Best Term Life Insurance Companies: Expert-Rated In 2024

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The Best Term Life Insurance Companies


GREAT FOR CHOICES OF TERM LENGTHS

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement)

5.0

Policy name

Select-a-Term

Minimum face amount

$100,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement)

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BEST COST FOR $1 MILLION TERM LIFE

Pacific Life

5.0

Policy name

PL Promise Term

Minimum face amount

$50,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years

Pacific Life

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GREAT FOR LONG LEVEL TERM LENGTHS

Protective

5.0

Plan name

Classic Choice Term

Minimum face amount

$100,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years

Protective

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BEST FOR TERM LIFE RATES

Symetra

5.0

Plan name

SwiftTerm

Minimum face amount

$100,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

Symetra

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GREAT FOR LIVING BENEFITS

Midland National

4.5

Plan name

Premier Term

Minimum face amount

$100,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

Midland National

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GREAT FOR OLDER BUYERS OF 30-YEAR TERM LIFE

Penn Mutual

4.5

Policy name

Term life

Minimum face amount

$250,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

Penn Mutual

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GREAT FOR LOW LEVEL OF CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

SBLI

4.5

Policy name

SBLI Term Life

Minimum face amount

$100,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years

SBLI

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BEST FOR BUYERS IN THEIR 50S

Transamerica

4.5

Policy name

Trendsetter Super

Minimum face amount

$25,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years

Transamerica

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GREAT FOR UNLIMITED COVERAGE AMOUNT

Nationwide

4.0

Policy name

YourLife GLT

Minimum face amount

$100,000

Level term lengths available

10, 15, 20 or 30 years

Nationwide

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Summary: Best Term Life Insurance

We analyzed cost and the ability to renew and convert the policy in order to find the best term life insurance.

 

 

 

COMPANY FORBES ADVISOR RATING POLICY NAME MINIMUM FACE AMOUNT AM BEST FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING
Corebridge Financial 5.0
Select-a-Term $100,000 A (Excellent)
Pacific Life LogoPacific Life 5.0
PL Promise Term $50,000 A+ (Superior)
Protective LogoProtective 5.0
Classic Choice Term $100,000 A+ (Superior)
Symetra LogoSymetra 5.0
SwiftTerm $100,000 A (Excellent)
Banner/Legal & General LogoBanner/Legal & General 4.5
OPTerm $100,000 A+ (Superior)
Midland National 4.5
Premier Term $100,000 A+ (Superior)
Penn Mutual LogoPenn Mutual 4.5
Term life $250,000 A+ (Superior)
SBLI LogoSBLI 4.5
SBLI Term Life $100,000 A (Excellent)
Transamerica LogoTransamerica 4.5
Trendsetter Super $25,000 A (Excellent)
Nationwide LogoNationwide 4.0
YourLife GLT $100,000 A+ (Superior)

What Is Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is a policy where you choose the time period for locking in your rates. Common choices for term length are 5, 10, 15, 25 and 30 years.

When the level term period ends, you can generally renew the policy every year (up to a certain age), although you’ll usually pay much higher life insurance rates at each renewal. That’s why it’s good to properly estimate the best term length when you buy a policy. If you do not renew, the policy will end.

Choosing the right term life insurance policy will help ensure your insurance is aligned with your needs. For example, if you want renewal and conversion options, it’s important to ask for that when shopping.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Term Life Insurance

Pros Of Term Life Insurance Cons Of Term Life Insurance
Less expensive compared to other types of insurance, such as whole life insurance.
There is no cash value in term life insurance so you can’t take money out of the policy through a loan or withdrawal like you can with cash value life insurance.
You can choose a level term period that best matches the amount of time for which you need life insurance.
If renewal is an option with your policy, the high cost of renewing term life insurance after the level term period ends will come with a serious price tag.
Your premiums will stay the same for the duration of the level term, so there are no surprises to your budget. Your rates can’t change even if your health changes.
If you decide to buy a new life insurance policy when your level term period ends, you’ll also pay more. This is because you will be older and may have new health conditions.

