A Guide to Life Insurance in Virginia (VA)

When you are looking to get Virginia Life Insurance Quotes it is important to realise that as well as factors that are specific to life insurance in Virginia, there are some general characteristics that are true for anyone seeking out good value, affordable life insurance.

In this article I will take a closer look at those different factors, as well as take a wider look at the insurance sector in Virginia and its importance to the Virginian economy.

Let’s get started by having a look at a little background information about Virginia.

(If you would like to get some Virginia Life Insurance Quotes right now, then simply put your zip code in the box above, click Start, and then choose from the specially selected companies to get an instant, FREE, no-obligation VA Life Insurance Quote).


Virginia – A Little Background


Virginia is the 35th largest state in terms of physical area, with 42,774 square meters (approximately 200 miles wide by 430 miles long), and is located on the Atlantic Coast.

It is a relatively populous state and is ranked 12th in the United States in terms of population with 8,001,024 people in 2010.

The Capital of Virginia is Richmond which had a city population of 204,214 and a metropolitan population of 1,231,675 in 2010, with the main industries being government, finance and law and tourism also being important contributors to the local economy. Richmond has one of the highest percentages of African Americans of any state capital (an estimated 52.3% in 2007).

The largest city in Virginia is Virginia Beach with a city population of 437,994 and a metropolitan population of 1,672,319 in 2010.   And has the honor of being listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world.

Virginia is one of the richest states in the union and had a State GDP of $427.7 billion (the 9th highest) in 2010. By way of comparison, this is roughly equivalent to the GDP of a country like Saudi Arabia ($443.69 billion), or Norway ($414.46 billion) according to figures published by the International Monetary Fund.

 

Virginia Life Insurance – The Facts About VA Life Insurance

There are 456 Virginia Life Insurance Companies who are licensed to sell life insurance in Virginia, and five of these are actually domiciled in the state.

The life insurance industry is a big employer in Virginia and approximately 13,000 people are employed by life insurance companies directly, with a further 14,000 non-insurance jobs being supported by the sector according to the American Council of Life Insurers.

Looked at as a whole, the residents of Virginia had $860 billion of death benefit cover, and individual Virginian life insurance cover purchased totalled $40 billion in 2009 alone.

(These figures also do not include Virginia Group Life Insurance whose cover amounted to $420 billion)

And Virginians owned 4 million individual life insurance policies in 2009, with each policyholder having an average amount of life cover of $100,000.

All of these life policies also mean that there is a constant in-flow into the Virginian economy, and into the pockets of the policy holders from surrender values, policy dividends, endowments that have matured and death benefits to the tune of $7 billion a year. Plus annuity benefits that are paid out adds a further $1 billion a year to that total.

So, all in all, life insurance in Virginia is a big contributor to the state’s economy.



The Top Ten Life Insurance Companies in Virginia

Here is a list of the top ten Virginia life insurance companies in 2009, ordered by the total premiums written, based on figures from The Virginia Department of Insurance.

The percentage figure at the end is the market share in that year for life insurance written in Virginia.

It is interesting to note that despite the huge amount of premiums written, that the market share of the top ten life insurance companies in Virginia still only amounted to 39.94%.

 In other words, 60% of the premiums were written by the hundreds of other companies outside of the top ten, which just goes to show how competitive the life insurance sector in Virginia is.

1/ METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY $234,774,687 6.53%
2/ MINNESOTA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY $221,472,412 6.16%
3/ NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY THE $195,139,767 5.43%
4/ NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY $136,617,449 3.80%
5/ JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (U.S.A.) $134,946,023 3.75%
6/ LINCOLN NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY THE $110,640,224 3.08%
7/ PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA THE $108,383,914 3.01%
8/ MASSACHUSETTS MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY $104,720,517 2.91%
9/ GREAT‐WEST LIFE & ANNUITY INSURANCE COMPANY $96,494,650 2.68%
10/ STATE FARM LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY $93,027,143 2.59%


Ten Top Tips To Get The Best Deal When Looking To Buy Virginia Life Insurance


1/ Give some detailed thought to how much insurance you really need and the length of time that you will need it for.

This will provide clarity to your decision, and help you to decide between term life insurance policies and whole life insurance policies.

Be prepared. It will save you money, and help to ensure that you get the cover you really need.

2/ Make sure you can afford the premium of the policy you choose.

You should not be planning to end an insurance policy early, because letting a policy lapse in the first few years will be very costly. So plan ahead and choose a policy that you can afford for the long-haul.

3/ Compare many different policies before settling on one.

You should treat life insurance like any other purchase you make and compare several different policies and prices before buying. As I have already shown with the list of the top ten life insurance companies in Virginia, there is a lot of competition, so use it to your advantage to get a better deal.

4/ Look carefully at any benefits that are prebuilt into you policy.

For example some policies will offer accidental death benefits, renewal options or disability waivers. Make sure you understand how they work, and how much they are costing you! If you go without some of these then it could potentially save you money.

5/ Make sure your beneficiaries understand the settlement options.

You won’t be around to explain it to them because you will be dead! So make sure they understand how to claim any life insurance you do purchase.

6/ Choose a reputable company.

There are many places that you can check the financial rating of a life insurance company (a google search for “life insurers name” + “ credit rating” will bring up many choices). This is worth doing BEFORE you buy, as you may have this life insurance policy for many years.

7/ Check with the Virginia Bureau of Insurance that the company is licensed to sell life insurance in Virginia.

To do this simply visit their website and carry out a search online. I provide the link below.

8/ Read the policy carefully.

Go through it with a fine toothcomb, and be sure it offers all of the features and benefits that you need from your life insurance.

9/ Check that all the details on the application are correct.

If you omit a relevant fact or lie on your application then your life insurance could be invalidated. So be sure to tell the truth. If in doubt phone up the life insurance company (or your agent) and double check any details you aren’t sure about.

10/ Make use of the ‘free look’ provision.

Even after you have bought the insurance you have a minimum of ten days to return the policy to the company and cancel it, without financial penalty. This is designed to give you plenty of time to double check that the policy is everything you thought it was when you bought it. So be sure that you use this legal safeguard and double check your policy documentation after purchase.



Virginia Life Insurance – The Details


In terms of the legal and regulatory framework that accompanies the regulation of insurance in Virginia, you need to be aware of The State Insurance Code of Virginia which lays down the rules that all parties have to abide by.

You can find a copy of the Virginia Insurance Code here:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC3802000


Virginia Life Insurance Resources

Virginia Bureau of Insurance

It is the Virginia Bureau of Insurance who are responsible for seeing that the above insurance codes are fully complied with by consumers, insurance professionals and insurance companies in Virginia.

This is also the place that you would go to in order to check if a company (or insurance agent) is properly licensed to sell insurance in the state of Virginia.

The Virginia Insurance departments website leaves a lot to be desired in terms of design, but it does have a lot of quality information when you dive in a little more deeply.

You can find the Virginia Insurance Departments website here:

http://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/index.aspx

 

Virginia Life, Accident & Sickness Insurance Guaranty Association

In the event that a Virginia Life Insurance Company were to become insolvent, then it would be the Virginia Life, Accident and Sickness Insurance Guaranty Association who would step in to provide some level of protection to Virginia Policyholders.

http://www.valifega.org/



 

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