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A 10-year term life insurance policy is one of the most affordable term contract lengths available. Once you purchase a 10-year term contract, your rates are locked in for precisely ten consecutive years.
However, it is not the only term contract length available. Depending on your age, you may also have the choice to choose from a 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year term duration.
Before choosing a 10-year term policy, you should ensure that the term length will meet all your specific life insurance needs. This article will focus on the most critical aspects of obtaining a 10-year term policy to help provide you with an overall better understanding of the affordable term insurance to help with that determination.
Learn more about how 10-year policies work, the standard policy riders, rates for 10-year term plans by age, life insurance companies that offer 10-year term insurance policies, and other essential details.
Term Life Insurance Policies
About 54% of Americans have life insurance. The two most common types of life insurance are permanent and temporary, better known as term life insurance.
Term life insurance is much more affordable than permanent insurance plans because the coverage is designed only to last for a specific period. This is what is referred to as contract options or term lengths.
Most life insurance providers offer term lengths of 10, 20, and 30-years. Some providers may even offer term lengths of 1, 15, or even 25-years, but these are not as common among all providers.
The concept of how a term insurance policy works is simple. First, you need to choose the amount of coverage necessary to protect any financial risks placed upon your family if you suddenly pass away.
These financial risks often include replacing lost income to a surviving spouse, mortgage expenses, large debts, funeral costs, and even the necessary funds to raise children.
Next, you need to choose a term length that is ideally long enough to when those financial risks are no longer a risk to your family.
When you have determined a term length, your premium payments and death benefit are locked in for the entire duration of the term length. Therefore, nothing can change that even if you were to develop a medical risk partial into your contract, your rates and death benefit could not be changed by the insurance provider.
Term insurance offers pure death benefit protection only, meaning the life insurance coverage does not accrue any cash value. Therefore, you do not receive any money back if you outlive the policy.
However, that is one of the main reasons term life policies have a lower cost than permanent coverage, such as whole life insurance, which accumulates guaranteed cash growth throughout the entire duration of having the life insurance coverage.
10-Year Term Insurance – Overview
|Features of 10-Year Term Life Insurance Plans|
|Description:||Temporary life insurance that offers a fixed premium and death benefit that lasts for ten consecutive years|
|Age Limits:||16-80 years old|
|Coverage Amounts:||Minimum Amount: $25,000
Maximum Amount: $10,000,000+
|Policy Riders:||Varies depending on the provider|
|Medical Exam Requirements:||Medical and non-medical exam options available|
|State Availability:||Coverage available in all U.S. states|
Average Cost of a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
The cost of a 10-year term life policy depends on a few factors such as your age, gender, coverage amount, medical history, and your lifestyle background. According to Forbes, the average annual cost of a 10-year term life policy with a $250,000 death benefit for a 30-year-old is $132.
The average price increases to $216 per year for a $500,000 death benefit for a 30-year-old male applicant. The average price for a $500,000 death benefit for a female is $180 per year.
Prices increase with age. For example, the average cost of a $500,000 policy for a 40-year-old male is $276 per year compared to $216 per year for a 30-year-old, the price increases to $564 per year for a 50-year-old male.
These prices are based on the average costs across the nation. Depending on your health and lifestyle and the current rates offered by insurance companies, you may pay a higher or lower rate.
If you want to estimate the cost of a policy, use an online 10-year term life insurance calculator. You can input your age, gender, coverage amount, and other details to estimate the cost of coverage from multiple life insurance providers.
We have also put together a 10-year term life insurance rate chart that breakdowns the monthly cost of coverage by age in five-year increments. The rates shown in the table below represent the best prices based on over a dozen life insurance providers that offer a 10-year term plan.
The rate classification used to generate the rates was the preferred plus class, representing the best possible rate classification you can obtain when applying for life insurance coverage.
