December 2, 2023

Take a few minutes to use the life insurance calculator to easily figure out how much coverage you need and for how long.

Calculators: They’re great. Whether you’re using them to enter teenage information in elementary school or playing games with fancy graphing calculators in calculus class, they’re always there to help you…well, be lazy. (We’re also assuming they also help you add, subtract, and create sine wave plots.)

Either way, the life insurance calculator turns out to be both fun and useful, assuming your definition of fun includes making sure your loved ones are protected should something happen to you. But let’s focus on what’s useful: Taking a few minutes to use a life insurance calculator is the easiest way to help determine how much coverage you need and for how long, while also preventing you from overpaying for coverage you don’t need.

Let’s break it down.

in the text:

How the Life Insurance Cost Calculator Works

Broadly speaking, life insurance works by allowing large numbers of people to pool their money into one insurance company. The life insurance company then manages the money and pays people a certain amount if the worst happens. To make this possible, insurance companies make actuarial calculations of how long people live.

It’s complicated, but luckily, you don’t have to worry about all of this. You simply care about what is right for you and your family based on your age, health and financial needs. This is where calculators come in.

In short, you will provide the calculator with some information about yourself that will help you estimate the amount of protection you may need. Using an online calculator, the answer is an estimate designed to guide your decision. When you apply, your final rate will be based on your application and third-party data obtained during your coverage period. Here are some of the things you need to provide:

  • your gender
  • your date of birth
  • where you live
  • Whether you smoke or use other nicotine-containing products
  • An overall self-assessment of your health (fair, good, or excellent)
  • your annual income
  • the size of your family and the ages of your partner and/or children
  • How much debt, if any, you have (including mortgages, student loans, etc.)

That’s it! Essentially, the calculator is designed to sort out the coverage you might need based on your financial situation, taking into account your family’s income, debts and living expenses, as well as the funds or coverage you already have (including any life insurance policies).

The calculator uses this to determine what’s known as the “coverage gap” — essentially, the total amount of life insurance coverage your family would need if an accident happened to you. With term life insurance, which gives you coverage for a specific period (the coverage period), the calculator can also determine how long you need to be covered.

These two numbers will be used to determine the coverage and length of coverage you might want to consider, such as a 30-year, $1 million term life insurance policy. (If you want to learn more about how much life insurance you need, check out our helpful article How much life insurance do I need?)

life insurance cost

according to A 2015 study by LIMRA — an organization that tracks such things — most people overestimate the cost of a term life insurance policy by 200% or even 300%. That means getting a policy may be cheaper than you think. That’s why term life insurance policies often appeal to those interested in affordability or buying coverage when you need it most, such as during a mortgage or while your kids are in college.

If you decide to purchase term life insurance, in order to determine the policy cost (life insurance rate), the calculator will consider the following factors:

your age

Because, obviously, the younger you are, the longer you’re likely to live, which means you can pay lower premiums for a longer period of time.

your health

The healthier you are, the less risk the life insurance company takes on and the lower your premiums will be paid.

How much coverage do you need

For the same person buying the same term (see below), more coverage equals higher premiums. It’s that simple.

your tenure

Typically, shorter term costs are lower than longer term costs – both overall and monthly. You’ll pay higher life insurance premiums over a longer term because it covers years when you’re older and likely to be in poorer health, meaning you’re a greater risk to the insurance company. (Learn how to choose the right life insurance by age.)

For example, a 35-year-old male in good health can purchase a 30-year, $500,000 Haven term policy issued by MassMutual for less than $42 a month. During this period, a 1-year-old will finish college and the insured will be nearing retirement.

Now suppose the same person in good health buys the same amount of coverage ($500,000), but only for 15 years. He will pay $15.66 a month for half the time. That would cover him through age 50 — which might be enough if he’s planning to retire early, his kids are older and close to financial independence, or if he’s about to pay off his mortgage.

Which Life Insurance Should You Buy?

Another factor that affects cost: what type of insurance you get. Everything we’ve discussed so far has been about term life insurance, but many people opt for permanent life insurance. A common type of permanent life insurance is whole life insurance. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance provides coverage for your entire life and includes a cash accumulation component, the cash value of the policy, which can grow over time.

This type of insurance is usually more complicated and more expensive than term life insurance and may require the help of a financial professional or life insurance agent to purchase.

Term life insurance is simpler than whole life insurance. You decide the coverage and duration you need. Your rate is determined based on the factors above. You pay by the deadline, and if something happens to you, your family benefits from your foresight.

choose your policy

Life insurance is a highly regulated industry and of course you have options. Obviously, you want to do what works for your family and budget. You also need to consider the financial strength of the issuing company and the ease of the application process.

That sounds a lot like Haven Life, a life insurance organization backed by industry leader MassMutual. MassMutual and its subsidiary, China Merchants Life, issue Haven term insurance policies. MassMutual and CM Life are highly rated for their financial strength, while Haven Life offers an easy online application process for term life insurance and consistently high ratings for great customer service.

If you want to learn more, you can start using Haven Life’s super helpful online insurance needs calculator to determine how much insurance you need.

Already know what you need? Get a free online life insurance quote today.

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications. He regularly writes about travel, sports, pop culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he developed a passion for breakfast tacos with his wife and two children. This article was sponsored by Haven Life Insurance Company. Opinions are his own.

The information provided by Haven Life Insurance Agency is for educational purposes only and is not written or intended as specific legal advice. Haven Life Insurance Agency does not provide legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own legal counsel.

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About Louise Wilson

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications. He regularly writes about travel, sports, pop culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he developed a passion for breakfast tacos with his wife and two children.

Read more from Louise Wilson

our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-focused life insurance organization backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. We believe that decisions about life insurance, personal finances and overall health can be simple.

our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-focused life insurance organization backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. We believe that decisions about life insurance, personal finances and overall health can be simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life less difficult if they are appropriate for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice and should not be relied upon. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal advisors.

our disclosure

Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states including North Carolina) issued by MassMutual, Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In New York State, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In California, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a simplified issue term life insurance policy issued by CM Life Insurance Company (Enfield, CT 06082) (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in some states, including North Carolina). Policy and rider numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number is OK71922 in California and 100139527 in Arkansas.

MassMutual is rated A++ (Superior; Top Category 15) by AM Best Company. This rating is as of April 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual Financial Services has received varying ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is part of a Haven Term policy that provides additional services and benefits for free or at a discounted price. This rider is not available in every state and may change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for providing benefits and services provided by third party vendors (partners) under Plus Rider. For more information on Haven Life Plus, visit:

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  • The process is simple, no review required, and quick approval.

  • Cheapest we could find, easy to apply, no health check required as I had one recently. Whenever I ask them a question, the customer service staff responds quickly.

  • The process is easy, painless and the turnaround is fairly quick. discount price!

  • Apply online easily and get a decision on my coverage within 24 hours.

  • God. After a week of begging for Haven Life every day, I’m finally writing a review. Overall a very good experience, but this is life insurance. So it’s a bit of a pain, and it’s not very transparent about what affects rates. I got a great policy in less than a month which is fantastic. My interest rate is insanely high. I have a few minor health issues, but taken together they probably cover my assessment of higher risk. I’m pretty sure I could get (and probably still do) better prices if I went the traditional route. But this is more invasive and time-consuming. I give it a 3 because of the rates and lack of rates, and because – this is life insurance – in my experience, it’s never very pleasant.