How to Calculate Your Life Insurance Age

Life insurance companies use one of two methods to calculate your life insurance age. The first is your Actual Age, which is based on your last birthday. The second method is Age Nearest Birthday. This method calculates your life insurance age based on your nearest birthday, which could be either your last birthday or your next.

Ready to compare quick life insurance quotes?

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites.

Full Bio →

Written by

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Life insurance companies use several factors when determining the premium for a policy.  Some of these are your current health status, your medical history, tobacco/nicotine use, gender and age. Age seems like an easy factor to figure, right? After all, your age is what the calendar says it is. Unfortunately, most life insurance companies see it differently.

Table of Contents

Calculating Your Age

Life insurance companies use one of two methods to determine your life insurance age.

1. Actual Age

The first method is called Actual Age, but it’s sometimes referred to as Age Last Birthday as well.  This method calculates your life insurance age based on your last birthday. Basically, it’s your true age on any given day. If you asked me today how old I am, I’d give you an answer without having to give it much thought.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

  • Example 1
 Your Date of Birth March 11, 1960
 Today’s Date March 12, 2015
 Your  life Insurance Age Today  55
  • Example 2
 Your Date of Birth  March 13, 1960
 Today’s Date  March 12, 2015
 Your Life Insurance Age Today  54

In our first example, you just turned 55 yesterday. In the second, you will turn 55 tomorrow. The Actual Age calculation method is very straightforward as it is simply a measure of an applicant’s calendar age on any given date.

Ready to compare quick life insurance quotes?

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

2. Age Nearest Birthday

The second method of age calculation is called Age Nearest Birthday.  This method calculates your life insurance age based on your nearest birthday, which could be either your last birthday or your next.  Here’s how it works:

  • Example 1
 Your Date of Birth  March 11, 1960
 Today’s Date  March 12, 2015
 Your Life Insurance Age Today  55
  • Example 2
 Your Date of Birth  March 11, 1960
 Today’s Date  November 21, 2015
 Your Life Insurance Age Today  56

Our first example is similar to the Actual Age method. Since you just turned 55 yesterday, and you are closer to your last birthday than you are to your next birthday, your life insurance age is 55.

However, example 2 shows us the significance of the Age Nearest Birthday calculation method.  Because you turned 55  over eight months ago, you are actually closer to your next birthday than you are to your last. Therefore, your life insurance age is 56. So even though you have not yet turned 56 by the calendar, this method of calculation determines your life insurance age to be 56.  This will happen every year on the day you move to within six months of your next birthday.

Most life insurance companies use the Age Nearest Birthday method for age determination. But you don’t have to worry about knowing which method to use or doing any math. We’ve done it all for you. Our quoting system provides an accurate quote based on your date of birth, taking into account each individual company’s quoting method. This is why we ask for your date of birth and not your age on the Quote Questionnaire.

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Handling “Surprise” Birthdays

Your life insurance age could change while your application is in underwriting if you have a birthday or you move to within six months of your next birthday. If this happens, we can usually ask the life insurance company to backdate your policy to keep your life insurance age down.

Ready to compare quick life insurance quotes?

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

QuickQuote is a BBB Accredited Business. QuickQuote Financial, Inc. BBB Business Review