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What do air bags, windshield wipers, and vinyl all have in common? They were all invented in Alabama, along with portable electric hearing aids and Wikipedia. Sweet Home Alabama is home to two of the most popular football teams in the SEC: the Auburn Tigers and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. However, because Alabama has the highest death rate from stroke, and the third-highest death rate from heart disease, Alabamians may face higher average life insurance premiums. So getting the right insurance is very important.
Shopping for life insurance in Alabama can be a hassle. Heck, it can be a hassle no matter where you live. But it doesn’t have to be and that’s where we come in.
QuoteWizard can help you find the life insurance rates that fit your needs and budget. Compare quotes with us and you’ll quickly and easily learn which insurance company and policy are best for you.
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||Jackson National Life Group||$331,045||6.1%|
|2||Lincoln National Corp.||$306,781||5.7|
|3||American International Group||$291,870||5.4%|
|5||New York Life Insurance Group||$247,245||4.6%|
|6||Prudential Financial Inc.||$237,983||4.4%|
|7||Manulife Financial Corp.||$187,911||3.5%|
|8||Principal Financial Group Inc.||$177,605||3.3%|
|10||Protective Life Corp.||$147,631||2.7%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/28/2015)
Age – Age is one of the largest factors affecting life insurance rates. The younger you are when you purchase a policy, the less likely it is that it will pay out. So the lower your premiums.
Life expectancy at birth in Alabama is 74.6 years, much lower than life expectancy at birth for the US overall, which is 78.9 years. Say you purchased a 30-year term life policy in Alabama at age 55. You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 85 years of age, the end of the term.
What if you were 35 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under Alabama’s life expectancy of 74.6 years when the policy term ended. You’d be a much lower risk to insure and would therefore pay much lower rates than the person in the former example.
Driving Record – Car accidents are incredibly common. They kill more than 30,000 people per year. If someone has a driving record littered with moving violations, they are at an increased risk of a premature demise. The result is higher rates.
Firearm Deaths – Places that have higher rates of accidental or premature death generally have higher rates. A significant part of these untimely deaths comes from firearm injuries, which account for about 33,000 deaths in the US every year. In Alabama, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 17.6 per 100,000 deaths, the fourth-highest in the country. Nationwide, the average firearm death rate is 10.4 per 100,000.
Gender – Since women live longer than men on average, they pay less for insurance than a similar man would, other things being equal. In Alabama, the percentage of the population that’s male is 48.5%, and the percentage that’s female is 51.5%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.
Health History – Most of us have one or two minor health issues. But if you have a serious illness, or a family history of such illnesses, it can impact your rates.
There are certain conditions like heart disease or cancer that can make your premiums much higher if you have them or a family history of them. In some cases, a pre-existing condition can make you ineligible altogether, which is why it’s important to get life insurance before something serious happens.
Lifestyle & Hobbies – People who engage in adventure sports or who have potentially dangerous hobbies will pay more for insurance, other things being equal, than those who don’t.
Marital Status – Research shows that on average, married people live longer and are healthier than similar single people. So, if you’re married, you can get a modest insurance discount. In Alabama in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 39 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 26.6 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 14.4 per 1,000 people.
Occupation – People with hazardous jobs like logging and fishing will pay more for life insurance than someone with a less dangerous, mundane office job, other things being equal. The most common job in Alabama is a metal and plastic worker.
Tobacco Use – Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So tobacco users pay substantially more for life insurance. Tobacco use is associated with a number of health complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and COPD. Any of which may cause higher rates and an earlier death.
As of 2013, the national average rate of smoking was 19%. To compare to the most recent data available, in 2013, approximately 21.5% of Alabama adults smoked cigarettes – about 803,000 adults.
Travel - Do you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List? If so you'll pay more for insurance than a traveler who sticks to developed countries.
Value of Policy – One of the largest contributing factors to a life insurance policy’s premiums is the value of the policy. As with anything, you get what you pay for. The more protection that you purchase, the higher the premiums.
Weight – Obesity has surpassed smoking to become America’s largest public health cost and problem. Like tobacco use, obese or seriously overweight people have a lower life expectancy, which means an increased probability of their policy being paid out. Obesity increases the likelihood of health problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. So overweight and obese individuals can expect to pay higher premiums.
As of 2013, the adult obesity rate in Alabama was 32.4%. This makes Alabama the eighth most obese state. Overall, the obesity rate in the US is 34.9%.
While each of these factors plays a big role in the cost of your policy, some aspects of life insurance are entirely individual. Insurance companies calculate your rates based on your own health, habits, and lifestyle. That’s why shopping around and comparing quotes is so important–to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible.
|Rank||Cause of Death||Total Deaths||Death Rate||State Rank||US Death Rate*|
|3||Lower Respiratory Disease||3,043||54.8||7th||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
Insurance in Alabama is governed by the laws defined by the Title 27 of the Code of Alabama, as outlined by the Alabama Department of Insurance.
The state uses over 100 individual regulations to manage and monitor claims and provide certain protections to Alabama consumers, for example:
Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in Alabama is entitled to a 30-day “grace period” to make up a missed payment without punishment or file a death claim after the missed payment. This is to prohibit the insurance company from withholding a claim or cancelling a policy because of a slightly late payment. If the insured individual passes away during the grace period, the insurance company is responsible for paying the claim.
Free Look Period: Free look is a period of time in which the consumer can test out their policy after buying it. In most states, the length of time of a free look period is 30 days, but in Alabama, it’s only 10 days. During this period of time, consumers gain better understanding of their policy and have the option to return it for a full refund, with no added fees.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, Alabama insurers may challenge any information in your insurance application for up to two years from the policy’s effective date. If they find any evidence of fraud, they can terminate your policy immediately.
This organization assists the customers of any insurance company that is found to be insolvent. If you have concerns about the financial well-being of your carrier, you should contact the ALDIGA. Their contact info is below:
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