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The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, is the highest capital in the country, at 7,000 feet above sea level. It’s also the second-oldest city that still exists in America, founded in 1607. New Mexico is also known for producing more chili peppers than any state and for being the site of the first atomic bomb explosion. What’s more, in New Mexico, they have high rates of death from guns, diabetes, and accidents, but low rates of Alzheimer’s Disease. Any of these factors may play a role in the cost of life insurance in New Mexico.
Almost half of the people from New Mexico who used QuoteWizard to shop for life insurance last year said they had major health issues. That’s a big deal because individuals with health problems pay more for this coverage.
The best way for New Mexico residents to save on life insurance is to shop around and compare quotes from multiple companies.
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.
Life expectancy at birth in New Mexico is 78.4 years, half a year lower 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 New Mexico at age 50? You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 80 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, what if you were 30 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under New Mexico’s life expectancy of 78.4 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 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 New Mexico, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 15.5 per 100,000 deaths, the #9 highest 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 New Mexico, the percentage of the population that’s female is 50.4%. The percentage that’s male is 48.6%. 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 rates.
There are conditions like heart disease or cancer which can make your premiums a lot 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 New Mexico, 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 New Mexico in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 40.3 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 20.3 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 8.8 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 New Mexico, proportionally, is a plasterer.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So smokers pay a lot more for life insurance than an identical non-tobacco user. 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 19.1% of New Mexico adults smoked cigarettes – about 302,000 adults.
Travel - If you regularly travel to developing countries, particularly countries on the US State Department’s Warning List, you will pay more for insurance than a traveler who sticks to developed countries.
Value of Policy - One of the largest contributing factor to a policy’s rates 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. 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 New Mexico was 26.4%. This makes New Mexico the #37 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||1,052||44.7||25th||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||New York Life Insurance Co.||$46,109||7.3%|
|3||Prudential Financial Corp.||$33,746||5.3%|
|4||Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$31,706||5.0%|
|5||StanCorp Financial Group||$27,832||4.4%|
|6||Hartford Financial Services||$21,358||3.4%|
|7||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$19,657||3.1%|
|9||Lincoln National Corp.||$17,184||2.7%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/2/2015)
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to New Mexico consumers, for example:
Guarantee on Death Claims: If an insurance company can't make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the New Mexico 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.
No Free Look Period: A “free look period” is a time period between 7 and 30 days, in which consumers can test out their insurance policy after purchasing it. During this time, an individual can cancel the policy for any reason for a full refund. New Mexico is one of only a few states that does not require this by state law. Many insurance companies still provide a free look period of one to two weeks on most insurance policies, but others don’t offer it at all.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, New Mexico 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 carrier, you should contact the NMLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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