Best Life Insurance Companies in California

Buying life insurance is a great way to provide financial protection for your loved ones after you pass away. The money they get from the policy can offer reassurances that they’ll be able to cover their expenses without your income. It’s just a matter of finding life insurance quotes in California that suit your budget and match your current needs. Choosing between several life insurance companies in California can be confusing if you don’t know where to start. To help you find the best rates that suit your profile, MoneyGeek listed some of the best life insurance companies in California that offer affordable policies based on variables such as age, gender and smoking history.

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Best Cheap Life Insurance in California

If you choose to pay low monthly premiums for life insurance, you will also have a low coverage amount. After comparing several life insurance companies in California, MoneyGeek found that Transamerica has the cheapest $250,000 policy for both men and women with an average monthly premium of $9.68 and $8.11, respectively.

The cost of living, average incomes and other ongoing expenses vary in each state. Especially in California, you’ll find that the most basic policy may not be enough. Before you compare quotes from different life insurance companies in California, take a moment to identify several factors affecting your coverage needs. According to our research, the average person living in California will need a policy worth $1.13 million to cover all relevant expenses after death.

Based on this coverage level, Transamerica remains the cheapest among all life insurance companies in California. Its average monthly premiums for a $1.13 million policy cost an average of $21.04 for men and $17.22 for women.

Best Cheap Life Insurance Companies in California: Males

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  • Company
    $250K Coverage
    Suggested Coverage: $1k
  • Transamerica
    $9.68
    $21.04
  • Nationwide
    $11.81
    $23.19
  • MassMutual
    $11.10
    $26.19
  • Mutual of Omaha
    $12.04
    $26.85
  • AAA
    $13.42
    $29.92
  • State Farm
    $17.39
    $39.54
  • Prudential
    $28.57
    $53.15
  • Progressive Life
    $16.10
    $62.21
Best Cheap Life Insurance Companies in California: Females

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  • Company
    $250K Coverage
    Suggested Coverage: $1k
  • Transamerica
    $8.11
    $17.22
  • Nationwide
    $10.43
    $17.72
  • Mutual of Omaha
    $10.65
    $19.53
  • MassMutual
    $9.40
    $20.03
  • Progressive Life
    $11.79
    $47.89
  • AAA
    $16.63
    $49.10
  • State Farm
    $19.57
    $58.57
  • Prudential
    $19.04
    $71.82

Life insurance policy costs were determined by gathering 10-year term quotes from major life insurance companies in California using average buyer profile statistics in California, including average age of 30, average weight of 179 pounds for males and 142 pounds for females, and an average coverage need of $1,130,000.

What Is the Average Cost of Life Insurance for Companies in California?

Your personal profile affects your monthly premiums. Gender is one primary factor that either lowers or raises your monthly costs. Due to the fact that women have a longer life expectancy than men, their life insurance quotes are generally cheaper.

Women pay a monthly premium of $14.81 on average for a policy with $250,000 coverage in California. Men will have to pay an average $16.86 monthly premium for the same coverage.

To reach the recommended coverage level of $1,130,000, you will need to pay higher monthly premiums. Quite curiously, life insurance quotes in California offering $1,130,000 coverage are more expensive for females than males. For women, coverage costs an average of $45.33 per month, while men only need to pay $43.38 per month, on average.

Most Popular Life Insurance Companies in California

It can be overwhelming to choose a policy when there are several great life insurance companies to choose from. Filter your options by starting with the companies with the highest market share. Since market share determines the number of policies that a company has written in relation to the number of policies written in your state, it means you’re buying from a company that is trusted by many in your state and has a proven strength in the market.

In California, the top three most popular life insurance companies hold approximately 20.85% of the market. New York Life is the most popular life insurance company in this state, with a market share of 8.44%.

Most Popular Life Insurance Companies in California

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  • Company
    Market Share
  • New York Life
    8.44%
  • Transamerica
    7.00%
  • Northwestern Mutual
    5.41%
  • Lincoln Financial
    5.12%
  • MassMutual
    4.46%
  • Pacific Life
    4.24%
  • Prudential Financial Inc.
    3.93%

Life insurance market share data for California is based on total premiums written in the state and was sourced from 2020 S&P Global Data reports.

Which Companies Have the Best Life Insurance Rates for Young People in California?

Age is another factor that impacts your rates. Because younger buyers are low-risk individuals due to their relatively low risk of death, they are able to obtain cheaper life insurance quotes in California than older people. If you want to save money on life insurance premiums, buying a policy while you’re still young is a great method.

