30-year term life insurance: What is it & how much does it cost?

A 30-year-old could pay as little as $28 to $33 per month for a $500,000 life insurance policy that lasts 30 years.

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Katherine MurbachEditor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentKatherine Murbach is an editor and a former licensed life insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

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|5 min read

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Thirty-year term life insurance is a kind of life insurance with a duration of 30 years. You’ll pay your policy’s premiums — usually monthly or annually — for 30 years, and in exchange, if you die while your coverage is active, your loved ones can claim a sum of money tax-free — called the life insurance death benefit.

What is a 30-year term life insurance policy?

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that lasts for a set number of years before expiring — so 30-year term life insurance lasts for 30 years. 

This kind of life insurance is designed to cover you during the time of your life when you have the most financial obligations. For instance, you probably need life insurance if you have children, a spouse, or big expenses like a mortgage or business loan.

How does 30-year term life insurance work?

A 30-year term life insurance policy is fairly straightforward. You pay premiums for 30 years while your policy is active — and if you die during that time, your beneficiaries can file a claim for the death benefit.

You’ll set up your 30-year term life policy much like you would set up most other kinds of life insurance.

  • After filling out an application and waiting for the insurer to approve you, you’ll set up payment details for your policy. Most people make payments either monthly or annually.

  • Level term life insurance is the most popular kind of term life, so in most cases, your premiums will remain the same for the duration of your policy — in this case, 30 years.

  • At the end of the 30 years, your policy will expire, so you’ll no longer have coverage at this point.

Who should buy a 30-year term life policy?

People who know they’ll have long term financial obligations are usually best suited for a 30-year term life policy. If you’re young, healthy, and planning for the future, 30-year life insurance can be both practical and affordable. Below are a few common scenarios in which you might need a 30-year term.

Parents of young children

If you’re a parent of young children or you plan to have children in the next few years, a 30-year term length can ensure they’ll be financially independent by the time your policy expires.

Homeowners paying off a mortgage

If you have a 30-year mortgage, a 30-year term policy is likely a good fit for you. This way, everyone who lives in your household won’t have to worry about paying the balance if something happened to you prematurely.

Adults planning their retirement

Many adults are planning for their retirement in some capacity — even if they’re early in their career. Ideally, once you reach retirement, you’ll have enough funds saved to support yourself and anyone in your household, like a spouse. A 30-year term life policy can ensure that any dependents won’t have to suffer financially if you were to die unexpectedly before this point.

Advantages & disadvantages of 30-year term life insurance

A 30-year term policy can be a good fit for young professionals or new parents, but it may not be the best fit for everyone.

Advantages

  • You can lock in an affordable rate. If you buy when you’re young and healthy, you can often guarantee an affordable rate for decades to come, even if your health changes. This means you won’t have to buy a more expensive policy later on.

  • You’ll keep your coverage simple. If you buy a 30-year policy at age 35, for example, you may only need a single life insurance policy. By the time you reach 65, you may have enough saved that you wouldn’t need more coverage.

  • You can cancel your coverage if circumstances change. While you typically can’t extend your term on an active policy, you can cancel your term life policy at no penalty. In other words, if you buy a 30-year term and no longer need the coverage, you can either keep the cheaper coverage you secured at a younger age, or you can cancel it.

Disadvantages

  • May be expensive for the right coverage amount. A 30-year term is more expensive than a 20-year or 10-year term. Depending on your budget — as well as your age and overall health — a 30-year term could be too expensive for the coverage amount you need.

  • Could last longer than you need. If you’re not sure you need coverage for 30 years, you could end up paying more expensive premiums than necessary, even if you cancel your policy a few years early.

How much does a 30-year term life insurance policy cost?

A 30-year-old male who doesn’t smoke could pay as little as $33 per month for a $500,000, 30-year term life policy. A 30-year-old female with the same health profile could pay as little as $28 per month for the same coverage.

Your term life insurance rates depend on your age, gender, and health — so for a personalized estimate, it’s best to connect with a licensed life insurance agent.

Get started

Cheapest 30-year term life insurance rates

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$16.63

$25.73

$40.12

Male

$20.08

$32.49

$51.48

30

Female

$17.77

$28.02

$45.71

Male

$20.73

$33.55

$56.65

40

Female

$27.50

$46.81

$82.18

Male

$33.79

$57.95

$102.94

50

Female

$62.23

$111.61

$200.21

Male

$81.63

$147.61

$266.98

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000, 30-year term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, 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 01/01/2024.

Average 30-year term life insurance rates

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$29.41

$48.39

$79.34

Male

$37.39

$64.19

$106.60

30

Female

$31.97

$53.02

$90.26

Male

$39.42

$67.61

$115.59

40

Female

$49.99

$81.58

$147.42

Male

$62.36

$106.19

$189.80

50

Female

$114.65

$193.71

$357.43

Male

$149.97

$261.65

$484.44

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Standard health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000, 30-year term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, 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 01/01/2024.

30-year term life insurance rates for smokers

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$63.54

$110.48

$203.96

Male

$81.60

$146.49

$278.17

30

Female

$74.95

$134.04

$246.25

Male

$96.73

$175.43

$329.49

40

Female

$130.99

$230.94

$437.72

Male

$170.74

$312.76

$595.55

50

Female

$300.09

$536.34

$1,047.43

Male

$344.03

$666.92

$1,309.55

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female smokers in a Standard Smoker health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000, 30-year term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, 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 01/01/2024.

Learn more about life insurance for smokers

What happens after a 30-year term policy ends?

