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Average life insurance rates (February 2024)

The average cost of term life insurance is around $26 a month or $305 per year in February 2024. How much you pay will vary based on your age, gender, health, and lifestyle choices.

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By

Katherine MurbachEditor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentKatherine Murbach is an editor and a former licensed life insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

Edited by

Antonio Ruiz-CamachoAntonio Ruiz-CamachoAssociate Content DirectorAntonio 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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Reviewed by

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®Patrick Hanzel, CFP®Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning ManagerPatrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

Updated|4 min read

Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a member of ourFinancial Review Council to ensure all sources, statistics, and claims meet the highest standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

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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 estimates

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

Best health

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

$18

Good health

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

$22

Average health

You'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

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How we calculate your rateschevron icon
  • 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.

The cost of life insurance is mainly based on your life expectancy — as well as the type of life insurance and coverage amount you want to buy. Insurers consider your age, gender, health, hobbies, and medical history to determine how risky you are to insure — and, in turn, how much you’ll have to pay for your coverage. In general, the younger and healthier you are, the lower your life insurance rates will be.

We compared life insurance rates based on age and gender, term length, and coverage amount using real-time prices offered by some of the top insurers in the country through Policygenius. If you want a quote for your specific situation, connect with one of our agents to get started.

Methodology

Why you can trust our 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 10 life insurance carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace (Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, MassMutual, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica), and the Policygenius Life Insurance 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 tables 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.

How much is life insurance?

Life insurance costs on average $30 per month ($360 per year) for a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy for a 30-year–old male with few health conditions, and $23 per month ($276 per year) for a 30-year-old female with a similar profile.

A 30-year-old male in overall good health can expect to pay $487 per month ($5,844 per year) for a whole life insurance policy with a $500,000 payout. A 30-year-female with a similar profile can expect to pay $414.50 per month ($4,974 per year) for the same whole life policy.

Life insurance terms you should know
  • Beneficiaries: The people you name on your life insurance policy to receive the lump sum of money — also known as the death benefit — when you die.

  • Cash value: The portion of a permanent life insurance policy’s monetary value that grows tax-deferred over the life of the policy.

  • Death benefit: The amount of money the life insurance company will pay your beneficiaries when you die.

  • Face amount: The dollar amount, or death benefit, your beneficiaries receive if you die while your life insurance policy is active.

  • Insured: The person who is covered by the insurance policy.

  • Policy: The legal document that includes the terms and conditions of your life insurance contract.

  • Policyholder: The person who owns an insurance policy. Usually, this is the same person as the insured.

  • Permanent life insurance: A type of life insurance that lasts for the rest of your life and usually includes a cash value account.

  • Premium: The amount you pay your insurance company to keep your coverage active. Premiums are typically paid monthly or annually.

  • Riders: Add-ons to a life insurance policy that provide more robust coverage, sometimes for an extra cost.

  • Term life insurance: A life insurance policy that lasts for a set number of years before it expires. If you die before the term is up, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit.

  • Underwriting: The process where an insurance company evaluates the risk of insuring you and determines your final rate.

Life insurance rates remain steady in February 2024

Life insurance rates remained steady in February 2024, according to the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index (PLIPI). Rates haven’t changed since February 2023 with the exception of May, when they went up by 1.44%.

The PLIPI uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to reveal pricing trends and industry changes.

Read more about the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index

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Average term life insurance rates

Term life insurance is the cheapest life insurance option. It offers basic protection and lasts only for a set period of time — usually 10 to 30 years — and then it expires. If all you need is to provide a financial safety net for your loved ones in your absence, term life is right for you.

Term life insurance rates by age

The monthly rates below are based on a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,00 payout for people with few health conditions.

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$15.01

$22.65

$33.63

Male

$19.18

$30.20

$47.51

30

Female

$15.17

$22.99

$36.89

Male

$18.19

$29.32

$48.88

40

Female

$21.66

$35.27

$60.64

Male

$25.38

$42.95

$75.24

50

Female

$43.92

$78.29

$139.47

Male

$56.69

$102.49

$188.26

60

Female

$107.84

$194.16

$354.62

Male

$149.38

$268.09

$500.15

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining a 20-year $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Term life insurance rates by term length

These monthly rates are based on a $500,000 term life policy for a 30-year-old with few health conditions.

Term length

Average cost for females

Average cost for males

10 years

$16.72

$21.13

20 years

$22.99

$29.32

30 years

$34.52

$42.45

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for 30-year-old male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification buying a 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year $500,000 term life insurance policies. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Legal & General America, Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Term life insurance rates by coverage amount

The following monthly rates are based on a 20-year term life insurance policy for a 30-year-old with few health conditions.

Coverage amount

Average cost for females

Average cost for males

$250,000

$15.17

$18.19

$500,000

$22.99

$29.32

$1 million

$36.89

$48.88

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining 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 Legal & General America, Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Average no-medical-exam term life insurance rates

No-medical-exam policies let you skip the medical test that’s a standard part of the life insurance application process, which means you can get coverage faster. These monthly rates are based on a 20-year, $500,000 no-exam term life policy for people with few health conditions.

