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Cheap Life Insurance Policy Quotes

The Best Cheap Life Insurance

We’ll start by saying that the best cheap life insurance is not always the cheapest life insurance. While a low premium is important, it’s equally crucial to choose a policy that promises ample protection.

We analyzed more than 60 providers and found the five that offer impressively low premiums without skimping on coverage. Their term life policies are flexible, customizable, and reliable. We recommend comparing quotes from all five to find the coverage you need at the most affordable price point.

Consistently Low Premiums

Term Lengths (In Years) 10, 15, 20, 30

Best Customer Service

Term Lengths (In Years) 10, 20, 30

Best Range of Policy Sizes

Term Lengths (In Years) 15, 20, 25, 30

Most Flexible Term Lengths

Term Lengths (In Years) 10-20

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How we chose the best cheap life insurance

Between the two main life insurance types (term and permanent), term is almost always the cheapest. The main reason? It’s set to expire during your lifetime — meaning your provider doesn’t expect to ever pay out on the policy. For a more in-depth comparison of the two types, see our life insurance buying guide.

Availability

We looked for companies that we could recommend to anyone, which meant setting some initial standards for availability. We only considered providers that write term life insurance in at least 40 states with no special eligibility requirements. That meant cutting out a few popular companies, including USAA, which earns high praise for its insurance but is only available to US armed service members and their families. Our top picks are accessible to just about everyone, regardless of who you are or where you live.

Financial stability

We also checked in to make sure that all of our finalists have rock-solid financials. This is a crucial step, as strong ratings guarantee a provider’s ability to pay out on your claim if need be. We set the bar high: an “Excellent” score or better from A.M. Best (which specializes in insurance ratings) as well as top marks from a second source. We accepted A’s or higher from S&P Global or Moody’s, two of the largest independent agencies.

Conversion option

While the best cheap life insurance is always term, the option to convert your term policy to a permanent or “whole life” policy is invaluable if life throws a curveball. Say you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness; some insurers may deem you too “risky” to re-insure and refuse a policy renewal or conversion, leaving your dependents with the unexpected weight of medical expenses. We made sure that all of our top picks guarantee the option to convert to permanent insurance. By doing so, you have the ability to lock in a death benefit payout for your beneficiaries if need be.

Guaranteed renewability

All of our top picks offer a period of guaranteed renewability. During that set time (which may be as late as age 95, depending on your provider) you cannot be denied the right to purchase additional coverage. This is a great option if you’d like to extend your term by just a year or two, rather than convert to a permanent policy.

When is renewability important? Maybe you refinance your mortgage and now owe payments for longer than you originally planned. Since life insurance coverage aims to keep dependents out of tight spots — like being saddled with mortgage payments they can’t afford — it would make sense in cases like this to purchase an extra year at a time. This annual extension usually comes with a steep price hike. But should the unexpected happen, it’s still cheaper than letting your policy lapse prematurely.

Policy riders

In its most basic form, life insurance provides a death benefit to your beneficiaries. But with the right add-ons or “riders,” it can help to protect you during life as well, providing financial aid in case of disability, terminal illness, long term care needs, and so on. We put together a list of the 16 most common riders and checked in with our contenders to see who had the best selections. All of our top picks offer a great array by industry standards.

Quote comparison

Four nationwide providers nailed our basic criteria: TIAA Life, Transamerica, New York Life, and State Farm. Our final test was an apples-to-apples quote comparison to find the lowest prices. We strove for a holistic sample set, collecting estimates for both sexes, a variety of ages, and differing health levels. Unfortunately, New York Life doesn’t offer quotes online, so you’ll have to call an agent directly to see how its prices stack up.

Between the providers that did offer us quotes, TIAA Life came out on top with consistently low premiums across the board. State Farm, on the opposite end, rang in highest for most people. Our other major takeaway? Tobacco use almost always means a big price hike — generally around two times what a non-smoker would pay.

Premium prices vary by company, so be sure to compare quotes before buying

Keep in mind that these are only sample prices meant for a broad comparison. Premiums are highly individual, so you’ll have to request personal quotes to get a concrete idea of how our top picks stack up for you. It’s also important to remember that “lowest price” doesn’t always mean “best option.” Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a bit more for features that you value; for instance, State Farm is slightly more expensive, but it’s known for having top-ranked customer service. Be sure to weigh both pricing and perks before making a final decision.

