What's the Right Age to Buy Life Insurance?

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KEY POINTS

  • Buying life insurance is a purchase many people should make.
  • Some ages may be better than others for getting covered.
  • Consumers should consider their situation when deciding to buy a policy.


Is there a best time to get covered?

Life insurance is a crucial purchase that many consumers need to make at some time during the course of their lives. But is there a right age to purchase a policy, or does it not matter exactly when a person shops for life insurance and gets coverage in place?

This is the best time to purchase life insurance coverage

For most people, the best time to buy life insurance is when they are still relatively young -- even if they don't yet have a lot of people depending on their income or services. Anyone who anticipates having dependents in the near future may want to get insurance at a younger age for a few key reasons:

  • Buying life insurance at a younger age can lower premiums. Insurers charge policyholders based on the risk of the covered person passing away during the period of time the insurance is in effect. Younger people statistically are more likely than older people to live longer, so policy premiums can be significantly lower when purchasing coverage early in life. The key, however, is to make sure the term life insurance policy will remain in effect for as long as it's likely to be needed, as the policy will only pay the death benefit if the policyholder dies while the coverage is still active.
  • Purchasing life insurance when younger reduces the chances of developing pre-existing conditions prior to getting covered. Most life insurers take a detailed medical history and potentially even require applicants to undergo a medical exam before agreeing to provide a policy. As a result, some medical conditions can disqualify a person from getting covered entirely while others will make purchasing coverage costlier. This is because medical issues can increase the risk of insuring a person. It is less likely someone who wants to get life insurance coverage will have developed a pre-existing condition that affects their options for a policy if they purchase coverage at a younger age.

Because of these big benefits, the best age to buy life insurance coverage is generally as soon as it becomes affordable to do so, and as soon as it is possible to buy term life protection that will last as long as it is likely to be needed.

It’s probably not too late to buy life insurance

However, not everyone thinks ahead to buying life insurance when they are in their 20s or even in their 30s. For those who don't get covered at a young age, the best time to buy life insurance is right away. Waiting to get covered will only make costs go higher, and increase the likelihood of not getting a policy. Acting ASAP is ideal.

The good news is, people are rarely too old to buy some type of life insurance coverage, even if premiums are higher for the policy they can get -- or even if they are relegated to a costlier guaranteed issue plan that doesn't require a medical exam but provides less coverage than standard term life insurance

Anyone who doesn't have protection in place but who doesn't want to leave loved ones financially unprotected should consider moving swiftly to shop around for the best and most comprehensive protection at the most affordable price possible.

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