Best Life Insurance & Cheapest Quotes for 40-Year-Olds

Buying life insurance in your 40s is a smart choice as it will save you money compared to buying a policy later in life. MoneyGeek analyzed thousands of life insurance quotes and coverage options for 40-year-olds to help you find the best policy at a reasonable price.

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Ensure you're getting the best rate for your life insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.

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Last Updated: 5/31/2022
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When looking for the best life insurance for 40-year-olds, it is critical to shop around since many options are available. The cost of life insurance can vary widely depending on the insurer, type of policy and your health status. For instance, life insurance for smokers costs much more because smoking is a risk factor for chronic health conditions.

MoneyGeek analyzed quotes and policy offerings from a wide range of insurers to help you find the best cheap life insurance for 40-year-olds depending on your coverage needs, health and budget.

Best Overall for 40-Year-Olds: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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High customer satisfaction ratings

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Multiple customization options

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You can convert term life to permanent life insurance

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Bundling discounts available

cons

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Medical exam required for most applicants

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Online quotes are only available for term policies

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 88.6
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 785.5
AM Best Rating: A+
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.10

MoneyGeek's Take: Nationwide is our top insurer overall if you are looking for the best cheap life insurance for 40-year-olds. This insurer offers the best balance of affordability and quality service.

Nationwide life insurance policy options include:

  • Term Life: This policy allows you to buy life insurance for a 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year term. You can turn this policy into permanent life insurance at the expiration of the term. Your premiums remain the same for the duration of your policy.
  • Whole Life: This policy has a minimum coverage of $10,000. You can choose to have level premiums for the first 20 years or until you turn 100. If you choose 20 years, expect your premiums to be higher due to the shorter payment time frame.
  • Universal Life: This is a permanent life insurance policy that accumulates cash value which you can use for your retirement or to finance long-term care.
  • Variable Universal Life: This policy allows you to invest part of your premium into a tax-deferred savings account. You can also invest in stocks, bonds or commodities depending on the policy type you choose.

Nationwide life insurance policies can be customized with riders such as accelerated death benefit, waiver of premium, long-term care and terminal illness riders.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life
  • Universal Life
  • Whole Life
  • Variable Life

Best Value for the Money: Transamerica

Transamerica

pros

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Low costs

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Medical exam not required for some policies

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Wide range of riders and coverage options

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Online quotes available for some policies

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Accelerated death benefits for a variety of illnesses

cons

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Low customer satisfaction rating

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 80
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 736.4
AM Best Rating: A
NAIC Complaint Index: 1.30

MoneyGeek's Take: Transamerica has the lowest rates overall and offers the best option if you are looking for cheap life insurance for 40-year-olds. With robust coverage options and affordable pricing, Transamerica’s policies include plenty of value.

Transamerica offers 40-year-olds the best value for their money but has a lower customer satisfaction rating than Nationwide. Smokers can easily get life insurance from Transamerica though they will pay higher rates than nonsmokers.

Transamerica's life insurance policies include:

  • Term Life: This policy gives you term limit options ranging from 10–30 years. You can choose up to $10 million in coverage under the Trendsetter Super plan. The Trendsetter LB plan offers up to $2 million in death benefits with built-in living benefits you can access if you have a qualifying illness.
  • Whole Life: Transamerica's whole life plan comes with coverage ranging from $25,000–$2 million. Your policy accumulates cash value that can be taken out as a loan, although that decreases the death benefit if a balance is outstanding when you die.
  • Index Universal Life: This policy allows you the option to adjust your premiums and death benefit while also building cash value. The index universal life policy will enable you to allocate part of your premium to a market-indexed account.
  • Final Expense: This policy covers your final or burial expenses. You can get up to $50,000 in coverage with this policy without a medical exam or waiting period.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life
  • Index Universal Life
  • Final Expense
  • Whole Life

Best for Complicated Medical History: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

pros

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Robust online tools

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Tobacco use and health status do not impact costs as much as with some insurers

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Wide range of coverage options and riders

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Good customer satisfaction ratings

cons

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Coverage options vary depending on how you purchase your policy

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Lengthy buying process

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 90.8
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 783.4
AM Best Rating: A+
NAIC Complaint Index: 1.20

MoneyGeek's Take: A complex medical history can significantly increase your life insurance costs. Mutual of Omaha offers the best rates for those who have poor health due to chronic illnesses.

