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Washington, D.C. sits between Maryland and Virginia, but is not part of any state. D.C. was officially made our nation’s capital on July 16, 1790, and the area was hand-selected by George Washington himself. Interestingly enough, D.C. is also the hometown of famed composer John Philip Sousa. With a very low obesity rate, but a very high heart disease death rate, life insurance rates in Washington should be carefully compared.
If you want to get the best life insurance policy for your money, shopping around and comparing quotes is the way to go.
QuoteWizard is here to help with this. We can connect you to a number of carriers so you can quickly and easily learn which one offers the best rates in Washington, D.C.
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 Washington, D.C. is 76.5 years, much 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 Washington, D.C. at age 54? You'd be more likely than not to pass away before 84 years of age, the end of the term.
On the other hand, what if you were 33 years old and purchased a 30-year term life policy? You'd be well under Washington, D.C.’s life expectancy of 76.5 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 The District, the death rate from injury due to firearms is 8.9 per 100,000 deaths, the #13 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 Washington, D.C., the percentage of the population that’s male is 47.4%. The percentage that’s female is 52.6%. In the US as a whole, men are 49.2% of the population and women are 50.8% 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 insurance premiums 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. This is especially relevant in Washington, D.C., 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 Washington, D.C. in 2009, the rate of marriage for people over 15 was 34.6 per 1,000 people. The rate of divorce was 14.6 per 1,000 people. And the rate of widowhood was 8.4 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 Washington, D.C. is a political scientist.
Tobacco Use - Tobacco users don’t live as long as non-tobacco users. So smokers pay much more for life insurance. Tobacco use is associated with a number of health complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and COPD. Any of which may cause higher rates as well as an earlier death.
As of 2013, the national average rate of smoking was 19%. To compare to the most recent data available, in 2013, approximately 18.8% of Washington, D.C. adults smoked cigarettes – about 103,000 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 Washington, D.C. was 22.9%. This makes The District the #49 most obese state. D.C.’s obesity rate is much lower than the average obesity rate in the US, which 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||US Death Rate*|
|8||Chronic Respiratory Diseases||123||21.1||15.9|
|10||Influenza & Pneumonia||119||19.1||12.6|
|*Death Rate calculated as: (deaths from that cause / total population) / 100,000|
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||Manulife Financial Corp.||$188,075||12.1%|
|2||Prudential Financial Inc.||$161,379||10.4%|
|5||Voya Financial Inc.||$87,340||5.6%|
|6||Principal Financial Group Inc.||$86,527||5.6%|
|7||Lincoln National Corp.||$65,893||4.2%|
|8||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.||$50,265||3.2%|
|10||New York Life Insurance Group||$47,144||3.0%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/31/2015)
Insurance in Washington, D.C. is governed by the laws defined by Title 31 of the District of Columbia Official Code, as outlined by the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking of the District of Columbia.
This legislation, which contains two parts and 84 chapters, is used to regulate claims and provide certain protections to Washington, D.C. consumers, for example:
Grace Period: Any life insurance policyholder in Washington, D.C. is entitled to a 30-day “grace period” to make up a missed payment without punishment. This is to prohibit the insurance company from withholding a claim or cancelling a policy because of a slightly late payment. If the insured individual passes away during the grace period, the insurance company is responsible for paying the claim.
Timely Payment of Claims: In D.C., it is required that insurance companies pay out claims in a timely manner, meaning within two months. If unreasonable delay occurs, the insurance companies will be fined, penalized, and/or sanctioned 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, Washington, D.C. 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 DCLHIGA. Their contact info is below:
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