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Life insurance protects anyone who depends on you financially. If you die unexpectedly, life insurance provides money that can pay debts or offset the sudden loss of income for your family.

Thirty percent of Americans know they need more life insurance, and 25% wish that their spouse or partner would purchase more life insurance. (Source: LIMRA)

Why people buy life insurance

There are good reasons to buy life insurance:

  1. To protect your family and home. Life insurance provides a financial safety net for your dependents and ensures they’re not burdened by your mortgage or other debts.
  2. To protect your business. Life insurance can help your partners and employees keep the business running.
  3. To protect your heirs. For high-net-worth individuals with large estates that will be subject to estate tax, life insurance can help heirs pay the taxes rather than selling off assets.

The two major types of life insurance are term life and permanent life (such as whole life insurance). For the majority of consumers, term life insurance is the most suitable choice. Term insurance covers you for a set amount of time, and the payout can be used to cover any expenses in case you die. Term life insurance quotes are also the most affordable among all life insurance policy types. Here’s more on the differences between term life and whole life insurance.

Here’s a look at sample annual life insurance rates for healthy people:

For a 30-year-old male:

Policy amount 20-year term life 30-year term life
$250, 000 $156 $240
$500, 000 $242 $403
$1, 000, 000 $415 $720

For a 30-year-old female:

$141 $206
$208 $335
$347 $585

How life insurance quotes are determined

Life insurance companies use life expectancy as the basis for determining quotes. Anything that could shorten your life expectancy will typically lead to a higher price. This includes:

  • Your current age.
  • Your sex. (On average, women live longer than men.)
  • Whether or not you smoke.
  • Current health conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
  • Your immediate family’s health history, such as if one of your parents has had cancer.

Don’t let a health condition stop you from getting quotes - 80% of people overestimate the cost of life insurance. Term life insurance is an affordable way to provide a crucial safety net for your family.

5 important definitions to know if you’re buying life insurance
Policy value The amount the life insurance policy pays out if you die during the term of the policy. Also called a death benefit.
Premium This is the price you pay for life insurance. Premiums can typically be paid monthly, quarterly or annually.
Beneficiary The person designated to receive the life insurance payout, such as a spouse.
The insured The person whose life is insured. The policy pays out if the insured person dies.

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