There are a few questions that need qualification, and a bit on the understanding of what is being 'purchased'.
There are two axioms that require re-iteraton, Death, and Taxes.
Now, The First is eventually inevitable, as most people will eventually die. It depends what is happening now, that determines what will happen tomorrow, and the concept of certainty.
The Second Is a pay as you go plan.
If you are contemplating what will heppen tomorrow, you have to look at what types of "Insurance" are available, and why they were invented in the first place.
The High seas can be a rough travelling ground, and Not every shipment of goods and passengers arrived on time, and one piece.
This was the origin of "insurance", when speculators would gamble on the safe arrival of a ship laden with goods, at the destination, and for this they received a 'cut' on the value of the goods shipped.
Thus the concept of 'Underwriting', and the VALUE associated with the cargo, and the method of transport. Based on an example gallion of good repair and a well seasoned Captain and crew, a lower rate of 'insurance' was deemed needed, prior to shipment, than some other 'rating agency - or underwriter'.
Now, I bring this up, because, it depends on the Underwriter that you choose as to the payout, and the associated Guarantee of Funds, that you will receive if you happen to need to 'collect' on the 'Insurance Contract'.
In the case of 'Death Benefit' insurance, You will never see the benefit, at the end, however, while the policy is in force (The Term), it IS an Asset, that would be considered in any 'Estate Planning' exercise.
First, you have to consider, your Occupation, and the incidence of death due to occupational hazards. Generally this is considered in your employment negotiations, and is either reflected in the salary, or if it is a state sponsored Employer funded, it is determined by your occupational risk, and assessed to the employer, and forms part of the 'Cost-of-doing-business', in that this component or 'Occupational Insurance' is covered by that program.
The problem, is 'disability' and what is deemed the same by the experience of the particular 'Underwriter', in your location.
For Death Benefits, Where there is an Accident, for Motor Vehicle Accidents (and 50,000 People in the US die annually) these are covered by Motor Vehicle Policy contracts, and vary from State to State.
Check the Registrar of State Insurance Co's for your state to see who are the market leaders and the claim /payout ratios, compared to insurance in force.
Depending on the particular, 'Underwiriter' there may be significant differences, and different results in premium, depending on your employer.
(Warren Buffet did not Invest in GEICO, because of his benevolence to those who purchase Insurance Policies with GEICO).
The original Poster mentions some paramaters such as Age, Smoking, and other 'Risk factors'.... , but does not mention the 'Soft Factors' that are not mentioned.
They are, 'Risk Factors' such, as Incidence of Murder, in the region you live, the Zip Code, you live at, and the endeavours that you enjoy when you are not in your occupation.
From the Time you get up in the morning, till the time you fall asleep (And then some), you are 'AT Risk' , not from a event standpoint, but from a 'Fianancial risk' standpoint.
This is the reason that all of the insurance contracts, stipulate exclusions, and limits on when they will pay out.
This is what is meant by the 'Soft Risk Factors', and need to be ascertained.
IF you are in an occupation that has a limited exposure to getting killed 'on the job', then you will be paying a lower premium, than someone who has a high risk occupation.
IT used to be that 'SkySkraper Iron Workers', had a high incidence of injury and death , but over the last 50 years, this has changed.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists these 10 jobs as the highest for death (per 100,000 workers).
- Logging(LumberJAcks-etc) 117
- Fisher(men&Women) 112
- Airline Workers(Pilots-etc) 53
- Roofers (Heights & Heat) 40.5
- Structuarl Iron & Steel (IronWorkers) 37
- Refuse&Recycling 27
- Electrical Power Line 23
- Truck/Delivery Sales-Drivers 22
- Farmers/Ranchers 21.3
- Construction 17.4
The scales tilt the other way for these occupations:
- Lending (0.3 %)
- Professional, Scientific,Technical Services (0.3%)
- Information Services (0.2%)
- Patent & TM , Leasing (0.2)
- Investment Services (0.1)
(In Canada, the Cheapest Rate for Occupational Insurance is Lawyer, and Politician)
So, for the rest in Sales, management etc, the national average is 3 to 3.5 depending on the region, of deaths per 100,000 employed in that occupation.
So, for a 30 year old bank worker, the premium is more like a 'forced savings plan', in the sense that you are paying towards something in the future.
The 'Risk of Payout' in Less than 6 months is slim.
For a Logging Worker or Fisher(Men&Women) , the risk is very high that they might not return from that voyage for fish and seafood.
If you partake in 'Extreme Sports' or similar risk factors, then consider getting 'Whole Term- Life' , where the premium is spread out over your working lifetime, and once you hit retirement (55 or 65) then the occupational risk is less, and the plan will payout at the age of 65, if you make it that far, and you get a partial benefit.
IF you have a 'Pension Plan', then that also needs to be factored in, and be part of a compreshensive thinking on where you want to be 5 years from today.