How Much Does Life Insurance Cost on Average? Rates by Location, Coverage, Age & Gender

Life insurance is a safeguard to ensure your family is covered financially in case of your death, but it doesn’t have to be at an expensive cost. Learn the average cost of life insurance to ensure you don’t overpay for your policy.

Compare Life Insurance Rates

Insurance Rates

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

widget-location-pin
Last Updated: 5/27/2022
Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
By     |  

Life insurance gives your beneficiaries a sum of money, often referred to as the death benefit, when you pass away.

Typically, the cost of a 20-year term life insurance policy with $500,000 in coverage is around $316.70 per year for a healthy 30-year-old man. However, life insurance rates can change based on various factors such as your age, gender and more.

Table of Contents
Key Takeaways

coins2

A 20-year, $500,000 life insurance policy can have an average annual cost between $278.93 and $3,425.60, depending on your age, gender and other factors.

insurance2

There are two main life insurance policies: term life and permanent life. Term life insurance policies expire after a set number of years, while permanent life insurance policies do not.

barChart

Permanent life insurance policies are typically more expensive than term life policies, primarily due to their cash value component, which gives you a tax-free investment account.

How Much Does Term Life Insurance Cost?

Term life insurance gives you coverage for a specified amount of time, anywhere from 1–30 years. How much does term life insurance cost? On average, a 20-year term with $500,000 in coverage for a 30-year-old healthy male costs $26.39 per month or $316.70 per year.

A policy with the same coverage and term length costs $285.47 per month or $3,425.60 annually for a 60-year-old healthy male. Between 30-year-old and 60-year-old men, there is a cost difference of $259.08 monthly or $3,108.90 annually for a similar policy.

What factors affect life insurance rates? The following factors play a role in determining your life insurance premiums:

  • Coverage Type
  • Term Length
  • Coverage Amount
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Smoking

Each factor can significantly change your life insurance premium. For instance, a 30-year-old healthy woman will pay $23.24 per month on average, or $3.15 less than a male counterpart for $500,000 in coverage.

Annual Life Insurance Cost ($500,000 Coverage & 20-year Term)

female
Female

30-year-old

$279
male
Male

30-year-old

$317
Life insurance premiums for males are on average:$38 more

This is 14% more expensive.

Term Life Insurance Rates by Age

Term life insurance costs heavily depend on the length of the policy’s term and your age. For instance, the cost of a 10-year term life insurance policy for a 30-year-old would be $221.25 per year on average, which is $1,424.47 less than the average cost of the same policy for a 60-year-old.

Meanwhile, 20-year term life insurance costs $297.81 per year on average for a 30-year-old and $3,011.16 annually for a 60-year-old. That's a difference of $2,713.35 per year.

Life insurance rates change because insurers take on more risk as you age. The closer you are to reaching your life expectancy, the more expensive coverage becomes. Additionally, growing old increases the likelihood of you getting health issues, making your premiums more costly.

Average Annual Cost of Life Insurance by Age & Term Length

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Age
    10-Year Term
    15-Year Term
    20-Year Term
    30-Year Term
  • 30
    $221.25
    $260.68
    $297.81
    $434.19
  • 40
    $297.64
    $354.41
    $442.89
    $740.96
  • 50
    $663.39
    $897.24
    $1,107.28
    $1,926.40
  • 60
    $1,645.72
    $2,332.44
    $3,011.16
    Not offered
  • 70
    $4,774.03
    $7,202.28
    $14,094.54
    Not offered

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.

widget-location-pin
Insurance Rates

Term Life Insurance Rates by State

The cost of life insurance doesn't vary significantly from state to state. However, average buyer characteristics, like age, height and weight, do vary based on location. MoneyGeek obtained quotes for every state in the U.S. based on the cost of life insurance coverage for the state's average buyer profile.

Colorado has the most affordable life insurance policies for both 10- and 20-year terms, with $250,000 in coverage at an average of $161.03 and $199.68 per year. Conversely, West Virginia has the most expensive average life insurance policy for a 10-year term at $242.95 annually, while Maine’s 20-year policies are the most costly at $260.75 per year on average.

Typically, the average consumer can get at least $250,000 in coverage in any state. Review the average cost of life insurance in each state below.

