Best life insurance for professional athletes & runners: What you need to know

The best life insurance companies for professional athletes are Legal & General America, MassMutual, Brighthouse Financial, and Mutual of Omaha.

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By

Tory CrowleyAssociate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentTory Crowley is an associate editor and a former licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.&Andrew HurstSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertAndrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Certified Financial PlannerIan Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

Updated|3 min read

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If you’re a pro athlete, there are lots of factors to consider when choosing a life insurance company, including price, how easy it is to apply, how long the underwriting process is, and the maximum amount of coverage you can get.

We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius partners, and third-party ratings from AM Best and J.D. Power to pick the best life insurance companies for pro athletes.

If you’re ready to compare life insurance quotes and find the right coverage, Policygenius can help.

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Methodology

Why you can trust our picks

Our recommendations are based on internal and external expert analysis, as well as our Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. When reviewing a life insurance company, our editorial team uses a proprietary scoring rubric with five factors — price, policy details, financial strength, transparency, and customer experience — to assign an unbiased rating between one and five stars. These ratings are also taken into consideration as part of our company recommendations. We don’t get paid for our reviews

Our reviews and recommendations can help you find a reliable insurer for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you depends on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can support you during the application process to ensure you get the right coverage for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

Read more about our reviews methodology

The best company for term life insurance if you’re a professional athlete is Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn in some states. Legal & General offers term lengths of up to 40 years up to $10 million of coverage for some applicants.

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance is the cheapest and most practical type of life insurance for most people. Here’s how it works: If you die during the time your policy is active — its “term” — your family receives a payment.

Best whole life insurance for professional athletes: MassMutual

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2024 Policygenius award winner

MassMutual

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.9

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A++

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

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$

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All 50 states

Why we chose itchevron icon

MassMutual’s whole life insurance plan provides a lifetime coverage option that builds cash value with the potential to earn dividends.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Strong financial stability ratings

  • Higher potential for dividends for whole life policyholders than many competitors

  • Good customer satisfaction ratings

Cons

  • High term life premiums

  • Term life not available through Policygenius

The best company for whole life insurance if you’re a professional athlete is MassMutual. Whole life insurance is usually expensive, but MassMutual’s rates for whole life are cheaper than average. It also receives an A++ for financial strength from AM Best, which is important for permanent life insurance.

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance might be right for you if you want to use your life insurance as an investment, or provide for dependents with lifelong needs. Whole life insurance never expires and comes with a cash value component that gains interest over time. If you’re already maximizing your contributions to tax-advantaged accounts like a Roth IRA or a 401(k) and are seeking another investment option, whole life insurance might work for you.

We found that Legal & General America is the cheapest life insurance company if you’re a professional athlete. According to our analysis, Legal & General America has the best rates whether you’ve got a clean bill of health or you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Best no-medical-exam life insurance for professional athletes: Brighthouse Financial

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2024 Policygenius award winner

Brighthouse Financial

Brighthouse Financial logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange star

5.0

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

Brighthouse Financial offers competitive rates, comprehensive coverage, and application decisions in as little as 24 hours, making it a great choice for people who want to get life insurance coverage without having to take the medical exam.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Extremely affordable

  • Instant-decision applications

  • Best-in-class no-exam option

Cons

  • Traditional term life not available in CA, IL, LA, ME, or NY

  • Term life applicants limited to ages 25-50

If you’re in good health and can qualify, Brighthouse Financial has the best no-medical-exam life insurance for athletes. Certain applicants may be able to get a Brighthouse policy with up to $3 million in coverage without a medical exam, and cutting out the medical exam process means you can get a policy in as little as one day.

How does no-medical exam life insurance work?

You answer health questions by phone instead of in an in-person exam, then the insurance company reviews your answers to determine whether you’re eligible — it’s best for healthy applicants with few risk factors.

Best final expense life insurance for professional athletes: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.5

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

Mutual of Omaha is a reputable company that offers a variety of life insurance products — including a no-medical-exam option — so that you can select the type of life insurance that best suits your needs.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • No-medical-exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than average

  • Slow turnaround time

Mutual of Omaha is our pick for the best final expense life insurance for athletes. Applicants over 45 years old may find cheap final expense coverage from Mutual of Omaha.

