A Guide to Life Insurance in Maine (ME)

One of the issues that surrounds getting Maine Life Insurance Quotes is understanding any State specific life insurance information so that you can really nail down the best possible deal.

In this article I explore Maine Life Insurance, both from the viewpoint of a consumer, and also taking a wider look at insurance in Maine, and how it impacts on the economy. I also look at the six things you must consider before getting your life insurance cover.

First, let's take a look at some background information about Maine.

Maine – Some Background Info…

Maine is at the North-Eastern most tip of the United States, and is well regarded for its seafood, fantastic coastline, forests and low-lying mountains.  It is one of the smaller States both in terms of physical size and population, being some 35,385 square metres in size (210 miles wide by 320 miles long), and having a population of 1,328,361 according to the 2010 US Census.

Its Capital City is Augusta which is very small indeed, only having a population of around 18,444 in 2009, and even the largest city in Maine, Portland only had a population of 62,875 in 2007 (though if you include all of the metropolitan area of Portland then that jumps dramatically to an estimated population of 513,102 in the same year).

Maine has a relatively large French speaking minority as a result of being on the border with Canada, with an estimated 5.28% of households in Maine speaking French at home.

The total gross state product of Maine was $48 Billion in 2007 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the main contributors to that are agricultural products (such as Maine State Potatoes and Apples), commercial fishing, industrial output such as paper production, and shipbuilding.

Among the more curious facts that you may not be aware of about Maine is that it is the largest blueberry producer in the world, and also that over twenty million toothpicks are produced EVERY DAY by Strong Wood Products Incorporated, who are based in Maine.

 

Maine Life Insurance – The Facts…

Throughout the United States it is amazing to delve into quite how significant Life Insurance is in terms of how much money is involved.

In 2009 the State that purchased the most Life Insurance was California with approximately $350 Billion, whilst Vermont purchased the least with approximately $4 Billion, and Maine was approaching $8 Billion in total spent on Life insurance in the State.

At the same time Maine had 527,000 life insurance policies with an average amount of cover of $100,000 for each policy holder.

Mainers have cover that totals over $100 Billion in death benefits cover, and there are 343 different Maine Life Insurance Companies (including 2 that are domiciled in the State), so there is a lot of choice and competition when it comes to deciding who should get your life insurance business.

According to the American Council of Life Insurers over $15 Billion is invested in Maine by the Life Insurance Companies (mainly in stocks and bonds), and there are approximately 10,000 people in Maine who either work for a Life Insurance Company, or whose business is supported in some way by one.

When you look at the large amount of Maine Life Insurance companies it should also be noted that Life Insurance is one of the most competitive markets.  If you look at the massive list of companies then you might assume that a couple would be totally dominant, but in fact the share of the life insurance pie in Maine is quite spread out, and so you have far more choice than you might at first realise.

 

Maine Life Insurance – 6 Things You MUST Consider When Getting Life Insurance In Maine…


1/ Think About How Much Life Cover You Really Need

Be honest with yourself and sit down and write down some accurate numbers of how much your dependants would REALLY need in the event of your death.

All too often people work out how much life insurance they need by a quick back of an envelope style calculation, and that is not a good way to go about this.

Sit down and get some firm figures before proceeding.

2/ Look At Your Current Life Insurance

There is a good chance that you may already have at least some life insurance, so it is a good idea to go back to the original company and see if they can increase your cover.

You should at least discuss this with them as you may find you get a better deal.

At the very least DO NOT cancel any Life Insurance you already have until the new policy is in place.

3/ Take Your Time to Look Into the Different Types Of Life Insurance That Are Available In Maine

If you look around you will see that it’s possible to get Maine Term Life Insurance and Maine Permanent Life Insurance (such as whole life insurance, variable life insurance etc). You will find that different companies may call these different things, but they all amount to one of two types.

The first is a fixed term, say twenty years, and your dependants get paid a set amount of money if you die in that time. These tend to be cheaper, but have no cash value.

