The Cost of Life Insurance for a 51-Year-Old Man

For many individuals, buying life insurance can seem a bit overwhelming. With so many insurance companies and products to choose from, how can you be sure that you are getting the best rates and coverage options?

In this article, we’re not only going to break down the costs of life insurance for a 51-year-old male, but we’ll outline the different components that may affect your rates and coverage options.

Here is what you need to know…

The most straightforward type of life insurance is term coverage. These policies are the most affordable because they only pay out if you die within the specified term period. Usually, these plans cover you from 10 to 30 years, depending on the insurance company and your age. The most common term policies are for either 10 or 20 years.

Term Life Insurance Rates for a 51-Year-Old Man

Here are some sample term life insurance rates. The actual rates you will qualify for depend on such factors as your age, overall health, and lifestyle habits.

51 year Old Nonsmoking Man in EXCELLENT Health – $500,000 of Coverage

10 year term – $46 monthly

15 year term – $60 monthly

20 year term – $78 monthly

25 year term – $117 monthly

30 year term – $142 monthly

51 year Old Nonsmoking Man in AVERAGE Health – $500,000 of coverage

10 year term – $91 monthly

15 year term – $116 monthly

20 year term – $149 monthly

25 year term – $221 monthly

30 year term – $266 monthly

If you smoke cigarettes the cost you will have to pay will be approximately 2 to 4 times higher than this all things being equal. If you do not smoke cigarettes, but do smoke cigars, pipes, or chew there are a few companies that will offer nonsmoker rates. If this is you, it is important to apply for coverage with an insurance company that will offer you nonsmoker rates.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance (GUL)…and Sample Rates

One problem that comes with term life insurance is that it stops covering you once the level term period ends. This is fine if your need for life insurance is temporary. However, if you need/want life insurance for the rest of your life no matter how long you live then permanent life insurance is a much more appropriate option for you.

Having said that, permanent life insurance is far more expensive than a term policy. The simple reason is that if you keep paying the premium the policy will pay out at some point since we will all pass away eventually. The insurance company has to price these products higher because of this.

If you need/want permanent life insurance the lowest cost way to get the coverage you need is with a guaranteed universal life policy (GUL).  A GUL looks very similar to a term life policy. The main advantage is that it provides you coverage for the rest of your life.  The reason a GUL is the lowest cost way to buy permanent life insurance is that there is no cash value component.

Whole Life on the other hand does build up cash value as well within the policy. It’s not to say you shouldn’t buy whole life.  However, we believe if your objective is to obtain permanent life insurance that is guaranteed to be there at the lowest possible cost, then a guaranteed universal Life policy is the best type of policy to buy. 

Below are some sample rates.

51 Year Old nonsmoking Man In Excellent Health – $500,000 of Coverage

Lifetime coverage – GUL – $398 monthly

51 year Old Nonsmoking Man in AVERAGE Health – $500,000 of coverage

Lifetime coverage – GUL – $532 monthly

How Are Life Insurance Rates Determined?

Although the rates shown above may seem to be affordable, you must understand that you you need to qualify for these rates. You may have to pay a higher cost or in a worst case scenario you may not even be offered coverage at all. Below is a quick overview of the various factors that life insurance underwriters pay attention to when reviewing your application.

One thing to be aware of here is that every life insurance company will look at your health and lifestyle habits differently. They all have different underwriting criteria and guidelines that they follow. The key is making sure your application is submitted to the insurance company that will look at your application most favorably.


As a rule, the older you are, the more you will have to pay for life insurance. This one is usually obvious to most.  All things being equal the cost for life insurance at 51 will cost quite a bit more than if you bought it when you were 31 for example. The older we are the higher the chances are of us dying…again all things being equal.

Fortunately, being only 51 means that you should be in a decent position. Life insurance is still quite affordable. If you waited until you were 60 or older, your coverage options would be much more limited. If you’re needing life insurance, now is the time to lock in a good rate so that you don’t have to pay more later.


Your overall health significantly impacts how much you have to pay for life insurance.  Understand that life insurance is not the type of thing where you are either approved for coverage or your not. Coverage is almost always available, so even if you have a serious disease or disability, do not get discouraged.

While there are numerous health factors that insurance underwriters look at, here is a breakdown of the basics.

-Terminal Illnesses – If you are currently battling a major health illness like cancer you will get declined for most types of life insurance. Even if your prognosis is promising, most companies will want to wait to see how you recover before they could consider you for coverage.

-Hospitalization – While many health problems can impact your everyday life, insurers pay close attention to anything that caused you to be hospitalized. For example, let’s say you went to the hospital because of a heart attack. If your heart attack was recent you probably won’t be approved for traditional coverage. If your heart attack was several years ago and you’ve had no other issues with your health since then you will likely be approved for coverage.

-Ongoing Treatment – Many people think that if they are being treated for something that automatically they will have to pay higher rates.  This is not necessarily the case at all.  As an example, let’s say you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and that you take one medication for each to keep these both under control.  You also get regular checkups with your doctor. Based on this you could still qualify for the lowest life insurance rates. 

-Recovery – As a rule, insurance companies don’t like any unknowns. So, the longer you’ve been in recovery, the better your rates will be overall. One way to lower your costs is to wait until at least six months to two years after any significant health problems or treatments.

-Smoking – Because smoking can be a substantial health risk, but costs are significantly more. With most companies if you quit smoking for 12 months you can qualify for non smoker rates which are much less than smoker rates.

Family History

Your health history will determine many of your coverage options and how much you’ll have to pay for coverage. In addition, insurance companies also want to review your family medical history.

Specifically insurance companies want to know whether your parents or siblings have had any cardiovascular issues or if they have had cancer. Many will want to know their current ages and if they have died then at what age they passed away.

The underwriting guidelines regarding family medical history vary between companies and plans.  

Lifestyle Habits

A lifestyle habit such as smoking will increase your rates as we’ve already mentioned. Drinking alcohol might. If you are a social or casual drinker, you can probably qualify for the best rates. However, if you were a heavy drinker for years, and have developed health problems as a result, and/or have had any DUI’s this will certainly increase how much you have to pay for coverage.

Other examples of lifestyle habits that could increase your rates are scuba diving, skydiving, hang-gliding and more. If you engage in these types of activities, it is important to apply with the right insurance company that will offer you the best rates based on your particular lifestyle habits.

Reasons to Buy Life Insurance at Age 51

First, if you need it do not wait. You are the youngest you will ever be right now and of course rates go up the older you are. Also, if you are healthy now it is the best time to get coverage. You will lock in the lowest possible rates.

If you are needing a life insurance policy, it is important have a clear understanding as to why you need coverage and for how long you need it.  This will help you decide how much coverage you need and how long you need the coverage for.

Below are just a few common reasons to get life insurance.

-Pay off a mortgage – If you died before your mortgage was paid off, would your spouse or significant other be able to cover the cost? What if your children want to take ownership of the property?

-Burial Expenses – The average funeral costs over $7,000 in the United States. Many individuals do not have that kind of money available off-hand should the need arise.

-Inheritance – If you want to leave a financial legacy for your children, a life insurance policy can be an excellent option since the money is received income tax-free.

Contact Us Today

The best way to ensure that you get the best life insurance coverage and rates is to let us do the shopping for you. Fortunately, we make it easy to do that. If you are over 50 contact us today to find out how we can help you choose the right policy for you and your family. Peace of mind is just a phone call away.