30-Year Term Life Insurance: Coverage & Cost

30 Year Term Life Insurance
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If you are looking for financial protection for your loved ones, a 30-year term life insurance policy can offer peace of mind. It offers coverage over a period of 30 years with a guaranteed cost. You pay the same amount to own the policy each month, and if you die before the 30-year term ends, the policy pays out a death benefit to your beneficiaries.

There is no cash value component in a 30-year term life insurance policy the way there is with certain types of permanent life insurance. However, term life insurance is less expensive than permanent coverage.

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance provides a death benefit that pays the beneficiaries of the policyholder throughout a specified period of time. Once the term expires, the policyholder can either renew it for another term, possibly convert the policy to permanent coverage, or allow the term life insurance policy to lapse.

When you buy a term life insurance policy, the insurance company determines the premium based on the policy’s value (the payout amount) and such factors as your age, gender, and health. Other considerations affecting rates include the company’s business expenses, how much it earns from its investments, and mortality rates for each age.

In some cases, a medical exam may be required. The insurance company may also inquire about your driving record, current medications, smoking status, occupation, hobbies, family history, and similar information.

If you die during the policy term, the insurer will pay the policy’s face value to your beneficiaries. This cash benefit — which is not typically taxable — may be used by beneficiaries to settle your healthcare and funeral costs, consumer debt, mortgage debt, and other expenses. However, beneficiaries are not required to use the insurance proceeds to settle the deceased’s debts.

If the policy expires before your death or you live beyond the policy term, there is no payout. You may be able to renew a term policy at expiration, but the premiums will be recalculated based on your age at the time of renewal.

Types of term life insurance

There are several types of term life insurance. The best option will depend on your individual circumstances. Generally, most companies offer terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, although a few offer 35- and 40-year terms.

Level-term or level-premium policy

Level-premium insurance has a fixed monthly payment for the life of the policy. Most term life insurance has a level premium, and it’s the type we’ve been referring to in most of this article. As we mentioned before, this type of policy generally provides coverage for a period ranging from 10 to 30 years. The death benefit is also fixed.

Because actuaries must account for the increasing costs of insurance over the life of the policy’s effectiveness, the level premium is comparatively higher than yearly renewable term life insurance.

Yearly Renewable Term (YRT) Policy

Yearly renewable term (YRT) policies are one-year policies that can be renewed each year without providing evidence of insurability.

The premiums rise from year to year as the insured person ages. Thus, the premiums can become prohibitively expensive as the policyholder ages. But they may be a good option for someone who needs temporary insurance.

Decreasing term policy

These policies have a death benefit that declines each year according to a predetermined schedule. The policyholder pays a fixed-level premium for the duration of the policy.

Decreasing term policies are often used in concert with a mortgage, with the policyholder matching the payout of the insurance to the declining principal of the home loan.

What is a 30-year term life policy?

A 30-year term life insurance policy is a type of term life insurance that provides temporary coverage for a period of 30 years. Unlike permanent life insurance, which can be expensive, term life insurance is significantly more affordable. With a 30-year term life insurance policy, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit if you pass away while the policy is still in effect, as long as you have not missed any premium payments.

For instance, if you purchase a policy with a $500,000 face value at 35, you will be covered until you are 65 years old. If you were to pass away at the age of 55, your beneficiaries would have to submit a claim, and once approved, your insurer would pay out the death benefit as a tax-free lump sum. Your beneficiaries could then use the money as needed, such as to cover funeral expenses, pay off debts, or cover household expenses.

While a 30-year term life insurance policy is the longest-term option available, if you require coverage for a more extended period, permanent life insurance may be a better choice.

How does a 30-year term life insurance policy work?

Term life insurance is intended to cover you for a set term. During that time, you pay level premiums that do not change. If you pass away while coverage is in force, your beneficiaries receive the death benefit prescribed by the policy. If you don’t pass away, the policy will expire at the end of the term, but you may have the option to renew at a much higher rate.

When you purchase a 30-year life insurance policy, you’ll need to decide two things:

  • How much coverage you want to have
  • Who should receive the payout

It’s possible to name just one life insurance beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries for a term life policy. If a death benefit is paid out, your beneficiaries can use it for whatever they want: to cover funeral or burial expenses, day-to-day living expenses, tuition, or mortgage debt.

When buying life insurance, 30 years might seem like a long time to keep the policy in place. But it may be reassuring to you and your loved ones to know that the policy will be there should it be needed during that time frame.

