Skip to Main Content
Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

This advertising widget is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states where it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Cheapest life insurance companies of 2024

The cheapest life insurance will vary based on health metrics, policy type, coverage level and more.
Updated Mar 28, 2024

Best cheap life insurance companies

COMPANY J.D. POWER SCORE AM BEST RATING
Ladder Life Not rated Depends on partner insurer
Pacific Life 799/1,000 A+ (Superior)
Mutual of Omaha 805/1,000 A+ (Superior)
Northwestern Mutual 790/1,000 A++ (Superior)
State Farm 843/1,000 A++ (Superior)

How Bankrate picked the cheapest insurers

Choosing the best and cheapest life insurance policy is not a decision to take lightly. An insurance company’s history, as well as its reputation for customer service, financial stability and coverage options, are just a few of the things that may impact your experience. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has analyzed some of the largest companies to help you find the best life insurance rates. 

We took into account several metrics, including financial strength, customer satisfaction and coverage options, to give you a holistic view of the cheapest life insurance companies on the market today. We also examined the number of riders available, digital tools, coverage availability and whether medical exams were required as part of the underwriting process in order to make our picks.

Clock Wait
10+
years of industry experience
Search
53
carriers reviewed
Add Card
15+
product types analyzed
Location
50
states examined
Advertising Disclosure
This advertising widget is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and clickable links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Homeinsurance.com LLC in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what ads and links appear, and how, where, and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available to you as a consumer. We strive to keep our information accurate and up-to-date, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer terms from an advertiser may be different than the offer terms on this widget. All offers may be subject to additional terms and conditions of the advertiser.

Compare life insurance providers quickly and easily

See which provider is right for you.

Location-Icon
Your information is kept secure
Caret DownCaret Up
Please select age
Caret DownCaret Up
Please select Coverage amount
Caret DownCaret Up
Please select Policy type
Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)
Insurance Disclosure

This advertising widget is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states where it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Bankrate
Why Lemonade? It's a fresh twist on life insurance: easy, accessible and affordable.
See more providers in
Choose from insurers in

Our picks for the most affordable life insurance companies 

Based on our assessment of over 50 life insurance providers, the following companies might help you find low-cost life insurance. Remember that life insurance rates depend heavily on your health metrics, including your age and any medical conditions you may have. The best way to know if a company can offer you cheap life insurance may be to get a quote.

Ladder Life

Cheapest for

Savvy online shoppers

Why we picked Ladder Life

Ladder Life offers a completely online experience for individuals looking to easily access term life insurance. The carrier offers term policies with coverage up to $8 million, but policies up to $3 million in coverage may not require a medical exam. Although they underwrite some of their own policies, Ladder Life also partners with Allianz Life Insurance Company and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, which both boast high AM Best financial strength ratings.

Ladder Life review

Ladder Life insurance applicants must be between 20 and 60 years old. A key feature is the "laddering" tool, which allows policyholders to adjust coverage as needed, though increases require approval.

While most auto and home insurers offer online quoting, this feature is less common in life insurance. Ladder Life stands out among life carriers for its focus on digital tools and online policy management. However, options are limited compared to other providers. Only term life policies are available with no advertised riders to customize coverage.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    Medical exam isn’t usually needed for life insurance policies with less than $3 million in coverage

  • Checkmark

    Robust digital platform

  • Checkmark

    Can apply for and purchase a policy online without speaking with an agent if approved

  • Checkmark

    Available in all 50 states

CONS

  • Close X

    Does not offer riders

  • Close X

    Only policy available is term life

  • Close X

    Customer support hours are limited to 9AM - 1PM PST

  • Close X

    Renewals not available after policyholder turns 60 years old

Pacific Life

Cheapest for

Customizable policies

Why we picked Pacific Life

Pacific Life may be one of the best cheap life insurance companies when it comes to policy riders, as the carrier advertises a long list of potential riders. Pacific Life could also be an excellent choice for those who prioritize customer service, as the carrier scored above the industry average in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Life Insurance Study.

