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Find the best way for millennials to lock in low life insurance rates today.
Updated September 21, 2020
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For many millennials, life insurance is the last thing on their minds. Denigrating hot takes will say that millennials are too busy thinking about Snapchat and avocado toast, but they’re actually preoccupied with student loan debt, kickstarting their careers, buying homes, and starting families.
But life insurance is a crucial component for any millennial looking to fulfill their financial goals before they’re middle-aged. The best time to buy life insurance is when you’re young and healthy because you’ll pay the most affordable rates for life insurance premiums, and a number of top life insurance companies – AIG, Banner, Lincoln, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective and SBLI – offer great options for millennials looking to create an affordable financial safety net.
Plus, just because millennials get a bad rep doesn’t mean they don’t have loved ones to care for or debts to cover. They need life insurance just as much as Generation X, if not more.
Millennials need life insurance to cover their loved ones and outstanding debts
The younger you are, the likelier it is that you’ll get a competitive rate for your life insurance premiums
Working with an independent broker like Policygenius is the best way to find coverage that matches your needs as a millennial
Compare the market, right here.
Policygenius saves you up to 40% by comparing the top-rated insurers in one place.
So why should you look at your life insurance options when you’re in your 20s or 30s? First of all, millennials aren’t just the irresponsible youth that the label is associated with. The youngest millennial today is 24 and the oldest is 39. Millennials are parents, run businesses, and own homes. They are a big chunk of the workforce, providing for their family and often incurring debts.
That being said, millennials have big life commitments and loved ones that are at financial risk without them. But if that’s not enough to convince you that millennials need life insurance, there are other reasons you should buy life insurance early:
Unless you have an underlying condition that would earn you above average premiums at any age (such as if you’re considered overweight according to CDC guidelines or are a smoker) and make some drastic changes to your health in the future, life insurance will never be cheaper for you than it is at this moment. Life insurance premiums increase by an average of 8-10% every year you put off buying it. And that’s just from getting older; who’s to say what your future holds, health-wise? Check out the graphs below to get a sense of how much the cost of life insurance increases as you age.
Sample rates for women:
Sample rates for men:
Methodology: Sample monthly premium rates based on 20-year term life insurance policy for a non-smoker female and male in Preferred health rating; quotes based on policies offered by Policygenius in 2020.
Some people don’t want life insurance because there’s a chance it won’t pay out, and they see that as throwing away money. But the truth is that not being insured is the bigger gamble. By not having life insurance, you’re making a big, statistically-questionable bet that nothing will happen to you. But if something does happen to you, then the people you’re responsible for are at risk of not being able to afford their everyday expenses, housing costs, and more.
When you’re younger, you have that many more uncertain years ahead of you. Buying life insurance is a logical choice and doesn’t run the risk of jeopardizing your family’s financial health.
Another thing to note? Not having enough life insurance can be a gamble too. Employer sponsored life insurance, or group life insurance, doesn’t offer adequate coverage and you lose it as soon as you switch jobs. If your policy doesn’t cover all your anticipated expenses and debts, it won’t be enough to ensure the financial protection of your loved ones.
Check out our life insurance coverage calculator to determine how much coverage you need.
"I don’t have a mortgage or kids yet. I don’t need life insurance!" That’s what a lot of millennials think. But covering your debts is one of the biggest reasons to buy term life insurance—and you probably have more debts than you realize. Student loan debt? At $1.6 trillion, there’s a chance you have it. What about the 1.2 trillion that Americans owe in auto debt?
And more important than your debt is who shares it. If you have a cosigner on your loans, for example, then there’s a chance your cosigner will have to shoulder those costs when you die. Even if you’re still in school and don’t earn an income, you might still need a life insurance policy. If your student loans cover everyday expenses, bills, or rent for a partner or dependent, your cosigner could lose vital financial resources if you die prematurely.
There are some legitimate instances where you don’t have an immediate need for life insurance, but don’t dismiss it out of hand until you assess your debts.
Taking on a big expense like a first house can be risky, which makes it scary. But if you don’t create a financial plan in the event of your death, you can leave loved ones on the hook. If you die, that mortgage coupled with your student loans or any other debts will become your family’s problem.
It’s a Russian nesting doll of financial worry that can keep you from even starting on your goals. But life insurance gives you peace of mind because it’s instantly complete– once you have it, your family gets the death benefit if you die (as long as you were completely honest on the life insurance application). Mortgage and student loans? Covered. That means you can get started on everything else you want to do with your life without worrying about how your family will carry on if you’re no longer around.
Buying life insurance as a millennial comes with one major perk — it’s at its most affordable. Forty-four percent of millennials overestimate how much a life insurance policy will actually cost them, but if you’re young and in good health, life insurance can be very affordable. Take a look at the sample premiums below to get a sense of how much a $500,000 policy costs for a millennial from some of the top life insurance companies.
Sample premiums for a millennial female:
|INSURER||AGE 25||AGE 30||AGE 35|
|Mutual of Omaha||$24.73||$24.73||$28.17|
Sample premiums for a millennial male:
|INSURER||AGE 25||AGE 30||AGE 35|
|Mutual of Omaha||$30.32||$30.32||$32.46|
Methodology: Sample monthly premium rates based on 20-year term life insurance policy for a non-smoker female and male in Preferred health rating; quotes based on policies offered by Policygenius in September 2020.
