Best Life Insurance Rates in Alaska

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Alaska makes up about a fifth of the total area of the US and has more coastline than all of the lower 48 put together. Its reputation for great fishing, hunting, and beautiful wildlife makes it one of the most popular cruise destinations on Earth. However, with the highest rate of firearm deaths and one of the highest smoking rates in the country, Alaskans may face higher average life insurance premiums, so finding the right insurance is crucial.

Alaska Life Insurance Quotes

Finding the right life insurance company can be a lot of work. Take a seat and let someone else do the bulk of it for you.

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Alaska Life/Health and Fraternal Insurance Market Share

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners – 2013
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 Sammons Enterprises Group $474,133 64.5%
2 New York Life Insurance Group $53,283 7.3%
3 Tiptree Financial Group $17,483 2.4%
4 American International Group $17,326 2.4%
5 Prudential Financial Inc. $16,321 2.2%
6 MetLife Inc. $14,989 2.0%
7 Lincoln National Corp. $10,546 1.4%
8 John Hancock Life Insurance Co. $8,355 1.1%
9 Zurich Insurance Group $5,892 0.8%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top Alaska Life/Health Insurers

Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/28/2015)

  • Sammons Enterprises Group: A+
  • New York Life Insurance Group: A++
  • Tiptree Financial Group: NR
  • American International Group: A
  • Prudential Financial Inc.: A+
  • MetLife Inc.: A+
  • Lincoln National Corp.: A+
  • John Hancock Life Insurance Co.: A+
  • Zurich Insurance Group: A+
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Financial Strength Rating Guide

Life Insurance Rate Factors in Alaska

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 rates will be, other things being equal.

Life expectancy at birth in Alaska is 76.7 years, slightly lower than life expectancy at birth for the US overall, which is 78.9 years. So, if you purchased a 30-year term life policy in Alaska at age 55, you would be more likely than not to pass away before 85 years of age, the end of the term.

On the other hand, if you were 35 years old and purchased a 30-year term life insurance policy, you would be well under Alaska’s life expectancy of 76.7 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 - This might seem like a confusing inclusion, as this page is about life insurance, not auto insurance, but 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 Alaska, 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.

Gender - Since women live longer than men on average, they pay less for insurance than a similar man would, other things being equal. In Alaska, the percentage of the population that’s male is 52.4%, and the percentage that’s female is 47.6%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.

Gender of Alaska residents that used QuoteWizard last year

 
         
 
   
50%Female
   
50%Male
 

Health History - While most of us have one or two minor health issues, if you have been diagnosed with a serious illness, or if you have a family history of such illnesses, this can have a significant impact your rates.

There are certain conditions, such as heart disease or certain kinds of cancers, which can make your insurance 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.

Percentage of QuoteWizard users in Alaska that indicated whether they where healthy or had minor or major health issues

 
             
 
   
52%Healthy
   
38%Major
   
10%Minor
 

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. This is especially relevant in Alaska, where skiing and hunting are common recreational activities.

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 discount on life insurance. According to the most recent data available from the US Census, in Alaska in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 50.7 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 28.7 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 10.3 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of Alaska residents that used QuoteWizard last year

 
         
 
   
57%Single
   
43%Married
 

Occupation - People with hazardous jobs like logging and fishing will pay more for insurance than someone with a less dangerous, mundane office job, other things being equal. The most common job in Alaska, proportionately, is butcher.

Percentage of QuoteWizard users in Alaska that indicated that they smoke last year

 
         
 
   
94%Don't Smoke
   
6%Smoke
 

Tobacco Use - Because tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users (other things being equal) tobacco users pay substantially more for life insurance than an identical non-tobacco user would pay for the same policy. 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 22.6% of Alaska adults smoked cigarettes – about 124,000 adults.

Travel - If you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List, you will pay more for insurance than a traveler who sticks to developed countries.

Value of Policy - It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that one of the largest, if not the largest contributing factor, to an 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. Like tobacco use, obese or seriously overweight people have a lower life expectancy, which means an increased probability of their policy being paid out. Because obesity increases the likelihood of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, overweight and obese individuals can expect to pay higher rates than similar individuals who are not obese.

As of 2013, the adult obesity rate in Alaska was 28.4 %. This makes Alaska the #34 most obese state. Alaska’s obesity rate is a bit lower than the average obesity rate in the US, which 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.

Leading Causes of Death US vs. Alaska - 2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 706 135.0 48th 169.8
2 Cancer 1,016 171.9 15th (tie) 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 197 37.9 39th 42.1
4 Accidents 353 52.5 9th 39.4
5 Stroke 189 40.7 11th (tie) 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 72 18.9 40th 23.5
7 Diabetes 112 20.1 29th 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 66 14.1 37th 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 49 10.1 38th 13.2
10 Suicide 171 23.2 2nd 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

Alaska Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in Alaska is governed by the laws defined under Title 21 of the Alaska Statutes, as outlined by the Alaska Department of Insurance.

The statute contains 97 sections used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Alaska consumers, for example:

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 Alaska, 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.

Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in Alaska 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.

These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, Alaska 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.

Alaska Life & Disability Insurance Guaranty Association

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:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(907) 243-- 2311
Address:
Alaska Life & Disability Insurance Guaranty Association
1007 West 3rd Ave., Suite 400
Anchorage, AK 99501

Alaska Division of Insurance

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Lori Wing-Heier
Insurance Hotline:
(907) 465 - 2515
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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