We all want to pay the best life insurance rates so we can protect our families at the most affordable price. With so many life insurance companies to choose from, your premium cost can be your most important decision factor when each company offers the same coverage amounts and policy terms.
Life insurance companies take many factors into consideration when providing you a quote. One of the most important factors is your age. The best life insurance company for your child may not be the best option for you.
In This Article
- What Type of Life Insurance to Get
- How to Get the Best Life Insurance Rate
- How Much Does Term Life Insurance Cost?
- Potential Life Insurance Rates by Age (Table)
- Best Life Insurance Companies For Any Age
- Best Life Insurance for Young Adults: Ages 20-29
- Best Term Life Insurance for Families: 30-49 Years Old
- Best Life Insurance When You’re 50: 50-59
- Best Life Insurance Rates for Seniors: 60+
- Best Life Insurance Rates for Smokers
- FAQs About the Best Life Insurance Rates
What Type of Life Insurance to Get
As an adult, you should only consider term life insurance. This is your most affordable option and you can get higher coverage amounts so you’re family won’t have to worry about making ends meet if they need to redeem the policy.
To secure the lowest price possible, you should get the longest term possible; preferably 20 to 30 years. Your monthly premiums will be higher, but you can save money long-term.
The main reason why is that you have to go through the underwriting process when you renew your life insurance policy.
If you develop a medical condition during your current term, your rates might increase when you get a new policy. The rate hike could have been avoided if you had opted for a longer policy term because you pay a flat-rate premium based on your health at the time you start the policy.
Don’t Rely on Employer Life Insurance
Your employer might offer life insurance for free (or nearly free) as an employee benefit. Because you don’t know if you will change employers or they will stop offering life insurance benefits, you should also have an individual term life insurance policy of some kind.
By getting your own life insurance policy, you still have coverage if you switch jobs. Your new employer might not offer life insurance or the coverage amount might be too small for your financial needs.
If this switch happens later in your career, you might not be able to afford the coverage you want. Had you opened a policy a few years earlier, you could have qualified for a better rate and could afford a higher coverage amount.
How to Get the Best Life Insurance Rate
The underwriting process is very similar for most life insurance companies and your quote will be based largely on the following factors:
- Current job
- Current health conditions
- Do you use tobacco or alcohol?
- Age of your parents
- Family health history
- Driving record
- Previous life insurance application history
Young adults will pay less than older adults with similar health conditions. Also, women typically have cheaper rates than men.
You will need to answer a variety of questions about your personal health and your family health history. Although, you don’t need to answer most of these questions to get an instant quote.
How Much Does Term Life Insurance Cost?
No including your personal health, life insurance premiums are determined by three factors:
- Your age
- Policy coverage amount
- Term length
When it comes to life insurance, you should get the longest policy term as soon as possible. A 20-year-old is always going to spend less on life insurance than a 50-year-old because they are less likely to develop health issues or pass away unexpectedly. Life insurance companies know this and the price reflects your personal health in relation to your age.
Twenty-year terms are the most popular option for most age groups because you have a good mixture of getting multi-decade coverage at a reasonable price. If possible, the shortest term you should consider is 20 years.
For a $250,000 20-year term life insurance policy, you can expect to pay the following each month based on the age your policy starts. You might consider the sample quotes below the best life insurance rates by age for a person in excellent health and tobacco-free. Your quote might be different than the examples listed below:
Potential Life Insurance Rates by Age (Table)
|70 (10-year term)||$200||$124|
You might decide to wait to apply if you need to improve a health condition. For example, maybe you have high blood pressure or need to lose weight to qualify for the best rate. Or, you need to be tobacco-free for 36 months. Some life insurance companies provide detailed quotes so you know what qualifications you need to meet to get the lowest rate offered.
Best Life Insurance Companies For Any Age
Because we’re all at different life stages, this article is separated into different age groups. All of these companies offer term life insurance-the only life insurance product to get-so you never overpay for life insurance.
