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When is the best time to buy life insurance?

Hands down, the best time to buy a term or whole life insurance policy is probably two days before you die. This way, you can thoroughly review your policy in full and still have enough time to let all your loved one’s know that you’re fully insured before you die.

The only problem with… 

This strategy is that unless you’re able to predict the future or you’ve been diagnosed with some type of serious pre-existing medical condition (in which case you probably won’t be able to qualify for coverage), knowing the exact time and day of your ultimate demise is probably going to be pretty tough to predict.

This is why the “best” time to purchase a life insurance policy is probably today!

And that is why we put together our life insurance rates by age tables so you can see how much you save by locking into coverage today versus down the road.

With that said …

There are some exceptions to this rule, which we will discuss below. These exceptions come into play when trying to determine when you should get life insurance, and if there is a better time than now.

Questions that will be addressed in this article will include:

  • What factors have the most significant influence on what price one will pay for their insurance?
  • What factors can change over time, which could significantly influence what price someone might pay for their insurance?
  • And how can one improve their chances of qualifying for a low rate when applying for coverage?

Top Factors Affecting How Much Your Life Insurance Will Cost

The most important factor that determines your life insurance rates will be your age.

Statistically speaking, the younger you are, the less chance you have of dying.

And in contrast, the older you are, the closer you are to that inevitable day.


Other factors will play a role in the outcome of one’s application. However, even these “other” factors will be affected by one’s age, so it’s fair to say that if you’re hoping to get the “best” rate for your insurance, it would be wise to apply as soon as possible. 

“With some exceptions!”

You see…

Just like everything else in life, there are very few “absolutes,” and while most people will benefit from purchasing their life insurance policy as soon as possible, there will be those out there who may benefit by waiting a short period of time before purchasing their life insurance.

This brings us to our next topic, which is…

What Factors Do You Have Control Over That Can Lower Your Life Insurance Rates?

Having established that age and gender will play a role in just about everyone’s application and agreeing in general that the sooner  you apply for cover, the cheaper your life insurance rates will be, we now want to take a moment and discuss a few scenarios where this may not always be the case.

But be warned…

Because many people die each year that never got around to getting life insurance. In fact, there are many times when an application is in their inbox or even sitting on their desk unreturned.

The application is unreturned because either they didn’t see the urgency of getting coverage right away or perhaps they were waiting for a time when their application may receive a lower rate or premium.

This is why, even though we’re about to discuss a few situations where one’s “rate” may go down as an individual ages, one should never wait for their rate to improve UNINSURED!


In our opinion, it is better to pay more for your insurance for a short period of time or a few years, with the knowledge that once your rate does improve, you will then be able to re-apply for coverage and take advantage of any “new” rate you can qualify for.

With this in mind, let’s now discuss a few situations where one’s rate can improve even though they are now a few years older than when they originally decided to apply for coverage:

Recent Non-smokers.

In order to be able to qualify for a “non-smoking rate,” individuals will be expected to remain completely tobacco and nicotine-free for a minimum of 12 months. Individuals who do so will see a significant drop in the price they may have to pay for coverage, which is why many individuals will be tempted to wait until they are considered a “non-smoker” before applying for coverage.  

Cancer survivors.

Cancer survivors may also see their rates improve over time, depending on the “type” of cancer that they recovered from. The good news is that these “types” of applicants will generally understand the benefit of owning/qualifying for coverage.

Unfortunately for them, many fail to recognize that over time they may be able to “re-apply” for coverage at a better rate than they were originally approved at, thereby missing out on significant savings over time.

Not so excellent drivers.

Whether you like to drive fast or one of the million drivers last year arrested for a DUI, many folks may find themselves in a situation where the price they pay for insurance may improve as points on their driving record disappear.

The only problem is that while one waits for the DMV to recognize one’s improved behavior, other things, including heart attacks, strokes and cancer, can occur, which is why, even though it may save you a few bucks to wait, getting insured today, and re-applying later is always the much more prudent path to take.

New diagnosis.

Discovering the fact that one is human can often lead one to seek out purchasing a life insurance policy. This is why some folks will decide that maybe it’s time to apply for coverage immediately after being diagnosed with some type of pre-existing medical condition. Now it’s important to note that not all of these “new diagnoses” need to be all that serious like a recent heart attack or stroke. 

Sometimes, one’s new diagnosis may be relatively common and/or simple condition such as:

In cases like these…

One’s initial rate immediately following one’s diagnosis may be higher than the rate that they would be able to qualify for after they have been able to get their condition under control. 

Which is why some folks may be tempted to wait a few months before actually applying for coverage or accepting a policy at a higher rate than original quoted if first diagnosed during their application process (which happens all the time).


These are just a few examples where one might be temped to want to wait to apply for coverage until they are sure that they will be able to qualify for the absolute “best” rate that they can qualify for, but remember, there are no guarantees in life other than death and taxes.

So, it’s important to understand that every day you go uninsured is just one more day that you are putting your loved ones at risk that you may die without having a life insurance policy in place.

This brings us to our last topic of the day which is…

How can one improve their chances of qualifying for a low rate when applying for coverage?

Hands down, the best way to improve their chances of being able to qualify for the lowest rate possible if for you to take an “active” role in the entire process of applying for coverage. This means that you should:

  • Ask your life insurance agent a lot of questions,
  • Have him, or her explain to you “why” they feel one life insurance company may be a better “fit” for you than another,

And you should be sure that the life insurance agent you choose to work with has plenty of options to choose from when considering a life insurance company for you so that he or she doesn’t have to apply a…

“One Size Fits All”

Approach to your needs. 

The good news is that here at IBUSA, we have chosen to remain an independent life insurance brokerage that can work with dozens of different life insurance companies and feel that our “Best” clients are the most inquisitive and informed!

So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it about time for you to finally get the insurance you and your family need!

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