20-Year Policy vs. 30-Year Policy— Which One is For You?

20-Year vs 30-Year Term Life Insurance

20 Year vs 30 Year Term Life Insurance: There are so many life insurance types to choose from, but term life insurance is the most popular. Term life insurance policies come with different term lengths for a reason. They range anywhere from one to 30 years. Most life insurance companies offer between 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.

How long should I have life insurance? Everyone’s needs are different, and life insurance is not a “one size fits all” type of deal. Let’s look into two of the most popular term lengths: 20 year term life & 30 year term life.

20 Year vs 30 Year Term Life Insurance

Many people will find that a 20 or 30-year term life policy works best for their needs, especially if children or multiple family members are in the picture. We work with over 40 different top rated life insurance companies, and have a lot of experience getting both 20-year and 30-year policies.

Not every company offers 30-year policies, but we can help you get offers from ones that do. Keep reading to learn more about these term lengths to determine which is the best one for you.

20 Year vs 30 Year Term: Policy Amount

Before you even decide what term length you want, you should consider how much you want your policy to be worth.

Policies worth larger amount are going to cost more depending on the term length you want. For example, decide whether you want a…

…and go from there.

Keep in mind that you can start comparing rates at any time using our online quote form, but take a look at the next section to learn more about rate differences.

Difference in Rates Between 20 and 30 year Term

Obviously, policies of different term lengths are going to come with different rate costs.

Let’s look at an example based on real-life statistics.

Joan is a 35-year-old female nonsmoker who is interested in a $500,000 term life insurance policy. She is in great health, has no preexisting conditions and so she is eligible for Preferred Plus rates (the lowest ones).

20 Year Term Life Insurance Quotes

Let’s look and see some sample rates for a 20 Year Term Life Insurance policy for a healthy non smoking male.


30 Year Term Life Insurance Quotes

Let’s now look and see some sample rates for a 30 Year Term Life Insurance policy for a healthy non smoking male.


20 Year Term Life Insurance Pros

A 20-year term life insurance policy is a great option for a variety of situations. Some of the most common scenarios that 20 year term shoppers are facing include:

With 20 year term life insurance, you can help protect your family in the short term or help pay off a mortgage if it has less then 20 years remaining. For business, perhaps you need to fund a buy sell agreement or key person life insurance. If you’re looking to save money and are limited with a budget, a 20 year term will be less expensive compared to a 30-year term life policy.

30 Year Term Life Insurance Pros

A 30-year term life insurance policy is a good choice as well. Some of the most common reasons to buy a 30 year term is:

  • Young married couple
  • You’re the primary breadwinner
  • Mortgage protection
  • Child with Special Needs
  • Significant Debt

30 year term life insurance has some similarities to 20 year term, but obviously it’s longer coverage. The need for an additional 10 years can be extremely important, especially if you’re young and the primary breadwinner. 30 year term life is also a affordable option to cover the needs of a special needs child. Of course if you have a brand new 30 year mortgage, a 30 year term life policy would be ideal.

20-Year Term Sample Rates

For a 20-year $500,000 policy, a healthy 35 year old female is likely to be offered the following rates:

30-year term Sample Rates

For a 30-year $500,000 policy, a healthy 35 year old female is likely to be offered the following rates:

  • SBLI: $32 a month
  • Banner Life: $34 a month
  • Protective: $34 a month
  • American General: $34 a month
  • Transamerica: $35 a month
  • Prudential: $37 a month
  • MetLife: $38 a month

So, as you can see, the rates start out instantly higher in our example above with the 30-year option. You also have slightly fewer options as far as providers go.

However, this may be the best option if you have younger children and/or multiple dependents.

If you’re fairly young and in great health, you’re unlikely to die any time soon – so a 20-year policy may not be long enough.

It’s always a good strategy to secure coverage quickly. If you wait until you’re older to get coverage anything can happen. So choosing a 30-year policy now is likely better for your family in the long run.

20 Year vs 30 Year Term Life Insurance

Bottom line

When comparing 20 year term life insurance policy to a 30 year term, you’re going to need to make sure you don’t under or over insure yourself. Most consumers initially underinsure themselves when they evaluate their potential financial losses. For the majority of consumers, a 30 year term life policy provides better coverage. It will be more expensive compared to a 20 year term life policy, but depending on your age- it may not be significant.

Make sure you compare rates from the top life insurance companies in the USA with our free instant life insurance calculator.

You can also use our quote tool on this page to start comparing companies and rates today, or feel free to call us at 888-411-1329 to get a customized quote and learn more about getting the right life insurance coverage for you. We’ll gladly help you find the best 20 year or 30 year term life policy- whichever one works best for you and your family.

Since we have access to the best carriers, we aren’t tied down to any particular company and can give you unbiased suggestions. We can even show you money saving strategies like using “save age” or “life insurance laddering” – to save you even more money.

Thank you for reading our post, 20 Year vs 30 Year Term Life Insurance. To learn more about life insurance, make sure to visit our page Life Insurance 101 or find out how much you may end up paying for coverage on our Life Insurance Rates by Age page.

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Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn

Michael is owner & life insurance expert at Life Insurance Blog where we've helped thousands of shoppers learn and secure affordable life insurance online.
Simple way to compare and buy life insurance

The Simple way to compare and buy life insurance