What Is 40-Year Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance gives you a simple way to ensure your family is taken care of after you pass away.
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What Is 40-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

Many policyholders take out life insurance to cover the cost of funeral services and support their loved ones through a difficult period. Recently, the offerings for term life insurance policies have expanded to include 40-year term plans, even though only a handful of companies currently offer them.

What Is 40-Year Term Life Insurance?

Forty-year term life insurance is the newest term product available on the life insurance market and has gained popularity since its debut. Favored among young adults and those with special needs children that require extra financial support, 40-year term policies keep premiums level and death benefits guaranteed for the plan’s duration.

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How Does a 40-Year Term Life Insurance Policy Work?

As with other term life insurance policies, a 40-year term policy is the simplest approach to leaving wealth behind for your loved ones. The policy will be more expensive than a 20- or 30-year variant, but you will not have to worry about renewal costs if you outlived a shorter term. As long as you pay your premiums on time, you will be covered.

What Happens to the Policy at the End of 40 Years?

The end of a 40-year term policy means you can lose the benefits of the policy you took out 40 years earlier. Typically, a shorter-term policy is purchased with the assumption that dependents and debts will no longer be concerns at the end of the term. These will often come with conversion riders or provisions that allow you to change the policy to a permanent life insurance plan to maintain the guaranteed death benefit.

You also have the option to simply let the policy expire after 40 years if covering expenses and supporting family members is not a concern. Some policies even return premiums paid during the term, which means you only paid for administration and processing fees to have coverage for 40 years. These types of policies are called return-of-premium and typically cost more than traditional terms. Other companies will allow you to renew the policy on an annual basis, although this comes with significant increases in premiums.

What Is the Cost of a 40-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?

Your premium on a 40-year term life insurance policy depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Tobacco use
  • Current health
  • Personal and family medical history
  • Criminal and driving record
  • Occupation and lifestyle

The weight of each variable will differ between insurance companies and their underwriting process. A good rule of thumb is that the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your premiums will be. Having a preexisting condition or a history of health complications will increase your risk to potential insurers, further increasing your rates.

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It’s All About Risk

Insurance companies price their products based on the expectancy of when they will have to pay and how much you paid into the policy by then. Smoking is an obvious concern for insurers, but felonies, DUIs, and other major offenses can showcase a high-risk lifestyle. Insurance companies will not be keen to take on customers with these types of risks. Jobs in dangerous fields, such as oil, coal, and skilled labor, are other leading causes of higher premiums.

One way to get the most out of the cost of a 40-year term life insurance policy is to find one that offers a conversion to universal or whole life. Converting allows you to extend coverage while basing premiums on your age and health at the time you bought the original policy.

Who Is Right for a 40-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?

Term life insurance has no single solution. This is why you come across dozens of different policies, even within a single company. Thankfully, term life insurance is concise and boils down to the coverage you get for the premium you pay. Currently, only two companies offer 40-year terms. Legal & General and Protective Life are the only options to obtain one of these term policies. Here is a snapshot of monthly premiums for a 40-year term with a $500,000 death benefit.

Who Is Right for a 40-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?

Sex and AgeLegal & General (Sold Under Banner Life/William Penn)Protective Life
Female age 30$40$40
Female age 35$55$55
Female age 40$95$90
Female age 45$145$145
Male age 30$55$55
Male age 35$65$70
Male age 40$115$115
Male age 45$190$190

Special circumstances can make 40-year term policies more enticing. If you are the parent or guardian of someone with a disability or other care needs, your death benefit will carry value beyond the dollar amount.

How Does a 40-Year Term Life Insurance Policy Compare To Other Life Insurance Policies?

Compared to other term policies, a 40-year term offers longer protection with higher premiums. The overall cost of coverage may still be less than renewing a 20-year policy for 20 more years, which is why it is important to understand your needs before purchasing.

The 40-year term policy also comes with the stability of a guaranteed death benefit, which, unlike investment vehicles, will not drop due to poor market or portfolio performance. Just be aware that you cannot use the money you invest in a life insurance policy to invest in other market sectors.

How Can You Get a Quote for 40-Year Term Life Insurance?

You can get a life insurance quote for a 40-year term without leaving your computer. You can leverage independent sites that work directly with insurers to provide accurate quotes or go directly to the insurance company’s site. Those who prefer to talk with someone should still use an online form and request a callback to get started.

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Key Takeaways

40-year term life insurance offers long-term coverage although with higher premiums. Many plans come with the ability to convert to a whole or variable life policy to reduce premium costs and allow policyholders to invest their premiums.

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