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Term life insurance rates: Average costs for policies lasting 10, 20, and 30 years

Term life insurance rates depend on your age, gender, health, and hobbies, as well as length and amount of coverage.

Headshot of Policygenius editor Nupur GambhirAmanda Shih author photo

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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.

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By

Matt Burke

Matt Burke

Licensed Insurance Expert & Director of Life, DI and P&C Operations

Matt Burke is a licensed insurance expert and the director of operations for life, disability and property & casualty insurance at Policygenius. Matt has worked in the insurance and financial planning industries for more than seven years, and is a Life, Accident & Health licensed insurance agent.

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Term life insurance protects your family for a set period — that is the term. If you die during your policy’s term (usually 10, 20, or 30 years), your beneficiary receives the death benefit. If you don’t, the policy expires.

A term life policy is designed to be simple and affordable. The sooner you apply for term life insurance, the better your rates can be. For example, a 35-year-old non-smoker will pay about $30 per month for a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy. The same person would pay about $60 for the same policy at age 45 — twice as much.

Every life insurance application is different and medical conditions or unhealthy habits could raise the cost of your term life coverage. Your rate could increase by as much as 23% if you’re less healthy than average.

Key Takeaways

  • Term life insurance rates differ for every person depending on age, gender, health, and family medical history.

  • Buying coverage when you’re young and healthy is the best way to get the most affordable term life insurance.

  • Every life insurance company underwrites each application differently so shopping around is the best way to find the right insurer for you.

How much does term life insurance cost?

The tables below show the average cost of term life insurance policies that last 10, 20, or 30 years for people between the ages of 25 and 55. While these charts are a starting point for understanding how the cost of term life insurance changes with age, you can get a more personalized life insurance quote by using our term life insurance coverage calculator and comparing quotes with an independent insurance agent.

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Term life insurance rates for a 10-year term policy

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$11.52$15.72$23.07
Male$13.29$19.66$29.62
35Female$12.11$17.20$25.55
Male$13.47$20.39$30.63
45Female$20.56$32.90$54.04
Male$23.39$37.80$65.28
55Female$39.24$67.08$122.87
Male$50.18$89.84$155.84

Methodology: Sample monthly premiums are for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health rating buying a 10-year 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, SBLI, 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 6/6/2022.

Term life insurance rates for a 20-year term policy

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$14.21$21.09$33.54
Male$17.18$26.97$44.79
35Female$16.55$25.53$42.76
Male$18.85$30.32$51.87
45Female$28.85$47.94$86.87
Male$35.55$60.80$112.94
55Female$61.54$109.11$208.38
Male$84.84$151.65$284.76

Methodology: The chart above reflects rates, as of June 2, 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.

Term life insurance rates for a 30-year term policy

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$19.35$30.84$52.00
Male$23.79$39.51$68.10
35Female$23.65$38.84$68.64
Male$27.64$46.29$83.34
45Female$45.22$79.69$148.29
Male$59.72$104.99$197.42
55Female$117.94$211.06$407.41
Male$165.16$305.80$596.35

Methodology: Sample monthly premiums are for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health rating buying a 30-year 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, SBLI, 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 6/6/2022.

How do term life insurance premiums work?

Your term life insurance policy’s premiums are the amount you spend to keep the policy in force so that your beneficiaries get the death benefit if you die. The price of your term life insurance is determined by several factors in addition to your age, including:

  • Age: The cost of term life insurance goes up by 4.9% to 9% every year you put off buying a policy. Term life insurance rates for seniors, for example, cost hundreds of dollars per month, whereas someone in their 30s would pay less than $100 per month for a comparable policy. 

  • Medical diagnoses: Serious illnesses like cancer or heart disease can lead to application denial, while conditions that are known to cause complications down the line, like sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and high weight-to-height ratio (BMI) lead to higher term life rates.

  • Health history: Existing medical conditions or habits linked to health risks, like smoking, plus a history of certain illnesses in your family, can increase rates.

  • Driving record: Moving violations and past car accidents are red flags that will also lead to higher premiums. A recent DUI/DWI could disqualify you from coverage.

  • Lifestyle: Drug or alcohol use and dangerous hobbies, like scuba diving, are considered risky and will raise premiums.

Insurers use a health classification system to determine your term life premium. The best classifications and most affordable rates go to younger, healthier applicants who pose less risk to the insurer — meaning they’re less likely to die during the term of the policy.

How to find affordable term life rates

Because the cost of your term life insurance policy depends on your unique profile and each life insurance company treats every health condition differently, there is no one provider guaranteed to offer the cheapest life insurance for everyone. A Policygenius agent can shop your application around with different companies to find you the most affordable term life insurance quotes.

→ Learn more about finding affordable life insurance

Frequently asked questions

How much does term life insurance cost?

Term life insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance. Your actual term life insurance rates will depend on your age and health, but on average a male or female in their 30s pays less than $30 for a $500,000, 20-year policy.

What is the best age to buy term life insurance?

The younger you are when you purchase your policy, the cheaper your life insurance will be. Your 20s and 30s are the best time to buy term life insurance to lock in low rates.

Is a 10-year term life insurance policy worth it?

A 10-year term life insurance policy is worth considering if it fits your financial needs. For example, someone with seven years left on their mortgage or someone who took out a 10-year business loan might want a 10-year policy to cover those debts.

What is the cost of a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for someone in good health?

A $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy costs $20 to $30 per month for 25- to -35-year-old non-smokers in good health, $48 to $61 per month for 45-year-olds, and $109 to $152 per month for 55-year-olds.