Best life insurance companies for young adults in 2022

Life insurance is cheapest when you’re young and healthy, so buying a policy in your 20s or 30s can save you money while still securing important financial protection.

Rebecca Shoenthal author photoAntonio_Ruiz-Camacho_Policygenius

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Rebecca Shoenthal

Rebecca Shoenthal

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Rebecca Shoenthal is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius. Her insights about life insurance and finance have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, The Balance, HerMoney, SBLI, and John Hancock.

&Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Associate Content Director

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.

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This article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.

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By

Eloise Spinello

Eloise Spinello

Associate Director, Carrier Relationship Management

Eloise Spinello is a life insurance expert and the Associate Director of the Carrier Relationship Management team at Policygenius.

Updated|4 min read

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Life insurance can be a key element of any personal finance portfolio regardless of your age. If you’re young and healthy, a life insurance policy can help your loved ones, including your parents, manage unexpected expenses should something unforeseeable happen to you. If you’re planning to have a family down the road, buying life insurance now is an affordable way to protect them financially in the future.

Purchasing life insurance in your 20s and 30s can save you money in the long run. Life insurance gets more expensive as you age, so buying a policy when you’re young and healthy helps you lock in a good rate. How do you determine whether the cost of life insurance is worth it and which company is the right fit for you? There are a few simple guidelines that can help you decide whether it makes sense for you to buy life insurance right now. Read on to learn all about our top life insurance company recommendations for young adults.

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Best overall

Brighthouse Financial

4.3

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

For people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, Brighthouse Financial offers some of the most affordable and convenient coverage options in the market.

Pros

  • Fast-tracked coverage with SimplySelect

  • Very affordable

  • Convertible options available

Cons

  • Only few term lengths available

  • No rate reconsideration

Brighthouse Financial features one of the best overall life insurance products for young adults ages 25 and up — they offer quick approvals, no-medical-exam options and affordable premiums.

Best overall term life insurance

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

An easy customer experience, low competitive rates, long term options, and very high coverage amounts make Protective a top-tier choice for anyone looking for term life insurance, including young adults.

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

  • No no-medical-exam options

With term lengths up to 40 years and coverage amounts up to $50 million, you can be assured that a term life insurance policy from Protective will do what it’s meant to: protect your beneficiaries.

Best whole life insurance

MassMutual

3.8

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.

MassMutual logo

Go with MassMutual if you want a whole life policy with some of the best dividends and cash value growth in the industry.

Pros

  • Financially stable

  • Potential to earn dividends

  • Unique free policy for low-income families

Cons

  • Higher-than-average premiums, unless you’re in tip-top shape

  • All policies require medical exam

  • Must talk to agents to apply

  • Scant policy details available online

MassMutual’s whole life insurance policies offer some of the best dividends in the market and cash value growth compared to other whole life insurance providers. While cash value life insurance isn’t a good primary savings vehicle for retirement, it can offer alternative savings alongside traditional retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA, especially for high-net-worth individuals.

Best for no medical exam

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.

Lincoln Financial logo

Lincoln Financial offers a no-medical-exam term life policy with quick decisions and affordable rates for shoppers of all age ranges, including marijuana users.

Pros

  • No-medical-exam option available

  • Fast turnaround

  • Low rates for marijuana users

Cons

  • Expensive permanent policies

  • Few online tools

Much like Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial offers affordable prices and robust coverage, and that competitive coverage is available to just about everyone, including young adults.

Best for young families

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

Banner has some of the longest term lengths and most competitive life insurance rates, even for people with a history of medical conditions, including cancer.

Pros

  • Very competitive rates

  • Covers many health conditions

  • Term lengths up to 40 years

Cons

  • Strict temporary coverage eligibility

  • Reconsideration is paid for by the applicant

Banner Life stands out for offering some of the longest terms and the most competitive rates in the market. From newlyweds to parents-to-be, young families can purchase 35- or 40-year term policies at an affordable cost, which can help them protect multiple children until they’re all financially independent.

Best for individuals

AIG

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.

AIG logo

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, AIG is a solid option, especially for life insurance shoppers under age 40.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for all ages

  • Customizable term policies

  • Benefits common health conditions

  • Strong financial confidence

Cons

  • Below average customer ratings

  • No no-medical-exam options available

AIG offers affordable term life insurance with customizable term lengths and riders. Combined with competitive options for people with more common health conditions, AIG is a great first look for all life insurance shoppers.

Best for students

Transamerica

4.4

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.

Transamerica logo

Transamerica offers affordable term life insurance options up to $10 million. Former smokers may be eligible for preferred rates, too.

Pros

  • Competitive rates for term life insurance

  • No medical exam for people under a certain age or coverage amount

  • Former smokers may be eligible for lower rates

Cons

  • Uneven customer experience

  • Most policy changes require a paper form

Transamerica is one of the best life insurance companies for students, specifically undergraduates. Students need to provide their projected post-graduation income based on their expected degree or past work/internship experience to justify coverage amounts. We chose Transamerica over other life insurance companies that offer student coverage because it allows students the highest coverage amounts (up to $500,000). It’s a great choice for those with large student loans or those who expect to earn higher salaries upon graduation. Transamerica also has no-medical-exam life insurance options available so students can get coverage quickly.

