Best Life Insurance Companies & Policies for Young Adults

Getting life insurance at a young age can help ensure you have lower policy premium payments over time.

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Last Updated: 5/30/2022
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Even if you're still in your 20s or 30s, it’s never too early to think about purchasing a life insurance policy. MoneyGeek analyzed the details for the best term life and whole life policies and gathered quotes across top-rated life insurance companies to find the best life insurance plans for young adults.

Best Overall for Young Adults: Transamerica

Transamerica

pros

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Policyholders may qualify for rate consideration if they become healthier

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Offers coverage of up to $1,000,000 during application if you have a standard or better application rating

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Premiums remain the same throughout the duration of the policy

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Has a term insurance plan that offers living benefits

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Offers a lower rate for term life plans compared to other insurers

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Only young and reasonably healthy buyers qualify for term life insurance plans with 20- or 30-year lengths

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If you choose to renew your policy after your term expires, it turns into a one-year term, meaning your premium will continue to increase annually

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek's Take: Transamerica has an overall MoneyGeek Score of 80.0 out of 100. You can purchase term life insurance policies for affordable rates.

Transamerica is an excellent life insurance option for young adults as it allows you to purchase term life insurance policies with low monthly premiums. You can choose between two term life plans — Trendsetter Super and Trendsetter LB.

Both plans give you the option to choose between various policy lengths. What makes Trendsetter LB different is that it allows you to access living benefits, meaning you can use a portion of your death benefit while you’re still alive.

This company also provides buyers with extensive information about their products — you can find individual pages explaining each available plan on their website.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

These are the best life insurance options for young adults:

  • Trendsetter Super
  • Trendsetter LB
  • Transamerica Lifetime

All these types of policies provide coverage from day one.

Best Online Company: Ethos

Ethos LIfe

pros

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The application process is 100% online

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Most applicants won’t need to go through a medical exam

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Fast approval

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Term life insurance plans guarantee level premiums

cons

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There are no riders aside from the accelerated death benefit

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Premiums are higher compared to other online insurers

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek's Take: Ethos offers maximum convenience when applying for life insurance. You can do everything online, most applicants don’t need to go through a medical exam and approval is available within minutes.

If you want to save yourself the hassle of filling out traditional life insurance applications, you may want to consider purchasing your policy from Ethos. The entire process is online. Unless additional medical information is needed, you can get approval within minutes after filling out your application form.

Ethos offers term policies for buyers aged 20 to 85. If you’re younger than 65, purchasing a term life plan can give you coverage until you’re 94. The policy offers level premiums, meaning you’ll pay the same amount until your policy expires. Ethos also allows you to convert your term plan to a whole life policy at any point.

Unlike other insurers, Ethos only offers one rider — accelerated death benefits. This rider allows access to a portion of your death benefits if you develop a qualifying medical condition while your policy is in effect. If you’re looking for other riders, you won’t find them with Ethos.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

You don’t need to wait for an extended period before your coverage takes effect. With Ethos, it begins as soon as you complete your first payment.

Ethos offers the following policies:

  • Whole life insurance
  • Term life insurance

Best for No Medical Exam With High Coverage: Haven Life

Haven Life

pros

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You can apply for life insurance online

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The Haven Life policy won’t require you to complete a medical exam

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Assures you level premium prices during the policy’s term

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Underwritten by MassMutual, which has an A++ rating from AM Best

cons

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Offers limited products (policies and riders)

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Policies are not available in five states

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek's Take: If you want to skip the hassle of going through a medical exam, consider Haven Life's Haven Simple. You can get a term life plan with coverage up to $500,000.

Another company that lets you complete the application process online is Haven Life. If you want a policy that won’t require you to undergo a medical exam, you can opt for their Haven Simple plan, which allows up to $500,000 in coverage. If your application is approved, your coverage begins immediately.

MassMutual underwrites Haven Life's policies. A financially stable insurer ensures your death benefit will be paid out with no problems if your beneficiary files a claim.

Similar to other insurers, Haven Life has a minimum 10-day free-look period. You can use this time to review your documents and decide if you want to pursue your coverage. If you opt to cancel within this period, they'll refund all premium payments made.

However, if you live in New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware or California, Haven Simple will not be available. It’s also important to note that Haven Life only offers term policies, meaning you can’t convert your policy to a permanent plan. There are also limited riders available — for the Haven Simple plan, the only one included is the accelerated death benefit.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

Haven Life's Haven Simple coverage has no waiting period. If you apply and you’re approved, your coverage begins immediately.

This company offers the following policies:

  • Haven Term
  • Haven Simple

Best Whole Life for Young Adults: Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

pros

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Northwestern Mutual doesn’t require a second medical exam if you're converting from term to permanent insurance

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Offers multiple types of permanent life insurance plans (whole life and universal life)

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Offers a policy that combines term and whole life insurance

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No online quotation tool and no sales consultant available in person

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The only way to speak with a Financial Adviser is to go through their Find a Financial Advisor Page

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Approval for more complicated policies may take up to a month

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek's Take: Northwestern Mutual has an A++ Rating from AM Best, which means it has superior financial stability. If you’re looking for permanent coverage, it has a high number of product offerings, giving you the flexibility to choose the policy that works best for you.

Northwestern Mutual's strength lies in the diversity of its products. If you're looking for an insurer that can offer a wide selection of permanent life insurance policies, you’ve come to the right place.

You can choose between three whole life insurance plans. The first two — 65 and 90 Life — require you to pay premiums until you reach 65 and 90. At that point, your payments stop, but coverage continues. Limited Pay Life is the third whole life insurance option. It allows you to choose how long you want to pay for coverage based on how much you’re willing to pay annually. You can choose between 10 and 30 years.

Northwestern Mutual's Whole Life insurance policies allow living benefits, which can help with significant expenses like medical bills.

CompLife is another unique offering from Northwestern Mutual that combines whole and term life insurance. If you have long and short-term insurance requirements, this coverage could work best for you. You can divide your coverage and assign how much is term life insurance and how much is whole.

Northwestern Mutual also offers several universal life insurance products if you want permanent coverage that offers more flexibility.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

Northwestern Mutual’s permanent life insurance policies have coverages that begin immediately without a waiting period. These policies are as follows:

  • 65 Life
  • 90 Life
  • Limited Pay Life

Best for Young Adults With a Family: State Farm

State Farm

pros

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Has a specific life insurance policy for families

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Has a rider that provides coverage for your children until they’re 25

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Holds an A++ rating from AM Best

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Ranked first in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study

cons

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Their online quote tool is only for term life insurance

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Policies are not available in all states

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek Score: 97.4
J.D. Power (out of 1,000): 820.5
AM Best Rating: A++

MoneyGeek's Take: State Farm offers a variety of riders you can include in your policy, making sure it can meet your family’s insurance needs. It has a MoneyGeek score of 97.4 and perfect scores for customer experience and financial stability.

Most life insurance policies protect the insured only — your loved ones benefit from it through your death benefit. State Farm offers a unique alternative: instead of purchasing individual policies for every family member, you can get coverage for each person under a single policy.

You can do this by adding Select Term and Child Term riders to the life insurance policy, regardless of whether it’s a term or a whole life plan.

Depending on the coverage you choose, the Select Term rider gives a person coverage for either 10, 20 or 30 years. The premium remains level for the term, so you’re assured that you won’t spend more over time.

The Select Child Term rider allows you to give your children life insurance coverage, which is a perk not offered by most insurers. A single rider can provide $20,000 coverage for each of your children — including those who haven’t been born yet. Coverage begins once your child reaches 15 days and expires when they turn 25.

If you're in your 20s or 30s and have just started a family, State Farm is a solid option for life insurance.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

State Farm’s policies have no waiting period, so your coverage begins immediately.

This company offers the following policies:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance

Best for Young Adults Who Smoke: Transamerica

Transamerica

pros

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Some term policies do not require you to undergo medical exams

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Premiums remain the same throughout the duration of the policy

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Rates for smokers are generally more affordable than those from other insurers

cons

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Availability of longer-term plans (20 and 30 years) is limited based on age and health conditions

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Policies are not available in some states

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek’s Take: In addition to being the overall pick as the best life insurance company for young adults, Transamerica is also our top pick for smokers. With low rates, Transamerica is your best option for affordable life insurance — even if you have a history of using tobacco.*

Whether you're a smoker or not is a contributing factor to the cost of your life insurance premium. Even if you are generally healthy, smoking may increase the cost of life insurance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16.7% of adults aged 25 to 44 were smokers as of 2019.

Fortunately, even if you smoke, you can still get relatively affordable life insurance from Transamerica. The Trendsetter Super or the Trendsetter LB are your best options. Both policies offer no medical exam options, depending on your coverage. Trendsetter LB allows up to $250,000 in coverage, significantly higher than Trendsetter Super’s threshold.

If you don’t mind going through a medical exam, Trendsetter Super is a better option. Although smoking increases your rate, it’ll still be lower than other insurers.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, the best life insurance plan for young people who smoke is Transamerica’s Trendsetter Super, which has no waiting period. Other policies you can consider are:

  • Trendsetter LB
  • Transamerica Lifetime

Best for Young Adults Who Have Health Conditions: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

pros

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Has an online quote tool for term and whole life insurance policies

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Company will reconsider your rate if your health condition improves; re-evaluation typically happens after one year

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Buyers who opted for term life insurance can convert to a permanent plan without undergoing a second medical exam. It prevents your policy rates from increasing even more

cons

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If you don't purchase your policy from an agent, you may have fewer options

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek's Take: Having health conditions can shorten your life expectancy, making you riskier to insure. Mutual of Omaha is a good option for young adults who aren’t in excellent health because they offer lower rates.

