Michigan is a beautiful state, surrounded on most sides by massive expanses of water and when looking to sort out some Michigan Life Insurance Quotes it is well worth investigating the peculiarities of life insurance in Michigan, so that you can not only end up with a better life insurance policy, but also a cheaper deal on the cover you do get.
In this article I am going to explore Life Insurance in Michigan both from the viewpoint of the consumer, and also taking a wider look at how the insurance sector in Michigan contributes to the economy.
First, let’s start by getting some background on Michigan, so that we can understand it a little better.
Michigan – A Little Background…
According to the 2010 US Census, Michigan has a population of some 9,883,640 people and a total area of some 96,716 square miles (386 miles wide by 456 miles long) which ranks it as the 11th biggest State in terms of size, and 8th biggest in terms of population.
It is blessed with massive expanses of freshwater lakes, and one of the biggest types of insurance in Michigan is boat insurance, because it has the fourth highest amount of boats that are used for recreation in the US.
The top ten States for registered boats in 2007 according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA.org) were: (Based on figures released in March 2009)
As well as travelling on water, the automotive industry has also been very important to Michigan, with Highland Park in Wayne County being the home to Henry Ford’s first plant in 1909 (the plant later closed in the late 1950’s). In fact, the city’s population itself rose and fell with the plant, having some 4,120 people in 1910, peaking at 52,959 in 1930 and by 2009 had fallen again to approximately 13,850 people.
The Capital City of Michigan is Lansing, which had a city population of 113,802 and a metropolitan population of 453,603 people in 2009.
As well as most of the major Government departments of Michigan, the largest law school in the country (Thomas M Cooley Law School), it is also home to the headquarters of four national insurance companies.
Jackson National Life
Michigan Millers Insurance Company
Auto Owners Insurance Company
The Accident Fund
The largest city in Michigan is Detroit, which is synonymous around the world for the auto industry (and by extension auto insurance is a big contributor to the State economy), with both Chrysler and General Motors together employing over 9,000 people in the city.
The city has however undergone massive changes in the last 60 years, with the population of Detroit City peaking in 1950 at some 1,849,568 people, but falling to an estimated 910,920 by 2009, and the empty buildings are causing major problems in terms of crime and facilitating run-down neighbourhoods.
The same period has seen a movement out of the city of Detroit and into the suburbs, as the population of the Metropolitan region of Detroit as a whole has stayed relatively stable at around 4 million people between 1960 and 2010.
In financial terms, Michigan is currently struggling.
If you look at the raw figures then Michigan is now 34th out of the 50 States in terms of median household income with $45,255 (Over $12,000 behind ANY of the top ten states); and over a third of the population of Detroit (36.4%) are classed as “low-income”, which ranks it as having the biggest percentage of low-income residents of ANY big city (of over 250,000 people) in the United States.
But Detroit has at least been moving in the right direction as far as crime is concerned at least, with violent crime dropping 11% in 2008. Nevertheless, Detroit had the sixth highest number of violent crimes in the US in 2007 out of the top twenty-five largest US cities. About twice the number of property crimes as the national average, and about three times the number of violent crimes as the national average.
So with this backdrop it seems pretty clear that getting Life Insurance in Michigan is pretty much a MUST!
Michigan Life Insurance – The Facts…
With all this ‘doom and gloom’ talk you might assume that Michigan Life Insurance would be on deaths door as an industry! However, Michigan is still a massive state in economic terms, with the 13th largest GDP of the States at $372.4 billion, and contributes around 2.57% towards the gross national product of $14.66 trillion, so an enormous amount of life insurance is still sold in the state.
In terms of life insurance companies in Michigan, there are some 483 Michigan Life Insurance companies who are registered to sell life insurance in the state, and of those 28 are actually domiciled in Michigan.
For obvious reasons car production is massively important to Michigan in terms of jobs. But the life insurance industry in Michigan is also a big employer, and the American Council of Life Insurers has estimated that there are 16,000 people directly employed by Michigan Life Insurance Companies, and a further 17,000 non-insurance jobs that are supported by the industry.
In terms of the amount of death benefit cover there is over $760 billion worth of cover in the state, and over 4 million individual Michigan life insurance policies with an average of $99,000 worth of cover per policy-holder.
If you add on the $320 billion worth of group Michigan Life Insurance cover and the $10 billion that was paid out to Michiganians as a result of their policy dividends, maturing endowments, surrender values and other related payments, then it is easy to see the significance of the sector.
The Top Ten Largest Life Insurance Companies in Michigan
The Michigan Department of Insurance Publishes statistics on the sector which allow you to see the relative size of the different life insurance companies in Michigan.
Here is a list of the Top Ten Life Insurance Companies in Michigan, based on the premiums written in 2009 (in dollars).
1/ Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
2/ Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, The
3/ Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
4/ Prudential Insurance Company Of America, The
5/ State Farm Life Insurance Company
6/ Minnesota Life Insurance Company
7/ New York Life Insurance Company
8 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
9/ Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company Of Michigan
10/ Axa Equitable Life Insurance Company
So, together the top ten life insurance companies in Michigan wrote over a billion dollars of life insurance premiums in 2009 ($1,412,230,930)
What’s more, there are a further 77 Michigan Life Insurance Companies who EACH wrote over a million dollars of life insurance in Michigan.
