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Cheap Life Insurance | Tips + 5 Best Providers

cheap life insurance

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

Table of Contents

It’s easier than ever to find cheap life insurance, yet many people still think buying coverage would be too expensive, too big a hassle, or both.

So they put off buying life insurance until they have more money. Or they decide to wait until they have more time to deal with the applications, the medical exam, and the insurance agent.

In reality, waiting will usually make your coverage more expensive. People with less money actually need life insurance more than people who have achieved more financial stability.

When you compare quotes online and learn to control more of the buying process, you can save a lot of money on premiums. Most people who buy life insurance through us are surprised by how cheap their coverage can be.

6 Cheap Life Insurance Tips

Several factors work together to determine how much you’d pay for life insurance coverage. You can control many of these factors; you can’t change others.

So, let’s explore the things you can control. By controlling these factors, you’ll find cheaper life insurance rates.

#1 Find the Most Affordable Type of Policy

Because it’s only temporary, a term life policy can give more coverage for less money.

Term life insurance is inherently a low-premium policy compared to other types of life insurance. A minimal amount of money needs to go toward funding the death benefit because a significant portion of the premium calculation resides in the payout ratio or probability.

Term life is cheaper because of the policy will only cover someone for 10 to 40 years.  For example, you are 30 years old and purchase a 20 year term policy, your coverage runs out at age 50.

So if you’re looking for cheap life insurance, start with term life quotes.

#2 Choose the Right Amount of Coverage

This one’s almost too obvious to mention: The more coverage you buy, the more you’ll pay. Still, shoppers often buy more coverage than they need, meaning they’re over insured.

How Much Coverage Should You Purchase?

It’s better to have too much insurance than too little, they say. Maybe so, but it’s even better to have just the right amount.

To find the right amount of coverage, consider how much money your family would need if you died and your family no longer had:

  • Your salary: If you’re the primary earner in your family, your insurance should replace your income for seven to 10 years.
  • Your future savings: Your coverage could replace the money you’d planned to save for your children’s college or a bigger house.
  • Time to pay your debts: Your mortgage, your private student loans, your car loans — these debts won’t necessarily go away if you die. Your insurance could keep your family cover the repayment.

If you earn, say, $75,000 a year, a $1 million policy may be enough to protect your family. Even if you like the idea of a $2 million policy, the higher premiums probably wouldn’t be necessary.

#3 A Shorter Term Length is Less Expensive

The same goes for your term length. For example, a 20-year term policy will cost less than a 30-year policy.  A 10-year term policy is the cheapest form of term life insurance.

How do you decide? If you expect your children to be financially independent and most of your debts will be paid off within 20 years, buying a 20-year policy instead of a 30-year policy can save you a significant amount of money.

With level premium funding, the insurer collects premiums over the one-year cost of insurance and then guarantees death benefit coverage for:

It is often recommended that consumers consider a level-term policy for ten years or more. The problem with a ten-year term policy is you have to buy another policy when the ten years are up.  If you have become unhealthy during this time, you may not qualify at a cheap rate.

#4 Improve Your Credit Score

Life insurance actuaries base premiums on the risk your policy creates for the company. A riskier policy requires a higher premium.

Many underwriters now consider your credit score as part of your risk quotient. A lower credit score tells insurers you take more financial risks, and you may be unable to maintain your policy.  When you drop your policy early, the company loses money.

Sounds like a stretch? Maybe so, but there is an actual connection between lower credit scores and higher policy lapse rates.

#5 Stop Smoking

Smoking or other forms of tobacco use will inflate premiums more than just about any other factor. The reason should be obvious: People who smoke tend to die sooner, and it’s not just lung cancer.

Smokers also are more likely to die from pneumonia, emphysema, and other kinds of cancer, too.

With most insurance companies, you may need to be tobacco-free for at least a year or two before qualifying for the cheaper non-tobacco rates.

#6 Compare Life Insurance Quotes

Before purchasing life insurance, it is important to compare several policies from different insurance companies.  To ensure that you are getting the best price, start by using the life insurance calculator on this page to see what your rates will be.

Term life insurance is simple, but you want to choose a reputable company.

Top 5 Cheap Life Insurance Companies

Life insurance coverage should be customized to your specific needs. An insurance company that fits one applicant perfectly may be a terrible match for someone else.

The following companies offer good places to start for many applicants searching for cheap coverage:

Protective Life

Protective Life offers 2 term products from 10 to 40 years of duration.  Protective has a non-med process offered through an electronic application.  Rates are very competitive, and Protective is a leader in the cheap-term marketplace.

Lincoln Financial

Lincoln is a great choice for low-cost term insurance.  They have a couple of term products.  The TermAccel policy is a favorite of ours, allowing our clients aged 20 to 60 to obtain up to $2,500,000 without labs or medical exams.  They also offer the LincExpress, which allows for ages 18-60 to qualify up to $1,000,000 of coverage without a medical exam.

North American

North American has one term product available.  They offer ADDvantage term, and it is very competitively priced.  It also offers living benefits in the event you are diagnosed with cancer or have a heart attack or stroke.  Their term also has benefits for those who need funding for long-term care.   Our clients, ages 18 to 50, can qualify for up to $2,000,000 without labs through the North American WriteAway program.