The 4 best cheap life insurance providers

  • TIAA Life — Consistently Low Premiums
  • State Farm — Best Customer Service
  • Transamerica — Best Range of Policy Sizes
  • New York Life — Most Flexible Term Lengths

TIAA Life: Consistently Low Premiums

  • Low premiums across the board
  • Outstanding conversion policy
  • Easy sign-up
  • Fewer rider options
  • Inflexible term lengths

Why we chose it

Low premiums across the board

TIAA took home the gold in our quote showdown, consistently offering the lowest monthly prices for men and women alike. Premiums as low as $10 per month make it affordable for just about anyone to get term coverage and protect their loved ones financially. Of course, it’s important to remember that quotes are personal. You’ll have to check in with more than one company to be sure that you’re getting your best price. But we highly recommend throwing TIAA into the mix — it’s likely to be a competitive option.

Outstanding conversion policy

TIAA’s term-to-permanent conversion policy is unparallelled. At any time during your original term, you have the option to convert to any of its permanent policies. All other providers restrict either the window during which you can convert (like New York Life) or the permanent policies that are eligible for conversion (Transamerica). TIAA policyholders can rest assured that, should they need to continue coverage, their options will never be limited — regardless of their current age or changes in health.

Easy sign-up

We’re big fans of TIAA’s Life Wizard tool, which walks you through life insurance shopping from end to end. The site helps you choose the right type of policy, determine a fitting death benefit, view sample quotes, and apply for coverage — all in one place and with just a few simple questions. Most of our other top picks offer online quotes as well, with the exception of New York Life. But we find TIAA’s to be the most comprehensive and streamlined of the lot; quote tools from State Farm and Transamerica don’t include the step of helping you choose the right policy and death benefit.

Points to consider

Fewer rider options

TIAA’s policies are a bit less customizable than those from our other top picks. It offers only eight of the 16 popular policy add-ons we looked for, compared to 11 from our other contenders. The biggest omission here is a selection of living benefits. TIAA doesn’t offer a Disability Income rider, Critical Illness rider, or Long Term Care rider, to name a few — options that can be a huge help if the insured falls ill or gets injured. If your term policy will be with you late in life (or if you think you may end up converting to permanent insurance) we suggest starting with a company that offers a wider coverage selection.

Inflexible term lengths

TIAA Term insurance comes in 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year packages. While these options are fairly standard for the market, they don’t leave you with a ton of wiggle room. Some customers may prefer a more tailored term: say, exactly 18 years of coverage until your child moves out of the house. For more options to customize your term length, we recommend New York Life. It lets you select terms in single year increments, up to 20 years.

State Farm: Best Customer Service

  • Top customer ratings
  • Flexible extension options
  • Variety of Term Life plans
  • Pricier coverage
  • Limited term lengths

Why we chose it

Top customer ratings

2017 marks State Farm’s fourth year as J.D. Power’s top-rated life insurance company. The survey, which polled more than 6,000 insurance customers in 2017, measures policyholders’ satisfaction with their provider. Policy options, customer service, price, billing, and statements are all taken into account — and State Farm earned top marks in every category. Although this company was slightly pricier than our other finalists, a couple extra dollars every month may be worth it if you put high stock in customer service. State Farm is more likely than our other finalists to make the insurance process painless from beginning to end.

Flexible extension options

While TIAA tops the charts for conversion flexibility, State Farm comes in a close second. Most term insurance customers have the option to convert to a permanent policy at any point before age 75 — without taking a second medical exam. That means that even if you’ve developed a serious illness during the initial term, you can’t be denied for a policy with a guaranteed payout. This is exceptionally lenient, especially when compared to companies like New York Life, which only let you convert within the first ten years of your term. Note that conversion varies by state, so be sure to talk to an agent about the rules where you live.

Not ready to take the leap on a permanent policy? State Farm also gives term customers the opportunity to renew their policy on an annual basis through age 95. Of course, premiums will go up if you do so — but not nearly as much as they would if you bought a new policy and took another medical exam.

Variety of Term Life plans

State Farm offers four separate term life plans, meant to fit a variety of financial goals and coverage needs. Most people will likely choose its Select Term Life Insurance: a standard, affordable policy that lasts for 10, 20, or 30 years. If your needs are a little more specialized, though, we recommend checking out State Farm’s alternative term policies.

Mortgage Term Life Insurance, for example, covers you for 15 or 30 years, with premiums that shrink over time as your mortgage does. Return of Premium Insurance is a little more expensive, but it has one big perk: All of the premiums that you’ve paid in get returned to you if you outlive the term. For those who don’t wish to complete a medical exam, State Farm also offers Instant Answer Term Insurance — a quick and easy way to get up to $50,000 of coverage.

Points to consider

Pricier coverage

A quick disclaimer: By “pricier” coverage, we’re generally only talking about a few dollars per month. That said, State Farm’s prices did tend to be slightly higher than our other contenders’ in almost every category. The difference was most obvious for our 40-year-old sample profiles, who were quoted around $12 more per month with State Farm than other providers. Our suggestion? Snag a quote from State Farm when you’re comparing options. The online process is quick and easy, and since quotes are individual, there’s always a chance State Farm could be your best bet.

