25-year term life insurance: What is it, how does it work, is it worth it?

A 25-year term life insurance policy can provide financial stability for much of your adult life. You can use this type of policy to pay off a mortgage, protect your family, or prepare for retirement.

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By

Tory CrowleyAssociate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentTory Crowley is an associate life insurance and annuities editor and a licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Edited by

Antonio Ruiz-CamachoAntonio Ruiz-CamachoAssociate Content DirectorAntonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.
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Reviewed by

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Certified Financial PlannerIan Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

Updated|8 min read

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Term life insurance policies are a unique type of life insurance policy because they don’t last for your whole life. They have a limited duration, known as the “term.” You can set up a term life insurance policy to last for 25 years. 

A 25-year term life insurance policy can be a useful tool for protecting your family financially. This type of term life insurance policy is best for someone who has a good grasp of their longer-term financial needs and how insurance can offer protection.

What is a 25-year term life insurance policy?

A 25-year term life insurance policy is an agreement between you and the insurance company. You’ll make regular payments for 25 years. In exchange, the insurer agrees to pay out a lump sum of money if you die. This is called the death benefit. 

Both your premiums and the death benefit will be determined and agreed upon between you and the insurer before your policy begins. 

How does a 25-year term life insurance work?

  • When you apply for life insurance coverage, you’ll provide information about your health, lifestyle, and habits. 

  • The insurer will use this information to determine how risky it would be to insure your life for the next 25 years. 

  • Upon reviewing your application — a process called underwriting — the insurance company will offer you a price based on how confident it is that you’ll be alive at the end of the 25-year term. 

  • If you agree to its terms, you’ll sign the policy documents, make your first payment, and your coverage will begin. 

After 25 years, your policy will expire. At that time, if you still need insurance, you’ll have a few options to consider, like renewing your policy or applying for a new one. If you do nothing, your coverage will end. 

Who needs a 25-year term life policy?

A 25-year term policy can provide valuable financial protection for a majority of your adult life. Setting up this type of policy can provide stability for many of your working years.

Parents of young children

If you have young children, a 25-year term life insurance policy can provide financial protection for your family — and give you peace of mind. This type of policy can ensure that if you die, your children will be taken care of until they become financially independent. 

Your family will be able to replace your lost income and cover living expenses, including the cost of your kids’ education. After your children grow up, you likely won’t need as much life insurance.

People with long-term insurance needs

Twenty-five years is a significant period of your adult life. A 25-year term policy is best-suited to people who are confident in what they’re expecting of their financial future. This is often the case for people who are caring for aging parents or adult children. If you have a significant amount of private debt, a 25-year term policy could help cover that as well.

Homeowners paying off a mortgage

Because most mortgages last 30 years, a 25-year term life insurance policy is an effective tool to cover most of this this debt and make sure your loved ones will be able to keep your home if you die before the mortgage is paid. 

Adults planning their retirement

If you’re in your forties, a 25-year term policy can help protect your income during your working years leading up to retirement. A 25-year term policy can help ensure that your financial goals, like protecting your family and leaving a legacy, will be possible even if you die before you retire. 

Advantages & disadvantages of 25-year term life insurance

Advantages

  • Simplicity. A 25-year term policy is a great way to protect yourself financially for decades with minimal administrative maintenance. With this type of policy, you apply once, and as long as you make your payments, there’s no other work required to maintain your coverage.

  • Affordability. Getting a 25-year term policy allows you to lock in the cheapest rates available to you for a rather long period of time. 

Disadvantages

  • Fewer options. Not every insurer offers 25-year term life policies. 

  • Harder to plan for. Not everyone is in a position to anticipate their financial needs for the next 25 years. 

How much does a 25-year term life insurance policy cost?

The cost of a 25-year term policy will depend largely on your health, lifestyle, and habits. A 30-year-old female with no health issues and no dangerous hobbies could pay less than $28 per month for a 25-year term life insurance with a $500,000 payout. A 30-year-old male with the same profile would pay less than $35 per month for the same policy. 

A 30-year-old female with a moderate health issue such as rheumatoid arthritis or narcolepsy, or who participates in a hazardous activity like scuba diving, can expect to pay about $42 per month for the same coverage. A 30-year-old male with a similar profile can expect to spend about $52 per month for the same coverage. 

A 30-year-old female smoker would expect to pay about $97 per month for a 25-year term life insurance with a $500,000 payout. A 30-year-old male smoker can expect to pay about $132 per month for the same coverage.

