental; you should consider if you will survive long enough for your loved ones to receive the full benefit.

What type of insurance can a senior get?

In simple terms, any type of life insurance could be granted depending on your specific circumstances. Being a senior is not a very specific classification for life insurance companies, but you may have higher premiums or limited coverage depending on your age and health. The term senior is divided into loosely defined age groups that decide what you qualify for. We have loosely outlined the types of life insurance that may benefit you best below.

Best type of life insurance policy for your age and needs.

After the age of 75, it will be extremely difficult to obtain approval for term life insurance policies, but all other types of life insurance are on the table. The basics of best life insurance policies for seniors:

Whole Life Insurance

  • Provides death benefit for the policyholder’s lifetime
  • Offers great safety and security
  • Higher but more stable premiums
  • Accumulates cash value

Universal Life Insurance

  • Customizable coverage
  • Greater flexibility
  • Ability to set lower premiums
  • Guaranteed cash value
  • Can provide a death benefit for the policyholder’s lifetime

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

  • Builds cash value based on stock market index it’s attached to
  • Family can receive a larger benefit

Term Life Insurance

  • Low cost
  • Choose the length of the policy term (up to 30 years)
  • Medical exam not required for simplified issue plans

Final Expense Insurance

  • Dedicated funds for burial and related expenses
  • Easy to qualify for
  • Low cost
  • May accumulate cash value

Is term life insurance for seniors renewable?

Most term life policies are renewable without an additional medical exam, but only until a certain age. This is usually around 75 or 85 depending on the life insurance company. Some life insurance companies do offer coverage that is renewable throughout a client’s entire lifetime, but these renewal prices will be significantly higher.

Is term life insurance for seniors convertible?

Term life insurance is usually convertible to permanent coverage, but usually only until the age of 70. Some life insurance companies offer conversions up to age 75, but this tends to be on the rarer side. If you estimate a longer lifetime than that of your term life insurance; you should pursue a permanent life insurance policy instead.

What if I get denied senior life insurance?

Your application may be denied for a couple of reasons:

  • Age of application was older than the upper age limit
  • Medical exam came back with concerning results
  • Lifestyle factors (eg. participation in extreme sports)
  • Criminal record
  • Driving record

In the event that this occurs, there are 3 steps you should proceed to take to better your chances of attaining approval in the future.

3 steps to take if you are denied life insurance.

Step 1: Find out why the application was denied

Reach out to the life insurance company to find out why your application has been refused. Knowing the reason you were denied can provide guidance and insight for your future applications. You may have also entered incorrect information to the insurer through omissions or misrepresentations. Ensure the information you are providing is honest, correct and up to date.

Step 2: Work with an experienced seniors life insurance advisor

Life insurance advisors are trained to help you find the best life insurance solution to fit your needs. With their experience and access to various providers and products; they can help you compare quotes and better understand the features and benefits. They are also able to advise you on when and how to apply to better your chances. It is important to find an advisor with experience relating to seniors’ life insurance, as they will best be able to understand your situation. They will be more perceptive as to why you got denied, and how to gain approval for the best life insurance for you specifically.

Step 3: Apply for the best life insurance based on your age and medical history

Once you’ve understood why you may have been denied, you can begin your search again with the experienced seniors’ life insurance advisor you have employed. It is important to look for life insurance that suits your needs while taking into account your age and medical history. Good options to look into include simplified insurance and guaranteed insurance which boast easier approval processes.

If you have been rejected due to your abysmal medical history or existing health conditions, you can look into no-medical life insurance. These policies forgo the medical tests and exams and only require you to answer a few health-related questions. The hassle-free application is simple and straightforward, and the policy may be issued in just a few days.

How much life insurance does a senior need?

As you get older, you may be looking for a policy that grants a higher benefit amount with a shorter term. This is the standard senior life insurance need but will vary depending on your financial situation, life insurance coverage needs and other factors associated with being a senior in Canada. Your own specific lifestyle expectations will affect the amount you need and how much you can afford.

At the end of the day, the only person who understands how much coverage you need is you! But a life insurance advisor can help you find the best life insurance for your specific situation.

Contact Protect Your Wealth today to speak to an advisor who can find life insurance tailored to fit your needs.

Talk to an advisor today.

Guide life insurance seniors in Canada

What is the best life insurance for seniors?

Seniors have access to different types of life insurance products, and the best choice will depend on individual needs. At different ages, you will have access to different policies and products that you can apply for. The best life insurance is subjective and relies on many factors from coverage amounts to health status.

A younger senior, fresh into retirement, may benefit from fully underwritten term life insurance policies with options to convert. Older seniors or seniors with health conditions may learn towards no-medical life insurance policies for a simplified application process. Seniors at any age may consider whole life insurance for its permanent coverage and ability to leverage tax-deferral.

