Life Insurance for 40-Year-Olds: The Complete Guide

Some believe life insurance policies are reserved for seniors - and if not seniors, at least for people over 50. Indeed, if you asked most 40-year-olds whether they have a comprehensive life insurance policy, the answer would probably be no. The reality is that your 40s might be the last call to get your life insurance situation sorted on good terms. 

Why? Because as you get older, your life insurance possibilities narrow down. They also become more expensive, which is why your 40s is an excellent time to finally provide yourself and your loved ones with a safety net and peace of mind in case of your passing. Where to begin searching for the right life insurance for over 40-year-olds? Reading the following guide is an excellent place to start.

What Is Life Insurance for Over 40-Year-Olds?

Life Insurance for 40 Year Olds

Life insurance for 40-year-olds is a standard life insurance policy people in their 40s can purchase. It works like a traditional insurance policy, where an insurer provides policy beneficiaries with a sum of money in the event of the policyholder’s death. 

Life insurance policy can be purchased for the whole life or for a specified term, usually 10, 15, or 30 years. The policyholder is then obliged to pay monthly premiums for the duration of the purchased policy for the insurance to be paid out if they pass away during the policy’s term. 

The costs of monthly premiums are calculated based on several factors, such as age, health history, job, gender, lifestyle, etc. Essentially, the insurance company will calculate the risk of you passing away. The higher it is, the higher the monthly premiums are likely to be. 

Why Is It Worth Getting Life Insurance in Your 40s?

Although many believe that being in your 40s is too soon to even consider purchasing a life insurance policy, at Simple Life Insurance, we firmly believe there’s no such thing as ‘too soon’ when insurance is concerned. Indeed, your 40s is probably the last call to purchase life insurance on highly favorable terms. As covered, the older you get, the more expensive you can expect the premiums to become. 

Furthermore, most 40-year-olds have families and loved ones who depend on their income. You also likely have comprehensive financial responsibilities, such as a mortgage. In such instances, a life insurance policy is a must-have, ensuring your loved ones aren’t left in a devastating situation if you pass away. 

Here’s a quick look at why it is worth getting life insurance when in your 40s:

  • Protect Your Family: If you have dependents, such as children or a spouse, life insurance can provide financial protection for them in the event of your unexpected death.

  • Lower Premiums: The younger you are when you purchase life insurance, the lower the premiums will be. By getting coverage in your 40s, you may still be able to lock in affordable rates. 

  • Estate Planning: Life insurance can be part of your estate planning strategy to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away.

  • Cover Debts and Expenses: If you have outstanding debts or other expenses that would burden your family if you die, life insurance can help cover those costs.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your loved ones will be financially protected if something were to happen to you can provide peace of mind and reduce stress.

How Much Is Life Insurance for a 40-Year-Old?

Life Insurance for 40-Year-Olds - Pricing

Although the actual cost of one’s life insurance depends on numerous factors, average US annual life insurance rates for 40-year-old males and females (based on our research) look as follows:


Term Life Policy - Average Annual Rate

Whole Life Policy - Average Annual Rate

Men

$335

$7,000

Women

$285

$5,900

Of course, these are merely average estimates. In reality, your insurance rates can be higher or lower depending on your health status, medical history, lifestyle, policy provider, etc. That said, let’s cover in more detail what can affect your insurance coverage when in your 40s. 

What Affects Life Insurance Costs for 40-Year-Olds?

  • Age: The older you are, the higher the premium you are likely to pay because the likelihood of death increases with age. For instance, you can expect to pay more for insurance when you’re 48 than when you’re 41. 

  • Gender: Women usually pay lower premiums than men because, statistically, they tend to live longer, have fewer accidents, and are generally healthier.

  • Health status: If you have a pre-existing medical condition or a history of certain health issues, your premiums may be higher. Insurance companies will typically ask for medical exams and review your medical history when determining your premium, although there are insurers that offer guaranteed life insurance policies (policies without medical exams). 

  • Family medical history: If you have a family history of certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or cancer, insurance companies may consider you to be a higher risk and therefore charge you a higher premium.

  • Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors can also impact life insurance costs. For example, if you smoke cigarettes or abuse alcohol, you are more likely to develop health problems, so your premiums will be higher. Similarly, if you have a dangerous hobby or hazardous job, you may pay more for coverage.

