What is the average cost of a life insurance policy in Australia?

You could spend as little as $2.93 per week.

We looked at three different age groups (30, 40 and 50) for people looking for cover amounts of $250,000 and $500,000 of life cover. Here's what we found:

The table below shows the weekly cost of life insurance for 30-year-old male and female applicants.

Cover amountMaleFemale
30-year-oldCost per weekCost per week
50-year -old

Prices shown in table are an average taken from the quote engine and are for non-smoking office worker. These prices should only be taken as a rough guide. Rates last checked on September 2018.

Cost of life insurance: 3 things to know

  • As little as $2.93 per week. That's how much it costs to get life insurance for 30 year old male.
  • It's cheaper for females. Using the same details, a 40 year old female costs $2.76 per week vs $3.39 for a male (500,000 in cover)
  • Prices will change with personal circumstances. The cost depends on a variety of different factors including your age, smoking status and how much cover you obtain.

How does the cost of life insurance compare to some of your regular expenses?

Updated November 2018. We took the average monthly cost of a $500,000 policy for a 40-year-old and compared it with some regular living expenses.

Based on the cost of living in Sydney. Data sourced from Expatistan indexes and compares the cost of living around the world. The costs are based on over 3,000 prices entered by over 600 different people.
Find out much the cost of life insurance is relatively to the cost of living

What affects the cost of life insurance?

There are several factors which insurers consider when determining how much you will pay for life insurance. These include:

  • Age. The older you get, the greater the risk you become to the insurer and the more you will pay for your life insurance. For this reason, many people opt for level premiums (remain the same for the life of the policy).
  • Gender. Males and females are assessed differently by insurers, with females generally seen as lower risk than males.
  • Smoking status. If you are a smoker, you are seen as high risk and will pay more for your premiums. Some brands will reduce your premiums if you give up smoking for at least 12 months.
  • Occupation. What you do for a living can affect how much you pay for life insurance. If you are an underground miner for instance, you are considered to be in a high risk occupation.
  • Lifestyle. The things you do in your spare time can also have an influence on your risk rating. If you pursue risky pastimes such as rock climbing or driving fast cars, then your premiums may be higher.
  • Current medical condition. If a policy covers your medical condition they may increase your premium in some cases.
  • Past medical history. Any pre-existing medical conditions you have or have had in the past can affect your premiums.
  • Amount and period of cover required. The greater the amount and the longer the period, the higher your premiums will be.

Does your age matter? Here's how it affects cost

Cost is affected by your age both at the time you buy a policy (the older you are the higher your quoted) and over time e.g. as you get older the amount you pay monthly may increase. We analysed the monthly cost at the time of purchase for a life insurance policy with $500,000 in death cover and $200,000 in total and permanent disability insurance below.

Key takeaways

1) Buy life insurance at a younger age to save money.

2) Try lock in a level premium to keep how much you pay the same as you age.

  • For males,
    • The difference between buying at 40 vs 30 years old is $7.84 (on average)
    • A whopping $74.42 between 50 and 40 years old.
  • For females:
    • The difference between buying at 40 vs 30 years old is $8.37 (on average)
    • $59.87 between 50 and 40 years old.

Here's the cost breakdown

Policy30 years old
  • Difference
40 years old
  • Difference
50 years old
  • $7.84
  • $74.42
Clearview LifeSolutions$32.56
  • $7.75
  • $80.99
TAL Accelerated Protection$29.77
  • $9.28
  • $81.22
CommInsure Protection$35.07
  • $9.61
  • $75.16
Asteron Life Complete$35.19
  • $4.41
  • $69.36
MLC Insurance$31.00
  • $8.96
  • $67.12
OnePath OneCare$35.79
  • $7.99
  • $73.63
Zurich Wealth Protection$36.68
  • $8.96
  • $70.52
AIA Priority Protection$30.54
  • $4.66
  • $70.13
AMP Elevate$35.67
  • $5.24
  • $71.01
BT Protection Plans$39.74
  • $11.55
  • $85.06
Policy30 years old
  • Difference
40 years old
  • Difference
50 years old
  • $8.37
  • $59.87
Clearview LifeSolutions$23.40
  • $10.68
  • $65.68
TAL Accelerated Protection$23.01
  • $9.29
  • $66.88
CommInsure Protection$28.82
  • $8.56
  • $61.85
Asteron Life Complete$28.62
  • $5.77
  • $55.47
MLC Insurance$24.18
  • $8.32
  • $53.13
OnePath OneCare$29.08
  • $7.99
  • $58.44
Zurich Wealth Protection$30.36
  • $8.42
  • $56.73
AIA Priority Protection$20.81
  • $6.35
  • $55.75
AMP Elevate$28.56
  • $6.05
  • $58.00
BT Protection Plans$31.81
  • $12.24
  • $66.77

We calculated the average monthly costs based on life insurance policies in our quoting engine. The prices shown in tables are an estimate and were generated in July 2018.

What if you're a smoker?

If you are a smoker, the monthly cost you'll be quoted increases and it also increases even more as you get older.

Key takeaways

1) If you can, quit smoking and ask your insurer when you'll be eligible for non-smoking rates.

2) If you don't wish to give up smoking, then lock in a cheaper rate earlier by buying young and going for a level premium.

  • For males it increase for smokers by an average of:
    • $23.29 at 30 years old
    • $47.73 at 40 years old
    • $140.71 at 50 years old
  • For females increase for smokers by an average of:
    • $18.54 at 30 years old
    • $30.93 at 40 years old
    • $90.61 at 50 years old

Here's the cost breakdown



We calculated the average monthly costs based on life insurance policies in our quoting engine. The prices shown in tables are an estimate and were generated in July 2018.

Six ways to cut down your life insurance costs

  • Quit smoking. At the top of the list of possible lifestyle changes is quitting smoking. As discussed above, if you’re a smoker, you can in some cases pay double the premiums than that of a nonsmoker.
  • Cut down on drinking. Reducing the amount you drink, like quitting smoking, may allow you to find cheaper life insurance.
  • Lose some weight. If your BMI is over a certain healthy range but you are able to reduce it, some insurers will reduce your premium.
  • Get a lower level of cover. If your circumstances have changed since you first took out cover e.g. your children have become independent, then you may wish consider lowering your benefit amount.
  • Review your options. Looking around for a new provider could offer the same level of cover for a cheaper price.
  • Look for discounts. One final trick to keep more money in your wallet is to look for discounts e.g. taking out special offers that offer you free cover for a month.

Premium structures: Stepped or level

When you taking out cover, you usually have a choice of stepped or level premiums. Which structure you choose will impact how much you pay.

Stepped premiums

Stepped premiums are premiums that are recalculated by the insurer yearly as you get older and your level of risk increases. Stepped premiums are more advantageous when you are younger, because they are cheaper than level premiums, but as you get older they will become more expensive (and more difficult to pay).

Level premiums

Level premiums are averaged out over the life of the policy so that you pay the same amount every time. Level premiums are less advantageous when you are younger as they are higher than stepped premiums, but as time goes by, they will become less burdensome as your income will also increase over time.

You should seek professional advice before committing to one or the other however, as their benefits will depend on your particular circumstances.

Should I reduce life insurance cover to get a better rate?

Not so fast. Research has determined that the majority of Australians are underinsured. The danger this poses with regard to life insurance is that, should you die prematurely, your family will not be protected financially and could lose everything you have worked for.

Instead, work out how much life insurance you actually need.

How much life insurance do you need?

Working out exactly how much life insurance you need is not an easy task. In order to determine your cover needs, you’ll need to take a number of factors into account:

  • Your income.
    • If you're unable to work due to illness, injury or death how would your family cope with out your income? Make sure you life insurance policy is enough to replace your income for the foreseeable future.
  • Your dependents.
    • If you have people that are financially dependent upon you, you need to take into account their ongoing expenses and think about how they'd be affected by the loss of your income.
  • Your expenses.
    • Do you have a mortgage, car loan, credit card or other debts? Calculate the ongoing expenses your family will need to be able to pay in order to maintain their lifestyle?
  • Your assets.
    • Consider any assets you may have accumulated, for example shares, savings or investment properties. Do you want your family to live off these or would it be more prudent to provide them with enough cover so that they could keep these investments?

