Life insurance aims to help you cover expenses at the end of your life and designate a trusted person to receive an amount of money you set aside for them after you pass. You can leave money for your spouse, child, close friend, a charity, or whomever you choose. It's often used to cover funeral expenses, outstanding debts, or money for a child's future tuition. However, knowing the cost of your policy may be tricky without a life insurance calculator.
A surviving spouse can also use life insurance benefits to maintain their current living standards after losing a partner's income. If you have any of these financial obligations, you may want to consider at least getting life insurance. An independent insurance agent can help you find the right type of policy for you, but first, check out our life insurance cost calculator.
Life Insurance Cost Calculator
How will this quote help me?
Your quote is based on several common factors to give you a clear picture of the cost you can expect, though an independent agent can shop around and maybe even improve your rate!
NOTE: This quote is not final, though we did work with professional actuaries to help get you a ballpark figure to get started.
Types of Life Insurance
Different insurance companies offer different types of life insurance, each with its own attractive benefits. But in general, there are four major types of life insurance. To calculate how much life insurance coverage you need, you'll want to consider which type works best for you and your family's wishes.
- Whole life insurance: Coverage is designed to cover a policyholder for their whole life and offers fixed premiums and a guaranteed cash value. This coverage is essential for folks who need a policy that'll last their whole lives, and is often bought by customers starting in middle age.
- Universal life insurance: Coverage provides more flexibility than whole life insurance by allowing policyholders more flexible death benefits, savings options, and premium payments. This type of coverage is essential for anyone who needs more flexibility and options with their long-term life insurance.
- Term life insurance: Coverage is set up for a certain period of time selected by the policyholder, such as 10, 20, or 30 years, and coverage is only active during that term. This type of coverage is often bought by younger individuals.
- Permanent life insurance: This is basically another term for whole life insurance or universal life, which are coverages that last your whole life. These policies are essential for folks with long-term dependents who will still rely on their income after they pass, or for folks who need to set money aside to pay off outstanding debts.
There are benefits to each form of life insurance. Your independent insurance agent can help you select the kind that's right for you. Before then, be sure to check out our term life insurance calculator and whole life insurance calculator above to get an idea of your policy's costs.
Factors That May Affect Your Life Insurance Estimate
A key way to estimate life insurance costs is by evaluating how several different factors apply to you personally. There are several factors that impact life insurance premium rates, including:
- Age: The older you are, the more you typically pay for your life insurance, as your risk of death increases with age.
- Gender: In general, women tend to pay less for life insurance coverage than men, in part because statistically men die at a younger age. A woman might pay quite a bit less than the premium that a man of the same age would for life insurance.
- Smoker vs. non-smoker: The lifestyle you lead can affect your health and risk of dying early, which in turn impacts your life insurance rates. A 20-year-old smoker can pay more than three times the premium that a non-smoker the same age would for their life insurance.
- Medical conditions: If you have a preexisting condition when you buy life insurance, you're likely to pay quite a bit more for your coverage. An 84-year-old with a current health condition can pay an average of 1.25 times as much as they would for life insurance without any ailments.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol levels are just one aspect of your health that gets evaluated on the medical exam that some insurance companies require when applying for life insurance. Someone with high cholesterol is likely to pay a bit more for their coverage than someone with lower or more "normal" levels.
- Blood pressure: Medical exams, when required for life insurance, also check your blood pressure rating. High blood pressure can result in higher life insurance premiums and vice-versa.
- Overall health: In general, the healthier you are, the lower your risks of death, at least in the eyes of life insurance companies. The better your overall health is at the time of applying for coverage, the lower your premiums are likely to be.
An independent insurance agent can help you find exact quotes for life insurance in your area. The life insurance quote calculator on this page can also help you get a better idea.
Calculating How Much Life Insurance You Need
While the life insurance rate calculator takes into account factors like your overall health and career field, there are still other factors that must be considered when calculating how much coverage you need in the first place. Use the following information to evaluate how much life insurance you need, as well as how each factor impacts the life insurance rate calculator.
- Final expenses (burial): If your goal with a life insurance policy is to put enough money aside to cover your final expenses, then you'll want to determine the estimated cost of your funeral, burial, etc. The more you need to set aside for your final expenses, the more your premium will cost.
- Number of coverage years: How long you need your life insurance policy to be in effect will determine whether you need term or whole life insurance. Over time, you're likely to pay quite a bit more for whole life insurance than you would for a term life insurance policy.
