How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

In this article, which I recommend reading alongside my article ‘What is Life Insurance?’, I will go into more details about how much life insurance does actually costs as well as what can affect your monthly Life Insurance premiums.

Including your health, family medical history, your age, and why you might want to hold off applying for that job as a lion tamer…

So, how much does life insurance cost?

The Amount of Money You’re Insured For Will Affect The Cost Of Your Life Insurance

To better understand and answer how much does Life Insurance cost, we need to understand you better. 

So, first thing’s first – how much should you insure yourself for?

This is often the big consideration and it won’t be the same answer for everyone. 

The amount you want your policy to payout will depend entirely on what you want to insure, in other words, the reason you’re leaving money behind if you were to die.

Some things to think about are…

1. Your Mortgage 

This is most probably your biggest monthly outgoing, and something you are unlikely to want your family to have the responsibility of should the worst happen – particularly if you are the main breadwinner. 

2. Additional Debts

It might be that you have other loans in your name that are not already covered by some sort of insurance. 

In the event of you passing these would still have to be paid, so you might want to have these repayments accounted for in your policy.

3. Providing a Lump Sum For Your Loved Ones

If you were no longer around to provide for your family, how much money would they need to continue their current lifestyle? 

How Much Does Life insurance cost, More than Money

The easiest thing to do here is look at your main outgoings alongside your monthly income, add in a ‘buffer’ amount (for luxuries), and make sure your Life Insurance payout would be enough to replace it.

In short, when it comes to how much your Life Insurance is going to cost you – “it depends”, which although doesn’t sound massively helpful, it really does! 

Everyone’s circumstances are different, and of course, you must also consider how long you will be paying your monthly premiums for. 

Which brings us to my next point.

The Cost Of Your Life Insurance Will Depend On The Length of Your  Policy

Obviously, life insurance is more expensive the longer you take it, so only take it out for as long as you need it.

When you are deciding which length of policy would be best suited to you, here are a few things to consider (the below examples are known as ‘Term’ Insurance)

1. How Long Is Left On Your Mortgage? 

If you have a mortgage, you’ll want to make sure that the length of the Life Insurance matches the remaining length of your mortgage, otherwise your loved ones will be left with a shortfall that they might not be able to pay. 

2. Do You Have Children?

If your answer to this question is, ‘yes’, then you don’t need me to tell you how expensive they can be. 

It is advised to take your life insurance policy over a long enough time period that ensures your children will have grown to a point where they can financially support themselves.

3. When Will You Retire? 

Basically, if you choose to run your insurance until you retire, you can bet that this will be long enough to see you pay off your mortgage and raise your children

4. Do You Want To Cover Your Funeral Costs?

If covering your own funeral costs is your worry, you should consider a ‘Whole Of Life Policy.

A ‘Whole Of Life’ Insurance policy is designed to last for as long as you do and pays out cash to your family whenever you die (even if you live to 100), ideal if you plan on leaving some inheritance rather than just making sure the mortgage is covered. 

However,‘Term’ Insurance is cheaper than ‘Whole Of Life’ Insurance, making it a more popular option.  

5. Will Your Age Affect The Cost Of Your Life Insurance?

Pretty straightforward one this: your monthly premiums will be lower if you take your life insurance policy out in your 20’s than in your 50’s, and this is the case whether you are taking out a ‘Term’ or ‘Whole Of Life’ policy. 

Here’s all of the age-related Life Insurance stuff you need to know:

1. Increased Premiums 

The older you are when you take out your Life Insurance policy, the more expensive it’s going to be.

However, this is only before you have taken out your policy.

Once you have bought your policy, the premiums don’t increase, which is why you shouldn’t wait until you are older to take out insurance. 

Remember – your Life Insurance will never be cheaper than it will be TODAY!

2. How Old is TOO Old When It Comes To Life Insurance? 

Some people are just too old to get life insurance, especially considering you must pass a health and lifestyle application before you start your policy. 

If you don’t pass one, you may need to take out an over 50’s insurance, which typically offers a smaller cash pay out, but higher premiums. Click here to find out more about over 50’s Insurance

How Will My Health Affect The Cost Of My Life Insurance?

Probably as obvious as my point about age, but, the healthier you are, the cheaper your monthly premiums. 

Not all health problems are something that can be solved with medications or lifestyle changes and insurers will want to know if you live with a pre-existing medical condition or have suffered a medical problem in the past.

Some examples of pre-existing medical conditions include:

  • Diabetes (types 1 and 2, and gestational diabetes)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s
  • Heart conditions
  • Kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Mental health issues (e.g., bipolar, depression, anxiety)

If you suffer or have suffered with any of these conditions (and this is by no means an exhaustive list), the insurance company will need to know about it in order to work out how it will affect your premiums. 

