Canadian life insurance for seniors


Life insurance is beneficial for any senior who wishes to leave tax-free money for their loved ones or estate. There are many term life insurance options available until age 75. Alternatively, permanent life insurance is a great option at any age to ensure funeral expenses and medical debt are covered. Seniors with poor health can still qualify for life insurance coverage if they apply for simplified or guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies.


Most people assume that life insurance for seniors is either not worth it or impossible to get approved – but, it is not true!

If you are aged 60 or over and looking to get some form of life insurance coverage, you can take comfort in the fact that obtaining term life insurance for seniors is more than possible.

Read on to find out what your coverage options are and how you can secure the protection you need in retirement age.

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Is life insurance worth it for seniors?

Yes! Life insurance is worth it for any senior looking to build generational wealth and financial security for their family. While many seniors have adequate savings to leave their families to cover their debts when they pass, some do not. Even if they have savings, there are still many situations where a senior may have outstanding final expenses that life insurance can cover.

Life insurance provides a tax-free lump sum to your loved ones or estate for anything they wish. It can be used to:

  • Pay off your mortgage
  • Cover personal debts
  • Cover funeral arrangement expenses
  • Cover medical debt
  • Leave money for children and grandchildren
  • Leave money for a charity of choice

Life insurance is vital coverage for any senior looking to secure their family’s financial future. But the clock is ticking! It’s important to place coverage as soon as possible.

Does age matter in life insurance?

Yes. Age matters when it comes to life insurance eligibility and cost. The older you are, the more expensive your life insurance coverage will be—this is why it’s important to apply for coverage as soon as possible!

Additionally, some types of coverage have age limits. Most life insurance providers do not approve term life insurance policies for those over the age of 75.

What is the oldest age you can get life insurance?

For term life policies, you must not be older than 85 while the policy is in force. For most companies, this means they have an age restriction of 75 because the shortest term they offer is 10 years.

For example, a 75-year-old could buy a 10-year-term policy, but a 76-year-old could not because they would be 86 before the policy expires.

Some companies have exceptions, such as Canada Life, which will issue a 5-year term policy to an 80-year-old. 

For whole-life coverage, some insurance companies issue up to age 85.

Type of life insurance for seniors

Depending on their individual health and coverage needs, seniors have many life insurance types to choose from.

Traditionally underwritten life insurance

Traditional policies are fully underwritten, meaning applicants will have to answer health questionnaires and may have to go through a medical exam that details their health history.

Term life insurance for seniors

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance product that covers you for a specific length of time, called a term, and pays a tax-free, lump-sum payment to your beneficiaries if you die, within the term.

A healthy 60-year-old seeking life insurance coverage for a temporary need (such as paying off an outstanding mortgage) will find term life is a more affordable option.

💡What happens when your term is up?

1. Renew your policy

Most term policies are renewable without a medical exam up to age 75 or 85. For some insurance providers, term life insurance coverage is renewable for a policyholder’s entire lifetime (i.e. up to the age of 100). Renewal prices however are significantly higher.

2. Convert your policy

Some term policies are also convertible to permanent whole-life policies as well (more on that below).  Most term life insurance policies are convertible before age 71 only, though there are exceptions, with some life insurance companies allowing conversion before age 75.

3. Buy a new policy 

If you don’t want to renew or convert, you can shop around to find a new policy. Although, keep in mind that as you age your life insurance rates will increase no matter which company you’re with.

Whole life insurance for seniors 

Permanent life insurance policies (also known as whole life insurance) cover you for your entire life. A permanent policy is best to cover final expenses like funeral costs, outstanding debts, and end-of-life medical costs. Your policy options for permanent life insurance are whole life or universal life insurance

Since this is lifelong coverage, it is generally more expensive. Additionally, whole life policies also have the living benefit of a cash value component. This cash value may be accessed during your lifetime either by withdrawing or borrowing against it. 

A senior may also look into a term-to-100 policy. It’s like a blend of term and whole life insurance. This policy lasts your entire life (like whole life) and you pay level premiums (like term life) until you turn 100 years old. 

No-Medical life insurance for seniors 

No medical life policies have very few medical questions and do not require a medical exam. Options include simplified and guaranteed issue life insurance. Both types of policies insurance have lower coverage amount options than traditionally underwritten policies. These policies are best for those who: 

Simplified life insurance for seniors

Simplified issue life insurance requires you to answer a FEW questions about your medical history on the life insurance application, rather than undergoing a full physical medical exam and interview process. Simplified issue life insurance policies usually carry additional limitations such as an exclusion period (sometimes 1-2 years) during which no claims are accepted. They may also have lower death benefit coverage than traditional policies. 

Guaranteed life insurance for seniors

Guaranteed life insurance has NO health questions and is essentially a pay-to-play product. It is a last-resort life insurance option for seniors. It’s there for those who don’t qualify for any traditional life insurance policies or simplified life policies. A guaranteed issue policy has a 2-year waiting period as well as a lower life insurance payout amount—the death benefit is usually limited to $50,000. 

Find out more about the difference between simplified vs guaranteed life insurance.

Types of no medical insurance

How much does life insurance for seniors in Canada cost?

For a typical 60-year-old non-smoking female in regular health, $100,000 of a 20-year term life insurance plan could cost just over $61 per month, and around $97 for a male. The cost of life insurance premiums depends on several factors such as age, gender, smoking status, lifestyle, and overall health. For example, smoking almost doubles the price of these premiums to $198 and $126 per month respectively.

Read more about how much life insurance costs in general.

Affordable Senior Life Insurance

Find the lowest quotes from over 30 insurance companies!