At the end of 30 years, your policy will expire — but you have a few choices if you still need life insurance, including renewing your policy or converting to permanent coverage.

Renew your policy

Most insurance companies allow you to renew your coverage on a yearly basis once your original term expires. Depending on your age at the time, this could be costly, but you usually won’t have to take a new medical exam to renew.

Convert to a permanent policy

You may have the option to convert your 30-year term into a permanent life insurance policy — like whole life or universal life insurance — either before the end of your term, or before you reach a certain age.

Some insurers require that you convert your policy before you turn 65 or 70 — so you can check your options with your insurer. Your conversion timeline could vary depending on how old you were when you took out your original policy.

Learn more about the differences between term and permanent life insurance

Buy a new policy

After your 30-year term expires, you can also buy a new policy. If you still need a few years of term life, you could opt for a 10-year term. Or, you could buy a small amount of permanent coverage in the form of a final expense policy to plan for any end-of-life expenses, like a funeral. 

Speaking with a licensed agent can help you compare policy options and prices, depending on the kind of coverage you need.

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Best 30-year term life insurance companies of 2024

Most insurers offer 30-year term life policies. The best term life insurance company for you depends on your personal situation — including your age, health, and lifestyle factors. Below are a few Policygenius partners that offer affordable 30-year terms.

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

Brighthouse Financial

Brighthouse 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 starFull orange star

5.0

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

Brighthouse Financial offers competitive rates, comprehensive coverage, and application decisions in as little as 24 hours, making it a great choice for people who want to get life insurance coverage without having to take the medical exam.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Extremely affordable

  • Instant-decision applications

  • Best-in-class no-exam option

Cons

  • Traditional term life not available in CA, IL, LA, ME, or NY

  • Term life applicants limited to ages 25-50

As one of our overall best no-medical-exam insurance companies, Brighthouse Financial offers an easy application process that allow you to skip the standard medical examination, and affordable rates for 10-, 20-, or 30-year term life policies. If you have few health conditions and risk factors, you could even get approved on your initial phone call.

Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn, is a highly rated company that offers affordable rates across many different health classifications. It also offers a convenient application process — you’ll fill out a health questionnaire along with your application before the insurer determines if you need an in-person medical exam.

Comparing the best 30-year term life insurance of 2024

Company

Policygenius rating

AM Best rating 

Cost

Brighthouse Financial

5.0/5 ★

A

$

Legal & General America

4.9/5 ★

A+

$

Learn more about the best life insurance companies of 2024

How to buy 30-year term life insurance through Policygenius

  1. Calculate your coverage needs. Your coverage amount should be proportional to your financial responsibilities. A common rule of thumb is to multiply your annual income by 10 to 15, but it depends on your assets, liabilities, and dependents. You can use our life insurance coverage calculator for a more personal estimate.

  2. Get quotes. You’ll provide some basic information — like your age, gender, and health status — and then connect with a Policygenius expert, who’ll be able to compare life insurance quotes from top insurers.

  3. Apply. A Policygenius expert will help you fill out the remainder of the application from here, which includes a few more pieces of identifying information, more health details, and financial information. You’ll electronically sign your application to send it to the insurer.

  4. Take a medical exam. It’s common for life insurance companies to require a quick medical exam — similar to an annual physical. The exam is free and a medical practitioner can meet you at your home or office. Some insurers require a health interview online or over the phone instead. 

  5. Wait for approval. After the medical exam, the insurer will review your application and health details. This process is called underwriting and can take up to four to six weeks. If you completed a health interview instead, you could get approved faster.

  6. Sign & pay. When the insurance company approves you for coverage, they’ll send your final policy documents. You’ll sign these and pay your first premium to activate your coverage.

Alternatives to a 30-year term life insurance policy

A 30-year term can be great in some circumstances, but isn’t right for everybody. Below are a few common alternatives if you need life insurance for a shorter or longer time period.

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

If you have older children, fewer than 30 years of work before retiring, or you don’t have a mortgage, then you may not need life insurance for 30 years. A 20-year term life insurance policy is a popular option for many — plus, a 20-year term is cheaper than a 30-year term.

30-year term vs. whole life insurance

On the other hand, if you know you’ll need insurance for longer than 30 years, you may want to consider a 40-year term instead — or even whole life insurance or another type of permanent policy. 

Whole life insurance doesn’t expire and comes with a cash value component that you can borrow from while you’re still alive, but is much more expensive than term life. 

If you have permanent coverage needs — like a lifelong dependent or specific estate planning goals — you may want to talk with a financial advisor about whole life.

Learn more about the differences between term and whole life insurance

More term life insurance options

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to take a medical exam for a 30-year term life insurance policy?

Not always. Life insurance companies often require a medical exam for 30-year term life policies, but if you’re under the age of 50 and have few health complications, you’re more likely to qualify for a no-medical-exam life insurance policy. The agent you’re working with will be able to tell you if you have no-exam options available.

What factors affect the cost of a 30-year life insurance policy?

Multiple factors affect how much your life insurance will cost, including your age, health, gender, and lifestyle. Your term length and coverage amount will also impact the cost of your policy.

Can you extend a 30-year term life insurance policy?

At the end of your term, you can usually renew your policy on a yearly basis. Aside from that, you generally can’t extend an existing term life policy while it’s already active — unless you opt to submit a new application or take a new medical exam.

Can you cash out a 30-year term life insurance policy?

You can’t cash out a 30-year term life policy because term life insurance doesn’t come with a cash value account.

Author

Katherine Murbach is an editor and a former licensed life insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

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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