10-Year Term Life Insurance Rate Chart By Age
|Age 30||$7.37 / monthly||$9.96 / monthly||$13.17 / monthly||$18.91 / monthly|
|Age 35||$7.46 / monthly||$9.98 / monthly||$14.02 / monthly||$20.39 / monthly|
|Age 40||$8.25 / monthly||$11.97 / monthly||$17.85 / monthly||$27.40 / monthly|
|Age 45||$11.00 / monthly||$16.81 / monthly||$27.08 / monthly||$44.72 / monthly|
|Age 50||$14.23 / monthly||$23.71 / monthly||$39.86 / monthly||$68.96 / monthly|
|Age 55||$20.38 / monthly||$36.84 / monthly||$64.61 / monthly||$118.96 / monthly|
|Age 60||$29.76 / monthly||$56.44 / monthly||$102.91 / monthly||$194.86 / monthly|
|Age 65||$52.86 / monthly||$97.76 / monthly||$180.81 / monthly||$340.16 / monthly|
|Age 70||$85.84 / monthly||$167.44 / monthly||$294.56 / monthly||$555.06 / monthly|
|Age 75||$149.85 / monthly||$318.19 / monthly||$592.51 / monthly||$1,129.56 / monthly|
|Age 80||$388.03 / monthly||$750.66 / monthly||$1,455.46 / monthly||$2,841.46 / monthly|
|Age 30||$7.04 / monthly||$8.71 / monthly||$11.42 / monthly||$16.14 / monthly|
|Age 35||$7.15 / monthly||$8.98 / monthly||$11.96 / monthly||$16.34 / monthly|
|Age 40||$8.06 / monthly||$10.86 / monthly||$15.47 / monthly||$24.64 / monthly|
|Age 45||$10.01 / monthly||$15.15 / monthly||$24.17 / monthly||$37.39 / monthly|
|Age 50||$12.65 / monthly||$20.60 / monthly||$33.10 / monthly||$57.28 / monthly|
|Age 55||$17.61 / monthly||$28.20 / monthly||$49.79 / monthly||$90.38 / monthly|
|Age 60||$24.09 / monthly||$40.74 / monthly||$72.60 / monthly||$132.86 / monthly|
|Age 65||$34.81 / monthly||$65.56 / monthly||$113.71 / monthly||$216.36 / monthly|
|Age 70||$59.29 / monthly||$109.13 / monthly||$197.14 / monthly||$366.17 / monthly|
|Age 75||$110.07 / monthly||$216.27 / monthly||$417.47 / monthly||$770.55 / monthly|
|Age 80||$291.58 / monthly||$575.02 / monthly||$1,143.67 / monthly||$2,035.18 / monthly|
*Sample rates shown in the above table are based on males and females in excellent health with no nicotine use. The current monthly male and female premium rates as of 3/9/2022 were pulled directly from our online quote tool.
Applying for a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
The application process depends on the company. For example, you may need to work with an agent or a broker to complete an electronic application or submit a paper application. Others allow you to submit applications directly to the company.
The application requires you to answer a series of pre-screening questions to determine eligibility and potential rates for coverage. You can expect the questions to cover the following areas:
- Your medical history
- Prescription drug history
- Your family’s health history
- Driving record
- Criminal convictions
After submitting your application, you must wait for underwriters to assess the risk of providing insurance. Your lifestyle and medical history influence your mortality rate and the likelihood of the insurer paying a death benefit.
The answers that you provide on the application help the insurance company make decisions about your application and provide a final rate classification upon finishing their review.
The underwriting process may take 24 hours to 6 weeks, depending on the individual applying for coverage. Accelerated non-medical exam underwriting options may provide an instant decision or approval within 24 to 48 hours. Traditional underwriting can take three to six weeks and often includes a medical exam.
If you are approved for coverage, you will receive an offer for coverage. The contract will specify the premiums and the details you agreed to on the application, including the coverage amount and policy riders.
If your application is denied, the insurance company will include a reason for the denial. If you feel that the decision was based on incorrect information, you may appeal. However, that does not mean the insurance company has to overturn its decision.
