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Term life insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance for families. However, the premium cost can vary widely depending on factors such as your age, gender, your policy’s terms, and your health status.

When shopping for life insurance, it’s beneficial to compare policy terms and products offered from different insurance companies. Here at Quotacy, you can easily comparison shop for free online.

The Impact of Age and Gender on the Cost of Life Insurance

Because your longevity decreases as you age, the chances of paying out a death benefit increases for the insurance company. To balance the insurance company’s risk, the cost to buy a policy increases as you age.

Women statistically live healthier lives than men and therefore tend to outlive them. Therefore, women will pay less for a life insurance policy than men.

The table below breaks down the monthly cost of a 20-year term life insurance policy that provides $500,000 in coverage by age and gender. Prices shown are for a healthy, non-smoking individual.

Age =253035404550556065

Once you purchase a term life insurance policy, your premium (rate) is locked in. Referring to the table above, if a 30-year-old woman purchased this 20-year $500,000 term policy, her premiums would only cost $16.36 per month for the 20 years. If she died during this term, her beneficiaries receive $500,000. After 20 years, the policy expires.

Term life insurance is similar to most other insurance policies in the way that you don’t get a refund if you don’t use it. You pay premiums for the protection from the what-ifs.

The Impact of Tobacco Use on the Cost of Life Insurance

Insurance companies have two categories of rate classes: non-tobacco and tobacco. If you smoke cigarettes, you will receive tobacco rates.

Other types of tobacco and nicotine use such as cigars, pipes, chew, e-cigarettes, and marijuana may receive tobacco rates depending on how often you use and the insurance company. To get the best price on life insurance, it’s important to shop the market if you use tobacco. Quotacy does this for you.

The table below breaks down the monthly cost of a 20-year term life insurance policy that provides $500,000 in coverage by age and gender. Prices shown are for a healthy individual who smokes cigarettes.

Age =253035404550556065

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The Impact of Term Length on the Cost of Life Insurance

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period of time. Term lengths range from 10 to 40 years.

You choose how long of a term to purchase. However, not all term lengths are available to all ages. Once you reach your 46th birthday, this is when the limitations start kicking in.

AgeTerm Lengths Available
4510-40 years
46-5010-35 years
51-5510-30 years
56-6010-25 years
61-7010-20 years
71-7810-15 years
79-8010 years

Shorter term lengths cost less than longer term lengths. Why? Because you’re less likely to die within the next 10 years versus the next 40, so there’s less risk to the insurance company.

The table below breaks down the monthly cost of a $500,000 term life insurance policy by term length. Prices shown are for 35-year-old healthy, non-smoking individuals.

Term Length10 Years15 Years20 Years25 Years30 Years35 Years40 Years

How long of a term length to buy depends on what debt you may leave behind to your loved ones.

If you just signed off on a 30-year mortgage, buying a term policy with a term length lasting at least 30 years makes sense.

If your children just started school, buying a term policy with a term length lasting at least 20 years will provide financial protection while you’re raising children and putting away money for their college education and your retirement.

If you don’t have children, or your children are already grown, and you’re not too far off from retirement, then a 10-year term length may suffice. If you were to die prior to retirement, the death benefit can help protect your spouse’s income.

The Impact of Coverage Amount on the Cost of Life Insurance

You choose how much life insurance to buy. Term life insurance coverage amounts range from $50,000 to up to millions of dollars.

The coverage amount is called the death benefit. It’s what the insurance company pays to your beneficiaries should you die while the policy is inforce.

The table below breaks down the monthly cost of a 20-year term life insurance policy by coverage amount. Prices shown are for 35-year-old healthy, non-smoking individuals.

Coverage Amount / Death Benefit$50,000$100,000$250,000$500,000$750,000$1,000,000$2,000,000$5,000,000

You are not limited to the dollar amounts shown in the table above. These are simply some of the most common coverage amounts purchased.

The amount of coverage you should purchase depends on your financial obligations and goals. Think of everything your income currently provides. Then think of everything in the future your family will need money for. These responsibilities add up.

The more coverage you buy, the higher your premiums. Buy what you can comfortably afford.

The Impact of Your Health on the Cost of Life Insurance

Your height and weight and any pre-existing health conditions will be taken into consideration by the insurance company when determining your cost.

Medical conditions can affect longevity. So, someone with a health issue that will impact their probability of living a long, healthy life will pay higher premiums.

The insurance company categorizes applicants into risk classes. These risk classes determine the cost of the policy.

The table below breaks down the monthly cost by risk class for a 20-year term life insurance policy that provides $500,000 in coverage. Prices shown are for a 35-year-old.

Risk ClassPreferred PlusPreferredStandard PlusStandardPreferred TobaccoStandard Tobacco

Not all life insurance companies will rate a medical condition the same way. For example, while one insurer may offer a breast cancer survivor standard pricing, a different insurer may decline the applicant. If you have a pre-existing condition, the cost for you to buy life insurance can vary greatly across life insurance companies.

Quotacy is a broker, not a captive insurance agency, and can therefore offer products from many different life insurance companies. After you apply online, a Quotacy agent will review your information and know which company will give you the best chance at not only getting approved, but also getting the best price possible.

Start the process today by getting a free, anonymous term life insurance quote. You can see quotes instantly without giving away any contact information.

Comparison shop on your own time. When you’re ready, the online application only takes a few minutes. Then your Quotacy agent will keep you posted every step of the way as your application moves through the life insurance buying process.

Note: Life insurance quotes used in this article accurate as of August 24, 2021. These are only estimates and your life insurance costs may be higher or lower.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Natasha Cornelius, CLU

Senior Editor and Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Natasha Cornelius, CLU, is a writer, editor, and life insurance researcher for Quotacy.com where her goal is to make life insurance more transparent and easier to understand. She has been in the life insurance industry since 2010 and has been writing about life insurance since 2014. Natasha earned her Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 2022. She is also co-host of Quotacy’s YouTube series. Connect with her on LinkedIn.