Life insurance in New York state

Shopping for life insurance in New York? Here's what to know.

Colin Lalley 1600

Colin Lalley

Published September 3, 2019

People need life insurance no matter where they live. It’s potentially even more important to have for residents of New York state – the high cost of living in some parts of the state means families may have even more trouble making ends meet if the primary breadwinner is no longer around.

In this guide, find out the cost of life insurance in New York, along with available companies and protections the state provides for shoppers and policyholders.

Average cost of life insurance in New York

Life insurance costs depend on many factors about the individual shoppers, such as age, health, and the term and benefit amount of the policy.

The average cost for a healthy 35-year-old male in New York for a $750,000, 30-year term life insurance policy is around $65 a month.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, New York state had $229 billion in life insurance purchases in 2017.

Life insurance companies in New York

Most life insurance companies operate in New York state, although some may do so through a subsidiary. Below are the largest life insurance companies in New York state by market share.

CompanyMarket share
New York Life Insurance10.60%
John Hancock2.10%

Source: III


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Free look period in New York

Free look periods allow policyholders to cancel their life insurance within a certain period of time without penalty. Free look periods are set by states and individual carriers.

In New York state, the free look period is between a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 30 days. Replacement policies have a 60-day free look period.

Grace period in New York

A grace period is a cushion that allows for late payment of premiums without the policy being canceled.

In New York state, policies with regular premiums (this applies to most policies) have a 31 day grace period. Policies where the premium amount or payment frequency changes have a grace period of 61 days.

Timely payment of claims in New York

Life insurance companies must pay out claims within 30 days of a claim being filed. If a claim takes longer than 30 days, interest must be paid on the benefit.

Leading causes of death in New York, 2017

Life insurance will pay out in most cases of death, whether natural (like heart disease) or from outside sources (like homicide).

New York state has a higher death rate for common health conditions like heart disease, flu & pneumonia, and firearms.

Cause of deathDeathsRateU.S. rateState rank
Heart disease44,092171.216517th
Chronic lower respiratory diseases7,25828.940.948th
Alzheimer’s disease3,52113.23150th
Mortality dataDeathsRateU.S. rate
Drug overdose3,92119.419.8

Rate per 100,000. Source: CDC

New York state unclaimed life insurance

Some life insurance policies go unclaimed because the beneficiaries aren’t aware of how to find them (or even that they exist).

The Department of Financial Services provides options for people looking for lost policies.

Contact the DFS through their dedicated policy finder portal for more information.

New York state insurance department information

The New York Department of Financial Services helps consumers navigate their insurance options and file complaints. The DFS was formed in 2011 after the New York State Insurance Department and the New York State Banking Department were combined.

Contact information:
New York State Department of Financial Services
1 State Street
New York, NY 10004-1511

(800) 342-3736

File a complaint

New York state guaranty association

A guaranty association provides protection to policyholders in the event that a life insurance company goes under.

In New York, this protection is provided by the Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York.

Contact information:
Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York
18 North Broadway, Suite 208
Tarrytown, NY 10591

(212) 202-4243

Insurance Expert

Colin Lalley

Insurance Expert

Colin Lalley is the Associate Director of SEO Content at Policygenius in New York City. His writing on insurance and personal finance has appeared on Betterment, Inc, Credit Sesame, and the Council for Disability Awareness. Colin has a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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