How much will life cover cost me?

If you have life insurance, you know that if you pass away, your family will be able to replace some or all of the income you earned. But how much does it cost to insure your life? We identify some of the factors that determine monthly life insurance premiums, and then work out how much life cover might cost, depending on your age.

How are life insurance premiums calculated?

Life insurance premiums are calculated for each individual. When you apply for life insurance underwriters assess your risk factors and use this information to calculate the appropriate premium for your sum assured. If there is a high risk that a life assured will die sooner than expected, there may be a loading, which means the monthly premium is higher than a standard rate premium.

What affects life insurance premiums?

Sum assured: This is how much life cover you take. The premium for life cover goes up if the sum assured goes up. So life cover of R1 000 000 will cost more than life cover of R500 000. But – the cost of double the cover isn’t double the price. For R500 000 cover a 40-year-old-female will pay R391 a month. For R1 million cover she will pay R491 a month. So always find out how much the cover you need costs.

Gender: Because women live longer than men, their life insurance premiums are lower. Average life expectancy in South Africa is 63.6 years. On average women live to age 67 and men to just over age 60.

Age: The younger you are, the cheaper life insurance will be. So if you need insurance it is best to take it out as early as possible.

Education: The higher your level of education the longer you live, on average. One reason for this is because higher education levels are associated with higher incomes, which means better nutrition and healthcare.

Occupation: If your occupation is high risk – a security guard for example – that may put you at risk of dying earlier than the average person in your age group. This will affect your insurance premium.

Smoking: Non-smokers live longer than smokers. The difference between insurance premiums for non-smokers and smokers can be as much as 50%! For example, a 43-year-old male will pay R678 a month for R1 000 000 life cover at 1Life if they are a non-smoker, and R1 017 for the same cover if they are a smoker. Smoking includes vaping.

General health: Poor health, such as being obese, or having a chronic disease that is not managed, does mean there is a risk you will die sooner than the average person. This is why some people with poor health pay higher premiums.

Some examples

AgeAmount of coverMonthly premium
FemaleMale
23R500 000R353R396
30R1 000 000R433R518
40R500 000R391R449

All the premiums we’ve used are standard rate premiums for non-smokers at 1Life. How much you pay will depend on various other factors, including those listed above.

R17 a day for your family’s future

We love our families, and we want to take care of them when we’re around and after we’ve gone. A life insurance policy can take care of our loved ones’ financial needs when we are no longer around. The price for R1 million life cover for a 30-year old at standard rates is around R17 a day. That means that you can ensure your family’s future security and growth for the cost of a daily cappuccino!

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