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Men pay 38% more than women for term life; smokers pay triple compared to nonsmokers

Brian Anderson

A new study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com found that men pay an average of 38% more than women for the same term life insurance policy.

The study, released on July 24, showed that smoking status, age and gender all have a big impact on term life insurance rates. While this isn’t news to anyone in the industry, the figures accompanying the study can be eye-opening to consumers.

As men and women get older, the gap between their life insurance rates increases, according to the study. For example, a 25-year-old man pays 25% more for a policy than a woman the same age. At age 45, a man pays 32% more, and by age 65, he pays 40% more.

The reason, of course, is because men have a higher chance of dying at most ages and have a shorter life expectancy (about 5 years less) than women. Men are more likely to have more dangerous occupations and hobbies, and men (particularly young men) on average have riskier driving habits.

Some relevant statistics:

• In 2012, women accounted for less than 10% of the more than 4,500 fatal workplace accidents, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

• 87% of skydivers and 66% of scuba divers are male, according to the U.S. Parachute Association and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

• Women on average drive less than men, get into fewer accidents, and are cited for speeding and DUIs less frequently than men. Men are also 10% less likely to wear a seat belt.

Smokers pay triple

The study also found smokers can pay as much as triple the amount that nonsmokers pay, with premiums for older smokers being especially high. For example, by age 65, a female nonsmoker would pay just more than $293 per month, or $3,523 a year, while a female smoker would pay just over $1,000 per month or $12,026 per year.

According to the study:

• At age 25, a female smoker pays $456 more per year than a 25-year-old nonsmoker

• At age 45, a female smoker pays $1,462 more per year

• At age 65, a female smoker pays $8,503 more per year

• For male smokers, the gap is even wider, ranging from $594 extra per year at age 25 to $10,975 more per year at age 65

To read more from the study, visit InsuranceQuotes.


InsuranceQuotes.com commissioned Ratefilings.com to gather life insurance premium information. Ratefilings.com used term4sale.com to collect 20-year term life insurance rates for men and women at ages 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65. Rates reflect a $500,000 policy and include smokers and nonsmokers. The data cover the top 25 carriers nationwide, which represents 70% of the market.



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