Avg. Annual Cost of Life Insurance by State for Different Term Lengths

Scroll for more

swipe icon

While $250,000 is the standard amount of coverage, this may not be enough to suit your needs. Considering that living costs — especially from state to state — and personal circumstances vary, MoneyGeek recommends that you get the average amount of coverage for your state. To calculate this, MoneyGeek considered each state’s per capita income, average mortgage debt and incremental debt.

Avg. Annual Cost of Coverage for the Avg. Amount of Coverage Needed

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • State
    Average Coverage Needed
    10-Year Term Average Cost
    20-Year Term Average Cost
  • Alabama
    $592,000
    $349.03
    $466.07
  • Alaska
    $860,000
    $411.36
    $564.79
  • Arizona
    $708,000
    $343.56
    $477.11
  • Arkansas
    $576,000
    $326.78
    $437.54
  • California
    $1,130,000
    $437.98
    $626.59
  • Colorado
    $919,000
    $380.61
    $533.24
  • Connecticut
    $975,000
    $410.51
    $582.13
  • Delaware
    $740,000
    $375.20
    $526.57
  • Florida
    $736,000
    $330.86
    $463.38
  • Georgia
    $680,000
    $339.17
    $463.87
  • Hawaii
    $1,009,000
    $447.76
    $592.92
  • Idaho
    $667,000
    $296.04
    $408.56
  • Illinois
    $769,000
    $354.54
    $495.88
  • Indiana
    $597,000
    $330.28
    $436.58
  • Iowa
    $644,000
    $344.00
    $466.55
  • Kansas
    $661,000
    $359.15
    $478.35
  • Kentucky
    $566,000
    $331.13
    $447.96
  • Louisiana
    $632,000
    $360.25
    $467.43
  • Maine
    $645,000
    $354.90
    $510.99
  • Maryland
    $926,000
    $430.25
    $610.07
  • Massachusetts
    $1,030,000
    $428.74
    $608.76
  • Michigan
    $628,000
    $335.74
    $464.65
  • Minnesota
    $763,000
    $371.96
    $514.12
  • Mississippi
    $519,000
    $315.41
    $411.21
  • Missouri
    $625,000
    $344.87
    $472.60
  • Montana
    $710,000
    $351.23
    $487.01
  • Nebraska
    $710,000
    $349.85
    $486.13
  • Nevada
    $788,000
    $401.73
    $554.49
  • New Hampshire
    $808,000
    $372.40
    $528.05
  • New Jersey
    $965,000
    $453.92
    $631.00
  • New Mexico
    $612,000
    $319.82
    $434.12
  • New York
    $966,000
    $32.92
    $573.45
  • North Carolina
    $649,000
    $337.76
    $459.42
  • North Dakota
    $727,000
    $381.71
    $515.13
  • Ohio
    $614,000
    $334.50
    $460.17
  • Oklahoma
    $602,000
    $341.48
    $453.82
  • Oregon
    $809,000
    $384.21
    $528.24
  • Pennsylvania
    $718,000
    $363.30
    $508.64
  • Rhode Island
    $772,000
    $378.17
    $541.45
  • South Carolina
    $628,000
    $327.64
    $451.17
  • South Dakota
    $696,000
    $365.39
    $493.55
  • Tennessee
    $652,000
    $364.19
    $508.67
  • Texas
    $719,000
    $372.45
    $495.42
  • Utah
    $764,000
    $357.97
    $482.43
  • Vermont
    $697,000
    $334.88
    $471.38
  • Virginia
    $866,000
    $372.38
    $518.20
  • Washington
    $965,000
    $437.36
    $608.23
  • West Virginia
    $530,000
    $335.67
    $455.64
  • Wisconsin
    $660,000
    $359.03
    $493.76
  • Wyoming
    $793,000
    $352.91
    $498.69

Term Life Insurance Rates by Coverage Amount

On average, 10-year term life insurance costs $132.26 per year for $100,000 in coverage, which is typically the lowest amount of coverage you can get. Meanwhile, if you want $1 million in coverage, you can expect to pay roughly $384.65 per year on average for a 10-year term policy.

On the other hand, $100,000 in coverage for a 20-year term costs $151.12 per year on average, which is $408.65 less than the typical cost for $1,000,000 in 20-year term coverage.

