UPDATED: Nov 27, 2011

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Daniel WalkerUPDATED: Nov 27, 2011Fact Checked

You can purchase life insurance for your grandfather as long as he is relatively young, in satisfactory health and under the age of 85. Because the average age for an active life insurance policyholder is between 50 and 80, seniors over the age of 85 may find it virtually impossible for an insurance company to provide them with coverage on any level.

While you want to give financial assistance to your grandfather and your remaining family members, it may be more costly to invest in a life insurance policy that will be extremely limiting and quite expensive.

Why is it so difficult to find life insurance for older people?

After age 65 it becomes increasingly more difficult to find affordable life insurance because as you age, so does your body. Health issues become more apparent and the risk that a death may occur while still insured becomes higher. For these reasons, many life insurance companies have placed a maximum age limit for their policyholders.

What if my health is solid?

Even if your health is excellent, a 67 year-old man will still receive a higher premium than a 35 year-old man. The good news is your health is taken into consideration when you apply for life insurance because you may also need to complete a physical exam.

Make sure you include your excellent health record in your application. You can also find out if you can be given the option of exercising an underwriter for your policy. If your health is evaluated and meets their standards, you may be able to take advantage of being in great shape. Your rate may drop substantially.

Where do I start my research?

Begin by checking with reputable life insurance agencies to inquire about their policy requirements. Remember that age is a major factor and will dictate the policy terms and conditions as well as the price. You must also have a full understanding of what the life insurance policy should be used for.

Older applicants may find themselves limited to a term life policy because it is less binding. A term life policy does allow you to add options to the standard coverage, but that can get pricey. If you are concerned with paying expenses that are strictly limited to the burial process, you should be able to find a reasonably priced burial policy because the final payout will cover a specific procedure and the claim will be closed.

What about those insurance companies that specialize in covering senior citizens?

Several agencies cater to senior citizens. There are even a few that accept seniors only. However, the reality is they are focused on a specific demographic (usually people aged 50 to 65). This group is active in the workforce and moving towards retirement, but still making daily contributions to society.

Older post-retirees live a less active lifestyle and may have extensive health problems. If you wait too long before you begin the life insurance process, you are limiting your options and benefits.

What should I look for in a term life insurance policy?

You should make sure that your premium would not adjust over time. You want to have a set price that remains low each year. You also want to examine the renewal process. If you want the option to manually renew your life insurance policy, you must ensure that it is available. Some agencies opt for automatic renewal and may charge a fee to change the procedure.

What is a joint policy?

A joint policy involves two people or more who are placed on the same policy. This is a good option if you can find a company that still provides them. They are not as popular as they used to be, so you will need to find an agent who understands the process.

If you select a joint policy, the premium may be lower than a single policy. You will only have one death benefit pay out but this may suit your needs because you can select who should receive the money. You can assign the payment to the first person who dies.

What is a graded policy?

A graded policy may be available and you don’t need to take a physical exam or answer any health-related questions. This type of policy also guarantees your acceptance because it limits your coverage for the first two years unless you are killed accidentally. The premiums are usually fixed so your rates will be steady.

Can the policy be canceled if an illness occurs?

No, your policy will remain active until you cancel or fail to renew. Nevertheless, your policy will be automatically canceled if you fail to meet the financial agreement and stop making payments. One of the main reasons to carefully review your options is because of costs and the exorbitant amount you may be expected to pay.

Losing a loved one is never easy to face. Your grandfather is a vital lifeline to your family who has earned respect and weathered many years. You want to help him in any way you can to make his twilight years as worry-free as possible.

A step in the right direction may be to purchase a life insurance policy. If you are able to locate the right agent and the level of coverage needed, it will ease the pain of having to make decisions during your time of sorrow.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker