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When shopping for life insurance quotes we know that you want to get the best deal on your policy and to ensure that your agent is not overselling you.

We also know that you’ll feel more confident purchasing life insurance if you understand what determines your price and how your application will be reviewed by your life insurance company.

By understanding the life insurance quoting and application process better, you can check the validity of the rates you’ve been offered and buy life insurance with more confidence online.

Who determines the price of my life insurance?

After you compare your life insurance quotes and select a plan to apply for with Quotacy, your life insurance company will determine your final pricing offer based on your application.

Underwriters at your life insurance company will compare you statistically to other people to determine what your risk of dying is. This risk class is what determines your final price for life insurance.

For example, if you’ve smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for the last 15 years, you risk of dying is different than someone who hasn’t made that lifestyle choice.

Smokers and non-smokers fall into two different risk classes. Smokers will pay more on average for their life insurance than non-smokers, for example.

» Learn more: Life Insurance Risk Classes for Cigarette Smokers

Let’s go into the six main factors that determine the price of your life insurance quotes.

What lifestyle factors influence my life insurance quotes?

As we explained above, your life insurance quotes are based on your risk of dying. If you have a higher risk of mortality, then you will pay more than another person whose risk is lower.

Six factors that determine the pricing of your life insurance quotes are:

  1. Your age and gender
  2. Your build and health history
  3. Whether you smoke or not
  4. Your family health history
  5. Whether you have a high-risk job or hobby
  6. Your lifestyle and financial history

1. Your age and gender

The older you are, the higher your risk of death is. This increased risk of dying also increases the rates in your life insurance quotes.

If you’re age 50 or younger, your risk of dying is quite low and your life insurance quotes will be less expensive than an older person’s.

Once you hit age 50 or older, you can see using the sample rate table below that your cost for life insurance increases as you age.

The sample rates below are annual rates for one year of term life insurance.

Average term life insurance quotes for men in the USA

Age at PurchasePolicy Amount20-Year Term Life30-Year Term Life
30 $250,000 $156$240
$500,000$242$403
$1,000,000$415$720
40$250,000$210$384
$500,000$348$687
$1,000,000$631$1,281
50$250,000$491$913
$500,000$898$1,725
$1,000,000$1,477$3,301

Average term life insurance quotes for women in the USA

Age at PurchasePolicy Amount20-Year Term Life30-Year Term Life
30 $250,000$141$206
$500,000 $208$335
$1,000,000$347$585
40 $250,000 $185$314
$500,000$306$553
$1,000,000$534$1,026
50$250,000$375$689
$500,000 $669$1,284
$1,000,000$1,233$2,349

Notice that the life insurance quotes for women are less expensive than those for men for comparable policies.

Women on average live longer than men according to the statistics that life insurance companies use to price their policies.

Only Montana has unisex pricing for life insurance quotes. So, if you’re a woman and don’t have your primary residence in Montana, you’ll pay less for your life insurance than your male counterparts.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

Your life insurance rates are locked in when you buy your policy

Your term life insurance pricing (like your mortgage rate) will be locked in at the age you are when you purchase your level term life insurance policy.

Your rates won’t go up over the life of your policy whether you choose to be insured for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 years.

This makes it easy to plan for your life insurance payment in your monthly budget. Set it and forget it, if you pay your policy premium via autopay.

2. Your build and health history

Another factor that determines the pricing of your life insurance quotes is your overall health and body build.

If you are overweight or underweight for your height, that’s a flag to the life insurance company that your overall health may not be stellar.

Sample life insurance height-weight build chart

HeightWeight (lbs)
4’8”82-138
4’9”85-143
4’10”88-148
4’11”91-153
5’0”94-158
5’1”98-164
5’2”101-169
5’3”104-175
5’4”108-180
5’5”111-186
5’6”114-192
5’7”118-198
5’8”122-203
5’9”125-209
5’10”129-216
5’11”133-222
6’0”136-228
6’1”140-235
6’2”144-241
6’3”148-248
6’4”152-254
6’5”155-261
6’6”159-267
6’7”163-274
6’8”168-281
6’9”172-288

Look at the sample height versus weight table to find your height. If your weight falls between the normal range for your height, that’s a good sign.