While it may be tempting to get the lowest amount of coverage to save on insurance premiums, it’s important to get what’s right for your needs. After all, you want enough coverage to support your family financially and take care of other expenses after you pass.

Average Annual Cost of Life Insurance for for 30-Year-Olds

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Coverage Amount
    10-Year Term
    15-Year Term
    20-Year Term
    30-Year Term
  • $100,000
    $132.26
    $160.04
    $151.12
    $255.39
  • $250,000
    $177.04
    $196.99
    $217.04
    $313.04
  • $500,000
    $221.25
    $260.68
    $297.81
    $434.19
  • $1,000,000
    $384.65
    $494.42
    $559.77
    $875.12

30-year-olds pay much less in life insurance premiums than 50-year-olds. Case in point, a 20-year term life insurance policy with $500,000 in coverage costs around $809.47 less for a 30-year-old compared to the rate for a 50-year-old.

Average Annual Cost of Life Insurance for for 50-Year-Olds

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Coverage Amount
    10-Year Term
    15-Year Term
    20-Year Term
    30-Year Term
  • $100,000
    $269.02
    $325.51
    $376.96
    $637.06
  • $250,000
    $440.05
    $593.46
    $687.69
    $1,162.94
  • $500,000
    $663.39
    $897.24
    $1,107.28
    $1,926.40
  • $1,000,000
    $1,194.11
    $1,700.40
    $2,107.38
    $3,726.30

Term Life Insurance Rates by Gender

Gender also plays a significant role in determining life insurance premiums, largely because the life expectancy for American women is five years longer than it is for men.

To illustrate, a 10-year term life insurance policy with $500,000 in coverage would cost an average of $210.21 per year for women and $232.29 per year for men. For a 20-year policy with the same coverage, women pay an average of $278.93 annually, while men pay roughly $316.70.

Average Annual Cost of Life Insurance for Males & Females

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Gender
    10-Year Term Average Cost
    15-Year Term Average Cost
    20-Year Term Average Cost
    30-Year Term Average Cost
  • Male
    $232.29
    $270.22
    $316.70
    $459.51
  • Female
    $210.21
    $251.14
    $278.93
    $408.87

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.

widget-location-pin
Insurance Rates

How Much Does Permanent Life Insurance Cost?

Unlike term life insurance, permanent life insurance does not end or require renewal. There are two main types of permanent life insurance: whole and universal.

  • Whole Life Insurance - Whole life insurance lasts throughout your entire life and has fixed premiums. It also includes two products: life insurance and an investment element. The investment is essentially a tax-free savings component that grows each year, which you can access via loan or withdrawal. Term life insurance does not have this benefit.
  • Universal Life Insurance - A universal life insurance policy is a more flexible version of whole life insurance as it also offers a death benefit and investment. However, your premiums and death benefit can be changed throughout your life based on your needs or financial circumstances.

Note that permanent life insurance is often far more expensive than term life insurance, which is why it may not be for everyone. However, the long-term benefits of permanent life insurance can make the higher costs worth it.

For instance, the tax-free savings component can serve as a great source of income in times of financial need. In addition, the fixed premium rates of whole life insurance mean there will be no increased costs as you age, which can help with your budgeting and personal finances.

Cost of Permanent vs. Term Life Insurance for a 30-year-old Male ($500,000 Coverage)

coins
Term Life Insurance

Annual Cost

$317
money
Permanent Life Insurance

Annual Cost

$6,127
Permanent life insurance premiums are on average:$5,810 more

This is 1833% more expensive.

How much does permanent life insurance cost? The answer to this question is complicated because permanent life insurance has two components that need to be considered: life insurance and the cash value that grows over time.

  • Component
    Description
  • 1. Life Insurance
    This is the part of your policy that gives you a death benefit, which is the amount of money that will be given to your beneficiaries after you pass. As long as you pay for the required premiums, your beneficiaries will get the face amount of the coverage you bought.
  • 2. Cash Value
    The cash value is the savings component of your policy. The insurer will place a portion in a savings account that grows tax-free with each payment you make. After a certain amount of time, you can access this money via loan or withdrawal.

