What are the benefits of getting life insurance when you’re younger?
The younger you are when you buy a life insurance policy, the cheaper your rates will be. In fact, saving money by applying early is one of the benefits of life insurance for young adults.
In a study by LIMRA, a research, consulting, and professional development organization for financial services, 44% of millennials estimated that a 20-year term policy would cost $1,000 or more per year — but the actual cost of the policy was only $165 per year. 
Being young and healthy is a good opportunity to lock in a cheap fixed rate for decades. Each year you delay buying a life insurance policy, the cost of premiums increases by 4.5% to 9% on average.
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. A 30-year-old non-smoking female in good health can expect to pay $22.36 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. A 30-year-old non-smoking male with a similar profile can expect to pay $27.96 per month for the same coverage.
The best life insurance companies for young adults
If you’re young, a life insurance policy can help your loved ones manage expenses if you pass away unexpectedly. And if you’re planning to have a family, buying life insurance now is one of the most affordable ways to protect them financially in the future.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like AM 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.
Best overall life insurance for young adults: Brighthouse Financial
Brighthouse Financial features one of the best overall life insurance products for young adults age 25 and up — an instant approval, no-medical-exam option that can get you the coverage you need within a few days. It also offers affordable premiums and coverage amounts up to $3 million.
Best no-medical-exam life insurance for young adults: Brighthouse Financial
For young people looking to skip the medical exam that’s a standard part of the life insurance application process, Brighthouse SimplySelect® by Brighthouse Financial is our top pick for no-med term coverage.
Brighthouse’s SimplySelect — which is available exclusively through Policygenius — was selected by Forbes as the best no-medical-exam life insurance on the market.
For qualifying applicants, it offers affordable prices, coverage amounts up to $3 million, and a very short underwriting period. You can get approved immediately after your health interview.
Cheapest life insurance for millennials: Banner Life
Banner Life offers some of the cheapest life insurance for millennials across a range of health classifications. It’s especially enticing because it offers no-medical-exam and instant-decision options for millennials who have no or just one or two minor and well-controlled health conditions.
Best life insurance for young families: Banner Life
From newlyweds to parents-to-be, young families can purchase 35-year or 40-year term life policies from Banner Life at an affordable cost, which can help them protect children until they’re financially independent.
Best term life insurance for young adults: Pacific Life
Pacific Life offers affordable premiums across all ages — including young adults. Pacific Life is A+ rated according to AM Best and offers term lengths up to 30 years.
Young adults age 18 and up with few health conditions and risk factors can also apply to bypass the medical exam for faster, easier approval. Instead, you’d complete a health interview online or over the phone.
Best life insurance for students: Transamerica
Transamerica offers affordable rates, high coverage amounts, and attractive no-medical-exam options for people in their 20s and 30s, including students, young people with only a few years in the workforce, and people who use CBD or marijuana occasionally.
Best life insurance for young adults who smoke or vape: Transamerica
Transamerica offers some of the best rates available to people who smoke or recently quit smoking. Their application process is simple and often doesn’t require a medical exam — especially if you don’t have many health conditions.
Best whole life insurance for young adults: MassMutual
MassMutual’s whole life insurance policies offer some of the best dividends and cash value growth compared to other whole life insurance providers.
While cash value life insurance isn’t an ideal primary savings vehicle for retirement, it can offer alternative savings alongside traditional retirement accounts if you’ve already maximized contributions to a 401(k) or IRA. Whole life could also be a good fit for people with permanent financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care.
Summary of the best life insurance companies for young adults of 2023
What is the best life type of insurance policy for young adults?
The best life insurance policy for young adults is one you can afford and one that offers enough protection for the right period of time.
During my time working as a licensed agent, most young adults I’d speak to would opt for term life insurance. The affordable premiums made adding a term life policy to their financial plan an easy decision, whether they were recently married, expecting to grow their family, or planning for the future.
A licensed agent can help you honestly assess your insurance needs while keeping your budget in mind.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is the best type of life insurance coverage for most young adults. It’s the most cost-effective type of insurance and only lasts for as long as you need it.
When advising clients directly, I would recommend those who qualify to apply for an accelerated underwriting (AU) policy.
An accelerated underwriting term life insurance policy is a type of term life policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. For some millennials with few health conditions in their medical histories, this can be a good option for getting term life insurance on a shorter timeline.
Other life insurance options for millennials & Gen Z
Whole life insurance
Whole life and other types of permanent life insurance are good options for high-net-worth individuals who have already maximized contributions to other tax-advantaged accounts and are looking to use life insurance to diversify their investment portfolio.
These products can also be a fit for people with long-term financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care. Whole life insurance never expires and comes with a cash value that earns interest in addition to the death benefit payout.
Final expense insurance
If your personal situation keeps you from being approved for traditional life insurance, don’t fret — you still have options.
Final expense insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that offers a low coverage amount — usually up to $40,000 — but doesn’t require a medical exam for approval. This kind of policy is typically used to cover end-of-life expenses, like a funeral.
Some final expense life insurance policies only accept applicants age 45 and up — but others, like Transamerica, accept applications from all ages.
As you shop for life insurance, you might want to consider whether you need living benefits. Many policies have an accelerated death benefit rider included for free, but you can also add a living benefits rider to your policy. This kind of add-on gives you access to some of your policy’s death benefit while you’re alive, usually due to serious illness.
Which young adults don’t need life insurance?
The younger you are, the easier it is to lock in a cheap rate on a policy, but life insurance doesn’t make sense for everyone. You probably don’t need life insurance if you are:
A low-income earner whose budget simply can’t cover the cost of premiums.
Under the age of 18 — life insurance for children is purchased by parents, usually in the form of a rider on an existing policy.