Best Life Insurance Rates in Tennessee

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Tennessee’s many cities have brought Americans some of their favorite food and beverages - beyond just biscuits, bourbon, and GooGoo bars. For example, Capital city Nashville is also the birthplace of cotton candy and Snickers bars. In Knoxville, in 1940, Mountain Dew was created, originally as a mixer for Tennessee whiskey. Further east, in Chestnut Hill, delicious Bush’s Beans were first cooked up over 100 years ago. Nowadays, Tennesseans continue their love of rich foods. But, with a high rate of smoking, high rates of death from heart disease, and the #4 obesity rate in the country, finding competitive life insurance rates can be difficult.

Tennessee Life Insurance Quotes

Securing life insurance in Tennessee can be demanding. But it really doesn’t have to be.

For example, last year 4,271 people from Tennessee used QuoteWizard to compare quotes and get the best life insurance to fit their specific needs.

Life Insurance Rate Factors in Tennessee

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 Tennessee is 76.3 years, over two 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 Tennessee at age 48, you would be more likely than not to pass away before 78 years of age, the end of the term.

On the other hand, if you were 28 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy, you would be well under Tennessee’s life expectancy of 76.3 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 insurance 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 Tennessee, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 15.4 per 100,000 deaths, the #10 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 Tennessee, the percentage of the population that’s female is 51.2%, and the percentage that’s male is 48.8%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.

Gender of Tennessee residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
55%Female
   
45%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 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 Tennessee that indicated whether they where healthy or had minor or major health issues.

 
             
 
   
50%Healthy
   
38%Major
   
12%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 Tennessee, 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 Tennessee in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 36.5 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 23 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 12.7 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of Tennessee residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
66%Single
   
34%Married
 

Occupation - People with hazardous jobs like logging and fishing will pay more for than someone with a less dangerous, mundane office job, other things being equal. The most common job in Tennessee, proportionally, is a conveyer 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 24.3% of Tennessee adults smoked cigarettes – about 1,226,000 adults.

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

 
         
 
   
88%Don't Smoke
   
12%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 Tennessee was 33.7%. This makes Tennessee the fourth 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. Tennessee  –  2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 14,803 204.1 6th 169.8
2 Cancer 13,953 185.5 7th 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 3,904 53.2 10th 42.1
4 Accidents 3,540 52.7 8th 39.4
5 Stroke 3,157 44.4 6th 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 2,536 36.9 2nd 23.5
7 Diabetes 1,827 24.8 9th 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 1,564 22.1 4th 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 1,068 14.8 19th 13.2
10 Suicide 1,030 15.4 20th 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

Tennessee Life Insurance Market Share – 2013

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 Jackson National Life Group $581,193 6.7%
2 MetLife Inc. $483,152 5.6%
3 Prudential Financial Inc. $473,960 5.5%
4 Lincoln National Corp. $452,858 5.2%
5 American International Group $425,803 4.9%
6 Manulife Financial Corp. $376,720 4.4%
7 AEGON $323,434 3.7%
8 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. $301,473 3.5%
9 Principal Financial Group Inc. $258,629 3.0%
10 Voya Financial Inc. $246,553 2.9%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top Tennessee Life Insurers

Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/3/2015)

  • Jackson National Life Group: A+
  • MetLife.: A+
  • Prudential Financial Corp: A+
  • Lincoln National Corp.: A+
  • American International Group: A
  • Manulife Financial Corp.: NR
  • AEGON: A+
  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.: A++
  • Principal Financial Group Inc.: A+
  • Voya Financial Inc.: A
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Rating Guide

Tennessee Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in Tennessee is governed by the laws defined by Title 56 of the Code of Tennessee, as outlined by the Dept. of Commerce and Insurance of Tennessee.

This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Tennessee 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, like a test drive. In most states, the length of time of a free look period is 30 days, but in Tennessee, 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.

Guarantee on Death Claims: If an insurance company is unable to make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the Tennessee 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.

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

Tennessee 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 TLHIGA. Their contact info is below:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(615) 651 – 6702
Address:
Tennessee Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association
150 3rd Avenue South
Suite 1600
Nashville, TN 37201

Tennessee Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Julie McPeak
Insurance Hotline:
(615) 741 – 2241
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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