  • Policy type and coverage amount: The type of policy and the amount of coverage you choose will also impact your premium. Term life insurance policies are generally less expensive than permanent policies, and higher coverage amounts will result in higher premiums.

  • Policy term: The length of your coverage can also impact the cost, with longer-term policies usually having higher premiums than shorter-term policies.

  • Underwriting guidelines and requirements: Each insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines and requirements, which can impact your premium.

  • Location: Some geographic areas may have higher premiums due to higher risk factors. For example, areas that are prone to natural disasters or have higher crime rates may result in higher premiums for residents of those areas.

how much is life insurance for a 40 year old

Types of Life Insurance for People in Their 40s

As a 40-year-old, you can choose between multiple life insurance policies. The most popular coverages for people in their 40s include term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal insurance, and high-risk insurance. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period of time, typically 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. In the event of the insured's death during the term, the policy pays out a death benefit to the designated beneficiary. 

Term life insurance premiums are typically lower than whole life insurance premiums, making it a more affordable option for many people. However, it’s important to note that once the policy term ends, however, you will need to purchase a new policy on updated terms, which typically translates to higher premiums. 

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for the entirety of the policyholder's life. 

In addition to the death benefit paid to the designated beneficiary upon the policyholder's death, whole life insurance also includes a savings component that accumulates over time, known as the policy's cash value. The cash value grows tax-deferred and can be used to borrow against or withdraw from during the policyholder's lifetime. 

Whole life insurance premiums are typically higher than term life insurance premiums, but they remain fixed for the life of the policy. Whole life insurance is often used as a tool for estate planning, as it can provide a tax-free inheritance for beneficiaries and may be used to pay estate taxes.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is also a permanent insurance policy, although it’s a more flexible option than whole life insurance, offering a balance between term life and whole life policies. Essentially, it allows policyholders to adjust their premiums and death benefits as their needs change over time. 

This type of insurance also has a cash value component that grows tax-deferred over time, which can be used to pay future premiums or withdrawn as needed. Universal life insurance is often used as a way to provide for long-term financial planning and estate planning needs.

High-Risk Life Insurance

High-risk policies are designed for individuals who, according to insurers, are considered “high-risk,” which translates into people at higher risk of death. High-risk individuals may have a history of chronic illness, risky hobbies, often travel to dangerous locations, work in hazardous industries, or have a history of substance abuse. 

Because of the increased risk, high-risk life insurance policies typically come with higher premiums and more restrictive coverage terms. Applicants for high-risk life insurance may also be required to undergo additional medical exams or provide more detailed health information than those applying for traditional life insurance policies. 

High-risk life insurance can be a good option for individuals who may not qualify for traditional life insurance policies but still want to ensure that their loved ones are financially protected in the event of their untimely death.

How Much Life Insurance Do 40-Year-Olds Need?

How much life insurance you require when you’re in your 40s depends entirely on your needs. However, if you aren’t sure where to begin, calculating a policy based on your salary is a good reference point. 

Essentially, many life insurance professionals recommend purchasing an insurance policy that’s 5-10 times your salary. Therefore, for example, if you earn $70,000 a year, ten times your salary would be $700,000. 

That’s for individuals who don’t have exceptional debts or children. If you have more people depending on your income or deal with substantial debts, such as a mortgage, purchasing more is a recommended option. For example, a good benchmark for parents is ten times one’s salary plus $100,000 for each child. 

Once you add to that your mortgage or additional debts and loans, that amount, however, can quickly reach six figures. That is why it’s so difficult to calculate the exact amount you might need when looking for an insurance policy in your 40s. 

What Is the Best Life Insurance for a 40-Year-Old?

