Many older life insurance policyholders face financial panic as their policies expire when they reach age 100. Policies that appeared to be perfectly adequate when purchased decades ago are now causing problems, as they expire when the insured person turns 100, resulting in the policyholder and their heirs receiving nothing, despite decades of paying into the policy.
The age 100 maturity date means the policy expires, and coverage ends when the insured person turns 100. The situation is embarrassing for life insurers who do not want to be seen as stiffing deserving elderly customers who did nothing wrong and paid their premiums on time. Regulators and the life insurance industry updated the mortality tables used to calculate the probability of death for life insurance applicants. The yearly “probabilities” of death tables were increased from a maximum age of 100 to age 121, when even most seniors agree they won’t be around.
Many insurers added a Maturity Extension Rider (MER) to existing policies issued long ago to extend their coverage. And, since insurers have internal policy charges for the costs needed to pay all death benefits, the life insurance company doesn’t lose money by extending the policy. However, there are a number of lawsuits being litigated related to the age 100 problem.
Acquiring cash value at age 100 defeats the purpose of life insurance, which is to provide a tax-free benefit for heirs. Instead, if money goes back to the policyholder, it could create a monstrous “taxable event” for the 100-year-old since the money is going to the person who put it in and is now involuntarily being forced to take it out. Policies based on stock or bond market indices can decline if either of those markets performs poorly during certain years. In some instances, a market index decline has forced insurance policy owners to save their policies by paying additional premiums or lose the coverage altogether.
To avoid such problems, policyholders approaching their policy’s maturity age should consult with a financial advisor.
|Insurer||Policy Type||Age Limit||Policy Benefits|
|Prudential||Term life insurance||85||Flexible coverage and level premiums for terms up to 30 years.|
|New York Life||Whole life insurance||90||Guaranteed death benefit and cash value accumulation.|
|State Farm||Term life insurance||75||Flexible coverage and level premiums for terms up to 30 years.|
|Northwestern Mutual||Whole life insurance||121||Guaranteed death benefit and cash value accumulation.|
|MetLife||Term life insurance||75||Flexible coverage and level premiums for terms up to 30 years.|
|MassMutual||Whole life insurance||100+||Guaranteed death benefit and cash value accumulation.|
|Guardian||Term life insurance||75||Flexible coverage and level premiums for terms up to 30 years.|
|John Hancock||Whole life insurance||121||Guaranteed death benefit and cash value accumulation.|
- LSA, LLC. Is There An Age Limit For Life Insurance?
- Progressive. Does Life Insurance Expire At A Certain Age?
- ValuePenguin. Turn Age 100 And Your Life Insurance Could Die Before You
- Policygenius. Life Insurance 101: Is There A Life Insurance Age Limit?
- LifeInsure. Age-Related Reductions In Workers' Life Insurance