Level Life Insurance Premiums

Explore Level Premiums, a good premium option when you are looking at purchasing cover. Distinct from the prevalent Stepped premiums, Level Premiums are not accessible via Super Funds or Direct Policies, but are available through Retail policies.

Published February 29, 2024

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What is a level premium?

Level premiums are a type of premium available in Retail Policies in Australia and generally do not increase due to a change in your age up until the age of 65 or 70. However, their pricing can increase due to other factors, such as stamp duty, increase in base rates, policy fees and cover increasing by CPI.

Unlike policies with premiums that increase as you age, level premiums remain consistent throughout the duration of the policy. This predictable cost structure enables you to create long-term financial strategies and accurately forecast your future expenses, ensuring that your life insurance coverage remains manageable as you grow older. By eliminating the uncertainty associated with age-related premium adjustments, level premiums provide peace of mind and allow you to allocate your financial resources effectively, both in the present and in the years to come.

As the graph above indicates, level premiums start off more expensive but do not increase with your age. However, level premiums are NOT fixed premiums. It’s important that you know, your level premiums can still go up, due to:

Level premiums inside super

You generally don’t find level premiums with group policies in super funds or direct life insurance policies. However, you can obtain level premiums by having a retail life insurance policy, which is owned and funded by your super fund.

How are level life insurance premiums calculated?

Level premiums are calculated on your age at the commencement of your policy and use this entry age to calculate your renewal premium even as you get older. With a level premium structure you pay more at the onset of your policy. Typically, level premiums will work out cheaper after about seven years, depending on your particular circumstances.

You will generally have the choice of premium style with all personal insurance policies including Term Life Insurance as well as Income Protection, Trauma and TPD Insurance.

What is the level premium period?

The level premium period on Retail Policies in Australia is generally to 65 or 70, depending on your policy. If insurers were to price Level premiums to age 80 or 90, premiums would become outrageously expensive. Thus they convert to stepped premiums at age 65 or 70.

So, imagine you had $500,000 worth of life insurance cover, and you’re paying a $300 monthly premium. When you reach that age of 65 or 70 (depending on the insurer), you’ll automatically revert to stepped premiums and jump to a much higher premium per month. Most people are not able to afford such a high premium, which is why they either cancel their policy or lower their cover amount.

We understand that not everyone is debt free at the age of 65, and you might want to keep a lower level of cover to pass on to the family or cover your funeral expenses. If that’s you, then perhaps keep your policy, but lower the cover amount, as at age 65 people rarely still have children to support financially.

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Are Level Life Insurance Premiums the best fit for you?

The level premium structure might be for you if you’re ready to commit to a policy and want a policy for longer than seven – nine years, as this is when you’ll start to see the benefit.

If you can afford the level premiums when you take out the policy, then generally you should be able to afford it for the long term. By essentially investing in your premium price, it can help with your long-term affordability and budget.

Level Premiums

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Long term affordabilityMore expensive in the short term (can be 50% – 100% more expensive)
Financial StabilityLess flexibility to change your policy

Stepped Premiums

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Cheaper in the short termMore expensive in the long term
Greater flexibility to change coverLess financial certainty

Generally if you intend to hold your policy for a short period, stepped premiums may be more suitable. Other alternatives include:

Hybrid premiums

Hybrid premiums are typically a mix of Level and Stepped premiums. This generally means that your premiums will start off stepped and will then convert to level later on. It’s may be a good idea to compare all of the options before deciding whether this is the right premium structure for you.

Freeze premium option

Cover amount reduces each year, but policy price remains the same.

If you can afford the level premiums when you take out the policy, then generally you should be able to afford it for the long term. By essentially investing in your premium price, it can help with your long-term affordability and budget.

When considering a level premium structure, you are committing to that insurer for the long term, so it’s essential that you choose the right insurer. Consider requesting a level life insurance quote, so you know right away if it’s an affordable option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • How are level life insurance policies calculated?

    Level premiums are typically calculated using several factors including your age at the time of purchasing your policy. On your annual policy anniversary, your insurer will typically base your premium for the ear on your entry age as opposed to your current age. Generally, you’ll pay more for level life cover compared to stepped.
  • What are the advantages of level life insurance?

    One of the most significant benefits of level cover is that you’ll typically start paying less for life cover if you maintain your cover for more than seven years compared to other people your age. Another advantage is that, because your insurer bases your annual premium on your entry age rather than your current age.
  • Are hybrid premiums the same as level premiums?

    No, hybrid premiums will generally increase each year according to your age until a certain point at which your premiums will be converted to a level structure. Level life insurance policies on the other hand are calculated according to your entry age from the commencement of your policy for as long as you maintain your cover.

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