 


What Is Covered by Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance covers deaths of all causes, except for suicide within the first two years of the policy and misrepresentation on the life insurance application. Deaths caused by illness, disease, accidents and simply old age are all covered by life insurance.

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How Much Does a Term Life Insurance Policy Cost?

The average yearly cost for a $500,000 term life insurance policy for a woman age 40 is $264 for a 10-year term, $336 for a 20-year term and $528 for a 30-year term. A man the same age would pay $276 annually for a 10-year term, $408 for a 20-year term and $684 for a 30-year term.

You’ll see in the tables below how rates compare for a $500,000 term life policy and a $1 million term life policy when age and term lengths vary.

March 2024 Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Cost for Women: $500,000 in Coverage

Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
10-year term life
$11
$15
$33
$71
20-year term life
$16
$24
$55
$141
30-year term life
$25
$39
$94
N/A

 

March 2024 Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Cost for Men: $500,000 in Coverage

Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
10-year term life
$13
$17
$40
$106
20-year term life
$19
$28
$70
$202
30-year term life
$29
$49
$125
N/A

 

March 2024 Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Cost for Women: $1 Million in Coverage

Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
10-year term life
$15
$24
$57
$135
20-year term life
$24
$41
$96
$265
30-year term life
$40
$72
$179
N/A

 

March 2024 Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Cost for Men: $1 Million in Coverage

Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
10-year term life
$18
$26
$69
$204
20-year term life
$30
$49
$129
$381
30-year term life
$53
$91
$189
N/A

 

Cost Comparison: Best Term Life Insurance Companies

Here’s a look at rates from the best term life insurance companies in our analysis.

Company Policy Name Cost Per Year: Female Buyer Age 30, $250,000 For 10 Years Cost Per Year: Male Buyer Age 30, $250,000 For 10 Years
Banner/Legal & General
OPTerm
$101.11
$140
Symetra
SwiftTerm
$101.13
$115
Pacific Life
PL Promise Term
$101.80
$115
Corebridge Financial
Select-a-Term
$101.90
$116
Penn Mutual
Non-Convertible Term
$101.90
$116
Transamerica
Trendsetter Super
$102.50
$118
Protective
Classic Choice
$104.15
$116
Midland National
Premier Term
$112.50
$125
SBLI
Term Life
$112.81
$131.38

Source: Forbes Advisor research. Rates are based on buyers who are healthy and qualify for the best rates.


Factors Affecting Term Life Insurance Rates

The coverage amount and length of term you choose will affect how much you pay for term life insurance. Life insurance companies also typically look at factors that contribute to how long you’re expected to live. This evaluation of “mortality” is the basis for a buyer’s life insurance quote.

Factors that impact cost include:

  • Age and gender
  • Credit and past bankruptcies
  • Criminal record
  • Driving record (such as DUIs and reckless driving convictions)
  • Health
  • Health history of your parents and siblings
  • Height and weight
  • Nicotine or marijuana use
  • Past and present prescriptions
  • Plans for foreign travel to certain countries
  • Results of medical exam (if required)
  • Risky hobbies such as scuba diving or skydiving
  • Risky occupation
  • Substance or alcohol abuse history or treatment

When To Choose Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is suited for people who need life insurance to cover a specific large debt or a finite period of time. Term life can be especially appealing to parents with young families who need financial protection while raising children.

People often buy term life instead of other types of life insurance for these reasons:

  • Replace lost income.
  • Pay off a mortgage.
  • Pay for college.
  • Cover final expenses.

How to Determine How Much Life Insurance You Need

According to the American Council of Life Insurers, there are about 60 million uninsured and underinsured American households, with an average coverage gap of $200,000. To make sure you buy life insurance with enough coverage, use an online life insurance calculator.

Our life insurance calculator asks:

  • How much annual income would your dependents need if you were to pass away?
  • How long would your dependents need financial support?
  • How much debt do you need to pay off?
  • How much tuition would you like to cover?
  • How much would you like to provide for burial expenses?
  • How much savings do you have?
  • How much life insurance coverage do you already have?

