Term life insurance is the most affordable way to provide a financial safety net to your loved ones in the event of your death. It’s easy to manage and covers you for a set number of years — usually between 10 and 30 — during the period of your life when you have the biggest expenses, such as when your children are still young or you have a mortgage to pay off. Term life also doesn’t have any complex tax implications or restrictions.
If you’re looking for an insurer with the best term life options, our evidence-based ratings and recommendations will get you started, but a Policygenius agent can help you compare life insurance quotes find the right life insurance coverage for you.
Best overall term life insurance: Banner Life
Banner Life is our top pick for best term life insurance due to competitive rates and a variety of term lengths. Banner Life is one of the best insurance companies for people who need coverage for an extended period of time. It offers a 40-year term, which is longer than what most other insurers provide. It also has one of the fastest application processes available.
Cheapest term life insurance: Protective
Protective consistently offers some of the most competitive rates for life insurance coverage, regardless of your age. If you’re young and only have one or two mild health conditions, Protective’s term life policy may be one of the cheapest term life insurance options on the market — just keep in mind that you’ll likely have to take a medical exam, which might extend the application process to up to six weeks.
Best no-medical-exam term life insurance: Brighthouse Financial
Brighthouse Financial offers a no-exam life insurance option with the opportunity for an instant decision on applications for coverage up to $2 million. If eligible, you’ll be able to skip the medical exam and get approved faster.
Best same-day coverage term life insurance: Brighthouse Financial
For individuals with no or very few minor health issues, Brighthouse Financial is a great option for immediate underwriting. The company’s application process is short and can be completed with a licensed agent in just a few minutes. Most eligible individuals actually get an offer for coverage instantly on the same phone call with the agent they apply with.
Best term life insurance for young adults: Brighthouse Financial
Brighthouse Financial features one of the best overall life insurance for young adults ages 25 and up — it offers quick approvals, no-medical-exam options and affordable premiums.
Best term life insurance for families: Corebridge Financial
Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement) is a great term life insurance option for families. It offers a customizable child rider, which is an optional add-on that pays a small death benefit if any of your children dies while your policy is active. Corebridge is also a good fit for people who are applying while pregnant. The insurer will consider your application at any stage of pregnancy as long as there are no complications, while other companies might postpone applications during the second or third trimester until after delivery.
Best term life insurance for seniors: Prudential
Prudential has competitive term life insurance rates for seniors of all ages, making it our top choice for people over 60, including 70-year-olds. It also offers more flexible income requirements than other insurance companies, making it easier for retirees to get the amount of coverage they need.
Best term life insurance for people with pre-existing conditions: Pacific Life
Pacific Life is an excellent option for people with pre-existing conditions, like sleep apnea or mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Pacific Life also maintains some of the highest ratings for customer satisfaction and financial confidence in the industry.
Best term life insurance for customer satisfaction: Pacific Life
Pacific Life has an industry-low level of customer complaints in the NAIC complaint index, and it also scored a high 793 on a 1,000-point scale in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, which analyzed insurers by their communication, interaction with customers, price of their policies, product offerings, and statements. 
Best term life insurance for military personnel: Transamerica
Transamerica offers more flexible income guidelines for coverage than some of its competitors for active duty military personnel. Transamerica will also consider applications from people involved with special forces, people with upcoming deployments, and military pilots.
Comparing the 7 best term life insurance companies of 2023
AM Best rating
Same-day coverage, no-medical-exam, young adults
Customer satisfaction, people with pre-existing conditions
What is term life insurance?
Term life insurance is the most convenient way to protect your family’s finances after your death. Term life policies are easy to manage, last only for as long as you need them, and are more affordable than whole life insurance policies. A healthy 30-year-old, for example, can expect to pay about less than $30 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,00 payout.
Term life insurance can be a good fit for:
Newlyweds, married couples, and people who share expenses with a partner. Term life can help your spouse replace your income in your absence.
Parents, guardians, and people planning on having children. Term life provides an affordable financial safety net when raising children.
Homeowners with a mortgage, or people with other significant debt. A term life policy can help your dependents cover any outstanding debts they might be responsible for in the event of your death.
Term life vs. whole life insurance
The main differences between both types of policies are:
The length of your coverage: Term life coverage lasts for a set number of years and then expires, while whole life coverage is permanent, which means it never expires.
The cost: Term life is significantly cheaper than whole life.
A financial advisor can help you decide which policy option might be the best fit for you.
Comparing term life vs. whole life
Term life insurance
Whole life insurance
No — maximum of 30 to 40 years
Cost* ($500,000 coverage amount)
$26/month for a 20-year term
Guaranteed death benefit payout
Guaranteed cash value
Premium cost stays fixed
Yes, in most cases
Yes, in most cases
Pays annual dividends
Yes, in some cases
How much does term life insurance cost?
A 30-year-old non-smoking female in good health can expect to pay less than $23 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. A 30-year-old non-smoking male with a similar health profile can expect to pay $28 per month for a policy with the same coverage.
Average monthly term life insurance rates
$250,000 coverage amount
$500,000 coverage amount
$1 million coverage amount
Factors that impact the cost of term life insurance
Term life insurance rates are determined by your age, gender, health, coverage amount, and term length.
Each insurer has their own guidelines to assess risk and assign your rates.
Generally speaking, the younger you are and fewer health conditions you have, the cheaper your rates will be.
The higher your coverage amount and the longer your term length, the more expensive your rates will be.
How much term life insurance do you need?
The amount of life insurance you get should be enough to replace your lost income and cover all of your family’s future expenses, like mortgage payments and bills. But it’s easy to undervalue your policy and get too little coverage.
The key to protecting your family is to buy enough life insurance to last them years down the line, so that their finances are never jeopardized.
One easy rule of thumb is that your coverage should be roughly 10 to 15 times your annual income. For example, if you make $100,000 per year, you’ll likely need around $1 million to $1.5 million in life insurance coverage.
We can also do the math for you. Our life insurance coverage calculator can help you estimate how much money your family would need to replace the loss of your income in the event of your death and meet their future goals.
How to choose the best term life insurance company for you
Choose a company with a strong financial background that meets your coverage needs and offers the best coverage for you at the best price. At Policygenius, our advisors are committed to providing unbiased advice based on your personal circumstances. If you’re not sure how much or what kind of life insurance is right for you, we can help.