Best Life Insurance Rates in Washington

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Washington State is home to large companies from A to Z. Amazon, Boeing, Costco, Expedia, Microsoft, Nordstrom, REI, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and Zillow are all headquartered in Washington. Washington is also the home of many famous and influential musical acts, such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Sir Mix-a-Lot, just to name a few. And, with over 43,000 acres of vineyards, Washington produces the most wine of any state other than California.

Washington also has a low rate of death from guns and diabetes, and lower than average rates of smoking and heart disease. Any of these factors can influence life insurance rates in Washington.

Washington Life Insurance Quotes

Washington is ranked ninth in the country for deaths caused by kidney disease. With health issues like this being a main factor in determining life insurance rates, Washingtonians can expect to have a hard time finding affordable coverage.

Shopping around can easily fix this problem. Contact a number of life insurance companies and then compare quotes. That’s the best way to find a policy and rate that fits your needs.

Life Insurance Rate Factors in Washington

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 Washington is 79.9 years, a full year above 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 Washington 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 Washington’s life expectancy of 79.9 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 Washington, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 8.7 per 100,000 deaths, the #12 lowest 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 life insurance than a similar man would, other things being equal. In Washington, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.0%, and the percentage that’s male is 50.0%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.

Gender of Washington residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
52%Male
   
48%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 rates.

There are certain conditions, such as heart disease or certain kinds of cancers, which can make your 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.

Percentage of QuoteWizard users in Washington that indicated whether they where healthy or had minor or major health issues.

 
             
 
   
63%Healthy
   
31%Major
   
6%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. Washington is known for being a great place for hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities, so this cost factor is particularly important here.

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 Washington in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 41.7 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 20.6 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 9.7 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of Washington residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
65%Single
   
35%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 Washington, proportionally, is an aircraft assembler.

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 16.1% of Washington adults smoked cigarettes – about 877,000 adults.

Percentage of QuoteWizard users in Washington 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 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 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 Washington was 27.2%. This makes Washington 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. And, a quick and easy way to do this is by using QuoteWizard.

Leading Causes of Death US vs. Washington  –  2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 13,663 179.0 27th 169.8
2 Cancer 14,414 162.0 29th 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 3,181 37.3 40th 42.1
4 Accidents 2,951 34.9 42nd (tie) 39.4
5 Stroke 3,287 38.6 17th 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 1,642 19.7 37th 23.5
7 Diabetes 1,626 18.4 42nd 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 1,442 17.0 20th 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 1,547 18.0 9th 13.2
10 Suicide 1,072 12.5 36th 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

Washington Life Insurance Market Share – 2013

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 Prudential Financial Inc. $714,195 8.9%
2 New York Life Insurance Group $525,838 6.5%
3 MetLife Inc. $498,237 6.2%
4 Lincoln National Corp. $482,822 6.0%
5 AEGON $349,804 4.3%
6 American International Group $336,392 4.2%
7 Manulife Financial Corp. $330,198 4.1%
8 Jackson National Life Group $311,166 3.9%
9 TIAA-CREF $310,621 3.9%
10 Principal Financial Group Inc. $271,725 3.4%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top Washington Life Insurers

Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/30/2015)

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

Washington Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in Washington is governed by the laws contained in Title 48 of the Revised Code of of Washington, and the rules contained in Title 284 of the Washington Administrative Code.

The state uses these laws and rules to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Washington consumers, for example:

Processing Life Insurance Claims: Life insurance carriers in Washington are required to process claims swiftly. The beneficiary of a policy is generally required to have their benefits paid within 60 days, unless there are issues with the policy. In the state of Washington, life insurance policy benefits earn interest from the date of death, until the final settlement of the claim.

Free Look Period: Free look is a period of time in which the consumer can test out their policy after buying it. In Washington, the free look period lasts 10 days, during which consumers gain better understanding of their policy and have time to review it. If the policyholder is unsatisfied for any reason, they 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, Washington 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.

Washington Life & Disability 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 WLDIGA. Their contact info is below:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(360) 426 - 6744
Email:
wldiga@walifega.org
Address:
Washington Life & Disability Insurance Guaranty Association
PO Box 2292
Shelton, WA 98584

Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Mike Kreidler
Insurance Hotline:
(800) - 562 - 6900
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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