To what degree your Life Insurance premiums will be affected will depends on things such as:

Date of diagnosis

Whether your condition is chronic, viral, or acute

Whether you take medications

The severity of your condition

If any of this is a concern for you, get in contact, and we can give you some free advice.

As I said, not all health problems can be solved by changes YOU make – but some CAN, and that brings me nicely to:

How Will Your Lifestyle Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums?

We all know we should look after ourselves better than we do, but if you’re STILL looking for that extra push to give up the booze and fags then your life insurance premiums might be the motivation you need. 

It seems obvious to say, but if you smoke or are overweight then your premiums will be much higher than if you didn’t. 

This simply reflects the greater medical risks and shortened life expectancy that is associated with smoking and obesity.

However, all is not lost! 

It’s not too late to make a change, and therefore a positive impact on your pocket as well as your health. So, put down that pint and listen up!

Let’s talk lifestyle choices…

1. Smoking

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is the big one. We could tell you all the risks of smoking but you know this yourself. 

The good news is, that, even if you are struggling to give up the demon weed and you take out a life insurance policy only to give up later, your premiums will come DOWN. 

Most insurers would class someone who has stopped smoking for at least 12 months as a non-smoker, which will result in cheaper premiums. 

Need any other reasons to stop?

2. Diet and Exercise

Again, I’m not going to tell you anything here you couldn’t already guess:

Those who are obese, and therefore more at risk of heart attacks/strokes/cancers or conditions such as diabetes, as well as having high cholesterol or blood pressure, are going to be paying higher premiums than those who go to the gym three times a week and haven’t eaten cake since 1999. 

However, most insurers will review your premiums if you can reduce your weight and show that you are in better health than when you took out the policy.

3. Drinking 

Excessive binge drinking, or your doctor having to tell you to cut down can affect your premiums, especially if this shows on your medical records. 

4. Drugs

Yeah… don’t do these.

As you’ve gathered by now, your health plays an incredibly important part in how much you are going to be paying for your life insurance cover. 

But what about when it comes to the health of others? 

Namely, those who have come before you….

How Does Your Family Medical History Affect The Cost Of Your Life Insurance?

Insurers are not just interested in the state of your health when calculating your premiums. 

As brutal as it sounds, they also want to make sure you’re not about to drop down dead from a condition you might have inherited, a condition such as:

  • Heart Attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Some types of cancer
  • Stroke

If either of your parents or any brothers or sisters have suffered any serious medical conditions such as these, there is a greater risk that you could too – so how likely is it to affect your premiums? 

Once again, it depends….

Largely on:

How many family members were affected, and at what age. 

If it was just one relative it might not influence your premiums at all, and if they were diagnosed a lot later in life (60/65), they will most likely disregard them all together. 

If it’s a condition that affected your dad, sister, and 2 brothers then you can expect it to be a factor when calculating your Life Insurance premiums.  

How Do Hazardous Jobs and Hobbies Affect The Cost Of Your Life Insurance?

This is where the whole lion tamer thing comes in. 

It goes without saying that if you are someone who has a career that might be considered dangerous or are someone who regularly tightrope walks across the Grand Canyon, your premiums are going to be higher than a librarian who collects stamps. 

Careers that might land you with higher premiums include:

Construction workers (especially those who work at heights)

  • Fishermen
  • Oil Rig Workers
  • Army
  • Policeman (bomb squad)
  • Lion Tamer (my advice? Choose a new career path)

Basically, anything that involves you regularly working at great heights, with hazardous machinery, or generally puts you in harm’s way daily.

Below I have created a table which will give you some example costs:

Based on a non-smoker with no medical conditions and no adverse family medical history quoting for £200,000 of cover over a 20 year term*

Level coverDecreasing cover
Income plan
Whole of life
30 years old£8.11 per month£6 per month£5.86 per month£123.99 per month
40 years old£14.47 per month£10 per month£9.30 per month£182.25 per month
50 years old£33.90 per month£21.68 per month£18.74 per month£251.19 per month
60 years old£97.87 per month£61.26 per month£53.48 per month£393.91 per month

Hopefully this article has helped you to better understand how much Life Insurance costs.

If you are reading this and you know you have some medical conditions which will affect your premiums or you simply have a question to ask me, please give us a call, and we’ll see how we can get you the most suitable Life Insurance for you, at the best possible price.


I’m the Life & Critical Insurance guy! Having worked throughout London and the South East for years in this industry, seeing many bad habits, I wanted to create a company that put the man on the street first! I wanted to share all my knowledge in a way that was easy, simple and fun to read and I wanted to make sure whenever I or a member of my team speak to a customer, we cut out the ‘industry jargon’ and never pressure or push anyone to take out a policy they don’t want or understand, thus More Than Money was born!

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