Buying life insurance as a 30-year-old

Get ahead of the life insurance game by applying when the rates are still low.

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While you’re young, life insurance is incredibly affordable — and as a healthy 30-year-old, you may still have access to most providers’ preferred rates. Forward thinking pays off: You’ll not only lock in a low premium, but you may be able to opt for higher coverage for just a few extra dollars a month.

We recommend: Term life insurance

Term life insurance is the cheapest type of insurance on the market and a common choice for 30-year-olds. Typically, life insurance carriers offer low premiums to 30-year-olds. Although you’re young and the odds of you outliving your policy are high, a term life policy will take care of your loved ones if you were to die unexpectedly.

If life insurance is a major part of your financial plan, you might want to explore a permanent policy, like whole life. Although this type of policy typically costs two to four times more than term life, but most 30-year-olds can still access low, preferred rates.

A great pick: Ladder

At your age, you’re probably accustomed to conducting business online. That’s one of the reasons why we’re recommending Ladder. With Ladder, you can sign up online and get an instant decision. And once you’ve been approved, this innovative insurer allows you to easily manage, tweak and renew your policy online. You can also increase or decrease your coverage as your financial needs change, which is likely to happen as your career and/or family grows.

Get a quote on Ladder

Which is the cheapest life insurance provider for 30-year-olds?

Let’s use a 20-year term life policy with $250,000 of coverage as an example. According to our research, the cheapest life insurance provider for a 30-year-old nonsmoking man might be Protective Life at $13.12 a month. The rates for a smoker are a little higher — William Penn and Banner Life tend to be the most inexpensive options, charging $39.77 a month.

For a 30-year-old nonsmoking woman, William Penn and Banner Life are among the cheapest providers at $11.74 a month, according to our research. They also offer low rates for smokers, with coverage at $32.03 a month.

Monthly costs of a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy for a 30-year-old in great health

Banner Life$20.12$17.11
Protective Life$20.21$17.63
Pacific Life$20.40$17.72
Principal Life Insurance$21.44$18.59

What is the typical cost of life insurance for 30-year-olds?

There’s nothing more personal than life insurance, and the rates vary depending on your age, health, lifestyle, occupation and family history. That being said, there are many benefits that come with signing up early, such as qualifying for low, preferred rates.

Our research suggests that the average cost of a $500,000, 20-year term policy for a nonsmoking man in perfect health is around $22.93 a month. Over 20 years, this adds up to $5,503.54, with an expected value of $23,620.14.

For that same amount of coverage for a nonsmoking woman, the average cost tends to be around $19.56 a month. This totals $4,694.06 over the life of the policy, with an expected value of $14,433.96.

Case study

If you found yourself nodding “yes” to a few of the points above, it’s worth looking at higher coverage. At age 30, the difference between $250,000 and $500,000 or $1 million in coverage is typically $10 or less.

Let’s look at a 30-year-old nonsmoking man. Based on our research, one of the cheapest life insurance providers is Protective Life, which tends to charge $13.12 a month for a $250,000, 20-year term policy. For a $500,000 policy, that same insurer might offer a rate of $20.21 — a price difference of $7.09 for double the coverage. And if he wants to go even further and buy life insurance for $1 million, it increases to around $33.97 a month.

How much life insurance do I need around age 30?

To figure out how much life insurance to buy, carefully consider your financial needs now and in the near future. Think about the following: Student loans, existing debts, and anyone who might rely on your income should you pass away prematurely. To help determine these needs please feel free to check out our life insurance calculator.

It’s a good idea to review your coverage as your circumstances change. Say you upgrade your home, have a child or get a hefty raise — you’ll want to be sure your life insurance policy accounts for that.

What is my risk of dying in the next five years?

As a typical, healthy 30-year-old, it’s safe to assume you’ll live a long life. Based on our US life expectancy data, the risk of dying within the next five years stands at 0.79% for men and 0.38% for women.

To put this into context, a man who reaches the age of 65 can expect to live until 84.3, while a woman can expect to reach 86.6. These numbers are averages — about a quarter of 65-year-olds will live past age 90.

Though life insurers put a huge emphasis on age when they’re underwriting policies, at 30, you’re still in the sweet spot. It’s much less risky for a provider to cover you now than it is in 5, 10 or 15 years.

Odds of dying for a 30-year-old

Within the next…MaleFemale
5 years0.79%0.38%
10 years1.71%0.92%
20 years4.72%2.89%
30 years11.73%7.32%

Life expectancy rates are merely calculations based on averages of mortality among specific population, gender and age groups. They do not predict the specific life expectancy of any one person - including you. If you're concerned about your overall health and risks, talk to your doctor or health professional.

Bottom line

For many 30-year-olds, there’s a question mark over the future. They’re working their way up the career ladder, and marriage, houses, children and businesses may be a reality or on their mind. All of those things are huge financial responsibilities, and the sooner you start planning for them, the better off you — and your bank account — will be in the future.

When you’re young and healthy, you can usually score life insurance at a cheap rate. For most types of policies, that rate doesn’t change, meaning you can be covered for a low cost throughout much of your working life.

You may not know what the future holds, but life insurance can help you to prepare for it financially. However, it’s still an expense, so be sure to compare policies with our guide to life insurance.

Life insurance companies for 30-year-olds

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Not available in Alaska or New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
20 to 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 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
All 50 states
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam for certain applicants.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

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