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Term life insurance rates (February 2024)

A 30-year-old could pay between $15 and $30 per month — or less than $300 per year — for term life insurance. Your rates depend on your age, gender, health, and hobbies, as well as length and amount of coverage.

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Antonio 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.&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

Adam MorganAdam MorganEditorial DirectorAdam Morgan is an editorial director at Policygenius who leads the life insurance team. Previously, he led editorial teams matrixed across multiple financial publications at Red Ventures — including Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Million Mile Secrets, and others. As a journalist, his work has appeared in Esquire, Scientific American, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.
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Reviewed by

Matt BurkeMatt BurkeLicensed Insurance Expert & Director of Life, DI and P&C OperationsMatt 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.

Updated|2 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.

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Several factors determine the cost of term life insurance, including your age, gender, and health. A healthy 30-year-old can expect to pay about $26 per month — or $312 per year — or even less for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit

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.

Average term life insurance rates by term length

Term length

Average monthly rate for females

Average monthly rate for males

10 years

$16.71

$21.13

20 years

$22.98

$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, or 30-year $500,000 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.

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.

Average 20-year term life insurance rates by age & gender

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

$22.98

$36.90

Male

$18.19

$29.32

$48.89

40

Female

$21.66

$35.27

$60.65

Male

$25.39

$42.94

$75.24

50

Female

$43.92

$78.29

$139.50

Male

$56.69

$102.50

$188.29

60

Female

$107.83

$194.16

$354.51

Male

$149.38

$268.09

$499.98

Collapse table

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.

Average 30-year term life insurance rates by age & gender

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$19.43

$30.97

$49.32

Male

$24.42

$40.53

$66.57

30

Female

$21.06

$34.52

$57.04

Male

$25.29

$42.45

$71.88

40

Female

$31.99

$54.87

$97.32

Male

$39.62

$68.28

$122.41

50

Female

$70.40

$129.12

$232.24

Male

$94.32

$174.15

$315.50

Collapse table

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining a 30-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.

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

Average term life insurance costs without a medical exam

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

$22.98

$36.90

Male

$18.19

$29.32

$48.89

40

Female

$21.66

$35.27

$60.65

Male

$25.39

$42.94

$75.24

50

Female

$43.92

$78.29

$139.50

Male

$56.69

$102.50

$188.29

Collapse table

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 that offer no-exam application offered by Policygenius from Brighthouse Financial, Foresters Financial, Legal & General America, Pacific Life, 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 cost of term life insurance based on policies offered through Policygenius as of February of 2024.

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How are life insurance rates determined?

Life insurance companies use a combination of factors — including your age, gender, health, and family medical history — to determine the cost of life insurance for each person. Generally speaking, the younger and healthier you are, the lower the risk you present to the insurer, and the lower your rates will be.

  • Your age: The average cost of term life insurance goes up by 4.9% to 9% every year you age. Once your policy is active, your premiums will stay the same for the duration of your coverage. 

  • Your gender: Because men have a shorter life expectancy than women, [1] they usually pay more for life insurance. Gender-nonconforming applicants won’t get higher rates based on gender identity, but must apply under one gender.

  • Your health: The healthier you are, the less likely you are to die while your policy is active. Many insurers will require a medical exam to get an accurate picture of your health. Serious health conditions like a recent history of cancer or heart disease might make you ineligible for certain policies.

  • Your family medical history: Life insurance companies use your family’s medical history as an indicator of your future health risks. Some life-threatening conditions — like heart disease or diabetes — can be caused by genetic diseases.

  • Your smoking status and/or marijuana use: If you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or use e-cigarettes, you’ll pay two to three times more for life insurance. Using marijuana won’t disqualify you from getting life insurance, but your rates depend on the state you’re in, the type of products you use, and whether or not you have a medical prescription.

  • Your history of substance abuse: When you apply for life insurance, the insurer will ask about any current or past alcohol and drug use. People with a history of substance abuse will typically pay higher premiums.

  • Your driving record: During the application process, your insurer looks at your motor vehicle report (MVR). You’ll pay more for life insurance if you have multiple moving violations, license suspensions, or reckless driving violations, especially if they happened in the last five years.

  • Your lifestyle and hobbies: Insurance companies consider hobbies like scuba diving or skydiving risky, so they may result in higher premiums. Certain high-risk jobs, like being in the military or a private pilot, can also increase the cost of your policy.

  • Your criminal history: If you have a criminal record, you can still apply for a life insurance policy. Having misdemeanors or lesser infractions on your record usually won’t change your rates. If you have a felony conviction, getting life insurance will be more difficult and more expensive, especially in the first few years after your conviction. 

  • Your credit history: Your credit report can affect your life insurance rates because insurance companies want to be sure you’ll be able to consistently pay the premiums for your policy. Insurers make a soft inquiry of your credit report as part of the application process, but this doesn’t impact your credit score.

Life insurance is federally regulated, so insurance companies can’t issue discounts. But since each insurer has different guidelines when it comes to pricing, you might get cheaper rates with one company than another depending on your profile

The best way to get a policy at the best price for you is to apply through an independent broker like Policygenius, who can help you compare life insurance quotes across multiple insurance companies at the same time.

