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Average whole life insurance rates (April 2024)

The average cost of a $500,000 whole life insurance policy for a healthy 30-year-old in April 2024 is $451 per month. Your personal rates depend on your age, gender, health, and hobbies, as well as how much coverage you need.

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By

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

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

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®Patrick Hanzel, CFP®Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning ManagerPatrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

Updated|3 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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How much is whole life insurance?

The average cost of whole life insurance is $451 per month. That’s the amount a 30-year-old who doesn’t smoke and is generally in good health will pay for a $500,000 whole life insurance policy.

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that doesn’t expire. It comes with a savings feature called the cash value account — which you can borrow from while you’re still alive — in addition to the death benefit, which is the money your loved ones can claim when you die.

Whole life insurance rates are calculated based on your age, health, gender, lifestyle factors, and coverage amount.

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 whole life insurance rates

Since whole life insurance doesn’t expire until your death, you’ll pay premiums for the rest of your life, or until you reach age 100. For illustration purposes, the rates below are for policies fully paid up at age 100.

Average whole life insurance rates for non-smokers

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount

20

Female

$287.00

Male

$334.00

30

Female

$408.00

Male

$472.00

40

Female

$588.00

Male

$706.00

50

Female

$920.00

Male

$1,081.00

Collapse table

Methodology: Monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification obtaining a $500,000 whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

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 whole life insurance rates for smokers

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount

20

Female

$351.00

Male

$432.00

30

Female

$505.20

Male

$602.40

40

Female

$747.60

Male

$921.60

50

Female

$1,192.80

Male

$1,425.60

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Methodology: Approximate monthly rates are calculated for smokers in a Standard Smoker health classification based on a $500,000 whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

Average whole life insurance rates by coverage amount

Like with other kinds of life insurance, if you purchase a higher coverage amount, you’ll pay more in premiums. Below you’ll see $1 million whole life insurance policy rates are more expensive than $500,000 whole life insurance policy rates, and so on.

Age

Gender

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1 million coverage amount

20

Female

$146.00

$287.00

$545.00

Male

$169.00

$334.00

$639.00

30

Female

$205.00

$408.00

$801.00

Male

$238.00

$472.00

$920.00

40

Female

$296.00

$588.00

$1,161.00

Male

$355.00

$706.00

$1,372.00

50

Female

$462.00

$920.00

$1,826.00

Male

$543.00

$1,081.00

$2,117.00

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Methodology: Monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification obtaining a $250,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000 whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

Average whole life insurance rates for young adults

The younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance rates will be. This applies to whole life policies, too, even if they’re still more expensive than term life.

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount, non-smoker

$500,000 coverage amount, smoker

20

Female

$287.00

$351.60

Male

$334.00

$432.00

25

Female

$346.00

$427.20

Male

$393.00

$495.60

30

Female

$408.00

$505.20

Male

$472.00

$602.40

35

Female

$481.00

$597.60

Male

$571.00

$734.40

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Methodology: Rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification obtaining a $500,000 whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. Approximate smoker rates are calculated based on a Standard Smoker health classification for a whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

Learn more about life insurance for young adults

Average whole life insurance rates for seniors

Seniors can still buy whole life insurance. A licensed agent can compare options personalized for you based on your age and health — there may be some age restrictions depending on the specific type of policy you want to buy.

Age

Gender

$500,000 coverage amount, non-smoker

$500,000 coverage amount, smoker

60

Female

$1,540.00

$1,984.80

Male

$1,802.00

$2,420.40

65

Female

$1,996.00

$2,564.40

Male

$2,394.00

$3,144.00

70

Female

$2,797.00

$3,536.40

Male

$3,114.00

$4,011.60

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Methodology: Rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Preferred Plus health classification obtaining a $500,000 whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. Approximate smoker rates are calculated based on a Standard Smoker health classification for a whole life insurance policy fully paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

Read more about life insurance rates

Life insurance rates remain steady in April 2024

Life insurance rates remained steady in April 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

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Is whole life insurance more expensive than term life insurance?

Yes, whole life insurance is significantly more expensive than term life insurance. The average cost of term life insurance is just $26 per month ($312 per year) for a $500,000 20-year term life policy. Meanwhile, the average cost of whole life insurance with the same coverage amount is $451 per month ($5,412 per year). 

Here are other key differences between whole life and term life.

  • The length of your coverage: Whole life is permanent coverage, which means it doesn’t expire. Term life lasts for a set number of years and then expires.

  • The cash value: Whole life has a separate cash value account, while term life does not. Term life policies don’t have a cash value — they only pay out a tax-free lump sum to the beneficiary when the policyholder dies.

