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What is life insurance?
Life insurance is an agreement between you (the policyholder) and the insurance company. You make monthly payments towards your policy, and your beneficiaries receive a tax-free payout, known as the death benefit, if you die while your coverage is active.
What does life insurance cover?
Life insurance pays out for most causes of death. Natural causes, suicide, and accidents are all covered.
How much do I need?
Our experts recommend getting coverage that equals 10 to 30 times your income so that your family has financial support for the long run.
How do I buy it?
All it takes is a phone interview and a medical exam to get coverage. Some people can even get a policy without a medical exam.
What are the different types of life insurance?
There are many kinds of life insurance, but by far the most common ones are term and whole. Most people find term life insurance to be more practical, but the policy that’s best for you will depend on your individual circumstances.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance, with relatively low monthly rates. It lasts for a fixed period of time — typically 10 to 30 years, depending on your policy — which is all that most people need.
Whole life insurance
Whole life insurance lasts your whole life and, in addition to a death benefit payout, it comes with a cash value that can be used as a savings vehicle to supplement your retirement. It’s best for people who have maxed out other investments.
Another type of life insurance you might encounter is universal life insurance. Like whole life insurance, universal insurance coverage lasts for life and has a cash value savings feature. But you can adjust the premiums or benefit of a universal life policy, depending on your cash value performance. Unless you're a high-earner looking to maximize your investments, term or whole life are usually a better option.
How much does life insurance cost?
The cost of life insurance depends on many factors, including your age, health, and the specifics of your policy, but a healthy 35-year-old could expect to pay between $25 and $30 per month for a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy. Rates are five to 15 times higher if you buy cash value life insurance, like whole or universal life insurance. Either way, it’s always better to buy sooner rather than later: Depending on your age, you add anywhere from 4.5% to 9.2% to your premium every year you wait to purchase a policy. We can help you compare life insurance quotes from top-rated companies to find the best policy for you — at your lowest price.
Average term life insurance rates by age, March 2022
Methodology: The chart above reflects average life insurance premiums, as of March 1, 2022, for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, buying a term life insurance policy with a 20-year term length. Rates are based on the monthly Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index. Prices in the index are determined by internal actuarial rate tables for 10 life insurance carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace: AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and TransAmerica.
Why do I need life insurance?
You need life insurance to protect your family from the loss of your income. Your savings will only go so far, especially if you pass away before you’ve had time to pay off all of your debts and save up for the future. People who usually need life insurance include:
Young adults with private student loans or other co-signed loans, like a mortgage
Older adults who are nearing retirement and need coverage to protect their savings plan
Seniors who can’t independently cover their end-of-life medical care or burial expenses
How can life insurance help protect my family?
The death benefit can replace your financial support for decades and ensure your family won’t struggle to cover the costs of a mortgage, a funeral, or care and college for your kids. It also means your spouse can continue to save for retirement or has money to support an aging parent.
What are the best insurance companies?
Protective, Banner Life, and Lincoln Financial are among our top-ranked insurance partners, but when it comes to life insurance, there’s no one-size-fits-all. The right policy for you depends on your individual needs and circumstances. That’s where we come in. As an independent insurance broker, we can give you reviews and recommendations of all the top insurance companies.
How to buy life insurance
Before you start the process, take some time to review your financial needs and your health history. This will help speed up the process of getting a quote and applying for coverage.
Apply online. After you figure out how much coverage you need, you can fill out a simple health questionnaire to start the application process and get some initial quotes.
Talk to an agent. An agent will walk through your background and gather additional information to help determine which insurer will offer you the most affordable coverage. They’ll also advocate for you throughout the application process.
Take a medical exam (or don’t). Insurers use the brief medical exam to verify the health information you provided and determine how much you pay for coverage. But some insurers will just check your previous medical records instead.
Sign your policy and pay your first premium. Once you take this step, it’s official — you have life insurance! Sit back and relax. If your needs shift — say your beneficiaries or financial obligations change — you can always adjust your policy.
Buying life insurance is easy with Policygenius
Experts when you need them. Technology for everything else.
Get free quotes tailored to your needs
We’re a marketplace — that means we partner with top life insurance companies to give you multiple quotes, so you can find the policy that’s right for you.
Get free advice from licensed agents
Our expert agents work for you, not the insurance companies. You can trust them to offer unbiased advice and help you understand all your options. (Learn more about how Policygenius makes money.)
Get support every step of the way
We’re here to advocate for you, and that doesn’t end when you buy your policy. Need to change your beneficiaries, or file a claim? We’ll help with that, too.
Policygenius customer reviews
The reviews are in. See what our current customers are saying about buying insurance with us.
Very easy to work with
Answered all my questions and helped me make choices and changes to best suit my needs for life insurance. Communications were always informative and timely.
Caring Group of Professionals
I received everything promised. I am covered! My family is covered! Such pleasant and thoughtful professionals are here. Way to go Geniuses--PolicyGeniuses!!!
Policygenius was quick and thorough
Their updates, information, and care was very encouraging in a time were chaos and a lack of transparency seemed normal. Kudos to the staff of Policygenius.
I thought the service from Policygenius was excellent
Very professional throughout the process. The follow up was superb, very friendly, never pushy and I felt comfortable through every step. I can't say enough good things.
I would do business again
I would do business again with Policygenius. They have excellent customer service support and they kept me abreast of my situation the entire time.
I like the fact that they were not high pressure,
Meaning they do not call you 10 x per day, or email you continuously. As a matter of fact, they only bother you when they need something.
They were great at keeping me informed
They were great at keeping me informed on the status of my account. Easy process.
So easy to work with and was blown away
Was a terrific experience and my agent led me straight through multiple options and helped me get an amazing price. Very impressed
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