What is the average cost of a life insurance policy?

Rates might be more affordable than you think.

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Life insurance rates are tailored to the individual, so the amount you’ll pay for a policy is based on your age, gender, health, occupation and lifestyle. This makes it hard to nail down an average monthly cost, but we can give you a general idea of the typical life insurance policy costs for a specific demographic.

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Average cost of life insurance

A healthy person aged between 18 and 70 can expect to pay an average of $67.88 a month for a $250,000 life insurance policy. Of course, this cost varies significantly depending on where you fall on that age spectrum, as well as your lifestyle and overall health.

Click the tabs below to see the average cost of life insurance for a healthy non-smoker based on age.

Age$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
Age$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
Age$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
Age$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
Age$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
Age$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage

Rates are provided by Policygenius and valid as of August 2019 in all states except New York and Montana.


To find these rates, we averaged the premiums quoted by 14 life insurance companies for men and women in great health. We sourced these rates from Policygenius (2019), which means they’re subject to change. Not all life insurance companies offer policies for all age ranges, so the rates for some age ranges may have been averaged from fewer companies.

Average term life insurance rates for men and women

Let’s look at the average cost for a 30-year term policy with three different coverage amounts. These rates are based on male and female non-smoking office workers.

Average term life insurance rates for men

Amount insured30-year-old40-year-old50-year-old

Average term life insurance rates for women

Amount insured30-year-old40-year-old50-year-old

Rates are provided by Quotacy and valid as of May 2018.

Get an actual price quote from these companies

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
LadderLife™ Life Insurance
20 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
18 - 100 years old
$50,000 to $3,000,000
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Not available in New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
25 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
Available in all states except for Montana
Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.
20 - 85 years old
$100,000 to $2,000,000
Depends on policy.
Products and product features may not be available in all states.
This well-established life insurance provider could offer you $250,000 worth of coverage for as low as $14 per month.

Compare up to 4 providers

What affects the cost of life insurance?

To calculate your rates, your insurance company considers your coverage amount, as well as your age, gender, health, family medical history, and even your hobbies and habits.

  • Amount of coverage. Typical policy types are term life and whole life. Term policies are for periods of 10, 15, 25 or 30 years, depending on the insurer, whereas whole life typically covers you until you die. Most policies offer add-ons or riders to cover unexpected illnesses or disabilities, including children in your coverage or offers cash value that you can borrow against.
  • Your age. With aging comes a higher likelihood of filing a claim. Underwriters use formulas and tables to determine your odds of passing away within your gender and demographic, folding these odds into their overall calculations that determine how much you’ll pay.
  • Your occupation. If your job puts you in dangerous situations — for instance, mining or journalism — you’ll likely pay more than someone in editorial or accounting.
  • Your gender. Studies show that women tend to live longer than men, which typically results in lower premiums for women.
  • Your lifestyle. Underwriters consider how often and how much you drink alcohol, whether you participate in high-risk sports and adventures and even how well you drive on the road. But smokers tend to pay the highest premiums.
  • Your health history. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or a history of cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, your insurer may charge more for coverage. It may even consider the health of your extended family when putting together a quote.

How much life insurance do I need?

To determine how much coverage you need, think about your financial obligations now and in the future.

When you’re crunching the numbers, factor in the following:

  • Your income. If you were to die unexpectedly or found yourself unable to work due to an illness or injury, how would your family cope without your income? Look for life insurance policies that are enough to replace your income until any debts are fully paid.
  • Your expenses. Do you own a mortgage, car loan, credit card or other debts? Calculate the ongoing expenses your family needs to maintain their current and future lifestyle.
  • Your dependents. If your family includes people who depend on you financially, consider their future needs. For instance, your children will likely go to college, or elderly parents might need care. Factor in any expenses your family depends on.
  • Your assets. Evaluate your stock shares, savings and retirement accounts and investment properties. Can your family comfortably live off these, or would you rather they continue letting those investments build?

Use our life insurance calculator for a quick estimate on how much coverage you might need.

How can I cut down my life insurance costs?

Your overall medical history and other factors may be out of your hands. But there are a few things you can do to potentially lower your premium.

  • Quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, a logical step to reduce your premium — and improve your health — is to kick the habit as soon as you can. Doing so can help you avoid rates that are double or more that of a nonsmoker.
  • Cut down on drinking. A few drinks won’t have much of an effect on your rates. But if you tend to enjoy more than a drink a day, consider reducing your alcohol intake for lower rates.
  • Get in shape. Insurers consider your weight and how much you exercise an important part of determining risk. A lower BMI typically results in cheaper rates.
  • Consider major life changes. Your life insurance policy should change with your needs. For instance, after your children are grown and supporting themselves, you can often decrease your coverage.
  • Look for discounts. A trick to keeping more money in your pocket is to look opportunities to save. Talk with your provider about the possibility of cheaper premiums with a family or joint policy, rather than an individual plan.

Myths about life insurance

Life insurance is a simple concept: pay now to protect your family later. But it can be confusing, and many people opt out of the safety net life insurance creates because they don’t understand how it works as part of a financial plan.

Here are the top three myths about life insurance.

  • Life insurance is too expensive. It might sound difficult to factor in premiums for yet another insurance plan. But life insurance is a worthwhile investment that can prevent your family from dealing with debt and unnecessary hardship after you die. You can keep premiums low by buying only the coverage you need.
  • It’s a waste of money. Life insurance is designed to protect those you love in times of need. Consider how your family would cope if you were injured and unable to work? A life insurance policy could help them keep up with mortgage repayments, credit card debt and ongoing expenses.
  • Applying for coverage is a long, hard process. It’s true that many insurance providers require a medical exam and in-depth underwriting processes. But if you’re signing up for a long-term or whole life, the peace of mind that your family is protected could outweigh the one-time hassle. You’ll also find providers offering policies without medical exams with quick approval, though often with higher premiums.

Top life insurance myths

Bottom line

Life insurance rates are personalized, and can vary wildly. When you apply for a policy, your insurer will take your age, gender, health, family medical history, occupation, lifestyle and driving record into account. To ensure you’re getting the best possible premium, compare life insurance companies.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MariaNovember 26, 2018

    I am Maria and I would like to know more information about the general rates of a basic life insurance.
    thank you!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Aside from reading our article about the average cost of life insurance, you might also read other sources such as the following:

      Life insurance explained
      How to buy life insurance and buy it wisely

      Here’s our main page for life insurance. On that page, you can get a quote and that might also help you understand more the cost of life insurance.

      Of course, you can also read other sources to learn more about this topic.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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