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Life Insurance in New York

New York, like most states, does not regulate life insurance on the policy level the way that the state Department of Insurance regulates other types of insurance, such as health or auto.

However, there are certain provisions that do vary from state to state. You should be aware of these rules as you shop for life insurance in New York.

Why do I need life insurance?

With life insurance coverage, you can feel secure knowing that your beneficiaries will have some help covering your final expenses and other financial needs they’ll face without you.

New York was ranked 6th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in life expectancy in 2014, with a life expectancy of 80.36 years. Even with this in mind, people living in New York may want to consider their life insurance options.

New York life insurance specifics

The insurance industry in New York is regulated by The State Insurance Code of New York. The state uses this code to regulate claims and provide certain provisions to protect life insurance customers in New York, such as:

  • Free Look
    According to the state code, a free look provision must be included in every New York life insurance policy. This period allows you to change your mind even after you have signed the contract with the insurance company and received all policy documents. Most companies give at least a 10-day cancellation period without penalty. In some cases it may be as much as 30 days.
  • Grace Period
    The New York state insurance code requires that New York life insurance companies allow a 31-day grace period on late payments. If you miss a premium payment for any reason, you must be given 31 days to bring the account current before the insurer can cancel the policy for non-payment.

New York life insurance state resources

New York Department of Insurance
The purpose of the Department of Insurance is to faithfully execute the state insurance laws in a manner that protects insurance customers and the life insurance industry in New York.
www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/dfs_insurance.htm

Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York
State guaranty associations are there to provide protection and continuing life insurance coverage in New York, even in the event that a life insurance company becomes insolvent.
www.nylifega.org

Life Insurance Company Ratings From A.M. Best, Standard and Poors and Moody’s
A.M. Best and Standard and Poors provide ratings for life insurance companies based on financial strength and past performance.
www.ambest.com
www.standardandpoors.com/en_US/web/guest/home
www.moodys.com

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