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Best term life insurance companies (2024)

Legal & General America, Protective, Brighthouse Financial, and Pacific Life top our list of best term life insurance companies. They all offer affordable coverage options, good customer service, and strong financial ratings.

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Headshot of Katherine Murbach

By

Antonio 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.&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

Adam MorganAdam MorganEditorial DirectorAdam Morgan is an editorial director at Policygenius who leads the life insurance team. Previously, he led editorial teams matrixed across multiple financial publications at Red Ventures — including Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Million Mile Secrets, and others. As a journalist, his work has appeared in Esquire, Scientific American, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.
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Reviewed by

Maria FilindrasMaria FilindrasFinancial AdvisorMaria Filindras is a financial advisor, a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in California, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

Updated|5 min read

Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a member of ourFinancial Review Council to ensure all sources, statistics, and claims meet the highest standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

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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.

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

Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn, is our top pick for best term life insurance due to competitive rates and a variety of term lengths. Legal & General America 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.

Protective

Protective 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

4.8

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

Why we chose itchevron icon

Protective has some of the most affordable and comprehensive life insurance options available.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive rates for all ages and health classifications

  • Good for people with mental health conditions, kidney conditions, and some cancers, including prostate cancer

  • Term lengths up to 40 years

Cons

  • Not available in New York

  • Not great for people who have had bankruptcy, marijuana users, or visa holders

  • No no-medical-exam policy options

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.

award icon

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

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.

award icon

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 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.

award icon

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 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.

award icon

2024 Policygenius award winner

Pacific Life

Pacific Life 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

4.8

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 ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

All 50 states

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

Pacific Life offers some of the lowest rates for term life insurance across age brackets. It also has the most competitive rates for many health conditions and builds.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Extremely affordable across age brackets

  • Affordable guaranteed universal life insurance option for people who need lifetime coverage

  • Favorable underwriting for many health conditions

Cons

  • Traditional term life not available in NY

  • There are better carriers for active duty military, people who have a history of alcohol abuse, and people who have been through bankruptcy

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. [1]

Transamerica

Transamerica 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 ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

Transamerica is one of the oldest and largest life insurance companies, with over 12 million active accounts today. It offers affordable rates for almost every age, and you can even skip the medical exam if you fall under a certain age or coverage amount.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive rates for term life insurance

  • No-medical-exam available for qualifying applicants, including smokers and people between 60 and 70, which is rare

  • One of the fastest turnaround times in the industry for traditionally underwritten term policies

Cons

  • Term life not available in New York

  • Not a good option for people with a history of cancer, alcohol abuse, or asthma

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

Company

Policygenius rating

Best for

Term lengths

Brighthouse Financial

5/5 ★

Same-day coverage, no-medical-exam, young adults

10, 20, & 30 years

Legal & General America

4.9/5 ★

Overall

10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, & 40 years

Pacific Life

4.8/5 ★

Customer satisfaction, people with pre-existing conditions

10, 15, 20, 25, & 30 years

Protective

4.8/5 ★

Affordability

10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 & 40 years

Corebridge Financial

4.6/5 ★

Families

10, 15, 20, 25, 30 & 35 years

Transamerica

4.6/5 ★

Military personnel

10, 15, 20, 25 & 30 years

Prudential

4.1/5 ★

Seniors

10, 15, 20 & 30 years

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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.

Ready to shop for the best term life insurance?

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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.

  • The cash value: Term life policies only offer a lump-sum payout called the death benefit. Whole life policies come with a separate cash value account in addition to the death benefit.

A financial advisor can help you decide which policy option might be the best fit for you.

→ Learn more about the differences between term and whole life insurance

Comparing term life vs. whole life

Features

Term life insurance

Whole life insurance

Permanent coverage

No — maximum of 40 years

Yes

Cost* ($500,000 coverage amount)

$26/month for a 20-year term

$451/month

Guaranteed death benefit payout

Yes

Yes

Guaranteed cash value

No

Yes

Premium cost stays fixed

Yes, in most cases

Yes, in most cases

Pays annual dividends

No

Yes, in some cases

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*Methodology: Average monthly term life insurance rate is for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health classification obtaining a 20-year, $500,000 policy. Term 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, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. Average monthly whole life insurance rate is calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

→ Explore the best whole life insurance companies of 2023

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

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$15.01

$22.65

$33.63

Male

$19.18

$30.20

$47.51

30

Female

$15.17

$22.98

$36.90

Male

$18.19

$29.32

$48.89

40

Female

$21.66

$35.27

$60.65

Male

$25.39

$42.94

$75.24

50

Female

$43.92

$78.29

$139.50

Male

$56.69

$102.50

$188.29

60

Female

$107.83

$194.16

$354.51

Male

$149.38

$268.04

$499.98

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining a 20-year $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 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, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. 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 04/01/2024.

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.

→ Learn more about other ways to calculate how much life insurance you need

Ready to shop for the best term life insurance?

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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.

  1. Consider the company’s financial ratings An insurer with high financial ratings is much less likely to go out of business, which is an important factor to ensure your loved ones will receive the death benefit in the event of your death. Credit-rating agencies like AM Best, S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investor Services can provide you with information regarding a company’s stability.

  2. Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies Each company treats your unique profile, including your age, your health, and your lifestyle factors, differently. Comparing quotes from multiple insurers will help you find a policy and rate that match your needs and budget.

  3. Determine the term length you need Ideally, your term length should last until you retire or until you’ve taken care of any major financial responsibilities, like paying off a mortgage or raising children until they’re financially independent.

  4. Consider riders Riders are add-ons you can use to customize your policy. Not all riders are cost-efficient, but some can provide more comprehensive coverage for a specific need, like child riders, accidental death benefit, or living benefits.

  5. Ask about term conversion options Many policies come with the option to convert to a permanent life insurance policy later on, in the event your needs change. You can ask your agent about this when you apply to make sure this is an option if you expect you may need permanent coverage in the future.

Frequently asked questions

What is the most popular term for life insurance?

The most popular terms for term life insurance are 20 years and 30 years. Both terms are long enough to cover most people’s most important financial obligations, like a mortgage or raising children.

What is the best age to buy term life insurance?

The younger you apply for life insurance, the more chances you’ll have to lock in the most competitive rates. This is because young people usually have fewer health conditions that might increase their insurance risk.

At what age can you no longer buy term life insurance?

Every life insurance company has their own age limits, but many insurers allow people under 80 years old to apply for term life insurance.

What happens if you live longer than your term life insurance?

If you outlive your term life insurance, the policy expires. If you die after your policy’s expiration date, your beneficiaries won’t receive the death benefit payout.

Which is better, term life or whole life insurance?

Term life insurance is a better option for most people looking to protect their income and provide their loved ones with a temporary financial safety net to cover any debts. Term life is affordable and comes with few rules and tax restrictions. Whole life insurance is a better fit for people looking to diversify their investments or those with long-term financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who need lifelong care. Whole life doesn’t expire as long as you pay the premiums, but is usually five to 15 times more expensive than term life.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. J.D. Power

    . "

    Both Life Insurance and Annuity Customer Satisfaction Decline as Pandemic Fears Wane, J.D. Power Finds

    ." Accessed August 31, 2023.

Authors

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.

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

Adam Morgan is an editorial director at Policygenius who leads the life insurance team. Previously, he led editorial teams matrixed across multiple financial publications at Red Ventures — including Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Million Mile Secrets, and others. As a journalist, his work has appeared in Esquire, Scientific American, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.

Expert reviewer

Maria Filindras is a financial advisor, a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in California, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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