Heidi works with top-rated life insurance carriers to bring her clients the highest quality protection at the most competitive prices. She is a wife, mom, and former school teacher, specializing in helping families. As parents, it's our responsibility to ensure our family is financially sound, regardless of what life brings. Her goal is to make the process of obtaining life insurance as simp...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2020

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Buying cheap term life insurance and securing adequate financial protection are simultaneously possible.

In order to find the cheapest life insurance you qualify for, you will need to familiarize yourself with the best companies to apply with and the factors that influence a policy’s price.

Consider this your essential guide to finding a low-cost term life insurance policy, including the step-by-step buying process.

Table Of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Cheap Term Life Insurance
  3. Step-by-Step Process
  4. Factors Affecting Cost
  5. Bottom Line

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Overview

By far, the most affordable, economical, cheapest form of life insurance is term. We’re talking less than how much daily latte costs. 

Term coverage is purchased more often than any other form of life insurance. 

What Cheap Term Life Insurance Is

Term coverage has a number of defining characteristics.

  • Financial protection for a specific number of years
  • Available in large and modest face amounts
  • Typically premiums are fixed

What Cheap Term Life Insurance Is Not

To be clear, term coverage is not all-encompassing.

  • No cash value
  • Policy loans are not an option
  • Does not provide lifelong protection

However, if your goal is to find low-priced coverage to safeguard your family, odds are, term life insurance is your best bet.

Cheap Term Life Insurance Companies

Your unique needs will determine the best life insurance carrier to apply with.

But, generally speaking, the following five carriers tend to have affordable rates.

Important – always receive multiple quotes from multiple carriers with the help of an independent agent. Premium rates vary drastically.

We’ll take a look at sample rates for the following top-rated cheap term life insurance companies.

  1. Banner
  2. Protective
  3. Prudential
  4. Mutual of Omaha
  5. Sagicor

Owned by Legal and General Group, Banner’s roots began in 1836 in London, England.

Banner offers low-cost term life insurance and is a go-to carrier for applicants with a few health complications.  

Sample Banner Quotes

$250,000, 10-year term policy*

Male

  • 30 year old: $11.18/mo
  • 40 year old: $15.05/mo
  • 50 year old: $30.74/mo

Female

  • 30 year old: $8.71/mo
  • 40 year old: $13.67/mo
  • 50 year old: $26.44/mo

*Sample rates are for healthy, non-tobacco individuals

Protective

Protective was founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 1907.

Known for affordable term life insurance, Protective specializes in helping clients with a history of heart conditions.

Sample Protective Quotes

$250,000, 10-year term policy*

Male

  • 30 year old: $9.77/mo
  • 40 year old: $11.89/mo
  • 50 year old: $24.17/mo

Female

  • 30 year old: $8.92/mo
  • 40 year old: $11.04/mo
  • 50 year old: $20.78/mo

*Sample rates are for healthy, non-tobacco individuals

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Prudential

Based in Newark, New Jersey, Prudential was founded in 1875.

Prudential is a gigantic life insurance carrier with economical term life insurance policies.

Sample Prudential Quotes

$250,000, 10-year term policy*

Male

  • 30 year old: $19.03/mo
  • 40 year old: $21.00/mo
  • 50 year old: $31.06/mo

Female

  • 30 year old: $15.53/mo
  • 40 year old: $17.28/mo
  • 50 year old: $30.41/mo

*Sample rates are for healthy, non-tobacco individuals

Mutual of Omaha

Founded in 1909 in Omaha, Nebraska, Mutual of Omaha was originally called, Mutual Benefit Health and Accident Association.

Mutual of Omaha’s premiums are competitively priced and they are known for excellent customer service.

Sample Mutual of Omaha Quotes

$250,000, 10-year term policy*

Male

  • 30 year old: $12.04/mo
  • 40 year old: $15.05/mo
  • 50 year old: $26.02/mo

Female

  • 30 year old: $10.11/mo
  • 40 year old: $13.98/mo
  • 50 year old: $21.72/mo

*Sample rates are for healthy, non-tobacco individuals

Sagicor

Established in 1840 in Barbados, Sagicor was originally called the Barbados Mutual Life Assurance Society.

Sagicor is also known for their highly-affordable term life rates.

Sample Sagicor Quotes

$250,000, 10-year term policy*

Male

  • 30 year old: $11.77/mo
  • 40 year old: $17.31/mo
  • 50 year old: $35.51/mo

Female

  • 30 year old: $10.09/mo
  • 40 year old: $16.76/mo
  • 50 year old: $30.08/mo

*Sample rates are for healthy, non-tobacco individuals

Note – Sagicor’s underwriting often skips the medical exam. 

Steps To Buy Cheap Life Insurance

There are five important steps to take in order to buy the most affordable life insurance you qualify for.

cheap term life insurance

The process is straightforward to find low-cost term coverage.

1. Do Your Homework

While cheap coverage is the goal, a policy won’t be nearly as meaningful to your loved ones unless it covers their financial needs.

Your first step is to conduct a needs analysis. Grab a pencil and piece of paper to determine:

  • Annual income
  • Debt (mortgage, loans, credit cards)
  • Years until retirement
  • Financial needs of loved ones

Important – some life insurance is better than no life insurance.

