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.

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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.

But buying life insurance in your twenties and thirties can actually save you money in the long run. Life insurance gets more expensive as you age, so buying a policy early 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 for our top life insurance company recommendations for young adults.

CompanyPolicygenius ratingBest for
Brighthouse Financial

4.3

Overall, Young families, No-medical-exam
MassMutual

3.8

Cash value life insurance
Transamerica

4.4

Students
Prudential

3.4

Rock climbers
Pacific Life

4.6

Recreational aviation

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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

Best overall

Young families

No-medical-exam

Brighthouse Financial offers a low-cost no-medical exam term life policy available exclusively through the Policygenius marketplace.

Pros

  • Fast-tracked coverage with SimplySelect

  • Very affordable

  • Convertible options available

Cons

  • Only few term lengths available

  • No rate reconsideration

Brighthouse Financial offers one of the best overall life insurance products for young adults ages 25 and up. Brighthouse is one of the only life insurance companies that’s able to offer competitively priced, same-day, no-medical-exam coverage for qualifying applicants. For newlyweds or young families, we recommend purchasing term life insurance with Brighthouse, which will fully match spouse coverage amounts. Term life insurance for marijuana users is also available.

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

Best for cash value life insurance

Go with MassMutual if you want term life insurance with up to $1 million of temporary coverage, or a whole life policy with some of the best dividends and cash value growth in the industry.

Pros

  • Immediate term policy available

  • Financially stable

  • Potential to earn dividends

  • Unique free policy for low-income families

Cons

  • Very high premiums

  • All policies require medical exam

  • Must talk to agents to apply

  • Barely any detailed information available

While we don’t typically recommend whole life insurance over term life insurance, if you have a higher net worth or need insurance coverage that lasts a lifetime, MassMutual is a great option, offering reasonable prices for comprehensive coverage. 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 a good primary savings vehicle for retirement, it can offer alternative savings alongside traditional retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA.

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

Best for students

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.

Prudential

3.4

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.

Prudential logo

Best for rock climbers

One of the top life insurance carriers for rock climbers, seniors aged 60 to 65, and people with many different medical conditions.

Pros

  • High financial ratings

  • Competitive underwriting for a range of medical conditions

  • Comprehensive online resources

Cons

  • Very high premiums

  • Mixed customer ratings

  • Complicated quote tool

Indoor rock climbing won’t affect how much you pay for life insurance, but riskier hobbies such as outdoor rock climbing can factor into your life insurance premiums. Prudential looks more favorably upon outdoor rock climbers than other life insurance companies who charge a flat extra regardless of altitude. 

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

Best for recreational aviation

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

Commercial airline pilots don’t have to worry about the impact of their job on life insurance rates. However, those who fly recreationally are considered a higher risk by most insurers. Pacific Life is the best option for recreational pilots who hold an Instrument Flight Rating (IFR), fly 26-150 hours per year, and are at least 20 years old. Flat extras will apply for student pilots, private pilots with less than 26 hours a year, or those without an IFR. 

How much does life insurance 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.

Millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance

In a study by LIMRA and Life Happens, 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 $108 monthly.

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

AGE25354555
Est. Premium (Monthly)$21.05$25.45$47.52$108.02
Est. Total Cost$5,052$6,108$11,405$25,925

Methodology: Sample monthly premium rates based on a female non-smoker who qualifies for a preferred rate class, obtaining a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy. Calculation is based on a composite of policies from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica and may vary by carrier, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 1/6/2022.

Over the life of this policy, a 25-year-old woman would pay approximately $6,350 more if she waited until she was 45 to buy the same policy, and nearly $20,800 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

Why you might need life insurance now

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, parent, 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 beneficiary 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.

Who doesn’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 18—life 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’s the best age to get life insurance?

Premium rates are typically cheaper when you’re younger and healthier in your 20s and 30s. If you anticipate needing life insurance in the next 5 to 10 years, it’s best to buy a policy sooner rather than later to save money in the long run.

Who needs life insurance?

If you have shared debts (mortgage, student loans) or anyone relies on your income (a partner and/or children), you should get life insurance coverage. If this isn’t the case today, but will be in the next 5 to 10 years, you should also consider life insurance.

How much life insurance do I need?

Experts generally recommend getting a life insurance policy that can cover your outstanding debts, plus 10 to 15 times your income. So if you make $50,000 a year and have $25,000 in outstanding student loans, you should buy a life insurance policy with a death benefit amount between $525,000 to $775,000.