Limited term lengths

State Farm’s basic term life policy, “Select Term,” is inflexible as far as term lengths go; you can only opt for 10, 20, or 30 years of coverage. That’s about as limited as options get. Other companies, like TIAA, at least offer five-year increments, allowing you to choose a policy length that better fits your needs. If you’re looking for even more customization, check out New York Life. There, you can choose any coverage period between 10 and 20 years.

Term Life Insurance

Common types of term life insurance that may be available through your workplace include:

Basic Term Life: Generally an employer-paid coverage offered for a set period of time that provides your beneficiaries with essential financial protection.

Supplemental Term Life: An employee-paid benefit allowing you to purchase additional protection as your needs change over time. Dependent, spouse or domestic partner coverage may also be available. 1

Dependent Term Life: Provides coverage for your spouse, civil union partner or domestic partner and eligible children.

For complete plan details, talk to your company’s benefits administrator.

A death in the family is not only emotionally devastating, it can also take a tremendous toll on the future financial security of a family. Suddenly, without the deceased’s income, paying the mortgage or providing for a child’s college education may become much more difficult.

Those who buy life insurance generally do so to help ensure their loved ones are taken care of financially. Life insurance is a promise by an insurance company to pay those who depend on you a sum of money upon your death. In return, you make periodic payments called premiums. Premiums can be based on factors such as age, gender, medical history and the dollar amount of the life insurance you purchase.

In the event of your passing, life insurance provides money directly to the individuals you select, your beneficiaries, who can use the money as they see fit, including:

  • Replacing lost income
  • Covering basic living expenses
  • Paying household debts, estate taxes and funeral expenses
  • Funding a child’s education
  • Supplementing retirement savings

Life insurance comes in two main types – term and permanent – which may both be available through your workplace.

Term life insurance pays a specific lump sum to your loved ones, providing coverage for a specified period of time – usually from one to 20 years. If you stop paying premiums, the insurance stops. Term policies pay benefits if you die during the period covered by the policy, but they do not build cash value. They may also give you the option to port. That is, you can take the coverage with you if you leave your company.

Generally, you should consider a term life insurance policy to:

  • Get valuable coverage at an affordable price
  • Help cover specific financial responsibilities like a mortgage or college expenses
  • Supplement a permanent policy


Permanent life insurance
policies do not expire. They are intended to protect your loved ones permanently, as long as you pay your premiums. Some permanent life insurance policies accumulate cash value. That means the value of the policy may grow each year, tax-deferred, until it matches the face value of the policy. The cash can generally be accessed via loans or withdrawals, and can be used for a variety of purposes. This type of policy is typically portable so coverage can continue if employment terminates.

Consider a permanent insurance policy if you want:

  • Protection for life
  • Payments that stay the same each year
  • To put additional money into the policy on a tax-favored basis
  • Cash value you can use while you are living

Getting life insurance through work can be an easy way to protect your family. If your employer offers a group plan, consider signing up for advantages that may include:

  • Competitive group rates
  • Guaranteed issue, meaning you can get a certain amount of coverage without answering health questions or taking a medical exam
  • Convenient payroll deductions
  • Easy access to enrollment and educational tools that can help you make decisions about the type and amount of insurance that’s right for you
  • The confidence of knowing that your employer has reviewed and selected the plan

All you have to do is sign up, and sometimes enrollment is automatic.

Term life insurance is life insurance coverage designed to be purchased for a specific time period, typically between 10 and 30 years. Term life insurance is an affordable way to get maximum coverage throughout that time frame, and so is great for helping to cover specific financial responsibilities, such as paying for a mortgage or saving for college expenses.

While you won’t be able to pinpoint the amount you’ll need to the penny, you can make a sound estimate. Your goal should be to develop a life insurance plan that, following your death, will allow your family to live comfortably without your economic contribution. Also consider the effect of inflation over time. The amount needed for retirement or college 20 years from now is likely to be significantly higher than today.

To estimate the amount of life insurance your family would need, first calculate everything you now provide for your family including:

  • Salary
  • Benefits/health insurance
  • 401(k) and retirement savings
  • Personal services you perform for your family, such as child care, cooking, home maintenance, etc.

Then, subtract your personal expenses including:

  • Annual spending on personal needs, such as food, clothing, entertainment, etc.

Life insurance through your workplace may be more affordable than you think. In fact, many people can get term life insurance coverage from a quality company for a surprisingly affordable price. 2

Premiums are typically based on factors such as:

  • Age, sex, height and weight
  • Health status, including whether or not you smoke
  • Participation in high-risk occupations

Life insurance gets more expensive as you get older, and the type of coverage you choose will also affect your premium. Rates for term insurance are typically lower, while rates for permanent policies are typically higher.