The Top 50 Life Insurance Companies in Michigan being completed by these companies, who taken together wrote a further $1,262,999,891 worth of Michigan Life Insurance Premiums in 2009:
11/ Sun Life Assurance Company Of Canada
12/ Thrivent Financial For Lutherans
13/ Primerica Life Insurance Company
14/ Transamerica Life Insurance Company
15/ United Of Omaha Life Insurance Company
16/ Reliastar Life Insurance Company
17/ Guardian Life Insurance Company Of America, The
18/ Protective Life Insurance Company
19/ Pacific Life Insurance Company
20/ American General Life Insurance Company
21/ Genworth Life And Annuity Insurance Company
22/ Unum Life Insurance Company Of America
23/ Jackson National Life Insurance Company
24/ Nationwide Life Insurance Company
25/ Riversource Life Insurance Company
26/ Life Insurance Company Of North America
27/ Hartford Life And Annuity Insurance Company
28/ Hartford Life And Accident Insurance Company
29/ Principal Life Insurance Company
30/ Allstate Life Insurance Company
31/ Cuna Mutual Insurance Society
32/ American General Life Insurance Company Of Delaware
33/ New York Life Insurance And Annuity Corporation
34/ Reassure America Life Insurance Company
35/ AAA Life Insurance Company
36/ Knights Of Columbus
37/ Aviva Life And Annuity Company
38/ West Coast Life Insurance Company
39/ Auto-owners Life Insurance Company
40/ Connecticut General Life Insurance Company
41/ Midland National Life Insurance Company
42/ Globe Life And Accident Insurance Company
43/ Aetna Life Insurance Company
44/ Bankers Life And Casualty Company
45/ Phoenix Life Insurance Company
46/ Monumental Life Insurance Company
47/ Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company
48/ North American Company For Life And Health Insurance
49/ Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, The
50/ American General Life And Accident Insurance Company
So, it should be quite clear from these statistics that where as in a market like car production that the market is dominated by a few big players, that in life insurance in Michigan there is a lot of depth in the market, and a lot of choice for consumers when they are looking to get some Michigan Life Insurance Quotes.
Michigan Life Insurance Tips – How To Choose Your Michigan Life Insurance Cover
Here are some tips to help you to choose the best possible life cover for your particular circumstances.
1/ Know Your Requirements
Life Insurance is very practical. It can help those who come after you with burial costs and the costs of current and impending bills. But it is also much more than that. Life insurance can also be used to help see your kids through college, help your wife to keep your family home, or continue a charity or community project that you were actively involved with, or were funding when you were alive.
So it is a good idea to widen the scope of your horizons and really see what your needs are before your embark on getting life insurance.
2/ Know Your Financial Limitations
As well as knowing what you would LIKE to accomplish with your life insurance. It is also necessary that you pump in a dose of reality, and assess where you currently stand in terms of your finances.
It is no good wishing you were Bill Gates, and trying to get the same amount of cover as him!
You do need to cut your cloth according to your means, and that goes for Michigan Life Insurance as much as for any other area of your personal finances.
So you must make sure that you can afford the monthly cost of your life insurance premiums.
3/ Know What Type Of Life Insurance You Need
There are two main types of life insurance. Term Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance.
The first is based in you paying out a premium and getting a certain amount of life cover for a certain amount of time. If you die during that period then your life insurance will pay out. Simple.
The second type is based on getting whole life insurance which covers you for your whole life. This will cost considerably more money, however, these policies will generally have a savings element, so they will have some residual value, and you may be able to get some cash back BEFORE you die.
Whole Life Insurance is prohibitive in cost for many people, but can be the better option if you are sure you will be keeping the policy for an indefinite period, as the savings element is very small in the first years of the policy, but the policy will still cost much more than Term Life Insurance.
If not then you may be better off to get some Michigan Term Life Insurance Quotes, as you will find them considerably cheaper.
Michigan Life Insurance – The Details…
The regulation of Insurance in Michigan has a set of rules called the State Insurance Code of Michigan which regulates how the rules regarding insurance are imposed in Michigan.
You can find details of the Michigan Insurance Code as it relates to Life Insurance in Michigan here:
The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation
It is this department which is responsible for overseeing how the above rules are implemented, and also ensuring that all insurance business in Michigan is carried on fairly, and for the benefit of consumers in Michigan.
The site itself has a lot of information, but is not very user friendly, with small text, and a rather confusing layout.
In terms of understanding Insurance in Michigan however, it is a useful, if at times daunting, resource.
“The Michigan Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) is the largest Association in Michigan for the Independent Insurance Agent, representing independent agencies and industry employees.”
Useful if you would prefer to ultimately get your life insurance through an Insurance Agent rather than online.
Note – It is still worth getting some quotes online anyway. In that way you can very quickly become better informed about the current costs of life insurance in Michigan, BEFORE having to take the plunge, or simply taking the insurance agents word for it that he has found you the best deal (and not simply the one that pays the highest commission).
Michigan Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association
Should a Michigan Life Insurance company run into problems and become insolvent, then it is the Michigan Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association that would step in to help to protect Michigan consumers.