Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance where approval is guaranteed. There is no medical exam involved. While extremely convenient, the cost deters most people from getting such a policy.
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Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Written by Brian Greenberg

Last updated: November 29th, 2022

Reviewed by Lisa A Koosis

What Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

When you’re in the market for life insurance, the option of guaranteed life insurance probably sounds great. You don’t have to answer health questions and no medical exam is required. You just need to apply and get approved.

However, this convenience carries a higher risk to the insurance provider. As a result, you’ll end up paying a lot more for the same coverage compared to other life insurance products.

There’s no need to worry. We’ll explain everything about guaranteed issue life insurance. When you finish reading this article, you’ll know whether this type of life insurance is right for you.

Best Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Providers

Top Companies for Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Mutual of Omaha
Lincoln Financial
New York Life

How Guaranteed Life Insurance Works

As the name suggests, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy provides life insurance coverage, regardless of your health or financial history. This policy may also be called a guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance policy. This type of life insurance is generally available to individuals between the ages of 50 and 85, though some companies may provide coverage for people as young as 450 while others won’t approve coverage for someone older than 80.

Guaranteed issue whole life insurance doesn’t qualify you based on your health. The price for a 50-year-old in supreme health is the same as for a 50-year-old with a long history of health conditions. Consequently, if you’re in good health, you could save a lot of money going with a traditional final expense life insurance policy instead.

Key Takeaways

  • Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically easy to get approved for, though exact rules depend on the company.
  • If you’re in good health with an uneventful health history, you have options to save money. Consider getting a traditional final expense life insurance policy instead of guaranteed issue.
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance is a possible choice for individuals who have recently had certain types of cancer. It may also be an option for those with other health conditions that might render them high-risk or otherwise uninsurable.

Pros and Cons of Guaranteed Life Insurance

No life insurance type is perfect for everyone. Here are some of the pros and cons of guaranteed issue life insurance:

Pros of Guaranteed Issue

  • You can leave a decent amount of money to your loved ones, even if your health or financial history isn’t stellar.
  • There are no medical examinations or health questions to answer.
  • Depending on the insurance company, a guaranteed issue policy can be approved as soon as the same day, though there may be a waiting period before coverage starts.

Cons of Guaranteed Issue

  • Guaranteed issue life insurance is expensive compared to some other options.
  • Some guaranteed acceptance policies have a graded death benefit period. This means that if you pass during this time, your beneficiary won’t receive the full coverage amount of the policy.
  • You can’t buy as much coverage as with other life insurance options. For example, the typical maximum coverage for a guaranteed issue plan is $25,000, with some exceptions going up to $50,000.

What is the Difference Between Guaranteed Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance?

In many cases, whole life insurance only requires you to pay premiums for a designated period of time, though other payment plan options may be considered. After you’ve paid for the policy, you have lifetime coverage. Your beneficiaries will receive death benefits when you pass away. Whole life policies also have a cash value, and they may pay dividends.

Guaranteed issue life insurance requires you to keep paying premiums, which stay the same. You have coverage as long as you pay the premiums. In some cases, a cash value policy may be an option, though not all guaranteed issue life insurance policies earn cash value.

How Much Does Guaranteed Life Insurance Cost?

A guaranteed issue life insurance policy is more expensive than other products. This is primarily because there are no medical exams or health questions involved. As a result, it’s most popular for individuals with less than-average health.

The sample rates below are for guaranteed issue life insurance for men:

How much does guaranteed life insurance cost?

45$25,000Great Western$134.17

Who is Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance For?

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance is more expensive than other alternatives. Therefore, it’s most common for seniors or people who are considered high-risk.

When Are You Considered High-Risk?

The most common reason to be considered high-risk is primarily because of health or health history. If you’re diagnosed with a serious health condition, such as some types of cancer, you’ll be considered high-risk for many years to come. Other reasons to be flagged as high-risk are dangerous professions or hobbies. Skydiving or deep-sea diving are just two examples.

If you’re a high-risk individual, a guaranteed issue policy can be a good option. However, most guaranteed acceptance products do have a graded benefit duration of 2 years. For that reason, your beneficiaries won’t receive your full coverage amount during this period. Instead, they’ll receive your paid premiums, plus a certain amount of interest. A guaranteed issue policy can provide up to $40,000 of coverage (and sometimes more). This is enough to pay off debt, pay for funeral costs, or leave a small inheritance.

Best Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Companies

A life insurance company can have stellar performance when it comes to term life insurance. But that may not be true for their guaranteed acceptance products. Perhaps they don’t offer guaranteed insurance at all.

We chose the following companies based on our extensive experience.

The best guaranteed issue life insurance companies are Gerber, AIG, and Great Western.

The best guaranteed issue life insurance companies

CharacteristicsGerberAIGGreat Western
Age50 - 8050 - 8045 - 80
Coverage$5,000 - $20,000$5,500 - $25,000$2,500 - $40,000
Graded period2 years2 years2 years
AvailabilityAll 50 statesNot in New YorkNot in New York

What Is the Best Guaranteed Life Insurance?

Compare rates for these companies, which we put at the top of our list.

#1 Gerber: If you’re between the ages of 50 and 80, you can choose from $5,000 to $25,000 in guaranteed issue life insurance coverage. The Gerber Life Insurance Company application process is simple and easy. No medical exam is required, and there are no health questions to answer. Your acceptance is guaranteed, regardless of your health.

#2 AIG: AIG Life Insurance Company offers $5,000 to $25,000 in coverage. This coverage is available for individuals between the ages of 50 and 80. The company’s application process is easy and fast. Most cases have no waiting period. You also can’t be turned down for health reasons.

#3 Great Western: Great Western Life Insurance Company offers some of the highest coverage for individuals aged 40 to 85. Typically, the limit is $40,000. However, in some circumstances, the company may offer up to $48,000 in coverage.

