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Average life insurance rates 2021

Simple answer: $21. Real answer: it depends how old and healthy you are.

This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.

The average cost of life insurance is $21 a month. This is based on a $500,000 20-year term policy for a healthy non-smoker between 26 and 35 years old. We analyzed data provided by Quotacy to find average monthly costs, but your exact monthly costs depend on your age, overall health, gender and even your lifestyle. To narrow down how much you’ll pay, find your age in the table provided.

Average cost of life insurance by age

According to Quotacy data from 12 top life insurance companies, the average cost of life insurance for a healthy, 30 year old is $13 a month for a woman and $15 for a man for a $250,000 20-year term policy. For a $500,000 policy, the average premium jumps to $19 a month for a woman and $23 for a man, while the premium for a $1 million policy averages $29 for a woman and $36 for a man.If you’re a smoker, expect to pay a significantly higher premium – anywhere from three to four times more than a non-smoker. The same goes for seniors or anyone with a major health condition like heart disease or diabetes.

AgeGender$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
18Man$16.74$26.90$41.83
18Woman$13.78$20.46$32.71
19Man$16.58$26.57$40.95
19Woman$13.78$20.46$32.71
20Man$16.28$26.24$39.57
20Woman$13.48$20.31$29.77
21Man$16.12$25.92$38.99
21Woman$13.49$20.33$29.77
22Man$15.79$25.56$38.99
22Woman$13.49$20.33$29.77
23Man$15.79$25.25$38.40
23Woman$13.49$20.33$29.48
24Man$15.63$24.93$38.11
24Woman$13.49$20.33$29.48
25Man$15.46$24.60$37.53
25Woman$13.66$20.66$29.77
26Man$15.47$24.60$38.11
26Woman$13.73$20.77$30.60
27Man$15.58$24.82$38.69
27Woman$13.79$20.88$30.77
28Man$15.65$24.86$39.26
28Woman$13.92$20.99$31.45
29Man$15.81$25.21$40.43
29Woman$13.98$21.21$31.65
30Man$15.98$25.44$41.31
30Woman$13.98$21.21$32.32
31Man$16.10$25.56$41.77
31Woman$14.09$21.31$33.91
32Man$16.28$25.69$42.18
32Woman$14.22$21.52$34.56
33Man$16.38$26.06$42.75
33Woman$14.32$21.78$35.39
34Man$16.54$26.34$43.62
34Woman$14.60$22.20$36.72
35Man$16.92$26.98$43.91
35Woman$14.90$22.64$37.82
36Man$17.56$28.28$46.72
36Woman$15.57$24.23$39.87
37Man$18.49$29.76$49.64
37Woman$16.16$25.12$42.75
38Man$19.49$31.71$53.65
38Woman$17.06$27.12$45.49
39Man$20.44$33.43$57.13
39Woman$17.89$29.13$47.79
40Man$21.71$35.55$60.92
40Woman$19.04$31.07$50.81
41Man$23.53$39.25$67.71
41Woman$20.43$33.50$55.10
42Man$25.40$42.87$74.63
42Woman$21.63$35.90$59.55
43Man$27.12$45.38$82.26
43Woman$23.38$39.16$64.21
44Man$29.09$50.21$89.37
44Woman$25.02$42.25$69.64
45Man$31.02$54.37$97.91
45Woman$26.43$45.35$74.97
46Man$33.70$59.25$106.88
46Woman$28.14$48.50$80.70
47Man$36.18$64.31$116.61
47Woman$30.23$52.82$88.70
48Man$39.41$70.77$128.43
48Woman$32.70$57.10$96.35
49Man$42.66$77.17$140.42
49Woman$34.59$61.24$104.76
50Man$46.35$84.33$152.94
50Woman$37.32$66.28$113.44
51Man$50.16$92.06$169.42
51Woman$39.91$71.25$124.63
52Man$54.59$101.23$187.00
52Woman$43.05$77.62$137.77
53Man$59.61$111.72$206.96
53Woman$46.39$84.61$150.53
54Man$65.17$122.61$228.15
54Woman$50.37$92.09$166.19
55Man$72.07$135.74$253.02
55Woman$54.54$100.16$182.08
56Man$81.37$152.40$281.76
56Woman$60.41$110.29$201.45
57Man$90.88$171.61$315.53
57Woman$65.93$121.64$222.19
58Man$101.68$192.29$354.64
58Woman$73.26$135.01$246.39
59Man$113.59$214.61$395.50
59Woman$81.71$150.27$274.52
60Man$127.79$242.82$441.27
60Woman$92.12$167.74$302.83
61Man$145.04$275.72$500.24
61Woman$101.88$188.73$340.71
62Man$164.62$313.88$566.18
62Woman$116.29$214.58$379.24
63Man$186.50$356.07$642.24
63Woman$130.51$241.27$428.42
64Man$212.10$405.30$730.72
64Woman$144.53$271.75$480.51
65Man$240.93$469.30$830.54
65Woman$162.59$311.40$537.52
66Man$283.08$534.13$942.59
66Woman$202.22$379.29$722.66
67Man$321.07$605.81$1,121.09
67Woman$241.24$434.79$824.66
68Man$363.50$661.45$1,324.35
68Woman$280.55$500.03$962.14
69Man$361.02$689.82$1,324.35
69Woman$291.58$573.68$962.14
70Man$407.14$790.59$1,519.40
70Woman$366.25$705.39$1,097.54
Rates are provided by Quotacy and valid as of April 2021 in all states except Montana.

