Average life insurance rates for September 2022

Life insurance rates are based on your policy, age, gender, and health. Shoppers in their 30s can pay $30 or less for a $500,000 term policy that lasts 20 years.

Headshot of Policygenius editor Nupur GambhirAmanda Shih author photo

By

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

&Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

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Expert reviewed

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.

Learn more about oureditorial review process.

By

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

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Most life insurance companies only allow you to select female or male for gender when you apply. If you are nonbinary, choose either female or male. If you are transgender, you can choose your actual gender, not your gender assigned at birth.
We recommend a policy that lasts at least until you retire, and also covers your longest financial obligation (like a mortgage or a child's college costs).

How long your coverage lasts, aka the term

The amount your loved ones would receive if you die while your policy is in effect

Monthly estimatesLife insurance rates are influenced by a number of factors, but your health has the biggest impact on the final cost.

Best healthYou're a non-smoker in excellent health with no family history of major medical conditions.

$18

Good healthYou're a non-smoker in good health with a minor health condition (like high cholesterol) or medication.

$22

Average healthYou're a non-smoker in good health with a few minor health conditions or medications. If you have a major health condition or smoke, your life insurance rates may be higher. Contact a Policygenius agent to find the right options for your needs.

$29

We don’t sell your information to third parties.

How we calculate your rates
  • Age:The older you are when you purchase life insurance, the more it costs.
  • Gender:Because of differences in mortality rates, men tend to pay higher rates for life insurance than women.
  • ZIP code:Where you live doesn’t affect your life insurance rates, but it may affect which types of life insurance policies are available to you or which insurance companies can sell you a policy.
  • Policy length and coverage amount:Longer terms and higher coverage amounts cost more.
Learn more about how life insurance rates are calculated

Monthly estimates reflect the current average monthly life insurance premiums for the indicated profile/policy type across 10 policy options offered by insurers in the Policygenius marketplace. Product availability, your eligibility, and your individual rate may vary.

Individual life insurance rates depend on many factors, including your age, gender, health, and lifestyle choices, which influence your risk. In general, the younger and healthier you are, the lower the cost of life insurance will be for you.

How much is life insurance?

A healthy 35-year-old male getting a term life insurance policy can expect to pay about $30.14 per month for a 20-year, $500,000 policy as of September 2022, while a 35-year-old female with the same term length and policy amount may pay $25.43 per month.

Generally, term life insurance is more affordable than whole life insurance because whole life lasts longer and has an additional savings feature — whole life rates are, in fact, on average, five to 15 times higher than term. As of September of 2022, a healthy, non-smoking, 35-year-old male can expect to pay about $571 per month for a $500,000 whole life insurance policy with premiums paid up by age 99.

The sample life insurance rates shown below will give you an idea of how much a policy may cost depending on your situation. The best way to get an accurate life rate, however, is to work with an independent broker. 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.

Best life insurance rates

Methodology: Why you can trust our life insurance rates

At Policygenius, our educational guides are written and fact-checked by licensed life insurance experts and reviewed by our Financial Review Council to ensure autonomy, expertise, and accuracy. Our rates are based on internal actuarial rate tables for ten life insurance carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace (AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, MassMutual, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica), and the Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. The prices represent the average monthly life insurance premium for each sample customer profile (age, gender) and policy type (term or whole, and coverage amount) as of the date reflected on each table's methodology. Rates for those products may vary by state, and not all products are available in all states. Individual rates may vary, depending on age, gender, state, health profile, and other eligibility criteria.

Average 20-year term life insurance rates

The chart below shows average monthly premium prices for a 20-year term life insurance policy for smokers and non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, usually reserved for people in very good health. A 20-year term life insurance policy is a popular and convenient coverage option for most people because it's affordable, straightforward, and long enough to cover the most common financial obligations families face, like a mortgage, everyday bills, or college expenses.

Age / Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25 year old female

$24.14

$39.05

$69.14

25 year old male

$29.64

$49.59

$89.19

35 year old female

$30.14

$51.28

$91.69

35 year old male

$35.63

$61.35

$113.38

45 year old female

$58.65

$105.15

$198.92

45 year old male

$77.51

$141.29

$270.08

55 year old female

$127.89

$235.33

$455.06

55 year old male

$181.91

$334.95

$649.89

Methodology: Average sample monthly estimated rates are for male and female smokers and non-smokers with a Preferred health rating buying a 20-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/20/2022.