If you have chronic health conditions or have been declined by other life insurers, Mutual of Omaha has whole life policies for smokers and other individuals with health problems.

This insurer has a wide range of life insurance plans, including:

  • Term Life: This covers you for a specified term of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years and comes with level premiums for the duration of your policy.
  • Living Promise Whole Life: Mutual of Omaha has a variety of whole life policies. However, your policy coverage limits and policy options will vary depending on whether you purchase your policy from an agent, online or over the phone.
  • Guaranteed Plus Whole Life: This policy is available to people between 45 and 85 years old and comes with benefits not affected by health status or age.

Mutual of Omaha also offers life insurance policies that accrue cash value, such as the Life Protection Advantage, Income Advantage and AccumUL Answers plans. You can also customize your policy with optional riders like the critical illness rider, which gives you an accelerated death benefit if you are diagnosed with certain health conditions.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Whole Life
  • Term Life
  • Universal Life

Best if You Have a High BMI or Smoke: MassMutual

MassMutual

pros

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Guaranteed term policies do not require a medical exam

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Convenient tools including mobile app and online application

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Term policies can be converted to permanent

cons

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Final expense policies not available

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Some policies require medical exams

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 84.5
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 758.1
AM Best Rating: A++
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.07

MoneyGeek's Take: Adverse health conditions increase life insurance rates significantly. Having a high BMI or a smoking habit makes you a high-risk policyholder, which results in high rates. MassMutual is the best option if you smoke or have a high BMI and are looking for cheap life insurance for 40-year-olds.

MassMutual offers competitive rates for people who have a high BMI and those with a history of tobacco use. It also has policies with guaranteed acceptance where no medical exams are required.

MassMutual life insurance plans include:

  • Vantage Term Life: These term life policies cover you for a specified term ranging from 10–30 years. You can extend your policy at the expiration of the term but incur higher premiums.
  • MassMutual Direct Term Life: This policy is available online and does not require a medical exam. It has term limits ranging from 10–30 years and coverage options between $100,000 and $2 million.
  • Whole Life: MassMutual has a variety of whole life policies, including Participating Whole Life, which earns cash value and dividends that can increase the value of your death benefit. You can also opt for a universal life policy with flexible premiums and a guaranteed death benefit.

MassMutual has most of the common riders offered by most insurers, such as waiver of premium and accelerated death benefit. However, it also has a guaranteed insurability rider that allows you to buy additional insurance in the future without having to prove your health status.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life
  • Participating Whole Life
  • Universal Life
  • Variable Universal Life

Best for No Medical Exam for 40-Year-Olds: Ethos

Ethos LIfe

pros

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Fast and easy online application process

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No medical exam required

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All policies come with accelerated death benefit

cons

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Limited coverage amounts

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Limited coverage options

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: N/A
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): N/A
AM Best Rating: A
NAIC Complaint Index: N/A

MoneyGeek's Take: Ethos is the best option for those looking for expedited coverage without lengthy application processes or medical exam requirements. If you want life insurance but don’t want to undergo an examination, give Ethos a long look.

Ethos offers a fast online application process where you may qualify for immediate coverage without the need for medical exams.

Ethos' most popular coverage option is:

  • Term Life: This policy has term limit options ranging from 10–30 years and coverage options between $20,000 and $2 million. Ethos offers Simplified Issue and Fully Underwritten term policies that allow you to get instant coverage without undergoing a medical exam.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life
  • Whole Life

Best for Whole Life for 40-Year-Olds: Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

pros

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Good customer satisfaction ratings

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Policies can earn dividends

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Wide range of whole life coverage options

cons

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Medical exam required for most policies

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Limited online tools

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 87.4
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 772.6
AM Best Rating: A++
NAIC Complaint Index: 0.05

MoneyGeek's Take: Northwestern Mutual offers a wide range of whole life coverage options, making it ideal if you are looking for life insurance for 40 year-olds that can be customized to suit your needs. This insurer provides customers various options for whole life insurance, including its popular CompLife policies.