Until you turn 45 years old, you might even qualify for a no exam life insurance policy. These policies sometimes cost more per month than getting a medical exam, so it pays to ask the insurance provider if they can provide two separate quotes if there’s a price difference.
With most life insurance companies, it’s possible to get coverage up to age 75. You might try getting a quote from these three life insurance providers first because they offer instant quotes and make the application process easy.
Keep in mind that several other life insurance companies are also listed below. Even though they are in a single age category for special perks they might offer, they can be a fine option regardless of your current age.
Ethos uses 21st-century technology to provide a quote and get an approval decision within 10 minutes. Approximately 81% of applicants are approved for their initial quote according to Ethos. You might have to pay more if you are not as physically or financially healthy.
People in excellent health can qualify for a no exam policy. Each applicant is underwritten on an individual basis and you will need to submit an application first.
If you’re on a budget and need something, it’s possible to get a policy for as low as $6 a month. It might only be enough coverage to pay for common funeral expenses and a few bills, but it’s better than nothing at all.
Policygenius can make the online quote process as simple as possible because you compare multiple life insurance providers at once. You enter your basic personal information and Policygenius shows you a basic quote from several providers. After choosing the provider, you will begin the underwriting process, so your actual quote might increase depending on your personal health factors.
Even though Policygenius is a life insurance search engine, you won’t pay extra if you go through them instead of directly through the life insurance company. Life insurance rates are regulated and most have the same price on every marketplace.
3. Haven Life
Up until age 45, you can qualify for the Haven Life InstantTerm policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. You can receive an instant policy decision and your policy is backed by MassMutual which has an A++ financial rating from A.M. Best. This is the best rate possible from A.M. Best which is a leading insurance rating company.
For a 20-year-old male in excellent health, a $250,000 20-year term costs $13.61 per month. You can also apply for coverage from MassMutual, but you can expect to pay the same rate as you will with Haven Life.
It’s also possible to get up to $2 million in coverage, just in case you need that much.
4. JRC Insurance Group
JRC Insurance makes comparing life insurance quotes easy. Their fee-free, online tool helps you compare 50 top-rate companies, plus their agents can help you narrow down choices even further based on your specific needs.
Policies can have a 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 year term. There are also permanent policies available.
Best Life Insurance for Young Adults: Ages 20-29
Many life insurance companies won’t issue you a life insurance policy until you become a legal adult at age 18, but some companies won’t begin issuing policies until you turn 20. Your 20s, preferably your early 20s, is the ideal time to get the best life insurance rates possible. Even though you feel like you’re invincible now, wait until you enter another decade of life or have a family.
Taking the time to get a personal life insurance policy now that’s at least a 20-year term is a good idea. In many cases, you might only pay $10 to $20 a month for coverage. On a 20-year $250,000 term, you may only pay up to $15 a month.
And, because you’re still young and sprightly you will most likely qualify for a no exam policy which saves you time.
You should either consider getting a 20-year or 30-year term if you’re in your 20s. Your life will change a lot in the next two decades, especially if you’re single and plan on getting married and having a family of your own!
You might like Protective because they offer because they offer an accidental death benefit rider. This add-on rider costs extra but when you’re in your 20s, you’re more likely to die accidentally than from poor health. This benefit can pay an additional benefit in addition to your existing term life insurance policy if you don’t want to increase your coverage amount and pay a higher premium.
Protective also has 6,000,000 policyholders and it’s one of the larger life insurance companies. Even if you’re almost ready to turn 30, you can still get up to $500,000 in coverage for $13.76 as a 30-year-old male with Protective. If the big 3-0 is approaching soon, it’s not too late to apply and lock in a low rate for the next decade.
6. Banner Life
Young adults are sometimes nicknamed the “Selfie Generation.” With Banner Life, you can get an instant SelfieQuote by taking a picture of yourself with your cell phone. Using facial analytics technology, Banner Life can determine the following information from a single selfie:
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
After analyzing your picture, you decide how much life insurance you want and the term length. You will need to be at least 20 years old to apply for a policy with Banner Life.