Life insurance is cheaper than you think 

More than 50% of Americans overestimate the cost of insurance and put off buying a life insurance policy as a result. In a study by LIMRA, a financial industry trade group focused on life insurance, and Life Happens, an insurance educational nonprofit, 44% of millennials estimated that a 20-year term policy would cost $1,000 or more per year. By contrast, the actual cost of the policy was approximately $165/year. [1]

How are life insurance rates calculated?

Life insurance rates are determined by five main factors: 

  • Age: Each year that you delay buying a life insurance policy, the cost of premiums increases by 4.5% to 9% on average.

  • Gender: Women generally pay less for life insurance than men because they have a longer life expectancy.

  • Policy type: Whole life insurance costs more than term life insurance. A policy with a longer term or higher coverage amount will also cost more.

  • Health: Health has a significant impact on your rates. Generally the healthier you are, the lower your rates will be. 

  • Hobbies and lifestyle: Hobbies and lifestyle choices that put you at risk of harm, like skydiving or smoking, will raise your rates.

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Average term life insurance rates by age and gender

Because women tend to live longer than men, [2] they receive lower life insurance rates. This difference applies across policy types and the gap grows wider as you age. For example, men pay only about $5 more than women per month at age 35, but about $40 more per month at age 55. Ultimately however, health conditions have a bigger impact on your rates regardless of your gender.

Term life insurance rates for a 25-year-old female

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$19.21

$30.16

$50.50

20 years

$24.27

$39.58

$70.29

30 years

$33.89

$57.27

$103.33

Term life insurance rates for a 25-year-old male

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$23.16

$37.64

$62.38

20 years

$29.77

$50.16

$90.07

30 years

$43.25

$75.45

$141.03

Term life insurance rates for a 35-year-old female

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$21.46

$33.55

$56.69

20 years

$30.25

$51.69

$92.36

30 years

$43.58

$76.44

$143.22

Term life insurance rates for a 35-year-old male

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$25.24

$40.99

$69.39

20 years

$35.71

$61.68

$113.77

30 years

$55.64

$100.33

$190.20

Term life insurance rates for a 45-year-old female

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$40.74

$68.06

$122.41

20 years

$58.81

$105.9

$199.94

30 years

$94.62

$171.46

$329.70

Term life insurance rates for a 45-year-old male

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$49.25

$84.62

$156.69

20 years

$77.58

$142.20

$271.70

30 years

$131.12

$242.39

$469.93

Term life insurance rates for a 55-year-old female

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$82.73

$144.56

$268.65

20 years

$127.89

$236.38

$456.29

30 years

$117.36

$211.16

$407.53

Term life insurance rates for a 55-year-old male

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$110.42

$197.91

$368.68

20 years

$182.93

$338.55

$1,305.01

30 years

$165.08

$305.90

$596.46

Term life insurance rates for a 65-year-old female

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$199.14

$359.97

$681.21

20 years

$343.72

$661.36

$1,277.54

Term life insurance rates for a 65-year-old male

Term length

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

$281.30

$519.86

$985.25

20 years

$482.40

$931.58

$1,774.24

Methodology: Average sample monthly estimated rates are for male and female smokers and non-smokers with a Preferred health rating buying a 10-year, 20-year, or 30-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/20/2022.

Average whole life insurance rates by age and gender

When you buy a whole life policy, insurers usually give you the option to pay your policy's lifetime premiums until you're age 65 or 99. The latter option is the most affordable and convenient for most people as it allows them to pay their premiums until they die.

Whole life insurance rates payable until age 65

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$251.00

$497.00

$961.00

Male

$277.00

$550.00

$1,070.00

35

Female

$384.00

$763.00

$1,492.00

Male

$423.00

$843.00

$1,650.00

45

Female

$653.00

$1,301.00

$2,561.00

Male

$711.00

$1,419.00

$2,793.00

55

Female

$1,499.00

$2,993.00

$5,935.00

Male

$1,611.00

$3,217.00

$6,376.00

Methodology: Rates are calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy payable within 65 years from MassMutual. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer's rate. Rate illustration valid as of 9/20/2022.

Whole life insurance rates payable until age 99

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$175.00

$346.00

$660.00

Male

$199.00

$393.00

$765.00

35

Female

$243.00

$481.00

$947.00

Male

$288.00

$571.00

$1,121.00

45

Female

$360.00

$716.00

$1,417.00

Male

$435.00

$866.00

$1,690.00

55

Female

$589.00

$1,173.00

$2,332.00

Male

$692.00

$1,380.00

$2,173.00

Methodology: Monthly rates are calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy payable within 99 years from MassMutual. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer's rate. Rate illustration valid as of 9/20/2022.