Pacific Life review

Pacific Life offers a wide selection of policy riders and receives fewer-than-average complaints according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In addition to common riders like accelerated death benefits and coverage for children, Pacific Life provides a no-lapse guarantee rider to potentially prevent policies from lapsing after a certain premium amount is paid. 

However, Pacific Life may require medical exams and does not offer guaranteed issue insurance. Those with major health issues or other high-risk factors may find better options elsewhere. Also, Pacific Life does not provide online quotes or a mobile app, which could deter digitally-inclined customers.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    Optional riders may allow for a highly customizable policy

  • Checkmark

    Superior financial strength rating from AM Best

  • Checkmark

    Near-nationwide availability

  • Checkmark

    Many types of universal policies offered

CONS

  • Close X

    No online quotes

  • Close X

    No guaranteed issue policies available

  • Close X

    No mobile app

  • Close X

    Medical exams may be required for most policies

Mutual of Omaha

Cheapest for

Whole life insurance without a medical exam

Why we picked Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha’s A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best and fourth-place ranking in J.D. Power’s 2023 Life Insurance Study helped the carrier land on our list of the best cheap life carriers. Mutual of Omaha also offers no-exam whole life insurance, which may appeal to shoppers who are concerned about approval following a medical exam.

Mutual of Omaha review

Mutual of Omaha has provided quality insurance products since 1909. The carrier offers whole life and universal life policies, and its term life coverage limits start at $100,000. Mutual of Omaha sells term life coverage to customers between 18 and 80 years old, and offers terms ranging from 10 to 30 years.

You may be able to couple a Mutual of Omaha life insurance policy with accidental death coverage, which allows your beneficiary to receive an additional payout if your death is the result of a covered accident. You can get a quote online, but you will have to speak with a representative to complete your application and purchase a policy. Before purchasing coverage, keep in mind that Mutual of Omaha doesn’t have physical offices in all 50 states, so if having a local agent is something you value, you may want to check if there is one local to you before going through with the quote process.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    Whole life insurance may be available without a medical exam

  • Checkmark

    Strong financial strength ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poor (S&P), indicating a historical ability to pay out claims

  • Checkmark

    Children’s whole life insurance policies available

CONS

  • Close X

    Company only has a handful of in-office locations in 46 states

  • Close X

    Some quotes can be started online, but policies must be purchased after speaking to a representative

  • Close X

    Mobile app is geared towards mortgages rather than insurance

  • Close X

    Customer service department only available during regular business hours

Northwestern Mutual

Cheapest for

Universal life insurance

Why we chose Northwestern Mutual

Thanks in part to its financial strength, high third-party customer service scores, financial planning services and advisor availability, Northwestern Mutual earned the 2023 Bankrate Award for Best Universal Life Insurance Company. Northwestern Mutual also advertises a less than $1-per-day term life insurance, so the company may be a great option for cheap life insurance.

Northwestern Mutual review

Along with universal life, the company offers term life and whole life policies, as well as annuities and long-term care insurance. The insurer only offers medical exam life insurance, so if you’re looking for guaranteed acceptance insurance, this provider may not be right for you. However, Northwestern Mutual offers conversion riders, which give you the option to convert a term life insurance policy to whole life coverage without another exam ahead of the policy’s expiration. While you can’t get a quote online through Northwestern Mutual, you can calculate how much coverage you might need with its life insurance calculator.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    Advertises term life insurance for as little as $1 per day, though rates will vary based on your unique profile

  • Checkmark

    Term life insurance may be able to be converted to whole life insurance before the policy’s expiration

  • Checkmark

    Policyholders are able to make payments and track spending habits with the Northwestern Mutual mobile app

  • Checkmark

    Available in all 50 states

CONS

  • Close X

    Does not offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance

  • Close X

    Cannot quote or purchase life insurance online

  • Close X

    Can make phone payments 24/7, but customer service only open during normal business hours

State Farm

Cheapest for

Term life insurance

Why we chose State Farm

State Farm won the 2024 Bankrate Award for Best Term Life Insurer for the third year in a row thanks to its exceptional J.D. Power customer satisfaction score, availability in most states and A++ (Superior) AM Best financial strength rating. State Farm’s term life policies go the extra mile by providing coverage that is renewable up to age 95, while most competitors restrict coverage after you turn 80.