Northwestern Mutual offers multiple life insurance options, including its CompLife plan that allows you to combine term and whole life coverages to suit your needs and budget. Some of the plans offered by this insurer include:

  • Term Life: Northwestern Mutual term policies come in four options, including Level Term 20, which offers coverage for 20 years, and Level Term 10, which is a 10-year policy. You can also opt for Term 80, a policy that is renewed annually until you turn 80.
  • Whole Life: Northwestern Mutual has various coverage options for whole life policies and death benefits starting from $20,000. The cash value grows at a guaranteed rate, and you can choose from three types of whole life policies. The 65 Life plan requires you to pay premiums until age 65, the 90 Life plan extends to age 90, and the Limited Pay Life Policy has you pay premiums for 10–30 years. All of these policies remain in force even after you finish paying premiums.
  • CompLife: This policy combines term and whole life insurance where one part of your policy remains in effect for a specified period, and the other part is permanent.

Northwestern Mutual also offers a variety of universal life policies and riders, such as an additional purchase benefit and an accelerated care benefit.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life
  • Whole Life
  • Universal Life
  • Variable Universal Life
  • CompLife

Best for High Coverage ($1,000,000): Transamerica

Transamerica

pros

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Low costs

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High coverage options available

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Medical exam is not required in some policies

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Online quotes available for some policies

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Accelerated death benefits for a variety of illnesses

cons

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Mediocre customer satisfaction ratings

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 80
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 736.4
AM Best Rating: A
NAIC Complaint Index: 1.30

MoneyGeek's Take: Transamerica has the lowest rates for high-coverage life insurance, making it the best insurer if you need $1 million or more in life insurance coverage for a 40-year-old. This company has plenty of options available for customers seeking high coverage amounts.

Transamerica offers up to $10 million in life insurance coverage, depending on the type of policy you choose. Transamerica's life insurance policies include:

  • Term Life: Transamerica’s term policies range from 10 to 30 years, with coverage options ranging from $2 to $ 10 million. The Trendsetter Super plan has $10 million in coverage, while the Trendsetter LB plan offers $2 million in death benefits and living benefits if you have a qualifying illness.
  • Whole Life: Transamerica’s whole life plan comes with coverage ranging from $25,000–$2 million. Your policy accumulates cash value that can be taken out as a loan, although that decreases the death benefit.
  • Universal Life: An index universal life policy allows you to allocate part of your premium to an interest-bearing or indexed account. Transamerica’s universal policies come with a guaranteed death benefit and the option to customize your premiums based on your needs.
  • Final Expense: This policy offers up to $50,000 in coverage and does not require a medical exam for approval. Your policy goes into effect immediately since there is no waiting period for the final expense policy.

Policy Types Offered:

  • Term Life
  • Index Universal Life
  • Final Expense
  • Whole Life

Company Comparison Summary: 40-Year-Olds

You can use MoneyGeek’s comparison table to see different insurers' coverage and policy options available for 40-year-old buyers.

  • Company
    Overall MG Score
    Coverage Options
    Policy Types Offered
  • Nationwide

    Best Overall for
    40-Year-Olds

    88.6

    $10k+

    • Level Term
    • Universal Life
    • Variable Universal Life
    • Whole Life
  • Transamerica

    Best Value for
    the Money

    80.0

    $25k–$10M

    • Term Life
    • Whole Life
    • Universal Life
    • Index Universal Life
    • Final Expense
  • Mutual of Omaha

    Best for Complicated
    Medical History

    90.8

    $100k+

    • Term Life
    • Whole Life
    • Guaranteed Plus Whole Life
    • Life Protection Advantage
    • Income Advantage
    • AccumUL Answers
  • MassMutual