7. Pacific Life Insurance
You might also consider the Pacific PRIME term life insurance product from Pacific Life. They have an A+ rating which is also very high and is another reason why Pacific Life has the 5th most life insurance policy sales in the nation.
Add-on riders are usually discouraged because they increase the cost of your life insurance policy, but one built-in benefit is the terminal illness waiver. If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness during your policy term, you can withdraw up to 75% of the policy amount early.
Best Term Life Insurance for Families: 30-49 Years Old
Although your life insurance rates will still be lower when you’re closer to 30 than 50, your life goals can be very similar in your 30s and 40s. At this points, you’re already established in your career, have children, and making mortgage payments for that family-friendly house you thought you would never buy as a recent college graduate.
At this stage in life, you have more financial obligations than you did as a recent college graduate with a small student loan balance and no family to feed. You need to consider getting a life insurance policy to cover the following expenses:
- Your home mortgage
- Education costs for your children
- Any other loans you currently owe like car loans or credit cards
- Replacement income for at least one year
Many financial planners use the recommendation of getting a life insurance policy that’s 10 times your current income. If you make $50,000 a year, your policy would be $500,000. Is this enough to cover all of your financial obligations?
You might decide to get a smaller policy if you’re in better financial shape or don’t want a larger monthly premium. After all, you’re still young and should outlive your policy. Because term life insurance doesn’t accumulate cash value, you still want to get the most coverage at the lowest price.
For most 30 and 40-somethings, your most affordable option will still be a 20-year term policy. Having a 20-year policy will get you through your key employment years so you can focus on raising your family and saving for retirement.
Although the other life insurance mentioned above offer competitive rates, AIG tends to be a better option if you need a higher policy amount such as a $500,000 coverage amount. You can get term life insurance policies up to 35 years in duration with AIG which might still be an option if you’re in your early 30s or late 20s and can afford the higher monthly premiums. AIG is also one of the largest insurers in the world with 5.2 million customers.
If you’re a 30-year-old male who needs a $500,000 policy with a 20-year term, your monthly rate will be approximately $20. This is for a non-smoker applicant in excellent health.
Quickly compare life insurance quotes with Policygenius.
9. Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha also offers competitive term life insurance rates. They currently offer life insurance coverage up to age 80, so you can truly have a Mutual of Omaha policy for your entire lifespan. You can qualify for a no exam policy with coverage amounts up to $100,000. The minimum coverage amount from Mutual of Omaha is $25,000 which can cover your basic funeral expenses.
A 30-year-old male can get a $500,000 policy for approximately $21 per month. This is rate is on par with other life insurance companies for similar coverage.
SBLI, short for Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, offers term life insurance with gimmick-free, straightforward protection. Their sample policy is $11.15 a month for 10 years of coverage for $300,000 coverage if you’re a 30-year-old non-smoker female.
Sticking with the example of a 30-year-old male with $500,000 coverage for 20 years, you can expect to pay $22.19.
Maybe you’ve never heard of SBLI before, but they have been around since 1907 (by a Supreme Court justice!) and are well-rated for financial health and customer reviews. SBLI has a 4.4 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot for their professional service. You might also like them because they are customer-owned. Since they only offer life insurance, they don’t have to inflate prices to subsidize their other less-profitable insurance products.
Best Life Insurance When You’re 50: 50-59
Although life insurance policies begin getting higher when you near retirement, you can still see a sizeable jump when you turn 50. For example, that same 20-year $500,000 policy you paid $21 a month for as a 30-something now costs $100 a month. Ouch.
If your current term life insurance policy is getting ready to expire, you might be getting plenty of offers to convert your term policy into a permanent life insurance product. Once again, avoid any permanent life insurance product.
