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The Best Cheap Life Insurance Companies

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As you may already know, life insurance protects your family when you pass away.  Unlike car insurance, life insurance isn’t required by law — which can make it seem like it’s unnecessary? But did you know that coverage can be relatively inexpensive — and can financially provide for your loved ones when you die? Now that cheap life insurance companies can offer quotes online or over the phone, it’s never been easier to find a low-cost plan that fits your needs.

If you’ve been considering life insurance but don’t think you can afford the premium every month, check out our complete guide to the best cheap life insurance plans.

Quick Look – Cheap Life Insurance Companies

What Life Insurance Covers

Life insurance is a type of insurance policy that offers your beneficiaries a lump-sum payment. This lump sum payment is called a “death benefit.” In exchange for coverage, you’ll pay a monthly premium to keep your life insurance valid. Unlike other types of insurance (like homeowners insurance or health insurance), life insurance policies usually don’t have a deductible.

How much you’ll pay in a monthly premium depends on a number of factors, including your age, health, your occupation, where you live and even your hobbies.

There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance protects you for a specific period of time, usually between 10 to 20 years. If you die within your term period, your beneficiaries will receive your death benefit. If your plan expires before your death, your policy closes and you won’t get any more protection.

Though some insurance companies allow you to renew your policy after it expires, premiums are usually much higher for your second term.   

Permanent Life Insurance

As its name suggests, permanent life insurance policies don’t have an expiration date. As long as you continue to pay your premiums, you’ll have life insurance.

There are no guidelines or limitations on what your beneficiaries can do with your death benefit. Most people use it to cover funeral expenses, pay off mortgages or co-signed debts and use it to make up for lost income.

Like most other types of insurance, the specific aspects that your policy covers depends on your plan and provider. Make sure you always read all of the fine print on your policy before you sign.

How to Choose a Policy

Choosing a life insurance policy can be difficult, especially if you’ve never shopped for a policy before. The first step is to research life insurance companies that offer service in your area. You may know a few nationwide names (like Progressive or State Farm) but even large companies don’t offer service in every part of the country.

After you research a few companies in your area, start collecting quotes. Every life insurance company uses its own unique formula when they decide how much you’ll pay in monthly premiums. It’s possible to get the exact same coverage from 10 different insurance companies at 10 totally different price points. The best way to ensure that you’re getting the most affordable coverage available is to get at least 3 quotes from companies in your area.

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Pro Tip: Compare 2-3 companies to get the best rates

Once you have your quotes, take a look at what each of your policy options offers. Think about what your family would need prior to deciding which policy is right for you. Consider term limits, death benefit amounts and any conditions under which the company can cancel your policy.

Our Picks for the Best Cheap Life Insurance Companies

Protecting your family doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s never been easier to get a cheap life insurance policy for just a few dollars a month. Start your search with our favorite low-cost life insurance policy providers.

What to Look for in a Company

Look for these characteristics when you pick a life insurance company.

Term life insurance policies. Look for a company that offers term policies if you’re looking for a cheap life insurance policy. Permanent life insurance is much more expensive than term insurance.

Availability in your state. Not every life insurance company is authorized to offer insurance in every state. Look for an insurer that offers coverage across the nation — and in your hometown.

Policy options. Your lifestyle is unique — and your life insurance policy should be as well. Look for life insurance options that give you the choice to customize and personalize your plan. For example, you may want the option to add a rider that includes a death benefit for your spouse.

Guaranteed renewable coverage. There’s nothing worse than signing up for life insurance, paying years’ worth of premiums, then being dropped from your coverage if you’re involved in an accident or your health begins to fail. Look for life insurance companies that offer “guaranteed renewable” policies. These policies can’t be canceled unless you stop paying your premiums or you lie on your initial application.

Flexible term lengths. Do you need protection for 5 years or 50 years? Look for a life insurance provider that puts your unique needs at the forefront along with flexible term options.

Best Overall: TIAA

If the premium price is your main concern when you’re shopping for life insurance, TIAA should be one of your first stops. The company has policies available for as little as $10 a month and its online quote tool will serve you a result in as little as a few minutes.

