Cheapest life insurance companies of February 2023

Buying early, comparison shopping, and getting a term life policy can help you find cheap life insurance rates. Here are the companies offering the most affordable life insurance for every situation.

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By

Katherine MurbachKatherine MurbachEditor & Licensed Life Insurance ExpertKatherine Murbach is an editor and a licensed life insurance expert 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.
Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

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Kristi Sullivan, CFP®Kristi Sullivan, CFP®Certified Financial PlannerKristi Sullivan, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, she was a regional consultant at Fidelity Investments for nine years.

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When shopping for life insurance coverage, it’s important to pick a policy that can provide enough protection for your loved ones, but you also have to make sure you’re choosing a policy you can afford. In most cases, term life insurance will be your cheapest option. Below are our partner companies that offer some of the most affordable rates on the market to get you started.

The cheapest life insurance companies of February 2023

Banner Life, Protective, AIG, Pacific Life, and Transamerica are our top picks for affordable life insurance. Each company may offer you cheaper rates depending on your profile. The best way to find the cheapest rate for your personal situation is to talk with a life insurance agent or independent broker like Policygenius.

Methodology: How we chose the cheapest life insurance companies of 2023

We don't get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.

Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

→ Read more about our reviews methodology here

Banner Life is a financially sound company with an A+ rating according to A.M. Best. It can offer some of the cheapest rates across many health classes and health conditions, such as diabetes, bipolar disorder, and high blood pressure. Banner also offers an affordable no medical exam option for people eligible to skip the medical exam that’s part of the standard application process.

Protective

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 

A.M. 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 it

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

Pros and cons

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

Protective Life is another A+ rated, financially strong company that has some of the cheapest rates; it can offer affordable premiums for some common health conditions, too, like depression. 

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2023 Policygenius award winner

AIG

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 

A.M. 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 it

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, AIG is a solid option for many life insurance shoppers.

Pros and cons

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

AIG offers competitive rates and a quicker turnaround time than some of its competitors. You can get relatively cheap rates with AIG for some common health conditions, such as anxiety and sleep apnea. They also offer an affordable child rider, which can be a great option for families.

Transamerica

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 

A.M. 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-med-exam option

Why we chose it

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 cons

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

Transamerica is another financially reliable choice with affordable rates, including for young adults, students, or visa holders. They also offer a competitive no medical exam option. 

award icon

2023 Policygenius award winner

Pacific Life

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 

A.M. 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-med-exam option

Why we chose it

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 cons

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

Why we picked it

Pacific Life is a financially strong, A+ rated company according to A.M best that offers relatively cheap premiums. The company also has high levels of customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power. 

Compare the cheapest life insurance companies of 2023 

Company

Policygenius rating

Best for

Financial confidence (based on A.M. Best ratings)

No medical exam option

Types of policies available

Banner Life

4.7/5 stars

Pre-existing conditions

A+

Yes

Term, universal

Protective

4.9/5 stars

Overall affordability

A+

No

Term, whole, universal

AIG

4.6/5 stars

Families, anxiety, sleep apnea

A

No

Term, guaranteed issue, universal

Transamerica

4.4/5 stars

Visa & green card holders, young adults

A

Yes

Term, whole, universal

Pacific Life

4.6/5 stars

Customer satisfaction

A

No

Term, whole, universal

→ Read our full carrier reviews

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Cheapest term life insurance rates

Below are average term life insurance rates for the top two health classifications, Preferred Plus and Preferred. If you fall into either of these categories, you might have zero to two mild health conditions and no family history of a high-risk health condition such as heart disease or cancer. Quotes are for a term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout and a duration of 20 years. 

Age

Sex

Preferred Plus health class

Preferred health class

25

Female

$17.49

$20.89

Male

$21.53

$26.69

35

Female

$20.48

$25.43

Male

$24.60

$30.15

45

Female

$41.07

$47.62

Male

$51.45

$60.54

55

Female

$93.51

$108.31

Male

$128.28

$150.12

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus and a Preferred health classification, obtaining a $500,000, 20-year term policy from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, 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 01/01/2023.

Cheapest whole life insurance rates

Below are whole life insurance rates at the Preferred Plus health class. If you qualify for these rates, you likely have zero to one mild health condition that may be managed with medication or otherwise, and no family history of a high-risk health condition. Both term and whole life insurance use the same health classifications.

Age

Sex

$50,000 coverage amount

$100,000 coverage amount

$250,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$44

$75

$175

Male

$50

$84

$199

35

Female

$59

$102

$243

Male

$66

$120

$288

45

Female

$80

$149

$360

Male 

$99

$184

$435

55

Female

$126

$240

$589

Male

$155

$288

$692

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Methodology: Sample monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification, obtaining a $50,000, $100,000, or $250,000 whole life insurance policy from MassMutual, paid up at age 100. Rates may vary by individual circumstances. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 01/01/2023.

