Historically, term life insurance was coverage that people renewed each year, paying a higher premium with increasing age. Recently, longer-term life has become the rule, with 20-year, fixed-premium policies the most popular. In the past few years, 30-year policies have become available.


Thirty-year policies have their advantages. They lock in an annual cost that may become more affordable if your income increases. These policies also protect against the danger that your health will deteriorate, making new coverage more expensive to obtain.


However, you should be cautious about making a 30-year commitment. With 30-year policies, premiums may be three times as expensive as the premiums of 10-year policies. Moreover, prices have been dropping sharply for term life coverage. You might do better to buy 10 years of coverage with the possibility of buying a new, cheaper policy when that one expires.