Life Insurance for 56 Year Olds

Take advantage of all the life insurance options you still have at age 56. Once you hit your late 50s, you start to lose options for 30-year terms and no-exam policies.

However, that doesn’t mean you are going to be paying enormous sums for life insurance. Even in your 50s, there are affordable options for most families.

Double check that the type of policy you buy is the right one for your families needs. We will explain how to know what kind is right for you and how to get the best rates.

In this article, we will cover:

  • Why 56 year olds need life insurance
  • Types of life insurance available at age 56
  • Life insurance rates for 56 year olds
  • Best life insurance companies for 56 year olds
  • Tips for finding the best life insurance rates

Why 56-Year-Olds Need Life Insurance

Not every person needs life insurance. If you have no financial dependents, then you may not need life insurance.

However, if someone financially depends on you,  your ability to earn a living, or would have to take on additional financial responsibilities after you pass away, then life insurance is a way to continue providing for that person.

At age 56, many families find themselves with all sorts of financial responsibilities, children, aging parents, mortgages, and saving for their own retirement to just name a few. Your reasons may be different.

Best Types of Life Insurance for 56-Year-Olds

Your reasons for buying life insurance determine what type of policy is best for you and your family. If you consider your intentions, what type of goals are they?

Are you focusing on covering your mortgage so your family will be able to stay in the home? Are you making sure you can send your children through college? You will eventually pay off those types of things. Therefore term life insurance makes the most financial sense for covering them.

On the other hand, do you have an estate that you are likely to leave behind? Do you have the liquid assets to pay for your funeral? Someone takes care of those matters after you pass away. So a permanent life insurance policy makes more sense for those scenarios.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is best for those long-term needs. It covers you for life.

Permanent life insurance works best when you want to cover final expenses and take care of someone after you’ve passed on. For example, you might take out a permanent policy to ensure a spouse’s or child’s financial stability.

It also works well for covering potential expenses left behind, medical, credit card, or mortgages are typical examples.

Permanent life insurance costs more than term. Aside from coverage for life, it also has a cash value accumulation part. All types of permanent life insurance have this. As you pay your premiums part of those go into building the cash value of your policy.

You can use this cash value in some types to help pay for your premiums. Most people find the most significant benefit in its ability to become a low-interest, no questions asked loan.

You can borrow up to the current cash value accumulation of the policy. The insurance company holds the same amount of your death benefits as collateral until you repay the loan. It’s often a lower interest way to get a loan than taking one out from a bank.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is one of the least expensive types of life insurance available.

Term lasts for a designated number of years, then expires. Most insurance companies offer between 10-year and 30-year terms in increments of five.

This allows families to buy the right amount of coverage for the length of time they need it. For example, a young couple starting a family might take out a 20 or 25-year policy to cover each child until adulthood.

At the end of the term, some companies allow renewals or conversions. You can choose to renew your policy for another term at updated rates for your age.

Alternatively, you can convert your expiring term policy into a whole life policy at rates reflecting your current age. If you think this might be something you want, talk to your insurance agent so they can help you find a policy which offers these options.

Burial Insurance

Burial insurance (also called funeral insurance) is growing in popularity as the costs of funerals are rising beyond what most people have saved.

When over 60% of the U.S. has less than $1,000 in savings, even to cover emergencies, and the average cost of a funeral is $8,000, there is a problem. It leaves a lot of families scrambling trying to put together a service for their loved one.

Most burial insurance policies are permanent policies. A term policy for burial insurance costs nearly the same as a permanent one, so it doesn’t make as much sense since the term has a chance to expire before you use it.

These policies in many situations cost even less than a term policy because the benefits are low compared to traditional life insurance policies.

Term Life Insurance Rates for 55-Year-Olds

There are over a dozen factors that go into determining what you will pay for life insurance. The big ones are your current health, your medical history, your age, and whether you are a man or a woman.

Other factors include your immediate family’s medical history, your driving record, your hobbies, and your occupation.

Most people in average health will fall into the regular health class. People in good health generally fall into preferred. You can use the Instant Quote tool on the right to play around with benefit amounts, health classes, and term lengths.

To give you an idea of what you might pay we created the rate tables below reflecting men and women at age 56 in both regular and preferred health.

Preferred Males

The first table is for 56-year-old men in good (preferred) health who don’t smoke. The rates are shown as monthly.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $23 $57 $55 $100 $179
20-Year $34 $49 $94 $181 $341
30-Year $95 $93 $223 $428 $820

Standard Males

This next set is for the same man, except in average (standard) health.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $32 $40 $89 $160 $298
20-Year $57 $69 $152 $287 $546
30-Year $95 $110 $260 $493 $955

Preferred Females

A woman in preferred health who doesn’t smoke might qualify for the rates in the table below.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $18 $21 $40 $74 $135
20-Year $25 $34 $69 $123 $241
30-Year $95 $85 $182 $370 $724

Standard Famales

The same woman in average (regular) health might have rates in the following range.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $23 $30 $60 $110 $205
20-Year $37 $49 $106 $196 $372
30-Year $95 $99 $222 $424 $827

What is the Longest Term Policy You Can Get?

