The AARP Life Insurance Program

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Though it doesn’t offer the lowest rates, with a specialization in the elderly market, excellent membership benefits, and a sterling reputation in the industry, AARP is a solid option for senior life insurance applicants.

A.M. Best

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA+

BBB

A+

The Good

  • Financially secure
  • Senior-focused products
  • Membership benefits
  • Non-medical coverage options
  • Partnership with New York Life
  • Product lineup

The Bad

  • Limited market
  • Limited death benefit amounts
  • Cost

Product Availability

Policy Types
  • Term
  • Whole
  • Guaranteed Acceptance
  • Children’s
Riders
  • Accelerated Death Benefit
  • Children’s Insurance Rider
  • Waiver of Premium

Overall

4.37

Price/Value

3.3

Financial Strength

4.9

User Experience

4.0

Product Availability

2.5

Brand/Size

4.8

Price/Value

The price of coverage is likely to weigh heavily on your choice of life insurance provider, and what you pay for a policy could vary drastically depending on which insurer you choose.

Your rates will also be influenced by the type of policy you purchase, what riders you add to your policy, and the amount of coverage you need.

Premiums are also based on how much risk the life insurance company takes on by insuring you. 

They use several criteria to determine your mortality risk, each weighing the factors below differently:

  • Age
  • Height, weight
  • Medical conditions
  • Family health history
  • Lifestyle 

AARP received a 3.25 for overall affordability, meaning their rates aren’t the most competitive for the majority of people, but they aren’t the worst.

Since AARP’s policies come with simplified underwriting without a medical exam or guaranteed coverage, they tend to be more expensive than medically underwritten policies.

But if you’re a senior who smokes or has a medical condition that would prohibit you from getting traditional coverage elsewhere, AARP could be one of your best bets.

Their policies, particularly their guaranteed issue whole life options, are often more competitively priced than other guaranteed alternatives.

Just note that AARP’s policies are only available to members, so you’ll have to pay for a membership as well.

Financial Strength

Before you partner with AARP or any other provider for a purchase as important as life insurance, you need to do a checkup on the company’s financial health.

AARP has over $382 million in total assets, doing business with more than 38 million members.

Based solely on the fact that AARP’s policies are underwritten by New York Life, you can rest assured knowing you’re doing business with a reputable carrier.

We can also look to New York Life’s credit ratings, which assess the company’s likelihood of meeting its financial obligations, to assess its strength.

The industry giant touts some of the most impressive ratings in the industry, across the board. 

Take a look:

A.M. BestA++
FitchAAA
Moody’sAaa
Standard & Poor’sAA+

Combined, these scores give New York Life a Comdex score of 100, the best possible rating.

New York Life, and consequently AARP, is among the most solvent life insurance providers in the nation, with nearly unmatched financial security.

Based on their financial performance and ratings, you can depend on AARP and New York Life for your family’s life insurance needs.

User Experience

The best life insurance companies aren’t just defined by financial strength and affordability, but also customer experience. 

Whether you’re researching a company, applying for coverage, or updating your policy details, it should be a simple experience.

We scored AARP’s user experience by looking at their satisfaction ratings, application process, and website.

Ratings

BBB ratings shed light on a company’s communication and relationship with customers.

AARP holds an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau, as does New York Life. 

J.D. Power also provides insight into customer experience, surveying policyholders to gauge a company’s prices, application process, website, and communication.

While AARP wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s latest survey, New York Life was awarded an overall satisfaction score of 4 out of 5, indicating it is “better than most.”

Website

AARP’s life insurance website, in partnership with New York Life, provides the basics you need to purchase a policy. 

It also has a learning center with several educational posts about life insurance, a customer service center with FAQs and downloadable forms, and a claim filing guide.

The site presents details about each of its policy options, like the age limits, maximum policy amounts, and medical requirements.

You can get instant quotes online for all of AARP’s policies, and you can apply for level term and whole life insurance online.

Policyholders can use the site to:

  • Make and manage payments
  • Download claims forms
  • Add beneficiaries
  • Change address, beneficiary information

Application

New York Life’s application process ranks among the best, so it’s no surprise that applying for one of their policies with AARP is a positive experience.

Some of the biggest benefits of non-med exam policies are their speed and simplicity.

Instead of contacting an agent, applying over the phone, scheduling a medical exam, and waiting 4 to 6 weeks, you get nearly instant coverage.

When you apply for term or whole life insurance with AARP, you just need to answer a few questions online about your health and potentially consent to a checkup of your medical records.

With the Easy Acceptance policy, you don’t have to answer health questions. Instead, an additional mortality risk charge is added to your premiums.

Product Availability

Level Benefit Term

Here are a few key takeaways on AARP’s Level Benefit Term product.

