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Badlands National Park, in South Dakota contains ancient fossils, including a T-Rex, saber-toothed cat, and a woolly mammoth. South Dakota is also home to the best preserved T-Rex fossil ever discovered in America, named Sue. West of the Badlands is the Homestake Mine, the largest and oldest gold mine in the US. Low death rates from cancer and kidney disease impact the rates that South Dakotans pay for life insurance.
On this page you will find information about life insurance regulations in South Dakota, the many different factors that can affect rates here, and even the state’s leading causes of death.
Why is this information important to South Dakotans? It helps them make an informed choice about which insurer and policy to choose.
Last year, QuoteWizard helped many of the state’s residents compare life insurance quotes from multiple companies to find the lowest rates.
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 South Dakota is 79.5 years, slightly 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 South Dakota at age 53? You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 83 years of age, the end of the term.
But what if you were 33 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under South Dakota’s life expectancy of 79.5 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 Dakota, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 10.0 per 100,000 deaths, the #18 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 South Dakota, the percentage of the population that’s female is 49.8%. The percentage that’s male is 50.2%. 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 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 South Dakota, 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 South Dakota in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 40.4 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 19.8 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 9.7 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 Dakota, proportionally, is a college residential advisor.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So 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 19.6% of South Dakota adults smoked cigarettes – about 126,000 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 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 such as 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 Dakota was 29.9%. This makes South Dakota the #21 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||416||39.3||37th||42.1|
|*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||$80,925||11.9%|
|2||New York Life Insurance Group||$62,966||9.3%|
|3||Thrivent Financial for Lutherans||$60,389||8.9%|
|4||Sammons Enterprises Group||$48,652||7.2%|
|5||Lincoln National Corp.||$37,666||5.6%|
|6||Modern Woodmen of America||$36,057||5.3%|
|7||Ameriprise Financial Inc.||$33,926||5.0%|
|9||American Equity Investment Group||$20,540||3.0%|
|10||Prudential Financial Corp.||$18,053||2.7%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 9/3/2015)
Insurance in South Dakota is governed by the laws defined by Title 58 of the South Dakota Codified Laws, as outlined by the South Dakota Legislature.
This legislation is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to South Dakota consumers, for example:
Personal Information Protection: In South Dakota, insurance companies need a client’s 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 South Dakota, it is required that insurance companies pay out claims in a timely manner, meaning within two months. If unreasonable delay occurs, the state will penalize, and/or sanction the insurance company and interest will accrue based on the length of the delay. The interest is paid to the beneficiary along with the claim.
These regulations don’t just protect consumers; they also protect insurance companies from fraud. For example, South Dakota 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 SDLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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