Most companies offer 30 years as their longest terms. At age 56, this will last you until age 86, 10 years beyond the average lifespan for both men and women in this country.

Most companies cease offering coverage after age 85, so a 30 year term may not be available to you from many providers.  However, some companies like Mutual of Omaha offer term life insurance coverage through age 95.

If you want something a little more surefire, a permanent or burial policy might be a smart alternative.

Whole Life Insurance Rates for 56-Year-Olds

Whole life insurance is the least complicated form of permanent life insurance. It contains death benefits and the cash value accumulation. The rates at which the cash value grows tends to be more stable than other types of permanent policies like universal life.

To compare rates between a term policy and a whole life policy, we created the tables below with rates for 56-year-old men and women.


The first table reflects potential monthly rates for men and women in good (preferred) health.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Men $153 $292 $721 $1,421 $2,835
Women $139 $261 $633 $1,266 $2,525


This table shows the same as the table above, except for people in average (regular) health.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Men $153 $296 $730 $1,440 $2,872
Women $139 $269 $663 $1,306 $2,605

The rates between preferred and standard on $50,000 benefit policies are the same.

Tips on Getting the Best Life Insurance Rates for 56-Year-Olds

There are several things that anyone can do to make sure they’re getting the best life insurance rates.

1. Determine Why You Need Insurance

First, write down the exact reason why you are getting life insurance. Make a note to yourself and keep it handy when doing research and shopping for the best rates. This way, if you read about a new idea or see a sales pitch for more than you need, you can keep focused on the real goal.

2. Determine What Type of Life Insurance You Need 

Once you have your specific reason or reasons, you can see which type of life insurance will work best for you. If they are reasons that will eventually take care of themselves, like sending your children to college, you may not need permanent insurance. Buying term will save you money if it’s the right type of policy for you.

On the other hand, buying term life insurance to save money now when you have a permanent reason (let’s say using your life insurance to pay for your funeral and leave something for your spouse) will not result in saved money. You will have to buy another policy when your term expires at much higher rates.

3. Compare Life Insurance Rates

Once you have the type of policy you need and the amount down, it’s time to compare rates. The best way to do this is to work with an independent life insurance agent.

Our independent agents work for their clients, not for the insurance company. We work with dozens of life insurance companies to find the best life insurance coverage your needs.

4. Know Which Companies Are Best  

The other significant advantage they offer is the ability to match a person to the company with the best underwriting guidelines for their health and medical history.

Each company has slightly different guidelines that tell their underwriters how to assign applicants. So if Company A is stricter with their height to weight ratios, an independent agent will know to point people away from Company A if they carry a little extra weight.

This not only allows you an insider’s knowledge into the industry, but you also save time because your agent is doing all the work for you.

Best Life Insurance Companies for 56-Year-Olds

We picked out top 5 favorite companies for age 56 based heavily on the following three criteria: financial strength of the company, customer care, and affordability.

Since medical history plays an enormous part if life insurance rates, check with your insurance agent. While these companies may be great for most people, a different company might offer you a better deal.


Company A.M. Rating Customer Satisfaction
Sagicor A- 4.1 / 5
Transamerica A+ 4.2 / 5
SBLI A- 4.0 / 5
AIG A 4.2 / 5
Mutual of Omaha A+ 4.1 / 5


Age 56 is one of the last years you can get a life insurance policy without a medical exam. Sagicor is one of the companies offering no-exam policies at extremely affordable rates. Often lower than its competitors that are requiring medical exams.

They have an A- for excellent financial strength with a stable outlook.


Transamerica has one of the most competitive 30-year terms on the market for 56-year-olds. They have been around for decades and have a remarkably good reputation in the insurance industry.

AM Best gives them an A+ for superior financial standing.


At age 56, SBLI is offering some of the lowest rates for someone looking for a high death benefit. They are competitive for both men and women too.

AM Best gives SBLI an A- for excellent financial standing.


AIG performs well in many categories, but they are our jack-of-all-trades pick for age 56. They are competitive in almost every category.

AIG holds a solid A from AM Best.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is one of the few life insurance companies that offer term life insurance coverage through age 95.  On top of this, they are very highly rated in terms of customer service and financial stability.  They offer affordable coverage and have multiple product offerings.

Mutual of Omaha holds an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

Finding the Best Life Insurance for 56-Year-Olds

Life insurance at age 56 doesn’t have to be a challenge. It takes a little more research and planning than calling the first company you see in a TV commercial, but with an independent agent, it can be nearly that easy.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (888) 554-3432. We are standing by to help, and our agents are prepared to assist you in findinf the best life insurance policy for your family’s needs.

Or, you can get started comparing life insurance rates for 56 year olds using our online quoting engine.

Compare the Best Life Insurance Rates for 56-Year-Olds

Quick and easy, quotes in seconds.

Instant Quote
About Jeff Root

is the owner of He's an independent life insurance agent who has helped 1,000's of consumers purchase life insurance online and over the phone.

This entry was posted in Life Insurance in Your 50's. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave A Reply