How much does life insurance cost per week?

You could spend less than $5 per week on a policy.

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We looked at three different age groups — 30, 40 and 50 — of people looking for coverage amounts of $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. Here’s what we found:

The table below shows estimated weekly costs of life insurance for a 30 year term life policy for both male and female applicants.

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Age + coverage amountMale per weekFemale per week
30 year old
40 year old
50 year old

Prices shown in table are an average for non-smoking office workers and should only be taken as a rough guide.

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5 facts about the cost of life insurance

  • Less than $5 per week. That’s how much it costs to get life insurance for 30 year old male or female.
  • Life insurance is cheaper for females.
  • It costs about the same as two to three cups of coffee. If you’re 30, it can cost even less that that.
  • Prices will change with personal circumstances.
  • The cost depends on a variety of different factors including your age, smoking status and how much coverage you purchase.

What affects the cost of life insurance?

There are several factors which insurers consider when determining how much you’ll pay for life insurance. These include:

  • Age. The older you get, the greater the risk you become to the insurer and the more you will pay for your life insurance. For this reason, many people opt for guaranteed fixed premiums (remain the same for the life of the policy).
  • Gender. Males and females are assessed differently by insurers, with females generally seen as lower risk than males.
  • Smoking status. If you are a smoker, you’re seen as high risk and will pay more for your premiums. Quitting smoking for a full year will generally help reduce your premium.
  • Occupation. What you do for a living affects how much you pay for life insurance. If you’re an underground miner for instance, you are considered to be in a high risk occupation.
  • Lifestyle. If you’re a daredevil and enjoy rock climbing, driving fast cars and so on, then your premiums may be higher. You must tell your insurer about these pastimes, because if you don’t and you die as a result of them, you will not be covered.
  • Current medical conditions. You may be required to have a medical examination. A policy that doesn’t require this generally provides less coverage than one that does.
  • Past medical history. Any pre-existing medical conditions you have or have had in the past can affect your premiums. They generally make your insurance more expensive and may even exclude you from a policy in some situations.
  • Amount and period of coverage required. How much coverage you take out and for how long will directly affect the cost of your life insurance. The greater the amount and the longer the period, the higher your premiums will be.

Premium structures: variable or fixed

When you take out life insurance, you usually have a choice of variable or fixed premiums. Here are the differences:

Variable premiums

  • New payment is calculated by the insurer at each policy renewal to account for risk
  • Advantageous when you’re younger, as life insurance is cheap at an early age
  • More suitable for those who only require short term life insurance

Fixed premiums

  • Cost is averaged out over the life of the policy so that payments remain the same amount
  • Less advantageous, when you’re younger premiums will be higher
  • More suited to those seeking long term coverage

How to get life insurance

The steps involved for taking out a life insurance policy are similar any kind of insurance, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Determine how much coverage you need and can afford, based on the amount your beneficiaries would require to maintain their lifestyle if you were gone.
  2. Determine how long you’ll need coverage for, factoring in changes to your assets and lifestyle in the future.
  3. Compare policies and quotes online to determine which provides the best coverage that you can afford.
  4. Talk to an insurance adviser, consultant or approach an insurer directly if you’re confident about your policy needs.

What to compare when considering life insurance policies

  • The cost in relation to the coverage provided
  • Any exclusions or restrictions which could limit the extent of your policy
  • Whether the premiums are CPI-indexed to keep pace with inflation
  • Whether the policy has guaranteed renewability policy
  • Whether it has a final expense insurance option to cover funeral expenses
  • Whether it includes the option of joint coverage for your spouse (can save you up to 10% on your premiums)

Life insurance FAQ

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