If you’re not in the normal range, know that this is just one factor of many that the life insurance company underwriters will take into consideration when they review your application.

Be as accurate as possible about your height and weight.

If you don’t, you run the risk of having your final policy offer (rate offered to you by your life insurance company) being higher than your life insurance quotes online.

You can avoid this surprise by being transparent and truthful with your life insurance broker at Quotacy from the get go.

Our life insurance agents are here to help anyone (no matter what their lifestyle is) get the best life insurance rates possible. Transparency (on both sides) makes this possible.

3. Whether you smoke or not

If you enjoy tobacco or marijuana as part of your lifestyle, you can get life insurance. We work with people like you everyday to get the best life insurance quotes available.

The rates you will pay for your life insurance policy depend on your usage of tobacco, vape products, or smoking cessation products.

We have put together quite a few resources for smokers here to help you plan your life insurance buying process.

The way that the life insurance industry is handling underwriting for people who enjoy marijuana is rapidly changing. We encourage you to contact us to speak with an agent to receive the most current advice.

Your privacy will be respected as we do for everyone who contacts us for life insurance advice.

When shopping for life insurance quotes, you want to make sure you’re getting the best pricing and policy for your unique needs. Here is our how to guide for checking the validity of your quoted rates before you buy life insurance.

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4. Your family health history

Another factor that determines your life insurance quotes is your immediate family’s medical history.

If you are adopted and don’t know your birth parents medical history, don’t worry. Just state on your application: “Adopted. No medical history.”

Your immediate family is defined as your birth parents and siblings.

Some diseases are hereditary and others are not. You will be asked the age of diagnosis and, if applicable, the date of death from the disease.

Answer to the best of your ability during the application stage. If the life insurance company needs to follow up with you for more information, they will do so during your phone interview.

5. Whether you have a high-risk job or hobby

Some professions inherently are more risky than others.

Construction workers, pilots, active military personnel, or journalists covering combat all face more risk while working than the average office worker, for example.

For each of these cases, there is a life insurance company who will offer you the best policy for your profession. Some specialize in active military duty personnel or aviation professionals, for example.

By working with a broker like Quotacy, you know that you are getting life insurance quotes from agents who have helped thousands of people with risky professions or hobbies to get life insurance.

You may pay more for your life insurance, but given your lifestyle and career choice, you probably are already aware of how critical it could be for the future of your family.

6. Your lifestyle and financial history

If you have a DUI or reckless driving charges, are terminally unemployed, have bad credit or have filed for bankruptcy, or have been incarcerated, you may face some additional challenges in getting life insurance. To avoid being automatically declined, work with an agent who will provide additional information to the life insurance company underwriters reviewing your application.

Speak with one of our agents about the specifics of your case to see how you may be best served given your driving record, financial history, or criminal record.

Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you

Don’t let any of these six underwriting factors make you shy away from seeking and comparing your life insurance quotes.

Our agents are willing to go to bat for you and place you with best life insurance company for your needs.

Now that you understand what factors affect your life insurance pricing, you can verify whether you’ve gotten the best offer available to you before you buy your term life insurance policy.

» Calculate: Life insurance needs calculator

About the writer

Headshot of Kate Thomas, Director of Inbound Marketing, at Quotacy, Inc.

Kate Thomas

Director of Inbound Marketing

Kate is Director of Inbound Marketing working on business strategy, SEO, and writing for QuotacyLife. Kate's gift is explaining complex financial planning and life insurance topics in a simple and direct way to help families become more financially savvy and empower themselves to make wise choices. She works with Quotacy's underwriters to ensure the financial tips shared in her blogs are spot-on and truly helpful to anyone researching the ins and outs of life insurance online. If you would like a topic to be covered in our blog, leave Kate a comment below or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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