When it comes to age and life insurance premiums, the relationship is directly proportional: The older you are, the more expensive your policy will likely be. But just because your premium increases with age doesn’t mean the likelihood that you’ll be denied coverage increases as well. As with most insurance policies, rates depend on individual factors like health, family history, policy type, your age and occupation.
Ultimately, a person’s health – not their age – is the most important factor when denying individual coverage. That’s why John Felton, a LIFE Foundation Board member and president of the Tennessee Brokerage Agency, strongly suggests following your doctor’s orders.
“Compliance with what your doc is requesting or requiring is a key issue in determining coverage,” Felton said. “It’s huge.”
Assuming the same insurability, a 65-year-old’s premiums will be seven times more expensive than those of a 45-year-old. But an individual in their 60s with excellent health could find cheaper premiums than an individual in their 30s with poor health, says State Farm spokeswoman Carol Carey-Odekirk.
“The healthier an applicant is, the lower the premium rate,” says Carey-Odekirk. “Individuals in their 60s and even older can find any number of companies offering a variety of ‘Preferred’ discounts based upon excellent health status at the time of application.”
A hidden benefit of term life insurance is that many policies are guaranteed renewable up to age 95 without re-examination (assuming no major changes in medical condition). That said, every year the premiums increase until the initial term period has expired.
Some term policy renewals do require an exam or an insurability review, while others may simply be renewed by paying a “renewal” premium. The renewal premium is usually more expensive than the yearly premiums, however, and the costs can quickly add up.
There is no hard and fast rule about age limitations when purchasing health insurance, but the typical cut-off for whole or universal life insurance is age 85 and 90 for term life. Packages are typically offered in 10, 20, and 30-year terms, and if you’ve kept up with the premiums and are in good health, you can continue to renew.