With these dollar amounts, the calculator instantly computes how much life insurance you need to adequately cover your household debts and future expenses.

 

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How to Choose the Ideal Term Length for Term Life Insurance

The main factor in choosing a term length is that it should be long enough to cover your financial obligations. If you need coverage to pay off your mortgage and you’ve got 20 years left, you’ll want no less than a 20-year term policy. If you’ve got 25 years left on your mortgage, but also want to make sure your new baby is covered through college, you may want to consider a longer term of 30 years.

Perhaps you want coverage until you retire, so a payout could be used by your family as income replacement. Then the first step is to estimate when you plan to retire, and use that to determine your term length.

Choosing the right term length for your needs is important for multiple reasons. Rates for a longer term are more expensive than for a shorter term, but locking in your rates now for a longer term may end up saving you big in the long run.


How We Recommend Finding the Best Term Life Insurance

When you’re shopping for term life insurance, it may be tempting to look only at the prices offered. While price is an important factor, it is not the only one.

Here are some tips we recommend for finding the best term life insurance coverage.

Compare Quotes From Multiple Life Insurance Companies

Your age and health play a substantial role in your term life insurance quotes and the coverage available to you. We suggest comparing life insurance quotes from multiple companies so you’ll be able to identify the true best value.

Consider Coverage Features in Addition to Cost

Yes, cost is very important when selecting a life insurance policy. But don’t focus solely on price or you may sell yourself short on finding the best term life insurance policy and insurer for your needs. Here are some term life coverage features we recommend considering when shopping.

  • term life conversion feature allowing you to convert the term policy into a permanent policy in the future. You’ll be glad you have this feature in the future if you develop health problems and decide you want to extend your life insurance coverage.
  • Living benefits that offer the option of accessing your death benefit for various reasons while you’re still living. For example, an accelerated death benefit will let you take money from your own death benefit if you develop a terminal illness in the future.
  • Life insurance riders that give you the flexibility of customizing a term life policy. For example, a waiver of premium rider will waive your life insurance payments if you become disabled in the future.

Ask About the Policy’s Accelerated Death Benefit

We find that the best term life insurance companies offer an accelerated death benefit, which is a type of living benefit. If you become terminally ill, an accelerated death benefit allows you to access your death benefit while you’re still living. Some insurers offer this same feature if you become chronically or critically ill.

Ask About Term Life Conversion

Converting a term life insurance policy into a permanent life insurance policy is a feature offered by most of the best term life insurance companies. This feature allows you to trade your term life policy for a permanent policy, such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance.

Check the rules for conversion with any insurer you consider. You usually must make a conversion during your level term period or before, and most companies also have an age cap—whichever comes first is your deadline for converting.

Related: Term Vs. Permanent Life Insurance

Find Out the Rules for Renewing the Policy

Term policies provide set rates for the level term period, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. During that time, you pay a fixed premium. Many insurers allow you to renew the policy after the initial level term period ends, up to a certain age. However, the cost of renewing term life insurance can be exorbitant, so be sure to consider that when weighing your options and shopping for term life insurance. It’s better to buy a long policy from the start, rather than count on the option of renewal in the future.

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Methodology

To find the best term life insurance, we used our own research and data provided by AccuQuote, a national online life insurance agency. AccuQuote has been in business for over 30 years and works only with insurance companies that have top financial strength ratings. We evaluated 20 companies on these measurements:

  • Cost (80% of score): Because price is the primary concern of many term life insurance shoppers, we gave weight to this category. We scored costs based on each company’s rates for 30- and 40-year-old men and women for 10, 20 and 30 terms and for coverage amounts of $250,000, $500,000, $1 million and $2 million.
  • Guaranteed renewability (10% of score): Companies earned points if their term life policies can be renewed at the end of the level term period.
  • Term life conversion (10% of score): Companies earned points if their term life policies can be converted to permanent life insurance.

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