Life insurance calculator

How to get life the right cover

The steps involved in taking out life insurance are similar to those you should employ when choosing any kind of insurance.

  1. Determine how much cover you need and can afford, based on the amount your beneficiaries would require to maintain their lifestyle if you were gone.
  2. Determine how long you will need cover for, factoring in likely changes to your assets and lifestyle in the future.
  3. Compare policies and quotes online to determine which provides the best cover and best value for money.
  4. Talk to an insurance adviser or consultant or approach an insurer directly if you are confident about your cover needs.

Myths about life insurance and the cost

Myth 1

  • Life insurance is too expensive. This is simply not true. This article contains plenty of tips on how to keep your premium costs to a minimum, and when you consider the importance of the financial protection that life insurance provides, it quickly becomes obvious that it is a very worthwhile investment.

Myth 2

  • It’s a waste of money. Life insurance is designed to protect those you love in times of need. How would your family cope if you were injured and unable to work? How would they keep up with mortgage repayments, credit card debts and other ongoing expenses? Life insurance is like a financial safety net for your loved ones, ensuring that they will be able to cope with whatever life throws at them.

Myth 3

  • Applying for cover is a long and hard process. With the rise of direct life insurance, applying for cover is easier than ever before. Direct life insurance policies are designed to be simple and straightforward, allowing you to apply for cover and receive approval in a very short period of time. You’ll just have to answer a few questions about your health, while many companies will provide cover without even requiring you to undergo any medical tests.

Life insurance FAQs

Receive a quote with these direct brands quickly

Name Product Maximum cover Maximum Entry Age Minimum Sum Insured Guaranteed Future Insurability Expiry Age Short Description
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™.
Choice of cover options and flexible premiums to suit your budget. No lock-in contracts and fast application.

Protect your family with NobleOak’s Life Insurance cover. Plus, pay no premium for 2 months with combined cover. T&C’s apply.
Tailored life insurance so you know what you're covered for upfront. Take out a policy and get a $100 bonus gift after holding cover for 2 months. Ends 31 March 2019.
Receive a 10% discount on the second person when two applications are submitted at the same time, and both policies are issued.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Cover up to $1.5 million with Guardian Life Insurance.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Go into the draw to win (1 of 10) $1,000 eftpos gift cards when you get a quote for Medibank Life Insurance. T’s and C’s apply.
Get flexible life insurance up to the sum of $2,000,000.
Join Qantas Life Insurance and earn up to 150,000 Qantas points. T&CS apply including minimum premium and policy hold periods apply to earn points.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Receive one month's premiums off every year if you pay annually upfront. T’s and C’s apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Want a premium estimate? Simply fill out this form to speak to a consultant

Do you smoke?

An adviser can help you find cover from trusted life insurance brands.

  • Get competitive quotes from up to 10 policies
  • Lower rate of declined claims (according to ASIC)
  • Save time and effort

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AndreaApril 30, 2018

    Looking at life insurance for my 76 year-old father with a payout of $400 000 -$500 000. Non smoker. Thanks.

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniApril 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      While we are not allowed to provide specific recommendations, let me give you general information to help you make a better choice.

      Kindly check out this link to get tips and quotes from insurers that offer life insurance for seniors.

      I also suggest that you obtain expert advice from an insurance adviser and help you find the right policy for your father.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    LieuNovember 18, 2016

    I am an Australian Citizen but permanently living outside of Australia, Will I still can claim my life insurance?

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardNovember 21, 2016Staff

      Hi Lieu,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You should contact your insurer, as claim conditions can vary between insurers. Some insurers have a maximum of 5 years for Australian expats wanting to claim.

      All the best,

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