Mutual of Omaha offers two term life insurance plans, each possibly having lengths of 15, 20 or 30 years. Between Term Life Answers and Term Life Express, the latter won't require you to complete a medical exam during underwriting.

If you have pre-existing conditions, expect your premium to be higher than someone in good health. However, coverage from this provider is more affordable than rates from other insurers. This company also allows you to convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent one without undergoing a second medical exam.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

Whether you decide to go with Mutual of Omaha's Term Life Answers or Term Life Express, policies have no waiting period.

This company offers:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance

Best for Young Adults Who Have High BMI: Nationwide

Nationwide

pros

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Nationwide offers affordable rates for buyers with high BMIs

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Ranked 2nd in J.D. Power’s 2021 US Individual Life Insurance Study

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Company has an A+ rating from AM Best

cons

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You can only get online quotes for term life insurance

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Available lengths of term policies are limited depending on age

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

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

MoneyGeek's Take: MoneyGeek's analysis shows you can buy cheap life insurance from Nationwide if you have a high BMI. It's a solid option, scoring high in financial stability and user satisfaction in MoneyGeek's internal rating system.

Having a high BMI results in higher than average monthly life insurance premiums. Fortunately, Nationwide can give you coverage for a lower-than-average rate. The company also gives you the option to choose between several policy types.

You can opt for term life insurance, which has 10, 15, 20 or 30-year durations. Your premiums won’t change once your policy is issued.

Nationwide also offers whole, universal and variable life insurance coverage.

Having a high BMI may lead to other illnesses, so you may want to consider riders to cover potential health complications. The Critical Illness rider allows you to access your death benefit if you're diagnosed with cancer, suffer from a heart attack, experience kidney failure or develop another severe condition.

Policies Offered & Waiting Period:

Nationwide’s policies take effect immediately. The company offers:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance
  • Variable life insurance

Best Young Adult Life Insurance Comparison Summary

The table below gives you a snapshot of what the various companies offer.

  • Companies
    AM Best
    J.D. Power Score
    Age Range
    Coverages
    Online Quotes?
  • Transamerica

    Best Overall for
    Young Adults

    A

    736.4

    18–45

    Up to $2 million

    Yes

  • Ethos

    Best Online
    Company

    A

    N/A

    20–65

    $20,000–$1.5 million

    Yes

  • Haven Life

    Best for No Medical
    Exam With High Coverage

    A++

    N/A

    20–55

    $25,000–$500,000

    Yes

  • Northwestern Mutual

    Best Whole Life for
    Young Adults

    A++

    772.6

    0–85

    Minimum death benefit
    of $50,000

    No

  • State Farm

    Best for Young Adults
    With a Family

    A++

    820.5

    Up to 85

    Minimum of $100,000
    for Select Term

    Yes — for term only

  • Transamerica

    Best for Young Adults
    Who Smoke

    A

    736.4

    18–45

    Up to $2 million

    Yes

  • Mutual of Omaha

    Best for Young Adults With
    Health Conditions

    A+

    738.4

    18–80

    Minimum of $100,000

    Yes — for term and whole life only

  • Nationwide

    Best for Young Adults with
    High BMI

    A+

    785.5

    18–60

    Minimum of $100,000

    Yes — for term only

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

Why Should Young Adults Buy Life Insurance?

There are several reasons you should buy life insurance at a young age. Some factors make having coverage a good idea, even if you’re just in your 20s or 30s.

While you're young, purchasing life insurance can help you provide your family with financial stability and cover costs for several dependents, such as grandparents with severe illnesses, parents about to retire, or younger siblings going off to college.

Buying life insurance at a young age has many additional benefits listed below.

1

You’ll get lower rates.

Life insurance companies use several factors to calculate premiums, age being one of them. The younger you are when you purchase a policy, the lower the monthly cost.

2

You'll be in better health.

It’s not a guarantee, but chances are, you’ll have fewer health conditions in your 20s than in your 50s. If you’re considering a term life policy, you’re more likely to outlive your coverage, which results in insurers offering lower rates. If you’re leaning toward a permanent life plan, the effect on your premium is the same, even if your policy won’t expire.

3

Your policy has more time to earn.

Choosing a permanent life insurance plan not only assures that your family receives your death benefit regardless of when you die, but it also has a feature that term life plans don’t provide: a savings account.

There are several types of permanent life insurance plans, but all of them allow your policy to earn. Once you have enough cash value, you can use this amount in a variety of ways while you're still alive:

  • You can use it to boost your death benefit, which means your beneficiaries receive a higher amount when you die.
  • You can use it to pay for your life insurance premiums, which allows you to use your money for other things.
  • You can take out a loan or make a withdrawal.