Banner Life

Banner Life also excels with transparency, quality, and affordability.  Banner Life has an application process called Horizon Experience.  If you are between the ages of 20 and 50, you may be able to qualify for up to $2,000,000 without a medical exam or labs.  The decision may even be instant.

Banner Life tends to look more favorably on applicants with health problems in their family history.

Pacific Life

We’ll round out this list with Pacific Life, another quality insurer with competitive rates. Pacific Life also offers the possibility of skipping the exam with their PAL+ Modified underwriting.  Applicants aged 18-60 might qualify for up to $2,000,000 of term life insurance without labs or exams.

Other Factors That Determine Premium Costs

You can find cheaper insurance by controlling the abovementioned issues: your policy type, term length, and coverage amount will have an immediate impact.

Over time, improving your credit score, driving record, and tobacco status can help lower your rates.

Your overall health matters.  The healthiest people usually find cheap life insurance without having to jump through a lot of hoops, usually without having to go through a medical exam.

A medical exam takes time and includes needles, so no-exam life insurance can look appealing.

If an exam is needed, fast the night before your blood is drawn.

Underwriters will want to know about your family’s health history, too. There’s nothing you can do about past health issues, but you can find an insurance company less likely to emphasize family health history during underwriting. We’ll get more into that below.

Your Age Matters, Too

Younger people also get cheap term life insurance. No, you can’t change your age, but you can stop putting off buying coverage.

The longer you wait, the more you can expect to pay when you lock in a rate.

A term policy’s premium stays level throughout the term. So, getting coverage when you’re young can save you money each month for decades.

Riders Can Add  to the Cost

A life insurance rider adds an extra feature to your policy, and it also will add extra cost. When shopping for coverage — especially when you’re working with an agent — it can be tempting to add riders.

For example, many companies offer a waiver of premium riders. With this rider, you could keep your insurance even if a disability later in life prevented you from working and couldn’t pay the premium.

You may think, Why not add it? It would be nice to have.

And you could be right. It would be nice to have if you needed it. If you’re trying to find cheap life insurance, though, riders will increase your premium.  You’ll have to find the right balance.

Your Occupation and Hobbies

Once again, risk affects premiums, so applicants with riskier jobs can cause higher premiums.  Some occupations can even disqualify you.

Drag racing, scuba diving, and parachuting will cause you to pay higher premiums.

In these cases, most people accept higher premiums rather than changing their professions and hobbies.

It is better to find insurance to fit your life than to change your life to fit an insurance policy.

Are Premiums and/or Benefits Guaranteed?

Check to ensure that the benefit amount and/or the premium amount is guaranteed from year to year – and if they are not, find out how much they will vary. If the premium increases by a large percentage over time, it could actually end up costing you more in the long run.

On the other hand, if the benefits also increase – and you anticipate a future need for additional coverage – the policy could be a good fit for you. This is especially true if you don’t have to prove evidence of insurability for the benefit amount to increase.

Charges and Fees

In addition to the premium, some life insurance policies may have additional costs. For example, if you cancel the policy or take out your cash value within a certain time period, the policy may hit you with a surrender charge. This is important to be aware of, as any type of surrender charge or other hidden fees could negate an otherwise lower premium cost.

Finding Cheap Life Insurance When You’re High Risk

So far, we have stressed the factors you can control to get cheap life insurance. Unfortunately, many people have high-risk conditions they can’t control.

Applicants with diseases such as diabetes, cancer, or a heart condition automatically pose a higher insurance risk.

Other applicants have health conditions preventing them from losing weight, which can make getting cheap insurance more difficult.

Working With An Independent Life Insurance Advisor

Since we are independent life insurance agents, we can shop the entire market for you.  We have access to over 40 life insurance companies.  Each company has its own strengths and weaknesses.

As independent advisors, we can guide you to the company most likely to work with people with your condition.

Work with a Financially Strong, Quality Provider

You should never sacrifice the quality of your coverage to save money. Luckily, you don’t need to. The highest quality companies can typically afford to offer the most competitive rates.

Independent rating agencies can help you measure a life insurance company’s quality. Agencies such as A.M. Best and Fitch Ratings investigate insurers regularly. They issue grades, usually ranging from AAA or A++ down to C, D, or F.

Better ratings mean better quality coverage. When you’re buying life insurance coverage to protect your family in case you die, quality is a must.

Finding Your Way to Cheaper Life Insurance

The companies we listed above can offer cheap premiums for term coverage.  Those are just a few options.  Our instant term quoter on this page will give you an idea of which carrier to start looking at.  Let us be your guide.

Ultimately, though, your ability to make the right decisions as you shop for coverage can help even more. As you shop, remember to:

  • Buy just enough, and not too much, coverage, both in face value and term length.
  • Try to get healthier before your medical exam.
  • Drive more carefully and improve your credit score by paying your bills promptly.
  • Don’t put off buying the coverage you need now.
  • Avoid unnecessary riders.
  • If you smoke or chew tobacco, consider quitting.
  • Work with an independent agent like us who can connect you with various policies.

Finding the right company and reducing your risk to underwriters is the recipe for getting cheap life insurance.

Picture of Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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