    Best if You Have
    a High BMI or Smoke

    84.5

    $100k–$3M

    • Participating Whole Life
    • Term Life
    • MassMutual Direct Term
    • Universal Life
    • Variable Universal Life
  • Ethos

    Best for No Medical
    Exam for 40-Year-Olds

    N/A

    $20k–$2M

    • Term Life
    • Guaranteed Issue Whole Life
  • Northwestern Mutual

    Best for Whole Life for
    40-Year-Olds

    87.4

    $50k–$2M

    • Term Life
    • Whole Life
    • CompLife
    • Universal Life
    • Variable Life
  • Transamerica

    Best for High Coverage
    ($1,000,000)

    80.0

    $25k–$10M

    • Term Life
    • Whole Life
    • Universal Life
    • Index Universal Life
    • Final Expense

Compare Life Insurance Rates

Ensure you’re getting the best rate for your life insurance. Compare quotes from top providers to find the most affordable life insurance coverage for your needs.

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Insurance Rates

Life Insurance Quotes for 40-Year-Olds: How Much Does a Policy Cost?

Life insurance costs vary depending on the coverage level and insurer you choose. On average, low-coverage policies attract lower premiums. Transamerica, the cheapest option for a life insurance policy with $250,000 in coverage, costs an average of $17.85 per month. TransAmerica is also the cheapest for $500,000 and $1 million in coverage, at an average monthly cost of $29.24 and $50.74, respectively.

On average, women pay approximately 25% less for life insurance than men because women typically have a higher life expectancy.

Life Insurance Quotes for 40-Year-Old Males

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  • Company
    $250k Coverage
    $500k Coverage
    $1M Coverage
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $17.85
    $29.24
    $50.74
  • 2.
    Mass Mutual
    $22.41
    $36.55
    $66.56
  • 3.
    Nationwide
    $22.75
    $35.88
    $63.44
  • 4.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $23.01
    $37.20
    $68.95
  • 5.
    AAA
    $24.86
    $40.04
    $70.40
  • 6.
    State Farm
    $25.44
    $40.04
    $68.69
  • 7.
    Progressive
    $30.02
    $51.33
    $149.21
  • 8.
    Prudential
    $51.48
    $45.65
    $89.80

The cost information above was generated from 20-year policy quotes for a 40-year-old male who is 5’10”, 175 pounds, a nonsmoker and in good health.

Life Insurance Quotes for 40-Year-Old Females

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  • Company
    $250k Coverage
    $500k Coverage
    $1M Coverage
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $15.27
    $24.94
    $42.14
  • 2.
    Mass Mutual
    $18.93
    $31.33
    $55.25
  • 3.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $19.57
    $31.61
    $57.78
  • 4.
    Nationwide
    $21.44
    $29.75
    $52.06
  • 5.
    State Farm
    $21.54
    $33.49
    $53.99
  • 6.
    AAA
    $22.00
    $34.32
    $60.72
  • 7.
    Progressive
    $26.97
    $43.50
    $123.11
  • 8.
    Prudential
    $44.40
    $45.65
    $89.80

The cost information above was generated from 20-year policy quotes for a 40-year-old female who is 5’4”, 125 pounds, a nonsmoker and in good health.

Should You Buy a Policy in Your 40s?

Buying life insurance earlier in life means that you will pay less in monthly premiums, and your policy will accumulate more cash value. This is because the cost of life insurance increases as your life expectancy decreases.

On average, a 40-year-old buying a 20-year policy will pay $473.90 per year. If you wait even 10 years to purchase this policy, a 50-year-old buying similar coverage will pay about $1,240.04. That’s a difference of $766.14 on average per year.

$500k Coverage Policy Costs at Different Ages

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  • 20-Year Term Policy (40-Year-Old)
    30-Year Term Policy (40-Year-Old)
    20-Year Term Policy (50-Year-Old)
  • Avg Cost per Year
    $473.90
    $812.40
    $1,240.04
  • Total Cost Over Life of Policy
    $9,477.90
    $24,372.00
    $24,800.70

The policy cost details above are an average policy cost for 40- and 50-year-old male nonsmokers in good health and purchasing 20- or 30-year coverage of $500,000.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

When shopping for the best life insurance for a 40-year-old, it is important to compare coverage options and pick a term length that is most suitable for your health, finances and goals.

