Best Life Insurance Rates in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania is famous for its pivotal role in the American Revolution, such as signing the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776. But, Pennsylvania contributed many other great things to America. For example, the first public zoo in America is the Philadelphia Zoo, founded by Benjamin Franklin himself. Less than 100 miles apart, the Crayola and Hershey’s factories provide children (and adults) around the world with billions of crayons and chocolate bars each year. Pennsylvania has low rates of Alzheimer’s Disease, but above-average rates of heart disease and cancer, which may affect life insurance rates.

Pennsylvania Life Insurance Quotes

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Life Insurance Rate Factors in Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania is 78.5 years, only slightly lower than 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 Pennsylvania at age 50, you would be more likely than not to pass away before 80 years of age, the end of the term.

On the other hand, if you were 30 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy, you would be well under Pennsylvania’s life expectancy of 78.5 years old when the policy term ended. You’d be a much lower risk to insure and would therefore pay much lower premiums 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 Pennsylvania, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 11.2 per 100,000 deaths, the #27 highest 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 insurance than a similar man would, other things being equal. In Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
51%Female
   
49%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 premiums.

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 Pennsylvania that indicated whether they where healthy or had minor or major health issues.

 
             
 
   
59%Healthy
   
34%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 Pennsylvania, 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 insurance. According to the most recent data available from the US Census, in Pennsylvania in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 29.8 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 15.1 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 13 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of Pennsylvania residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
71%Single
   
29%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 Pennsylvania, proportionally, is a survey researcher.

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 21.0% of Pennsylvania adults smoked cigarettes – about 2,114,000 adults.

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

 
         
 
   
90%Don't Smoke
   
10%Smoke
 

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 Pennsylvania was 30.0%. This makes Pennsylvania the #19 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. Pennsylvania  –  2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 31,629 179.0 16th 169.8
2 Cancer 28,512 170.6 17th 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 6,716 39.3 36th 42.1
4 Accidents 6,359 44.9 22nd 39.4
5 Stroke 6,604 37.2 23rd 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 3,271 17.4 43rd 23.5
7 Diabetes 3,804 22.6 19th 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 2,884 16.2 26th (tie) 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 2,767 15.7 17th 13.2
10 Suicide 1,788 13.4 29th 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

Pennsylvania Life Insurance Market Share – 2013

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 Voya Financial Inc. $5,448,846 18.0%
2 MetLife Inc. $3,158,553 10.4%
3 Prudential Financial Inc. $2,248,044 7.4%
4 TIAA - CREF $1,692,883 5.6%
5 Jackson National Life Group $1,375,1911 4.6%
6 Lincoln National Corp. $1,205,690 4.0%
7 Principal Financial Group Inc. $1,144,992 3.8%
8 American International Group $904,635 3.0%
9 New York Life Insurance Group $875,675 2.9%
10 AEGON $858,2562 2.8%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top Pennsylvania Life Insurers

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

  • Voya Financial Inc.: A
  • MetLife.: A+
  • Prudential Financial Corp: A+
  • TIAA - CREF: A++
  • Jackson National Life Group: A+
  • Lincoln National Corp.: A+
  • Principal Financial Group Inc.: A+
  • American International Group: A
  • New York Life Insurance Group: A++
  • AEGON: A+
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Rating Guide

Pennsylvania Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in Pennsylvania is governed by the laws defined by Title 40 of the Consolidated Statutes of Pennsylvania, as outlined by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

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

Guarantee on Death Claims: If an insurance company is unable to make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the Pennsylvania Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association will cover up to $300,000 of death benefits, and up to $100,000 in cash reimbursement. This is so that consumers have confidence that their beneficiaries will receive at least some of their death benefit, but the amount is the same regardless of how much the policy is worth.

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 Pennsylvania, 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, Pennsylvania 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.

Pennsylvania 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 carrier, you should contact the PLHIGA. Their contact info is below:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(610) 975 – 0572
Address:
Pennsylvania Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association
Radnor Station Building No. 2, Suite 218
290 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087

Pennsylvania Insurance Department

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Theresa D. Miller
Insurance Hotline:
(877) 881 – 6388
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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