Average Cost Of Life Insurance: By Age, Gender, Policy Type

The average cost of life insurance is based on your age, overall health, gender, policy type, term length and even your lifestyle, which makes it hard to nail down an average monthly cost. We’ve analyzed quotes between multiple insurers to find out average monthly costs by age, gender, health and policy type. To narrow down how much you’ll pay, find your age in the table provided.

What Factors Affect Life Insurance Rates?

Life insurance rates can vary dramatically based on personal health, the age of the policyholder and personal behavior. The following factors play the biggest role in how life insurance carriers price policies.

1: Demographic Definers:

Simple factors like your age and gender play a big role in the cost of your coverage. Your insurer uses these benchmarks to assume certain things about you, like how much longer you’ll live.

Your age is a crucial variable for life insurance carriers pricing a policy, and that’s true no matter which type of life insurance you buy. The older you are, the higher risk you pose to the insurer. When you buy a policy when you’re young, your insurers will likely get premiums for a few decades. If you purchase a policy when you’re older, there’s a higher likelihood you’ll pass away without paying a significant amount in premiums. Therefore, older consumers tend to pay higher life insurance rates.

Your gender also matters more than you might think when it comes to life insurance. Because women tend to live longer, healthier lives, women tend to pay lower life insurance rates on all policies.

2: Health:

Insurers want you to live as long as possible. The longer you live, the longer you’ll pay premiums. The provider is also less likely to have to pay out on a term policy. One of the most effective tools they have for determining your life expectancy is your health. Many life insurance policies require a medical exam as part of the underwriting process.

Your health history is a big consideration for insurers that write life insurance policies. If you have a history of health problems, a recurring medical condition or a chronic disease, insurers are more likely to decide that you pose too great a risk or charge much higher life insurance rates to offset that risk.

Your current health is as important as your health history. If you had health issues in the past but solved them, you’ll be in a better position to secure affordable life insurance rates.

Your weight is another health-indicating factor that life insurers consider. If you’re overweight, you’re more susceptible to lifestyle illnesses such as strained joints or Type 2 diabetes. These issues make you tougher to insure and could lead to higher premiums.

3: Daily Activities:

Your insurer wants to know how long you’re going to live to maintain a policy, so it cares what you do as it relates to your longevity.

Your lifestyle matters when you’re ready to purchase a life insurance policy. If you drink or smoke, for example, you’ll pay much higher rates than if you abstain. Lifestyle factors that negatively impact your health make you a greater risk.

Your occupation plays a role in life insurance rates as well. If you work in a dangerous field where your life and health are at risk, you’ll generally pay higher premiums on any type of policy you buy.

Similarly, insurers look at your hobbies, driving record and criminal record to determine if you’re risky. If you regularly skydive or have several speeding tickets, insurers might determine you’re high-risk and deny you coverage. If you’re lucky enough to still get a policy, you can expect to pay more than someone leading a lower-risk life.

4: Coverage Options:

Certain types of life insurance cost more than others. The more benefits you get from your policy, the more you’ll pay for it.

Your policy type matters. Term life insurance is generally less expensive than whole life or universal life policies. The type – and length – of policy you choose will play a role in how much you’ll pay over time.

Your policy amount – or, how much life insurance you buy – will influence your monthly life insurance premiums. The higher your coverage amount, the more you’ll need to pay each month or year to keep it up-to-date.

Average Cost Of Life Insurance By Age And Gender

These annual life insurance rates are based on a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for super preferred applicants.

AgeAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for women
30$227$193
40$341$289
50$842$654

Average Cost Of Life Insurance By Policy Type

These annual life insurance rates are based on a $500,000 policy for super preferred applicants.

 20-year term lifeWhole life
AgeAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for womenAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for women
30$227$193$4,015$3,558
40$341$289$6,042$5,413
50$842$654$9,432$8,440

Average Cost Of Life Insurance By Health

These annual life insurance rates are based on a $500,000, 20-year term life policy.

Age and genderSuper preferredPreferredStandard
Woman, 30$193$233$354
Woman, 40$288$354$521
Woman, 50$654$774$1,156
Man, 30$228$294$421
Man, 40$341$421$668
Man, 50$842$991$1,562

Average Cost Of Life Insurance By Term Length

These annual life insurance rates are based on a $500,000 term life policy for a 40-year-old applicant in the super preferred class.

Term lengthAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for women
10 years$211$185
20 years$341$289
30 years$595$478

Average life insurance rates by age were calculated based on quotes from five of the largest insurers: John Hancock, MassMutual, New York Life, Securian and Transamerica. Costs shown are for a man in excellent health. Additionally, gender life insurance rate charts used the same insurers and included applicants in excellent health.

Data from this study showing the cost by policy term length was sourced from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance. Life insurance figures were calculated by looking at four policy amounts ($100k, $250k, $500k, and $1 million) across four rate classes. Below is the breakdown of each rate class:

Preferred plus policies assume no tobacco use in five years, no serious medical issues, cholesterol levels below 200 and blood pressure that doesn’t exceed 130/80.

Preferred policies assume no tobacco use in three years, above-average health, no serious medical issues, cholesterol levels below 240 and blood pressure that doesn’t exceed 135/85.

Select policies assume no tobacco use in 12 months, good health, blood pressure below 140/90 and cholesterol levels below 300.

Standard policies assume tobacco use in the past year, good health, cholesterol below 300 and blood pressure readings below 140/90.

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.

Chibuzor Okechukwu

Chibuzor Okechukwu has been a writer for many years and has spent most of his career researching and writing for the personal finance industry. He also write the guidelines to login to various websites and online platforms.

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