What Is Term Life Insurance & Where You Can Get A Quote

Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

We work hard to bring you free editorial content. Some of the links on this page are from our affiliate partners which earn us a commission and help make this possible.

We understand the importance of having health insurance and more than 91% of Americans have it. But when it comes to life insurance, the numbers aren’t nearly as high. Only 59% of us have life insurance.

But not having life insurance can have grave consequences. We’ll explain what term life insurance is, who needs it, and where you can get a free quote for coverage.

Whatever your circumstances, there is a term life insurance policy that will fit the needs of you and your family.

Finding the best term life insurance is fast and easy. These companies can give you excellent term life insurance rates:

  • Ladder gives you a free quote in about 5 minutes.  Select your coverage amount and term, answer a few questions to complete your application for an instant decision. As your life changes, Ladder changes with you. You can apply to increase or decrease your coverage with just a few clicks. There are no fees and no hassles.

What is Term Life Insurance?

Having life insurance gives your family a financial safety net in the event of your death. Term life insurance is more affordable than whole life insurance. Your monthly term life premium will probably be less than you spend on coffees each month.

Term life insurance offers coverage for a designated period. It’s meant to provide for your family in the event of your premature death. If you purchase a term life insurance policy and die during that term, your beneficiaries receive the payout, or death benefit, from the policy.

Terms are usually 10, 20, or 30 years and with most policies, both the payout and the premium remain the same for the entire length of the term. Think about it this way. What else can you buy today that will cost the same in 20 years? Nothing that I can think of!

When the term expires, the policy ends. Why would anyone buy a life insurance policy that runs out? Because once the need for the coverage ends, you aren’t paying for unnecessary insurance coverage.

Who Needs Term Life Insurance?

If you have family members who are financially dependent on you and your income and you don’t have enough money independent of your income to provide for them, you and your family are the perfect candidates for term life insurance.

Term life insurance is also much more affordable than permanent life insurance, so if your budget is already tight, term life won’t strain it further.

The Benefits of Term Life Insurance

Any kind of life insurance provides a lump sum cash payment that the beneficiaries can use for anything including funeral expenses, everyday expenses like housing, utilities, and food, and college expenses for children.

But term life insurance has some particular benefits compared to other life insurance products. Term life insurance is straight forward. You pay your premium for the term of the policy, and if you die during that term, the value of the policy is paid to your designated beneficiaries. That’s all there is to understand.

Other forms of life insurance like Basic Whole Life, Universal Life, and Variable Life have various rules that can be difficult to understand and that makes it hard to find the right product for you and your family. Term life insurance is much less complicated than these products. That’s part of the reason term life insurance is so easy to buy. You can buy it online and not have to deal with a salesperson who may have commission rather than your interests in mind.

Term life insurance rates are much less expensive than any kind of permanent life insurance. The older you are, the more insurance is going to cost which is why many people put off buying coverage. But if you buy term life insurance while you’re young and still in good health, the monthly premium can be as little as $10.

Additionally, you can reduce your term life insurance rates even more by only purchasing enough coverage for your family’s needs instead of paying for insurance for your entire life.

Shopping for Term Life Insurance

You’ll have to do some basic math to make sure you choose the appropriate term for your policy. The term should reflect the number of years you would be working and providing financially for your family. For instance, if you’re 30 years old and have young children, a policy with a term of 20 or 30 years will fit your needs, depending on whether or not your partner is self-supporting.

To determine the amount of the policy, you want a payout that would replace your projected income. The perfect policy will be set to expire around the time your family would no longer need your financial support, i.e. your children are self-supporting adults, and your mortgage is paid off.

How Term Life Insurance Policy Cost is Determined

Age is a big factor in how term life insurance rates are determined; the younger you are, the less expensive your policy will be. But age isn’t the only factor. These are some of the other primary considerations:

Health: Serious or chronic illnesses including things like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can result in your application being denied. For those with conditions that can lead to major health complications in the future like obesity and sleep apnea, the application may be approved, but the cost of the policy may be higher than it would be for a person in better health.

Health History: A family history of chronic or deadly illnesses (cancer, heart disease, etc.) and your own poor habits (smoking, heavy use of alcohol) can increase your policy rate.

Driving Record: If you have a lot of driving tickets or car accidents, you may be deemed a poor risk for an insurance company and be turned down for coverage.

Lifestyle Factors: Already mentioned factors like smoking and heavy drinking can flag an applicant as can a history of drug use and even dangerous hobbies like skydiving may do the same.

Insurance companies, like all companies, are in business to make money and they don’t make money by taking risks. So while all insurers have their own criteria to determine who is a “good” risk and who is a “bad” risk but in general, the younger and healthier you are, the better your odds of being insured and the lower your monthly premiums will be.

Buying the Best Term Life Insurance

The internet has made our lives easier in many ways and buying term life insurance is one of them. You can get term life insurance quotes from all of these companies online and in just a few minutes.


Ladder can give you an instant quote for term life insurance in just three easy steps which will only take about five minutes of your time. Ladder does not employ brokers, so there are no high-pressure sales tactics pushing you to buy coverage you don’t need.

You can apply for coverage from $100,000 up to $8 million. If you’re not sure what your needs are, the helpful calculator on the site can help you determine how much coverage is ideal for your situation. If your situation changes during the term of your policy, you can decrease or apply to increase the amount of your coverage, all online with no fees. If you choose to decrease your coverage, your premiums will also go down resulting in cost savings over time. There are no policy fees, and you can cancel anytime.

Get a quote on term life insurance from Ladder now.