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Maryland 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, Marylanders may face higher average life insurance premiums, so finding the right life insurance is crucial.
Women tend to live longer than men, therefore women tend to pay less for life insurance. So what are you supposed to do if you live in Maryland and you’re a man? After all, just under half of the people who call the Old Line State home are men. The answer: you compare quotes from a number of insurance companies.
QuoteWizard can help with this, by the way. We’ll connect you with a handful of top insurers so you get the most affordable life insurance policy in Maryland.
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 will be, other things being equal.
Life expectancy at birth in Maryland is 78.8 years, almost the same as the life expectancy at birth for the US overall, which is 78.9 years. So, if you purchased a 30-year term life policy in Maryland at age 53, you would be more likely than not to pass away before 83 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, if you were 33 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy, you would be well under Maryland’s life expectancy of 78.8 years old 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 Maryland, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 9.7 per 100,000 deaths, the same as Wisconsin’s rate. 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 Maryland, the percentage of the population that’s female is 51.5%, and the percentage that’s male is 48.5%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.
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 life 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.
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 Maryland, 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 Maryland in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 34.4 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 17 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 11.1 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, other things being equal. The most common job in Maryland, proportionally, is a subway operator.
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 2014, approximately 16.4% of Maryland adults smoked cigarettes – about 758,000 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 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. 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 Maryland was 28.3%. This makes Maryland the #29 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||2,051||32.5||44th||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|2||Prudential Financial Inc.||$674,830||6.4%|
|3||Lincoln National Corp.||$633,724||6.0%|
|4||Manulife Financial Corp.||$603,845||5.8%|
|6||Jackson National Life Group||$550,218||5.2%|
|7||New York Life Insurance Group||$465,815||4.4%|
|8||American International Group||$409,721||3.9%|
|9||TIAA - CREF||$396,102||3.8%|
|10||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$315,772||3.0%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/1/2015)
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Maryland consumers, for example:
Timely Payment of Claims: In Maryland, it is required that insurance companies pay out claims in a timely manner, meaning within 30 days. If unreasonable delay occurs, the state will fine and/or sanction the insurance company and interest will accrue based on the length of the delay. The interest is then paid to the beneficiary as well.
Free Look Period: Free look is a period of time in which the consumer can test out their policy after buying it, like a test drive. In most states, the length of time of a free look period is 30 days, but in Maryland, 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, Maryland 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 MLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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