What is the right age to buy life insurance?

What Is the Right Age to Buy Life Insurance?


When is the right age to buy life insurance?

In truth, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ age to buy life insurance; the right time comes when you are able to afford at least a basic plan.


Woman shrugging shoulders
There is no right age, but there is a right time


However, if you can afford to buy a plan when you are younger i.e. between the ages of 20 to 35, you’ll enjoy lower insurance costs in general. Premium levels for life insurance tend to go up as you age and the same goes for medical insurance.

Still, that does not mean that if you fall above or below this age group that you shouldn’t buy life insurance. You should definitely look into a life insurance plan when you are financially able – especially if you have dependants.


But what if I don’t have dependants…?

Even if you are young and without kids or a spouse that depend on you financially, a life insurance policy – even a basic one like a term life policy, can come in handy. This is because most life insurance policies provide benefits for permanent disablement; some even cover critical illnesses (often with a separate rider or part of a bundle).

Now if you don’t have a lifetime supply of cash around – and we are going to assume that you don’t, then a life insurance policy can cover you financially if you are left disabled and not fit to work.


Happy couple
Leading the DINK (Double Income No Kids) life? Getting insured is an adult thing to do 


As mentioned, it is better to buy a life insurance policy when you are younger because of the lower premiums, no matter the type of plan. If you are buying a term life plan for example, you could lock-in lower rates for a longer period of time (over the term) and save a lot of money.

Alternatively, if you choose a whole life, cash value policy or investment-linked plan, you can build up a savings portion (or investment profit) over time. This figure can grow to be quite substantial, if you buy a plan earlier in life.

At the very least and depending on the allocations, your ‘savings’ from a cash value policy may be able to cover premiums in later years, until depleted. There are of course, other insurance products such as universal life endowment plans that might appeal to your needs too.


| See also: 10 Things You Didn't Know Were Covered by Your Travel Insurance |


How young is too young for a life plan?

Most term life insurance plans can provide coverage for people as young as 16 years to 21 years old, but is that too young for a life insurance policy? To answer this question, it is important to look at the financial stability of people in this age range.

If you are 16 years of age and still under the care of your parents, then a life policy might not be necessary. Instead, parents should consider a good medical plan with a disability and personal accident rider for children still under their care. A family life insurance plan could also be worthwhile.


Girl holding phone staring at the camera
Consider the benefits and protection afforded to a young adult with his or her entire life ahead


However, do think about getting a life plan, if you are a working adult, without any form of financial coverage to help you out in case of permanent disablement.

Remember that if you meet an accident or fall gravely ill and it results in a total and permanent disability, a disablement benefit from a life plan can help you support yourself financially.

Do note though, medical insurance should be prioritised over a life plan. Once you have sufficient medical coverage, only then should you proceed to look into your options for a life insurance plan.


What should a younger person look for in a life insurance plan?

It is very important to consider affordability when choosing an insurance plan, especially with life insurance as it is (often) a long-term commitment.

For life insurance, term plans are one of the most inexpensive, straightforward types available. A term life insurance plan will cover you for the duration of the term, which differs with plans and providers.


Signing a life insurance policy
Younger age means a lower rate - keep this in mind


For example, you can purchase life insurance for 5 – 20 years or more and remain covered for the duration, so long as you pay your premiums. As mentioned, the good thing about buying term plans when you are younger is that you can lock in lower rates for a longer period of time.

It is also recommended to opt for a term life insurance plan that is convertible to a permanent plan. A convertible plan allows you to easily upgrade your coverage (if you want) as your financials improve.


What if I am older – should I still get life insurance?

The term ‘older’ is often subjective – but when it comes to insurance, it’s arguably defined by being over the age of 40.

Unfortunately, the older you get, the trickier it becomes to buy life or medical policies. Not only does it get more expensive, there’s also a greater chance of you developing a pre-existing condition that could trouble your chances of getting insurance, or at least at lower rates.


Pretty office lady
Keep your health in check as the older you get the more difficult it gets to get insured 


However, it does not mean that you should avoid buying life insurance as an older person and miss out on coverage. But do note that there may be more hoops to jump through before you get approved.

For example, if you are above the age of 40, you may be asked to undergo a medical examination when applying for a policy.


How do I improve my premium rates as an older person?

If you are above 40 years of age and are looking to buy life insurance, your premium rates are likely to be slightly higher – and will continue to rise as you get older. Thus, it’s important not to wait; buy a plan as soon as you can afford to!

If you are buying a term life plan, opt for the maximum term, so you can lock in lower rates for longer. Also, there are a few more things you can do to get better rates and have your application approved.


Man jumping for joy
The key to a healthy lifestyle lies directly with you


These include; quitting smoking, drinking alcohol only moderately (or none at all), and exercising and eating right to achieve a normal body weight. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help lower your premium rates, especially when the policy includes a health test.

Interested in find out about term life insurance? Get more tips here.