Average whole life insurance rates by age

Expect whole life premiums to cost between $250 to $1,000 a month if you’re young and healthy, and that price increases significantly as you age. Since whole life policies offer lifelong coverage and build cash value, they’re more expensive than term life insurance.

AgeGender$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage
30Male$213$421$827
30Female$189$374$733
40Male$328$652$1,289
40Female$264$523$1,032
50Male$532$1,057$2,101
50Female$421$837$1,661

How much are life insurance rates for seniors?

Those buying life insurance in their 80s can pay over $1,000 a year for a $10,000 or $20,000 final expense or guaranteed issue policy. So you’ll skip the medical exam in exchange for high rates on low coverage.

Most insurers stop offering term life insurance at 75 or 80 years old, and permanent policies stop around age 75. However, each insurer has its own approval guidelines, so you may get approved with one insurer and not another.

Get free life insurance rates online

Use this table to compare online quotes in minutes to get the best possible coverage for the lowest rate.

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
Policygenius
18 - 85 years old
$50,000
$10,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
Bestow
18 - 60 years old
$50,000
$1,500,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
No
Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
Everyday Life
20 - 75 years old
$100,000
$10,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
No
Ladder multiple life insurance policies to save on the coverage you need for all your debts.
Ladder
20 - 60 years old
$100,000
$8,000,000
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
No, for coverage up to $3M
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
Sproutt
18 - 60 years old
$50,000
$4,000,000
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
No
Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
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Compare up to 4 providers

5-min watch: the true cost of life insurance

Watch our quick video covering the breakdown of life insurance costs.

What factors affect life insurance rates?

Life insurers assess how risky you are to insure and assign you a life insurance classification. While you can’t control some risk factors, you can take other steps to lower your rate like quitting smoking. Your insurer will look at:

Your policy

  • Type of policy. Since term life insurance provides protection for a limited time, it costs six to 10 times less than permanent policies like whole life, based on our analysis of life insurance rates.
  • Amount of coverage. This refers to the face value of your policy. A $1 million policy will be more expensive than a $250,000 or $500,000 policy.
  • Term length. If you choose term life, you’ll pay a higher premium for a longer term like 30 years.
  • Riders. Most insurers charge a fee to add riders to your policy, such as a waiver of premium or accelerated death benefit.

Your health and demographics

  • Age. The older you are, the lower your life expectancy — which is why insurers reserve their best rates for young applicants.
  • Gender. Women live longer than men, a fact shown by the CDC’s life expectancy estimates. Insurers charge women lower premiums since there’s less chance they’ll pay the death benefit.
  • Smoking status. Since smoking is linked to health issues, smokers pay more for life insurance coverage.
  • Health. Your insurer will consider pre-existing health conditions like high cholesterol or blood pressure, weight and other health markers when setting your premium.
  • Family medical history. If you have a family history of health conditions like cancer, stroke or heart disease, your insurer may raise your rates.

Your lifestyle

  • Occupation. If your work puts you in dangerous situations — miners, firefighters, exterminators or roof contractors — you may pay more than someone with an office job.
  • Activities. Underwriters assess your driving record, alcohol and drug use and your hobbies, awarding the safest applicants with the lowest premiums.
Protect your loved ones
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.

Need help? Talk to a customer specialist

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How can I lower my life insurance rates?

Your overall medical history may be out of your hands, but you can take steps to potentially lower your premium.

  • Quit smoking. Kicking the habit could cut your premium in half and improve your health.
  • Cut down on drinking. If you enjoy more than a drink a day, you could cut back on alcohol for lower rates.
  • Get in shape. Insurers consider weight and exercise habits an important part of your risk. A lower BMI typically leads to cheaper rates.
  • Consider major life changes. Look at your coverage after changes like becoming a new parent. You can also ladder policies based on debt, like a 30-year term policy for your mortgage and a 15-year policy to get to retirement.
  • Look for discounts. Talk with your insurer about lowering premiums with a joint policy or other savings opportunities.

How long will I have to pay premiums?

If you have a term life policy, you’ll need to pay premiums for the length of the term to maintain coverage. This could be 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years.

With permanent policies like whole life, you’ll have to pay premiums for your entire life — otherwise, you’ll lose coverage. But once you’ve accumulated enough cash value, you can use it to pay your premiums.

How much life insurance do I need?

To find how much coverage you need, think about your financial obligations now and in the future, such as:

  • Income. How would your family cope without your income if you die? Look for life insurance policies with enough coverage to replace your income until any debts are paid.
  • Expenses. If you own a mortgage, car loan or credit card, calculate your family’s expenses to maintain their current lifestyle.
  • Dependents. If your family depends on you financially, consider future needs like college expenses or long-term care for elderly parents.
  • Assets. Evaluate your investments, savings and retirement accounts to see if your family can live off that money.
  • End of life expenses. The average funeral costs over $7,000, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. Decide if you have enough cash to help your family cover this expense.

Bottom line

When you apply for life insurance, your insurer will personalize your rates to your age, gender, medical history and lifestyle. To ensure you’re getting the best possible premium, compare life insurance companies.

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