A Guide to Life Insurance in Wisconsin (WI)

When looking into getting Wisconsin Life Insurance Quotes it is important to realise that not all life insurance is created equal, and that you would be wise to shop around in order to make sure that you get the best possible deal.

In this article I am going to shed some light on many of the different factors that you need to consider in order to do exactly that, and at the same time also take a wider look at life insurance in Wisconsin and its importance to the economy as a whole.

Firstly, let’s have a look at a little background information about Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin – A Little Background

Wisconsin is the 20th biggest state in the United States in terms of its land area, at 65,497 square meters (approximately 260 miles wide by 310 miles long). And is ranked 20th in terms of population with 5,686,986 people in 2010.

The Capital of Wisconsin is Madison which had a city population of 233,209 and a metropolitan population of 561,505 in 2010. In 2004 Forbes magazine reported that Madison had the highest percentage of individuals holding Ph.Ds. in the country.

The largest city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee which had a city population of 605,013 and a metropolitan population of 1,760,268 in 2009. The word Milwaukee comes from an Algonquian word Millioke which means “Pleasant Land”.

Wisconsin produces about one-fourth of the cheese in the USA, and is second in milk production to California. It is also a big manufacturing economy and companies such as Harley Davidson have plants here.

Tourism is also a big cash earner for the state (the third highest of any sector), and the proximity to some magnificent lakes means that boat insurance is also higher than in most other states.

Cumulatively, the State GDP of Wisconsin matches its population ranking in 20th place with $251.4 billion in 2010, which although only middle of the pack in comparison with other US states is still roughly equivalent to the GDPs of entire countries like Finland ($239.23 billion) or Portugal ($229.33 billion).

 

Wisconsin Life Insurance – The Facts About WI Life Insurance

There are 465 Wisconsin Life Insurance Companies who are licensed to sell life insurance in Wisconsin, and twenty-seven of these are actually domiciled in the state.

The number of people that are employed by the life insurance industry in Wisconsin is a significant 21,000; and there are a further 26,000 non-insurance jobs which are supported by the sector according to the American Council of Life Insurers.

Overall there are three million individual Wisconsin Life Insurance policies which are owned by residents of Wisconsin, and each policy holder has an average of $99,000 worth of cover.

The numbers as they relate to the overall amount of death benefit cover are also huge, with a total of $490 billion in death cover, and another $170 billion worth of Wisconsin Group Life Insurance cover.

By way of example, the amount of individual life cover purchased in 2009 alone topped $30 billion, and about $70 billion worth of the life insurance companies assets are invested in Wisconsin in stocks, bonds, real estate farming and business development.

All of these life insurance policies mean that annually $6 billion gets paid out to the residents of Wisconsin in the form of policy dividends, endowments that have matured, surrender values and death benefits. And that a further $2 billion gets paid out every year in annuity benefits.

These figures should serve to illustrate how significant life insurance is in economic terms to the Wisconsin economy. But to back that fact up, let’s now take a look at who some of the top life insurance companies are in Wisconsin and how much life insurance they have sold.

 

The Top Ten Largest Life Insurance Companies in Wisconsin

Here is a list of the top ten largest life insurance companies in Wisconsin for ordinary life premiums written in 2009 (this excludes group life insurance and credit life insurance which are categorised separately) based on data from the Wisconsin Insurance Department.

The percentage figure is the % of Market Share, and the dollar figure is the value of the premiums written in that year.

1/ NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 19.5%, $376,434,127
2/ THRIVENT FINANCIAL FOR LUTHERANS 7.0%, $135,625,952
3/ JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA 4.1%, $78,928,646
4/ AMERICAN FAMILY LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 3.4%, $65,321,300
5/ LINCOLN NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 2.7%, $51,447,712
6/ STATE FARM LIFE & ACCIDENT ASSURURANCE COMPAMY 2.3%, $44,955,837
7/ NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 2.1%, $40,534,770
8/ PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA 2.1%, $39,516,827
9/ AXA EQUITABLE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 1.8%, $35,445,038
10/ METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 1.8%, $34,796,856

There are a couple of interesting things to note from these statistics.

