How Much Should I Expect to Pay for Term Life Insurance?

We all know that we need life insurance. It is an important, valuable way to protect the financial security of our loved ones.

There are, however, wide variations in the prices of coverage. Some types of “whole life” insurance, for example, can have a fairly substantial premium, pay a big benefit, and accumulate cash value as time goes on. Another form of coverage, “term life” insurance, is in effect (as long as premiums are paid) for a specific term: ten years, twenty years, or thirty years.

Because the coverage lasts for a fixed term, it is generally more affordable than whole life coverage. And what surprises many people is just how affordable some term life policies from outstanding companies can be. So how much should you expect to pay for term life insurance? The primary determining factors are your age and your health.

Most life insurance companies will ask short, simple questions about your health history, and possibly about your parents’ and siblings’ health history as well. These aren’t “name names”-type questions, just whether your parents or siblings have a history of heart disease, for example. Answering yes (or, in a multiple-choice format, checking those boxes that apply) doesn’t automatically disqualify you from coverage; it is just one detail that the insurers factor into determining your specific coverage and rate.

Your age is one of the big factors. Put simply, no matter how healthy you are (and, certainly, the healthier, the better), as you get older, the cost of life insurance gets higher. Just for the sake of example, say that you are shopping for a half million dollars worth of coverage. A half million dollars is a lot of money, but not if you intend for your life insurance coverage benefit to be what replaces your income and enables your family to maintain the lifestyle you have worked so hard to provide for them…or the source of your children’s college education fund…or the source of funds to cover any end-of-life medical care not covered by health insurance plus funeral and burial or cremation expenses. With all those possible applications for a life insurance policy benefit, a half million dollars is not at all a far-fetched figure.

If you are 40 and healthy, you might be able to buy half a million dollars worth of life insurance coverage for just one dollar per day. If you try to buy that coverage when you are 50, however, it might cost you three times that. And if you buy it when you are 60, the cost could easily be eight or even 10 dollars a day. Age plays a very important role in an insurance company’s calculation of your premium and benefit.

As you can see, there are many variables in the cost of term life insurance. Your best course of action is to comparison-shop and get as many quotes as possible. The easiest way to do that is to use a free, unbiased online quoting service such as This service enables you to collect quotes from many leading companies all at one time, just by answering a few short, simple questions. You can compare policies and rates, pick the one that fits your needs and budget, and often make your purchase and pay your first premium right then and there online. How much should you expect to pay? It all depends. But you know how to make sure you get the best term life insurance price: get quotes and compare!