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Average life insurance rates 2023

How much is life insurance? Simple answer: $28. Real answer: it depends on your age and health.

The average cost of life insurance is $28 a month. This is based on a $500,000 20-year term policy for a healthy 35-year-old non-smoker. We analyzed data provided by PolicyGenius to find average monthly costs, but your exact monthly costs depend on your age, overall health, gender and lifestyle. Find your age in the table provided to narrow down how much you’ll pay.

Average cost of 20-year term life insurance by age

The average cost of life insurance for a healthy 35-year-old is around $25 a month for a woman and $30 for a man for a $500,000 20-year term policy. If you’re a smoker or suffer from major health conditions, expect to pay significantly higher premiums.

AgeGender$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage

Rates are provided by PolicyGenius and are valid as of June 2023.

Average cost of 30-year term life insurance by age

A 30-year policy offers longer coverage than a 20-year one, but you’ll pay more monthly. Again, your quoted rate will depend on your age, overall health and other factors.

AgeGender$250,000 coverage$500,000 coverage$1,000,000 coverage

Rates are provided by PolicyGenius and are valid as of June 2023.

Average cost of whole life insurance by age

Expect whole-life premiums to cost between $180 to $1,210 a month if you’re young and healthy. 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

Rates are provided by PolicyGenuis and are valid as of June 2023.

How much are life insurance rates for seniors?

Those buying life insurance in their 80s can pay over $1,000 annually 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.

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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.

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

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, hobbies and alcohol and drug use, awarding the safest applicants with the lowest premiums.
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What factors don’t affect life insurance rates?

Here are some factors insurance companies don’t consider when preparing life insurance quotes.

  • Martial status. Whether you’re married, single, divorced or widowed has no impact on your life insurance premium, though a joint policy between spouses may be more cost-effective than individual policies.
  • Race or sexual orientation. Life insurance companies can’t discriminate based on your race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
  • Location. While different states have unique regulations that can impact the cost of your policy, you won’t be charged more for living in an area prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • Number of beneficiaries. Naming one beneficiary of your insurance policy or several does not change your monthly premiums.

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.
  • Lead a healthier lifestyle. 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 get the best possible premium, compare life insurance companies.

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