Life insurance statistics in 2022

Stats to help you understand life insurance costs, coverage, and ownership.

Headshot of Policygenius editor Nupur GambhirRebecca Shoenthal 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.

&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.

Updated|3 min read

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Getting a life insurance policy is an important decision that you want to put a lot of thought into — it protects your family's financial security if you die unexpectedly. Because you're relying on your policy to protect your loved ones, you want to make sure you understand both the basics and the nitty-gritty of your coverage.

We've done the research so you don't have to: From how much life insurance costs to the biggest reasons to get it — we have answers to all your questions.

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Life insurance by the numbers

52% • Percent of American adults who have life insurance [1]

27% • Of American adults with life insurance, the percent who only have group coverage — which usually isn’t enough (and rarely stays with you if you leave your job) [2]

31% • Percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

10 to 15 times • The multiples of your annual income that most financial advisors recommend you need when buying life insurance for income replacement

29% • Percent of American adults who intend to buy their life insurance online

40% • Percent of insured who wish they had purchased their policies at a younger age

11% • Percent difference between life insurance ownership for women compared to men

$3.29 trillion • Face amount of life insurance policy purchases in the United States [3]

Stats about the cost of life insurance

5 to 15 times • How much more permanent life insurance (like whole life insurance) costs vs. term life insurance

4.5% to 9% • Average percent increase in your insurance costs as you age, assuming your health stays the same

23% • The average cost difference between sequential health ratings (Preferred vs. Standard, for example)

2 to 3 times • How much rates for smokers cost vs. rates for non-smokers (but a year after you quit smoking, most companies will offer you non-smoker rates

39.6% • The average difference between the least expensive and most expensive rate for the same person across insurance companies, based on Policygenius data

24% • Percent difference between premiums for men and women (with women paying nearly 1/4 less than men, on average)

Best life insurance companies ranked by customer satisfaction

When you’re working with an insurer to secure a life insurance policy, customer experience matters. After all, you’re trusting it to provide a payout to your loved ones if something happens to you. According to J.D. Power, these are the top 10 life insurance companies for customer satisfaction with their corresponding scores on a 1,000-point scale. [4]

Company

J.D. Power rating

State Farm

822

Nationwide

813

Northwestern Mutual

807

Pacific Life

801

Mutual of Omaha

795

Globe Life

788

MassMutual

782

John Hancock

781

New York Life

777

Principal Financial

776

Average cost of life insurance by age and gender

The monthly cost of a life insurance policy depends on unique factors like your age, health, term length, gender, and the death benefit amount on the policy. The following are sample monthly premiums for a 20-year term life insurance policy for a non-smoker.

Age

Sex

$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000

25

Female

$14.17

$21.06

$33.45

Male

$17.11

$26.89

$44.62

35

Female

$16.39

$25.43

$42.49

Male

$18.58

$30.14

$51.51

45

Female

$28.31

$47.71

$86.45

Male

$35.11

$60.58

$112.52

55

Female

$59.80

$108.44

$207.17

Male

$82.80

$150.39

$282.99

Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates 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 life insurance carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace: AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, Foresters Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, Symetra, and Transamerica. Illustration valid as of 8/16/2022.

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Top reasons for buying life insurance in the U.S.

According to a 2020 report from trade research organization LIMRA and the non-profit organization Life Happens, these are the most common reasons Americans said they bought life insurance:

  • 84% Burial/final expenses

  • 66% Wealth transfer

  • 62% Income replacement

  • 57% Supplement retirement income

  • 50% Pay off mortgage

Life insurance coverage by state

According to data from the NAIC, published by the American Council of Life Insurers, here is the cumulative value of the death benefits for the life insurance policies purchased in every U.S. state in 2018, in billions of U.S. dollars. [5]

State

Amount of coverage purchased (in billions of U.S.dollars)

Alabama

39.35

Alaska

7.36

Arizona

49.80

Arkansas

20.57

California

356.98

Colorado

58.26

Connecticut

42.35

Delaware

21.50

District of Columbia

10.59

Florida

188.85

Georgia

110.82

Hawaii

11.13

Idaho

12.88

Illinois

135.54

Indiana

48.87

Iowa

30.28

Kansas

26.55

Kentucky

34.21

Louisiana

47.66

Maine

8.31

Maryland

63.33

Massachusetts

91.68

Michigan

77.88

Minnesota

54.92

Mississippi

22.95

Missouri

55.01

Montana

7.40

Nebraska

18.60

Nevada

23.84

New Hampshire

12.63

New Jersey

121.35

New Mexico

11.52

New York

218.55

North Carolina

101.19

North Dakota

7.70

Ohio

107.83

Oklahoma

27.73

Oregon

31.36

Pennsylvania

121.21

Rhode Island

8.37

South Carolina

51.11

South Dakota

13.31

Tennessee

66.40

Texas

275.72

Utah

34.38

Vermont

7.91

Virginia

85.61

Washington

63.55

West Virginia

8.88

Wisconsin

75.73

Wyoming

4.59

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Biggest life insurance companies by market share

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, these are the 10 largest life insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada, by their share of the total market. [6]

Company

Market share

New York Life

6.75%

Northwestern Mutual

6.52%

MetLife (Metropolitan Group)

6.05%

Prudential

5.80%

Lincoln Financial

4.83%

MassMutual

4.57%

State Farm

2.87%

Transamerica (AEGON)

2.80%

John Hancock

2.73%

Minnesota Life (Securian)

2.70%

Percent of U.S. adults with life insurance (2011 to 2021)

According to the 2021 LIMRA and Life Happens report on life insurance in the U.S., the percent of U.S. adults who own life insurance has ranged between 63% and 52%.

Year

Percent of U.S. adults who owned life insurance

2011

63%

2012

59%

2013

62%

2014

57%

2015

57%

2016

60%

2017

59%

2018

59%

2019

57%

2020

54%

2021

52%

Number of life insurance policies purchased in the U.S. from 1998 to 2018

According to the NAIC, here’s the number of life insurance policies purchased in the U.S. each year from 1998 to 2018. [7]

Year

Number of life insurance policies purchased

1998

31.89 million

1999

38.58 million

2000

33.36 million

2001

40.1 million

2002

38.71 million

2003

35.77 million

2004

38.45 million

2005

34.52 million

2006

29.29 million

2007

30.79 million

2008

28.6 million

2009

29.19 million

2010

28.62 million

2011

27.18 million

2012

27.06 million

2013

25.26 million

2014

27.15 million

2015

28.32 million

2016

27.52 million

2017

28.04 million

2018

27.80 million

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

    ." Accessed January 31, 2022.

  2. LIMRA

    . "

    2020 Insurance Barometer Study

    ." Accessed January 31, 2022.

  3. Statista

    . "

    Face amount of life insurance policy purchases in the United States from 2000 to 2020

    ." Accessed January 31, 2022.

  4. J.D. Power

    . "

    Pandemic and Tax Code Change Spur Interest in Life Insurance, J.D. Power Finds

    ." Accessed January 31, 2022.

  5. Statista

    . "

    Face value of life insurance purchases in the United States in 2018, by state

    ." Accessed January 31, 2022.

  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners

    (NAIC). "

    2020 Top 25 Groups and Companies by Countrywide Premium

    ." Accessed January 04, 2022.

  7. Statista

    . "

    Number of life insurance policy purchases in the United States from 1998 to 2018

    ." Accessed January 31, 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

Rebecca Shoenthal

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

gray twitter icon linkgray linkedin icon link

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.

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