10-Year Term Life Insurance Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility requirements vary depending on the term life policy and the insurance company. However, most companies consider the following details:
- Your age
- Your build
- Coverage amount
- Term length
- Health and medical history
- Risky professions and activities
Ten-year term life products are often available for adults up to 80. Longer contract lengths typically have a lower age cutoff.
Insurance companies also review your build using a build chart. The build chart uses your height, weight, age, and gender as a guide to determine whether you are eligible for coverage.
Risky professions, dangerous hobbies, major medical conditions, criminal convictions, and driving infractions may also keep you from getting approved for term life insurance or lead to higher premiums.
The insurance company will review responses to all application questions and utilize third-party underwriting tools such as LexisNexis to help determine if an applicant is eligible for coverage through the underwriting process.
In some cases, the insurance company’s underwriter may request medical records from a primary care physician to help determine an overall risk evaluation of an applicant.
Medical Exam Requirements for a 10-Year Term Life Policy
While most life insurance providers can now offer a non-medical exam underwriting process to the vast majority of people applying for life coverage, the medical exam remains a standard part of the life insurance application process.
You are more likely to need to complete a medical exam if any of the following details apply to your situation:
- You are above the age cutoff for accelerated underwriting.
- You request a large amount of coverage.
- You suffer from pre-existing health conditions.
- You haven’t had a routine exam with a primary care doctor for some time.
Accelerated underwriting with no medical exam is often only available to applicants under a certain age. For example, a company may offer a 10-year term policy to adults up to the age of 80. However, the company’s no-medical exam option may only be available to applicants up to the age of 55 or 60.
The amount of coverage you apply for may also impact your eligibility for a no-medical exam underwriting process. The cutoff for accelerated underwriting is often $1,000,000 or less, depending on the insurance company.
Along with your age and the size of the death benefit, insurance companies look at your pre-existing health conditions. The following health conditions increase the likelihood of needing to complete a medical exam:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
These conditions may not prevent you from getting life insurance. However, you are likely to need to complete a medical exam and pay higher premiums.
The insurance company will also look to see when you have completed an annual physical with your doctor. Companies that offer a no medical exam option can often request those lab results rather than having you complete a medical exam.
However, if it’s been quite some time since your last annual physical, you’re likely going to have to complete the life insurance medical exam.
Disqualifying Pre-Existing Health Conditions for 10-Year Term Life Policies
Each insurance company has different eligibility criteria. Yet, many of the following pre-existing health conditions may keep you from getting approved for a 10-year term policy:
- Degenerative disease
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Heart attack/strokes
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
The severity of the condition and its mortality rate can decrease the chances of getting approved for term life insurance. However, if you suffer from a disqualifying pre-existing health condition, guaranteed issue whole life insurance may offer an alternative insurance solution.
Pros of a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
A 10-year term life insurance policy offers several advantages that make it an attractive option compared to other insurance products:
- Affordable insurance option
- Useful for laddering insurance policies
- You can cover short-term financial needs
- Seniors are more likely to find coverage options
Permanent policies last for life, which means that the insurance company will likely pay a death benefit at some point. Term life policyholders may outlive their policies, which creates less risk for the insurance company and allows them to charge lower rates.
Insurance laddering involves using multiple insurance policies to cover specific milestones or timeframes. For example, you may plan on paying off your mortgage in the next ten years. In 20 years, your children may be supporting themselves, further reducing your financial responsibilities.
In this situation, laddering multiple policies would offer the protection you need for each period at a lower total cost. For example, you could obtain a 10-year policy to cover your mortgage, a 20-year policy to help care for your children, and a 30-year policy to cover remaining responsibilities.
Even if you choose not to ladder policies, a 10-year term life policy is still useful for covering short-term financial obligations. For example, you plan to change careers and ensure that your family is protected during the uncertainty of the job change.
A 10-year policy may also be the only option available to those over a certain age. Longer terms often include a younger age limit. Ten-year policies are often available to applicants up to the age of 80.