Best life insurance for 60-year-olds

In your sixties is the easiest age amongst seniors to obtain life insurance. Most policies will still be available for you to obtain your ideal amount of coverage at a reasonable and affordable price. This is a good time to plan out your finances for retirement and determine which policy is affordable for you and within your financial objectives.

Traditional term life insurance is still a very viable option due to its cheaper premiums and term options. At the age of 60 you are still able to apply for term 20 and 25 life insurance policies, which are great solutions to help you pay off your long-term debts. It is important to keep in mind that, when your policy expires it will be difficult to find life insurance due to your age.

Permanent life insurance eliminates the risks of term life insurance by offering lifelong coverage at a higher cost. Benefits of permanent life insurance coverage include:

  • Funeral and end-of-life expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Pension replacement
  • Estate taxes

At this stage of your life, whole life insurance could still be an option. With whole life insurance policies, you are expected to pay higher premiums with the promise of the cash value that can be borrowed or withdrawn. The longer this money sits in the account, the more of it will be available to you.

Best life insurance for 70-year-olds

For individuals over the age of 70, there are a few limitations that may arise and prevent you from obtaining approval. One of which is that you will not be able to find a term 20 life insurance policy. This is because your age of application is too high for most life insurance companies to consider. That being said, you have a large variety of policies at your disposal to choose from. Your decision on the policy you choose to pursue should be primarily dependent on your financial goals.

Term life insurance is a good option for 70-year-olds seeking coverage for 10 or 15 years. This is usually the cheapest option allowing you to purchase a higher amount of coverage. Term life insurance will help you eliminate financial obligations associated with retirement and help you replace your lost income from retirement. However, it is important you consider that your term policy will cover the duration of the financial obligation, as it will be more difficult to obtain life insurance once your term ends and you are entering your nineties.

Permanent life insurance eliminates the risks of term life insurance by offering lifelong coverage at a higher cost. Benefits of permanent life insurance coverage include:

  • Funeral and end-of-life expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Pension replacement
  • Estate taxes

Guaranteed universal life insurance is typically the better option for older seniors. Guaranteed universal life insurance is often suggested because it is essentially a term life insurance policy that lasts until the age of your choice. These policies boast permanent coverage at a more affordable cost.

The appeal of whole life insurance policies comes from the accumulated cash value that can be borrowed or withdrawn. That being said, a portion of a premium goes towards the overall cash value and results in higher premiums. This is less ideal for seniors considering there is less time for the money to grow in interest.

Best life insurance for 80-year-olds and older

At this age, it is more difficult to acquire ideal amounts of coverage at an affordable price due to the higher risk associated with individuals at this age. This means you will have less selection to choose from when deciding on a policy. That being said, attaining affordable rates at this age is still possible.

Seniors over the age of 80 are not eligible for term life insurance policies over 10 years due to the applicable age requirements. Term life insurance in general is not usually recommended to seniors at this stage of life due to the insanely high premiums associated with the age.

A permanent policy is ideal for seniors above the age of 80 because there are more options available. It also eliminates the risk of needing to find affordable insurance in your nineties by providing lifelong coverage. A key consideration is your health condition, and we have recommended the best type of life insurance for each tier:

  • Healthy, no serious medical issues
    • Guaranteed universal life insurance which offers coverage up to age 120, and are able to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in death benefits.
  • Some health trouble, would not pass a medical exam
    • Simplified issues guaranteed universal or whole life insurance which is both no-medical policies. They are on the more expensive side but offer lifelong coverage and hundreds of thousands of dollars in death benefits.
  • Serious health trouble, higher-risk illness
    • Guaranteed acceptance of whole life insurance which guarantees lifelong coverage, but at the cost of high rates and only tens of thousands in death benefits.

Best life insurance for seniors with health problems

Seniors with significant health problems may find it difficult to obtain approval due to the high risk associated with insuring them. Term life insurance and some permanent life insurance options such as whole life insurance may be off the table depending on the severity of your conditions. That being said, you still have a couple of no-medical life insurance options with simplified application processes, making it easier to obtain approval.

Guaranteed issue policies may come at a steeper price and do have some age restrictions in place, however, it is much easier to get insured. They offer almost guaranteed approval and often forgo the medical exam and any medical questions. Unfortunately, coverage is maxed out at around $50,000 for a higher premium price because of the high-risk assessment.

Another option is simplified issue policies which are similar to guaranteed issue policies in that they do not require medical exams, but you will still be required to answer a few medical questions. These questions are standard to the most basic forms of life insurance.

How much does life insurance cost for seniors?