The second covers you for your whole life, and does have a surrender value depending on how long you have paid into the policy. The names for this type of insurance will be Maine Universal Life Insurance, Maine Whole Life Insurance or Maine Variable Life Insurance. The first downside is that these will cost much more than Maine term life insurance, and the second downside is that if you have to cash them in in the first few years you won't get much money back. So unless you plan on keeping the insurance for at least ten years, you may be better off with term life insurance.

4/ Look into Renewing Your Policy

If you have had a life policy for a lot of years and it is about to expire, then make sure to ring up the insurance company in Maine and see if it is possible to renew it.

This could save you money and the hassle of having to find new life insurance, so make sure to check it out.

You may find that the new Maine Life Insurance Quotes that you get for the cost of the renewal are more expensive than your old policy, but that is to be expected as you may be considerably older.

Before dismissing the idea of renewing your policy be sure to get a few comparable Maine Life Insurance Quotes, and see what the price and features of those policies is.

In that way you will have some benchmark to compare them too.

5/ Be Sure To Read Your Policy Documents Carefully

Once you have got some insurance then be sure to read through the policy documents carefully.

You need to understand exactly how the policy works, what is covered and what isn’t, and what will invalidate the policy.

For example, if you like climbing mountains or skydiving then does your insurance still cover you?

You need to know for sure, so read the documentation that the insurance company provides.

There are two specific policies that can give consumers a lot of comfort when they purchase life insurance in Maine.

The first is the ‘Free-Look’ provision, which means that you have ten days after you took out your life insurance to cancel without any penalty.

This means that you have time to read all the policy documents and still be able to cancel. So make sure that you take the opportunity to do exactly that.

Making sure that you know what you are covered for and what you aren't is really common sense, but without reading the policy terms and conditions thoroughly you simply won't know this.

The second factor is that you get a Grace Period of 30 days during which your insurance company is not allowed to cancel your insurance in the event of non-payment of a premium. In practice then, say you miss a premium by accident, you have up to 30 days to make good on that payment, and you are still fully covered during that period.


6/ Always Be Reviewing Your Maine Life Insurance!


As I alluded to earlier, there is a lot of competition amongst the Maine Life Insurance Companies, and hence you may over time find that you can get the same (or better) cover for a lower price.

Obviously be very sure what you are getting, and don’t cancel any existing life cover until the new cover is in place.

And in the same vein, also assess whether your current level of life cover is adequate.

An amount that may have been sufficient when you were a single man and were just looking to cover burial expenses may not be nearly enough after a few years when you have a wife and a young family to support.

So, if your circumstances change, then make sure that your Maine life insurance changes with them, and get some new Maine Life Insurance Quotes to compare the cover you currently have with the cover you could have.

 

Maine Life Insurance – The Details

The regulations that govern how insurance in Maine is regulated come from The Maine Insurance Code.

You can find a copy of it online here:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/24-a/title24-ach0sec0.html

This lays down the law of how Life Insurance Maine wide, and also all other types of insurance in Maine will be handled. Both from the point of view of protecting consumers in the State, but also laying down the boundaries of what Maine Insurance Companies need to do to stay within the rules.

 

Maine Life Insurance Resources

The Maine Bureau of Insurance

It is the Maine Department of Insurance which handles the financial regulation and oversight of the insurance industry in Maine.

There is a lot of relevant information on the Maine Insurance Bureau website, though it can be a little hard to find exactly what you are looking for.

http://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/


Maine Life Insurance Company Ratings

At the AmBest website you can find out financial details about your life insurance company. This is useful information to know, because it means that you can check for financial stability, and make sure that there are no problems.

http://www3.ambest.com/lh/default.asp


Maine Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association


In the event that a Maine Life Insurance Company were to become insolvent, then the Maine Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association would step in to protect holders of life insurance policies in Maine.

http://www.melifega.org/



 

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