Cheapest life insurance rates for women

Below are some examples of cheap rates for women under a Preferred health class. If you qualify for these rates, you may be taking medication for a mild health condition but have no serious health complications. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years. 

Age

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

$14.10

$20.89

$33.27

35

$16.32

$25.43

$42.60

45

$28.19

$47.62

$86.69

55

$59.69

$108.31

$207.24

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year term policy from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 01/01/2023.

Cheapest life insurance rates for men

Below are some examples of cheap rates for men under a Preferred health class. If you qualify for these rates, you may be taking medication for a mild health condition but have no serious health complications. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years. 

Age

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

$17.03

$26.69

$44.40

35

$18.58

$30.15

$51.70

45

$34.95

$60.54

$112.95

55

$82.46

$150.12

$283.12

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year term policy from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 01/01/2023.

Cheapest life insurance rates for young adults

Below are examples of rates for young adults under the Preferred Plus health class. If you qualify for the cheapest rates, you don't smoke, you likely have zero to one mild health condition, and no family history of a high-risk condition like heart disease or cancer.

Cheapest 20-year term life insurance quotes for young adults 

Age

Sex

$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000

25

Female

$12.15

$17.49

$26.06

Male

$13.86

$21.53

$34.59

30

Female

$12.62

$18.57

$28.40

Male

$14.31

$22.21

$35.93

35

Female

$13.66

$20.48

$33.56

Male

$15.55

$24.60

$40.29

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Cheapest 30-year term life insurance quotes for young adults

Age

Sex

$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000

25

Female

$16.17

$25.22

$41.00

Male

$19.16

$30.93

$51.60

30

Female

$17.49

$27.60

$45.70

Male

$20.28

$32.86

$56.77

35

Female

$20.29

$32.68

$57.25

Male

$23.76

$39.03

$69.54

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year and 30-year term life insurance policy in a Preferred Plus health classification from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Most affordable life insurance rates for families 

Below are some approximations of rates for families with different compositions. Speaking with a licensed agent can help you find out how much you can expect to pay to cover your family members. Rates are calculated using the Preferred health classification, which means if you qualify, you might be managing a mild health condition or two but have overall no major complications. 

Family member

Coverage amount & term length

Monthly premium

35-year-old female

$500,000, 20-year term

$25.43

35-year-old male

$500,000, 20-year term

$30.15

One or more children

$10,000 child rider

$4.58

Total monthly premiums: 

$60.16

Family member

Coverage amount & term length

Monthly premium

35-year-old male

$500,000, 20-year term

$30.15

One or more children

$10,000 child rider 

$4.58

Total monthly premiums:

$34.73

Family member

Coverage amount & term length

Monthly premium

35-year-old female

$1,000,000, 20-year term

$42.60

One child or more children

$10,000 child rider 

$4.58

Total monthly premiums:

$47.18

Family member

Coverage amount & term length

Monthly premium

35-year-old female

$500,000, 20-year term

$25.43

35-year-old female

$500,000, 20-year term

$25.43

One or more children

$10,000 child rider

$4.58

Total monthly premiums: 

$55.44

Family member

Coverage amount & term length

Monthly premium

35-year-old male

$500,000, 20-year term

$30.15

35-year-old male

$500,000, 20-year term

$30.15

One or more children

$10,000 child rider

$4.58

Total monthly premiums: 

$64.88

Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for 35-year-old male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health class, obtaining a 20-year, $1,000,000 term policy with a $10,000 child rider or a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy with a $10,000 child rider. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies from 10 carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer's rate. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

→Read more about life insurance for families

Most affordable life insurance rates for seniors

Term life insurance will be the cheapest for seniors who have zero to one mild health condition (like mild osteoarthritis or elevated blood pressure), managed with medication or otherwise. Most insurance companies are able to offer term life coverage for individuals up to age 85. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 10 years. 

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

55

Female

$32.76

$55.35

$100.37

Male

$42.22

$73.25

$134.62

60

Female

$49.15

$84.03

$154.90

Male

$67.79

$119.41

$224.47

65

Female

$82.74

$143.26

$262.79

Male

$113.22

$205.41

$392.04

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 10-year term life insurance policy in a Preferred Plus health classification from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Most affordable life insurance rates for smokers

Smokers will pay more for life insurance than non-smokers. Below are rates calculated at the cheapest health class possible for smokers. If you fall into this category, you may smoke but have no other health conditions that require treatment, and no family history of a high-risk health condition. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years.