Consistently one of the highest-rated insurance providers in the United States, TIAA is also available in most states and areas of the country. You can choose to get started online using its unique “Wizard” tool, or you can contact a representative to guide you through the process and help you choose an option.

TIAA offers a few different term options, ranging from 10-year policies to 30 years of protection. At any time during your policy, you can choose to switch over to a permanent policy. Whether you choose a term plan or a permanent plan, TIAA’s policies are renewable.

A quick and easy choice for anyone who wants to get protected today, TIAA’s low-cost policies are comprehensive and affordable for anyone.

State Farm

Having trouble finding coverage in your area? Chances are that State Farm has a policy option that’s right for you. Operating across the United States, only 3 states are excluded from State Farm’s term life insurance options — New York, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

Residents of all other states can get a comprehensive term life policy and some of the best customer service in the insurance realm.

State Farm also has a very generous conversion policy if you decide that you want to switch to a permanent plan. Policyholders under the age of 75 can switch at any time without taking another medical examination.

State Farm’s policies are a bit pricier than competitors like TIAA and Banner Life — 10-year plans start at about $15 per month and 30-year coverage options will usually cost you at least $19 in monthly premiums. Shoppers who want to take advantage of the company’s nationwide status or easy conversion options can with just a few extra dollars every month.

Transamerica

Transamerica offers a wide range of term life insurance options, with protections beginning at $25,000 and going all the way up to $10 million. If you have a very high net worth, you may also be able to get even more upon individual consideration.

Though most life insurance companies require policy applicants to get a health examination before they’re accepted for a policy, Transamerica may allow you to skip the exam if you’re under a certain age and you don’t smoke.

Transamerica is one of the best policy providers for flexible coverage choices. You can add riders for end-of-life care, additional financial coverage for accidental death and even critical illness coverage that begins to pay out while you’re still alive under certain circumstances.

Though Transamerica’s policies are pretty expensive if you’re a smoker (tobacco users pay about $100 more per year for their policy), you’ll get an excellent reputation and personalized choices with Transamerica.

Pacific Life

Pacific Life is a unique insurance company that offers a wide variety of interesting policy structures. In addition to its standard term and permanent insurance policies, Pacific Life also offers an indexed life insurance option, which provides stock market-connected death benefit growth over time.

This can save you money with your policy — as well as leave a nest egg behind for your children or grandchildren.

Pacific Life is also one of the most affordable life insurance providers for smokers. While smokers looking for a policy with Transamerica may pay as much as $50 a month for their coverage, plans for tobacco users are available from Pacific Life for as little as $17 a month. If you aren’t quite ready or able to quit, Pacific Life might have the key to affordable insurance.

Banner Life (now Legal & General America)

Banner Life is one of the top insurance providers in the country. Its history dates back over 136 years, 1.3 million current customers and A-level financial ratings from multiple advisory groups. You know that your future is secure when you choose a policy though Banner Life. Though the original Banner and William Penn corporations still underwrite Banner’s policies, a new owner (Legal & General America) has focused on lowering life insurance expenses.

Term policies from Banner Life are affordable and available for as little as $12 online. Getting a quote is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Their premium payment structure is unique and convenient. You can choose whether you’d like to pay your premium in one lump yearly sum, on a monthly basis or anything in between. Its website and policy choices are simple and easy enough for anyone to understand. A reliable and affordable choice, Banner policies are still a fantastic choice when it comes to life insurance.

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Pro Tip: Compare 2-3 companies to get the best rates

Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family

Are you ready to protect yourself and your family’s legacy with a cheap life insurance policy? It’s possible to get a policy that works with your budget. It’s important to do the legwork and consult with multiple companies. Don’t get discouraged if the first few quotes you receive are too expensive. Keep looking, and you’ll find a policy you can afford.  

Want to learn more about insurance? Check out Benzinga’s guides to the best affordable health insurance, the best umbrella insurance and the best jewelry insurance.