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 30 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]

CompanyJ.D. Power rating
State Farm822
Nationwide813
Northwestern Mutual807
Pacific Life801
Mutual of Omaha795
Globe Life788
MassMutual782
John Hancock781
New York Life777
Principal Financial776

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.

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$14.21$21.10$33.54
Male$17.18$26.97$44.79
35Female$16.55$25.53$42.76
Male$18.85$30.32$51.87
45Female$28.87$47.94$86.87
Male$35.55$60.80$112.94
55Female$61.56$109.12$208.38
Male$84.92$151.65$284.76

Methodology: The chart above reflects rates, as of May 1, 2022, 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 10 life insurance carriers that offer policies through the Policygenius marketplace: AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and TransAmerica.

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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]

StateAmount of coverage purchased (in billions of U.S.dollars)
Alabama39.35
Alaska7.36
Arizona49.80
Arkansas20.57
California356.98
Colorado58.26
Connecticut42.35
Delaware21.50
District of Columbia10.59
Florida188.85
Georgia110.82
Hawaii11.13
Idaho12.88
Illinois135.54
Indiana48.87
Iowa30.28
Kansas26.55
Kentucky34.21
Louisiana47.66
Maine8.31
Maryland63.33
Massachusetts91.68
Michigan77.88
Minnesota54.92
Mississippi22.95
Missouri55.01
Montana7.40
Nebraska18.60
Nevada23.84
New Hampshire12.63
New Jersey121.35
New Mexico11.52
New York218.55
North Carolina101.19
North Dakota7.70
Ohio107.83
Oklahoma27.73
Oregon31.36
Pennsylvania121.21
Rhode Island8.37
South Carolina51.11
South Dakota13.31
Tennessee66.40
Texas275.72
Utah34.38
Vermont7.91
Virginia85.61
Washington63.55
West Virginia8.88
Wisconsin75.73
Wyoming4.59

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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]

CompanyMarket share
New York Life6.75%
Northwestern Mutual6.52%
MetLife (Metropolitan Group)6.05%
Prudential5.80%
Lincoln Financial4.83%
MassMutual4.57%
State Farm2.87%
Transamerica (AEGON)2.80%
John Hancock2.73%
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%.

YearPercent of U.S. adults who owned life insurance
201163%
201259%
201362%
201457%
201557%
201660%
201759%
201859%
201957%
202054%
202152%

Number of life insurance policies purchased in the US 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]

YearNumber of life insurance policies purchased
199831.89 million
199938.58 million
200033.36 million
200140.1 million
200238.71 million
200335.77 million
200438.45 million
200534.52 million
200629.29 million
200730.79 million
200828.6 million
200929.19 million
201028.62 million
201127.18 million
201227.06 million
201325.26 million
201427.15 million
201528.32 million
201627.52 million
201728.04 million
201827.80 million