Firstly, that whilst The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company is clearly doing the best of all the companies, with almost a fifth of all the ordinary life business, that cumulatively the top ten companies in Wisconsin still accounted for less than half of all the premiums written (46.8%); which goes to show how competitive the sector is.

In fact, in 2009, the top 139 Life Insurance Companies in Wisconsin all wrote more than a million dollars of premiums each!

Even the 19.5% market share of The Northwestern Life Insurance Company is a little unusual. By way of comparison, the number one company in Virginia for example (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company) only had 6.53%, and similarly in Texas (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company again) only had 6.69% market share, despite being in first place. So 19.5% is certainly an unusually high market share in the life insurance sector.

 

Three Things to Consider Before Buying Wisconsin Life Insurance

1/ Do your research

It is important to first of all research how much life insurance you really need to buy in order to cover your families future expenses. In order to do this you need to research how much your bills cost you now, and add on any other expenses that you may have.

You should also check to see whether or not you are covered by Group Life Insurance at your place of work. If you are then it doesn’t automatically mean that you don’t need to buy any life insurance (what happens if you leave the job?) But it may allow you to be more choosy in the life insurance that you do eventually decide to buy.

If you are considering swapping life insurance policies, perhaps to get a better deal, then make sure that you don’t cancel the old policy until the new policy is properly in force.


2/ Make sure you understand what you are buying


An insurance policy is a legal document, and as such is covered in legal jargon and masses of small print. It may not be very exciting, but make sure that you read all of this thoroughly, and are fully conversant with the terms of any policy that you buy.

If there is anything that you are unsure of then remember that you can always phone up the insurance company for clarification, and if you aren’t satisfied with their answer you can avail yourself of the 10-Day Free Look provision which means that you can cancel a policy up to 10 days after buying it, and still receive all your premiums back without penalty.

This should only be used as a last resort, but nevertheless it is a useful safety net to have.


3/ Get a wide variety of quotes and check out the different types of life insurance that are available


Sometimes it can seem like there are so many different types of life insurance that it can be hard to choose between them. But nevertheless if you want to get the best possible Wisconsin Life Insurance Quote, then it is incumbent on you to do some proper checking into the different types and see which suits your particular circumstances best.

Term Life Insurance will usually be your cheapest option because it only offers death benefit cover and has no savings or investment component. It simply covers you for a specified period of time, and pays out on your death. Good, but be aware that it doesn’t have the same flexibility or potential to grow your cash as some other life policies (assuming they hit their investment targets… which is a big if).

Whole Life Insurance covers you for your whole life (it is also called Permanent Life Insurance), also offers death benefit cover, but additionally has an annuity element attached. It will most likely cost considerably more than term life insurance, but could potentially offer you more flexibility depending on the options you choose.

At the end of the day you should get WI Life Insurance Quotes for any of the different types of life insurance that you are considering buying, and then weigh up the pros and cons of each as you would any other substantial purchase.

 

Wisconsin Life Insurance – The Details

The regulatory and legal framework that surrounds the implementation and management of insurance in Wisconsin is laid down in The State Insurance Code of Wisconsin.

It is useful to be able to access these rules, as if you ever have a dispute with your insurance company, these are the rules that the Insurance Department in Wisconsin will insist they abide by.

You can find the Wisconsin Insurance Statutes here:

http://oci.wi.gov/wisinsstat.htm

 

Wisconsin Life Insurance Resources

Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

It is the Wisconsin Insurance Departments role to assist consumers, assure the legal registration and administration of industry professionals, and ensure that insurance companies are in compliance with all the rules above.

You can also find lots of other useful (and not so useful) information if you have a dig around on the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurances website, which you will find here:

http://oci.wi.gov

Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund

In the event of a Wisconsin Insurance Company becoming insolvent, then the Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund would step in to provide a measure of statutorily laid down financial protection to Wisconsin policyholders.

http://www.wilifega.org/



 

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