Cheapest life insurance companies in 2022

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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Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

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Kristi Sullivan, CFP®

Kristi Sullivan, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner

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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It’s important to get life insurance that provides the right coverage and fits your budget — a policy you can’t afford won’t protect anyone. But you don’t have to choose between finding cheap life insurance and comprehensive life insurance coverage. 

Buy as soon as you need coverage, go with term life insurance, which is usually the most competitive coverage option you'll find in the market, and compare quotes from multiple places to find the most affordable companies that get you the coverage you need, for less.

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The cheapest life insurance companies of 2022

Protective is our top pick for low-cost life insurance. However, some companies may offer you cheaper rates depending on your profile. See our recommendations below for seniors, young adults, no-exam policies, and smokers.

Protective

4.9

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Protective logo

Most affordable overall

Competitive rates, ease of use, and up to $50 million in coverage make Protective a top-tier choice for a straightforward life insurance policy.

Pros

  • One of the best values on the market

  • Variety of coverage amounts and term lengths

  • Solid suite of online tools

Cons

  • Slow application approval

  • Zero no-medical-exam options

Protective has some of the most affordable and comprehensive life insurance options available, compared to other top companies. Policy options include several different term lengths and coverage amounts up to $50 million. If your health improves, Protective also has an option to apply for lower rates if your health changes, so you can truly customize a policy to fit your needs and maximize your savings.

Pacific Life

4.6

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Pacific Life logo

Most affordable for seniors

Pacific Life offers competitive rates at every age and solid coverage options for people with mental health concerns.

Pros

  • Affordable prices at every age

  • Strong financial ratings

Cons

  • No accelerated underwriting

  • No online quote tool

Even though you’ll get the lowest premiums in your 20s and 30s, it’s possible to find low-cost life insurance when you’re older. Pacific Life’s rates are competitive in nearly every age group, including people over 60. Pacific Life also offers life insurance to people with health concerns, such as mild depression and anxiety, obesity, and sleep apnea.

You can also save by buying less coverage and a shorter term length, if you don’t have dependents or significant debt left. If you need $50,000 or less in coverage, you can get a small amount of burial insurance without a medical exam. Premiums are higher than term life rates for less coverage, but it can be the best option for older or less healthy applicants.

Brighthouse Financial

4.6

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Brighthouse Financial logo

Most affordable for young adults

Best prices for no-medical-exam policies

Brighthouse Financial offers several life insurance options, including a low-cost no-medical exam term life policy available through Policygenius.

Pros

  • Very affordable term life insurance

  • No-medical exams for SimplySelect term life product

  • Instant decision approval

  • Convertible options are available

Cons

  • Only a few term lengths available

  • No rate reconsideration

Brighthouse Financial is our top pick for younger applicants. The company offers competitively priced policies with no medical exam requirement, which you’re more likely to qualify for when you’re younger and healthier. 

Brighthouse is also our overall pick for the best no-med policy pricing. The company offers lower rates than other top no-med companies on the Policygenius marketplace. Most applications receive a decision within 24 hours and coverage amounts go up to $2 million. However, Brigthhouse's no-exam policies are only available for people up to age 50. People over 50 can consider alternative no-med options from companies like Lincoln Financial.

4.7

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Banner logo

Most affordable for smokers

Long term lengths and competitive rates make Banner a top contender for smokers and people with complicated health issues.

Pros

  • Very competitive rates

  • Covers many health conditions

  • Term lengths up to 40 years

Cons

  • Strict temporary coverage qualifications 

  • Reconsideration is paid for by the applicant

Banner Life offers the most competitive rates to smokers among companies on the Policygenius marketplace. Banner also offers some of the most affordable rates for people with health concerns. You’ll also be able to apply for lower premiums after a year if you quit smoking, whereas some other insurers do not offer non-smoker rates for two years or more.

What is the most affordable life insurance?

In almost every case, a term life policy is the best and cheapest life insurance option. It’s the most straightforward type of life insurance; it pays a death benefit if you die while the policy is active and expires after a set time.

You can choose a term length that fits your needs and there’s no fee to cancel if anything changes in the future. If you’re in your mid-30s, you could take out a 20-year, $1 million term life policy for $52 or less per month.

