What factors affect the cost of life insurance?

First, the life insurance policy's distinct coverage features affect pricing. Term life expires without benefits if the insured individual is living at the end of the term. These policies are generally less expensive. Permanent policies cost more because they have an investment benefit and remain in force until the insured individual passes (if the premium is paid). Term and permanent life insurance policies with higher face values cost more.

Insurers are interested in lifespan because benefits are paid when the insured individual passes. In turn, factors unique to the person being insured affect cost.

Age is perhaps the biggest influencer. Younger applicants typically pay less for life insurance. Statistics show women live longer than men, making gender a life insurance price factor. Health, including current status, prior medical conditions and family history, are considerations as well. Applicants without health issues usually pay lower rates. Life insurance premiums are typically higher for smokers and obese individuals due to increased health risks associated with these situations. Excessive drinking, a risky occupation like mining or working with toxic chemicals, a daring hobby like skydiving or mountain climbing, or a poor driving record can raise the cost of life insurance.