According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 106 million Americans went without life insurance or were underinsured in 2022. Ultimately, this means many people worry about how their loved ones will survive in the event of their death, and many worry about how funeral bills and medical costs at the end of their parent's life will get paid.

With the average life expectancy averaging 76.1 years in the United States, it leaves many people with aging parents asking the following question: "Should I buy life insurance for my parents?"

Continue reading to learn more about getting life insurance for elderly parents and the best policy options to choose from:

How to Get Life Insurance for My Parents: Step-by-Step Guide

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If you have decided to get life insurance for your parents is the best choice, your next step will require you to buy the policy. Continue reading for step-by-step tips on how to make the insurance-buying process easier for you and your parents.

Talk to Your Parents About Their Wishes

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When wanting to buy life insurance for your parents, it is best to speak with them about their wishes. Be open with your parents, asking if they want to live with you, hire live-in help, or move into a residential community. Additionally, ask your parents about their existing life insurance policies to see if they have enough coverage. Then discuss the opinions about buying life insurance or getting additional coverage.

Get Their Permission

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Many ask, "Can I buy life insurance for my parents without their consent?" Though it is possible, it is easier if you work with the consent of your parents before buying life insurance for them.

Your parents must be able to sign the paperwork and be of sound mind. You may also need to prove that their death will financially impact you, which can be easy if you support them financially. Finally, you need all their personal information, such as their Social Security Number, to buy the policy. Their permission makes getting the information needed to buy the policy more accessible.

Select a Life Insurance Policy and Coverage

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Please discuss with your parents which life insurance policy is the best option based on their needs. Then, select a plan and coverage that makes the most sense for them and yourself. Life insurance for young parents may offer you more policy options, which can determine the policy you choose.

Designate a Beneficiary

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When buying life insurance for your parents, you must also select to whom the money will get distributed. To ensure the money goes toward what your parents want it to, discuss with them who will be the beneficiary of the policy. In most cases, if you buy the procedure, the benefits will go to you, and you will distribute it based on their documented wishes.

See Also: Life Insurance Policies and Trusts Explained

What do I need to get life insurance for my parents?

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In addition to having your parents' personal information, including their Social Security Numbers, you may need other forms and documents. For example, before consenting to buy a life insurance policy, it must be proven they are legally competent to provide consent. Additionally, depending on the life insurance policy, your parents may need a physical examination.

Additional things that may be needed to get life insurance for your parents may include:

  • Documentation of other life insurance policies
  • The policy you want to purchase
  • Death benefit amounts and calculations
  • Policy costs, including payments and fees

When can I get life insurance for my parents?

It is possible to purchase a life insurance policy if you have an insurable interest in their life. Insurable interest is when you are responsible for financial obligations after their death. Some eligible financial responsibilities may include:

  • End-of-life medical expenses
  • Funeral services
  • Burial or cremation costs
  • Inheriting your parents' home and properties
  • Debts you cosigned
  • Expenses for caring for the surviving parent

What's the best life insurance for parents?

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In addition to knowing how to purchase life insurance for parents, it is best to know which life insurance will provide enough benefits for you in the event of their death. Age is essential when determining which life insurance policy is the best. Continue reading to learn more about the different age groups and which life insurance policies are best for each.

Ages 25 to 40

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For younger parents, a term life insurance policy is typically the most beneficial and makes the most sense. This is because a term life policy protects things such as mortgages and car payments. In addition, this type of policy has lower monthly premiums and provides higher coverage amounts. Essentially, term life insurance is the best option for parents between the ages of 25 and 40 because it is based on having to replace any income the family would lose if the parent dies.

Typically, term life insurance only lasts for a set term, between 10 and 30 years, and does require medical examinations to qualify.

Ages 40 to 85

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For older parents, typically between the ages of 40 and 85, whole-life insurance policies are better because parents are near retirement or have already retired. In addition, these policies help build cash value and continue covering you after fully paying your premiums.

It is possible to purchase a whole life insurance policy without a medical exam; however, monthly premiums may be less if you undergo a physical examination. In addition, for whole life insurance policies, the younger and healthier your parents are, the lower the premiums and the higher the benefits.

How much coverage would be the best?

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Several factors go into determining which insurance policy is best for your parents, how much it will cost, and what the benefits will be. Below is a chart with average options based on the different types of life insurance available for parents:

Term Life Universal Life Indexed Universal Life Whole Life
Coverage Period Term Duration Permanent Permanent Permanent
Coverage Amount Varies - Average is $500,000 to $1 million (but can be more or less) Based on the number of payments put into the policy Based on the number of payments put into the policy and market gains Varies - Policies starting at $10,000
Average Premiums $15+ per month $50+ per month $100+ per month As low as $25 per month
Cash Value None Yes Yes Yes
Tax Benefits Yes Yes Yes Yes
Age Requirements Maximum age between 80 and 90 years Typically less than 85 years No age requirements Maximum age 80 to 85 years
Medical Examination Yes - On Most Insurance Policies Yes - But some policies do not require it Not required for most policies No

What amount of life insurance coverage is best for parents?