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$34.18

$57.76

$106.59

Male

$42.39

$73.08

$135.21

35

Female

$44.06

$77.89

$142.11

Male

$52.76

$93.15

$175.87

45

Female

$89.24

$163.94

$313.16

Male

$119.77

$223.19

$429.97

55

Female

$195.77

$363.81

$704.34

Male

$282.83

$523.94

$1,018.13

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female smokers obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year term life insurance policy in a Preferred Smoker health classification from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Most affordable life insurance rates for people with pre-existing conditions

The cheapest rate for you will depend on your specific pre-existing condition, so it’s important to speak with an agent or work with an independent broker about your health status to get the cheapest rates for you. Below are some approximations for people who might have a health condition such as depression, sleep apnea, or ulcerative colitis. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years under Standard health class.

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$20.85

$31.66

$52.51

Male

$24.37

$38.40

$65.54

35

Female

$24.63

$38.00

$64.67

Male

$28.72

$45.70

$81.17

45

Female

$47.82

$75.97

$139.08

Male

$58.31

$96.53

$176.54

55

Female

$103.25

$169.18

$323.66

Male

$138.27

$238.96

$456.16

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year term life insurance policy in a Standard health classification from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Cheapest life insurance rates for people eligible for Preferred Plus health class

If you fall into this category, you might have zero or one minor health condition, like hypothyroidism or mild anxiety. You have no family history of high-risk health conditions like heart disease or cancer. Under this health class, you'll have access to the best possible rates. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years.

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$12.15

$17.49

$26.06

Male

$13.86

$21.53

$34.59

35

Female

$13.66

$20.48

$33.56

Male

$15.55

$24.60

$40.29

45

Female

$24.63

$41.07

$73.66

Male

$29.84

$51.45

$95.77

55

Female

$52.41

$93.51

$176.22

Male

$70.07

$128.28

$245.27

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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 20-year term policy from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Cheapest life insurance rates for people eligible for Standard health class

If you fall into this category, you might have a mild to moderate health condition that’s being monitored or treated with medication as necessary. Or, you might have a family history of a high-risk condition like heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, or diabetes. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years.

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$20.85

$31.66

$52.51

Male

$24.37

$38.40

$65.54

35

Female

$24.63

$38.00

$64.67

Male

$28.72

$45.70

$81.17

45

Female

$47.82

$75.97

$139.08

Male

$58.31

$96.53

$176.54

55

Female

$103.25

$169.18

$323.66

Male

$138.27

$238.96

$456.16

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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 20-year term policy from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Most affordable life insurance rates for people eligible for a Substandard health class

If you fall into this category you may have several moderate health conditions or one high-risk health condition such as a history of heart attack. Or, you may take medications that are classified as immunosuppressants. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years.

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$22.46

$37.51

$62.35

Male

$26.41

$44.71

$79.60

35

Female

$25.29

$43.52

$75.01

Male

$30.20

$52.72

$99.73

45

Female

$49.27

$90.39

$167.29

Male

$63.73

$118.89

$217.91

55

Female

$109.12

$210.69

$403.10

Male

$157.16

$306.04

$590.70

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Substandard Table 2 health classification, obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year term policy from AIG, Banner Life, Pacific Life, Protective, and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Cheapest no medical exam life insurance rates

Below are some of the cheapest rates you can get with no medical exam products. To qualify you will likely have zero to one mild health condition and no family history of high-risk conditions like heart disease. Quotes are for term life insurance policies with a duration of 20 years. 

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$12.15

$17.49

$26.06

Male

$13.86

$21.53

$34.59

35

Female

$13.66

$20.48

$33.56

Male

$15.55

$24.60

$40.29

45

Female

$24.63

$41.07

$73.66

Male

$29.84

$51.45

$95.77

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 20-year term life insurance policy in a Preferred Plus health classification from Banner Life and Transamerica. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Whether a medical exam will be requested will vary based on each company’s underwriting guidelines. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

Most affordable burial insurance rates

Burial insurance is typically available for people age 45 and up. It’s intended to cover end-of-life expenses like medical or funeral bills. This type of policy can be a good choice if you’re unable to qualify for a traditional term policy for a health reason, or if you only need a small amount of coverage.

Age

Sex

$10,000 coverage amount

$15,000 coverage amount

$20,000 coverage amount

45

Female

$22.61

$32.31

$42.01

Male

$27.11

$39.06

$51.01

55

Female

$27.71

$39.96

$52.21

Male

$35.95

$52.32

$68.69

65

Female

$41.01

$59.91

$78.82

Male

$56.48

$83.12

$109.75

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Methodology: Monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers obtaining a $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 final expense policy from Mutual of Omaha. Rates may vary by insurer, term coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2023.

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What factors affect the cost of life insurance?

Your age, gender, health, and lifestyle will affect the cost of your life insurance, in addition to which kind of policy you apply for. Other factors, like which state you live in or how many beneficiaries you want to name, won’t have an impact on the price of your policy.