State Farm review 

State Farm sells standard life insurance policies, including term life, universal life and whole life insurance. 

The company’s unique Instant Answer term policies provide $50,000 in term life coverage up to age 50, or a maximum of 10 years. If you qualify for an Instant Answer policy, you may not have to take a medical exam. State Farm also offers a multi-policy discount on auto insurance if you purchase life insurance, which could help you save some money.

In terms of customer reviews, State Farm receives fewer complaints than expected for its individual life insurance as reported by the NAIC. However, keep in mind that final expense policies with State Farm have a maximum death benefit of only $10,000.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    State Farm’s Instant Answer policy may be a solution for those who need immediate coverage without a medical exam

  • Checkmark

    Came in first in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study for customer service

  • Checkmark

    May be eligible for bundling discount on your auto policy if you also have a State Farm life insurance policy

  • Checkmark

    24/7 customer helpline along with more than 19,000 local agents across the country

CONS

  • Close X

    Low maximum death benefit for final expense policies

  • Close X

    Cannot buy policy online; must speak with an agent

  • Close X

    Whole life quotes not available online

  • Close X

    Not currently writing new policies in Massachusetts or Rhode Island

The cheapest types of life insurance policies

For those looking to stretch their dollar further in the life insurance market, term life insurance often stands out as a cost-conscious choice. The core of term life insurance lies in its simplicity and time-bound nature, offering coverage typically from 10 to 30 years. This makes it particularly appealing for:

  • Lower costs: The premiums for term life are generally more budget-friendly compared to lifelong policies. This affordability is because the insurance is only active for a set period. However, it's important to keep in mind that as you age, premiums could increase due to higher risk factors.
  • Time-specific coverage: Many opt for term life insurance to cover specific periods of financial vulnerability, such as the years spent raising a family or paying off a home loan. This targeted protection can make term life a sensible option for those with clear coverage timeframes in mind.
  • Flexibility to upgrade: One advantage of term life insurance is the potential to switch to a permanent policy later on, often without a medical exam. This option offers a safety net, allowing policyholders to adapt their coverage as life circumstances change.

While term life insurance can offer savings, especially for younger or healthier individuals, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Premiums can be spendier if you wait until you’re older to buy, and the policy's expiration might leave some seeking more permanent coverage solutions. Understanding these traits of term life insurance can help guide your decision toward the most fitting and financially smart option for your situation.

Compare types of life insurance available at top cheap insurance companies

Company Term life Whole life Universal life Survivorship No medical exam option*
Ladder Life X X X
Pacific Life X X
Mutual of Omaha X
Northwestern Mutual X
State Farm

*Medical exam requirements may vary depending on the type of life insurance policy purchased.

How to get cheaper life insurance

The cost of a life insurance policy varies from person to person, as rates are highly dependent on your age and health. In general, younger, healthier policyholders pay lower premiums than older, at-risk applicants. If you’re hoping to get the best life insurance rates, these steps may help you shave a few dollars off your monthly premium.