Cons of a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
The main drawback to a 10-year policy is the lack of a return on investment. If you outlive the policy, you do not receive a refund of the premiums that you have paid over the years. However, that’s true with any term length unless you purchase a return of premium plan.
Return of premium term insurance is a type of life insurance that pays back all premiums paid at the end of the term contract. The problem is that it is not available on 10-year term lengths. You would have to consider either a 20 or 30-year policy. Plus, most companies have discontinued offering the coverage option as it is not profitable to the insurance provider.
While a 10-year term insurance plan can be great for any family buying life insurance on a budget, another drawback is outliving your coverage and experiencing a change in health that may disqualify you from getting a new policy.
It’s common for families to look at the cost of a 10-year term length versus the price of a 20 or 30-year term length and choose the 10-year term length because it’s the cheaper option. While that is perfectly fine, you need to be cautious of the potential impact a change in health could have on getting new coverage once your 10-year plan comes to an end.
Age Limits for a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy
Every term length has an age cutoff to where if you’re over the age, you will not be eligible to apply for the term length. Most providers offer a 10-year term life insurance to applicants up to age 80. It is the highest issue age out of any term length.
Many seniors qualify for 10-year term life insurance policies. However, applying for term life insurance at an older age includes potential drawbacks. For example, if you are already 70 years of age or older, you may not be able to convert your term life policy to a permanent policy.
Seniors will also typically need to complete a medical exam. In addition, accelerated non-medical underwriting is often only available to those under a certain age, generally age 60.
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Additional Facts About 10-Year Term Life Insurance Plans
The following section of this article will focus on some of the more frequently asked questions about 10-year term life insurance plans. If we missed a question of yours, please be sure to let us know.
When Should You Consider Getting a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?
A 10-year term life policy is an excellent option for those who only need short-term protection. If you anticipate having a lower financial burden a decade from now, you may not need a longer contract length or a large permanent policy.
A 10-year policy gives you added protection for short-term financial needs in the event of your death. You may use a 10-year term life plan to help cover:
- A mortgage with ten years or less remaining
- Lost income when retiring within the next decade
- Debt with an anticipated timeframe of 10 years to pay off
- The cost of college for your children
If you die unexpectedly within the next ten years, a 10-year term life policy ensures that your loved ones have money available to cover the situations listed above.
These financial obligations are common for those in their 30s and 40s. For example, you may have a partially paid mortgage, children preparing for college, or plans to retire in the coming decade.
Smokers may find it challenging to get an affordable permanent life insurance policy. However, a 10-year term life policy can bridge the gap between now and several years after you quit, allowing you to shop for a permanent policy with non-smoker rates eventually.
What Policy Riders Come With 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policies?
Term life policies can often allow you to choose from several optional policy riders. The following policy riders are among the most common options available with 10-year term life insurance plans:
- Accelerated death benefit rider
- Accidental death benefit rider
- Child term rider
- Waiver of premium rider
An accelerated death benefit rider is sometimes called a terminal illness rider. It provides an accelerated death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. The definition of a “terminal illness” varies. Some insurance companies only pay an accelerated death benefit if the terminal illness is expected to cause death within 12 months.
The accidental death benefit rider pays an additional death benefit if your cause of death is an accident. The additional benefit is typically equal to the death benefit of the original policy. This doubles the payout when death is due to accidental bodily injury.
The waiver of premium rider waives payment of the premiums if you become permanently disabled and unable to work. The waiver is intended to limit the impact of the loss of income by letting you skip the payments but does not pay an accelerated death benefit.
The child term rider allows you to add coverage for dependent children. The coverage amount is often limited to $5,000 or $10,000 per child.
Does a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy Grow Cash Value?
Term life policies do not grow cash value. You do not get a return of the premiums unless you add a return of premium rider, which is typically only available on term lengths of 20 or 30-years.
The only return on a 10-year term insurance policy is the death benefit that would be paid to your beneficiary in the event of your death.
Can I Purchase Multiple 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policies?
