How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

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Written by
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Farmers CSR for 4 Years
UPDATED: 2022-07-25T04:16:41.017Z
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A photo of hands holding a family cut out of paper to symbolize protecting them with life insurance.

Life insurance is a necessity for most people. When you pass on, you want to make sure that you've taken care of your family. Funeral and burial expenses can be quite expensive, and you don't want to leave your family with that burden.

Whether you're the top earner in your family or make up a significant portion of your family's income, you may also want life insurance to ensure your family's financial security even with the loss of income, particularly if you are carrying debt.

You may worry about the cost of life insurance. While you want to take care of your family in the event of your death, particularly if it's an untimely death, you may also have concerns that you can't afford to pay for your coverage. Keep reading if you'd like to learn more about just how much life insurance actually costs.

Types of Life Insurance

Before discussing the cost of life insurance, it's important to distinguish between life insurance types, as the type of insurance you want will affect what you pay. There are a few types of life insurance, but most fall under one of two categories.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the most common type of life insurance. This life insurance has an expiration date, usually anywhere from ten to 30 years.

With term life insurance, you pay your premium either once a month or year. It's fixed yearly, so you don't have to worry about it going up suddenly, although some plan premiums will increase with age. You'll have the amount of coverage that you choose when you sign up, such as $500,000.

Once the coverage period ends, the life insurance policy expires. If you survive the duration of the policy, you'll lose the money you paid in. You have the option of signing up for another term, but your premium will almost certainly be more expensive going forward.

Whole Life Insurance

The other type of life insurance is whole life insurance. Whole life insurance has no end date. The coverage period lasts until you pass on, provided you continue to pay your monthly or annual premiums.

As expected, whole life insurance is typically much more expensive than term life insurance, as the insurance company knows that they'll eventually have to pay out. Whole life insurance may also include investments that you can access once you reach a certain age, and these investments factor into your cost as well.

The Cost of Life Insurance

The costs of life insurance vary widely based on the type of insurance you want, the benefits you choose, and how long the term lasts.

To give you an example, the average monthly premium for coverage with a 30-year term and a $250,000 benefit is around $25. This average accounts for a person who is 35 years old.

Below is a list of the monthly cost of term life insurance by state. These numbers consider a $250,000, 30-year policy for a 35-year old person.

State Monthly Cost
Alabama $50
Alaska $55
Arizona $51
Arkansas $59
California $56
Colorado $54
Connecticut $60
Delaware $55
District of Columbia $53
Florida $52
Georgia $53
Hawaii $57
Idaho $50
Illinois $53
Indiana $49
Iowa $50
Kansas $50
Kentucky $50
Louisiana $50
Maine $53
Maryland $59
Massachusetts $60
Michigan $51
Minnesota $53
Mississippi $48
Missouri $49
Montana $50
Nebraska $50
Nevada $51
New Hampshire $59
New Jersey $61
New Mexico $49
New York $56
North Carolina $51
North Dakota $50
Ohio $50
Oklahoma $50
Oregon $52
Pennsylvania $55
Rhode Island $55
South Carolina $51
South Dakota $49
Tennessee $51
Texas $53
Utah $53
Vermont $55
Virginia $57
Washington $55
West Virginia $49
Wisconsin $51
Wyoming $50

The cost of whole life insurance typically has greater variation because the policies are so different.

Payouts and how they're calculated differ, and some policies have additional benefits such as cash investments. On average, you can expect to pay around six times as much as a term life insurance premium for whole life insurance.

So, if term life insurance is around $25 per month for a $250,000 death benefit, you can expect to pay $150 per month for a comparable whole life insurance policy.

The best way to figure out what you'll pay for whole life insurance is to contact an insurance agent and discuss your options.

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What Influences the Cost of Life Insurance?

The cost of insurance varies greatly based on a large set of factors. Determining these factors will give you a better idea of what your premium will cost.


Your age is one of the most significant factors that affect life insurance costs. The older you are, the more you can expect to pay. This increase makes sense logistically, as the older you are, the more likely you are to pass on, and the more likely this insurance will have to pay out your benefits.

For example, the average 25-year old will pay around $20 per month, while a 50-year old will pay around $60 per month for the same 30-year term policy with a death benefit of $250,000.

As people get older, they're more likely to suffer health problems and develop life-threatening conditions. Insurance companies take these possibilities into account when coming up with a cost.

You typically can't get life insurance on your own before the age of 18. Most companies will not accept a policy for anyone over the age of 85.


Gender is another important factor that insurance companies consider. Men pay more for life insurance premiums than women.

Women tend to live longer than men, and men are typically considered higher risk. Statistically speaking, men are more likely to work in dangerous jobs and engage in risky behavior.

Men are also at a slightly higher health risk than women. When applying for insurance at a younger age, the premium cost difference between men and women is usually minimal and is around $3 difference.

As age increases, the difference in cost between men and women increases. By age 60, men may pay as much as $20 more per month.


Your health also factors into your insurance costs. The healthier you are, the less you pay. Insurance agencies look at health factors like your body mass index and your activity levels. These factors affect the length of your lifespan.

Agencies also consider underlying conditions. If you have an issue like diabetes or heart disease, your premium may go up, as your lifespan has a better chance of being shorter. Even a history of a serious condition, like cancer, can increase your premium.

Family History

Even if you don't have any health problems, a history of issues in your family can increase your premium.

The life insurance company will usually have access to your medical records and if there are certain conditions in your family history like diabetes or heart disease, they'll take those conditions into account when calculating your premium.

Job and Hobbies

Certain jobs and hobbies can lead to a higher premium. Some jobs, such as pilot or offshore worker, are more dangerous and may increase your monthly payment. If you have high-risk hobbies, such as skydiving or riding a motorcycle, your premium may go up as well.


The company may ask about your propensity toward health-damaging habits like smoking and drinking. Policies are automatically more expensive even for casual smokers. Healthy habits, like regular exercise, have a positive impact on your premium.

Death Benefit

The higher the benefit you choose, the higher you'll pay on a monthly premium. You may want to figure out exactly what your family will need in the event you pass on. Choosing a large benefit may be tempting, but you'll be paying much higher premiums as well.

Length of Term

Most terms last anywhere between ten and 30 years. The longer your term, the larger the premium. A longer term means the insurance company is more likely to have to pay out, so they expect more money upfront.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have a few questions about life insurance, keep reading to find answers to some of the most common questions.

What Should You Pay for Life Insurance?

Before figuring out how much to pay for life insurance, you need to figure out what your minimum death benefit should be. Determine how much life insurance you need.

You'll want to make sure that your benefits will cover the cost of your funeral arrangements, any outstanding debts, and enough to keep your family going after the loss of your income.

What Taxes Do You Pay on Life Insurance?

In most cases, you don't have to pay any tax on your life insurance and neither will your beneficiary. Taxes may come up if you're earning money through your life insurance as an advancement or if you take the money out before your death.

How Do You Purchase Life Insurance?

You can purchase life insurance through any life insurance company. It's a good idea to spend some time online researching some of the major companies.

Make sure you read up on all of the details in the policy and then read reviews of the company to ensure you're getting a company that works for you.

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