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How much does term life insurance cost?

Term life insurance comes with fixed premiums for a specific amount of time, but your rate may vary depending on multiple factors.  Getty Images

Term life insurance pays your beneficiaries a specific amount of money (or death benefit) after you pass away. Unlike whole life insurance, which covers you for your entire life, term life insurance covers a certain period, typically 10 to 30 years.

Term life insurance is typically more affordable than permanent policies because coverage is for a limited term, and your account doesn't build cash value. If you buy term life coverage, you'll usually pay more for longer terms. Generally, payments remain the same throughout the term, although the premium amount can change based on various factors.

If you're considering term life insurance then start by getting a free online price quote now so you know exactly what to expect. 

Here's what you need to know about how much a term life insurance policy may cost you.

How much does term life insurance cost?

Life insurance premiums can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, health, smoking status, location, and policy type. Female policyholders often pay less than males when all factors are equal. That's because women typically live longer than men, according to actuarial tables from the Social Security Administration.

Additionally, premiums are typically higher for older people since the risk of health issues and death increases with age. As such, you may save money by purchasing term life insurance while you are younger.

The above factors weigh heavily in a lender's decision to insure you and when setting your rate. Here's what you may expect to pay for term life insurance at different stages of your life.

Cost of term life insurance in your 30s

Many people view life insurance as something to be concerned with when you're older, but coverage can be essential by the time you're in your thirties. By then, you may be married, have children, own cars and a house and have other responsibilities. Your thirties may be the perfect time to buy life insurance protection for your loved ones and lock in a good rate while you're in good health.

According to insurer Haven Life, a 30-year-old female in most states and in excellent health would pay $10.87 per month for a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy and $24.55 per month for a $1 million policy. Meanwhile, her male counterpart could expect to pay $12.48 per month and $30.82 per month for the same policy terms.

If you're young and think you could benefit from securing a life insurance policy then start by getting a free online price estimate now so you know exactly what it would cost.

Cost of term life insurance in your 40s

If you haven't already done so, your forties are a good time to begin periodically reviewing your life insurance policy to ensure you have enough coverage for your beneficiaries. If the unthinkable happened, would your dependents be able to survive without your income? As a rule of thumb, aim for a policy worth 10 times your annual income plus the cost of college for any children you have.

In 46 of 50 states, a 40-year-old female in good health would pay around $14.99 each month for a 20-year term life policy worth $250,000 and $40.82 for a $1 million policy. A 40-year-old healthy male would pay $17.33 monthly for the $250,000 policy and $49.15 for $1 million coverage. As you can see, premiums are higher in your forties than in your thirties, a trend you can expect to continue into your fifties and sixties.

Cost of term life insurance in your 50s

When you're in your thirties, it's often recommended to lock in insurance for the long term while you are in good health and rates are lower. However, when you're in your fifties, you may consider getting a shorter term length, such as 15 or 20 years, which could be more affordable.

Haven Life states that a 55-year-old woman in excellent health could obtain a 20-year, $250,000 policy for about $56.64 per month. A man with similar traits could enroll in the same coverage for $76.77 per month.

Cost of term life insurance in your 60s

The insurance landscape is a little different for policyholders in their sixties compared to earlier life stages. For one, you may be unable to purchase a policy with a term longer than 20 years. Also, many insurance companies don't sell new policies to candidates 65 and older.

Predictably, life insurance costs are considerably higher in your sixties than in earlier years. For example, the cost of a 10-year Haven Life term policy worth $250,000 for a healthy woman begins at $92.69 monthly. If that same woman wants coverage to last until she's 80, a 20-year policy with a $250,000 death benefit will run around $238.20 per month. For the same coverage amount, a healthy, non-smoking man could expect to pay $117.05 per month or $238.50 per month for a 10- or 20-year policy, respectively.

Do the math and understand your financial goals. Life insurance for seniors may be worth it if you can find a policy in the right amount for the right cost. 

The bottom line

You may not need life insurance if you don't have any dependents or others who rely on you for income. Life insurance could also be unnecessary if you've accumulated enough wealth to care for your family after you die.

But, if a spouse, partner or dependents rely on your income for household expenses and everyday living, the loss of income could be devastating without life insurance coverage. Also, if those you leave behind would inherit debt or owe estate taxes, you may wish to financially shield them with term life insurance. Lastly, life insurance could help your loved ones pay for your burial, which ranges from $6,971 to $7,848 on average, according to 2021 data from the National Funeral Directors Association.

Remember that life insurance gets more expensive as you get older. Since term life insurance expires, consider opting for a longer policy when you are younger to snag a lower rate while you're in good health. Don't forget to review your coverage periodically to ensure you have adequate financial protection for your loved ones.

You can easily get a free price quote here now or review some top life insurance providers via the table below.

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