How Much It Costs to Boost Life Insurance Coverage

With term life insurance rates relatively low, it’s a good time to add coverage.

I just moved for a new job and bought a new house, and I’d like to increase the amount of my life insurance. I have a $500,000 20-year term policy. How much would it cost to boost it to $1 million?

If you’re pretty young and healthy, it costs a lot less than you’d expect. A 30-year-old woman could pay as little as $214 per year for a $500,000 20-year term insurance policy and $354 for $1 million, says Byron Udell, CEO of A healthy 30-year-old man would pay $244 for $500,000 and $421 for $1 million.

The price difference is slightly higher for a healthy 40-year-old. For a woman, a $500,000 20-year term insurance policy would cost $304 per year, and $1 million in coverage could cost $529, according to Udell. A 40-year-old man would pay more: $328 per year for a $500,000 20-year term insurance policy and $626 for $1 million.

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Ask your insurer how much it would cost to boost your coverage, and compare the cost with buying a new policy. One advantage of buying a new policy is that you start the 20-year clock ticking again. But if you have health problems, you might get a better deal boosting coverage with your current insurer.

You can get price quotes from many term insurance companies at or If you have any health conditions, it’s usually better to call the Web site or agency rather than just comparing quotes online; giving the agent a heads up about your health condition up front can help him find the insurer that’s most likely to offer you the best rate. For more information, see 4 Ways to Save Money on Life Insurance.

Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.