- Life Insurance coverage takes care of the expenses that arise when somebody passes away.
- A good life insurance policy can cover your mortgage payments, your child’s education, and even therapy for your loved ones should you pass unexpectedly.
- Washington life insurance companies can help you find insurance rates to suit your needs and budget.
Washington is known as the Evergreen State and is located in the northwestern region of the United States. It’s bordered by Idaho to the east, and Oregon to the south. With a population of 7.53 million people, it’s the 13th-most populous state. The largest city in Washington is Seattle which has a population of 754,567 residents. The state capital is Olympia which has a population of 52,555.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy in Washington is approximately 79.2 years which aligns with the national average life expectancy, which is currently around 79.05 years in the United States. Over the past few years, the leading causes of death in Washington have been cancer, heart disease, and accidental deaths. The homicide rate in Washington is around 4.2 homicides per 100,000 residents, which is lower than the national average of 7.5.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Washington, the 90th percentile income is currently $127,470. The median income in the state is approximately $50,450. Most financial advisors recommend purchasing a life insurance policy that covers your loved ones for between 10X and 20X your annual salary. In Washington, this works out to around $1,274,700 – $2,549,400 dollars for most high-income earners.
How life insurance works in Washington
In simple terms, life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company, where you pay a certain amount of money each month, also known as a premium like you pay with auto insurance, to receive a death benefit. You are covered for a set amount in the event of your death, usually paid to a beneficiary of your choosing. Depending on your policy, it may also be possible to borrow money against your death benefit in annuities. However, this money needs to be paid back, or your death benefit will shrink.
There are two main kinds of life insurance: term life insurance and whole life. Term insurance is very straightforward: it lasts for a set period of time, such as 20 years. If you die during that time, your beneficiaries get the death benefit. Whole life insurance, on the other hand, is permanent. You pay a set amount every month until you die. Upon your passing, the death benefit will be paid out to your designated beneficiary. Whole life insurance mixes investing and insurance to achieve these results and, therefore, is usually not a good choice.
Life insurance is a valuable tool for anyone who has a family to support, anyone who is financially responsible for someone else’s care, or anyone who has outstanding debt that needs to be paid off after death. If you are the sole financial provider for your family, life insurance can help provide the financial support your loved ones need in the event of your death. It can pay off any existing debt you may have, such as a mortgage or student loans, or it can help with everyday expenses such as your children’s education or your spouse’s day-to-day expenses.
10 Biggest life insurance companies in Washington
Washington life insurance companies ranked by premiums written in the state.
|1||New York Life||$288,835,815||8.67%|
|5||Mass Mutual Life Ins||$138,258,545||4.15%|
How much life insurance do you need in Washington?
The 90th percentile salary in Washington is approximately $127,470. As mentioned, most financial advisors recommend that you purchase a life insurance policy that will cover your beneficiary for at least 10X – 20X your average annual income. In Washington that works out to around $1,274,700 – $2,549,400. This amount will ensure that your loved ones can continue to pay their bills, settle your debts, and cover the cost of your funeral expenses.
You may also want to purchase additional life insurance benefits to cover:
- Your mortgage (if you want your spouse and kids to be able to live in the home without worrying about mortgage payments)
- Children’s education costs (if you want your child’s education to be covered without any additional stress to your spouse)
- Bereavement therapy costs for your spouse and children (if you want them to spend time with a therapist after your unexpected death)
- Any other expenses that may be unique to your family or lifestyle like health care costs and long-term care
Washington life insurance laws
There are a few unique features with respect to Washington life insurance laws that have an impact on your specific policy if you are a resident of the state.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Free look period: In Washington, state laws do not mandate the insurer to offer a free look period. This means that it is up to the insurance agency whether or not to offer you a trial period or a free look period after enrollment in the policy.
- Claim settlement period: Washington insurance laws do not require life insurance companies to settle claims within a specific timeframe. However, life insurance policies start to accrue interest from the date of death, which prompts insurance companies to settle claims promptly.
- Contestable period: Washington insurance laws allow the insurer to cancel your policy if you lie, misstate or misrepresent yourself on your application. However, the insurer can only contest the policy within two years from the date of purchase. After this two year period, your policy becomes incontestable.
- Washington State Guaranty: Like most states, Washington has a Guaranty Association to protect you in case your insurance company becomes insolvent. The Washington Life and Disability Insurance Guaranty Association covers policyholders for up to $500,000 in lost death benefits.
Everyone should have life insurance because it is a safety net for your loved ones in the event of your death. Without life insurance, your family could be left to shoulder funeral and other expenses related to your death. A life insurance policy gives peace of mind in knowing that you and your loved ones are taken care of financially if something happens to you. No one knows when their time will come, so it’s important to have this type of coverage in place.
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Joshua Holt is a licensed insurance agent (License #2785989) and founder of Biglaw Investor and Sidebar Insurance LLC, an insurance agency created by lawyers, for lawyers. His insurance expertise lies in the areas of life and disability insurance, particularly covering lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.