AARP Life Insurance Review

Guaranteed “No-Exam” Life Insurance plans for AARP Members

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.
New York Life AARP

 New York Life AARP

Our Take 

AARP Life Insurance, backed by New York Life, is aimed at individuals aged 50 or older and offers both term and permanent life insurance policies with no medical exam required. Available only to AARP members, these policies are best for older individuals who may not qualify for traditional life insurance due to health issues. However, you can only receive up to $100,000 in coverage, so if more is needed, you may be better served looking elsewhere for life insurance.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • No medical exam required

  • Guaranteed acceptance policy available

  • Low-cost whole life policies for children or grandchildren

  • Free online quotes with transparent pricing

Cons
  • Lower coverage limits ($100,000 max)

  • Must be an AARP member to qualify

  • Monthly term life premiums increase over time

  • Insurance coverage not directly through AARP

Key Takeaways
  • AARP Life Insurance policies are underwritten by New York Life, one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S.
  • Both term and whole life policies are available.
  • Policies designed for older individuals with health conditions that disqualify them from other life insurance options.
  • Coverage is not available in all states.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1958
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole
  • Number of Plans 4
  • Payment Options Monthly, Quarterly
  • Official Website www.nylaarp.com

Introduction

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Life Insurance division is partnered with New York Life to offer term and whole life policies without the need for a medical exam. We researched AARP’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of AARP with the competition.

Company Overview

AARP was founded in 1958 to give older citizens access to quality financial and health services. With over 38 million members, AARP is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States, available to all U.S. citizens aged 50 or older. 

AARP Life Insurance is a division of AARP, offering term and whole life policies that are underwritten by New York Life, one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S. AARP allows users to obtain free quotes and sign up for policies online or over the phone. 

AARP Life Insurance is only available to AARP members and is available in most states, but actual availability varies by product and state.

AARP also offers exclusive deals for members on banking services, investment accounts, fraud protection, and Medicare supplement plans.

Available Plans 

AARP Life Insurance offers four types of life insurance plans. All of them are available for AARP members without the need for a medical exam.

Level Benefit Term Life Insurance

AARP offers term life insurance from $10,000 to $100,000 in coverage. Instead of choosing a specific term, the level benefit term life insurance expires when you turn 80. To continue coverage, you can convert your term life policy into a permanent life insurance plan once you turn 80 (or anytime before).

The policy is considered a “level benefit” plan as the death benefit stays the same over time, but the premiums increase as you get older.

Permanent Life Insurance

AARP members can apply for permanent life insurance coverage up to $50,000. This is a type of whole life policy that accrues cash value over time, which can be borrowed against if needed. Coverage ranges from $2,500 to $50,000, which is not necessarily enough to cover major expenses like a mortgage but can help cover end-of-life costs such as burial and funeral costs.

The AARP Permanent Life coverage is unique in that participants no longer have to pay premiums starting at age 95.

Easy Acceptance Life Insurance

Easy Acceptance Life insurance is a whole life coverage policy that will accept any applicant who is not terminally ill when applying. The coverage ranges from $2,500 to $25,000, and similar to the permanent life insurance plan, participants no longer have to pay premiums starting at age 95.

Participants who pass away within two years of starting the policy do not receive the full benefit. Instead, beneficiaries receive 125% of the premiums paid.

Young Start Life Insurance

AARP members can purchase a permanent life insurance policy for their children and grandchildren who are age 17 or younger. The policies range from $10,000 to $20,000 and accrue cash value over time.

The policy can be continued into adulthood and once the child turns 21, the policy becomes their responsibility. If they choose to continue the policy, they will need to take over paying the premiums but will also have control over assigning beneficiaries.

Available Riders

Many life insurance plans come with optional add-on policy enhancements called riders. These insurance endorsements add additional benefits or custom coverage options to the insurance policies. Rider fees are typically billed as a small percentage of the policy premium, or as a flat annual fee. Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected.

AARP offers two riders that can be attached to their permanent life insurance policies.

Accelerated Benefit

If an AARP permanent life insurance holder becomes terminally ill with a life expectancy of 24 months or less, they can access up to 50% of the benefit while still living. 

New York residents must receive a life expectancy diagnosis of 12 months or less to gain access to this benefit.

Waiver of Premium

AARP members with permanent life insurance who are confined to a qualified nursing home for 180 consecutive days may be eligible for a waiver of premiums. This rider is automatically included with permanent life insurance policies and lasts as long as the stay in the nursing home.

The nursing home must be primarily engaged in providing skilled nursing care under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Customer Service: Phone Support Only

AARP Life Insurance policies are all handled by New York Life. This means when you call customer service, you will be talking directly with a New York Life representative rather than one from AARP.

The AARP Life Insurance website has a place to make payments, update your personal information, access important forms, or manage beneficiaries. For direct customer service support, you can call New York Life directly for service and support at 800-607-6957.

AARP Life Insurance customer service business hours are Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

AARP Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online or 24/7 phone support.

Customer Satisfaction: Higher Than Average

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NIAC) does an annual poll of insurance company complaints and posts their totals each year publicly. This allows you to see which companies receive more complaints than the national average. A company with an average number of complaints would receive a score of 1.0.

