Life insurance for 35-year-olds

With new financial obligations, life insurance is a smart option in your 30s.

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With all the new assets – and possibly people – in your life, you need to think about life insurance when you reach your mid-30s. Because you're still young and healthy, it's probably the best time to buy and lock in cheap premiums that will quickly disappear if you delay.

What are the types of life insurance for a 35-year-old?

If you're in your 30s, there are a few different types of life insurance tailored to your needs. They are:

  • Life insurance. Sometimes referred to as death cover, this is a policy that pays out if you die during the "term" of your cover. In other words, it only pays out if you die before the policy's expiry age, which is usually around 90 to 100 years old. In your 30s, you're likely to marry, have children and take out a mortgage. Term life insurance can provide financial protection for all these new assets.
  • Income protection. Another very important consideration you need to have in mind is your income. In your 20s, it's likely that you could have got by for a while without an income, but it's likely a different story by the time you're 35. If you needed to take some time off work due to injury or illness, could you still pay all your bills? Income protection can pay you a monthly benefit up to 85% of your income to make sure you still can.
  • TPD. Total and permanent disability insurance provides a lump sum payment if you are seriously injured or ill and become permanently disabled. As you begin to accumulate more in your 30s, TPD can be crucial if something bad happens, covering everything from medical bills and home modifications to paying the mortgage.

Is my superannuation life insurance enough?

Probably not. If you want enough to cover everything that you currently pay for and ensure that your family continues to enjoy the same lifestyle, then life insurance through super is likely to fall short. In most cases, it will only provide your beneficiaries with between $100,000 and $200,000, which is usually nowhere near enough. Considering that you've likely got a mortgage, school fees, car loans, healthcare and day-to-day expenses to pay, it's generally not enough for the average Australian.

Standalone life insurance, on the other hand, can cover you for more than $1,000,000, which is far closer to the amount your dependants would actually need when you die.

How much is life insurance for 35-year-olds?

Life insurance is usually very affordable for 35-year-olds, largely because you're still young and likely have little to no health issues. Factors such as your age, health, job and the amount you're applying for will be your insurer's main considerations when determining your premiums.

But let's talk averages to help give you an idea. A non-smoking male, aged 35, is likely to pay around $10 a month for a $500,000 policy or $18 for a $1,000,000 policy. A non-smoking female will pay even less: $8 and $14. The table below gives you a more thorough breakdown and shows you how much more you're likely to pay the longer you put it off.

35-year-old non-smoking female
Age$200,000 policy$500,000 policy$1,000,000 policy
35$3.79$7.93$14.26
40$4.70$9.92$17.83
45$6.77$14.56$25.35
55$18.69$37.35$69.49
65$57.11$99.89$161.09
35-year-old non-smoking male
Age$200,000 policy$500,000 policy$1,000,000 policy
35$4.79$10.10$18.18
40$6.03$12.95$23.36
45$8.89$19.34$33.60
55$27.68$55.39$102.86
65$94.85$170.70$287.52

We calculated the average monthly costs based on life insurance policies from 8 direct brands in Australia in December 2019. The prices shown in tables are an estimate and are for a single person with no prior medical conditions.

How much life insurance do I need at age 35?

This depends entirely on your personal circumstances, but there are a few simple ways to work it out. Our life insurance calculator can give you an idea of how much you'll need but on average, around $1 to $1.5 million is generally what most people in their 30s need. This is because this is often a new stage in your life when your responsibilities and financial obligations increase.

As a gauge of how much you'll need, it's generally said that your life insurance cover is around 10 times the amount of your annual income. So if you earn $150,000 a year, you'll want to have around a $1.5 million payout.

You can also buy life insurance through an adviser. This will cost you a little more, but that's because they'll do all these bits for you and make sure that you've got cover for the right amount. If that's the way you want to go, you can find a broker here.

