Why dentists need life insurance
Dentists tend to be high income earners with large financial responsibilities. If you die, your household could suffer financially. But getting a life insurance policy can help you protect your income and anyone who depends on you.
Dentists have multiple reasons to consider life insurance.
Replacing income. Dentists often make significant contributions to the stability of their households through their income. If you die, life insurance can help replace your salary, easing or eliminating the financial burden on your family.
Student debt. A lot of dentists have student debt. Life insurance can help your beneficiaries pay back your student loans and any other debts you have if you pass away.
Employer insurance coverage. Your employer may offer some life insurance as part of your benefits package — but the coverage is typically only one to two times your annual salary. A private policy can supplement any group coverage you have and provide your loved ones with the financial safety net they need.
While there’s nothing about being a dentist that will increase the insurance rates you’re eligible for, your occupation may impact how much life insurance you need and how long your coverage should last.
Working with a licensed agent through Policygenius is the best way to determine the amount of life insurance coverage that you need and get connected to the insurer that will be best for you. At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can walk you through the entire life insurance buying process while offering transparent and unbiased advice.
→ Learn more about how your job affects your life insurance rates
Best life insurance companies for dentists
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing which life insurance company to apply with, including price, how easy it is to apply, how long the underwriting process is, and the maximum coverage you can apply for.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like A.M. Best and J.D. Power to pick the best insurers on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.
A licensed agent at Policygenius can help you with these considerations and find the best insurer for you.
Best term life insurance: Banner Life
Best whole life insurance: MassMutual
Most affordable life insurance: Banner Life
Best instant decision life insurance: Brighthouse Financial
Best final expense life insurance: Mutual of Omaha
Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for dentists 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.
Best term life insurance for dentists
Banner Life insurance offers some of the largest coverage amounts on the market: up to 40 times your income based on your age, which makes it a great term life insurance choice for dentists, who are usually high earners.
Banner also allows you to apply without taking the medical exam (normally a standard part of the life insurance application).
Best whole life insurance for dentists
2023 Policygenius award winner
All 50 states
Why we chose it
MassMutual’s whole life insurance plan provides a lifetime coverage option that builds cash value with the potential to earn dividends.
Pros and cons
Strong financial stability ratings
Higher potential for dividends for whole life policyholders than many competitors
Good customer experience ratings
High term life premiums
Term life not available through Policygenius
MassMutual’s whole life insurance policies offer lower premiums and higher dividends than other insurers. The company also maintains consistently high scores for financial stability and customer satisfaction.
Most affordable life insurance for dentists
Why we chose it
Banner Life has some of the most competitive premiums on the market — especially if you only have one or two minor and well-controlled health conditions. It also offers cheap rates for several pre-existing conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
Best instant decision life insurance for dentists
2023 Policygenius award winner
Why we chose it
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 cons
Best-in-class no-med option
Traditional term life not available in CA, IL, LA, ME, or NY
Term life applicants limited to ages 25-50
If you’re eligible for instant decision life insurance, Brighthouse Financial may approve your application and put your policy in force on the same phone call.
Best final expense life insurance for dentists
Mutual of Omaha
Why we chose it
Mutual of Omaha is a reputable company that offers a variety of life insurance products — including a no-medical-exam option — so that you can select the type of life insurance that best suits your needs.
Pros and cons
No-medical-exam options for older applicants
Strong financial and customer ratings
Policies are more expensive than average
Slow turnaround time
Mutual of Omaha offers the most competitive rates when it comes to final expense insurance. For most people, approval is guaranteed and coverage lasts for life.
Best types of life insurance for dentists
Two of the most common types of life insurance are term life insurance and permanent life insurance. For most working professionals, including dentists, term life insurance will be the best option to cover your financial obligations.
If term life isn’t a good fit for you, whole life and final expense life insurance are two types of permanent life insurance you should consider.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is almost always the most affordable type of insurance available, and the most practical type of insurance for protecting your income. The policy only lasts for a set term and comes with few rules and tax restrictions.
Term life is also the best option for most people looking to provide their family with a financial safety net to cover any debts. This includes a mortgage or any other types of personal loans your family will be left with if you die.
Most people get term life insurance long enough to cover them through retirement age. This will ensure that your beneficiaries will receive the financial support they need if your income is lost.
