How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

Life Insurance Prices

In the United States most people buy one of two kinds of life insurance: temporary or permanent. Term life insurance is a life insurance policy that lasts for a specific period of time, usually in ten year increments such as 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc. If you don't die before the end of the term, the policy expires and there is no payout. This is a common choice for young people because a large amount can be purchased for a low cost. On the other hand there is whole life insurance. These kinds of life insurance policies are more expensive, but have no expiration date. Additionally, the investment in this kind of policy builds cash value over time and can be withdrawn or borrowed from.

Typical costs:

  • The cost of life insurance is most affected by one's age, health, and the size of the death benefit they want. The younger and healthier one is, the lower their premium will be.
  • According to, life insurance costs an average of $500 per year.
  • As a basic guide, a healthy man aged 40 years purchasing a 20-year term life policy will pay around $300-$400 per annum for a half a million dollar death benefit.
  • A healthy 50 year old male buying the same policy could pay double that, or up to $1000 per year.
  • The same policy purchased by a 60 year old man could cost $2500-$3000.

Additional costs:

  • People who smoke, are overweight, have a family history of cancer, diabetes or other diseases and are over 60 years old will most likely pay higher life insurance rates.


  • Non-smokers, non-drinkers, those who exercise regularly, are under 30 years old and have no family history of major illness are considered a lower risk and can expect to receive lower life insurance quotes.

Shopping for life insurance:

  • MetLife is a major life insurance company and offers an overview and answers to frequently asked questions about life insurance.
  • Other top life insurance companies include New York Life, Fidelity and John Hancock.
  • Because the cost of life insurance varies so much from person to person, it is necessary to speak to a licensed agent a policy.