Average no-medical-exam term life insurance rates by age and gender

No-medical-exam life insurance uses past health records instead of a physical exam to assess your health so you can get affordable life insurance faster. If you don't have any major health or lifestyle risks and want a speedy application process, a no-med policy might be a good fit for you. 

No-medical-exam term life insurance rates by age

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,00 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$13.16

$19.82

$31.94

Male

$16.07

$25.37

$42.89

35

Female

$15.23

$23.72

$40.59

Male

$17.29

$27.86

$49.89

45

Female

$26.87

$46.29

$86.60

Male

$33.82

$59.15

$110.52

55

Female

$59.45

$110.00

$212.29

Male

$80.29

$151.58

$286.07

Methodology: Rates are calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, buying a $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 20-year, no-medical-exam term life insurance policy. This calculation is a composite of carriers that offer policies through Policygenius, including Brighthouse, Foresters Financial, and Lincoln Financial, 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 9/21/2022.

No-medical-exam term life insurance rates by gender

Policy coverage

Sex

10-year term

20-year term

30-year term

$250,000 coverage amount

Female

$11.44

$15.07

$23.31

Male

$12.76

$17.16

$26.23

$500,000 coverage amount

Female

$16.55

$23.72

$39.06

Male

$19.39

$27.86

$45.77

$1 million coverage amount

Female

$25.57

$39.91

$68.89

Male

$30.04

$45.59

$82.33

Methodology: Rates are calculated for 35-year-old non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, buying a 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year no-medical-exam term life insurance policy. This calculation is a composite of carriers that offer policies through Policygenius, including Brighthouse, Foresters Financial, and Lincoln Financial, 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 9/21/2022.

To lock in cheaper rates, purchase a life insurance policy while you’re young and in good health. Premiums will remain the same throughout the entirety of your policy.

Transgender applicants and life insurance

At this time, there is no established protocol on gender for transgender applicants across the life insurance industry. Insurers typically offer policies based on your actual gender as opposed to the gender you were assigned at birth, but each insurance company has their own guidelines. Hormone therapy and gender affirming surgery won’t impact your rates. Insurers cannot discriminate against you because you are transgender and doing so is illegal.

Companies on the Policygenius marketplace that generally underwrite applicants based on their gender identity include AIG, Prudential, and Transamerica. underwriting guidelines can change, so we recommend working with a Policygenius agent to find an insurer that will underwrite your life insurance policy using the correct gender. 

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Average life insurance rates by policy size and length

How much life insurance you need is a two-part question: how much coverage you need (the death benefit), and how many years you need that coverage to last (the term). The longer your policy lasts and the greater your coverage, the higher its cost. A whole life insurance policy ensures your coverage will last the rest of your life.

