Best Life Insurance Rates in New York

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New York state’s history is famous. Legend has it that the island of Manhattan was purchased by Peter Minuit for the equivalent of $24 in 1624. This doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but with 400 years of compound interest, it’s close to $80 billion. The New York Post is the oldest operating newspaper in the US, and was started in 1803 by Alexander Hamilton (who you may recognize from the $10 bill). In modern times, New York boasts very low rates of death from firearms, Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, and accidents, which may affect life insurance rates.

New York Life Insurance Quotes

With research showing that women tend to live longer, the male half of New York’s population can expect to pay more for life insurance than their female counterparts.

Unless, of course, they shop around with QuoteWizard. That way, they can compare quotes among the state’s top insurance companies and get the most affordable rates.

Life Insurance Rate Factors in New York

Below are the major factors that affect life insurance rates.

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 New York is 80.5 years, the one of the highest of all states. The life expectancy at birth for the US overall is 78.9 years. So, if you purchased a 30-year term life policy in New York 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 New York’s life expectancy of 80.5 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 insurance premiums. A significant part of these untimely deaths comes from firearm injuries, which account for about 33,000 deaths in the US every year. In New York, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 4.2 per 100,000 deaths, the third-lowest rate 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 life insurance than a similar man would, other things being equal. In New York, 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.

Gender of New York residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
54%Male
   
46%Female
 

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 insurance rates.

There are certain conditions, such as heart disease or certain kinds of cancers, which can make your rates 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 New York that indicated whether they where healthy or had minor or major health issues.

 
             
 
   
72%Healthy
   
21%Major
   
7%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 New York, 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 New York in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 31.6 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 13.9 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 10.7 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of New York residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
70%Single
   
30%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 New York, proportionally, is a fashion designer.

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 16.6% of New York adults smoked cigarettes – about 2,580,000 adults.

Percentage of QuoteWizard users in New York that indicated that they smoke last year.

 
         
 
   
80%Don't Smoke
   
20%Smoke
 

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 - 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 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. 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 New York was 25.4%. This makes New York the #42 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.

Leading Causes of Death US vs. New York  –  2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 44,039 184.8 14th 169.8
2 Cancer 35,738 155.8 38th 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 7,110 30.7 48th 42.1
4 Accidents 5,927 27.7 50th 39.4
5 Stroke 6,176 26.3 50th 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 2,556 10.4 50th 23.5
7 Diabetes 4,094 17.8 43rd 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 4,892 20.5 5th 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 2,285 9.7 40th 13.2
10 Suicide 1,687 8.1 49th 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

New York Life Insurance Market Share – 2013

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 MetLife Inc. $19,183,518 35.5%
2 New York Life Insurance Group $4,801,481 8.9%
3 Prudential Financial Inc. $3,056,435 5.7%
4 TIAA - CREF $2,408,144 4.5%
5 American International Group $1,842,936 3.4%
6 AXA Life Insurance Co. $1,763,015 3.3%
7 Manulife Financial Corp. $1,736,687 3.2%
8 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. $1,701,189 3.2%
9 AEGON $1,476,201 2.7%
10 Jackson National Life Group $1,446,734 2.7%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top New York Life Insurers

Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/2/2015)

  • MetLife.: A+
  • New York Life Insurance Group: A++
  • Prudential Financial Corp: A+
  • TIAA - CREF: A++
  • American International Group: A
  • AXA Life Insurance Co.: A+
  • Manulife Financial Corp.: NR
  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.: A++
  • AEGON: A+
  • Jackson National Life Group: A+
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Rating Guide

New York Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in New York is governed by the laws defined by Article 32, Chapters 1 - 20 of the New York Regulations of the Dept. Financial Services, as outlined by the State of New York.

This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to New York consumers, for example:

Timely Payment of Claims: In New York, 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 penalize the insurance company and interest will accrue based on the length of the delay. The interest is then paid to the beneficiary as well.

Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in New York is entitled to a 31-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, New York 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.

New York Life & Health 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 insurance carrier, you should contact the NYLHIGA. Their contact info is below:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(212) 202 – 4243
Address:
New York Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association
551 Fifth Avenue, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10176

New York State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Anthony J. Albanese
Insurance Hotline:
(800) 342 – 3736
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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