What is the best life insurance for seniors in Canada?

The “best” life insurance policy for seniors depends on one’s individual situation. Our life insurance needs calculator below can shed more light on your specific insurance requirements. But in general, here is a list of what is available our expert insurance advisors might recommend based on your age. 

Check out PolicyAdvisor's life insurance calculator.

Life insurance for seniors 60 and over

Life insurance for seniors over 60 offers a way to protect your loved ones and cover final expenses in your later years. Here are your policy options as in your 60s.

  • 5- year term
  • 10-year term
  • 15-year term
  • 20-year term
  • 25-year term
  • Term-to-100
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
Cost of life insurance over 60

Life insurance for seniors 65 and over

Life insurance for seniors over 65 is a valuable tool to ensure your family’s financial well-being and address end-of-life planning. After 65, term options become more limited due to the term age restriction at 85. Here are your options as you approach 65 or older. 

  • 5-year term
  • 10-year term
  • 15-year term
  • 20-year term (65-year-olds only)
  • Term-to-100
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
Cost of life insurance over 65

Life insurance for seniors 70 and over

Life insurance for seniors over 70 remains accessible and essential for securing your legacy and easing the burden on your family. If you haven’t already put a life insurance plan in place, you still have options: 

  • 5-year term
  • 10-year term
  • 15-year term (70-year-olds only)
  • Term-to-100
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
Cost of Life insurance over 70

Life insurance for seniors 75 and over

Seniors over 75 can still secure life insurance, providing an essential safety net for their loved ones and addressing end-of-life costs. Here are life policy options for seniors 75 and over:

  • 5-year term 
  • 10-year term (75-year-olds only)
  • Term-to-100
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
Cost of life insurance over 75

Life insurance for seniors over 80 and over

Life insurance for seniors over 80 becomes even more critical, allowing you to leave a lasting legacy and manage estate planning efficiently. Term coverage is limited to a 5-year term, which few providers offer. Here are your options if you’re 80 and over:

  • 5-year term
  • 10-year term (75-year-olds only)
  • Term-to-100
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
Cost of life insurance over 80

Where can I get affordable life insurance for seniors in Canada?

As we mentioned, Insurance companies base their premiums on many factors (such as age, health, amount of coverage, term, etc). Because every senior’s situation is different, life insurance rates vary

However, insurance companies that are popular with our senior clients include: 

  • Canada LifeThis company offers a short 5-year term option that is best for elderly people looking to be covered between 80 and 85 years old. Term life insurance is more affordable, but it is only temporary coverage. 
  • WawanesaThis company calculates their prices based on your actual age at the time of application, rather than your nearest birthday like most insurers (which may be older). 
  • Industrial AllianceThis company is popular for guaranteed term life insurance coverage. Their Access Life insurance product has a maximum issue age of 80 with coverage amounts between $10,000 and $500,000. 
  • Canada Protection Plan (CPP): Seniors also choose CPP for their guaranteed life insurance plans, although their coverage maxes out at $50,000.

We encourage you to use our online tool to get life insurance quotes for seniors. There you can easily compare the price of premiums offered by different insurance companies based on your unique needs and situation.

Get a quote for seniors life insurance

With so many options available, making a choice can get challenging. If you’re still not clear about your situation and which insurance policy to choose, don’t worry. Our licensed insurance advisors have decades of experience helping Canadians compare life insurance quotes and choose coverage at the best rates for seniors. Get an online quote or book a call with us to go over your options and what product is best for you.

Still looking for the best life insurance rates?
PolicyAdvisor saves you time and money when comparing Canada’s top life insurance companies. Check it out!

Seniors Life Insurance FAQ

Can I get a life insurance policy for my parents?

Yes. You can get a life insurance policy for your parents. To buy a life insurance policy on someone else’s life, you will need to prove that you have an insurable interest in their lives—this means, if they pass away, you would affected financially. For example, if you co-owned a house and they help cover the mortgage payments, this would mean you have an insurable interest. Age restrictions will apply based on your parent’s age at the time of application and they may have to undergo medical tests.

Is there government life insurance for seniors?

No. There is no government-funded life insurance for seniors in Canada like there are programs for health insurance. To get coverage, a senior must purchase life insurance privately. To find an affordable life insurance option for your financial goals, contact an advisor today!

Can seniors with bad health get life insurance?

Yes. Depending on the type and severity of the pre-existing medical condition, seniors can still get life insurance coverage. If the pre-existing condition is well managed and not considered life-threatening, then coverage will typically be available at regular rates.

In more moderate to severe health cases, the pre-existing medical condition may lead to higher premiums or denial of traditional policies. If that’s the case, no medical life insurance may be a better option as the application for these policies doesn’t ask many health questions.

Can seniors get life insurance without a medical exam?

Yes. There are several situations where a senior may opt to apply for coverage without a medical exam. High-risk seniors in poor health may have severe pre-existing medical conditions that disqualify them from traditional term life insurance or whole life insurance.

In other cases, some simply do not want to go through the physical or time-consuming process of a medical examination. For these situations, there is the option to choose from no-medical life insurance policies, though premiums are generally higher and coverage amounts are lower than traditionally underwritten policies.

Need help?
Call us at 1-888-601-9980 or book time with our licensed experts.

  • Life insurance is a way for seniors to leave a tax-free sum of money to their loved ones or estate
  • Term life insurance is not typically available for seniors past the age of 75
  • Permanent coverage is a good way to ensure coverage for funeral expenses or medical debt
  • Seniors with pre-existing medical conditions can still get coverage and can opt for no-medical life insurance policies

By Jiten Puri
CEO & Founder, Insurance Advisor, LLQP
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