Average Life Insurance Rates

If you’re looking for life insurance, you have dozens of companies, term lengths and coverage amounts to choose from.

Price will no doubt factor into your decision and may even determine what type of policy you choose. To give you a snapshot of those prices, NerdWallet compared average life insurance rates for men and women at different ages and for different policy lengths.

Average annual life insurance rates for women

Age at purchasePolicy amount20-year term life30-year term lifeWhole life
30$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$141

$208

$347
$206

$335

$585
$2,114

$4,142

$8,150
40$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$185

$306

$534
$314

$553

$1,026
$3,008

$5,897

$11,677
50$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$375

$669

$1,233
$689

$1,284

$2,349
$4,569

$9,003

$17,760
60$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$1,033

$1,911

$3,637
Not available.$7,293

$14,387

$28,670
Source for all rates: Quotacy. Lowest three rates for each age and policy type averaged.

Average annual life insurance rates for men

Age at purchasePolicy amount20-year term life30-year term lifeWhole life
30$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$156

$242

$415
$240

$403

$720
$2,385

$4,675

$9,217
40$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$210

$348

$631
$384

$687

$1,281
$3,508

$6,910

$13,700
50$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$491

$898

$1,692
$913

$1,725

$3,301
$5,436

$10,802

$21,483
60$250,000

$500,000

$1,000,000
$1,477

$2,793

$5,393
Not available.$8,783

$17,487

$34,853
Source for all rates: Quotacy. Lowest three rates for each age and policy type averaged.

 

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How life insurance rates are determined

Life insurance rates are based primarily on life expectancy, so many factors help determine rates, including gender, age, health and whether you smoke. That’s why it’s wise to buy life insurance as early as possible; the longer you wait, the more your rates will increase based solely on age.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy in the United States is 81.2 years for women and 76.4 years for men. So women will always pay less for life insurance compared with a man of the same age and health with similar risk factors.

Waiting to buy will always be more expensive. For example, consider a 30-year-old who waits 10 years to buy a policy at age 40:

  • A 20-year, $500,000 term life policy will cost about $100 more per year.
  • By waiting 20 years until age 50, rates for a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy will more than triple.

Lacie Glover is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: lacie@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LacieWrites.