What is the best life insurance for young adults?

If you’re single, in your 20s or 30s, and don’t have children, life insurance probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. While life insurance is an important part of a comprehensive financial plan for people with dependents, purchasing a policy means adding monthly or annual premiums to your budget. For many young adults who are just starting their careers or saving for future goals, those premiums can often seem like an unnecessary expense. That’s why the best life insurance policy for young adults is one that you can afford, and that offers enough protection for the right period of time in case of an accident or a sudden illness.

Is life insurance worth it at a young age?

Life insurance provides a financial cushion for your loved ones in the event of your death. If any of the following circumstances apply to you, you should consider buying life insurance as soon as possible:

  1. Someone relies on you for financial support. If a partner or spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, or even a business partner currently relies on your income, you’ll want to make sure they’ll be able to stay afloat financially if you unexpectedly pass away. The death benefit from life insurance is tax-free and can be used for anything—including funeral expenses, rent, or paying off debt. You can update your beneficiaries at any time.

  2. You have private student loans or other debt. While federal student loans are typically forgiven if the borrower dies, most private student loans aren’t. That means that a parent or anyone else who may have co-signed your student loans could be left on the hook for your debt when you die.

  3. You’re planning on having kids. Many people wait until their children are born to purchase life insurance. But if you know you want kids down the line, you can lock in a cheaper premium rate by buying a life insurance policy now. This frees up more money for other expenses down the road, such as child care and college.

How much does life insurance for young adults cost?

Life insurance coverage is more affordable than you might think and the younger you are, the cheaper it is to get covered. Costs increase significantly with age because premiums are set by insurers based on your risk of dying while the policy is active.

Is life insurance worth buying at a young age?

In a study by LIMRA, a research, consulting, and professional development organization for financial services, and Life Happens, a nonprofit focused on providing unbiased education around insurance options, 44% of millennials estimated that a 20-year term policy would cost $1,000 or more per year (the actual cost of the policy was approximately $165/year). [1]

Being young and healthy is a good opportunity to lock in a cheap fixed rate for decades. Each year that you delay buying a life insurance policy, the cost of premiums increases by 4.5% to 9% on average. That means that a healthy woman who takes out a life insurance policy at age 25 would pay approximately $21 monthly for the same policy that would cost a 55-year-old $110 monthly.

Below is a cost comparison over time for a healthy person buying a 20-year, $500,000 life insurance policy.

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$14.21$21.09$33.54
Male$17.18$26.97$44.79
35Female$16.55$25.53$42.76
Male$18.85$30.32$51.87
45Female$28.85$47.94$86.87
Male$35.55$60.80$112.94
55Female$61.54$109.11$208.38
Male$84.84$151.65$284.76

Methodology: The chart above reflects rates, as of June 2, 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.

Over the life of this policy, a 25-year-old woman would pay approximately $3,480 more if she waited until she was 45 to buy the same policy, and nearly $11,212 more if she waited until she was 55.

However, while it’s cheaper to buy life insurance when you’re younger, your age isn’t the only factor that determines the cost of your policy. The following also affects your premiums:

→ Learn more about what determines the cost of life insurance

Which young adults don't need life insurance?

Though being young is a good time to lock in a cheap rate on a policy, life insurance doesn’t make sense for every person under 30. You probably don’t need life insurance if you are:

  • A single person without any dependents or debt who isn’t planning on having kids in the future.

  • A low-income earner whose budget simply can’t cover the cost of premiums.

  • Self-insured, or someone who already has enough assets to provide for your family and other dependents in the event of your death.

  • Under the age of 18life insurance for children is purchased by parents, usually in the form of a rider on an existing policy.

Life insurance for young adults FAQs

What type of life insurance should young adults get?

Unless you are a high-net-worth individual looking to expand their pre-tax investment options or somebody who requires lifelong coverage, term life insurance is the most affordable and convenient option for most people, including young adults. Term life insurance is 5 to 15 times more affordable than permanent life insurance, but it will eventually expire. If you’re shopping for life insurance at a young age, make sure to choose a term long enough to provide the protection that fits your needs.

Which insurance is best for youngsters?

Young people will usually need a life insurance policy that lasts long enough to protect their loved ones until they’re financially independent. When shopping for life insurance at a young age, consider an insurer with stellar reputation, a strong financial record, and affordable options that will allow you to pay the premiums for the entirety of the policy.

Is term life insurance good for young adults?

Term life insurance can last up to 40 years and is 5 to 15 times more affordable than permanent life insurance, so it’s overall a good option for most people, including young adults. And the sooner you buy coverage, the more money you’ll save down the road – life insurance gets up to 4.5% to 9% more expensive on average every year you get older and put off buying a policy.

Is life insurance worth it at a young age?

The sooner you buy life insurance, the greater your chances will be to lock in a low premium – young people tend to have fewer health conditions that might increase the cost of the policy premium. A non-smoker 25-year-old could pay, for example, around $24 a month for a $500,000 policy. Meanwhile, a non-smoker 45-year-old could pay around $54 per month for the same coverage – more than twice as much.