What’s the average cost of a life insurance policy?

Life insurance rates might be more affordable than you think.

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It’s hard to put a price on peace of mind — but ideally, that’s what life insurance will give you and your family. Because life insurance rates are tailored to the individual the amount can vary widely from one person to the next.

This makes it difficult to nail down an average monthly cost, but we can give you a general idea of the typical life insurance policy costs for a few demographics.

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What’s the 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.

Compare average cost of life insurance for a healthy non-smoker based on age.

Average life insurance quotes for young people

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

Average life insurance quotes for people under 35

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

Average life insurance quotes for middle aged people

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

Average life insurance quotes for people under 55

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

Average life insurance quotes for seniors

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

Average life insurance quotes for seniors over 66

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

Rates are provided by Policygenius and valid as of 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 quotes 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 life insurance quotes online from top companies

Name Product Issue Ages Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Medical Exam Required State Availability
LadderLife™ Life Insurance
20 - 60 years old
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 - 85 years old
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
18 - 100 years old
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
21 - 54 years old
Not available in New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
20 - 85 years old
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.
25 - 60 years old
Available in all states except NY, CA and MT
Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.

Compare up to 4 providers

What affects my life insurance rates?

To determine your premium, your insurer will assess the following:

  • Type of policy.Term life insurance is temporary, so it costs six to ten times less than permanent policies such as whole life. Along with offering lifelong coverage, permanent policies have a savings component and become a cash asset over time.
  • Amount of coverage. A $1 million policy will be more expensive than a $250,000 or $500,000 policy, and so on.
  • Riders. Most insurers charge a fee to add optional extras to your policy, such as a waiver of premium or accelerated death benefit.
  • Your age. The older you are, the lower your life expectancy — which is why insurers reserve their best rates for young applicants.
  • Your gender. Studies show that women tend to live longer than men, so insurers charge women lower premiums. The reason is simple: There’s less of a chance they’ll need to pay out your policy.
  • Your smoking status. Since smoking is linked to a host of health issues, smokers almost always pay more for coverage.
  • Your health. Your insurer will look at preexisting health conditions and high cholesterol or blood pressure levels when setting your premium.
  • Your family medical history. If you have a family history of serious health conditions like cancer, stroke and heart disease, your insurer will probably raise your rates. Most insurers only look at your parents if they’re aged over 60, but some carriers also consider your siblings’ health.
  • Your occupation. If your work puts you in dangerous situations — for instance, mining, firefighting or war journalism — you’ll likely pay more than someone with an office job.
  • Your lifestyle. Underwriters assess your driving record, alcohol and drug use, whether you participate in high-risk hobbies — like aviation or scuba diving. Applicants who lead safe lifestyles are rewarded with better premiums.

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 get cheap life insurance rates?

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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