Cheap 25-year term life insurance rates

Age

Gender 

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

30

Female

$17.95

$27.47

$47.82

Male

$21.74

$34.56

$58.99

40

Female

$26.12

$43.78

$80.12

Male

$32.99

$54.43

$100.84

50

Female

$57.20

$97.77

$183.20

Male

$75.53

$232.19

$248.29

60

Female

$174.87

$309.42

$579.19

Male

$234.66

$433.28

$843.78

Collapse table

Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,00, or $1,000,000, 25-year term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Average 25-year term life insurance rates

Age

Gender 

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

30

Female

$24.99

$41.50

$74.54

Male

$30.79

$51.71

$94.41

40

Female

$39.34

$68.36

$127.36

Male

$47.52

$84.13

$156.51

50

Female

$80.75

$152.27

$289.66

Male

$110.39

$206.93

$389.54

60

Female

$233.79

$435.61

$814.33

Male

$280.18

$545.84

$1,076.64

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Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Standard health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,00, or $1,000,000, 25-year term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Learn more about term life insurance rates

25-year term life insurance rates for smokers

Age

Gender 

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

30

Female

$52.61

$96.73

$185.13

Male

$70.38

$131.76

$254.59

40

Female

$99.22

$185.54

$357.44

Male

$130.02

$244.86

$473.42

50

Female

$230.71

$436.93

$855.61

Male

$290.89

$555.52

$1,092.62

60

Female

$606.61

$1,143.18

$2,246.58

Male

$749.02

$1,411.86

$2,813.92

Collapse table

Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for male and female smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,00, or $1,000,000, 25-year term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Learn more about life insurance for smokers

What happens after a 25-year term policy ends?

After the 25 year term ends, your coverage will stop. At this time you might be in a situation where you no longer need life insurance. This could be true for you if your children are grown and have become financially independent, your debt is paid, and you no longer have need for the coverage you had. But if this is not your case, you’ll have other options. 

Renew your policy

Most term life policies have a renewable clause that lets you extend your coverage for one more year without having to reapply. Renewing your policy is one of the simplest solutions available to you, especially if you’re not sure how much longer you need coverage. You can keep renewing your policy every year until you’re 95 years old. 

This option might be a good fit for one or two years, but renewing your policy indefinitely is not generally recommended because the cost goes up significantly every year. 

Convert to a permanent policy

Most term life insurance policies come with an add-on called a term conversion rider. This rider allows you to convert your term policy into a permanent life insurance policy at the end of the term. You won’t have to complete another application or take a medical exam to convert your policy. 

If you pursue this option, your premiums will increase when you convert, and then remain the same for the rest of your life. Converting your term policy to a permanent policy can be a good option if you’re older and need money for end-of-life costs, or you have a chronic or terminal illness and won’t be able to get more insurance if you had to go through a full application process.

Learn more about the differences between term and permanent life insurance 

Get a new policy

For most people, the best thing to do when your term policy ends and you still need insurance is to get another policy. You’ll have to reapply, go through underwriting, and you may need to take a medical exam. But if you’re still relatively young and/or have limited health issues, you’ll be eligible to get more term insurance at an affordable price for the length of time that you need it. 

Ready to shop for life insurance?

Best 25-year term life insurance companies of 2024

We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and ratings from third parties like AM Best and J.D. Power to pick the best term life insurance companies on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.

Methodology

Why you can trust our picks

Our recommendations are based on internal and external expert analysis, as well as our Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. When reviewing a life insurance company, our editorial team uses a proprietary scoring rubric with five factors — price, policy details, financial strength, transparency, and customer experience — to assign an unbiased rating between one and five stars. These ratings are also taken into consideration as part of our company recommendations. We don’t get paid for our reviews.

Our reviews and recommendations can help you find a reliable insurer for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you depends on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can support you during the application process to ensure you get the right coverage for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

Read more about our reviews methodology

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2024 Policygenius award winner

Prudential

Prudential logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starEmpty gray star

4.1

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

With nearly four million policyholders and 150 years to its name, Prudential offers competitive coverage options for seniors, as well as people with some of the most common medical conditions, including asthma, depression, and fibromyalgia.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Good for people over 60

  • More flexible income requirements than some other insurers

  • Considers applicants with a variety of immigration statuses (visas and green cards)

Cons

  • Younger applicants will likely find better prices elsewhere

Best overall 25-year term life insurance: Prudential 

Prudential is a trustworthy option for a 25-year term life insurance policy. The company offers coverage even for people with many pre-existing conditions

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2024 Policygenius award winner

Corebridge Financial

Corebridge Financial logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.6

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

30+ year terms

All 50 states

Why we chose itchevron icon

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, Corebridge is a solid option for many life insurance shoppers. Note: We are currently using AIG’s financial strength ratings until Corebridge has its own rating.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for all ages

  • Favorable underwriting for people with heart conditions and diabetes

  • Good for current and recently pregnant people, including people with gestational diabetes

Cons

  • Not the best for people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

  • No no-medical-exam term option

Best 25-year term life insurance for families: Corebridge Financial 

Corebridge Financial is one of the best insurers for families because it offers a customizable child rider that you can add to your policy. Child riders can cover your children under the same policy. These add-ons can be for coverage amounts as low as $500 and as high as $25,000. Corebridge is also available to people applying at any stage of pregnancy. 

Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn, offers consistently low rates for 25-year term policies, and whenever possible, will waive the in-person medical exam requirement. If you have limited health issues, you may even be able to get an instant response to your application during your initial call.

Read more about the best no-exam life insurance companies

Comparing the best 25-year term life insurance of 2024

Policygenius rating

Best for 

AM Best rating

Legal & General

4.9/5 ★

No-medical-exam

A+

Corebridge Financial

4.6/5 ★

Families

A

Prudential

4.1/5 ★

Overall

A+

Learn more about the best life insurance companies of 2024

How to buy 25-year term life insurance through Policygenius

  1. Calculate your coverage needs The purpose of life insurance is to replace any financial loss that will occur if you die. To determine how much that would be, calculate the total for all of your debt, your expected income over the next 25 years, and any anticipated expenses you’ll have during that time. Another easy rule of thumb is to get coverage equal to 10 to 15 times your annual income. You can also use our life insurance coverage calculator to find out how much coverage you need.

  2. Get quotes Every insurer will evaluate your risk using their own guidelines, and some may be able to give you a lower rate than others for the coverage you need. Before you choose an insurance company, connect with a licensed agent who can help you compare life insurance quotes and determine which insurer will be able to offer you the best price. 

  3. Submit your application Once you determine the insurer you want to apply with, your advisor will help you complete and submit your application. The application consists of basic personal information and asks questions about your health and financial history. 

  4. Take a medical exam Insurers will arrange for you to take a medical exam so they can verify your health status. A medical exam is similar to an annual physical. An examiner will measure your height and weight, and take a blood and urine sample to make sure your health matches what you’ve reported. Whenever possible, many insurers will waive this requirement and use a prescription history check and your medical records to verify your health instead. 

  5. Wait for approval After you complete your application documents and take your medical exam, the insurer needs to review your file. Underwriting usually takes four to six weeks. During this time, the underwriter working on your case will verify the information you submitted. They may also reach out to you for clarifying questions and request additional medical records from your doctor before they can officially offer you an insurance policy. 

  6. Sign & pay Once the insurer sends you the policy documents, you’ll typically have 45 days to decide if you want to accept the insurance and have your coverage begin. If you accept its offer, you’ll sign the paperwork, pay your first premium, and your coverage will go into effect. Your policy will remain active as long as you keep paying the premiums.

 

Alternatives to 25-year term life insurance

If a 25-year term policy isn’t the best option for you, you’ll have other options for insurance coverage. Explore these other types of policies that may better meet your needs. 

25-year term vs. 20-year term life insurance

Generally speaking, you’ll have more options for insurance policies if you opt for a 20-year term, rather than a 25-year term. And the more options you have, the greater your chances to get a cheaper rate will be. 

However, there are situations where a 25-year term is better for you. If you’re 40 years old, a 25-year term will better help you prepare for retirement. Or if you want a policy that covers you until your newborn child finishes college, consider a 25-year term policy. 

25-year term vs. 30-year term life insurance

Similarly, you’ll probably have more options for policies available to you if you’re willing to consider a 30-year term, rather than a 25-year term. Most mortgages last for 30 years, so it’s very common for new homeowners to choose a 30-year term.

Because a 30-year term life insurance policy is longer, it will likely be more expensive than a 25-year term. If you’re open to different term lengths, share that with the agent you work with. They’ll help you compare quotes and get the best policy available for you.

25-year term vs. whole life insurance

Depending on your situation, you might be better off with a whole life insurance policy rather than a 25-year term. While term life insurance is often cheaper, whole life policies offer additional features.

If you have dependents who require lifelong care, such as a child with a disability or an aging parent, whole life insurance could be a better fit because it won't expire after 25 years. Additionally, if you want to use life insurance as part of your estate planning strategy, whole life insurance offers advantages such as tax savings that you won't get with a 25-year term policy.

Learn more about the differences between term and whole life insurance

Other term life insurance options

Author

Tory Crowley is an associate life insurance and annuities editor and a licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Editor

Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

Expert reviewer

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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