Should You Buy 40-Year Term Life Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know

By Michael Horbal - Updated on 08/12/2023

Forty-Year Term Life Insurance May Be What You Need, But Maybe Not!

Get everything you need here to make an informed decision about your life insurance.

Who Offers 40-Year Term Life Insurance?

It’s a new day in the term life insurance marketplace with 40-year term life insurance.

Anything new rarely happens in the term life insurance market.

Recently Banner Life Insurance Company introduced a 40-year term life insurance policy.

And it wasn’t long before Protective Life introduced its 40-year life insurance policy.

Kansas City Life just introduced cash value term life insurance and the ability to guarantee the term length to age 85.

Banner Life, Protective Life, and Kansas City Life are the only life insurance companies that offer this type of life insurance.

Previously, a 30-year term life insurance policy was the most prolonged duration available.

We’ll compare Protective Life, Banner Life, and Kansas so you can choose the best company for you.

If you need a quick review of the entire application process, we recommend starting with our Life Insurance for Dummies guide.

Banner, Protective & Kansas City Life – 40-Year Term Life Insurance

Banner LifeProtective LifeKansas City Life
Issue Ages:20 – 45
(40 – tobacco)
18 – 45
(40 – tobacco)
Face Amount
Child RiderChild RiderChild Rider
Waiver of
Waiver of
Waiver of
Term RidersN/ASpouse Term
Preferred PlusSelect PreferredPreferred Elite
Standard PlusN/AStandard Select
(1) – Riders may vary by state of residence, issue age, and other factors

Riders offered by companies

Accelerated Death Benefit – In states where available, this no-cost rider will accelerate a portion of the death benefit.

You must be terminally ill to qualify for this benefit.

Banner Life will accelerate up to 75% of the policy’s primary death benefit, or $500,000, whichever is less.

Protective Life will accelerate up to 60% of the policy’s death benefit, or $1 million, whichever is less.

Kansas City Life will accelerate up to 80% of the death benefit, not exceeding $300,000.

Children’s Rider – This is an additional cost rider.

Banner offers $5,000 or $10,000 per child. However, if both parents buy a policy, the maximum is $20,000 per child.

Protective Life’s Children’s Term Rider offers $1,000 to $25,000 per child.

Kansas City Life offers a maximum of $25,000 for child riders, but the total available depends on the primary insured’s coverage amount.

Conversion Privilege – You may convert the policy to permanent life insurance.

Banner’s conversion privilege is to age 70 or until the end of the level term period, whichever comes first.

Protective’s conversion privilege lasts up to 18 years.

Kansas City Life conversion privilege is available to age 65 for insureds who took out their policy between 18-60. There is no conversion available for issue ages 61 or older.

Waiver of Premium Rider – This rider waives premiums in the event of total disability as defined in the policy contract.

While Banner and Protective use similar build charts, Banner has a slight advantage since they have a standard plus rate between the preferred and standard rates.

Term Riders – Banner offers term life insurance riders for their 40-year term life policy.

You may like the idea of a 40-year policy but don’t need the total coverage for 40 years.

This is where Banner’s term riders work well and could save you some money!

You may combine a 40-year term policy with shorter-duration term riders to give you the coverage you need at the best rate.

If you need a larger policy, say a $5 million life insurance policy, Banner makes it easy to have multiple term lengths with one policy.

Kansas City Life offers a spouse term rider for issue ages 15-50. This is a decreasing term rider that lasts until the spouse turns age 65.

All three companies offer you a choice of paying your beneficiary in a lump sum or another option, such as a life income settlement option.

Protective and Kansas City Life has an accidental death benefit rider for an additional premium.

Advantages of 40-Year Term Life Insurance

Here are just a few of the many advantages of 40-year term life insurance:

In the past, if you needed coverage for 40 years, your only option was a universal or whole-life policy.

Chances are that your family won’t need a Go Fund Me life insurance campaign if you have a 40-year term.

It’s worth considering if you still need life insurance in 40 years.

  • Retirement – This policy may cover you and your spouse until retirement.
  • Real Estate – Coverage for mortgages & home equity loans.
  • College Loans – Will you have debt after the kids graduate?
  • Weddings – If you borrowed money, you’re still covered.
  • Permanent Insurance Alternative – Compare to whole or universal life.
  • One and Done – This may be the last policy you ever buy!
  • Business – For key person life insurance.
  • New York – Both companies are available in New York.

It’s a great alternative to work life insurance. So whether you’re a police officer or a CPA, this term may take you right through retirement.

Another advantage is that Banner offers $500k – $2 million life insurance with no medical exam, and in some cases, it’s possible to get instant life insurance approval.

