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Wisconsin is known as the dairy capital of the US, but did you know the ice cream sundae was invented in Two Rivers in 1881? Further west, in Ripon, the Republican Party was founded in 1854. Despite this, Wisconsin is the home of the first worker’s compensation program, and the first state income tax. What’s more, Wisconsin is the birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright, Larry the Cable Guy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Steve Miller, just to name a few. With low rates of death from firearms and diabetes, and a relatively high rate of accidental death, Wisconsinites should pay close attention to life insurance rates.
With heart disease, cancer, and lower respiratory disease being the three leading causes of death in Wisconsin, getting cheap life insurance there can be difficult—and expensive.
Last year alone, QuoteWizard helped 2,557 people in Wisconsin find the best policy for their budgets. Let us help you do the same.
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 life insurance policy, the less likely it is that the policy will pay out. So the lower your rates.
Life expectancy at birth in Wisconsin is 80.0 years, higher than the life expectancy at birth for the US overall, which is 78.9 years. What if you purchased a 30-year term life policy in Wisconsin at age 53? You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 83 years of age, the end of the term.
What if you were 33 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under Wisconsin’s life expectancy of 80 years old when the policy term ended. And 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 - 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 insurance 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 Wisconsin, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 9.7 per 100,000 deaths, tied with Maryland as the #16 lowest rate in the country. Nationwide, the average firearm death rate is 10.4 per 100,000.
Gender - Women live longer than men on average. So they pay less for insurance than a similar man would. In Wisconsin, 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 - Most of us have one or two minor health issues. But if you have a serious illness, or a family history of such illnesses, this can impact your insurance rates.
There are conditions like heart disease or cancer which can make your rates much higher. In some cases, a pre-existing condition can make you ineligible. That's 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. This is especially relevant in Wisconsin, where skiing and hunting are common recreational activities.
Marital Status - 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. In Wisconsin in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 33.4 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 15.8 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 10.5 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. The most common job in Wisconsin, proportionally, is a subway operator.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So tobacco users pay more for life insurance. Tobacco use is associated with a number of health complications like 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 18.7% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes – about 831,000 adults.
Travel - Do you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List? If so, you'll pay more for insurance than a traveler who sticks to developed countries.
Value of Policy - One of the largest contributing factors 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. This means an increased probability of their policy being paid out. Obesity increases the likelihood of health problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. So overweight and obese individuals can expect to pay higher rates.
As of 2013, the adult obesity rate in Wisconsin was 29.8%. This makes Wisconsin the #22 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||2,789||40.3||32nd||42.1|
|9||Kidney Disease||993||14.0||22nd (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||Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$$629,736||7.0%|
|2||Prudential Financial Inc.||$618,431||6.9%|
|3||Jackson National Life Group||$571,280||6.4%|
|4||Lincoln National Corp.||$446,041||5.0%|
|7||Manulife Financial Corp.||$369,026||4.1%|
|8||Principal Financial Group Inc.||$324,056||3.6%|
|10||Voya Financial Inc.||$300,805||3.4%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/8/2015)
Insurance in Wisconsin is governed by the laws contained in Chapters 600 to 655 of theWisconsin Statutes and Annotations as outlined by the Wisconsin State Legislature.
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Wisconsin consumers, for example:
Personal Information Protection: In Wisconsin, insurance companies need a client’s written 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 Wisconsin, it is required that insurance companies pay out claims in a timely manner, meaning within 30 days. If unreasonable delay occurs, the state will fine and/or penalize the insurance company, and interest will accrue based on the length of the delay. The interest is later paid to the beneficiary as well.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, Wisconsin 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 MLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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