Compare life insurance from Australian brands

Name Product Maximum cover Maximum Entry Age Fully Underwritten? Terminal Illness Benefit Optional Extras
NobleOak Life Insurance
$15,000,000
69
$3,000,000
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Get your one month free when you buy NobleOak Life Insurance policy. Offer ends 31 October 2021. T&C's apply.
Real Family Life Cover
$1,000,000
64
$1,000,000
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™ .
Zurich Ezicover Life Insurance
$1,500,000
69
$1,500,000
No optional
Get your first month free and a 10% discount by taking out a second life insurance policy (discount applies to the second policy). Customers who suffer a serious side effect from an approved COVID vaccination may be eligible for a $50,000 one-off payment. T&C’s apply.
Medibank Life Insurance
$2,500,000
70
$2,500,000
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Medibank health members save 10% on premiums every year. T&Cs apply.
RAC Life Insurance (Only available in Western Australia)
$25,000,000
69
$25,000,000
TPD cover, Trauma cover
When you purchase RAC Life Insurance, WA residents receive complimentary RAC membership which includes access to discounts on fuel, savings on shopping, entertainment and more. T&Cs at rac.com.au.
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What should I be taking into consideration?

When working out how much life insurance you need, make sure you consider everything on the following list:

  • Your mortgage and how much it would cost you to pay it off.
  • Debts you have, including your own tuition fees, car loans and credit cards.
  • School fees so that your child or children can continue to receive the same standard of education.
  • Health insurance and healthcare costs, taking family members' health needs into account.
  • Funeral costs, which usually range from around $4,000 to $15,000.
  • Everyday living expenses, from groceries to fuel and car insurance.

Pros and cons of life insurance at 35 years old

Still on the fence about whether life insurance at 35 is worth it? Check out the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Premiums are cheaper if you get a policy now. On average, you'll pay $14.26 a month for a $1 million policy at 35 and you can choose to stay the same forever. That goes up to a whopping $287.52 if you buy when you're 65.
  • You're covered if the worst happens. Nobody wants to think about it, especially when they're just starting a family and buying a home, but if you die, life insurance makes sure your loved ones can live the life you were building for them.
  • The benefit is tax-free. If your policy covers you for $1 million, that's exactly how much your family will get; the death benefit is tax-free.
  • You can adjust your policy. Just because you're getting it when you're young, doesn't mean you can't adapt or change your policy as your life changes. Life insurers are aware of this and make it very easy to upgrade or downgrade depending on your needs.

Cons

  • It's an added expense. You've probably got lots of other things on your plate to pay for. Life insurance is another expense, albeit an affordable one if you get in early. It really comes down to whether you're willing to risk it or wait until later when it's much more pricey.
  • A medical is often required. If you're young, fit and healthy, this will actually benefit you because you'll attract lower premiums. But if you have a pre-existing condition, you might have to pay more.

Are there any exclusions I need to be aware of?

If you've never had a life insurance policy before, then it's worth pointing out some common life insurance exclusions. They're not startling, but they're worth knowing:

  • Suicide. Insurers usually don't cover you for suicide for the first 13 months of buying a policy.
  • Illegal or criminal activity. Pretty obvious, but if you're injured or killed while taking part in something illegal, the insurer has the right to deny the claim.
  • Drug or alcohol use. You won't be covered for injury or death as a result of drug or alcohol use, unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • War or warlike activity. This may seem a little far-fetched for most, but still worth knowing you won't be covered for death due to civil unrest, riots or war.
  • Sport. This is really only an exclusion if you're consistently taking part in dangerous sports, activities or risky hobbies like skydiving. You could still be eligible for income protection though.

Bottom line

Your 30s are usually when you start making big decisions: starting a family, buying a home, getting married. With all these new financial responsibilities, you need to be prepared for the worst. Luckily, buying life insurance when you're in your 30s is one of the most affordable times to do it. It's something you'll need eventually and the longer you put it off, the more expensive it becomes.

Frequently asked questions

Should I keep my life insurance through super?

When you open a super fund, you'll usually automatically be given life insurance with it. You can cancel it if you like, as the premiums you pay from your super are essentially eating into your retirement fund, but you don't need to. It's perfectly acceptable to have more than one life insurance policy and you'll still get the maximum amount from both.

Can I cancel my life insurance?

Yes, you're under no obligation to keep your life insurance policy if it's not working for you any more. If you do cancel though, you will probably forfeit the cheap premiums you were able to get in your 30s.

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