What is the average cost of life insurance?

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  • The average cost of a life insurance policy ranges from $40 to $55 per month.
  • The actual cost will vary depending on the type of insurance, amount of coverage and personal factors.
  • Permanent insurance tends to be more expensive than term life insurance and is used differently.
  • Check out our guide to the best life insurance companies in 2022.

Life insurance is surprisingly affordable, but premiums vary depending on the specific type of life insurance. The average cost of a single policy per month ranges from $40 for a variable life policy to $55 for a universal life policy.

There are different types available, from guaranteed payout whole life policies to less expensive term life insurance policies. Life insurance is not unique. Although an average amount can give you an idea of ​​what you will pay, many factors go into life insurance costs, such as type of coverage, age, where you live and others. personal factors.

Average rates for permanent life insurance and term life insurance

There are two main types of life insurance: permanent life insurance (whole, universal and variable life insurance) and term life insurance. Each type grows and pays death benefits differently. Each insurance cost also has very different costs associated with it. Here are the differences between each type, along with the average cost, according to 2019 data from S&P Global Market Intelligence:

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Average cost of life insurance by gender

Gender plays an important role in your life insurance rate. For the same insurance policy, a woman and a man will pay different coverage amounts each month. Men will generally pay more each year.

Here’s how that difference stacks up between 35-year-old male and female non-smokers, according to data from political genius.

Term life insurance

Source: political genius

Whole life insurance

Source: political genius

Average cost of life insurance by age

The most notable difference is in the older ages of the premiums in the sample – after age 40, the premiums increase dramatically. The sooner you get your coverage, the less you could pay each month. As the data below shows, waiting for life insurance coverage will not make it cheaper. Here’s how term life insurance rates compare by age, according to data from To assure.

Source: To assure

Average cost of life insurance per company

Life insurance rates vary by company. Many life insurance providers will require you to get a quote through an insurance agent instead of getting a quote online. Here are the average monthly premiums from several insurance companies.

Source: ensure

Average cost of life insurance by state

Life insurance rates also vary by state, but not by much. Below are the average life insurance rates by state based on 2019 data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. The data shows the estimated average annual premium for term life insurance policies per household.

Frequently asked questions — Life insurance rates

What factors influence life insurance rates?

More than age, gender and type of insurance can influence your rates. Your lifestyle and medical history could also determine the price you pay. Here are a few things that could make your coverage more expensive than someone your age.

History of smoking

Smoking can significantly increase life insurance rates. insurance company Protective life research shows that life insurance is 100 to 300 times more expensive for smokers. According to his data, a 45-year-old male smoker with a 20-year, $500,000 policy would pay $289 per month for coverage, while a non-smoker would pay around $52.

History of risky activities

Skydivers, divers or avid travelers might find their insurance rates higher than others. It’s not uncommon for insurers to ask you questions about your activity history, travel history and future plans. A poor driving record could also increase the cost of life insurance.

Medical history and medications

Life insurance companies can check your medical history and medication history in two ways: a database of medical records and your medical exam (although it is possible to get life insurance without a medical exam) . Like health insurance, pre-existing conditions can also impact the rate you pay.

Should I choose the policy with the cheapest life insurance rates?

Although the cost is important, it is a good idea to choose a policy that provides sufficient coverage and meets your needs. Traditionally, the rule of thumb is to get life insurance worth 10 times your annual income – so if you earn $75,000 a year, you’ll get $750,000 of coverage. However, many experts consider this to be a low estimate, especially if you plan to send your child to college or are paying off a mortgage on your home.

Still, some life insurance is better than no life insurance, so buy as much as you can reasonably afford. It is also important to choose a quality supplier. Start your life insurance search by checking out Insider’s top pick for the best life insurance companies in 2022.

How to buy life insurance?

There are several ways to purchase life insurance. You can find policies directly from independent insurance agencies to get multiple quotes at once. Or you can go directly through a life insurance provider. Keep in mind that many life insurance companies will not have the ability to purchase a policy online. Instead, you’ll need to speak to an insurance agent if you want a quote.

You may need to pass a medical examination. However, some companies are changing their medical exam policies due to COVID-19. Talk to your potential insurer to arrange an exam you are comfortable with.

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