At the end of the 30-year level term, your life insurance policy expires if you don’t renew it. (Not all life insurance companies offer a renewal option.) No further premiums need to be paid, and your beneficiaries will no longer be able to collect a death benefit if you have outlived the policy.

How much does a 30-year term life policy cost on average?

The cost of a 30-year term life insurance policy is determined by several factors, including the policyholder’s age, gender, health, occupation, and hobbies. Insurance providers use this information to assess the policyholder’s risk of dying during the policy term. The higher the risk, the higher the premium the policyholder will have to pay.

Age is a significant factor, as older policyholders are more likely to pass away during the policy term, so their premiums will be higher. Gender also plays a role, as women typically live longer than men and therefore have lower premiums.

Health is another critical factor, as policyholders with pre-existing medical conditions or unhealthy habits like smoking are more likely to die during the policy term and will face higher premiums. Occupation and hobbies can also affect the cost of the policy, as some jobs and activities are riskier than others.

Additionally, the amount of coverage desired, or the face value of the policy, will impact the cost. The higher the face value, the higher the premium. Finally, the length of the policy term will also impact the cost, with longer terms typically costing more than shorter ones.

The average cost of a 30-year term life insurance policy is $336 a year for $500,000 in coverage for a 30-year-old female, based on Forbes Advisor’s analysis of life insurance rates.

The amount you’ll pay for life insurance will usually depend on several factors, including your age, gender, health and smoking status, along with other factors. Here are the average life insurance rates for a 30-year term life insurance policy for different ages, genders and coverage options.

Average 30-year term life insurance rates per year

Age and gender$250,000 in coverage$500,000 in coverage$1 million in coverage
30-year-old female$240$336$588
30-year-old male$276$444$780
40-year-old female$300$528$984
40-year-old male$372$684$1,284
50-year-old female$660$1,200$2,280
50-year-old male$900$1,680$3,216
Average annual rates are for a 30-year term life insurance policy for non-smoking males and females in excellent health and of average height and weight.

Benefits of term life insurance

Term life insurance is attractive to young people with children. Parents can obtain substantial coverage for a low cost, and if the insured dies while the policy is in effect, the family can rely on the death benefit to replace lost income.

These policies are also well-suited for people with growing families. They can maintain the coverage needed until, for example, their children reach adulthood and become self-sufficient.

The term life benefit may be equally useful to an older surviving spouse. However, premiums for people who wait until they are older to apply for insurance will pay higher premiums than if they’d gotten a level-term policy when they were younger. 

Each insurance company sets a maximum age for their term life insurance coverage. This usually ranges from about 80 to 90 years old. 

Term life insurance vs. permanent life insurance

The main differences between a term life insurance policy and a permanent insurance policy (such as whole life or universal life insurance) are the duration of the policy, the accumulation of cash value, and the cost. The right choice for you will depend on your needs.

Here are some things to consider:

Cost of premiums

Term life policies are ideal for people who want substantial coverage at a low cost. People who own whole life insurance pay more in premiums for less coverage but have the security of knowing they are protected for life.

People who buy term life pay premiums for an extended period, but they get nothing in return unless they have the misfortune to die before the term expires. Plus, term life insurance premiums increase with age.

Availability of coverage

Unless a term policy is guaranteed renewable, the company could refuse to renew coverage at the end of a policy’s term if the policyholder develops a severe illness. Permanent insurance provides coverage for life as long as the premiums are paid, regardless of changes in the insured’s health.

Investment value

Some customers prefer permanent life insurance because the policies typically contain an investment or savings vehicle. A portion of each premium payment is allocated to the cash value, which usually grows while the policy remains in force. Some plans pay dividends, which can be paid out in cash or left on deposit within the policy.

Over time, the cash value may grow large enough to pay the premiums on the policy. There are also several unique tax benefits, such as tax-deferred cash value growth and tax-free access to the cash portion.

However, financial advisors warn that the growth rate of a policy with cash value is often paltry compared to other financial instruments, such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Also, substantial administrative fees often cut into the rate of return. This is the source of  the phrase, “buy term and invest the difference.”

However, the performance of permanent insurance can be steady and it is tax-advantaged, providing additional benefits when the stock market is volatile.

Is a 30-year term life policy worth it?

30-year term life insurance may be worth it to you if you’re interested in a lengthier coverage term and want to lock in level premiums while you’re young and healthy.

It’s important to consider what happens when the 30-year term draws to a close. If you believe you’ll need life insurance past that point, you may benefit more from purchasing permanent life insurance instead, which can cover you for life.


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