Updated September 23, 2019

Best Term Life Insurance Companies

Read more about Life Insurance

How will you support your family if you die? Term life may be the answer (it's less expensive than you think). Read on for the top term life insurance companies.

Term life insurance offers coverage for a set period of time. When the policy ends, it won't be worth anything unless you have a convertible or renewable rider.

This may sound like a waste of money. But term life insurance can be the most affordable option since the premiums don't change.

Keep reading to see whether term life insurance is right for you.

Who Should Get Term Life Insurance?

You may not think you need coverage. But consider these scenarios:

If you're the sole breadwinner
Term life insurance can serve as an "income replacement" should you die during the term. Who will pay the mortgage, cars, utilities, and the cost of daily living in your absence?

If you're a stay-at-home parent
You have tremendous worth. Stop and think about what you do every day:

  • Watch the children
  • Clean the house
  • Cook the meals
  • Handle the paperwork for the home

In your absence, someone would have to pay for childcare, a house cleaner, or other services. A life insurance policy could keep the house running smoothly.

If you are married without children
Life insurance could help your spouse in the event of your death, especially if they're dependent on your income.

Remember: Your loved ones will also pay the cost of your final arrangements. A term policy can decrease their financial stress during this difficult time.

If you have a mortgage or other large liabilities
Can your family continue to pay the mortgage or will they be forced to move and start over? Carrying a term life policy at least until the mortgage is paid off can give them a little financial security.

Read on to learn how to evaluate term life insurance policies.

What Is the Difference Between Term and Whole Life Insurance?
Term life insurance covers you for a set period while whole life offers coverage for your entire life.

Whole life insurance premiums are often higher, but your policy has long-term cash value. A portion of the premium you pay to the insurance company is invested on your behalf. Some companies even let you borrow against the cash value.

What to Look for in Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance offers many options, but not all policies are created equal. Knowing what to look for can save you money (and stress.)

  • Financial Rating
    An insurance policy is only as good as the company that provides it. Paying for a policy with a company that has no money won't help your loved ones if you die.

    Look for companies with good financial ratings, such as a BBB or better from A.M. Best.

  • Variety of Options
    You want an insurance company that offers many term life insurance choices. Look at the available terms and rider options.

    For example, do you want to have the option to convert your coverage to a whole life policy upon expiration? You'll need a company that offers that option.

  • Understandable Terms
    Don't take out a policy that you don't understand. This may end in disaster if your family ends up having to use it.

    Ask your agent lots of questions BEFORE you buy. When the policy is delivered, read it carefully.

    You Should Know:
    You have at least ten days to review your policy. If you don't like the contract, you can get your money back.

  • Good Customer Service
    You want a company that you can call anytime with questions. Read online reviews about prospective life insurance companies before you let them handle your business.

    Also, look into their available resources, such as online chat, the claims process, and turnaround times.

Best Term Life Insurance

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The best term life insurance companies provide affordable coverage with great customer service, understandable terms, and a variety of options.

Keep reading to review recommendations.

Best Term Life Insurance for Seniors

State Farm
Insurance companies base their premiums on the risk of having to pay out a claim. As you get older, the risk increases, which means the premiums will rise.

Unlike some companies, State Farm offers term life insurance to seniors. Their Select Term policy is a great option:

  • Those between 45 and 65 can opt for a 10- or 20-year term.
  • Those over 75 must choose the 10-year option.

The premium is fixed for the term of the policy. What we love, though, is the ability to renew the premium annually up until the age of 95.

Of course, your premiums will increase accordingly. But if you have debts to cover in the event of your death, this may be a good option. State Farm has an A++ financial rating from A.M. Best.

Consider converting your term life insurance to permanent coverage regardless of your state of health. State Farm offers that option but restrictions may apply, depending on your state's laws.

Best Term Life Insurance for Young Adults

AIG
The younger you are, the less expensive life insurance premiums may be. AIG offers plenty of life insurance options for young adults.

Current clients claim that AIG made the application process simple and affordable. A.M. Best gave AIG a rating of A, which means they are considered reliable when paying their obligations.

What's the Best Age to Get Life Insurance?
As soon as you can afford it. Twenty-five-year-olds are the prime candidates for life insurance. But many hold off until they are 35 or older when they feel more well-established.

When you own a home, get married, or have children, it's time to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you have private student loan debt, life insurance can protect your co-signor if you die. (Federal student loans are forgiven when the student dies.)

