What is the term of life insurance coverage?


quick Facts

  • The length of a life insurance policy depends on the type of coverage you purchase
  • Permanent plans never expire but usually cost more
  • Lifetime policies generally last between five and 30 years, and are more affordable options

Although many assume that life insurance lasts for life, this is not always the case. In fact, some of the most popular plans last for a set number of years.

The amount of time your policy should last depends on your needs and budget. Buying a permanent plan means you never have to worry about your insurance expiring. Term life insurance costs less but it only lasts for a set number of years.

So how long should life insurance coverage last? While it depends on the type of life insurance you purchase, the guidelines below can help you decide how long your coverage should last.

How do you calculate how long your life insurance should last?

There are many factors to remember when figuring out how long you should keep a life insurance policy. These factors include your total income, outstanding debts, and your dependents.

Although you have many options, most needs are met with either deferred insurance or whole life insurance. Whole life is a type of permanent life insurance, which means that you will never have to worry about your insurance coverage running out.

Term life insurance lasts for a set number of years before it expires. If you die before your term ends, your beneficiary receives a payment. If you survive, your policy will expire, and you’ll need a new one—unless you have renewable life insurance.

Most term plans offer terms ranging from five years to 30 years. How long you must take out life insurance depends on who you want to protect. For example, your term must last at least the life of the mortgage if you have a spouse or partner.

How to determine how much life insurance coverage you need

While knowing how long life insurance policies last is important, you should also know how much life insurance you need.

The easiest way to determine how much coverage you need is to look at your annual income, significant debt, and dependents. If you have children, you should also set aside money for future college expenses.

Of course, if you have questions about how much life insurance you need, you can always ask a representative for help.

Life insurance quotes are always free.

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Life Insurance Policy Length: The term for the entire life insurance policy

You know how long whole life insurance is, and you know how long life insurance lasts depends on what plan you want. However, there are more things to consider before choosing between full and term insurance.

For example, the cost of whole life is much more than the term. See the table below to get an idea of ​​how much you might pay for permanent or life insurance.

Buying whole life insurance is a much bigger investment than life insurance, but it might be worth it if you never want to worry about what happens when your life insurance ends.

Life insurance lasts for a set period of time

Although term life insurance is affordable, it doesn’t last forever. If you’re worried about what happens after 20 years of paying life insurance, you might want to consider a permanent plan.

Term life insurance costs less than full cost, but the exact amount you’ll pay depends on the length of your policy. Shorter policies have lower rates but expire faster. Check below to get an idea of ​​how much you’ll pay depending on the length of your policy.

Life insurance policies are often renewable, so you can continue the policy after the policy expires. An insurance representative can help you figure out how to renew your life insurance or how to buy term life insurance.

Whole life insurance lasts for the life of the policyholder

Although these plans are permanent, your life insurance can be canceled if you don’t pay each month.

Whole life is the most common permanent policy, but you can also purchase a comprehensive life insurance plan. If you are interested in a permanent plan, you should research the difference between comprehensive and life insurance.

Life insurance policies can expire

Wonder what happens when your life insurance expires? Generally speaking, there are three options when life insurance expires — no coverage, buying a new plan, or renewing your policy.

While you don’t have to worry about life insurance expiring, you may run into trouble if you decide to purchase a new plan. Many life insurance companies limit the age at which you can buy a new policy, usually between 75 and 80.

If you’re wondering how long to keep expired life insurance policies, it’s usually a good idea to renew so you no longer need life insurance.

Life insurance coverage continues as long as the type of policy

How long life insurance lasts depends on the type you buy—whole policies last the rest of your life, while term expires after a set number of years.

Choosing the right type of policy will help you find the most affordable coverage, but there are other ways to save. One of the most important of these factors is finding cheap life insurance companies. Be sure to compare quotes with as many companies as possible to find the best coverage for you, no matter how long you want it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much life insurance do you want?

When you’re trying to figure out how long life insurance should last, knowing how much you need is important. In general, your life insurance should cover your income, outstanding debts, and dependents.

What happens if you live longer than life insurance?

If you outlive your term life insurance for a longer period, chances are you can renew it until you no longer need it. The representative can tell you how to renew life insurance with your company.

Do you need life insurance?

Life insurance is a worthwhile investment if dependents depend on your income. For example, your life insurance benefit could be used to pay off your mortgage or college tuition.

What is the ideal length for a life insurance policy?

How long life insurance should last depends on your situation. Ideally, your life insurance should last long enough to cover your mortgage and help with your children’s college expenses.

Do you need life insurance after age 65?

If you have a mortgage, dependents, or significant outstanding debt, you should consider getting life insurance after age 65. There is no life insurance that expires, so you can keep renewing your policy for as long as you need it.

What factors affect the length of your life insurance policy?

The main factor affecting the longevity of life insurance policies is whether you opt for a term plan or a whole life plan.

Should you choose term life insurance or permanent insurance?

The right policy for you depends on several factors, but long-term life insurance meets most people’s needs.

What is the expiry age of life insurance?

Life insurance does not expire at a certain age. If you have term life insurance, your plan will expire at the end of your policy. However, many companies stop selling new insurance policies after a certain age, usually between 70 and 80.

Is it better to have full or long term insurance coverage?

It depends on what you want. People who want to buy a policy that never expires and accumulate cash value should consider a lifetime. Short-term life is affordable for everyone and usually meets most people’s life insurance needs.

What if your financial situation changes after purchasing life insurance?

Unfortunately, you cannot get your life insurance refunded if you decide to cancel it. If you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, contact your insurance representative to see if they can help.

Life insurance quotes are always free.

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Editorial Tips: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective third party source for all things life insurance. We update our website regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Rachel Brennan has been in the insurance industry since 2006 when she started working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she held her property and casualty license in all 50 states. Several years later, she expanded her expertise in the insurance field, earning a license in health insurance and AD&D insurance as well. I worked for a small health in…

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Rachel Brennan
Licensed insurance agent
Rachel Brennan

Benjamin Carr has worked as a licensed insurance agent at State Farm and Tennant Special Risk. He sold various lines of coverage and advised his clients about their life, health, and property/accident insurance needs. Assessing risk and helping people find the best coverage for their needs is his passion. He appreciates that insurance is designed to protect people, especially in times of…

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Benjamin Carr

Former state farm insurance agent

Benjamin Carr



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