Average Cost of Life Insurance (2018): Rates by Age, Term and Policy Size

Find the Cheapest Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently Insured?

We analyzed premiums for a variety of policies and customer profiles to determine the average cost of life insurance across a number of different policy durations. The largest influencing factors on life insurance rates are the health of the individual being insured and their age. Factors such as whether or not you smoke, and what your height-to-weight ratio are go a long way towards determining your annual life insurance policy quotes. Individuals that smoke often pay three times the amount that similar non-smokers will have to pay in premiums. Of course, life insurance companies will look at many other factors besides health (such as your occupation and age) but factors common in pricing other insurance products, like state of residence, are often not contributing factors.

Average Cost of Term Life Insurance by Age

Looking at a 20 year term life insurance policy (the most popular option) worth $250,000, we've determined what the average annual rates are for individuals between the ages of 25 and 65. One of the clear takeaways from the table: it's expensive to smoke. Smokers on average will pay up to 200% higher premiums for their life insurance policies than non-smokers. This disparity grows with age, with 25 year old smokers paying twice as much for their insurance while 65 year old smokers pay almost three times as much.

AgeMonthly Life Insurance Cost (Non-Smoker)Annual Life Insurance Cost (Non-Smoker)Monthly Life Insurance Cost (Smoker)Annual Life Insurance Cost (Smoker)
25 years old$27.53$330.33$55.71$668.54
30 years old$27.88$334.54$60.17$721.99
35 years old$29.98$359.78$67.42$809.02
40 years old$36.03$432.36$97.95$1,175.35
45 years old$51.62$619.42$156.80$1,881.55
50 years old$76.58$918.91$233.21$2,798.50
55 years old$121.28$1,455.34$372.47$4,469.64
60 years old$207.70$2,492.43$555.73$6,668.71
65 years old$347.67$4,172.01$988.32$11,859.78

Find Cheap Life Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Average Cost of Life Insurance By Term

Below you'll find the average cost of life insurance broken out by number of years on the policy. Unsurprisingly so, the longer the policy term the more expensive it is. Average policy costs range from $568 per year for a 10 year term policy to $1,528 for a 30 year term policy.

The average cost of life insurance by term: 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, 30 year, and Annual Renewable Term

Term Life Insurance Policy Costs

Term life insurance is typically the cheapest way for an individual to purchase life insurance coverage. Term life insurance rates are significantly less costly than those for a whole life insurance policy and still provide some flexibility. Our charts below detail quotes 10, 20, and 30 year term life policies so you can see the average cost of each. As you'll see, fewer policy coverage years equate to a cheaper life insurance premium.

10 Year Term Life Insurance Rates

Here we breakdown 10 year term life insurance policies and show you the average annual premiums depending on your level of health and the amount of coverage you're interested in purchasing. Ten year policies are popular for those people who are on a very tight budget as they offer some of the cheapest rates on the market, or those who won't require insurance after their ten years of coverage expires. If you need a reminder on what each 'Rate Class' entails you can click here and see our description at the bottom of the page.

10 year term life insurance cost for ratings classes: Preferred Plus, Preferred, Select, and Standard

20 Year Term Life Insurance Rates

The most popular term life insurance option on the market, the 20 year term policy provides longer coverage than its shorter-term 10 year counterpart, though it comes with higher annual rates. These policies are usually recommended for young families who often have large debts and expenses, like mortgages and school loans, that would become extremely burdensome if the breadwinner of the family happened to die unexpectedly. Twenty years is typically long enough for the family to substantially pay down these debts and reduce the potential risk of someone else having to foot the bill should something happen. Take a look at the average cost by Rate Class below:

20 year term life insurance rates for ratings classes: Preferred Plus, Preferred, Select, and Standard

30 Year Term Life Insurance Rates

Thirty year term life insurance policies will provide you more flexibility but come at a much higher price. However, one of the advantages to a longer policy, such as a 30 year term, is that your premiums remain unchanged even if your health changes over the time period. So if you're underwritten as a healthy 25 year old and find yourself overweight and out of shape at 50, your premiums will remain the same. Your rates will have been locked in based on your physical health when you purchased the policy. You can see below how much more expensive 30 year life insurance policies are than your shorter term policy options:

30 year term life insurance quotes for ratings classes: Preferred Plus, Preferred, Select, and Standard

Life Insurance Market Size

The life insurance market has shrunk by around 4% over the last ten years. Interestingly, the market shrunk after the recession then grew about 51% between 2010 and 2015, though it has since begun to drop in size again. In 2017, life insurance premiums exceeded the amount spent in four of the past five years, but still came short of levels seen in 2008 and 2015. Check out our graph below to see how the market has fluctuated in the last decade. All numbers in billions.

Change in Life Insurance Policy Premiums by Year

Methodology

Data from this study was sourced from TIAA-CREF. Average life insurance figures were calculated by looking at four policy amounts ($100k, $250k, $500k, and $1 million) across four Rate Classes. The results were averaged to give us the number in the first table. Here's the breakdown concerning rate classes:

Preferred Plus policies assume no tobacco use in 5 years, no serious medical issues, cholesterol levels below 210, and blood pressure that doesn't exceed 135/85.

Preferred policies assume no tobacco use in 3 years, above average health, no serious medical issues, cholesterol levels below 250, 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, cholesterol below 300.

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

Comments and Questions