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Life Insurance Resource Center

How The Cost Of Life Insurance Is Determined

The premium rate for a life insurance policy is based on two underlying concepts: mortality and interest. A third variable is the expense factor which is the amount the company adds to the cost of the policy to cover operating costs of selling insurance, investing the premiums, and paying claims.

Mortality – Life insurance is based on the sharing of the risk of death by a large group of people. The amount at risk must be known to predict the cost to each member of the group. Mortality tables are used to give the company a basic estimate of how much money it will need to pay for death claims each year. By using a mortality table a life insurer can determine the average life expectancy for each age group.

Interest – The second factor used in calculating the premium is interest earnings. Companies invest your premiums in bonds, stocks, mortgages, real estate, etc., and assume they will earn a certain rate of interest on these invested funds.

Expense – The third consideration is the expenses of operating the company. The company estimates such expenses as salaries, agents’ compensation, rent, legal fees, postage, etc. The amount charged to cover each policy’s share of expenses of operation is called the expense loading. This is a cost area that can vary from company to company based on its operations and efficiency.

Next Topic: Basic Types Of Policies

Updated 08/27/2014