What Policy Types Are Best for Young Adults?

Term and permanent (which includes whole and universal) policies are the two main types of life insurance. The main differences between them lie in duration and cost. Term life insurance offers temporary protection, making it more affordable. In comparison, permanent policies guarantee coverage for your entire life. As a result, your premiums become higher.

If we look into specifics, other notable differences set these two apart.

Comparison Area
Term Life Insurance
Permanent Life Insurance

Guarantees a Death Benefit

Yes

Yes

Allows Access to Living Benefits

Yes

Yes

Coverage Length

Yearly for 5 ,10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years

Your entire life

Premium Cost

Affordable

More expensive than term policies

Change in Premium Cost

May remain the same or may increase over time, depending on what type you get

Remains the same over time

Earns Cash Value

No

Yes, and it accumulates over time

Eligible for Dividends

No

Yes, but it depends on the insurer

Allows for Withdrawals While Policy Is in Effect

No

Yes. Loans are also allowed but will cause the death benefit to be reduced if unpaid

Requires a Health Exam

Depends on the insurer

Depends on the insurer

Whether a term or permanent life insurance policy is best for young adults depends on circumstances. If you have a long-term dependent, such as a sibling with disabilities, purchasing a permanent life insurance policy may be the better option. In comparison, a term life plan may suffice if you have a young family or are paying off a mortgage. Expenses that come with these situations tend to diminish over time — you may even reach a point when you don’t need coverage anymore.

What Term Policy Length Is Best for Young People?

Young people often lean toward term life plans when shopping for life insurance. Opting for this kind of coverage allows you to take advantage of lower rates right now. It’s better to choose a plan that lasts for 20 or 30 years to ensure you can protect your loved ones from possible financial challenges if you pass away unexpectedly. It ensures that foreseeable long-term expenses (such as mortgages or college tuition fees) are covered.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost When You Are Young?

The cost of life insurance for young people may vary based on several factors. The shorter your policy length, the more affordable your premium becomes; this is because you’re more likely to outlive a shorter term.

Another consideration is your policy’s face value. The larger the death benefit your family will receive, the more expensive the rate.

The first table below shows how your monthly premiums can change based on policy length and how much coverage you purchase. Computations used quotes for 30-year old males and females who don’t smoke and are in good health.

However, keep in mind that rates still vary between life insurance companies. MoneyGeek’s analysis shows the company with the most affordable premium for 30-year-old buyers for a 20-year term policy is Transamerica. Prudential’s rate is highest for the same profile. Comparing quotes can help you find which company can offer you the best deal.

Average Term Life Cost for Healthy / Non-Smoking Young Adults

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  • Term Length
    Monthly Premium for $250,000 of Coverage
    Monthly Premium for $500,000 of Coverage
  • 10-Year Term
    $14.75
    $18.44
  • 20-Year Term
    $18.09
    $24.82
  • 30-Year Term
    $26.09
    $36.18
20-Year Term Life Cost for Young Adults by Company

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  • Company
    Monthly Premium for $250,000 Coverage
    Monthly Premium for $500,000 Coverage
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $12.15
    $18.28
  • 2.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $14.09
    $22.15
  • 3.
    Mass Mutual
    $14.47
    $21.76
  • 4.
    Nationwide
    $15.42
    $21.22
  • 5.
    AAA
    $16.72
    $23.10
  • 6.
    State Farm
    $17.41
    $25.24
  • 7.
    Progressive
    $20.56
    $31.98
  • 8.
    Prudential
    $33.89
    $34.82

The rates in the tables above are average premiums for 30-year-old men and women.

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

How Much Cheaper Is Term Life When You Are Younger?

Getting life insurance at a young age can result in lower rates. The table below assumes healthy buyer profiles, but rates for 50-year-olds are triple the rates of 30-year-olds. Most people are more likely to have a health condition when older, which results in more expensive premiums.

Average 20-Year Term Life Cost by Age for Healthy Nonsmokers

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  • Age
    Monthly Premium for $250,000 Coverage
    Monthly Premium for $500,000 Coverage
  • 30
    $18.09
    $24.82
  • 40
    $25.50
    $36.91
  • 50
    $57.31
    $92.27

Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance for Young Adults

Although it may seem that you don’t need it right now, life insurance for young adults protects your loved ones if you die unexpectedly.

Young Adults Life Insurance Ranking Methodology

We go the extra mile so that you can feel confident about the information in our life insurance content from MoneyGeek. Our life insurance ranking for young adults is informed by real quotes for 20 and 30-year-olds that we have gathered across top-rated life insurance companies (information that many other websites don’t bother to collect). We incorporate many data points from insurance industry research companies, such as J.D. Power and Associates. To learn more, visit our complete methodology page.

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.


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