Most life insurance policies for the elderly are simplified issue.

This means that there is no medical exam necessary. Typically insurers will require a physical exam in order to verify an applicant’s health and qualifications for coverage. A simplified issue policy simply asks some questions about an applicant’s health. The answers to those questions will determine whether or not you qualify for coverage, and how much it will cost.

What kind of questions do insurers ask?

The health questionnaire will differ from one company to another, but they all typically ask the same types of questions. Some examples of things an insurer will want to know:

What if I answer yes to one or more questions?

If you can answer no to all of the questions (and the insurer will verify your answers with information from your medical history report) then you will qualify for a preferred a standard rate. If your answer to one or more of the questions is yes, then that doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for a policy. It just means that you will not qualify for the best rate. Insurers will usually counteroffer your application. So you will not qualify for the lowest rate, but you may qualify for coverage at the next highest rate

How does that affect my coverage?

Another thing to consider- if you answer yes to one or more of the questions, then you will not qualify for immediate benefits. Instead, your life insurance coverage will be graded. This means that the full death benefit is not payable until year two or sometimes year three. For example, let’s say you are 75 years old and you have had some health issues. You purchase a $10,000 policy with graded benefits. If you die in the first year, then your beneficiaries may only get $4,000. If you pass away in year two, your beneficiaries may only $6,000. After the second year the death benefit is fully payable and your beneficiaries would get the full $10,000 on your passing.

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