The costs do not justify the benefits. You will be better off getting a 10, 15, or 20-year term policy and either investing the difference or putting it in savings.
Dave Ramsey fans will know that in your 50s, your goal should be to become self-insured. For example, instead of having a $500,000 life insurance policy, you have $500,000 of cash reserves you can pull from without paying a monthly life insurance premium.
You’re not getting any younger and your term life insurance rates will be even higher when you turn 60. You might not be fully self-insured yet, but you should do everything possible to reach that milestone.
Now that you’re above 50, you will need to pay closer attention to your quote if you take one of the following medications:
- Cholesterol medication
- High blood pressure medication
Being on these medications can increase your monthly premium. Don’t forget that it’s still not too late to get paid to exercise to reduce your life insurance premium costs.
11. Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group offers their Lincoln LifeElements Term policy for applicants older than 45 years old. It’s possible to receive the following policy coverage amounts depending on your age:
- Up to $1,000,000 coverage: 45 years and older
- Up to $500,000 coverage: 55 years and older
You can complete the process with a phone interview and potentially qualify for a no exam policy up to age 60! The no lab work option is quite impressive since many life insurance companies begin requiring exams for any applicant older than 45.
A 20-year, $500,000 for a 50-year-old male costs $101 per month.
All applicants can get term life insurance policies with up to 20-year terms. AXA offers several different term life insurance products and you’ll want to stick with their AXA BrightLife Term Series with fixed (level) monthly payments.
Like other life insurance companies, AXA offers a complementary terminal illness living benefits rider that lets you withdraw a portion of your life insurance early.
AXA’s 20-year term for $500,000 also costs approximately $101 per month if you’re in excellent health without prescription medication.
13. John Hancock
Maybe you like keeping your nest egg and life insurance all under one roof. John Hancock is well-known for the wealth and legacy planning services and they also offer competitive life insurance quotes.
They do charge a few dollars more than the other two recommendations at $105 per month for $500,000 coverage on a 20-year term, but they are a well-respected institution.
Regarding their life insurance, John Hancock offers fitness-based rewards that reduce your premium costs with the following health-related activities:
- Eating well
- Practicing good sleep habits
You can save up to 15% on your annual premium and save up to $600 on groceries with their incentive program. You can even earn a free Apple Watch after a $25 initial payment and regularly exercising too.
Best Life Insurance Rates for Seniors: 60+
You’re nearing retirement or already there when you reach your 60s. Life insurance in your 60s and 70s will be notably more expensive than in previous decades and you might be age-limited. Life insurance companies might cancel your term life coverage once you reach age 80 and may only offer a 10 or 15-year term depending on your current age.
Because term life insurance for seniors costs so much, you should consider getting a shorter policy or smaller coverage amount to keep your costs to a minimum.
You may decide to get enough life insurance to cover the following expenses:
- Funeral and burial
- Medical expenses
- Pension replacement
- Estate taxes
In previous years, term life insurance was your tool to provide your family with replacement income. Now, you might need life insurance to make sure your spouse doesn’t need to come out of retirement or leave your children with a financial burden.
As a senior, you will see plenty of offers for guaranteed universal protection. This is a form of permanent or whole life insurance so avoid these plans. Stick with a term policy and deposit the difference in a high-yield bank account to gain above-average interest with easy access to your cash.
You may only be able to get a 10-year term, but you can potentially get $200,000 in coverage for only $102 a month.
Prudential is another reputable and large life insurance company. They also offer very competitive rates for seniors need a 10-year term policy, although they aren’t always the most affordable for younger adults. As a 60-year-old needing a 10-year term with $250,000, your monthly rate might only be $81.
Jumping to a 20-year plan with similar coverage can cost $165 which is higher than other insurance providers for a 20-year term. Although you can get longer terms with Prudential, they might be a better option if you’re only in the market for a 10-year term.