Female financial advisor talking to a senior aged couple

When answering the question about how much life insurance coverage is best, it is vital to consider several factors because it varies from person to person. Before shopping for life insurance, calculate how much money you will need in the event of your parent's death. Financial factors to consider may include:

  • Your parents' total debt
  • Medical bills
  • Funeral expenses
  • Any other financial obligations based on your parents' final wishes

How much will life insurance cost?

two women in a meeting

The cost of life insurance is calculated using several factors, including age, overall health, and if you are paying in one lump sum or through monthly premiums. The total cost of a term life insurance policy is lower than a whole life insurance policy, but it can be easier to get. However, life insurance provides more benefits, such as a higher cash value and faster claim payouts.

Depending upon the policy, your parents' age, and overall health, policies can start as low as $15 per month and increase the older your parents are and if they do not pass the health examination.

Can I get life insurance for my parents without them knowing?

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Getting life insurance for your parents without their consent is impossible. During the application process, you must provide their consent and prove they are legally competent to give it. Additionally, if you do not already have it, you will need their Social Security Number and other personal information.

Should I buy Life Insurance for my Parents?

Smiling financial advisor showing documents to a couple

Suppose you are financially responsible for your parent's final expenses, such as outstanding debt, legal fees for processing wills and estates, medical bills, and funeral expenses. In that case, it is a good idea to discuss getting a life insurance policy for your parents. The financial burden will fall on you if your parents do not have enough money to pay for these costs. A life insurance policy for your parents ensures you have enough money to cover everything in the event of their death.

Additionally, a life insurance policy can help support your parents during their retirement, reading their dependency on you as they grow older.

The most significant con associated with buying your parents a life insurance policy is the cost you pay for monthly premiums. Before purchasing the policy, ensure you have enough financial assets to cover the premiums without causing financial distress to yourself and your family.

Best and most affordable life insurance options for parents

Here are the top five cheapest life insurance options for parents.

Haven Life

Haven Life

Haven Life offers same-day term life insurance coverage and has the best online platform for advice and insurance about available policies.

Some benefits of having a life insurance policy through Haven Life include having an easy-to-navigate website at your fingertips, quick online quotes and applications, online chat, and a free accelerated death benefit rider. However, some disadvantages to this company may include term policies are not convertible, the low maximum age for new policies, and few riders available.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual Of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is considered the best life insurance policy for aging parents because it has a higher max age limit for obtaining new policies. Additionally, most policies require no medical exam, allowing aging parents or parents with medical conditions to get life insurance coverage.

Pros for getting a life insurance policy through Mutual of Omaha include having access to new policies up to the age of 85, free-living benefits riders on many policies, customization for riders, and up to $40,000 in burial insurance.

The most significant disadvantage to this company is they only offer a few policy types.



Nationwide is one of the best companies for getting your parents a whole life insurance policy. Nationwide has very few complaints and has a high customer satisfaction rating. In addition to being a top company for life insurance for parents, it is highly recommended for whole life insurance for everyone.

Pros for life insurance through Nationwide are they offer high coverage limits with no medical exams, and most policies include three living benefits riders. The benefits are very generous and cover many people at affordable rates.

Cons for this company include only having average premium rates, but other than that, everything is very positive.

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual offers life insurance policies backed by a financial company with a strong rating and good customer satisfaction scores. Additionally, the company has few customer complaints. Other benefits to buying a life insurance policy through Northwestern Mutual include having a whole life insurance policy with dividends, and no medical exam needed.

The disadvantages to getting a policy from this company are you cannot apply without an authorized agent, and the website has very little information to assist in choosing a life insurance policy.

State Farm Life Insurance

State Farm

Often ranked best for complete protection and customer satisfaction, State Farm Life Insurance helps offer you peace of mind knowing everything about your parent's end-of-life finances is taken care of. Between the high ratings and few complaints, this is one of the top companies providing life insurance policies for parents.

Pros for State Farm Life Insurance are affordable rates, various policies, and can bundle with other insurance policies.

Common cons for this company's life insurance policies may include no living benefits included, and term life premiums can be expensive.

As your parents age, you may start worrying about how to take care of their expenses when they retire or if one or both die. Do not worry about this. Instead, please speak with your parents and discuss options for getting them life insurance. Having a policy for your parents may be more beneficial than you think.

Cheap Life Insurance Quotes by Age

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