Best Life Insurance Rates in West Virginia

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West Virginia is home to many firsts. The first billboard ever was a tobacco ad put up in 1908 in West Virginia. In the same year, the state celebrated the first Mother’s Day ever, on May 10. And, in 1921, West Virginia imposed the first-ever state sales tax. Nowadays, West Virginia has the oldest median age of any state, with 40 years old. And, West Virginia has the highest rates of obesity, accidental death, and death from diabetes in the country. This, coupled with low life expectancy affects life insurance rates in West Virginia.

West Virginia Life Insurance Quotes

Finding affordable life insurance shouldn’t take up all of your time. That’s often the case, though, if you do the work by yourself.

For some assistance, turn to QuoteWizard. We'd love to put you in touch with West Virginia's top insurance companies so you can find the best rates in your state.

Life Insurance Rate Factors in West Virginia

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 the policy will pay out, so the lower your rates will be, other things being equal.

Life expectancy at birth in West Virginia is 75.4 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 insurance policy in West Virginia 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 West Virginia’s life expectancy of 75.4 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 West Virginia, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 14.3 per 100,000 deaths, the #13 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 West Virginia, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.6%, and the percentage that’s male is 49.4%. In the US as a whole, women are 50.8% of the population, and men are 49.2% of the population.

Gender of West Virginia residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
51%Female
   
49%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 rates.

There are certain conditions, such as heart disease or certain kinds of cancers, which 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. This is especially relevant in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 43 per 1,000 people, the rate of divorce was 22.7 per 1,000 people, and the rate of widowhood was 14.1 per 1,000 people.

Marriage status of West Virginia residents that used QuoteWizard last year.

 
         
 
   
62%Single
   
38%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 West Virginia, proportionally, is a subway 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 27.3% of West Virginia adults smoked cigarettes – about 401,000 adults.

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

 
         
 
   
81%Don't Smoke
   
19%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 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 more you pay.

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 West Virginia was 31.5%. This makes West Virginia the most obese state, tied with Mississippi. 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. West Virginia  –  2013

Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths Death Rate State Rank US Death Rate*
1 Heart Disease 4,666 193.7 11th 169.8
2 Cancer 4,718 190.8 3rd 163.2
3 Lower Respiratory Disease 1,590 64.5 2nd 42.1
4 Accidents 1,395 71.7 1st 39.4
5 Stroke 983 40.7 11th (tie) 36.2
6 Alzheimer's Disease 590 24.6 24th 23.5
7 Diabetes 841 34.1 1st 21.2
8 Influenza/Pneumonia 481 20.2 6th 15.9
9 Kidney Disease 450 18.6 6th 13.2
10 Suicide 323 16.4 17th 12.6
*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000

West Virginia Life Insurance Market Share – 2013

Source: Insurance Information Institute
Rank Company Direct Premiums Written (in thousands) Market Share
1 Prudential Financial Inc. $124,447 6.3%
2 MetLife Inc. $113,909 5.8%
3 Jackson National Life Group $109,284 5.5%
4 TIAA - CREF $104,149 5.3%
5 American International Group $94,451 4.8%
6 Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. $90,492 4.6%
7 Hartford Financial Services $81,160 4.1%
8 New York Life Insurance Group $71,273 3.6%
9 Manulife Financial Corp. $67,303 3.4%
10 Lincoln National Corp. $66,826 3.4%

Financial Strength Ratings of Top West Virginia Life Insurers

Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/8/2015)

  • Prudential Financial Inc: A+
  • MetLife Inc: A+
  • Jackson National Life Group: A+
  • TIAA-CREF: A++
  • American International Group: A
  • Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.: A++
  • Hartford Financial Services: A+
  • New York Life Insurance Group: A++
  • Manulife Financial Corp: NR
  • Lincoln National Corp: A+
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Rating Guide

West Virginia Life Insurance Regulations

Insurance in West Virginia is governed by the laws contained in Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Code as outlined by the West Virginia State Legislature

This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to West Virginia 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. In West Virginia, 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.

Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in West Virginia is entitled to a four-week “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, West Virginia 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.

West Virginia 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 WVLHIGA. Their contact info is below:

Website:
Homepage
Phone:
(304) 733 – 6904
Address:
West Virginia Life & Disability Insurance Guaranty Association
PO Box 816
Huntington, WV 25712

West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Michael D. Riley
Insurance Hotline:
(888) 879 – 9842
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

Sources:

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