Life Insurance for Widows: How to Protect Your Loved Ones [2022 Quotes]

Life insurance for widows is available in whole and term policies, among others. Term life insurance offers coverage for a specific period of time, whereas whole life insurance lasts for a person's entire life. The best policy for you depends on multiple factors.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

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.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • Widows should consider purchasing a life insurance policy, especially if they have children
  • After the death of a spouse, it’s essential to revisit your life insurance policy and make necessary updates
  • Life insurance rates for widows vary depending on age, gender, the amount of coverage, and more

It is challenging to lose a spouse. As you enter widowhood, getting quotes for life insurance may be the last thing on your mind. But it’s essential to plan ahead to protect your family and ensure you leave them with financial protection. 

Widows may consider both term or permanent life insurance policies. Life insurance rates will vary depending on which type of policy you choose. Keep reading to learn how much life insurance for widows costs and how you can find the most affordable rates.

What life insurance should widows buy?

Once your spouse dies, you may have a lot you need to do. For example, will someone make arrangements for the funeral? Are there legal matters or debts that someone else would have to settle? These are just a few considerations that may help you understand why widows must purchase a life insurance policy.

While many financial experts agree that you should not make any significant financial decisions while grieving, you should still consider the type of life insurance policy that might work best for you.

The type of life insurance you should purchase as a widow depends on many factors. Some of the most common factors to consider when buying life insurance include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Children and dependents
  • Debts
  • Amount of coverage

If you are in your 30s or early 40s, purchasing a term life insurance policy may be a good idea. Term life policies are ideal for couples or individuals who have young children and are just starting to build equity.

If you are in your 50s or older, you may want to consider purchasing a whole life policy rather than term life insurance.

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Do widows need whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance may be the safest bet for a widow. This type of policy offers both a level premium and a guaranteed death benefit for the beneficiaries. In addition, while term life insurance rates can increase as you age, whole life insurance rates often stay the same throughout the policy.

Some whole life policies also carry a cash value, allowing policyholders to borrow from their policies after paying premiums for a significant amount of time. You can use this to pay medical bills and help with other debts.

With a whole life insurance policy, your beneficiaries will automatically receive a lump sum of money if you pass away. And while this guarantee disappears with a term life insurance policy, it stays constant with any permanent life insurance option, including whole life insurance. Compare widows’ quotes for whole life insurance from multiple companies before making a decision.

How much is life insurance for widows?

The cost of life insurance varies for several reasons. Insurance companies consider several factors when determining a potential policyholder’s life insurance rates. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height and weight
  • Medical history
  • Family health history
  • Tobacco use
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Lifestyle factors

If you are in your 20s or 30s and are considered healthy, you can expect to find very affordable life insurance rates for both term and whole life policies. But if you are in your 60s or older or have poor health, your life insurance rates may be higher than average.

The table below shows the average rates for a 20-year term life insurance policy based on age, gender, and coverage.

Average Monthly 20-Year Term Life Insurance Rates by Age and Gender
Term Life Insurance Policyholder Age$100,000: Male Average Term Life Monthly Rates$100,000: Female Average Term Life Monthly Rates$250,000: Male Average Term Life Monthly Rates$250,000: Female Average Term Life Monthly Rates$500,000: Male Average Term Life Monthly Rates$500,000: Female Average Term Life Monthly Rates
25$14.53$12.70$23.27$18.72$34.79$27.39
30$14.96$13.22$24.59$20.44$37.39$29.59
35$17.57$15.40$26.09$22.19$40.04$32.19
40$21.40$18.62$33.72$28.49$54.79$45.69
45$26.54$22.97$45.47$37.42$79.19$66.14
50$36.02$29.32$69.59$54.59$126.14$96.99
55$50.98$38.11$105.72$78.97$203.14$143.99
60$84.91$60.20$183.79$131.17$355.39$248.84
65$144.51$97.44$323.42$220.99$625.09$432.84
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As you can see, rates for term life insurance increase significantly as people age. The next table shows the average life insurance rates for a whole life policy based on age, gender, and the coverage amount.

Average Monthly Whole Life Insurance Rates by Age & Gender
Policyholder Age$100,000: Male Average Monthly Rates$100,000: Female Average Monthly Rates$250,000: Male Average Monthly Rates$250,000: Female Average Monthly Rates$500,000: Male Average Monthly Rates$500,000: Female Average Monthly Rates
25$93.70$84.91$225.12$203.14$444.14$400.19
30$107.71$97.35$260.14$234.24$514.19$462.39
35$128.24$112.93$311.47$273.19$616.84$540.29
40$153.90$132.15$375.62$321.24$745.14$636.39
45$190.79$156.17$467.84$381.29$929.59$756.49
50$234.90$191.66$578.12$470.02$1,150.14$933.94
55$294.84$243.17$727.97$598.79$1,449.84$1,191.49
60$399.24$311.63$988.97$769.94$1,971.84$1,533.79
65$528$421.69$1,310.87$1,045.09$2,615.64$2,084.09
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Like a term life policy, whole life insurance policy rates increase as policyholders age. But whole life policies are automatically more expensive than their term life counterparts.

Life insurance rates may be a major factor when considering the life insurance policy you want to purchase. Ultimately, you will need to choose a policy that fits within your budget.

How can I find life insurance quotes for widows?

There’s no specific life insurance company that caters to widows. Similar to finding health insurance for widows, finding the best widow and widower quotes will be a matter of comparing rates from many companies and choosing the best option based on your unique circumstances. 

Some of the most popular companies that offer competitive life insurance rates include:

  • Prudential
  • AIG
  • Lincoln Financial
  • Equitable
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Pacific Life
  • Protective

These companies are a great place to start. It will also help to compare quotes for widows from several other local companies to see which companies offer the coverage you want at a price that works for you.

If life insurance rates seem too expensive, shop around with multiple options from different companies hear you. For example, you could choose a different type of life insurance policy, consider going with a different company, or choose a lower level of coverage to save money on monthly premiums. 

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Life Insurance for Widows: The Bottom Line

It can be devastating to lose the spouse you know and love, and adjusting to life in their absence is difficult and painful. However, purchasing a life insurance policy is a good way to ensure your loved ones are protected after you pass. 

Many widows choose to purchase a whole life insurance policy because of the guaranteed death benefit and monthly premiums. You can find and compare quotes for term and whole life insurance policies online to see which company offers the best coverage at the lowest price.

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