16. Foresters Financial
Many people regard Foresters as being one of the best life insurance providers for seniors. They also have a more flexible accelerated death benefit rider for critical, chronic, and terminal illnesses. Other life insurance companies might charge additional fees for these benefits.
Foresters Financial is also more generous with offering coverage to seniors than other life insurance companies too.
Best Life Insurance Rates for Smokers
Smoking and chewing tobacco have many negative financial and health benefits, and you will pay higher premiums as a regular tobacco user. As a tobacco user, your life insurance rates can vary widely because you have less negotiating leverage.
While you should strive to be tobacco-free, it doesn’t mean you can’t get low-cost term life insurance still. Some insurance companies are more receptive to tobacco use than others.
Every insurance company quotes tobacco users differently as it can depend on what type of tobacco you use. Depending on how the type of tobacco and how frequently you use it, you might be classified as a “Preferred Smoker” instead of a “Standard Smoker.” Your rates will still be higher than non-smokers yet lower than regular cigarette users.
If you can kick the habit, your rate can be prorated depending on how many years you’ve been tobacco-free. In most cases, you need to be tobacco-free for at least three years, but some companies might require five years of cessation.
Current Tobacco Users
If you currently use tobacco or even smoke occasionally, your best option for finding term life insurance might be Policygenius to compare quotes at the same time. During the questionnaire, you will be asked some of the following questions:
- Type of tobacco used (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe, chewing tobacco)
- Last month you used tobacco
- How many times a day you use tobacco
- Do you use any tobacco cessation products like nicotine patches or gum?
Your rates will be notably higher if you remain an active tobacco user. For example, instead of paying $13 a month as a 20-year-old, you pay $44 per month. Overall, Banner Life is one of the most affordable life insurance companies for tobacco users, but other providers might offer lower rates if you use chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco instead of cigarettes.
Or, you can also consider Sagicor as they are more flexible with tobacco users too.
Previous Tobacco Users
Even if you only quit using tobacco a year ago, it possible to get a significantly lower rate. It won’t be as low as a non-smoker in excellent health, but you’ll still be financially happy that you kicked the habit.
Tobacco-Free For One Year
If you pay $44 a month as an active year, you might only pay $20 a month if you’re tobacco-free for an entire year. This is one of those cases that it might make sense to wait a few months to get term life insurance if it means your rates can drop 50% overnight.
Banner Life Insurance will probably be your best option still for being tobacco-free for at least a year.
Tobacco-Free For Over Three Years
If you haven’t touched any form of tobacco in at least three years, you can begin qualifying for non-tobacco user rates again. Some life insurance companies might require you to be tobacco-free for at least five years, so get multiple quotes just to make sure you don’t overpay.
FAQs About the Best Life Insurance Rates
Term life insurance is a very simple concept, but you still have lots of options that can cause wide price swings. These questions and answers can help you understand term life insurance so you pick the right provider, term length, and coverage amount.
What is Term Life Insurance?
There are two different types of life insurance, term and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance is a lot like renting an apartment after your lease expires you move out and don’t get any of your rent money back because you don’t accumulate equity.
With term life insurance, you choose how many years you want to make payments. This is called your term. If you choose a 20-year term, you make the same monthly payment for 20 years and don’t get a refund when the term ends because term life insurance doesn’t build cash value.
With permanent life insurance, sometimes called whole or universal life insurance, your policies build cash value but your monthly payment is always notably higher. In most cases, you’re better off financially to get a lesser-priced term policy and invest the price difference to earn more money.
How Long Do Term Life Insurance Policies Last?
You usually have five options for how long your life insurance policies last:
- 10 years
- 15 years
- 20 years
- 25 years
- 30 years
Some companies might offer a one year or 35-year term, but the most commonly chosen terms are 10, 15, or 20 years.
After your current term ends, you will need to reapply for a new term life insurance policy and will pay the life insurance rate based on your age, personal health conditions, term length, and policy amount.
Is 10 Year or 20 Year Term Life Insurance Better?