Compare Life Insurance Rates

Ensure you’re getting the best rate for your life insurance. Compare quotes from top providers to find the most affordable life insurance coverage for your needs.

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Insurance Rates

What Type of Policy Is Best for a 40-Year-Old?

Life insurance comes in three main types.

1

Term Life

The best life insurance for people in their 40s is term life insurance. This type of policy covers you for a specified period that can range from 10–30 years, depending on the insurer. A term life policy will remain in effect for the duration specified but will expire after the stipulated time. This means that your beneficiaries will only receive a death benefit if you pass away within the policy term. If it expires before you pass away, no death benefits are paid. Term life insurance is typically cheaper than permanent life insurance.

2

Whole Life

Whole life insurance is permanent and remains in effect for the duration of your life. The death benefit is paid to your beneficiaries when you pass away. Whole life insurance also accumulates cash value over time and may earn dividends depending on the insurer. Whole life policies ensure that your beneficiaries will get a guaranteed death benefit when you pass away. Whole life insurance typically costs more than term life insurance, but it is a good option if you are in your 40s and want to build cash value over time.

3

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance differs from whole life in that you have the option to increase or decrease your premiums. Universal life insurance is available in the form of indexed universal life insurance, guaranteed universal life and variable universal life. The difference between these universal policies is the interest rate on the policy's cash value. Indexed universal life policies have a set minimum and maximum interest rate, guaranteed universal life policies have a fixed interest rate, and variable universal life policies have a variable interest rate.

Life Insurance Quotes in Your 40s if You Smoke or Have High BMI

Health status is a significant factor in the cost of life insurance. Smoking or having a high BMI will increase the cost of your life insurance policy since they are risk factors for chronic health conditions. On average, a smoker will pay $866.40 yearly for life insurance, which is more than double the $344.22 average rate a healthy individual pays. A person with a high BMI will pay an average of about $22.50 more per year than a healthy person.

Quotes for Healthy, Smoking and High-BMI 40-Year-Old Males

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  • Healthy Individual
    Smoker
    High-BMI
  • Avg Cost per Year
    $344.22
    $866.40
    $366.71

The costs of the policies shown above ($500k coverage) were generated using three profiles:

  • A healthy, nonsmoking male, who is 5’11” and 175 pounds.
  • A male who smokes but is in otherwise good health, who is 5’11” and 175 pounds.
  • A healthy, nonsmoking male, who is 5’11” and 250 pounds.

How Can You Save Money on Life Insurance in Your 40s?

If you want to get the best cheap life insurance for 40-year-olds, the following tips can help you save on costs.

1

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The lower your risk of health problems, the less life insurance companies will charge you for coverage. Because of this, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and refraining from smoking are excellent ways to decrease your life insurance premiums.

2

Buy life insurance as young as possible.

The younger you are, the less expensive your life insurance coverage tends to be. While you can't turn back time and decide to buy life insurance earlier, you can purchase coverage today and secure lower rates at your current age.

3

Compare quotes.

Getting sample premiums from several providers and comparing each one is the best way to find the most affordable rate for your unique insurance profile.

Compare Life Insurance Rates

Ensure you’re getting the best rate for your life insurance. Compare quotes from top providers to find the most affordable life insurance coverage for your needs.

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Insurance Rates

FAQs About Life Insurance Policies for 40-Year-Olds

You can learn more about buying life insurance in your 40s by researching the answers to some frequently asked questions. MoneyGeek did the legwork for you, providing you with the information you need to make an educated decision on your life insurance policy.

Methodology

We go the extra mile so that you can feel confident about life insurance content from MoneyGeek. Our life insurance ranking for 40-year-olds incorporates a significant number of data points from insurance industry research companies and our unique research, including real policy quotes for people who are 40 years old and analysis of policy details. See our methodology page for more details.

About the Author


expert-profile

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.