Learn how life insurance protects those you care about in the event of your passing.

Learn about the two main types of life insurance and the advantages of each.

Enrolling in or making changes to a group life insurance plan? Here’s what to know.

Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance

Permanent Life Insurance

A comprehensive suite of workplace benefits including grief counseling, will preparation, travel assistance and more.

A death in the family is not only emotionally devastating, it can also take a tremendous toll on the future financial security of a family. Suddenly, without the deceased’s income, paying the mortgage or providing for a child’s college education may become much more difficult.

Those who buy life insurance do so to help ensure their loved ones are taken care of financially. Life insurance is a promise by an insurance company to pay those who depend on you a sum of money upon your death. In return, you make periodic payments called premiums. Premiums can be based on factors such as age, gender, medical history and the dollar amount of the life insurance you purchase.

In the event of your passing, life insurance provides money directly to the individuals you select, your beneficiaries, who can use the money as they see fit, including:

  • Replacing lost income
  • Covering basic living expenses
  • Paying household debts, estate taxes and funeral expenses
  • Funding a child’s education
  • Supplementing retirement savings

Life insurance comes in two main types – term and permanent – which may both be available through your workplace.

Term life insurance pays a specific lump sum to your loved ones for a specified period of time – usually from one to 20 years. If you stop paying premiums, the insurance stops. Term policies pay benefits if you die during the period covered by the policy, but they do not build cash value. They may also give you the option to port. That is, you can take the coverage with you if you leave your company.

Generally, you should consider a term life insurance policy to:

  • Get valuable coverage at an affordable price
  • Help cover specific financial responsibilities like a mortgage or college expenses
  • Supplement a permanent policy


Permanent life insurance
policies do not expire. They are intended to protect your loved ones permanently, as long as you pay your premiums. Some permanent life insurance policies accumulate cash value. That means, the value of the policy will grow each year, tax-deferred, until it matches the face value of the policy. The cash can generally be accessed via loans or withdrawals, and can be used for a variety of purposes. This type of plan is typically portable so coverage can continue if employment terminates.

Consider a permanent insurance policy if you want:

  • Protection for life
  • Payments that stay the same each year
  • To put additional money into the policy on a tax-favored basis
  • Cash value you can use while you are living

Getting life insurance through work can be an easy way to protect your family. If your employer offers a group plan, consider signing up for advantages that may include:

  • Competitive group rates
  • Guaranteed issue, meaning you can get a certain amount of coverage without answering health questions or taking a medical exam
  • Convenient payroll deductions
  • Easy access to enrollment and educational tools that can help you make the right decisions about the type and amount of insurance that’s right for you
  • The confidence of knowing that your employer has reviewed and selected the plan

All you have to do is sign up, and sometimes enrollment is automatic.

While you won’t be able to pinpoint the amount you’ll need to the penny, you can make a sound estimate. Your goal should be to develop a life insurance plan that, following your death, will allow your family to live comfortably without your economic contribution. Also consider the effect of inflation over time. The amount needed for retirement or college 20 years from now is likely to be significantly higher than today.

To estimate the amount of life insurance your family would need, first calculate everything you now provide for your family including:

  • Salary
  • Benefits/health insurance
  • 401(k) and retirement savings
  • Personal services you perform for your family, such as child care, cooking, home maintenance, etc.

Then, subtract your personal expenses including:

  • Annual spending on personal needs, such as food, clothing, entertainment, etc.

Life insurance through your workplace may be more affordable than you think. In fact, many people can get term life insurance coverage from a quality company for a surprisingly low price. 1

Premiums are typically based on factors such as:

  • Age, sex, height and weight
  • Health status, including whether or not you smoke
  • Participation in high-risk occupations

Life insurance gets more expensive as you get older, and the type of coverage you choose will also affect your premium. Rates for term insurance are typically lower, while rates for permanent policies are typically higher.

Yes. MetLife’s one year term products (including products underwritten by Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ) offer affordable protection when you require insurance for the short term. These products are designed to provide the right amount of protection when it’s needed most, or to supplement a policy you already have. Premium rates can be found here. For more information contact MetLife’s Specialized Benefit Resources at 877-638-3932, and press 2 for New Business.

Death benefits are generally received income tax-free by your beneficiaries. In the case of permanent life insurance policies, cash values accumulate on an income tax-deferred basis. That means you would not have to pay income tax on any of the policy’s earnings as long as the policy remains in effect. In addition, most policy loans and withdrawals are not taxable (although withdrawals and loans will reduce the cash value and death benefit). 2

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