In almost every case, longer terms are better for life insurance. At first glance, you might think a 10-year term is a perfect option because your monthly rate might only be $8. For a 20-year term with the same coverage amount, you might pay $13 a month.
Just like you get the longest apartment rental contract possible to get the lowest possible rent long-term, getting a longer life insurance term protects you from future rate increases. With life insurance, you’re guaranteed to pay higher rates when you get a new policy in 10 years.
Even though you pay more for a 20-year term, you can actually save money if your new monthly premiums are significantly higher when you’re ready to renew your policy a decade from now.
The price difference might not be as steep when you compare the rates when your 20 and 30, but can differ significantly the older you get.
Ten-year terms can be a better option for the following reasons:
- You can’t afford a 15 or 10-year term insurance rate
- Can significantly reduce your coverage amount in ten years and will pay a lower premium
Twenty-year terms are very popular for several reasons:
- Peace of mind because you pay the same rate for two decades (no matter what happens to your health)
- Hedge against higher monthly rates if you renew every 10 years
- Can focus more on building savings so you don’t need a replacement policy in 20 years
If you want total peace of mind and can afford the extra monthly payment, a 30-year payment can be your best option. But, it’s also one of the least popular life insurance terms because the monthly premium can rapidly increase.
How Can I Get The Cheapest Life Insurance?
There are several factors that go into getting the best life insurance policy at the cheapest price.
Compare Life Insurance Quotes
One of the best actions you can take is to compare life insurance quotes for term life insurance. You can get several instant quotes in a few minutes so comparison shopping is extremely easy thanks to the Internet. If a company offers no exam policies, ask if these life insurance plans charge a higher rate in lieu of the exam.
It’s also a good idea to try several different coverage amounts to see if the insurance company charges the same amount for two different coverage amounts.
Apply As Early As Possible
You will get the best rates the younger you are. Your rates might remain very similar until you turn 35, but the monthly premium will incrementally increase each year of life.
Getting coverage as soon as possible also guarantees you’re still in excellent health. You might develop a strange medical condition that can increase your rates sharply or even disqualify you for coverage. Although these odds are relatively low as a young adult, life can throw a curveball when we least expect it. Waiting can truly mean the difference between having coverage and not being able to get life insurance.
Besides your age, your personal health is the next most important factor in determining your quote. Your rates might increase for the following reasons:
- Have a lifelong medical condition like asthma or diabetes
- Are overweight, have a high BMI, or high blood pressure or cholesterol readings
- Take prescription medication
- Use tobacco or alcohol on a regular basis
- Your parents die prematurely from a medical disease
Regular diet and exercise can be the two best remedies for remaining in excellent health.
Avoid Extreme Sports and Risky Jobs
If you regularly participate in extreme sports like skydiving or scuba diving, your rates might increase too. The same can be said if you have a risky job. Insurance companies offer the best rates to clients who are the least likely to file a claim. In this case, the applicants who are less likely to die from unnatural causes.
Be Responsible in Life
Several life insurance companies also factor your driving history and credit history into the life insurance quote too. If you have several speeding tickets or at-fault accidents, you are more at-risk of being injured or killed. Having excellent credit, along with an excellent health history and lifestyle to get the lowest rate too.
Don’t Add Riders
Life insurance companies will also offer multiple add-ons called riders. Some of the possible riders include:
- Child riders (insure your children on the same policy)
- Spouse riders (insure your spouse on the same policy)
- Accidental death
- Premium waived for six months if you become disabled
These riders provide additional coverage and can be cheaper than getting an additional policy for your spouse, but these riders aren’t free. In most cases, you probably won’t need these riders so it’s better to save your money.
People with excellent health will always have the best life insurance rates for their age group. Even though there are dozens of life insurance companies, you should still get quotes from multiple providers to make sure you get the best rate. Although some companies offer low rates across the board, some companies cater to certain age groups too.