10-year term life insurance rates

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$19.21

$30.16

$50.50

Male

$23.15

$37.64

$62.38

35

Female

$21.46

$33.55

$56.69

Male

$25.24

$40.99

$69.39

45

Female

$40.74

$68.06

$122.41

Male

$49.25

$84.62

$156.69

55

Female

$82.73

$144.56

$268.65

Male

$110.42

$197.91

$368.68

65

Female

$199.14

$359.97

$681.21

Male

$281.30

$519.86

$985.25

15-year term life insurance rates

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$21.05

$33.54

$58.05

Male

$25.04

$40.72

$71.56

35

Female

$24.37

$39.39

$69.15

Male

$29.19

$48.51

$85.60

45

Female

$48.72

$85.67

$161.78

Male

$59.95

$106.69

$201.44

55

Female

$103.2

$186.57

$359.87

Male

$144.61

$262.24

$501.82

65

Female

$245.58

$573.60

$895.94

Male

$368.04

$687.28

$1,279.74

20-year term life insurance rates

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$24.27

$39.58

$70.29

Male

$29.77

$50.16

$90.07

35

Female

$30.25

$51.69

$92.36

Male

$35.71

$61.63

$113.77

45

Female

$58.81

$105.9

$199.94

Male

$77.58

$142.20

$271.7

55

Female

$255.78

$236.38

$456.29

Male

$182.93

$338.55

$652.55

65

Female

$343.72

$661.36

$1,277.54

Male

$482.45

$931.75

$1,774.24

30-year term life insurance rates

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$33.89

$57.27

$103.33

Male

$43.25

$75.45

$282.07

35

Female

$43.58

$76.44

$143.22

Male

$55.64

$100.33

$190.2

45

Female

$94.62

$171.46

$329.70

Male

$131.12

$242.39

$469.93

55

Female

$117.36

$211.16

$407.53

Male

$165.08

$305.90

$596.46

40-year term life insurance rates

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$45.49

$74.13

$128.33

Male

$53.58

$99.80

$188.21

35

Female

$56.34

$105.28

$199.02

Male

$78

$146.85

$281.31

45

Female

$87.72

$167.59

$328.07

Male

$124.52

$242.36

$478.63

Methodology: Average sample monthly estimated rates are for male and female smokers and non-smokers with a Preferred health rating buying a 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, 30-year, or 40-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/21/2022.

Whole life insurance rates by policy size and payment period

When you purchase a whole life insurance policy, the insurer will often set up quotes based on paying your premiums until you’re age 65 or 99. Other, less common, payment options for whole life policies are 10 Pay and 20 Pay, where you pay the policy's lifetime premium over 10 or 20 years.

Payout length

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

10 years

Female

$1,206

$2,412

$4,824

Male

$1,286

$2,572

$5,144

20 years

Female

$493

$986

$1,947

Male

$545

$1,089

$2,145

65 years

Female

$384

$763

$1,492

Male

$423

$843

$1,650

99 years

Female

$243

$481

$947

Male

$288

$571

$1,121

Methodology: Sample rates are calculated for 35-year-old non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy payable within 10 years, 20 years, 65 years, and 99 years, from MassMutual. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer's rate. Rate illustration valid as of 9/01/2022.

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Average life insurance rates by health

Your health status is one of the most important factors in determining your premiums. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to die, and thus the cheaper you are to insure. During the underwriting process, you’ll have to answer some questions about your health and your family health history and, in many cases, take a brief medical exam.

Term life insurance rates for people with above-average health

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$13.19

$19.34

$29.80

Male

$15.51

$24.13

$39.39

35

Female

$15.05

$22.95

$37.93

Male

$17.09

$27.19

$45.54

45

Female

$26.5

$44.36

$79.93

Male

$32.54

$55.71

$103.45

55

Female

$56.23

$100.98

$191.57

Male

$76.61

$138.77

$262.80

65

Female

$181.38

$338.95

$641.75

Male

$241.42

$462.05

$883.78

Methodology: Average sample monthly estimated rates are for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred or Preferred Plus health rating buying a 20-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/21/2022.

Term life insurance rates for people with average health

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$19.36

$30.19

$50.03

Male

$22.34

$36.35

$61.55

35

Female

$22.50

$35.90

$60.96

Male

$26.1

$42.42

$76.27

45

Female

$42.5

$70.94

$129.06

Male

$52.29

$90.17

$166.13

Methodology: Average sample monthly estimated rates are for male and female non-smokers with a Standard or Standard Plus health rating buying a 20-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/21/2022.

Term life insurance rates for people with below-average health

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

25

Female

$27.11

$44.53

$75.08

Male

$32.17

$55.53

$92.94

35

Female

$31.47

$54.64

$93.43

Male

$37.45

$66.65

$117.58

45

Female

$62.80

$110.49

$205.43

Male

$77.52

$139.05

$256.87

Methodology: Average sample monthly estimated rates are for male and female non-smokers with a T2 Substandard health rating buying a 20-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/21/2022.

Some health-related factors that might result in higher premiums include:

While any of these could raise your life insurance costs, each life insurance company evaluates every health condition differently. It's possible to find insurers to accommodate your lifestyle or health history, which is why it’s important to shop around.

Term life insurance rates vs. whole life insurance rates

The type of life insurance you have affects the cost of your policy. Term life insurance costs many times less than whole life insurance, making it the more affordable option for your family's financial protection. 

Whole life insurance is more expensive because it lasts your whole life and has a cash value that acts like a tax-deferred investment account. However, this also means that whole life insurance policies can sometimes become so unaffordable that 45% of them are abandoned within the first 10 years of the policy, according to a report published by LIMRA and the Society of Actuaries. [3]

If lifetime coverage or an additional investment account are your priority, whole life may be worth the higher rates for you. For most people, a simpler term life policy is a better financial choice.

