Great Western Life Insurance Company Review 2021

Great Western is a company that focuses on final expense and guaranteed issue insurance. They have excellent financial ratings, and somewhat average customer reviews.
Author: Ben Peetermans
Last updated: June 17, 2021

Our take on Great Western

In 1983, John E. Lindquist sought to ease the stress of planning for funerals and other final arrangements, which can often take a toll on surviving family members. Thus, Great Western Insurance Company was born.
Today, the company continues this mission by providing affordable life insurance in the form of final expense and pre-need policies. The pre-need policy options enable the policyholder to pay for a funeral upfront, which prevents costs from rising due to inflation. Additionally, the company offers annuities that can help customers plan for their whole future.
Currently based in Ogden, UT, Great Western now serves the majority of the United States and is regarded as one of the nation’s top final expense insurance providers.
This means that if you’re looking for term life insurance or other life insurance offerings, you will need to look elsewhere. But if you’re a senior looking to cover final expenses, Great Western Life Insurance has several policy options available.

Great Western company details

A.M. Best RatingA-
S&P RatingNot yet rated
BBB RatingA-
Customer Service Phone866-689-1415
Websitewww.gwic.com
AddressGreat Western Insurance
3434 Washington Blvd, Suite 300
Ogden, Utah 84401

What we like

Multiple Options for Pre-Need Coverage

Those looking for pre-need insurance will find multiple favorable options of coverage.

Locked-In Costs

Pre-need packages ensure that your costs remain the same and that your future expenses will not increase with inflation.

No Medical Exam

Great Western provides insurance policies with no medical exam necessary, which means that applicants are guaranteed to receive coverage.

What we don’t like

No Online Quotes

Great Western offers no online quotes for its policies, which means that applicants will have to speak with an agent.

Narrow Options

The available policies are ideal for seniors and others looking for final expense insurance but offer limited options for other insurance policies.

Graded Benefits

Many of the policies offered through simplified issue offer graded benefits, which means that there’s a waiting period before your full benefits become available.

Great Western’s Life Insurance Products

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4.0/5
While policy options are limited to the senior market, we like the fact that they offer several varieties of final expense and pre-need coverage.

Pre-Need

A pre-need policy allows the policyholder to pay for his funeral expenses up-front with a participating funeral home. This ensures that these expenses are covered, with the added benefit that it prevents costs from rising due to inflation. Great Western also promises to ensure that every detail is covered, so your surviving family is relieved of the burden of funeral planning or guessing at your final wishes.
Pre-need policies aren’t overly common, but they’re hardly unique, either. What makes Great Western stand out is their three options of pre-need coverage.

Voyage

The Voyage product ensures that either (1) your death benefit increases at a favorable rate over time or (2) that you receive a return of your premiums as your death benefit (whichever is higher). This means that you will never pay more than your final death benefit.

A graded plan is offered, but if you answer two simple health questions, you receive immediate coverage.

The Voyage option allows single premium payment, as well as payment plans ranging from one to ten years.

Course

This product has many of the same features as the Voyage product. The Course product allows your death benefit to grow at a favorable rate over the lifetime of the policy.

Destination

The Destination product is designed for those whose death is only days or weeks away. The death benefit is either the premium paid or the cash surrender value, whichever is higher.

Final Expense

Great Western offers two options for final expense insurance.

Guaranteed Assurance

The guaranteed assurance plan offers final expenses with no medical exam or even any health questions to answer. Policies are available to applicants between 40 and 85 and provide between $5,000 and $25,000 in coverage.

Graded benefits apply for the first two years (paying 110% of premiums paid), but the full death benefit becomes available beginning in year three.

Assurance Plus

If you’re in good health, Assurance Plus offers a 25% increase in your death benefit if you answer a few basic health questions. This policy is also issued to applicants between 40 and 85, but the death benefit is higher at $40,000.

Additionally, the Assurance Plus plan includes an accelerated death benefit at no additional cost. This rider allows the insured to borrow from the death benefit to pay for expenses related to a terminal illness.

Policy benefits

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4.8/5
Great Western’s riders are fairly standard, but some customers may benefit from the fact that the company also provides annuities that can help plan retirement.

Riders

Great Western offers several riders that can be used to modify their existing plans.

Accelerated Death Benefit

Assurance Plus final expense plans include this rider at no extra cost. If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may borrow a portion of the death benefit to pay for medical expenses, groceries, and any other financial obligations incurred as the result of a terminal illness.

Dependent Child and Grandchild Rider

For only $1.00 extra per month, policyholders can purchase a $2,500 policy covering their children or grandchildren.

Spousal Bonus Rider

If both spouses apply at the same time, a rider can be applied to both policies providing an additional $1,000 to the last surviving spouse.

Pre-Need Policy Transfer

If you purchase pre-need insurance, you’re not necessarily tied to one local funeral home. Great Western lets you take your pre-need policy with you if you move for any reason, ensuring that you have full coverage regardless of where you call home.

Group Annuities

Great Western also offers group annuity options, which may be helpful for retirement planning.

Cost

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4.0/5
The company’s rates aren’t as competitive for their customer base, but some may appreciate the value of the policies offered.

Great Western offers an online quote tool, but you will only receive an insurance quote after providing your personal information and speaking with an agent.

Great Western’s pre-need coverage is affordable and flexible, but their other policies tend to be a bit mixed when it comes to price and value.

Affordable for Younger Applicants

If you’re a high-risk applicant in your 40s, you’ll find that Great Western’s guaranteed issue policy highly affordable, with rates around $50.00 per month for a $10,000 policy.

Not Competitive for Older Applicants

Unfortunately, Great Western’s target customer base will find their rates to be less than competitive compared to other companies that offer simple issue insurance.
Ultimately, this company is best for those looking for flexible forms of pre-need coverage. Others may wish to continue shopping and comparing rates prior to committing to their guaranteed issue policies.

Performance

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5.0/5
Great Western has generally high ratings from consumer agencies, providing confidence in the company as a whole.

Financial ratings

Great Western has been positively reviewed by top industry analysts, including:

  • A.M. Best Rating: A+
  • BBB Rating: A-

These high reviews indicate a strong financial background, and that the company can be counted on to provide a payout at the appropriate time.

Customer reviews

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3.0/5
Third-party reviews of Great Western are generally poor.

Customer reviews

Unfortunately, many of Great Western’s third-party customer reviews have been poor. Below, you can read some of the reviews from Great Western’s past and present customers.

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About the author
Ben Peetermans author
Ben Peetermans
Life Insurance Expert
Ben Peetermans is a life insurance editor. He enjoys blogging about various topics, including finance. He has been writing about insurance since 2015. Ben has been featured in various press outlets including FOX, CBS, and NBC.