AIG offers term life insurance policies for terms between 10 and 30 years, in increments of 5 years. The company also offers a variety of policies.

The most popular plan is the Level Term Insurance for young adults. This offers the most affordable premium that remains "level" for the term.

AIG does offer renewable and convertible policies as well, which may help you in the future as your needs change.

Read the Fine Print Before Converting: Some policies have a specific window of opportunity regarding when you can convert your policy.

Best Term Life Insurance for the Health Conscious

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Health I.Q.
Founded in 2014, this company help health-conscious individuals find affordable life insurance through leading providers. Health I.Q. offers special rates and better underwriting for those who meet certain health criteria.

Its quotes come from some of the highest-rated insurance carriers. Health I.Q. rates customers to ensure they fit in the "preferred" category. This helps qualified candidates save money on their premiums.

Did You Know? Health I.Q.'s website boasts that customers can save up to 33% on life insurance based on current health, health literacy and active lifestyle.

With $15 billion in coverage issued, they are currently one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. Health I.Q. is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.

Best Term Life Insurance for Smokers

Banner
Smokers often pay as much as three times the rate of non-smokers. Banner is among the few companies that cater to the "smoking niche" by offering affordable insurance rates.

Banner received a rating of AA- from A.M. Best. While they do require a medical exam to get their life insurance, they may not decline you or charge you sky-high premiums just because you smoke.

They offer a variety of options, including renewable and convertible policies.

Did You Know? Banner offers discounted policies for young adults and those who are health conscious. If you're a runner, cyclist, fitness or nutrition guru, you may be eligible for better rates.

Unlike most companies, Banner also offers coverage for seniors up to age 95. With their OpTerm policy, you are guaranteed level premiums up to that age.

Best Term Life Insurance with No Medical Exam Required

Haven Life
Some people worry about taking a medical exam for life insurance approval. Companies require the exam to determine your "risk of dying," which will affect your premium.

Thanks to today's technology, Haven Life has come up with a way to provide no medical exam insurance without the high premiums. This insurance is only for people up to 45 years old who are in good health.

Apply online and the InstantTerm process verifies the information in your application from various third parties. You'll get an immediate answer regarding your coverage and you won't have to pay any sky-high premiums.

You Should Know: This is not traditional no-medical-exam insurance. People with medical issues that would prevent them from getting insurance may have to opt for Guaranteed Life Insurance.

As this name suggests, you are guaranteed coverage, but it's likely limited to a smaller amount, such as $50,000. It also comes with higher premiums.

Best Term Life Insurance for Those Over 50

Transamerica
If you waited to get life insurance and now have debts to cover or loved ones to protect, it's not too late. Transamerica offers affordable policies for those over 50 years old with many benefits.

The company offers a life insurance policy with accelerated death benefits. Should you become chronically ill, you can use some of your benefits to pay for care while you are still alive.

You Should Know: Transamerica has an A.M. Best rating of A+.

Transamerica offers policies in terms between 10 - 20 years in 5-year increments (they offer 25- and 30-year terms for younger adults too). The coverage ranges from $25,000 and $1 million.

You can also choose how your beneficiaries receive the payout, either as a lump sum or in installment payments.

Other Insurance Companies to Consider

Met Life
One of the oldest names in the industry, Met life offers a variety of term life options, including a Simplified Life policy that doesn't require a medical exam.

The company, which has an A+ rating, is known for its relaxed underwriting guidelines, especially for those with diabetes or high blood pressure.

Minnesota Life
Most term life insurance policies range from 10-30 years. With Minnesota Life, you can purchase a 5-year policy in addition to more common term lengths including whole and universal options.

This may be useful if you have short-term, temporary financial goals like:

  • Starting a new business
  • Guaranteeing funds to pay for college education
  • Working toward retirement

Minnesota Life, whose parent company is Securian Financial, is rated A+ by A.M. Best.

USAA
This company offers term life products for military service members. It includes exclusive benefits like:

  • Accelerated review to protect your family before you deploy
  • Coverage during war
  • Military severe injury coverage

You can also get guaranteed additional coverage when you leave the military, including $100,000 of term insurance when you marry, buy a home or have a baby if you're aged 18-35.

Northwestern Mutual
This company tends to offer lower rates to seniors and smokers. You'll also have the ability to convert your policy under certain circumstances. But Northwestern Mutual doesn't have a "no medical exam" policy.