Costs will vary depending on your specific age, with costs running higher the older you get. After the age of 70, you may face a shortening of policy offerings and types of life insurance you can pursue. By the age of 80, it may be difficult to find life insurance companies that offer affordable premiums.

Life insurance rates for 60-year-olds

Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 60-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smoker/non-smoker from different companies.

Life insurance rates for 65-year-olds

Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 65-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smoker/non-smoker from different companies.

Life insurance rates for 70-year-olds

Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 70-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smoker/non-smoker from different companies.

Life insurance rates for 75-year-olds

Monthly rates for a U/L T100 - minimum premium for a 75-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smoker/non-smoker from different companies.

Life insurance rates for 80-year-olds

Monthly rates for a U/L T100 - minimum premium for an 80-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smoker/non-smoker from different companies.

Life insurance rates for 85-year-olds

Monthly rates for a U/L T100 - minimum premium for an 85-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smoker/non-smoker from different companies.

How to save on life insurance for seniors

As we saw above, life insurance costs can be quite a bit depending on your age. Some factors that may help you decrease your premiums include:

  • Being an alumnus from certain Canadian universities
  • Being a member of specific professional organizations
  • Choosing annual payments as opposed to monthly payments
  • Reviewing your policies annually for discounts and offers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about life insurance for seniors

 Yes, seniors can definitely purchase life insurance in Canada. There are awesome term life insurance policies as well as whole life policies that are out there that can provide coverage for seniors 60 years and older. Please contact us, or take a look at our insurance quick quotes to compare the various different life insurance policies and rates.

The price of life insurance for seniors over 65 years can vary depending on the health of the applicant and other factors regarding their lifestyle as well. In general term life insurance, no medical life insurance and permanent life insurance prices vary from company to company and plan to plan, therefore you would need to get a quote to get an accurate estimate for your life insurance rates. Here is a look at a 10-year term for a 65 year old seeking $100,000 in coverage: Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 65-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smokers/non-smokers from different companies.

The price of life insurance for seniors over 70 years can vary depending on the health of the applicant and other factors regarding their lifestyle as well. In general term life insurance, no medical life insurance and permanent life insurance prices vary from company to company and plan to plan, therefore you would need to get a quote to get an accurate estimate for your life insurance rates. Here is a look at a 10-year term for a 70 year old seeking $100,000 in coverage: 

Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 70-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smokers/non-smokers from different companies.

The price of life insurance for seniors over 80 years can vary depending on the health of the applicant and other factors regarding their lifestyle as well. In general term life insurance, no medical life insurance and permanent life insurance prices vary from company to company and plan to plan, therefore you would need to get a quote to get an accurate estimate for your life insurance rates. Here is a look at a 10-year term for a 80 year old seeking $100,000 in coverage: Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 70-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smokers/non-smokers from different companies.

It is extremely important for seniors who want to have the peace of mind that their family will not have financial struggles once they pass. There are many expenses when it comes to the last stage of life, whether it be day-to-day living expenses or even funeral costs or outstanding debts like a mortgage can be very burdening for your family. These reasons are why life insurance can be very beneficial for seniors.

No medical life insurance is a great option for some seniors who have more severe medical conditions or who just do not want to be questioned too much during the insurance application process. Though this insurance can cost a bit more than an underwritten policy as well as have a lower coverage amount, it might be right for you. Please learn more about if you should get no medical life insurance.  

You can get a quote from us instantly. If you want to get a quote as a senior over 65 please feel free to contact us or use our quick quote tool to take a look at the various life insurance rates available for you.

You can get a quote from us instantly. If you want to get a quote as a senior over 70 please feel free to contact us or use our quick quote tool to take a look at the various life insurance rates available for you.

You can get a quote from us instantly. If you want to get a quote as a senior over 80 please feel free to contact us or use our quick quote tool to take a look at the various life insurance rates available for you.

There are amazing life insurance policies for people over 65 years old. This really varies from company to company so please take at the best life insurance companies in Ontario and a look at these term life insurance rates: 

Monthly rates for a 10-year term life insurance for a 65-year old seeking $100,000 in coverage for male/female smokers/non-smokers from different companies.

Finding the right life insurance for you

If you are a senior, it may prove more difficult to find an affordable life insurance policy with the right amount of coverage. However, different types of policies exist for your specific situation and you can work with an advisor to find the one that best suits your needs.

At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to create the best solution for you and your needs. We’ve been providing expert life insurance solutions since 2007, including no medical life insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance, to build the best package to give you the protection you need.  

Contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, including areas such as Burlington, Oshawa and Waterdown.  We specialize in finding the best life insurance for seniors in Ontario and would be happy to assist you.

Talk to an advisor today.

Best Life Insurance Quotes Canada