On average, the least expensive options for young people in this state are:

  • Transamerica: $17.13 per month
  • **Mutual of Omaha: **$18.69 per month
Best Life Insurance Companies for Young People in California

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  • Company
    Monthly Cost
  • Transamerica
    $17.13
  • Mutual of Omaha
    $18.69
  • MassMutual
    $18.74
  • AAA
    $20.99
  • State Farm
    $23.01
  • Nationwide
    $23.41
  • Prudential
    $23.69
  • Progressive Life
    $26.84

Rates were determined by analyzing quotes for a 25-year-old male non-smoker in California who is 5 ft 10 inches and 152 pounds that purchases a 20-year term contract at the average coverage need of $360,000. We chose a 20-year term to provide a longer coverage period for a younger buyer.

Which Companies Have the Best Life Insurance Rates for Seniors in California?

Seniors usually pay more for life insurance premiums due to their age. However, they may be able to save money by purchasing less coverage. MoneyGeek recommends that seniors in California purchase $107,000 of life insurance coverage. While this amount is low compared to younger buyers, seniors rarely have dependents that need their financial support. The $107,000 amount is enough to cover the death benefit, which will cover final burial expenses.

Based on our study, the most affordable life insurance companies in California for seniors include, on average:

  • Transamerica: $38.56 per month
  • MassMutual: $40.60 per month
Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors in California

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  • Company
    Monthly Cost
  • Transamerica
    $38.56
  • MassMutual
    $40.60
  • State Farm
    $44.08
  • Nationwide
    $44.19
  • AAA
    $45.50
  • Mutual of Omaha
    $46.14
  • Progressive Life
    $69.17
  • Prudential
    $87.07

Rates were determined by analyzing quotes for a 60-year-old male non-smoker in California who is 5 ft 10 inches and 179 pounds that purchases a 10-year term contract at the average coverage need of $107,000.

Which Companies Have the Best Life Insurance Rates for Smokers in California?

Life insurance companies also look at health factors when giving you a quote. If you are a smoker, you will notice that life insurance quotes in California are much more expensive on average. Because you are considered a high-risk individual due to your smoking history, this increases your monthly premiums. Comparing the prices from different life insurance companies in California helps you find the best rates for your profile.

If you’re a smoker, the most affordable policies from life insurance companies in California are, on average:

  • Transamerica: $145.43 per month
  • Nationwide: $158.81 per month
Best Life Insurance Companies for Smokers in California

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  • Company
    Monthly Cost
  • Transamerica
    $145.43
  • Nationwide
    $158.81
  • State Farm
    $172.20
  • Mutual of Omaha
    $176.34
  • MassMutual
    $176.61
  • AAA
    $185.68
  • Prudential
    $202.25
  • Progressive Life
    $217.07

Rates were determined by analyzing quotes for a 30-year-old male smoker in California who is 5 ft 10 inches and 179 pounds that purchases a 20-year term contract at the average coverage need of $1,130,000. If you are a smoker, we suggest buying a longer-term (20-year) policy to provide longer coverage as rates for smokers increase dramatically as you age.

California Life Insurance Laws You Should Know

MoneyGeek presented these sample life insurance quotes in California to give you an idea of the options available in your state. Before taking a step in your journey to buying life insurance, familiarize yourself with the laws that relate to it and learn how these laws can benefit you as a consumer.

  • The “free look period” allows consumers to change their minds on a chosen policy without a cost. During this period, you can analyze the policy and determine whether it fits your needs. In California, the free look period extends up to 10 days.

  • The grace period technically is an extension of the due date in favor of the consumer. Consumers are required to settle any missed payments during this period, usually not longer than 30 days. The law prohibits the provider from canceling a claim in the case of late payments.

  • The allowable timelines to settle a claim law requires the provider to pay the claim within 30 days of the death document submission. Failure to provide the claim within this period charges the provider an interest fee.

  • The contestable period is in favor of the provider as it allows them to invalidate a claim if they find inconsistencies or falsehoods in the insured’s provided information. In California, the contestable period extends up to two years after the issuance of the claim. After investigation during the contestable period, they may be able to reduce coverage or even deny a payout.

  • Under the California Insurance Code, you can always require your agent to provide you a copy of the presentation of policy offered to you (CIC 10509.4) as well as an undersigned document whenever there are any changes in your policy (CIC 10509.6).

Methodology

MoneyGeek used per capita income from the U.S. Bureau of Economics, average mortgage debt, average personal debt and average age to determine the recommended life insurance coverage amount in California.

Health profiles and financial situations vary for each buyer, and therefore, you may receive higher or lower quotes than the rates listed in this guide. To determine specific rates, asking for a personal quote is still the best course of action.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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