New York Life
New York Life specializes in whole and permanent life insurance policies, but they offer term life insurance for up to 20 years. The company also has a Family Protection Term, which includes policies for your children under the age of 18.

Primerica
Primerica's Increasing Benefit rider is somewhat rare in the life insurance industry: your death benefit can increase up to 10% yearly, for 10 years. Primerica has an A.M. Best rating of A+.

Globe Life
Globe Life pricing is based solely on age, making it a good choice for younger people with health issues. However, rates are only locked for 5 years at a time. Globe Life has an A.M. Best rating of A+.

Colonial Penn
Colonial Penn offers a new "Living Insurance" option which allows for early payout in the event of heart attack, stroke, cancer or other chronic illnesses. They also offer a guaranteed acceptance policy. Colonial Penn has an A.M. Best rating of A-.

Costco (Protective Life)
Protective Life offers an Income Provider rider in which the death benefit is doled out over a period of years instead of as a lump sum, resulting in lower premiums for the policyholder. Protective Life has an A.M. Best rating of A+.

TruStage
TruStage is the life insurance provider for Credit Union National Security. They offer a variety of policies and highly-rated customer service. No medical exam is required for a term life policy. TruStage's underwriter CMFG Life has an A.M. Best rating of A.

Average Term Life Rates

To give you an idea of what you might be paying for term life insurance, we've gathered average rates for a 30-year term.

30-Year Term Rates - Male

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
20$12.96$20.53$33.06$55.00
30$13.31$21.62$34.28$61.77
40$20.52$31.18$55.26$103.53
50$39.78$74.94$138.99$258.39
60$251.83$213.67N/AN/A

30-Year Term Rates - Female

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
20$11.92$18.49$26.97$46.72
30$12.88$19.45$28.62$51.03
40$18.15$27.61$45.51$83.09
50$31.94$59.64$102.66$194.95
60$251.83$90.50N/AN/A

Rates are based on healthy, non-smoking men and women.

What Is a good price for Term Life Insurance?
A good price for term life insurance depends on many factors, including age, gender, general health and habits.

If you are a female, 50-year-old smoker, your "good" rates will be higher than a 25-year-old non-smoking female.

On a $1 million policy, a 30-year-old woman will pay an average of $49 per month. A 30-year-old male pays an average of $60 per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

How and where do I purchase life insurance?
You have two main options:

  • Work with an agent
    Unless you have a life insurance company in mind, choose an independent agent. They can help you explore a wide variety of coverage options from different companies. That means you'll get the most competitive deal.

    The other type, captive agents, work for one insurance company and can only sell that company's policies. When you call a life insurance company directly, they'll connect you with a captive agent to bind the policy.

  • Purchase a policy online
    Many insurers allow you to pick coverages and get a policy quote online. In some cases, you may need to speak to a company (or captive) agent to finalize the purchase.

How do I determine the right term policy length?
Consider the following:

  • How long is your mortgage?
  • How many more years until your children become adults?
  • How much longer before you pay off other debts?
  • How many years until you retire?

Based on the answers, you'll have several options:

  • 10-Year Policy
    May be best if you have older children and prefer a cheap premium, or have most of your debts paid off.

  • 15-, 20- or 25-Year Term Policy
    Is a good choice if you have young children, want to cover your children through college, or are paying off a mortgage or other debts,

  • 30-Year Policy
    Makes sense if you just got married, are expecting your first baby, or have a child with special needs that will need coverage for a longer period of time.

Another approach is to consider how many years you need coverage and multiply your annual income by that number of years.

Keep your financial obligations in mind, including:

Then determine the replacement cost of services you provide. This is especially relevant if you are a stay-at-home parent and would need to provide for childcare if you pass away.

Add these expenses up, minus your current savings and current policies through your employer. This should give you a general idea of how much coverage you need.

How do I know how much coverage I need?
Experts suggest having at least 10x your salary in coverage.

Using this example: If you make $60,000 per year, you should have a minimum $600,000 policy.

Bottom Line

Chances are, you need some type of life insurance. But your needs will change depending on the circumstances in your lifetime.

Finding the best company - and coverage - is essential. An independent agent can sell policies from more than one company. This flexibility can help you find the right policy for your situation.

If you feel anything an agent says misrepresents the facts or if they act impatient with your questions, find someone else to handle your business.

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