There is typically no limit on the number of term life insurance policies you can obtain. However, some insurance companies place restrictions on the number of policies when qualifying for certain features, such as accelerated underwriting or eligibility for policy riders.
How Does the Claims Process Work for 10-Year Term Life Policies?
After the policyholder’s death, the beneficiary submits a claim to the insurance company. The insurance company may require supporting documents, such as a copy of the death certificate.
Insurance companies must make a final decision on the claim within 30 days. Here are a few reasons why an insurance company may not pay a claim:
- The death occurred during the contestability period
- The death was due to suicide
- The death was due to drug or alcohol abuse
- The death was due to homicide
- The death was due to illegal activities
- The death was due to risky activities
- The policy did not cover the type of death
Insurance policies include a list of exclusions that may allow the company to avoid paying the death benefits. Always review the exclusions before agreeing to an offer.
Which Life Insurance Companies Offer a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?
Ten-year term life policies are the most popular term insurance length available. Therefore, a wide range of insurance companies offers the contract option.
Below is a chart listing several of the top-reviewed term life insurance companies including their top policy feature and a link to a review of the coverage.
|Company||AM Best Rating||Policy Name||No Exam Option||Top Feature|
|AIG||A (Excellent)||AIG 10-Year Term||No||Competitive smoker rates|
|ANICO||A (Excellent)||ANICO 10-Year Term||Yes||Living benefit riders|
|Assurity||A- (Excellent)||Assurity 10-Year Term||Yes||Monthly disability income rider|
|Banner Life||A+ (Superior)||Banner 10-Year Term||Yes||Stackable death benefits|
|Bestow||A+ (Superior)||Bestow 10-Year Term||Yes||9 minute decision|
|Cincinnati Life||A+ (Superior)||Transamerica 10-Year Term||Yes||Included nursing home benefit|
|Costco||A+ (Superior)||Costco 10-Year Term||No||Potential premium discount|
|Haven Life||A++ (Superior)||Haven Life 10-Year Term||Yes||Many extra policy features|
|Lincoln Financial||A+ (Superior)||Lincoln Life 10-Year Term||Yes||Affordable $1 million rates|
|Minnesota Life||A+ (Superior)||Minnesota Life 10-Year Term||Yes||Optional conversion benefits|
|North American||A+ (Superior)||North American 10-Year Term||Yes||Included living benefits|
|Pacific Life||A+ (Superior)||Pacific Life 10-Year Term||Yes||Great for seniors|
|Protective Life||A+ (Superior)||Protective 10-Year Term||Yes||Decreasing death benefit|
|Prudential||A+ (Superior)||Prudential 10-Year Term||Yes||Non-smoker rates for cigar smokers and chewers|
|Quility||A (Excellent)||Quility 10-Year Term||Yes||Fast approval|
|Sagicor||A- (Excellent)||Sagicor 10-Year Term||Yes||Same day approval|
|SBLI||A (Excellent)||SBLI 10-Year Term||Yes||Solid non-medical exam option|
|Symetra||A (Excellent)||Symetra 10-Year Term||Yes||Up to $2 million no medical exam|
|Transamerica||A+ (Superior)||Transamerica 10-Year Term||Yes||Included living benefits|
Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to shop around and compare rates to get the best value.
How Fast Can I Get a 10-Year Term Life Insurance Policy?
You may get a 10-year term life policy in just a few days or up to two months. The timeframe depends on whether you qualify for accelerated underwriting.
Accelerated underwriting often results in approval within 24 to 48 hours. If you accept the offer, you can pay the first premium payment. Your policy may be active within several days. If your application goes through traditional underwriting, the process may take up to six weeks.
A 10-year term life policy comes with a guaranteed level premium, optional policy riders, and the option to renew or convert the policy. Therefore, choosing a shorter term is the ideal solution for covering the financial needs of your loved ones in the coming decade while doing it at the most affordable rate.
Remember that a 10-year term life policy may not be the perfect option for everyone. Working with a licensed insurance agent or broker can help you select the best insurance product based on your specific concerns.