Buying life insurance as a 45-year-old

You’ve worked so hard — now it's time to protect your family and plan for their future.

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

By the time you’re 45 years old, you’re probably in your financial prime. Much like building up a 401k or IRA gives you a financial cushion for your future, life insurance does the same for your family and anyone you leave behind should you die. At 45 years old, you’re not only young enough to access an affordable life insurance policy, but you’re also likely in a good position to buy the coverage that suits your needs, whether it’s simply to cover your debt, set your kids up for college or leave a lasting financial legacy.

People get life insurance for different reasons. Here’s the lowdown on purchasing a policy at age 45.

What is the best life insurance policy for 45-year-olds?

We recommend: Convertible term life insurance

Most people in their 40s choose a term policy with the option to convert to a permanent policy later. A convertible term policy gives you flexibility in the future, so if you need the insurance longer than you thought or you want to switch to a policy that accumulates cash value, you can upgrade to a permanent policy.

If you’re confident you’ll need lifelong protection, or you’re interested in making your life insurance policy a bigger part of your financial plan, it might be worth looking into a permanent policy — or a combination of the two.

A great pick: Policygenius

At 45 years old, you want to know that you’re getting the absolute best product at the best price. That’s why we’re recommending Policygenius. With Policygenius, you can compare quotes from top providers side by side. This way you can see all of your options in one place and select the best policy for you and your family.

Get a quote on Policygenius
Protect your loved ones
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.

Need help? Talk to a customer specialist


Which is the cheapest life insurance provider for 45-year-olds?

Our research indicates that the cheapest life insurance rates on a $500,000 [term life] policy for a 45-year-old man who doesn’t smoke could be from Banner Life and William Penn at $49.36 a month. Like with most life insurance policies, the rates for a smoker are higher. Banner Life and William Penn are still inexpensive at $209.75 per month.

If you’re a 45-year-old woman who is a nonsmoker, budget-friendly options are Protective Life, Banner Life and William Penn with a tie at $38.70 per month. For a smoker, the best rates still tend to be from Banner Life and William Penn at $152.99 per month.

Costs of a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy for a 45-year-old in perfect health

Provider Monthly cost Yearly cost
Banner Life $209.75 $2517.00
AIG $210.97 $2531.64
Pacific Life $216.75 $2601.00
John Hancock USA $217.52 $2610.24
Prudential $225.75 $2709.99
Provider Monthly cost Yearly cost
Banner Life $152.99 $1835.88
SBLI $152.99 $1835.88
AIG $153.88 $1846.56
Pacific Life $157.67 $1892.04
John Hancock USA $168.47 $2021.64

What is the typical cost of life insurance for 45-year-olds?

Life insurance is a personal decision. Every policy is unique and is a product of factors like your age, health, family history, occupation and hobbies. The 40 to 45 age bracket is a popular time to shop around for life insurance likely due to financial interests and the need to protect a family — and you’re still young enough to qualify for coverage and preferred rates.

According to our research, the typical cost for $500,000 of coverage in a 20-year term policy for a man in perfect health is $51.50. Over 20 years, this adds up to $12,360.17, with an expected value of $74,393.29.

For a woman, the average cost for the same policy is $42. Over 20 years, this adds up to $10,080, with an expected value of $46,681.12.

Case study

Weighing if it’s worth splurging on a higher level of protection? When you’re in your mid-40s, chances are it won’t be too much of a price difference.

Let’s look at a 45-year-old woman who is a non-smoker. Our research shows a $250,000 policy with Banner Life and William Penn, among the cheapest providers, will set her back just $22.57 per month. If she wants to increase that coverage to $500,000, those providers plus Protective Life will charge $35.60 per month. That’s less than $15 a month for double the protection.

How much life insurance do I need around age 45?

To work out how much life insurance to buy, assess everything you pay for now and everything you can expect to pay for in the future. Unless you have enough savings to protect your family from financial burden, consider the dollar figure that covers your beneficiaries and one you can afford. Remember, if you don’t pay your premiums, your policy will lapse, so only consider your big expenses such as large sums of outstanding debt, college funds for your children, and/or the livelihoods of your loved ones when determining how much you need.

Things change, so be sure to review your life insurance coverage every few years. And if you’ve gotten married or divorced, received an inheritance, bought a new home or became a grandparent, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate your policy right away.

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

A typical, healthy 45-year-old has a long life ahead of them. According to life expectancy data, a woman’s risk of dying in the next five years is 1.21%. For a man, the figure climbs slightly to 1.88%.

To put this into context, let’s look at the average life expectancy in the US. A man who reaches 65 can expect to live until age 84.3, and a woman is likely to live until the age of 86.6. Of course, these are averages; about a quarter of 65-year-olds live past age 90.

While life insurance underwriters do take your age into account when determining your rates, a healthy 45-year-old is not deemed too risky to insure. As you compare life insurance policies, you’ll see that people in this age group can still access low premiums.

Odds of dying for a 45-year-old

Within the next… Male Female
Year 0.31% 0.20%
5 years 1.88% 1.21%
10 years 4.80% 3.07%
20 years 14.88% 9.34%
30 years 32.74% 22.47%

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

As a 45-year-old, you may be a breadwinner, business owner or someone with financial assets to protect, so buying life insurance is a smart move. Most people in their mid-40s opt for a term life insurance policy that will take them up to their retirement — usually 20 or 30 years. If you’re in good health, you can typically lock in a pretty low premium for a quarter- or half-million dollars in coverage.

There’s nothing more personal than life insurance. When you’re planning for the future, compare life insurance policies to find one that fits your needs.

Life insurance companies for 45-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.
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.
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.
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.
18 - 100 years old
$50,000 to $3,000,000
Available in all 50 states
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site