If you’re young and in relatively good health, you can get a competitive policy without the hassle of taking the medical exam. Furthermore, you might not even have to wait the usual four to six weeks for application approval. Instant decision life insurance policies from Lincoln Financial and Brighthouse provide optimal coverage at competitive prices for millennials, and instead of requiring a medical exam, they do a thorough evaluation of your previous records to determine your coverage.
Lincoln TermAccel is a competitive policy for individuals in good health — though if you have a more complicated medical history, it may be harder to get approved for coverage. Policies are available to individuals 18-60, with some age restrictions for 30-year terms and smokers.
Lincoln TermAccel offers all the perks of a term life insurance policy — without an in-person medical exam for individuals 18-60. Instead, the insurer conducts a phone interview that is followed by a deep dive into your insurability via your prescription history, motor vehicle report, and medical history. Most of the time, this is enough information to warrant an application approval (or denial), but additional labs might be required if something in your background check is flagged as a risk.
The entire process takes about two to three days — compared to the usual wait time of four to six weeks for a traditional life insurance policy.
The policy is especially valuable to people who may not get an affordable no medical exam policy elsewhere. Marijuana smokers who don’t work in the industry can get competitive rates and smokers have a better chance of getting coverage than they would with other accelerated life insurance policies.
Even though the application process for a Lincoln TermAccel policy usually doesn’t require a medical exam, the coverage you can get is comparable. Term length offerings include 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms and the death benefit amount can be anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million. Policyholders have the option to convert their coverage into a whole life insurance policy at the end of its term. Other supplemental coverage options include the accelerated death benefits rider, children’s life insurance rider, and waiver of premium rider.
Lincoln TermAccel premiums are some of the lowest in the industry. According to Policygenius quoting data, here’s how much you can expect to pay with a Preferred health classification for a $500,000 policy:
Monthly premiums for women
|AGE||AVERAGE MONTHLY PREMIUMS|
Monthly premiums for men
|AGE||AVERAGE MONTHLY PREMIUMS|
Brighthouse SimplySelect is a no medical exam term policy that offers coverage comparable to a traditional term life insurance policy almost immediately. You can get a term length of 10, 20, or 30 years and up to $2,000,000 in coverage.
The application process forgoes the medical exam but includes a phone interview and a review of the following information:
Previous physicals and labs
Prior diagnoses and procedures
Medical billing records
Relevant public information such as criminal history or bankruptcy
Your financial justification for a policy will also be reviewed — and the death benefit amount will depend on your age and income. Within 24 hours of your phone interview, you’ll know if your application has been accepted, rejected, or if it has been “referred to the underwriter”. If your application is accepted, you’ll sign off on the policy via DocuSign and your coverage will be active. If it’s referred to the underwriter, the insurance company needs to ask you some additional questions before they make a decision.
The Brighthouse SimplySelect policy comes with supplemental riders. This includes a term conversion rider, which allows you to convert your coverage into a whole life insurance policy at the end of its term. You can also add an accelerated death benefit rider, which pays out some of the death benefit while you’re still alive if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Check out the graphs below to get an idea of how much you might pay for a Brighthouse SimplySelect policy. Your actual premiums will vary depending on your individual circumstances.
Average premiums for women:
Average premiums for men:
Methodology: Sample monthly premium rates based on 20-year term life insurance policy for a non-smoker in Preferred health rating; quotes based on policies offered by Policygenius in September 2020.
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An affordable premium is an important part of any life insurance plan, but there are other factors you should consider when choosing the best insurer to protect your family’s financial security.
Just like some life insurance companies offer better premiums for young people, some insurers still offer competitive rates for applicants with complex health histories, like diabetes or cancer. If you don’t get an affordable rate with one insurer, you can work with an independent agent like Policygenius to see if others are more accommodating.
And — do you even need them? Did you know that you can access the death benefit early with an accelerated death benefit? If you want special features like life insurance riders on your policy, ask an agent if you need it and if the insurer you’re going with offers it.
Some life insurance companies allow you to make changes to your policy only by mail, while others let you call or submit changes online. If your preference is to do things digitally, go with a life insurance company that can accommodate you — most do.
Do you need life insurance now? The life insurance application process can take four to six weeks, but some insurers are faster than others, especially if you opt-in for accelerated underwriting or an instant decision life insurance policy.
You get an application decision for an accelerated policy quicker than a traditional term policy, but you’re still evaluated just as thoroughly. Though accelerated policies typically don’t require a medical exam, they still evaluate previous physicals to gauge your medical history and pull details from your previous prescription history, labs, and if you’ve ever been denied life insurance for medical reasons in the past — they’ll dive into why.
Nupur Gambhir is a life insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. She has researched and written extensively about life insurance since 2019, with specialties in life insurance companies, policy types, and end-of-life planning. Her writing on insurance and finance has appeared on MSN, The Financial Gym, and end-of-life planning service Cake. Previously, she worked in marketing and business development for travel and tech.
Nupur has a B.A. in Economics from Ohio State University.
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