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Average Life Insurance Rates for 2020

Sept. 2, 2020
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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 health tiers, across multiple coverage options.

How much is life insurance?

The average cost of life insurance is $26 a month. This is based on data provided by Quotacy for a 20-year term life policy, which is the most common term length sold. But life insurance rates can vary dramatically among applicants, insurers and policy types.


» COMPARE: Life insurance quotes

How life insurance rates are determined

Life insurance premiums are based primarily on life expectancy, so many factors help determine rates, including gender, age, health and whether you smoke.

In general, the healthier you are, the cheaper your premiums. Insurers typically class applicants using terms like super preferred, preferred and standard, with super preferred being the healthiest category. Insurers then calculate premiums based on your risk class.

» MORE: Key differences between term and whole life insurance

Your age can also significantly impact premium costs. 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 76.2 years for men. So a woman will always pay less for life insurance compared with a man of the same age and health with similar risk factors.

Waiting to buy a policy 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 insurance 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.

Average annual cost of life insurance by age and gender

The following life insurance rates are based on a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for super preferred applicants.

AgeAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for women
30$229$193
40$341$290
50$842$654
Source: Quotacy

Average annual cost of life insurance by policy type

The following life insurance rates are based on a $500,000 policy for super preferred applicants.

 20-year term lifeWhole life
AgeAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for womenAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for women
30$229$193$3,600$3,195
40$341$290$5,412$4,825
50$842$654$8,432$7,522
Source: Quotacy

Average cost of life insurance by health

The following life insurance rates are based on a $500,000, 20-year term life policy.

GenderAgeSuper preferredPreferredStandard
Women30$193$232$355
40$290$354$523
50$654$776$1,163
Men30$229$293$422
40$341$425$670
50$842$993$1,564
Source: Quotacy 

Average cost of life insurance by term length

The following life insurance rates are based on a $500,000 term life policy for a 40-year-old applicant in the super preferred class.

Term lengthAverage annual rate for menAverage annual rate for women
10 years$211$193
20 years$341$290
30 years$595$480
Source: Quotacy

Average annual life insurance spend per household, per state

Below are the average amounts U.S. households from each state spend on life insurance premiums per year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and Claritas collected in 2019.

StateAverage annual premium
Alabama$899
Alaska$1,665
Arizona$753
Arkansas$685
California$1,084
Colorado$991
Connecticut$1,367
Delaware$2,553
Florida$990
Georgia$954
Hawaii$1,492
Idaho$710
Illinois$1,165
Indiana$764
Iowa$1,089
Kansas$960
Kentucky$676
Louisiana$1,005
Maine$560
Maryland$1,018
Massachusetts$1,139
Michigan$815
Minnesota$1,809
Mississippi$824
Missouri$867
Montana$678
Nebraska$1,118
Nevada$837
New Hampshire$859
New Jersey$1,510
New Mexico$574
New York$1,292
North Carolina$910
North Dakota$1,060
Ohio$822
Oklahoma$666
Oregon$594
Pennsylvania$1,002
Rhode Island$819
South Carolina$847
South Dakota$2,652
Tennessee$838
Texas$896
Utah$1,176
Vermont$728
Virginia$916
Washington$690
Washington, D.C.$804
West Virginia$591
Wisconsin$848
Wyoming$1,357
Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence; Claritas Pop-Facts®. Data based on ordinary premiums within the National Association of Insurance Commissioners regulatory statements.

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