Thirty years can see a lot of changes in the world — and for your life. Between promotions, children, grandchildren and retirement, there could be any number of planned and unexpected shifts in how you think about money.
Life insurance can provide your family with a financial safety net should you pass away prematurely. If you’re young and in good health, you could lock in level premiums and strong protection with a 30-year term.
How does a 30-year term life insurance policy work?
A 30-year policy is a type of term life insurance. It offers coverage for 30 years, and the premiums stay the same for the life of the policy. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed death benefit. But if you outlive the term, your beneficiaries won’t get anything.
What happens after the 30-year term is up?
If you outlive your 30-year policy, you have a few options:
- Renew your policy. You may be able to renew your policy — albeit at likely higher premiums — or purchase a new policy from a different insurer.
- Convert your policy. Specific policies allow you to convert to whole life at the end of your term. Your provider might use the rating from the beginning of your term to establish your new premium.
- Let your policy lapse. The last option is to simply let the expire. You’re not required to have life insurance, however helpful a financial-planning tool.
How much is a 30-year term life insurance policy?
The cost of your insurance policy depends on a range of factors, like your age, gender, health, occupation, hobbies and lifestyle. To give you an idea of what your coverage could cost, we break down averages by gender and smoking status.
Sample monthly rates for a $500,000 30-year term life policy for nonsmokers
|30||$32.30 – $86.54||$27.20 – $69.65|
|40||$52.46 – $128.19||$42.50 – $96.69|
|45||$81.27 – $184.41||$63.32 – $157.94|
|50||$125.13 – $286.78||$97.18 – $227.94|
Sample monthly rates for a $500,000 30-year term life policy for smokers
|30||$115.67 – $207.38||$85.14 – $162.40|
|40||$213.77 – $379.31||$149.33 – $277.38|
|45||$345.86 – $520.86||$228.07 – $381.50|
|50||$524.02 – $785.31||$347.78 – $605.50|
*Sample rates provided by Quotacy in 2019, and averaged from a subset of 12 life insurance companies.
How to buy a 30-year term life insurance policy
The purchasing process is the same across most life insurance policies. Follow these steps:
- Determine how much coverage you need. Consider your outstanding debts, assets and income, and aim to take out a policy with a monetary value to match.
- Compare life insurance companies. Either go directly to the insurer, or enlist an agent or broker to help you research insurers. Compare policy features, financial strength ratings and available riders, as well as minimum and maximum coverage amounts.
- Get quotes from a handful of insurers. For the best possible coverage at the lowest price, request quotes from your top insurers
- Apply for a policy. Once you’ve settled on an insurer, apply for a 30-year term life insurance policy. You’ll likely need to complete a health questionnaire and take a medical exam, and submit your application to an underwriter to review.
- Sign off on the policy. When the underwriter approves your application, they’ll send you the policy documents. Read these carefully, and sign off if you have no further questions.
Do I need a 30-year term life insurance policy?
It’s a lengthy term, so your age, health, wealth, family and debt obligations will affect whether you decide to buy a 30-year policy. When considering a policy with a 30-year term, think about:
- Your mortgage. How long would it take for your family to pay off your home? Someone 10 years into a 20-year mortgage might not need as long of a term as one who’s just settled into a 40-year mortgage.
- Your children. When will your children be old enough to live independently? You may want a longer term if you’re considering adding to your family than if you’ve just sent your youngest off to college.
- Future policies. Do you think you can get coverage at a reasonable rate after your current policy expires? To cover you after age 65, premiums can get pricey. However, some term policies offer the option to convert to whole life when you outlive the term.
- Premium increases. The cost of a 30-year $500,000 term policy for a 30-year-old woman could come with fixed monthly premiums of $27 to $70. At age 40, premiums on a 30-year term could cost her $43 to $97 a month.
- Initial premium costs. Will the premiums strain your growing family’s budget? Monthly costs for a 30-year term life insurance policy are often higher than that of a 5- or 10-year policy. For those just starting out, it may not be feasible to incorporate that cost into their budget.
- Optional riders. Could you buy riders up front that would make a shorter term more valuable? Child and spouse riders for shorter terms can potentially protect your new family while you stabilize your finances, for instance.
Who shouldn’t get a 30-year term policy?
- You want lifetime coverage. Because it’s tough to find a policy with a longer term than 30 years, you might consider a whole life policy if you want coverage beyond the next 30 years. Or if you’re very young, you can also get a 20-year policy to cover you through your 20s and 30s and get a new term life policy before you turn 40 to keep premiums manageable.
- Your debts will be paid off sooner. If your kids are in elementary school or you have 20 years left on your mortgage and don’t plan on upgrading, you might consider a shorter term to cover your debts until they’re paid off, like a 10-year term.
- You can’t afford the premiums. While you get three times the coverage of a 10-year term, premiums are also typically twice as expensive. If you can’t afford to pay for a 30-year term policy but still want some coverage, consider a 20-year term instead.
What’s my risk of dying in the next 30 years?
Life insurance providers use mortality or actuarial tables to determine the probability of death by gender. These tables are based on averages of mortality among specific population, gender and age groups. Of course, your likelihood of dying depends on your overall health, risks and medical history.
How likely am I to die in the next 30 years?
Life insurance can provide the security your loved ones need when you’re no longer around the protect them. A 30-year policy is a big commitment — and it often comes with higher premiums than smaller terms.
But you’ll likely never be as healthy as you are today, and you can rest easy knowing that your premiums are locked in over the full term to cover whatever life throws your way. Take the time to compare life insurance companies to find the right 30-year policy for you and your family.
Frequently asked questions about 30-year term life insurance
What are other common life insurance terms?
Typical lengths are 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.
What does it mean when a term policy converts?
Some term life policies can be changed into whole life policies at the end of your term. Generally, your premiums are based on the rating you were assigned when you started the term, rather than your health at the time of the conversion.
How do I get my money back if I outlive the policy?
You typically can’t get money back for living past your policy. But you might come across a return-of-premium policy. On these policies, your premiums are refunded if you outlive the term.
But rates are typically higher than those for a more typical term life policy. And you’re refunded only your premiums, less any fees.
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