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Pennsylvania is famous for its pivotal role in the American Revolution, such as signing the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776. But, Pennsylvania contributed many other great things to America. For example, the first public zoo in America is the Philadelphia Zoo, founded by Benjamin Franklin himself. Less than 100 miles apart, the Crayola and Hershey’s factories provide children (and adults) around the world with billions of crayons and chocolate bars each year. Pennsylvania has low rates of Alzheimer’s Disease, but above-average rates of heart disease and cancer, which may affect life insurance rates.
Finding an insurance company is like finding the perfect mate. It takes time!
Compare Pennsylvania life insurance with us and you’ll quickly and easily learn which insurance company and policy are best for you. In fact, we helped 7,440 people in Pennsylvania find their insurance match last year.
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 Pennsylvania is 78.5 years, only slightly 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania’s life expectancy of 78.5 years old when the policy term ended. And you’d be a much lower risk to insure and would therefore pay much lower premiums 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 Pennsylvania, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 11.2 per 100,000 deaths, the #27 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 Pennsylvania, the percentage of the population that’s female is 51.5%. The percentage that’s male is 48.5%. 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 premiums.
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 Pennsylvania, 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 insurance. In Pennsylvania in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 29.8 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 15.1 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 13 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 Pennsylvania, proportionally, is a survey researcher.
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 21.0% of Pennsylvania adults smoked cigarettes – about 2,114,000 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 factors 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. 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 such as 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 Pennsylvania was 30.0%. This makes Pennsylvania the #19 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||6,716||39.3||36th||42.1|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||Voya Financial Inc.||$5,448,846||18.0%|
|3||Prudential Financial Inc.||$2,248,044||7.4%|
|4||TIAA - CREF||$1,692,883||5.6%|
|5||Jackson National Life Group||$1,375,1911||4.6%|
|6||Lincoln National Corp.||$1,205,690||4.0%|
|7||Principal Financial Group Inc.||$1,144,992||3.8%|
|8||American International Group||$904,635||3.0%|
|9||New York Life Insurance Group||$875,675||2.9%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/2/2015)
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Pennsylvania consumers, for example:
Guarantee on Death Claims: If an insurance company is unable to make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the Pennsylvania 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.
Free Look Period: Free look is a period of time in which the consumer can test out their policy after buying it, like a test drive. In most states, the length of time of a free look period is 30 days, but in Pennsylvania, it’s only 10 days. During this period of time, consumers gain better understanding of their policy and 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, Pennsylvania 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 carrier, you should contact the PLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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