Life Insurance by Age

Discover the impact of age on your life insurance premiums and eligibility.

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross h…

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Mark Friedlander

Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

Mark Friedlander has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is the Director, Corporate Communications, at the Insurance Informatio…

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

How does age affect life insurance?

Your age is one of the biggest factors in determining your life insurance eligibility and your premiums. Whether you are looking for a term or whole life insurance policy, the younger you are, the less you are likely to pay. The reason for this is obvious: younger people have longer life expectancies than do older people.

Read on to find out more about which types of life insurance policies are best for each age group.

The best life insurance policy type by age

In general, younger individuals in good health are better off with a term life policy. These types of policies offer coverage over a specified period of time. If the cost of life insurance is on your mind, you can lock in your current rates with a 5-, 10- or even 20-year term life insurance policy. 

For individuals approaching 40 (or older), whole life policies could be a good option. This form of permanent life insurance has a cash value component along with death benefits and could provide another avenue for retirement savings. While you can technically get a whole life insurance policy at a younger age, the higher premiums rarely make it a good option for younger adults.

Discover more about life insurance by age group below.

ZEBRA TIP: Buy term life insurance when you are younger

When you’re young, your life insurance rates are likely to be cheaper. Getting a term life insurance policy when you are younger will allow you to lock in more affordable rates during your policy’s term length. 

Age and life insurance eligibility

Certain types of life insurance become less feasible over time. Those approaching retirement age, for instance, are less likely to benefit from a term life policy, as policies may be harder to qualify for and will be more expensive.

As a part of the underwriting process of any new policy, you will face a number of questions about your health history, including pre-existing conditions and whether or not you are a smoker. Depending on your age or the amount of coverage that you choose, you are likely to be required to take a medical exam. This can limit your options and impact the amount of coverage you are able to purchase.

Age considerations when buying life insurance

Life insurance coverage can give you peace of mind by allowing you to provide for your loved ones after your passing. To find out more about life insurance and the types of policies available, consult The Zebra's guide to life insurance.

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The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

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