- Replacement income: If you'll be using your life insurance to replace your income for your spouse or other surviving family members after you pass, you'll need to calculate how much coverage will accomplish this. The higher the amount of income you need to replace, the more expensive your coverage will be.
- Savings & investment totals: The more money you already have set aside in savings and investments and the like, the less you'll need to rely on life insurance for financial purposes. The higher the value of your savings and investments, the less coverage you'll need and the lower your life insurance costs will probably be.
- Number of children: The number of children or other dependents you have also influences how much life insurance coverage you need. The more money you need to set aside, and the more family members or other dependents you need it for, the more you'll pay for life insurance.
- Mortgage: If you'll be using your life insurance to pay off your mortgage after you pass, then the amount of coverage you need must correspond to your mortgage costs. The higher the mortgage, the higher your life insurance costs will be.
- Debt: If you'll be using your life insurance to pay off outstanding debts after you pass, obviously the amount of coverage you purchase must match or exceed this. The higher the debt amount, the more coverage you'll need, and the more you'll pay for your premiums.
- Dependents' education needs: If you'll be using your life insurance to fund your dependents' education costs, like college tuition, you'll need to purchase enough coverage to achieve this. The more dependents you have to fund education for, the more coverage you'll need, and the higher your costs will be.
- Existing life insurance: Any current life insurance you have can be factored in as an asset. The higher the value of your current life insurance, the less new coverage you're likely to require, leading to lower premium costs on the new policy.
An independent insurance agent knows all the factors that go into calculating how much life insurance you need. The simple life insurance calculator on this page can also help. If you're unsure of what to consider when shopping for life insurance, your independent insurance agent can help.
FAQ about Calculating Life Insurance
You can calculate life insurance by evaluating several factors about your life now. The cost of life insurance is influenced by your current health status, your career field, whether you're a smoker or non-smoker, any current medical conditions, your age, and your gender. In general, the younger and healthier you are, the less you'll pay for life insurance. If you want a more accurate cost estimate or quote, check out our life insurance calculator.
The amount of money paid out by your life insurance policy, in the form of a death benefit, depends on how you set up your coverage. You'll select your death benefit amount when applying for coverage. If you already have a life insurance policy and are unsure of the death benefit amount, your independent insurance agent can help review the policy with you.
You'll need to evaluate your current lifestyle and long-term financial needs to evaluate how long you'll need your life insurance policy to be in effect. Factors to consider include income you may need to replace for a spouse or dependents, whether you need to fund dependents' education, if you have a mortgage, or any other outstanding debts. If your children are almost grown, you may only need a term life insurance policy, whereas if they're very young, you might want a permanent policy.
Whether you need life insurance after 60 depends entirely on your current and future financial situations. If you're 60 or close to it and don't have a mortgage or other outstanding debt or dependents that rely on your income for any reason, you might not need life insurance. However, if you'll need to leave behind financial assistance to help pay for your final expenses like a funeral, or otherwise assist a spouse or dependents after you pass, then you may want to get life insurance after all.
Life insurance policies come with a contestability period, or the time in which a carrier can further investigate the policyholder's coverage application, cause of death, etc. This period usually lasts for two years. So if a policyholder died within the first year or two of having their coverage, the life insurance company would be likely to conduct an investigation of their medical records and cause of death, and compare that data to their coverage application. If the carrier discovers that the applicant was dishonest in any way on their coverage application, the beneficiary can be denied the death benefit, and the policy effectively canceled.
Yes, you can have two life insurance policies. For some folks, one life insurance policy isn't enough to adequately cover their needs. You might already be covered by one life insurance policy through your employer, but it might not be enough to fulfill your current or future financial needs.
In this case, you might choose to buy a separate term life insurance policy to provide more coverage, and be able to meet your financial goals in the short term. However, you could also opt to add a whole life insurance policy instead of a term policy, so that you could help fund your retirement, set aside money for funeral expenses, etc. An independent insurance agent can help you decide if adding a second life insurance policy is the right choice for you, and if so, which type of policy makes the most sense.
The type of life insurance that's best for you depends entirely on your unique situation and financial needs. Term life insurance is better for folks who want to be able to choose their policy's coverage length, and enjoy consistent and lower premiums. However, those who need a policy that accrues cash value and covers them for their whole life will want to purchase whole life insurance instead. Your independent insurance agent can help advise you on which type of life insurance is better for you and your family.
Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best life insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Lloyd Foster
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