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Kentucky is probably most famous for its fried chicken and bluegrass, which is actually green. Home to two of the greatest college basketball programs in the country, Kentucky residents wear red or blue with pride, but never both. However, very high rates of smoking, obesity, and death from cancer and respiratory diseases may affect life insurance rates in Kentucky.
Kentucky is ranked first in the country when it comes to deaths caused by cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease. Such serious health conditions make life insurance quite expensive for a lot of people who call the state home.
Shopping around is the best way for those residents to find affordable quotes. Last year, QuoteWizard helped 1,637 people in Kentucky find the lowest life insurance rates that fit their needs.
Age - Age is one of the largest factors affecting life insurance rates. The younger you are when you purchase an insurance policy, the less likely it is that it will pay out, so the lower your rates.
Life expectancy at birth in Kentucky is 76.0 years, much lower than 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 Kentucky at age 50? You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 80 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, what if you were 30 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under Kentucky’s life expectancy of 76 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.
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 Kentucky, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 13.7 per 100,000 deaths, the #17 highest rate in the country. Nationwide, the average firearm death rate is 10.4 per 100,000.
Gender - Women live longer than men on average. So they pay less for insurance than a similar man would. In Kentucky, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.8%. The percentage that’s male is 49.2%. 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, this can have a significant impact your rates.
There are conditions like heart disease or cancer which can make your 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. This is especially relevant in Kentucky, where skiing and hunting are common recreational activities.
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 Kentucky in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 42.7 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 28.1 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 13.7 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 Kentucky, proportionally, is a miner.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So smokers pay a lot more for life insurance than an identical non-tobacco user. 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 2014, approximately 26.5% of Kentucky adults smoked cigarettes – about 900,000 adults.
Travel - If you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List, 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 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 like 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 Kentucky was 33.2%. This makes Kentucky the fifth 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||3,187||54.6||1st||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|2||American International Group||$313,768||6.3%|
|3||Jackson National Life Group||$292,164||5.9%|
|4||Lincoln National Corp.||$284,529||5.7%|
|6||Prudential Financial Inc.||$226,390||4.5%|
|7||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$164,596||3.3%|
|8||TIAA - CREF||$151,804||3.1%|
|9||Manulife Financial Corp||$151,164||3.0%|
|10||Voya Financial Inc.||$149,055||3.0%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/27/2015)
This legislation contains dozens of subchapters and is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Kentucky consumers, for example:
Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in Kentucky 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. In Kentucky, there is no limit on the number of grace periods a person may use.
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 Kentucky, it’s only 10 days. For replacement policies, the time is 20 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, Kentucky 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 KLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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