Why professional athletes need life insurance

There are a few reasons why you probably need life insurance if you’re a professional athlete:

  • Replacing income: If you die unexpectedly, life insurance can help replace your earnings and ease your family’s financial burden.

  • Covering debt: Having life insurance can pay off any debts, like student loans, a mortgage, or a car loan, so you don’t leave your family with them. 

  • Supplementing employer insurance coverage: You might have some life insurance from your employer (unless you’re a private contractor), but employer-sponsored coverage is usually limited, so it’s still a good idea to have your own life insurance.

The best way to figure out how much life insurance you need and how long your coverage should last is by speaking with a Policygenius expert.

How working as a professional athlete will affect getting life insurance

Being an athlete can make it harder to get life insurance depending on your sport and the details of your work.

  • Runners and endurance athletes: It’s normal for your liver enzymes to be higher if you’re an endurance runner, especially if you’re training, but this could make your rates higher. Think about getting life insurance after a race or while your training schedule is light.

  • Weightlifters: If you do a sport where you need lots of muscle mass, it could affect your height-to-weight ratio and increase your rates.

  • Boxers and combat-sports athletes: Some sports are just riskier than others in the eyes of many insurance companies. If you’re an MMA fighter, the insurance companies will consider you a higher risk — and charge you higher rates to match.

  • International athletes: If you travel to certain countries outside of the U.S. for work, your eligibility for life insurance could be impacted and your rates could be higher.

It’s also common for athletes or former athletes to take some medications due to injury or strain. Make sure that you let insurance companies know about any medications or medical treatments you’ve had during your application interview.

How much does life insurance cost for professional athletes?

The average cost of life insurance for a 35-year-old professional athlete with one or two minor, well-managed health conditions is about $28 per month for a 20-term life policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. 

Your exact premiums depend on several factors, including your gender, age, and health. If you have limited or well-maintained health issues, you’ll likely be able to get the coverage you need at an affordable rate.

Term life insurance rates for professional athletes

The rates below offer an estimate for what a professional athlete can expect to pay for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout.

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount

20

Female

$22.21

Male

$29.02

30

Female

$22.37

Male

$27.97

40

Female

$34.31

Male

$41.17

50

Female

$74.37

Male

$95.91

60

Female

$194.23

Male

$268.22

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Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for male and female smokers and  non-smokers in the Preferred health classification, obtaining a 20-year $500,000 term life insurance policy. Life insurance rates are based on 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 may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 01/01/2024.

Whole life insurance rates for professional athletes

The following is an estimate for what a professional athlete can expect to pay for a whole life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout.

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount

20

Female

$287

Male

$334

30

Female

$408

Male

$472

40

Female

$588

Male

$706

50

Female

$920

Male

$1,081

60

Female

$1,540

Male

$1,802

70

Female

$2,797

Male

$3,114

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Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for male and female insureds obtaining a final expense life insurance policy of $500,000 from MassMutual. Life insurance rates are based on policies offered by Policygenius 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 01/01/2024.

Final expense life insurance rates for professional athletes

The following is an estimate for what a professional athlete can expect to pay for a $25,000 final expense life insurance policy.

Age

Gender

$25,000 coverage amount

50

Female

$74.47

Male

$98.96

60

Female

$105.21

Male

$140.69

70

Female

$158.19

Male

$215.16

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Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates are calculated for male and female insureds obtaining a final expense life insurance policy of $25,000 from Mutual of Omaha. Life insurance rates are based on policies offered by Policygenius 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 01/01/2024.

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Frequently asked questions

Should professional athletes and runners get life insurance?

It’s a good idea to have life insurance if you’re a professional athlete or runner, especially if you have large debts or any dependents, you should get life insurance. It’s one of the best and most affordable ways for your dependents to replace your salary if you die unexpectedly.

Do professional athletes and runners have life insurance?

Depending on your employment compensation package, you may receive a small amount of life insurance coverage through your work, but it’s usually a much lower amount than what financial advisors recommend, it’s not a guaranteed benefit, and you lose coverage when you leave that employer.

How much life insurance should a professional athlete get?

You might consider getting enough life insurance coverage to replace about 10 to 12 times your annual income, but your ideal coverage will depend on their personal financial situation. A Policygenius expert can help give a personalized recommendation.

Authors

Tory Crowley is an associate editor and a former licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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