How much life insurance do I need?

How much life insurance you need depends on your financial situation, and whether you have any dependents. Many financial experts suggest coverage that is 10 to 15 times your annual income. Another common method is to apply for coverage that costs about 1% of your annual salary, so you can be confident it’ll fit into your budget.

What is the cheapest type of life insurance?

In most cases, term life is the cheapest type of life insurance. There are other options that can be even cheaper, like accidental death and dismemberment insurance or group life insurance policies, but they offer less comprehensive coverage.

Which is cheaper: Term or whole life insurance?

Term life insurance is significantly cheaper than whole life insurance. On average, a whole life policy is five to 15 times more expensive than a comparable term policy.

Why is term life insurance cheaper?

Term life insurance lasts for a specific length of time — usually 10 to 40 years. Your beneficiary only receives the death benefit if you die while the policy is active, or during the term. Whole life policies are more expensive because they last your entire life — no matter when you die, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit.

Term life policies are also cheaper because they don’t have a cash value account. Whole life policies, on the other hand, do offer this tax-deferred savings component. 

Is it cheaper to get life insurance through your employer?

Employer-provided policies typically don’t have very large death benefits (it's common for an employer to offer about one to two times your salary in life insurance coverage), but they’re often subsidized by the employer. As a result, you can get some coverage for little to no cost, but your coverage will be limited.

How to lower your life insurance premiums

While you can’t control some factors that influence premiums, like gender or a health diagnosis, below are some ways to get lower premiums.

Buy life insurance early

Buying life insurance while young can make a big difference when it comes to your premiums — rates increase 4.9% to 9% on average every year we age. 

Opt for term life insurance

Term life insurance is the most affordable type of insurance. If you know you need coverage, a term policy can help you get the financial protection you need at a cheaper rate than if you were to apply for permanent coverage.

Lower your death benefit

Some coverage is always better than no coverage at all — if you’re on a budget, you can opt for a smaller death benefit to make sure you can afford your premiums.

Choose a shorter term

A shorter term length presents less risk to the insurance company, so shortening your term and keeping your coverage amount the same will lower your premiums. Even a 10-year term can make a difference and get you protection during a critical time of your life, for example when your children are growing up.

Consider a cost-effective payment schedule

Some life insurance companies offer up to a 5% discount if you pay your premiums annually as opposed to monthly, but it varies by company. The agent or brokerage you’re working with will be able to tell you if you can save significantly using this method.

Choose the right life insurance company for your needs

Every life insurance company has their own guidelines for assessing risk. So if you have a particular health condition, one company may be able to offer you cheaper rates than another. Speaking with a Policygenius expert can help find the best life insurance company for you. 

Compare quotes

Comparing quotes from multiple insurers can help make sure you’re getting the best policy for you and the cheapest rates. Working with an independent broker can help you easily compare quotes across insurers. 

Avoid unnecessary riders

Riders are add-ons you can use to customize your policy, but they’re not always cost efficient. If you have a specific need for a rider, like a child rider to cover any children, it may be worth it, but speaking with a non-commissioned agent can help you determine which riders you might benefit from and which don’t make sense for you financially.

Get the right amount of coverage

It’s important that you’re not underinsured, but it’s smart to make sure you’re not over-insured, either. Having a coverage amount that’s too high or not proportional to your financial obligations can raise your premiums unnecessarily.

Try the ladder strategy

The ladder strategy consists of having multiple life insurance policies with different term lengths that expire as you pay down your debts. Some people choose to do this because it can be cheaper to buy a $750,000 policy for 20 years and a $250,000 policy for 30 years, instead of a full $1,000,000 policy for 30 years. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest type of life insurance?

Term life is generally the cheapest type of life insurance. It provides a financial safety net for your loved ones during a set period of time without tax implications for an affordable price.

How do I get the best rates for life insurance?

You can get cheaper rates by applying while you’re young, monitoring and treating any health conditions if needed, and avoiding risky lifestyle habits like smoking.

How much does life insurance usually cost per month?

It depends on your age, health, and gender, as well as what type of policy you’re looking for. For example, a 35-year-old non-smoker in a Preferred health class — reserved for people with only one or two minor health conditions — can pay around $28 per month for a $500,000 payout policy with a duration of 20 years.

How can you pay less for life insurance?

Applying while young can help you lock in affordable rates. You can also opt for a term life insurance policy, as well as a lower coverage amount or term length if you’d like to keep costs low.

Can I switch life insurance providers to save money?

It’s possible to save money by switching providers. An easy way to tell if this is a good option with you is to work with an independent broker who can compare quotes for you.

Author

Katherine Murbach is an editor and a licensed life insurance expert 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

Kristi Sullivan, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, she was a regional consultant at Fidelity Investments for nine years.

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