Whole life insurance
Aside from replacing your income, you might want life insurance as a way to diversify your investment portfolio. You may also have long-term financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care. If either scenario is the case for you, whole life insurance might be a good fit.
Whole life never expires and comes with a cash value that earns interest in addition to the death benefit payout. If you’re already maximizing your contributions to tax-advantaged accounts like a Roth IRA or a 401(k) and are seeking another investment option, whole life insurance might work for you.
Final expense life insurance
If you’re not eligible for standard coverage but need help to cover your end-of-life costs, like a funeral, final expense life insurance will be your best option.
Final expense is a type of permanent insurance that usually offers death benefit amounts between $10,000 and $40,000. You need to be at least 45 years old to apply for final expense insurance.
Permanent life insurance policies like whole life or final expense insurance are appealing because they last for the rest of your life. However, on average, permanent life insurance policies cost about five to 15 times more than a term life insurance policy with the same face value would.
How much does life insurance cost for dentists?
A 35-year-old dentist with one or two minor, well-managed health conditions can expect to pay about $46 per month for a 20-term life policy with a $1 million death benefit payout.
The premiums you pay ultimately depend on a several factors, including your gender, age, and health. If you have limited or well-maintained health issues, you’ll likely be able to get the coverage you need at an affordable rate.
It’s recommended that you get about 10 to 12 times your annual income in coverage and a term that will take you through retirement age.
Term life insurance rates for dentists
The rates below offer an estimate for what a dentist can expect to pay for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $1 million death benefit payout.
$1 million coverage amount
Whole life insurance rates for dentists
The following is an estimate for what a dentist can expect to pay for a whole life insurance policy with a $1 million death benefit payout.
$1 million coverage amount
Final expense life insurance rates for dentists
The following is an estimate for what a dentist can expect to pay for a $25,000 final expense life insurance policy.
$25,000 coverage amount
→ Learn more about life insurance rates
When should dentists purchase life insurance?
If you’re a dentist or in dental school, you should get life insurance as soon as possible. The younger you are when you apply, the cheaper your life insurance rates will be. Later on, if you need more coverage, you can always ladder a supplemental policy.
The total amount of coverage you’re able to apply for is usually based on your income. But if you’re still in dental school, you can justify the amount you’re applying for with your projected full-time income.
A licensed agent can help you determine how much coverage you need and make sure you’re getting a policy that will protect your family financially within the means of your current budget.
→ Learn more about the life insurance ladder strategy
Benefits of life insurance for dentists
The main benefit of life insurance is to protect your income. Income protection is key for anyone who has dependents or makes a significant financial contribution to their household, like many dentists do.
Getting the right amount of life insurance will allow your family to replace your income, make sure your debts are paid off, and receive the financial support they will need even if you die unexpectedly.
Life insurance considerations for dentists
While being a dentist alone won’t limit your options for life insurance coverage or increase your rates, some related activities might.
If you travel for work to some countries outside of the U.S. or are a medical missionary, your eligibility for life insurance could be impacted.
Additionally, keep in mind that any medication you’ve been prescribed will show up on a prescription history check.
As a licensed agent, I helped multiple healthcare professionals apply for life insurance. In several cases, a prescription medication they had tried in the past affected the offer they received from the insurance company — even if that medication wasn’t fully representative of their overall health.
When you apply, be thorough with the agent you’re working with to make sure they consider any medications you’ve taken so they can make sure you’re applying with the right company.
Life insurance for other occupations
Frequently asked questions
Should dentists get life insurance?
For most dentists, life insurance is crucial to their financial planning. If you anticipate earning a significant income, have large debts or any dependents, you should get life insurance. Term life insurance will be your best option if you are eligible.
Do dentists have life insurance?
Most employers offer a small amount of life insurance coverage to full-time employees as part of a standard benefits package. However, it’s usually a much lower amount than what financial advisors recommend, it’s not a guaranteed benefit, and you lose coverage when you leave that employer.
And if you own your own practice, as many dentists do, it’s much simpler to get a separate individual life insurance policy than to set it up through your business.
How much life insurance should a dentist get?
Dentists should have insurance coverage equal to about 10 to 12 times their annual income.