Doctors are usually high income earners with large financial responsibilities. If you’re a physician, your dependents would likely suffer a large financial loss in the event of your death. A life insurance policy can help you protect your income and anyone who depends on you.
Why doctors need life insurance
Doctors often have unique circumstances that factor into their life insurance needs.
Income protection. Doctors often contribute significantly to their households with their income. Life insurance can provide a financial safety net to your family in case you die.
Student debt. Some doctors have significant student debt. You can get insurance coverage to help your beneficiaries pay back your student loans and any other debts you have in your absence.
Employer insurance coverage. Your employer may offer some life insurance as part of your compensation package — but the coverage might only be one to two times your annual salary. A private policy can supplement your group coverage and provide your loved ones with the financial safety net they need.
While there’s nothing about being a doctor or physician alone that will alter the rates you’re eligible for, your occupation may determine 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 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, unbiased advice.
→ Learn more about how your job affects your life insurance rates
Best life insurance companies for doctors
When shopping for life insurance, you should consider price, how easy it is to apply, how long the underwriting process will be, if you’ll be required to take a medical exam, and the maximum coverage amount you’re eligible 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.
An insurance agent can help you weigh these factors 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 doctors 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 doctors
Banner Life insurance offers many features that appeal to doctors and their unique circumstances. It offers one of the largest coverage amounts possible: up to 40 times your income based on your age.
You’re also able to apply without taking the medical exam that’s a standard part of the life insurance application — and Banner Life is known for providing some of the most competitive rates, especially if you only have one or two minor and well-controlled health conditions.
Best whole life insurance for doctors
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 offers lower premiums and higher dividends than other insurers. It maintains consistently high scores for financial stability and customer satisfaction.
Most affordable life insurance for doctors
Why we chose it
Banner Life has some of the most competitive premiums on the market — especially if you’re in relatively good health. But it also offers cheap rates for a number of health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
Best instant decision life insurance for doctors
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 doctors
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 life insurance. Final expense insurance offers coverage to help pay for end-of-life expenses, like your funeral. In most cases, it offers near-certain approval and the coverage never expires.
Best types of life insurance for doctors:
There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. In most cases, term life insurance will be a better coverage option for doctors or physicians.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is the most affordable type of insurance for most people, and the most practical type of insurance for income protection.
Most people get term life insurance long enough to cover them through retirement age. This guarantees that your beneficiaries will receive the financial support needed to replace your income.
Whole life insurance
In addition to replacing your income, you might be considering life insurance as a way to diversify your investment portfolio or to cover long-term financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care. In that case, whole life insurance can be a good fit for you.
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
Certain permanent life insurance policies can be a good option for people who might not be eligible for term life or standard whole life insurance for health reasons or otherwise.
If you’re not eligible for standard coverage but need assistance to cover your end-of-life costs, like a funeral, final expense 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 be eligible for final expense insurance.
The main benefit of permanent life insurance policies like whole life or final expense insurance is that they last for the rest of your life.
However, on average, permanent life insurance costs about five to 15 times more than a term life insurance policy with the same face value.
Instant decision life insurance
Instant decision life insurance typically refers to term life policies that differ from the traditional application process and offer expedited approval.
Instant decision life insurance policies don’t require the in-person medical exam. Instead, you answer additional health questions over the phone.
The insurance company then reviews existing medical, driving, and financial records to determine your eligibility and premiums.
To be eligible to apply for an instant issue policy, you typically need to have few health conditions and risk factors, but doctors can still qualify for some instant decision policies.
How much does life insurance cost for doctors?
A 35-year-old in with one or two minor, well-managed health conditions can expect to pay about $46 per month for a 20-year term life policy with a $1 million death benefit payout.
The premiums you pay ultimately depend on a variety of factors, including your gender, age, and health. If you’re in reasonably good health with 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 doctors
The rates below show the average rates for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $1 million death benefit payout. The average doctor could expect to pay a similar amount for term life insurance.
Whole life insurance rates for doctors
The rates below show the average rates for a whole life insurance policy with a $1 million death benefit payout. The average doctor could expect to pay similar rates for a whole life insurance policy.
$1 million coverage amount
Final expense life insurance rates for doctors
The rates below show the average rates for a final expense life insurance policy with a $25,000 death benefit payout. Physicians who may qualify can expect to pay similar rates for a final expense insurance policy.
$25,000 coverage amount
→ Learn more about life insurance rates
When should doctors purchase life insurance?
If you’re a doctor or a student still in medical school, getting life insurance as soon as possible will secure you the cheapest rates.
In general, the younger you are when you apply, the cheaper your life insurance rates will be. You could even lock in a 40-year term life policy when you’re in medical school that will last until you retire.
The amount of coverage you’re able to apply for is usually based on your income. But if you’re in medical 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 life insurance policy within your current budget.
Benefits of life insurance for doctors
Life insurance can give your family financial security if they had to live without your projected income. Income protection is key to financial planning for any high earner, including doctors.
The right amount of life insurance coverage will also allow you to make sure your debts are paid off and offer financial assistance to your family, even if you die unexpectedly.
Considerations for Doctors
While being a doctor alone won’t affect your life insurance eligibility or your rates, some activities might.
If you travel extensively for work to countries outside of the U.S. or are a medical missionary, this could limit your options for coverage.
Additionally, keep in mind that any medication you’ve been prescribed will show up on a prescription history check — including any self-prescribed medication that might not be fully representative of your 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 doctors get life insurance?
For most doctors, life insurance is crucial to their financial planning. If you anticipate earning a significant income, have large debts or any dependents, you should consider getting life insurance. Term life insurance will be your best option if you are eligible.
Do doctors 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. A licensed agent at Policygenius can help you determine what individual policy would best meet your needs.
How much life insurance should a doctor get?
Generally speaking, doctors should have insurance coverage equal to about 10 to 12 times their annual income.