Best Life Insurance Rates in South Carolina

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The first game of golf ever played in America took place in Charleston, South Carolina in 1788. In modern times, Myrtle Beach is known as the Golf Capital of the World, with over 300 golf courses in the area. Charleston is also home to the first public college, first playhouse, and first museum ever in America. And, even though Georgia has the reputation, South Carolina is the largest producer of peaches east of the Mississippi. With high rates of smoking, obesity, and death from stroke, South Carolina residents should pay extra attention to their life insurance rates.

South Carolina Life Insurance Quotes

Shopping for life insurance in South Carolina can be inconvenient. Not to mention time-consuming. But if you have assistance, it can be quick and easy.

Last year, QuoteWizard did just that by helping 2,466 people compare life insurance quotes in South Carolina from multiple companies so they could find the perfect rates.

Life Insurance Rate Factors in South Carolina

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 South Carolina is 77.0 years, 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina’s life expectancy of 77 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 South Carolina, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 15.2 per 100,000 deaths, the #11 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 South Carolina, the percentage of the population that’s female is 51.3%, and the percentage that’s male is 48.7%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.

Gender of South Carolina residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
51%Male
   
49%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 premiums.

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

 
             
 
   
61%Healthy
   
25%Major
   
14%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 South Carolina, 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 South Carolina in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 33.9 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 15.9 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 13.6 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of South Carolina 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 South Carolina, proportionally, is a tire builder.

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 22.0% of South Carolina adults smoked cigarettes – about 823,000 adults.

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

 
         
 
   
79%Don't Smoke
   
21%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 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 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 South Carolina was 31.7%. This makes South Carolina the #10 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. South Carolina  –  2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 9,648 180.0 15th 169.8
2 Cancer 9,745 174.0 14th 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 2,756 50.8 12th 42.1
4 Accidents 2,287 46.6 18th 39.4
5 Stroke 2,508 47.6 2nd (tie) 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 1,623 32.4 7th 23.5
7 Diabetes 1,240 22.5 20th 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 747 14.2 36th 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 869 16.0 14th (tie) 13.2
10 Suicide 696 14.0 26th 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

South Carolina Life Insurance Market Share – 2013

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 Jackson National Life Group $417,810 7.1%
2 MetLife Inc. $374,813 6.3%
3 Lincoln National Corp. $358,643 6.1%
4 Prudential Financial Inc. $328,562 5.6%
5 American International Group $267,817 4.5%
6 Guggenheim Capital LLC $265,056 4.5%
7 New York Life Insurance Group $236,794 4.0%
8 Great-West Insurance Group $201,872 3.4%
9 Allianz Group $189,071 3.2%
10 AEGON $183,926 3.1%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top South Carolina Life Insurers

Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/1/2015)

  • Jackson National Life Group: A+
  • MetLife.: A+
  • Lincoln National Corp.: A+
  • Prudential Financial Corp: A+
  • American International Group: A
  • Guggenheim Capital LLC: B++
  • New York Life Insurance Group: A++
  • Great-West Insurance Group: A+
  • Allianz Group: A+
  • AEGON: A+
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Rating Guide

South Carolina Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in South Carolina is governed by the laws defined by Title 38 of the South Carolina State Statutes, as outlined by the South Carolina Legislature.

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

Timely Payment of Claims: In South Carolina, 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 the insurance company and charge interest. The accrued interest is also required to be paid to the beneficiary upon payment of the claim.

Guarantee on Death Claims: If an insurance company is unable to make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the South Carolina Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association will cover up to $300,000 of death benefits. 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.

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

South Carolina 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 SCLHIGA. Their contact info is below:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(803) 782 – 6217
Address:
South Carolina Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association
PO Box 8625
Columbia, SC 29202

South Carolina Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Ray Farmer
Insurance Hotline:
(803) 737– 6160
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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