In a nutshell, permanent life insurance lets you benefit from it even while you’re alive through the cash value component and ensures that your loved ones are protected through the death benefit.

tip icon
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Permanent life insurance may not be a viable choice for everyone, whether because of the costly premiums or old age. However, if it is something feasible for you, given your budget and needs, consider the following reasons to get permanent life insurance:

  • Provides a tax-free investment that you can take advantage of while still alive.
  • Offers flexibility, as whole life insurance can be adjusted to consider your current financial situation.
  • Lasts throughout your entire life and does not need renewal.
  • Offers fixed premiums, which means you only pay one set cost throughout your life.

Calculating Life Insurance Costs

The cost of both term and permanent life insurance can vary due to several factors, such as your age, gender, health and more. Because everyone is different, no two policies will be the same. For instance, your friend of the same age with the same coverage may pay more or less in premiums.

These are a few factors that heavily influence the cost of life insurance.

  • This is an icon

    Coverage Type

    There are two main coverage types: term and permanent. While term life insurance is more popular due to its affordability, permanent life insurance can be the ideal option for those who can afford it.

  • This is an icon

    Term Length

    Term life insurance policies can vary anywhere from 1–30 years, with the standard being 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The fewer years you get coverage for, the cheaper your premium will be, but this puts you at risk of increased costs at renewal.

  • This is an icon

    Coverage Amount

    The value of your death benefit, which is the amount of coverage you choose, is another factor that affects your life insurance premiums. The higher the coverage, the more expensive it will be. However, this doesn’t mean that the cheapest is always the best — it’s more important to get coverage that can sustain your beneficiaries financially after you pass.

  • This is an icon

    Age

    Your age plays a significant role in determining your insurance premiums. The older you are, the more at risk you are of health complications and death.

  • This is an icon

    Gender

    Insurers consider gender when calculating insurance premiums. This is because women have a longer lifespan than men, making their premiums cheaper.

  • This is an icon

    Health

    How healthy you are also determines your premiums. For instance, a 30-year-old woman who is ill may end up paying more than a 40-year-old healthy male because the younger woman has more risk factors for the insurer. Generally, the healthier you are, the better your premiums are.

  • This is an icon

    Smoking

    In line with your health, insurers also consider whether or not you are a smoker. Smokers tend to be more at risk of lung issues and other health complications, significantly shortening their average lifespan.

Insurers typically offer at least $250,000 in coverage, but this can go as high as $1 million and as low as $100,000, depending on the insurer and the state you’re located. The coverage amount you choose can affect your premiums drastically, so make sure to get a premium that suits your beneficiary’s needs and your budget.

Additionally, keep in mind that your family’s health history may be considered. If either side of your family has a history of tumors or cancer, your insurer may take that into account when determining your premiums. Your family history can factor into the state of your health as you age, which can also paint a picture of your expected lifespan.

How to Lower the Cost of Life Insurance

It may seem like life insurance premiums are set in stone by factors that you cannot affect, but fortunately, there are ways you can lower the costs involved. Follow these tips before applying for life insurance to get a more affordable policy.

1

Don’t rush your decision.

Take your time when choosing a life insurance policy. After all, you’ll have it for a long time. Make sure to get coverage that factors in your future needs.

2

Make sure you’re getting the right type of coverage.

While it may be more affordable to get term life insurance now, a permanent life insurance policy may be better for your future goals, given its cash value component.

3

Shop around.

Don’t simply take the first policy available to you. Make sure to shop around and ask different insurers what their rates are, as some insurers weigh your age, gender or other factors differently.

4

Get professional assistance.

If you’re still on the fence about what type of coverage to get and which insurer to use, get professional assistance. There are plenty of independent agents who aren’t tied to a single insurer. They can give you unbiased advice on which provider to apply with and how much coverage you should get.

5

Buy your policy as early as possible.

While you shouldn’t rush the process, aim to purchase life insurance as soon as possible. The earlier you get it, the cheaper it is.

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.

widget-location-pin
Insurance Rates

Life Insurance Cost FAQs

Life insurance can be a confusing topic for anyone. If you’re not careful, you may end up paying more for coverage you don’t need. To help clear any confusion, take a look at a few commonly asked questions about this form of insurance.

Methodology

To obtain cost data for term life insurance policies, MoneyGeek collected quotes from 13 companies across all 50 states for individuals ages 30–70.

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.


sources