There are tons of insurers offering life insurance policies for 40-year-olds in the US, which can make choosing the best one incredibly daunting. If you get a headache merely from thinking about choosing the right insurance, here’s a quick list of our recommended best life insurance providers for people in their 40s:

Insurer

Offered Policies

Online Registration

AIG (CoreBridge)


- universal policy


- term policy

Yes

- whole life insurance


- term life insurance


- universal policy

Yes

MassMutual

- term life policy


- whole life policy


- two universal policies

Yes

- whole life insurance


- universal policy

Yes

- term life insurance


- whole life policy


- two universal life policies 

No

Northwestern Mutual

- term life policy


- whole life insurance


- universal insurance

No

Prudential

- term life insurance


- whole life policy


- universal insurance


- final expense insurance


- insurance for foreign nationals

No

Protective

- term life insurance


- whole life policy


- universal policy

Yes

Penn Mutual

- term life policy


- whole life insurance


- three universal policies

Yes

Pacific Life

- term life insurance


- whole life policy


- three universal policies

No

Key Takeaways: Find the Best Life Insurance for 40-Year-Old

All that being said, it’s clear to see that purchasing life insurance in your 40s is an excellent way to protect your loved ones in the event of your passing. Furthermore, it’s finally time you might enjoy favorable rates from insurers, making purchasing an insurance policy for 40-year-olds even more sensible. 

However, as covered, there are numerous to consider, beginning with choosing the right provider. And while the sheer number of available insurers can look terrifying, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to save time and resources by browsing through countless life insurance brand names to find the best quote, Simple Life Insurance can help.

As a reputable and independent life insurance broker, we help individuals find the best insurance policies, including 40-year-olds. Request a quote today or contact us directly and find the best life insurance policy, perfectly tailored to your needs. 

FAQs

Why do I need life insurance when in my 40s?

There are several reasons why you may need life insurance in your 40s, including:

  • providing financial support to your family;

  • paying off substantial debts, such as mortgages, car loans, or credit card loans;

  • covering funeral expenses.

Furthermore, by purchasing life insurance in your 40s, you will likely enjoy more affordable rates (unless you fall under the high-risk category). That’s because the older you are, the higher the insurers will charge you for life insurance. 

How much does life insurance cost for a 40-year-old?

That depends on numerous factors, such as your exact age, current health, medical history, lifestyle, occupation, gender, etc. On average, 40-year-olds should expect to pay annual rates of:

  • men: $335 for term life insurance/$7,000 for whole life insurance

  • women: $285 for term life insurance/$5,900 for whole life insurance

Again, these rates will vary depending on your individual circumstances. 

Can I get more than one insurance policy?

Yes, you can have more than one insurance policy in the US. In fact, it is common for people to have multiple policies to ensure they have adequate coverage for different areas of their life. However, it's important to note that insurance companies may have restrictions on the total amount of coverage you can have across multiple policies. Additionally, if you file a claim with more than one insurer, the total amount you receive may not exceed the total amount of damages or losses suffered.

Can I save money on my life insurance policy?

Yes, you can. If you’re planning on purchasing a policy, there are several ways you can lower your expected premiums, such as:

  • quitting unhealthy activities, such as drinking, smoking, etc.;

  • maintaining a healthy lifestyle;

  • quitting dangerous hobbies;

  • improving your credit score.

Also, don’t forget about comparing various insurers. Some companies might offer better rates, so be sure to use our comparison tool to find the best insurance quotes. 

Do I need to undergo medical exams to purchase life insurance for 40-year-olds?

Yes, most life insurance policies require a medical exam for applicants over 40. The medical exam is used to assess the applicant's overall health and determine their risk of developing a serious illness or condition that could affect their life expectancy. 

Then, these results are used by an insurer to determine your eligibility for a policy and calculate its premiums. However, there are some types of life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam, such as guaranteed issue or simplified issue policies, although they typically have higher premiums or lower coverage limits.

Authors

  • Ty Stewart

    Ty Stewart is a founder and contributor of SimpleLifeInsure.com. He started researching and studying about life insurance when he got his first policy for his own family. He has been featured as a life insurance expert speaker at agent conventions and in top publications. As an independent licensed life insurance agent he has helped clients nationwide to secure affordable coverage while making the process simple.

  • Bennett Bier

    I’m Bennett Bier, owner, author and fact checker of Simple Life Insure. I believe working with a small independent broker offers consumers more personal attention and superior customer service. As an independent agent licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia I have access to many of the top A+ rated life insurance carriers. This lets me locate a plan that you will qualify for while saving you money at the same time. Over the years I have mastered the art of underwriting, getting approvals even for my highest risk clients. I’m also likely the person that will answer the phone when you call.