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If you’re looking to purchase a 40-year term life insurance policy, you’ll find only two insurers who offer it. You can buy popular term lengths like 10 and 20 years from most life insurance providers. However, 40-year term plans are only offered by Protective Life Insurance and Legal & General (also known as Banner Life).

At a glance, purchasing 40-year term life insurance may seem like the best option, but it isn’t for everyone. MoneyGeek’s guide provides more information about this kind of life insurance and what might factor into your decision to purchase it.

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Key Takeaways

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It’s rare to find life insurance companies offering 40-year term life insurance policies. In fact, you can currently only purchase these from two companies: Protective Life Insurance and General & Legal.

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A 40-year term life insurance plan is significantly more expensive than a 10- or 20-year term policy. If the cost isn’t something you can realistically handle over an extended period, you may want to consider a policy with a shorter term length and lower rates.

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Evaluate your unique circumstances to determine whether a 40-year term life insurance plan fits your needs.

Life Insurance Companies that Offer 40-Year Term Policies

If you shop around for life insurance policies, you’ll find that the longest term length most companies offer is 30 years. The life insurance industry is conservative by nature, so it’s rare for companies to provide new products.

This conservatism is one reason it’s rare to find 40-year term insurance policies. Protective Life and Legal & General made this policy length available to the market relatively recently.

40-Year Term Company Descriptions

Protective Life Insurance

Protective Life Insurance offers multiple policy types. In addition to term life insurance policies, it also has universal and whole life insurance options. You have the opportunity to add corresponding riders to your policy. If you purchase term life insurance, you have the option to choose between seven term lengths offered in five-year increments. The Protective Classic Choice Term policy can be as short as 10 years or as long as 40. It guarantees level premiums throughout your coverage period. Your policy’s face value can range from $100,000 to a maximum of $50,000,000. Depending on your policy's term length, you can convert a term policy to a permanent plan without undergoing an additional medical exam.

Legal & General

Legal & General also offers universal and whole life options in addition to term life insurance. Its term plans feature level premiums and a guaranteed death benefit up to age 95. The minimum policy face value is $100,000, and you can choose between 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 35- or 40-year plans. You can request conversion to permanent life insurance while your policy is still active or until age 70, whichever comes first.

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Forty-year term life insurance is a new life insurance option. Insurers rarely introduce new products, in part because of the conservative nature of the market. Currently, only two companies offer this term length: Protective Life Insurance and General & Legal.

Cost of 40-Year Term Life Insurance

Policy length is a primary factor used by insurers to set rates. 40-year term insurance is more expensive than policies with shorter term lengths because it provides coverage for a longer period.

Average Monthly Life Insurance Cost for a Healthy 30-Year-Old Male

20-Year Term Policy

Monthly Cost

40-Year Term Policy

Monthly Cost

Premiums for full coverage policies are on average:$28 more

This is 112% more expensive.

The section above shows that the average monthly premium for a 40-year term insurance policy is more than double the cost of a plan providing coverage for 20 years.

It's a good idea to look at several factors before deciding a 40-year term life insurance policy is best for you. For example, you’ll want to determine whether the rates fit into your budget.

You might also want to look at your other financial obligations, like whether you have a mortgage or dependents, to determine whether you need a 40-year term policy.

How to Decide if You Need 40-Year Term Life Insurance

It's essential to carefully consider the policy length you need, especially given the vast difference in average cost between term lengths. You’ll want to evaluate your unique circumstances to determine whether 40-year term insurance is the best option for you.

When You Can Benefit from Each Policy Length

10-Year Policy:
  • Your children are between ages 10 and 15.
  • You have fewer than ten years remaining on your mortgage.
  • You plan to retire within the next 5–10 years.
  • You can be financially free (and thus self-insured) in 10 years.
20-Year Policy:
  • Your children will be graduating from college within 20 years.
  • You have sizeable debt co-signed by your spouse or your parents.
  • You’re in your 40s.
  • Your family is on a strict budget.
40-Year Policy:
  • You want a higher amount available to cover final expenses.
  • You’re in your twenties and planning to start a family.
  • You have a special needs child.
  • You don’t want to worry about policy renewals.

When you’re determining the term length you’d like to take on, it’s a good idea to anticipate your future financial commitments like your children’s educational expenses. As with any product, your unique financial picture will determine your needs.

A 40-year term life insurance policy is not for everyone. Although 10- and 20-year term lengths are more popular than lengthier terms, these may not be the best options if you anticipate long-term expenses.

Reasons to Buy 40-Year Term Life Insurance

There are several benefits from purchasing a 40-year term life insurance policy. Here are some areas you may want to consider before making your final decision.

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    If you purchase your policy in your forties, you’ll be covered until you’re in your 80s. This could mean you won’t need to renew your policy.

    All temporary life insurance plans can be renewed after their original term lengths end. However, you’ll have to renew annually, meaning you’ll be subjected to a premium increase each year.

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    Alternative to Permanent Coverage

    A 40-year term life policy is comparable to whole or universal life insurance plans in terms of its length. If you’re okay with your policy not having a cash value, it’s an affordable alternative to permanent life insurance options.

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    A 40-year term could be the last policy you need to purchase. The chances are slim that you’ll need to renew your policy when it expires.

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    Alternative to Final Expense

    There’s a significant difference between term life insurance and a final expense plan, which is meant to cover the cost of burial. A 40-year term insurance policy can provide a sizable amount for your loved ones to use as they see fit.

If any of the points above resonate with you, you may want to consider a 40-year term insurance plan. However, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Although it’s more affordable than permanent life insurance, the difference in cost between a 40-year term plan versus a 20- or 30-year term life insurance policy can be significant.

If you don’t anticipate long-term financial obligations, you may opt for a shorter term length. Shorter-term policies also translate to lower premiums, which could help ease your monthly budget.

Ultimately, there is no shortcut to determine whether a 40-year term life insurance option is right for you. You’ll have to consider various factors to ensure you’re making the right choice.

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40-year term life insurance may appear to be a step up from a 10- or 20-year term plan, but your particular needs will determine whether this term length is the right option for you.

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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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Frequently Asked Questions

40-year term life insurance is a relatively new product, and it’s an option that is not available through most insurance providers. Below are the most commonly asked questions about it.

About Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.