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The first game of golf ever played in America took place in Charleston, South Carolina in 1788. In modern times, Myrtle Beach is known as the Golf Capital of the World, with over 300 golf courses in the area. Charleston is also home to the first public college, first playhouse, and first museum ever in America. And, even though Georgia has the reputation, South Carolina is the largest producer of peaches east of the Mississippi. With high rates of smoking, obesity, and death from stroke, South Carolina residents should pay extra attention to their life insurance rates.
Shopping for life insurance in South Carolina can be inconvenient. Not to mention time-consuming. But if you have assistance, it can be quick and easy.
Last year, QuoteWizard did just that by helping 2,466 people compare life insurance quotes in South Carolina from multiple companies so they could find the perfect rates.
Below are the major factors that affect life insurance rates in SC.
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 South Carolina is 77.0 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 policy in South Carolina at age 50, you would be more likely than not to pass away before 80 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, if you were 30 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy, you would be well under South Carolina’s life expectancy of 77 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 - 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 South Carolina, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 15.2 per 100,000 deaths, the #11 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 South Carolina, the percentage of the population that’s female is 51.3%. The percentage that’s male is 48.7%. 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 one, this can impact your insurance premiums.
There are certain conditions like heart disease or cancer, which can make your insurance rates much higher. In some cases, a pre-existing condition can make you ineligible altogether. 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, other things being equal, than those who don’t. This is especially relevant in South Carolina, where skiing and hunting are common recreational activities.
Marital Status - 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 South Carolina in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 33.9 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 15.9 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 13.6 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 South Carolina, proportionally, is a tire builder.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So tobacco users pay more for life insurance than an identical non-tobacco user would pay. 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 22.0% of South Carolina adults smoked cigarettes – about 823,000 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, 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. Obesity increases the likelihood of health problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. So overweight and obese people can expect to pay higher rates.
As of 2013, the adult obesity rate in South Carolina was 31.7%. This makes South Carolina the #10 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||2,756||50.8||12th||42.1|
|9||Kidney Disease||869||16.0||14th (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||Jackson National Life Group||$417,810||7.1%|
|3||Lincoln National Corp.||$358,643||6.1%|
|4||Prudential Financial Inc.||$328,562||5.6%|
|5||American International Group||$267,817||4.5%|
|6||Guggenheim Capital LLC||$265,056||4.5%|
|7||New York Life Insurance Group||$236,794||4.0%|
|8||Great-West Insurance Group||$201,872||3.4%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/1/2015)
Insurance in South Carolina is governed by the laws defined by Title 38 of the South Carolina State Statutes, as outlined by the South Carolina Legislature.
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to South Carolina consumers, for example:
Timely Payment of Claims: In South Carolina, 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 the insurance company and charge interest. The accrued interest is also required to be paid to the beneficiary upon payment of the claim.
If an insurance company is unable to make payments on death claims or becomes insolvent, the South Carolina Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association will cover up to $300,000 of death benefits. 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.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, South Carolina 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 SCLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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