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Illinois is the birthplace of Betty White, Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, and Twinkies. It was the first state to abolish slavery and the largest city, Chicago, is home to seven major league sports teams. Illinois’ low rate of death from firearms, accidents, and suicide may impact the state’s life insurance rates.
As you continue down this page, you’ll learn about life insurance regulations in Illinois, what factors affect rates, and even what the leading causes of death are in the state.
We've collected all of this information to help the residents of Illinois make an informed decision about which life insurance company fits their specific needs.
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 will be. So, it’s best to get life insurance while you’re young.
Life expectancy at birth in Illinois is 79.0 years, about the same as the life expectancy at birth for the US overall, which is 78.9 years. What if you purchased a 30-year term life policy in Illinois at age 53? You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 83 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, what if you were 33 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under Illinois’s life expectancy of 79.0 years old when the policy term ended. And 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.
Gender – Women live longer than men on average. So they pay less for insurance than a similar man would. In Illinois, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.9%. The percentage that’s male is 49.1%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.
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 Illinois, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 19.8 per 100,000 deaths, the highest in the country, and almost twice the national average firearm death rate, which is 10.4 per 100,000.
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, this can have a significant impact your rates.
There are conditions like heart disease or cancer that can make your insurance premiums much higher. In some cases, a pre-existing condition can make you ineligible. That's 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.
Marital Status - Married people live longer and are healthier than similar single people. So, if you’re married, you can get a modest discount on life insurance. In Illinois in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 34.2 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 16 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 10.8 per 1,000 people.
Occupation - People with hazardous jobs like logging and fishing will pay more for insurance than someone with a less dangerous, mundane office job. The most common job in Illinois, proportionally, is a groundskeeper.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So tobacco users pay much more for life insurance. Tobacco use is associated with a number of health complications like heart disease, stroke, and COPD. Any of which may cause higher rates as well as an earlier death.
As of 2013, the national average rate of smoking was 19%. To compare to the most recent data available, in 2014, approximately 18.0% of Illinois adults smoked cigarettes – about 1,774,000 adults.
Travel - If you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List, you will pay more for your insurance than a traveler who sticks to developed countries.
Value of Policy - One of the largest contributing factors to a 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 more you pay.
Weight - Obesity has surpassed smoking to become America’s largest public health cost and problem. Obese or seriously overweight people have a lower life expectancy. This means an increased probability of their policy being paid out. Obesity increases the likelihood of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. So overweight and obese individuals can expect to pay higher rates.
As of 2013, the adult obesity rate in Illinois was 29.4%. This makes Illinois the #25 most obese state. Overall, the average 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||5,532||39.3||35th||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$710,032||10.6%|
|3||Prudential Financial Inc.||$349,489||5.4%|
|4||Lincoln National Corp.||$255,638||3.8%|
|5||New York Life Insurance Co.||$253,042||3.8%|
|7||Minnesota Life Insurance Co.||$222,498||3.3%|
|8||John Hancock Life Insurance Co.||$200,156||3.0%|
|9||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$191,612||2.9%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/31/2015)
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Illinois consumers, for example:
Free Look: Any Illinois policyholder is entitled to minimum 10-day “free look” period that starts as soon as the policy is received. The free look period is like a test drive for the insurance policy, and during this time it can be returned for a full refund. No insurance company in Illinois may charge any fees for returning a policy during this period.
Timely Payment of Claims: In Illinois, it is required that insurance companies pay out claims in a timely manner. When a life insurance claim is filed, insurance companies have 30 days to pay the beneficiaries. If a company fails to make the payment in a timely manner, they will be fined, and interest will accrue on the owed amount until it is made.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, Illinois 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 ILHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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