Actually, one should get life insurance when one is young and healthy. Marital status has no impact on life insurance rates.
Regardless of what type of life insurance you buy – be it term, whole or universal – rates are less expensive for younger people for a very obvious reason: young people don’t die as much as old people. By buying young, you lock in those rates as per your contract.
Another important reason to buy early is health. As one ages, one becomes increasingly prone to medical conditions that could uprate (i.e. make more expensive) life insurance premiums, or render one uninsurable altogether. If life insurance is issued while the applicant is in good health, it remains in force as per the contract even if that person becomes uninsurable later due to a serious or chronic medical condition.
Other good life insurance opportunities are available to the young and healthy, such as a guaranteed purchase option (GPO) rider. With this rider, you have the option at a set time to purchase additional life insurance coverage at the rate appropriate to your age without any medical underwriting, even if you’re unable to qualify for a new policy at that point. This is especially beneficial if you receive a preferred rate today.
Whole life insurance is an especially good buy on small children. They almost always sail through underwriting without a hitch, and rates on products such as a 10-pay whole life (e.g. a whole life policy that is paid in full in 10 years), are quite reasonable. A similar life insurance product on the child’s parents may be available, but it would be much, much more expensive even given perfect health. Buying such a product on a toddler has the advantage of providing permanent life insurance coverage and cash value that can be paid in full before the child graduates high school. Such a policy a very thoughtful lifetime gift for you as a parent or grandparent to make which the child is likely to be grateful for long after you’re gone.
In short, young and healthy people should buy life insurance now, not only because it will be more expensive later, but also because it may be unavailable later at any price.