Read more about the best term life insurance companies

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What factors don’t affect life insurance rates?

  • Your credit score: While your credit history has an impact on your life insurance rates, your credit score doesn’t. Insurers consider the factors that contribute to your credit score, but not the specific number.

  • Your marital status: Life insurance companies don’t consider marital status when assigning your rates. You and your spouse won’t get a discount on your premiums if you buy a policy at the same time.

  • Where you live: The state where you live won’t usually affect the cost of your policy. However, it will affect the insurance rules and regulations that apply in your state.

  • The number of policies you have. The number of policies you have doesn’t influence your rates. It’s possible and legal to have multiple life insurance policies.

  • The number of beneficiaries you name. You can have multiple beneficiaries and this won’t affect your rates. You’ll be able to designate a portion of your death benefit to each beneficiary.

How can you get lower term life rates?

Different life insurance companies have different criteria for determining life insurance rates based on factors like your age and health. To find the cheapest rates, you can compare quotes from multiple companies.

Here are some other ways to lower the cost of term life insurance.

  1. Apply early. Life insurance is cheapest when you’re young with few health conditions, so buying a policy in your 20s or 30s can save you money.

  2. Consider paying annually. Many insurers give a small discount to applicants who agree to pay yearly instead of monthly. If you can afford to pay your life insurance premiums annually, you may get a discount up to 5%.

  3. Opt for a shorter term or less coverage. Longer policies or policies with greater payouts are more expensive than shorter policies or policies with smaller death benefits. It’s best to have some kind of policy in place, even if it’s not technically the full amount you need.

  4. Manage your health conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, following a treatment plan prescribed by your physician can help you get lower rates. For example, this could look like taking prescribed medications or seeing a therapist if recommended.

  5. Stop smoking. The cost of term life insurance is two to three times higher for smokers than it is for non-smokers. To pay non-smoker rates, you’d need to quit using nicotine products at least one year before applying for life insurance.

How much term life insurance do you need?

The amount of life insurance you get should be enough to cover all of your family’s current and future expenses, like mortgage payments and bills.

One easy rule of thumb is that your coverage should be roughly 10 to 15 times your annual income. For example, if you make $100,000 per year, you’ll likely need around $1 million to $1.5 million in life insurance coverage.

We can also do the math for you. You can use our coverage calculator to calculate how much life insurance coverage you need to protect your family.

How long should your term life insurance last?

Most people need term life coverage that lasts 20 to 30 years. Insurers also offer shorter and longer terms — from 10 years up to 40 years. How long your life insurance should last will depend on your financial needs.

How to choose your term length

The best term length for your policy will depend on the reason you’re seeking financial protection.

  • If you have a 20-year mortgage, for example, you’ll want at least a 20-year term life insurance policy to cover your mortgage payments. 

  • If you have young children, you should factor in how many years you’ll have to support them until they’re financially independent. 

  • If you’re 35 and hoping to retire by 65, a 30-year term life insurance policy could cover you until you retire.

The longer your term, the more expensive your life insurance rates will be. A 30-year life insurance quote is higher than a 20-year life insurance quote because you’re securing the same rate for a longer period of time.

A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you can find coverage at the right price and term length for your needs.

Learn more about how to calculate your term length

Common life insurance term lengths

Frequently asked questions

How much is term life insurance?

On average, a male or female in their 30s pays less than $30 a month for a $500,000, 20-year policy. Term life insurance is one of the most affordable types of life insurance. Your age, gender, health, and lifestyle factors will impact your rates.

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

A 10-year term life insurance policy is worth considering if you’ll have fewer financial obligations after 10 years. 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 term life insurance policy?

A $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy costs $23 to $30 per month for 30-year-old non-smokers with few health conditions, $35 to $43 per month for 40-year-olds, and $78 to $102 per month for 50-year-olds.

How much is a million dollar life insurance policy a month?

A 30-year-old female who doesn’t smoke could pay about $37 per month — or $431 per year — for a 20-year, $1 million term life insurance policy. A 40-year-old female in similar health would pay about $60 per month, or $709 per year. 

A 30-year-old male who doesn’t smoke might pay about $48 per month — or $572 per year — for the same $1 million policy. A 40-year-old male in similar health would pay around $75 per month, or $880 per year.

How much does it cost to buy life insurance for a family of four?

The total cost of term life insurance for a family with two relatively healthy parents and one or more children can be as low as $77 per month (under $1,000 per year). This estimate covers both parents with separate term life policies and includes a child rider. A child rider is an optional add-on to your life insurance policy that provides a small amount of coverage for your children.

Do men or women pay more for life insurance?

Women pay on average 24% less for life insurance than men. Women typically live longer than men, so they often pay less than men for life insurance. However, your medical history or lifestyle choices tend to have more of an impact on your rates than gender.

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. Kaiser Family Foundation

    . "

    Number of Deaths per 100,000 Population by Gender

    ." Accessed February 13, 2024.

Authors

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.

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

Adam Morgan is an editorial director at Policygenius who leads the life insurance team. Previously, he led editorial teams matrixed across multiple financial publications at Red Ventures — including Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Million Mile Secrets, and others. As a journalist, his work has appeared in Esquire, Scientific American, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.

Expert reviewer

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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