In comparison, a whole life insurance policy costs five to 15 times more for the same amount of coverage. Whole life is a type of permanent life insurance that offers lifetime coverage and a cash value that earns interest, but it’s not worth the extra cost for most people.

Consider supplemental group life insurance

Group life insurance from an employer is a common way to get no-cost or cheap life insurance. The downside is that it usually won’t provide enough coverage, and it’s tied to your job.

Group coverage can, however, supplement a private policy. If you’re able to get a policy paid by your employer, you could buy slightly less private coverage to save on premiums.

How to lower your life insurance premiums

Your best opportunity to get lower life insurance rates is before you commit to a policy. If you buy before you get older or develop a health condition and comparison shop, you can lock in affordable pricing for decades. 

Once you have a policy, you can lower your premiums by shopping for a replacement policy, lowering your coverage amount, or applying for rate reconsideration if your health improves.

Buy life insurance early

The best way to get cheap life insurance rates is to buy a life insurance policy sooner rather than later. Premiums go up every year you put off applying, and insurers will age you up by one year after your half birthday. That means if you wait until seven months after your last birthday to get a policy, your rate could go up by 4.5% to 9%.

The table below shows how life insurance rates change as you get older.

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$14.17$21.06$33.45
Male$17.11$26.89$44.62
35Female$16.39$25.43$42.49
Male$18.58$30.14$51.51
45Female$28.31$47.71$86.45
Male$35.11$60.58$112.52
55Female$59.80$108.44$207.17
Male$82.80$150.39$282.99

Methodology: The chart above reflects rates, as of August 1, 2022, for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification with a 20-year term length. Rates are based on the monthly Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index. Prices in the index are determined by internal actuarial rate tables for 10 life insurance carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace: AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and TransAmerica.

Choose the right life insurance company for your needs

As mentioned above, life insurance companies set your rates using an underwriting process. This is when they determine how risky you’ll be to insure based on:

Afterward, you’re assigned a health classification that influences your rates. Every life insurance company measures risk in its own way. Some companies, for example, offer more competitive rates to diabetics than others. That’s why the most affordable life insurance company is different for every person, and why it’s important to shop around if you want the lowest price.

→ Learn how to pick the best life insurance company

Compare quotes

If you want the cheapest life insurance rates, compare quotes for different plans. The easiest way to quickly compare quotes from multiple insurance providers is with an independent insurance broker like Policygenius.

Using Policygenius or another broker doesn’t cost you anything. We work with multiple companies and can quickly compare quotes for your health and profile to find the one most likely to offer you the most competitive rates.

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Get the right amount of coverage

Policygenius advisors recommend having coverage equal to at least 10 to 15 times your salary. It’s easy to overestimate the amount of life insurance you need and buy too much, raising your rates. But it’s also easy to underestimate how much you need, potentially leaving your family without support when you’re gone. 

How much coverage you need depends on your financial obligations, including:

  • Current and projected future income

  • Dependents

  • End-of-life expenses

  • Existing debt

  • Future college plans (for you, a spouse, or a child)

Try the ladder strategy

Your life insurance needs decrease over time as you pay off debt and your savings grow. By “laddering“ life insurance policies, you can have the coverage you need only when it’s necessary. 

With the ladder strategy, you buy multiple policies with different coverage amounts and term lengths. The policies expire over time and eventually, you have just one small policy that covers your needs. You can spend up to 50% less on life insurance by laddering smaller policies versus buying one large policy.

It’s easier than you might think to find an affordable life insurance policy without sacrificing the protection you need. Buying term life insurance before you age up a year and comparing policy quotes can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your policy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the least expensive type of life insurance?

Term life insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance for most people. It costs five to 15 times less than whole life insurance.

How much does life insurance usually cost per month?

Rates are different for every person and type of policy. Usually, younger and healthier people get cheaper rates. A 35-year-old would pay $25 to $30 for a $500,000, 20-year term policy.

How can you pay less for life insurance?

You can find a cheaper policy if you compare quotes before buying coverage. You can also save by buying less coverage or a shorter term policy.

Can I switch life insurance providers to save money?

You can switch life insurance providers if you find a better rate, but replacing an existing policy is complex because of limits around how much total coverage you can have. Work with an insurance agent if you want to make a switch.

Author

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Expert reviewer

Certified Financial Planner

Kristi Sullivan, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner

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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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