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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 toward your policy, and your beneficiaries receive a tax-free payout, known as the death benefit, if you die while your coverage is active.
What are the different types of life insurance?
There are many kinds of life insurance policies, but by far the most common ones are term and whole. Most people find term life insurance to be more practical — it is straightforward, affordable, and only lasts for as long as you need it. But the policy that’s best for you will depend on your individual circumstances, including your financial obligations, income, health, and lifestyle.
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 than universal.
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, September 2022
Age / Sex
$250K coverage amount
$500K coverage amount
$1M coverage amount
25 year old female
25 year old male
35 year old female
35 year old male
45 year old female
45 year old male
55 year old female
55 year old male
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.
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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