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount

20

Female

$22.66

Male

$30.20

30

Female

$22.99

Male

$29.33

40

Female

$35.27

Male

$42.94

50

Female

$78.30

Male

$102.50

60

Female

$194.16

Male

$268.13

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Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers at a Preferred health classification obtaining a 20-year $500,000 life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of no-medical-exam policies offered through Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, Legal & General America, Transamerica, and Pacific Life. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state, and the Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. Not all policies available in all states. Issuance of a term life insurance policy without a medical exam is subject to product availability and your eligibility, and may depend upon your truthful answers to a health questionnaire. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Explore more term life insurance rates

Monthly cost of term life insurance by policy length & coverage amount.

Average whole life insurance rates

Whole life insurance doesn’t expire and comes with a cash value savings component that lets you borrow money while you’re still alive. It’s significantly more expensive than term life, but it can be worth it in certain scenarios — for example, if you’re looking to complement your estate planning or investment portfolio, or if you have dependents that require lifelong care.

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$147.50

$290.00

$558.50

Male

$175.50

$347.00

$670.50

30

Female

$209.50

$414.50

$814.00

Male

$245.50

$487.00

$954.50

40

Female

$305.00

$605.50

$1,195.00

Male

$371.00

$737.00

$1,422.00

50

Female

$480.50

$957.00

$1,899.00

Male

$569.50

$1,134.5

$2,222.00

60

Female

$800.50

$1,597.00

$3,179.50

Male

$957.00

$1,909.50

$3,769.00

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Methodology: Approximate monthly rates are calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a $1 million whole life insurance policy paid up at age 100 through MassMutual. Individual rates may vary by insurer, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 02/01/2024.

Explore more whole life insurance rates

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How are life insurance rates calculated?

Life insurance rates are determined by four main factors:

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. Health: Health has a significant impact on your rates. Generally the fewer health conditions you have, the lower your rates will be. Certain pre-existing conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, usually have a higher impact on your premiums. Other conditions, like asthma, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure, usually have a lower impact.

What other factors affect your life insurance rates?
  • Occupation. If you have a job that puts you at risk you’ll likely pay more than somebody who has a less risky occupation. “Insurance companies might require something called a flat additional fee, such as $2 or $5 per $1,000 of coverage,” to extend coverage to people working in high-risk occupations, says Patrick Hanzel, certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius. If you work in law enforcement and regularly handle explosives, for example, you might pay $2,500 more per year for a $500,000 policy.

  • Hobbies. If you regularly participate in hobbies that increase your risk, such as scuba diving, you might have to pay flat extra fees, too. A skydiver with a $1 million policy could end up paying $5,000 more per year. However, someone who skydives too often might not be able to purchase life insurance with certain insurers at all.

A Policygenius expert can help you determine the best options based on your hobbies, occupation, and rider needs.

Learn more about life insurance for high-risk applicants

What factors don’t affect your life insurance rates?

Although factors like age and gender impact your rates, life insurance companies can’t discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Here are some other factors that won’t 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 — 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 — for example, whether you need to take a medical exam as part of your application.

  • 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 — but this doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay more than somebody who only has one policy.

  • Credit score: Your credit score alone won’t impact your life insurance premiums, but negative events in your financial history that affect your credit score — like missed credit card payments or a bankruptcy — could also affect how an insurer evaluates your application.

Read more about how life insurance works

Learn more about how insurers set your rates based on your health

What’s the difference between life insurance quotes & your final rates?

The phrase "life insurance rates" can be used to refer to both the life insurance quotes or estimates that your insurance broker or company gives you when you start the application process, and your actual premiums — the payments you make each month once your policy is active.

Your initial quotes are usually close to your final premiums, but can change based on information your insurer discovers during underwriting. Underwriting is the part of the application process where the insurance company evaluates your health, family history, and driving record, among other factors, to set your final rates.

When’s the best time to buy life insurance?

The sooner you buy a policy, the higher your chances to lock in cheaper rates. A study published by LIMRA, a financial industry trade group focused on life insurance, and Life Happens, an insurance educational nonprofit, found that nearly 4 in 10 current life insurance policyholders expressed regret that they didn’t purchase their policy at a younger age. [1]

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

Is it worth it to buy life insurance when you’re older?

There are plenty of situations when it makes sense to buy a policy at an older age, too.

  • For example, if you bought a policy at age 30 and it’s expiring when you turn 50, you may still need some coverage to carry over until retirement. 

  • Or, 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 may also need to purchase a policy when they’re older.

Life insurance is cheaper to buy when you’re young, but many people can still secure affordable life insurance coverage later in life. A Policygenius agent can help you compare quotes from top insurers to find the policy that’s more affordable for you — no matter your age.

Frequently asked questions

How much does life insurance cost on average per month?

Life insurance costs on average $26 per month for a 30-year-old buying a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy. A 30-year-old buying $500,000 of whole life insurance will pay on average $451 per month. 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.

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. Payments can be made on an annual or monthly basis.

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 oureditorial standards.

  1. LIMRA

    . "

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

    ." Accessed February 13, 2024.

Author

Katherine Murbach is an editor and a former licensed life insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

Editor

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.

Expert reviewer

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

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