The added cost of life insurance riders

Riders are like mini contracts that allow you to customize your life insurance policy. They often come at an additional cost that adds to your monthly premium. Some riders, however, like the term conversion rider, are included in your policy at no additional charge. Common riders for both term and whole life insurance include:

  • Accelerated death benefit rider: Often included at no cost, this rider lets you pull money out of the death benefit to cover medical expenses for a terminal illness.

  • Child insurance rider: At about $5 per month, this provides a small amount of life insurance coverage for all of your children.

  • Guaranteed insurability rider: More common in whole life, this $3- to $5-per-month rider allows you to increase your coverage after major life events, like marriage, without a new medical evaluation.

When is the best time to buy life insurance?

It’s best to buy a policy when you’re young and healthy to save money over the long term. The study published by LIMRA and Life Happens mentioned above found that nearly 4 in 10 current life insurance policyholders expressed regret that they didn’t purchase their policy at a younger age.

Buy a policy as soon as you anticipate crossing major milestones like:

When it makes sense to buy life insurance when you’re older

There are times when it makes sense to buy a policy at an older age, even if it is at a higher cost. For example, you might need coverage for a lifelong dependent or need some coverage to pay for your funeral. People who started a family or bought a house later in life, which is common among millennials, [4] will need a policy for longer.

But ideally, you won’t need to buy a life insurance policy when you’re older. By retirement, the goal is to have fewer people who rely on you for financial security as your dependents become independents and long-term expenses, like your mortgage, are closer to being paid off.

How your hobbies impact your life insurance costs

If you have a job that puts you at risk, like if you’re active military, or have any dangerous hobbies, such as scuba diving, you can expect to see higher life insurance quotes.

“In order to cover you while working in a high-risk occupation or while participating in hobbies that are considered higher risk, insurance companies might require something called a flat additional fee, such as $2 or $5 per $1,000 of coverage,” says Patrick Hanzel, certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius.

A skydiver with a $1,000,000 policy could end up paying a flat extra fee of $5,000 per year. However, someone who skydives too often might not be able to purchase life insurance with certain insurance companies at all. A Policygenius expert can help you determine the best options based on your hobbies and how frequently you participate in them.

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What does not impact your life insurance rates?

Although the underwriting process accounts for factors like age and gender, life insurance companies cannot discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation during the underwriting process.

Here are some other factors that will not affect how much you pay for life insurance:

Where you live

As long as you live within the U.S., your specific state or city won’t affect your premiums. This means that your premiums won’t increase even if your area is prone to certain natural disasters or has higher rates of violence. But because life insurance is state-regulated, where you live can determine certain rules and regulations related to your policy.

How many beneficiaries you have

Many people choose to name multiple life insurance beneficiaries in their life insurance policies. Your premiums won’t increase or decrease based on how many beneficiaries you name.

How many policies you have

Depending on your financial situation, having multiple life insurance policies might make sense. Sometimes, laddering multiple policies can even save you money long term. If you end up getting coverage from multiple policies, your premiums for any single policy won’t increase based on how many total life insurance policies you hold.

→ Read more about how life insurance works

Frequently asked questions

How much does life insurance cost on average per month?

Life insurance costs $28 or less per month for a 35-year-old buying a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy as of September of 2022. A 35-year-old buying $500,000 of whole life insurance will pay $480 to $571 as of September of 2022. Your rates will differ based on your age and health.

Is it worth it to buy life insurance?

Life insurance protects your loved ones from financial despair if you die prematurely and can no longer provide for them. Getting coverage is absolutely worth it — for peace of mind and financial security.

Is life insurance taxable?

Life insurance payouts are not taxed as long as they’re paid in a lump sum. The payout is taxable if you receive it in installments, or to the policy owner for certain cash value transactions.

How can you pay for life insurance?

You can pay your premiums by electronic bank transfer or check. Few insurance companies accept credit cards past the initial payment.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. LIMRA

    . "

    2021 Insurance Barometer Study Reveals Common Misconceptions That Prevent Americans from Getting Life Insurance They Know They Need

    ." Accessed September 20, 2022.

  2. World Health Organization

    (WHO). "

    Women and health

    ." Accessed April 21, 2022.

  3. Society of Actuaries

    . "

    U.S. Individual Life Insurance Persistency

    ." Accessed April 21, 2022.

  4. Debt.org

    . "

    Why Millennials Aren’t Buying Homes

    ." Accessed April 21, 2022.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Expert reviewer

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

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Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

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