Comparing whole life vs. term life

Features

Term life insurance

Whole life insurance

Permanent coverage

No — maximum of 40 years

Yes

Cost* ($500,000 coverage amount)

$26/month for a 20-year term

$451/month

Guaranteed death benefit payout

Yes

Yes

Guaranteed cash value

No

Yes

Premium cost stays fixed

Yes, in most cases

Yes, in most cases

Pays annual dividends

No

Yes, in some cases

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*Methodology: Average monthly term life insurance rate is for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health classification obtaining a 20-year, $500,000 policy. Term 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. Average monthly whole life insurance rate is calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification, obtaining a whole life insurance policy paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

Whole life insurance rates comparison vs. term life insurance rates

Age

Gender

$500,000 whole life policy

$500,000 20-year term policy

$500,000 30-year term policy

30

Female

$408.00

$22.99

$34.53

Male

$472.00

$29.33

$42.45

40

Female

$588.00

$35.27

$54.87

Male

$706.00

$42.94

$68.28

50

Female

$920.00

$78.29

$129.12

Male

$1,081.00

$102.50

$174.15

60

Female

$1,540.00

$194.16

N/A

Male

$1,802.00

$268.04

N/A

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Methodology: Monthly rates are calculated for male and female non-smokers obtaining a $500,000 whole life insurance policy, a $500,000, 20-year term policy, and a $500,000 30-year term policy. Term life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Legal & General America, Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Foresters Financial, 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. Whole life insurance rates are calculated for non-smokers in a Preferred health classification obtaining a $500,000 whole life insurance policy paid up at age 100 offered by Policygenius from MassMutual. 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 04/01/2024.

Cost comparison between 20-year term, 30-year term, and whole life insurance policies offered through Policygenius.

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Who is whole life insurance good for?

Whole life insurance can be a good fit for high-net-worth individuals who want to diversify their investments or estate planning portfolio. It can also be a good option for people who have long-term financial obligations. This includes:

  • People who are maximizing their contributions to tax-advantaged accounts like a Roth IRA or 401(k) and have the budget for an additional investment option

  • People with lifelong dependents who want a permanent financial safety net

  • People with unique estate planning needs

A financial planner or insurance professional can help you decide whether whole life insurance is worth it for you.

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How to buy whole life insurance

Buying whole life insurance is similar to buying other types of life insurance.

  • First, you’ll fill out an application and have a phone call with an agent.

  • In most cases, the next step will be to take a medical exam. This is a common part of the life insurance application process. The medical exam is similar to an annual physical, covered by the insurer, and conducted by an examiner in your home or office.

  • After that, the insurance company will review your application and offer you your final rate, which can take four to six weeks.

  • Once you sign your policy paperwork and pay your first premium, your coverage will go into effect.

An independent broker like Policygenius can help you find the best insurance policy for you and walk you through the application process. At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can provide you with unbiased advice to pick the right coverage for you.

Call us at 1-800-608-2192 to connect with a Policygenius agent and get started on your application, or follow the link below.

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What factors affect the cost of whole life insurance?

Your age, health, and gender will affect your whole life insurance premiums. In general, the younger you are, the lower your premiums will be — because we all become riskier to insure as we age.

The type of whole life insurance you purchase will also impact the cost of your policy.  

Other factors that will influence your rates — because they have the potential to increase your insurance risk — include:

Learn more about the life insurance underwriting process

What factors don’t affect the cost of whole life insurance?

Here are some other factors that won’t affect how much you pay for life insurance

  • Marital status. Your marital status doesn’t influence your life insurance rates — and you won’t get a discount for buying a policy at the same time as your spouse.

  • Credit score. Your credit score won’t determine how much you pay for life insurance, but your credit history could — especially if you have a bankruptcy or late payments on your records. 

  • Your location. The state where you live won’t affect the cost of your police. However, each state has different active rules and regulations around insurance policies, which may affect the terms and conditions of your policy. Also, not every type of policy is available in every state.

  • How many beneficiaries you have. You can have multiple beneficiaries, and this won’t impact your rates.

  • The number of policies you have. It’s possible to have multiple life insurance policies. However, if you already have the maximum amount of coverage that you qualify for based on your income and assets, you may not be able to buy another life insurance policy.

Frequently asked questions

How much does whole life insurance cost?

A 30-year-old in good health could pay about $451 per month for a whole life insurance policy with a $500,000 coverage amount. Generally speaking, whole life is significantly more expensive than term life insurance. Life insurance rates are determined by your age, health, gender, and the type of policy you’re purchasing.

Is whole life insurance a good investment?

Traditional investment accounts typically offer higher returns than whole life insurance policies. However, whole life insurance can help you complement your investment portfolio in certain situations. For example, if you’re already maximizing your contributions to tax-advantaged accounts like a Roth IRA or a 401(k).

Does whole life insurance pay out the full amount when you die?

In most cases, whole life insurance policies pay out the full death benefit when you die. However, if you took out a loan against the policy’s cash value and didn’t pay it back before you died, any amount you still owed will be subtracted from the death benefit. The death benefit is the amount of money your beneficiaries will receive when they file a death claim.

What is the average interest rate on whole life insurance?

The average annual interest rate of a whole life insurance policy is 1.5% according to Consumer Reports. The interest rate on a whole life insurance policy is typically set by the life insurance company.

How much is a $50,000 whole life insurance policy?

A 30-year-old in good health can pay around $57 per month for a $50,000 whole life insurance policy. Life insurance premiums depend on your age and health.

How much is a $100,000 whole life insurance policy?

A 30-year-old in good health can pay around $100 per month for a $100,000 whole life insurance policy. How much you pay will depend on your age and health.

How does cash value life insurance work?

Every time you pay a premium, a portion goes toward your cash value account. Your cash value gains interest over the life of your policy, tax-free. Generally, the only time you’d pay taxes related to your cash value is if you withdraw more than the total amount of premiums you paid into your policy — called the cost basis.

Author

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

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

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

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