AARP Life Insurance (offered through New York Life) has a lower-than-average customer complaint score of only 0.16 in 2020. This is six times lower than the national average for life insurance companies (relative to their share of the market). Its complaint index score dropped from 2019 as well, indicating its customer service is improving over time.

Financial Strength: A++ (Superior)

All AARP Life Insurance products are underwritten by New York Life, which has an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best. New York Life is one of the largest and most financially sound insurance companies in the U.S., which gives customers confidence that they can rely on the company’s ability to pay out any claims on their policy. 

New York Life is also ranked sixth out of 24 life insurance companies in the J.D. Power 2020 US Life Insurance Study. This customer satisfaction rating is based on its application and orientation, communications, interaction, price, product offerings, and statements.

Cancellation Policy: Generous 30-Day Trial Period

AARP Life Insurance offers a 30-day free look period when signing up for one of their life insurance policies, while most only offer the minimum of 10 days. If a customer decides to cancel for any reason within those 30 days, they will receive a full refund of premiums paid.

After the free look period, cancellation terms depend on the life insurance policy chosen. Term life policies can be canceled at any time, but will not provide a refund of premiums paid. Whole life policies allow customers to cancel their policy before its maturity date (at age 80). Because it is a cash-value policy, customers will receive the accumulated cash value minus any applicable fees. 

Cancellation fees are not publicly listed and may vary per policy.

Price of AARP Life Insurance: High Premium for Modest Coverage

AARP Life insurance premiums are particularly high compared to other term and whole life rates This is due, in part, to offering policies that do not require a medical exam, as well as offering policies to smokers and those with serious health conditions. 

Quotes are based on age and the answers to their short health questionnaire. Premiums can be paid monthly or quarterly.

Term Life

Monthly premium estimates for a $100,000 term policy on a 55-year-old smoker.

 Age Male Female
55-59 $238 $144
60-64 $348 $222
65-69 $478 $314
70-74 $690 $550

Permanent Life

Monthly premium estimates for a $100,000 permanent life policy on a 55-year-old smoker.

Benefit Amount Male Female
$2,500 $19 $13
$5,000 $36 $25
$10,000 $70 $49
$25,000 $174 $119
$50,000 $346 $237

Easy Acceptance Life

Monthly premium estimates for a $100,000 easy acceptance whole life policy on a 55-year-old smoker.

 Benefit Amount Male Female
$2,500 $18 $14
$5,000 $34 $26
$7,500 $50 $39
$10,000 $66 $51
$12,500 $82 $64
$15,000 $98 $76
$17,500 $114 $89
$20,000 $130 $101
$25,000 $162 $126

Early Start Life Insurance

Whole life coverage for children under age 18.

Benefit Amount Monthly Premium
$10,000 $5.00
$15,000 $7.50
$20,000 $10.00

How AARP Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

AARP Life Insurance does not have a lot of options for life insurance coverage compared to other companies, but it focuses on its demographic (50 and older), and all of its policies require no medical exam. The plans are typically priced higher than competitors, but for smokers or others with serious health conditions,  pricing is on par with other high-risk life insurance policies.

AARP’s partnership with New York Life gives them access to a highly-rated life insurance company with above-average customer satisfaction ratings. 

AARP Life Insurance vs. Lincoln National Life Insurance

Both AARP and Lincoln National offer no-exam life insurance, with both term and whole life policies available. 

Here are a few key differentiators between AARP and Lincoln National:

  • Lincoln National offers level term policies, which means the term and policy premiums stay the same. AARP only offers level benefits term policies, with increasing premiums every five years.
  • AARP Life Insurance is backed by New York Life, which is the largest life insurance company in the U.S.
  • Lincoln National offers multiple term policies (5-30 years), while the AARP term policy length simply goes until age 80.
  • AARP (underwritten by New York Life) scored well above average on the NAIC complaint index while Lincoln National scored below average.

While AARP Life Insurance can act as a good supplement to other life insurance policies, Lincoln National may offer higher available amounts of coverage, depending on your age. If you are relatively healthy, Lincoln National may be a good option for life insurance. If you are a smoker or have a serious health condition, AARP offers no-exam coverage at a reasonable cost.

Read our full Lincoln National Life Insurance review.

  AARP Life Insurance (underwritten by New York Life) Lincoln National (subsidiary of Lincoln Financial)
Market Share Largest in the U.S., 6.75% Fifth-largest in the U.S., 4.83%
Number of Plans 4 20+
Online Quotes Available? Yes No
Service Method Direct, phone Phone
AM Best Rating A++ (Superior) A+ (Superior)
Complaints Index 0.16 (above average) 1.25 (below average)
Verdict

AARP Life Insurance offers a limited selection of products and most of them are priced on the higher side. But AARP members who are looking for no-exam coverage and smoke or have a serious health condition can get guaranteed coverage. The term life policies increase the premium over time but can be converted to whole life at any time, giving members the flexibility to stay covered throughout their lifetime.

 AARP Life Insurance is underwritten by New York Life, which is the largest life insurance company in the US (by market share). With above-average customer satisfaction ratings on both NAIC and J.D. Power, customers can be assured that their policies are backed by a strong company in New York Life. Though AARP offers its life insurance exclusively to members, you should always compare life insurance rates with several companies before purchasing a policy.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.