Great Western is 10-25% more expensive than Gerber or AIG because its policy is unique. If you can answer three medical questions with “no”, you can get additional coverage.

Great Western’s guaranteed issue life insurance also includes two additional benefits:

  • The Accelerated Death Benefit applies if you have less than 2 years to live due to a terminal illness. This benefit pays the current value of your policy or a portion of it that you choose.
  • The Children’s Insurance Benefit Rider allows you to get a $2,500 life insurance policy on a dependent child or grandchild. This costs just $1/month.

How Long Does It Take To Get Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

Guaranteed acceptance policies don’t take long to go into effect. Typically, they can be active in less than 48 hours. Some companies issue your policy the same day with no waiting period. There’s no medical exam or health questionnaire to evaluate with this type of instant issue life insurance. As a result, the underwriting process is simple and fast. However, while your policy can be active the same day, there will be a graded benefit period most of the time.

What Is a Graded Benefit Period?

A graded benefit period is a duration of time during which the life insurance policy doesn’t pay the full coverage amount. If the insured were to pass during this time, the beneficiary would receive all paid premiums, plus interest (typically 10%).

What Are Alternatives to Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

The best alternatives to guaranteed issue life insurance are term life insurance, traditional final expense life insurance, and accidental death insurance. The alternative that’s best for you depends on your age and your health.

Term Life Insurance – Average or Better Health, Age 55 or Younger

  • Level term life insurance is a common choice for those aged 55 or younger. Those in excellent to average health can get the same coverage as with a guaranteed acceptance policy, but at lower rates.
  • Depending on the term policy and coverage amount applied, there will be a medical examination. For policies under $1 million, you may have the option of a no medical exam life insurance plan.

Final Expense – Average Health, Age 55 or Older

Final expense is the a common life insurance option for healthy seniors. It’s a whole life insurance policy. As long as you make the premium payment, you’ll stay insured.

  • Final expense insurance offers a higher coverage amount than guaranteed issue policies, up to $100,000. However, this is rare. More often, companies offer up to $35,000.
  • No medical examination is involved. However, insurance providers will ask you some health questions and check your public records to qualify you.

Accidental Death – High-Risk Individuals, any Age

  • Accidental death life insurance is very affordable. Additionally, it’s available to anyone, regardless of their health or financial history.
  • However, an accidental death policy only pays your beneficiaries if the cause of death is due to an accident. Accidents are the most common cause of death only for individuals age 44 or younger, according to CDC data from 1981 to 2020.

Group Life Insurance – High-Risk Individuals at any Age

  • Group life insurance is most commonly offered to employees by employers. Group insurance is also offered by trade groups, organizations, and associations.
  • Small life insurance coverage amounts are offered as a free benefit or at a low cost to a group’s members. Very few health questions are asked.
  • Groups are able to offer guaranteed issue term life insurance, whole life, and universal life insurance plans to their members. The coverage types available depend on the insurance company underwriting the policies.
  • The group coverage is owned by the group, which is the master policyholder, and members receive certificates of participation. Coverage may decrease or end if the organization drops the coverage.

Best No Health Questions Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Company

Gerber Life Insurance Company

Gerber Life Insurance Company Logo

Did you know Gerber sells life insurance? Yes, the baby food company. Not only does it sell life insurance, but its guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance product is the best no-questions life insurance you can get.

Other good no-health-questions products are offered by AIG and Mutual of Omaha. The company that has the best rates changes from year to year. Right now, Gerber is the best-priced. Gerber also has great children’s life insurance and accidental death products.

As you might expect, the application is short. It’s just one page because there are no health questions.

If you pay monthly via ACH, you’ll get an 8% discount on the price.

Product details:

  • $5,000- $25,000 in coverage
  • 50-80 years old
  • Coverage lasts for the rest of your life
  • Build cash value
  • Available in all states


Great Prices

The main feature when comparing these products is price.

Discount for Monthly Bank Payments

Discounts are rarely offered for monthly payments. Usually, discounts are available for annual payments. If you pay monthly via ACH bank draft, that resulting 8% discount is a welcome perk.


Name is Associated With Children, Not Seniors

The only negative regarding Gerber life insurance products is the confusion caused by the name of the company. People may be familiar with the Gerber children’s life insurance policies, but not the guaranteed acceptance product for seniors.

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How Do I Get Guaranteed Life Insurance?

We make shopping for life insurance as simple as possible. You can shop online, or we can assist you in finding the best policy from the best company, based on your situation.

Compare rates online

  • Fill out our quote form to compare rates online from the best providers in less than 30 seconds.
  • Select the policy you like, and submit an application.

Speak to a licensed agent

  • Do you prefer to make financial decisions by speaking to a professional? Call us at 1-866-816-2100 to speak to a friendly licensed Insurist agent.
  • We’re able to answer any questions you may have and recommend the best insurance company based on your situation.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Reviews

4.9 /5
Based on 59 reviews

Sep 14, 2021
Efficient with great staff!
Susan Woodruff
Agent: Jennifer Plisch
Jun 07, 2021
Great job. Great information.
Wiley Barber
Agent: Jennifer Plisch
Apr 30, 2021
Great everything was explained and the service was great
Mary Sherlock
Agent: Jennifer Plisch
Apr 15, 2021
It was easier than I thought! In one phone call I was covered. My family and I are now stress free, all thanks to my Agent, Jennifer Plisch!
Nadia Rutledge
Agent: Jennifer Plisch
Apr 02, 2021
It was an excellent experience
Linda Carter
Agent: Nikki Walker
Mar 12, 2021
Got what I needed at a reasonable price.
Robert Snow
Agent: Taylor Calacci

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