If you’re looking for affordable life insurance, it can help to understand how insurance companies calculate rates. Your life insurance premium takes into account factors like your age, health and lifestyle habits, like smoking, that could affect your life expectancy. When selecting your policy, be sure to pay attention to more than price. Additional components like a company’s policy offerings, third-party scores and ratings and customer service reviews can help ensure the life insurance policy you choose fits your budget and coverage needs.

Best cheap life insurance companies

J.D. Power Score AM Best Rating
Ladder Life Not rated Depends on partner insurer
Liberty Mutual Not rated A (Excellent)
Mutual of Omaha 795/1,000 A+ (Superior)
Northwestern Mutual 807/1,000 A++ (Superior)
State Farm 822/1,000 A++ (Superior)

Ladder Life

Ladder Life has a completely online experience for individuals who want quick and affordable term life insurance, with coverage up to $8 million dollars. Eligible applicants must be between 20 and 60 years old, and although guaranteed life insurance isn’t offered for all coverage levels, a medical exam is not necessary for those wanting $3 million or less in coverage. Ladder Life matches applicants with its life insurance partners like Allianz Life Insurance Company and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company. If you’re looking to buy life insurance on your own, Ladder Life could be a great fit. Keep in mind that the options are limited. Term life is the only type of policy available and there are no additional features or riders that can be added to further personalize your policy.

Perks Drawbacks
Medical exam isn’t needed for life insurance policies with less than $3 million in coverage Opportunities to add optional riders and perks to the policy are limited
Can request a cancellation of the policy and receive a full refund within 30 days Customer hours support are limited to 8AM-5PM PT

Learn more: Ladder Life Insurance review

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual was not ranked in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, but it’s worth considering nonetheless. Liberty Mutual received an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, indicating a strong historical ability to meet financial obligations such as paying out death benefits. The company offers whole life insurance and term life policies, including simplified issue term and whole life policies without a medical exam.

You can get a life insurance quote from Liberty Mutual online, but you’ll need to work with one of its agents to complete the purchase process. Liberty Mutual offers a wide choice of riders and add-on benefits to tailor your life insurance policy for your family’s needs. However, Liberty Mutual does have a higher-than-baseline overall complaint index of 2.66, as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), suggesting it might not be the best fit for customers looking for top-rated customer service.

Perks Drawbacks
Several life insurance riders available, like children’s protection rider and disability waiver of premium, to help personalize the policy Not ranked by J.D. Power in 2021 in its Life Insurance Study for customer service
Liberty Mutual often hosts webinars led by experts to help customers understand new financial products and trends More complaints than average were filed against the company based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index

Learn more: Liberty Mutual Insurance review

Mutual of Omaha

Ranked fifth in the J.D. Power Life Insurance Study, 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 can couple a Mutual of Omaha life insurance policy with accidental death coverage, which allows your beneficiary to receive a 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 only has locations in 34 U.S. states, so if having a local agent is something you value you’ll want to check if there is one local to you before going through with the quote process.

Perks Drawbacks
Whole life insurance can be purchased without a medical exam Not available in all states, and has only a handful of in-office locations in each state
Strong financial strength ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poor (S&P), indicating a historical ability to pay out claims Quotes can be started online, but policies must be purchased after speaking to a representative

Learn more: Mutual of Omaha Insurance review

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual ranked third in the J.D. Power study. The company offers a variety of different life insurance options, including term life, universal life and whole life policies, as well as annuities and long-term care insurance. Northwestern Mutual advertises a less than $1-per-day term life insurance, stating that a healthy, 35-year-old man can purchase a $500,000 term life policy for a starting premium as low as $306 per year (increases annually).

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, and have a locked-in premium for the remainder of your life. While you can’t get a quote online through Northwestern Mutual, you can calculate how much coverage you need with its life insurance calculator.

Perks Drawbacks
Term life insurance can be obtained for as little as $1/day, though rates may increase annually Does not offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance
Term life insurance can be converted to whole life insurance before the policy’s expiration Not able to apply for and purchase life insurance online

Learn more: Northwestern Mutual Insurance review

State Farm

State Farm won a 2022 Bankrate Award for best term life insurer, thanks to its exceptional J.D. Power customer satisfaction score, availability in most states and A++ (Superior) AM Best financial strength rating. The company sells standard life insurance policies, including term life, universal life and whole life insurance. State Farm’s term life policies go the extra mile by providing coverage that is renewable up to age 95, while most competitors terminate coverage after you turn 80.

State Farm’s unique Instant Answer term policy provides $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 won’t have to take a medical exam. State Farm also offers a multi-policy discount on auto insurance if you purchase life, which could help you save money. In terms of customer reviews, State Farm has fewer-than-baseline complaints for its individual life insurance as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). However, keep in mind that final expense policies with State Farm have a maximum death benefit of only $10,000.

Perks Drawbacks
State Farm’s Instant Answer policy can be the solution for those who need immediate coverage without a medical exam Low maximum death benefit for final expense policies
Came in first in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study for customer service May need to speak with a life insurance agent to finish purchasing the policy, instead of finalizing online

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Reasons to consider a term life insurance policy

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that remains in effect for a set amount of time, typically between 10 and 30 years. Many policyholders choose term life insurance because it’s significantly cheaper than permanent life insurance. Term life insurance may work for families that want coverage for a specific period of time, such as when their children are young or while their mortgage is active. If you’re looking for cheap life insurance, a term life insurance policy might be worth your research for the following reasons.

  • Low premiums: Term life insurance policy premiums are around five to 10 times cheaper than permanent life insurance policies, on average.
  • Expires after a preselected period of time: Term life insurance policies remain in effect for a period of time that the policyholder chooses, usually between 10 and 30 years. Term life insurance may be right for policyholders who only want coverage for a certain period of time, such as when their children are young, or while they’re actively paying a mortgage.
  • Option to convert to permanent insurance: If your term life insurance policy expires before you pass away, you’ll stop paying premiums and will not receive a death benefit. However, many of the best life insurance companies offer conversion riders that allow you to convert your term policy to a permanent policy before the term expires.

How to get cheaper life insurance

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

  • Consider purchasing a policy when you’re young. Life insurance generally becomes more expensive as we get older, so it can be beneficial to purchase a policy when you’re young for lower rates.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Avoid dangerous activities. Risky hobbies like skydiving and rock climbing could increase your life insurance premium significantly. Swapping out a risky activity for safer habits, such as going for long daily walks, could indicate a safer lifestyle to an insurer.
  • 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.
  • Evaluate employment benefits. Life insurance provided through employer benefit programs 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.

Learn more: How to buy life insurance

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Choosing the best life insurance policy is not a decision to take lightly. The insurance company’s history, as well as its reputation for customer service, financial stability and death benefit payouts, are just a few of the things that can impact both your experience and policy value. We assessed NAIC ratings based on market share, financial stability ratings from sources like AM Best and customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power. We also examined the number of riders available, general accessibility, coverage capacity and whether medical exams were required as part of the underwriting process in order to make our picks.