What is a Life Insurance Premium and How Does it Work? | Bankrate

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Many people think life insurance is very expensive, but life insurance premiums can be surprisingly affordable, depending on factors like your age, the type of policy you get, and the amount of coverage you need. life insurance rates are different for everyone, and the cost can vary significantly between individuals. If you’re in the market for life insurance, it can help to understand life insurance premiums, including how they work and how they’re calculated. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some common questions about life insurance premiums, like what happens if you stop paying your premiums and what factors are used to determine your premium.

what is a life insurance premium?

A life insurance premium is the amount of money paid to your life insurance company in exchange for your life insurance coverage. As long as your premiums are paid on time, your coverage will remain in force for the life of your policy, protecting your financial security interests and those of your designated beneficiaries. Life insurance premiums are generally paid monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on how you set up the policy with your insurer.

Reading: What is an annual premium for life insurance

what happens if you stop paying your life insurance premiums?

If you stop paying your life insurance premiums, your policy could lapse based on specific terms outlined by your insurer. Your policy may come with a grace period, a certain amount of time in which your policy will not lapse for non-payment. however, a standard term life insurance policy will generally lapse if you miss a payment. If your policy lapses, your dependents would no longer receive a death benefit if you died, leaving them vulnerable to financial risk.

Nonpayment on a life insurance policy may be treated differently with permanent life insurance policies, which include cash value accounts. The money in the cash value account can usually be used to pay premiums after a set period of time, so if you miss a payment, your policy may not lapse if the cash value is used.

How do insurers use life insurance premiums?

Now that you know what a life insurance premium is, you may be wondering how that money is used once you give it to your insurer. In general, insurance providers can use your life insurance premium in the following ways:

  • to cover liabilities: insurance providers have to establish themselves in a financial position to pay claims. That means that if a policyholder dies, the insurer will use a portion of the total premiums paid to cover the stated death benefit (and any other policy payments) to designated beneficiaries. Financially stable insurance companies will generally keep a fixed amount of premium money available to cover outstanding liabilities and ensure that beneficiaries receive what is owed in the event of the policyholder’s untimely death.
  • To cover business expenses: Like any other business, a life insurer has to account for operating costs. A portion of your life insurance premium may go toward salaries, office space, legal fees, or other business expenses.
  • Invest: Some insurance providers choose to invest a portion of policyholder premiums in the growth of the insurance company and subsequent benefit to policyholders. the good returns on those investments can allow them to keep the cost of their insurance products as low as possible and can help provide greater financial stability and peace of mind to stakeholders (policyholders).
  • How are life insurance premiums determined?

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    The cost of a life insurance policy will vary for each person. Before a life insurance company issues you a policy, your health and other factors will typically be evaluated to determine how your life expectancy compares to the length of your policy’s coverage. With life insurance, a higher level of risk means that you are more likely to die before your policy expires, and therefore your insurer would pay the death benefit before significant contributions have been made in the form of premiums. . Because of this, younger and healthier people generally see lower premiums on life insurance policies. Also, a term policy may be cheaper than a permanent policy, since you may outlive the term policy and the insurer may not have to pay a claim.

    certain policies, such as variable universal life policies, have flexible premiums. Policyholders can choose to pay a higher amount in premiums (to increase the cash value of the policy), pay only a portion of their premium, or avoid paying the premium out of pocket altogether. the policyholder must have enough money accumulated in their cash value account so that they do not pay their premium out of pocket or only pay a portion of it. When you don’t pay the full premium balance out of pocket, the remaining amount of money would be subtracted from your policy’s cash value account.

    These are some of the main factors an insurance company considers when determining your life insurance premium:

    cover type

    You can choose from two main types of life insurance coverage: term and permanent policies. term policies generally cost less, but only provide coverage for a certain period of time (the term). These policies may be more beneficial for those who only want coverage for a set number of years, such as when their children are young and dependent needs are greatest.

    Permanent policies remain in force for your lifetime under most circumstances, as long as premiums are paid, and are often associated with a cash value account, but are typically much more expensive than permanent policies. term, since a final payment is paid. most likely.

    Life insurance companies offer several different types of permanent policies:

    • all life
    • universal life
    • indexed universal life
    • variable universal life
    • guaranteed issue life insurance
    • age

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      The younger you are when you buy life insurance, the lower your premium will be, on average. why? Your life insurance company calculates your rates largely based on life expectancy and will typically set lower payments to compensate for the reduced risk of early death.


      In the United States, women live an average of five years longer than men. life insurance companies may take this into account in premium calculations, as well as consider health complications that may be associated with one gender more than another. As a result, women may pay lower life insurance premiums than men, depending on their pre-existing conditions and age.


      Most life insurance policies require a medical exam. This is your insurance provider’s way of making sure the information on your application is accurate and that you don’t have a pre-existing condition that would drastically shorten your life expectancy. Examples of pre-existing conditions that could increase your premium include: type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.

      In general, the healthier you are, the less you’ll pay for your life insurance policy. If you want to potentially lower your life insurance premiums, you may want to consider focusing on eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.


      The way you live affects your level of risk in the eyes of insurers. Life insurance providers often raise their rates to compensate for the risks associated with a dangerous lifestyle, such as a risky occupation or extreme hobbies. If your job is inherently dangerous, like washing windows on skyscrapers, there may not be much you can do to offset the cost of life insurance. however, if you have more extreme hobbies or activities, such as motorcycle riding, bungee jumping, skydiving, or smoking, you may want to consider making lifestyle adjustments. Eliminating risky activities can help you significantly reduce the cost of life insurance.


      Life insurance riders, also called endorsements, are designed to add certain policy benefits to make a life insurance policy work better for your specific needs. While they may not lower the cost of your premium, they could add additional value to the policy, making your cost even more worthwhile. Common life insurance clauses include:

      • long term care rider
      • additional conversion clause
      • premium clause waiver
      • terminal illness rider
      • disability income rider
      • children’s benefit rider
      • frequently asked questions

          • what is the best life insurance company?
            • is it worth buying life insurance?

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