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Virginia has contributed much to the US. The first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia in 1621. The College of William and Mary is the oldest public college in the nation. George Washington signed the first US Patent Grant in Virginia in 1790. Dr. Walter Reed figured out the cause of Yellow Fever in Virginia in 1901. Since then, Virginia has given the world Chapstick, test tube babies, abdominal surgery and the microphone. With average rates of smoking, cancer, and life expectancy, average life insurance rates in Virginia should resemble the national average.
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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. So, it’s best to get life insurance while you’re young.
Life expectancy at birth in Virginia is 79.0 years, almost the exact same as life expectancy at birth for the US overall, which is 78.9 years. So, if you purchased a 30-year term insurance policy in Virginia 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 Virginia’s life expectancy of 79.0 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 rates.
Firearm Deaths - Places that have higher rates of accidental or premature death generally pay 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 Virginia, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 10.2 per 100,000 deaths, only slightly lower than 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 Virginia, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.8%, and the percentage that’s male is 49.2%. 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 insurance rates.
There are certain conditions, such as heart disease or certain kinds of cancers that can make your insurance premiums 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.
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 Virginia in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 39.3 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 19.1 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 10.2 per 1,000 people.
Occupation - People with hazardous jobs like logging and fishing will pay higher rates than someone with a less dangerous, mundane office job, other things being equal. The most common job in Virginia, proportionally, is legal support.
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 as well as 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 19.0% of Virginia adults smoked cigarettes – about 1,225,000 adults.
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 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 shorter 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 Virginia was 27.2%. This makes Virginia the #32 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||3,181||37.3||40th||42.1|
|9||Kidney Disease||1,547||18.0||9th (tie)||13.2|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||Lincoln National Corp.||$748,319||6.2%|
|2||Prudential Financial Inc.||$720,740||6.0%|
|3||Jackson National Life Group||$654,402||5.5%|
|4||New York Life Insurance Group||$608,981||5.1%|
|5||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$594,500||5.0%|
|7||Manulife Financial Corp.||$583,915||4.9%|
|8||American International Group||$561,219||4.7%|
|10||Principal Financial Group Inc.||$474,452||3.2%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/8/2015)
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Virginia consumers, for example:
Personal Information Protection: In Virginia, law protects personal information, so insurance companies need a client’s consent before sharing any personal information with third parties. This includes health information, such as medical history. Every insurance company has different policies regarding personal information protection, so be sure to double check with your insurer.
Timely Payment of Claims: In Virginia, it is required that insurance companies pay out claims in a timely manner. When a life insurance claim is filed, unlike other states, there is no specific amount of time mandated before payment must occur. If unreasonable delay occurs, the state will fine, penalize, and/or sanction the insurance company, so claims are usually paid within 60 days.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, Virginia life 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 insurance carrier, you should contact the VLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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