2. Partner With An Independent Agent

Most importantly, partner with an independent agent.

Why? To find the cheapest policy, you will need multiple quotes from multiple carriers.

Captive agents only offer quotes from the one carrier they represent.

More options almost always mean lower premium prices.

3. Application

Once you have selected a low-cost term policy, with the help of your agent, complete the application process.

Often, this is completed online and over the phone.

4. Underwriting

A representative from the life insurance company will get in touch with you for the health interview. Expect the phone conversation to last about 20 minutes.

You will be asked questions about:

  • Basic information – name, date of birth, gender, address
  • Medical history
  • Family medical history
  • Job
  • Hobbies
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Driving record
  • Military status

Further, online databases are checked on your behalf:

  • Medical Information Bureau
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Prescription database

Next, depending on the policy that you applied for, a paramedical exam will be scheduled.

Usually, the exam is completed from the comfort of your home and includes blood pressure readings, weight/height measurements, urinalysis, and bloodwork.

Note – often, a medically underwritten policy will be at least a little cheaper than a no exam policy.

5. Signatures

To finalize your policy’s issuance, signatures are one of the last steps.

Frequently, electronic signatures suffice.

Congratulations, you bought affordable coverage to protect your loved ones!

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Factors Affecting Cost

Buying cheap term life insurance begins with understanding the primary factors that impact cost.

To start, the two components that, without exception, affect the rates of a term policy are:

  1. Face amount – how much life insurance you purchase, like $500,000
  2. Term length – how long your policy will last, like 20-year term

Underwriters (that’s who evaluates your application) will look for additional factors – red flags if you will – to determine just how affordable your policy will be.

Some are within your control while others are not.

Ten factors are commonly associated with price-hikes to your life insurance premiums.

1. Older Age

Your age is one of the biggest factors influencing the cost of your policy.

The cost increase compounds as you get older. For example, you will see minimum price increases if you apply for coverage in your 20s and 30s.

However, by the time you are in your 50s, each year the premium rate typically increases substantially.

Note – if you are older, evaluate life insurance for seniors

Bottom line – apply for coverage now. While you can’t turn back the clock, your rate (based on age) will likely be more affordable now than next year.

2. Male

Males are generally charged more for life insurance than females.

Why? In a word, risk.

Men tend to have shorter lifespans. Life insurance rates are based on life expectancy, and males, on average, don’t live as long as females.

Dangerous jobs, hobbies, and lifestyle choices are the main contributing elements.

3. Medical History

Remember, life insurance rates are based on life expectancy.

While it may sound callous, if you have a serious medical condition, underwriters will often consider it a red flag.

For example, life insurance rates tend to increase with:

4. Family Health

Close, blood-related family members’ health history can sometimes affect your life insurance premiums.

If a parent or sibling has a history of a serious health problem, like heart disease, you will need to disclose that information during the application process.

Keep in mind – if your family member was older, say 60 to 70, when their diagnosis occurred, many term life insurance carriers will not ding your application.

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5. Occupation

Life insurance underwriters consider the following as high-risk jobs:

  • Commercial fishing
  • Police officer
  • Firefighter
  • High rise steelworker
  • Roofer
  • Farmer
  • Truck driver
  • Power line worker
  • Extraction worker
  • Some pilots

Note – even if you work in a dangerous line of work, your specific job functions will determine whether or not your premiums will increase.

6. Hobbies

If your avocations are the adrenaline-rush type, you might pay more for your life insurance policy.

  • Skydiving or base jumping
  • Scuba diving
  • Rock climbing or mountaineering
  • Motorcycle riding
  • Hunting
  • Boating or fishing

Keep in mind – different term life insurance companies view certain hobbies more favorably. An independent agent can point you in the right direction.

7. Credit History

Your financial health is a determinant of the affordability of your term life insurance policy.

Why? Serious credit concerns, like a history of bankruptcy, are associated with mortality rates.

In other words, if you make risky choices with your money, you are more likely to make risky lifestyle choices.

8. Tobacco Use

Understandably, in most cases, smokers (nicotine users) are charged more for life insurance.

That said, some carriers will offer non-tobacco rates under certain circumstances. For example, the occasional cigar smoker may qualify for regular rates.

Important – be honest about your tobacco use. Honesty is the only policy. You could be denied coverage if you lie on your application.

9. Drug Use

Especially if you have entered a treatment facility for substance abuse, underwriters will need to know about it.

Any illicit drug use, alcohol abuse or prescription drug abuse is concerning for a carrier because it demonstrates a higher likelihood of mortality. Note – underwriters tend to view marijuana use differently than other forms of drugs.

10. Record

If you have citations on your driving record, especially reckless driving or a DUI conviction, plan to pay more for your term policy.

Or, if you have a criminal record, underwriters will likely charge you more.

Why? Remember, life insurance companies absorb risk in exchange for financial protection.

If you present more risk – like with a history of breaking the law – you will be charged accordingly, or even denied coverage.

Bottom Line

Cheap life insurance is available to fit just every budget. Almost always, term policies are the most affordable.

Your best bet at finding a low-cost term policy to fit your loved one’s needs is to collaborate with an independent agent so that you can consider multiple quotes.