1. 21750 POINTS
    Jim Winkler
    CEO/Owner, Winkler Financial Group, Houston, Texas
    That is an interesting question. I've been an agent for many years, and I can speak from experience when I tell you that price is not based on color. I do not work with any companies (and I work with many) that would even consider breaking the law that way.

    That said, there are some things that come into play that might make you think (wrongly, I promise you) that It may cost more for African Americans. Life insurance costs are based in great part upon risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. These factors, along with heart disease are statistically common among all Americans, but much more so among African Americans.

    The American Heart Association in an article released last September suggests that a gene found in African Americans may be the cause for the highest rates of hypertension in the world. This disease is the leading cause of heart disease (#1 killer of Americans) and strokes (#4 killer).Their article also outlines problems with obesity (63% of men, 77% of women over 20 years old) among the community, as well as higher rates of diabetes (2x as likely as whites to have it, among those 20 and older 15% have the disease).

    The US Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health documents higher rates of cancers among the African American community in 2009 research, as well as higher mortality rates. Insurance companies aren't as concerned about the causes and reasons behind the statistics, as much as the heath issues of the applicants. If you are of any race, your rate will be higher if you suffer from diabetes or hypertension, especially if it has gone uncontrolled.

    The life expectancy of anyone with those issues is shortened, and so the companies bear more risk, and as a result charge more.

    The better the health, the cheaper the rates might be a simple way to put it, since the risk to the company determines the rate they will charge to insure you. If you smoke, expect to pay more. If you are overweight, expect to pay more. This will be true regardless of race, where you live, or the amount of coverage you apply for. I hope that this helps you understand how the industry works, and why it might seem like it is unfair. Thanks for asking!
    Answered on January 12, 2015
  2. 10968 POINTS
    Tim Wilhoit
    Owner, Your Friend 4 Life, Brentwood TN
    As an independent life insurance broker for over 20 years and of scores of life insurance carriers I can honestly say I have never been asked this question. Not only is this against the law but there is no question on an application that asks for someone's race. There is no known link that a person's skin color has anything to do with their mortality. I am not sure what source your information was derived from, but I can assure you that it is not true with life insurance.
    Answered on January 12, 2015
  3. 63333 POINTS
    Peggy Mace
    Most of the U.S.
    There is no discrimination in life insurance prices for any person based on race, religion, or sexual orientation. If you are a healthy black male or female, you will most likely get your lowest cost by applying for a policy that requires an exam (called medically underwritten life insurance). If you have health issues, don't just automatically buy guaranteed issue policies that do not require any health information. While easy to get, they have a high price tag for the amount of coverage you get. Have a qualified agent determine if you can qualify for medically underwritten life insurance, or there may be simplified issue plans that can secure you a lower cost.
    Answered on January 12, 2015
  4. Did you find these answers helpful?

Add Your Answer To This Question

You must be logged in to add your answer.

<< Previous Question
Questions Home
Next Question >>