Many people believe that term life insurance is only for younger people who are making sure their spouses, kids, and home mortgage will be paid for if they pass away. However, people are enjoying longer and more productive lives these days. After all, in 1900 a person could expect to live an average of 47 years. By 2005, that figure had increased to over 77 years! insurers take longer life spans into account.
Furthermore, all of the obligations that we had planned on taking care of before retirement age do not always vanish as planned. Sometimes people get to be 65, and they still have mortgages to be paid, spouses to support, and even find that their kids still need help. So, just as people are living longer now, their need for life insurance extends well into the senior years.
Another reason older people may want a term life insurance policy is to cover a business deal or an essential employee in a company. If large sums of money are paid out for a contract, and a senior citizen will be needed to perform that contract, a party to the contract may want to be sure that their investments are covered.
Now an older person will probably need to look at policy terms of 15 years or less. I doubt that many insurers would offer a 30 year term life insurance policy on a 70 year old, because than they would be insuring that life until age 100. If you want coverage until age 100, than you need to look at whole life insurance instead.
But people are living longer, and insurers have noticed. After all, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, a man who is already 70 years old can expect to live an average of over 13 more years, and a woman can expect to live over 15 more years. These are average, and a life insurance company will take an individual’s health history into account. So you can certainly find insurers who will cover a reasonably healthy seventy year old until age 80.
In fact it is sort of an irony of age related statistics that arriving at a certain age, makes it more probably that the individual will survive many more years. For instance, according to actuarial tables, a 50 year old man would have an average life expectancy of about 78. But a 70 year old man, by virtue of having survived that milestone, can expect to survive until 83. Of course, no table can predict individual lifespans, but the insurance companies do a very good job of predicting average lifespans for the large group of people that they insure.
The cost of a moderate term life policy should not put you off either. For $100,000 in term life, a 70 year old woman who has good health habits and reasonably good health could find rates less than $40 a month. Men’s rates will be slightly higher in the same age and health class. Now large policies, in the millions of dollars, may cost a couple of hundred dollars a month, so it would be important to consider how much life insurance you really need to cover any debts or obligations.