What Is 30-Year Term Life Insurance?

Get the information you need to know about a 30-year term life insurance policy.
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What Is 30-Year Term Life Insurance?

Written by Brian Greenberg
CEO / Founder & Licensed Insurance Agent

Last updated: November 24th, 2022

Reviewed by Paige Geisler
Licensed Insurance Agent

If you die during the 30-year period during which the policy is in effect, your beneficiaries receive the death benefit stated in the policy tax-free. The beneficiaries use the proceeds as they choose. For most consumers, 30 years is the longest time period available for term life insurance.

How Does a 30-Year Term Life Insurance Policy Work?

A 30-year term policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. As long as you pay the monthly premium across the 30 years, the insurance company will pay a predetermined cash death benefit to your beneficiary if you die during the term of the policy. The monthly premium stays the same for the entire 30 years, and the death benefit is guaranteed.

Applicants must qualify for term life insurance policies. Before granting a policy, an insurance provider will assess the applicant’s health, as well as any risks resulting from the applicant’s occupation or lifestyle. For example, aircraft pilots may have to pay more for a term life insurance policy because of their risky occupation.

When you apply, you should decide the amount of death benefit you require. The death benefit should be based on the amount needed to provide for the insured’s family, including putting children through college. You also have to name your beneficiaries. While most people name their immediate family members as beneficiaries, it’s also possible to leave life insurance benefits to a nonprofit organization, a trust, or nonfamily members.

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What Happens to the Policy at the End of 30 Years?

The good news when you reach the end of your life insurance’s 30-year term is you’re still alive to celebrate outliving your policy. Unfortunately, the policy terminates when its term is over. Your beneficiaries are no longer entitled to a death benefit when you die after termination.

You do have some options, however, at the end of the 30-year term. You may be able to extend your coverage, although the rates are likely to go up. In some cases, people shop for a new life insurance policy, typically one with a shorter term. Depending on your health, the rates for this new policy could be higher or lower than the quote for extending your current policy.

Many people also choose to go without life insurance coverage after a 30-year term policy expires. They may no longer need to provide for children, who have grown up and become independent during the term. Any outstanding debts could be paid off or reduced to a manageable amount.

Who Is Right for a 30-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?

Most people who opt for 30-year term life insurance do so to provide for any surviving loved ones. You may want to make sure your survivors could pay off the mortgage on your home, so they can have a place to live free of financial worries. In some cases, people with other debts take out a life insurance policy to make sure those debts are covered if they meet an untimely death.

Someone with financial dependents, such as a special needs child, may want to make sure that person will be cared for after their death. Often people choose a 30-year term because the end of the term will dovetail with their anticipated retirement date, so they know their family will be provided for if their income ceases. That 30-year term also helps people feel confident that their children can grow up and make it through college without financial hardship.

The amount of the death benefit is calculated based on your beneficiaries’ anticipated financial needs, including paying off any mortgage, living expenses, and college expenses for children. The amount you should plan on depends largely on your current income and your age:

Who Is Right for a 30-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?

Age at Time of Insurance PurchaseOptimal Death Benefit
18-40Current income x 30
41-50Current income x 20
51-60Current income x 15
61-65Current income x 10
66-70 (post-retirement)Equivalent to current net worth
71+Equivalent to half of current net worth

What Is the Cost of a 30-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?

Several factors come into play when determining the cost of a 30-year term life insurance policy. Your age is a significant factor, as is your current state of health — including whether you smoke cigarettes. The younger you are, the lower your premiums will be. The amount of coverage, or death benefit, you’re seeking also affects the cost, with higher coverage demanding higher premiums.

A healthy young woman in her 20s who doesn’t smoke might be able to get $1 million in 30-year term life insurance for around $45 per month. By age 40, that premium could go up to about $88 per month, and by age 50, it would run around $208 per month. A nonsmoking man could expect to pay about $65 per month at age 25, $111 at age 40, and $286 at age 50 for the same coverage.

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How Does a 30-Year Term Life Insurance Policy Compare to Other Life Insurance Policies?

A 30-year term life insurance policy is typically the simplest, most straightforward type of life insurance you can buy. There are a few options available with term life insurance, although most of them cost a bit more than 30-year term life insurance.

You might opt for a policy with an annual renewable term. This type of policy lets you choose each year whether you want to extend the policy with no medical exam, but overall, it will cost a bit more. A guaranteed issue policy also doesn’t require a medical exam. However, because these policies are typically written for clients with preexisting health conditions, they’re often quite a bit more expensive. Another option is a convertible term life insurance policy. This allows you to convert your term insurance to whole life insurance if you decide you want permanent coverage or want to use your life insurance as a partial retirement plan.

Some people opt for whole life insurance, rather than term insurance. Whole life insurance builds its cash value over time and lasts for your entire life, as long as you stay current on premium payments. In essence, it functions as a savings plan in addition to life insurance, and it’s possible to tap into the accrued savings if needed, usually after the 12-year mark.

How Can You Get a Quote for 30-Year Term Life Insurance?

At Insurist, we can direct you to the best quotes for your 30-year term life insurance. After you fill out a short questionnaire, we’ll help you find the right choices at the right cost. The whole process is speedy and simple. Start your journey toward 30-year term life insurance today.

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Key Takeaways

  • 30-year term life insurance pays a guaranteed amount if you die any time during the 30-year term, as long as your premiums are up to date.
  • Once the 30-year term is over, if no death benefit has been paid out, the insurance terminates.
  • 30-year term insurance is ideal for people who want to make sure their children are provided for in the event of their death by covering future mortgage and college payments.

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