Banner accelerates the underwriting process by waiving medical exams, using services Human API, and checking your MIB record.

Something different regarding Kansas City Life’s policy is that it is not a traditional 40-year term life policy.

Rather, K.C. Life’s product is a “Term to 85” product, meaning that insureds up to 45 can get a 40-year level term benefit.

In addition, Kansas City Life’s Term to 85 policy offers cash value accumulation, Paid-Up Insurance, and Extended Term Insurance if you cancel the policy and use the cash value accumulation to pay premiums.

Disadvantages of 40-Year Term Life Insurance

The disadvantages of a 40-year term are few but are important to consider:

  • Price – Convenience comes with a higher price tag than a 20-year term or 30-year term.
  • Competitors – Banner Life and Protective Life offer a 40-year term, Kansas City offers Term to 85.
  • Commitment – Do you need a term life of 40 years?
  • Conversion – Banner’s conversion option is expensive compared to the market. Protective has better conversion products available.
  • Age Limits – These products are not for seniors with age 45 cutoffs. Age 40 for smokers at Banner and Protective.
  • Divorce – Most divorce decrees won’t require this length of coverage.
  • Tobacco – Rates are expensive if you smoke cigars, chew tobacco, use marijuana, or pipe smokers.

And while Protective offers a 40-year term, if you buy coverage through a membership program like Costco, a 20-year term life is the longest term available.

You probably wouldn’t use a 40-year term for business life insurance collateral as the term is too long for most loan products.

Or, you can buy a 40-year term and change your beneficiaries and settlement options later when you pay off your loan or no longer need key person life insurance.

Something else to consider is high-risk life insurance. 

If you have had a health issue or currently have a condition, a 40-year term may/may not be the best option.

The reason is that pricing for some conditions may improve over time while others may worsen. 

We wrote an article on life insurance statistics detailing the lengths most people buy. The 20-year term life insurance is still by far the most popular.

We’ll tell you what to expect when we discuss your request.

You must take time to consider what your needs are today,

And what you expect future needs will be before buying life insurance.

40-Year Term Life Insurance Rates

Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request, and we’ll provide you with accurate quotes for both Banner Life and Protective Life. We must request the illustration for Kansas City Life since their product is so uniquely different.

$500,000 – 40 Year TermBanner LifeProtective Life
Male – Age 45$185.57$185.59
Male – Age 40$112.52$112.54
Male – Age 35$69.77$69.78
Male – Age 30$53.30$53.31
Female – Age 45$145.21$145.22
Female – Age 40$89.93$89.95
Female – Age 35$51.90$51.91
Female – Age 30$38.52$38.53
Sample monthly life insurance rates for $500,000 of 40-year term life insurance.
Rates as of 2/25/2023. We quoted the best underwriting rate class with each company. All rates are subject to underwriting, and you may not qualify for this rate.

Your rate depends on the underwriting rate classes you qualify for. You may not qualify for the above rates.

Rate classes with Banner Life are preferred plus, preferred, standard plus, and standard rate classes.

Banner Lab Lift Exam Substitution Program may allow you to skip the paramed exam if you’ve had a comprehensive physical and labs within 18 months.

Protective offers preferred plus, preferred, and standard rates.

Life Insurance Ladder Strategy

A ladder strategy using Banner’s 40-year term life coupled with term riders of various durations may be the perfect answer.

Ask us to show you this option!

ladder strategy for life insurance

Term riders are available in 10, 15, and 20-year terms, and you may add multiple-term riders to your base policy.

It’s a great way to dial in the amount of life insurance you need to protect your family.

For example, we can tailor your policy if you want $1,000,000 of coverage but don’t need it to be the 40-year term.

Some of it could be a 40-year term, and the balance is 10, 15, 20 years, or some combination of multiple terms.

Here’s a guide to Banner Life’s term riders.

While Protective doesn’t offer term riders, you may ladder coverage with multiple policies.

It will accomplish the same results but be more expensive than the Banner term riders.

If you think about the various obligations and goals that you are looking to cover,

We can custom-tailor coverage and term lengths to meet your exact needs.

Kansas City Life offers a spouse term life insurance rider that is a decreasing term.

Final Words

Banner Life and Protective Life have led the term life insurance marketplace for many years.

Their term life insurance rates are usually some of the most competitive.

And with a 40-year guarantee, you can lock up coverage for a long time and not have to worry about your family supporting themselves with a GoFundMe life insurance campaign.

Both companies offer no exam life insurance (for some cases) and e-application options to simplify the process.

Kansas City Life’s product is new but worth a look.

Please take a few minutes to submit your no-pressure, no-obligation quote request today. 

We’ll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your life insurance. 

Thank you.

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