  1. Consider purchasing a policy when you’re young. Life insurance generally becomes more expensive as we get older, so it may be beneficial to purchase a policy when you’re young for lower rates.
  2. Avoid dangerous activities. Risky hobbies like skydiving and rock climbing may increase your life insurance premium significantly. Swapping out a risky activity for safer habits, such as hiking or cross-country skiing, could indicate a safer lifestyle to an insurer.
  3. Manage the parts of your health that are in your control. This could include healthy habits like eating well-balanced meals, exercising daily and getting enough sleep.
  4. Cut out smoking and/or other nicotine products. Smoking can trigger long-term health problems, which is why insurers typically have much higher life insurance rates for smokers. Striving to quit can be difficult but could provide long-term health benefits, along with lower rates.
  5. Evaluate employment benefits. Life insurance provided through employers sometimes offers lower rates because they benefit from group pricing. Keep in mind, these policies will typically end if you leave your employer or retire.
  6. Consider a ladder strategy: A life insurance ladder is a strategy where you buy several term life insurance policies with different coverage levels and expiration dates. For example, a young family may have a need for higher coverage while they still have a mortgage and children in the household. Once the mortgage is paid off, their need lowers, and once the children are out of the household, their need lowers again. Buying different policies that expire as your needs change might help you save on life insurance in the long run. You may want to work with a licensed life insurance agent before committing to this strategy, as it does require you to have a very firm grasp of your financial needs and how they could change over the years.
  7. Reevaluate your coverage level. Once you’ve paid off your mortgage and your kids have moved away from home, you may not need as much life insurance coverage. Reevaluating your coverage and choosing a policy with lower premiums and a lower death benefit may be right for you. You may want to consult with a licensed agent or financial professional before adjusting your coverage.

Group and free life insurance

When considering life insurance options, many find valuable opportunities through their workplace benefits. Employers often provide group life insurance as part of their compensation package, usually offering a basic level of coverage at no additional cost to employees or any medical underwriting. This kind of insurance is particularly useful for those looking for a simple layer of financial protection without the need for a more comprehensive plan.

The benefit provided by such employer-sponsored insurance typically covers a basic amount, which might be sufficient for individuals with limited insurance needs or those seeking just a basic safety net. While there's often the possibility to enhance this coverage, doing so would likely incur extra premiums for any amount exceeding the basic coverage provided.

It's important to note that the coverage provided by group life insurance is generally in effect only as long as you are employed with the company. Some policies might offer portability, allowing you to keep the coverage after leaving the company, but this usually comes with increased premiums. Additionally, group life insurance plans may offer limited flexibility in terms of policy customization and additional benefits, which might not meet the specific needs or preferences of all individuals.

What factors affect my life insurance premiums?

Life insurance rates, like all insurance rates, are based on risk. With life insurance, the risk is mainly centered around your likelihood of passing away during the policy period, and how much money the insurance company will pay to your beneficiary. These are some of the rating factors that life insurance companies may use to rate your policy:

  • Age: Age is one of the strongest predictors of mortality; older individuals are more likely to pass away than younger ones, which means life insurance quotes will typically get more expensive as you age. Getting a policy when you’re young may help you get lower rates.
  • Gender: Your gender might statistically impact the likelihood of getting certain diseases, the riskiness of your lifestyle or your overall life expectancy, all of which may affect life insurance rates.
  • Health: Your health also plays a role in determining how much you’ll pay for life insurance. Those who experience health problems are likely to face higher premiums.
  • Family history: Your family medical history could predispose you to certain ailments, which means you could pay more for life insurance.
  • Coverage type: Term policies tend to be cheaper, especially for younger individuals, because there is a chance you’ll outlive your policy and the company will not have to pay your death benefit. Comparatively, permanent policies are designed to stay in place for your entire life, which means at some point the company will have to pay your beneficiary after your death, provided the terms of the policy are met. This leads to higher average premiums.
  • Death benefit amount: More coverage generally means higher rates, since the life insurance company will be responsible for paying a higher amount to your beneficiaries upon your passing. 
  • Lifestyle: Lifestyle encompasses a broad range of factors, including your job, hobbies and health habits. Those with risky jobs or hobbies may pay more for life insurance, and unhealthy habits like smoking also tend to increase rates.

Frequently asked questions about cheap life insurance

Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Editor II, Insurance