  • Death benefit: It has the highest amount of coverage available, $100,000, but in order to get it, you’ll have to answer the most questions and give the most information, a fair trade-off for the coverage offered.
  • Length: The ‘level’ term only lasts to age 80, meaning once you reach this age, the policy will no longer be in effect.
  • Premiums: Your rates will increase every 5 years (or when you reach the next age band) and will continue to do so for the life of the policy. Despite the name, only the coverage will be level, not the premiums.

Whole Life

AARP refers to its basic whole life insurance policy as Permanent Life.

Let’s break it down:

  • Death benefit: It has half the available death benefit compared to the Level Benefit Term product, but it has no limit on age. A policy that lasts a lifetime can be very beneficial.
  • Premiums: There is also no change in premiums, unlike the term product, and both the policy benefit and cost of coverage will not change as long as you keep the policy in force.
  • Cost: As good as just three health questions sounds, it means higher premiums. Not only will this increase costs due to the higher risk, but the permanent nature of the insurance product also makes it proportionally higher.

Guaranteed Acceptance

Here’s a rundown of AARP’s Guaranteed Acceptance life insurance policy features:

  • Coverage: The plan offers permanent coverage with a maximum benefit of $15,000, available after the first couple of years of the policy.
  • Benefits: Like the permanent life plan, coverage will never go down and premiums will never rise, as long as you keep the policy in good standing.
  • Underwriting: There are zero health questions or extra fees. While this is great for someone in poor health who wouldn’t otherwise qualify, this means the highest cost per thousand of any type of life insurance in the market.

Young Start

In addition to the policies featured above, AARP allows members to purchase Young Start life insurance for their children or grandchildren.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Death benefit: Up to $20,000 of permanent coverage can be purchased for children from 0-17, lasting for the entirety of their lives as long as payments are made faithfully.
  • Premiums: Low rates attained in childhood are guaranteed to remain intact, no matter how the insured individual’s health changes later in life.

Application: The coverage comes with a simplified application and no medical exam requirement. You simply have to answer three health-related questions on the application.

Brand/Size

AARP, originally the American Association for Retired Persons, is one of the most well-known companies targeting seniors.

The company was launched in 1958 by a retired educator by the name of Ethel Percy Andrus, in partnership with Leonard Davis, the founder of Colonial Penn.

Dr. Andrus was one of a handful of women to graduate from a four-year university at the turn of the 20th century and served as the first female high-school principal in California.

After her notable tenure as an educator, Andrus dedicated her efforts to improving the quality of life of senior citizens, giving them the financial footing they need to thrive in life.

Out of that passion, AARP was born.

Today, the AARP Life Insurance Program is underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, one of the highest-rated life insurance companies in the United States.

New York Life has insured 7 million policyowners, paying out $11.1 billion in claims.

AARP provides membership to senior citizens with countless benefits including discounts, money management tools, and health and life insurance, to name a few.

Philanthropy

AARP continues to live out its founder’s motto, “To serve, not to be served,” both through its client services and charitable activities.

The AARP Foundation is focused on combating senior poverty through all of its initiatives, supporting charities that aid them.

In addition to giving millions of dollars to organizations in need, AARP’s Create the Good program helps to match members looking to volunteer with nonprofits who pair well with their passions and skills.

Brand

Chances are, you’re familiar with AARP and its membership-based benefits for seniors.

The organization is no stranger to television, email, radio, and snail-mail marketing, making it a familiar name in millions of households.

Because of its popularity and wide range of member benefits and services, AARP has a massive following on social media as well.

The company’s Facebook page has over 2 million followers, It also has a substantial following on Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

AARP uses these platforms to regularly post educational financial info, professional advice, and personal interest stories targeted to seniors.

Consensus

Your choice of life insurance company shouldn’t just be based on one opinion, but several. 

We’ve explored dozens of online reviews from financial experts, life insurance agents, and consumers to gauge the consensus surrounding AARP.

In general, there’s an agreement that AARP and New York Life are upstanding companies you can depend on for life insurance.

However, AARP doesn’t always rank on every list of the best life insurance companies because of its higher than average prices and laser-focus on seniors.

But that focus is an asset if you’re a senior in need of guaranteed coverage and the benefits offered to AARP members.

The AARP Life Insurance Program

Phone
(800) 607-6957
Address
5505 W. Cypress St.
Tampa, FL 33607

Company Name (and subsidiaries)

  • New York Life Insurance Company (Parent)

Author:

Avatar

Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of BestLifeRates.org, LLC. and a multi-state licensed life insurance agent who has helped over a million Americans seek out affordable coverage, compare quotes, or get their family and businesses covered.