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Texas’ history is unique from all other states, as it is the only state that’s flown the flags of Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederacy, and of course, the USA. This fact is the origin of the name Six Flags, the amusement park that first opened in Arlington in 1961. Texas is also the birthplace of some American favorites: frozen margaritas, Dr Pepper, Fritos, hamburgers, and chicken fried steak. Low rates of death from accidents, but high rates of stroke and obesity factor into life insurance rates in Texas.
With the leading cause of death in Texas being heart disease, life insurance can be costly. What can you do about that? Shop around.
QuoteWizard can even make the process easier. We’ll help you compare quotes from a number of the state's top insurance companies. That’s the best way to get the rate you want for the coverage you need.
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 Texas is 78.5 years, 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 Texas at age 52, you would be more likely than not to pass away before 82 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, if you were 32 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy, you would be well under Texas’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 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 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 Texas, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 10.6 per 100,000 deaths, almost the same as the national average firearm death rate, which 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 Texas, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.3%, and the percentage that’s male is 49.7%. 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 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.
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 Texas, 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 Texas in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 41.9 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 21.9 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 10.4 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 Texas, proportionally, is a petroleum engineer.
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 15.9% of Texas adults smoked cigarettes – about 3,146,000 adults.
Travel - If you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List, you will pay higher rates 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 Texas was 30.9%. This makes Texas the #15 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||9,800||42.4||30th||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||American International Group||$1,943,897||6.5%|
|3||Lincoln National Corp.||$1,570,836||5.2%|
|4||Jackson National Life Group||$1,430,674||4.8%|
|5||Prudential Financial Inc.||$1,278,717||4.3%|
|6||Manulife Financial Corp.||$1,204,907||4.0%|
|7||New York Life Insurance Group||$1,194,304||4.0%|
|9||Voya Financial Inc.||$1,106,831||3.7%|
|10||Principal Financial Group Inc.||$1,010,374||3.4%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/3/2015)
Insurance in Texas is governed by the laws defined by The Insurance Code of the State Statutes of Texas as outlined by the State Legislature of Texas.
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Texas consumers, for example:
Guarantee on Death Claims: If an insurance company is unable to make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the Texas 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.
Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in Texas is entitled to a 30-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.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, Texas 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 TLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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