What is guaranteed issue life insurance?

Guaranteed issue (GI) is life insurance coverage that is available without a medical exam or answering any health questions. If you have certain health conditions that disqualify you from being eligible for traditional term, universal or final expense life insurance policies, GI might be your best option.

Typical characteristics of guaranteed issue life insurance:

  • Permanent protection
  • Acceptance guaranteed, regardless of health
  • No exam or health questions
  • Quick to put in force
  • Builds cash value
  • Lower coverage limits
  • Graded benefits

Is guaranteed issue permanent coverage?

Yes, guaranteed issue life insurance is whole life, without the need for a medical exam or answering any health questions. In other words, if you can afford the premium payments, the insurance company will accept your application. Also, coverage will remain in force as long as you make those payments. Additionally, like traditional whole life, guaranteed issue builds cash value that you can borrow against.

Is acceptance really guaranteed?

Yes, you cannot be turned down for guaranteed issue life insurance if you’re between the ages of 50 and 85 with most insurance companies. A few companies will insure someone as young a 40, but they’re the exception. You might be wondering how insurance companies mitigate their risk when issuing GI policies. Obviously, most people applying for GI cannot qualify for regular term or UL policies due to health problems. GI policies come with higher premium costs as well as graded benefits to offset that additional level of risk.

Graded benefits mean that, with most GI policies, the full death benefit is payable to your beneficiaries from the 3rd year onward. If you pass away during the first 2 years of natural causes, all premiums paid to that point are payable as death benefit. Actually, many GI policies will pay 110% of that amount, to be exact. That being said, there’s an exception for accidental death, in which case the full death benefit is payable from day 1.

Death by natural causes means anything from a heart attack, to kidney failure, to complications from diabetes, to a stroke, to cancer. In other words, any condition, whether pre-existing at the time the policy is placed in force or not. In other words, any cause of death other than accidental.

How much guaranteed issue insurance can I buy?

Most GI policies are available with a death benefit (or face value) up to $25,000. However, one company that I often recommend offers up to $40,000 in coverage and insures individuals as young as 40 years of age. GI coverage can be purchased for as low as $1,000 in death benefit.

How much will a guaranteed issue life insurance policy cost?

GI policies cost significantly more than term life insurance because of the higher levels of risk that are inherent to them. The cost of premiums is based upon your age and the amount of coverage you are interested in purchasing. Reach out to me for quotes or use the quoter anywhere on this site.

Can I qualify for lower rates if my health condition improves?

Possibly. Depending on your current situation, GI may be a ‘band-aid’ policy while you wait to become eligible for traditional term or UL.

Certain health issues, such as cancer, will require a waiting period before you can qualify for traditionally underwritten policies. In those situations, your medical records must show that you have been healthy for a certain number of years and that you have had no reoccurrences of the condition. In such a case, GI might be your only option for coverage until you’re eligible for a lower cost/higher face value policy. When that time comes, I will help you reevaluate and replace your GI policy with what’s most appropriate.

My free consultation process is designed to determine the best type of policy for your unique situation. I believe in taking a strategic approach to recommending which policy will best serve you, both in the short and long term. Reach out by clicking the Get Quotes button below or by sending me an email.

Will my medical or MIB records be requested?

Not at all. Guaranteed issue policies are truly what the name implies. We complete the application and as long as you’re within the age range and can afford the monthly premium payments, the policy will be issued. Insurance companies account for the higher level of risk with higher premiums and graded benefits, as discussed above.

How is guaranteed issue different than a final expense policy?

The main differences between guaranteed issue (GI) and final expense policies (FE) are the underwriting requirements, cost and available face values. FE policies will cost significantly less than GI and are available with death benefits up to $50,000. Not everyone will qualify for FE, however, as the underwriting process takes into account your health, your build, your driving record, etc.

Isn’t guaranteed issue just a last resort policy?

I don’t look at GI policies as a last resort or a bad deal. If you’ve been declined coverage due to health conditions or other risks, I believe that you should still be allowed to protect your loved ones. It comes at a higher cost, but it’s usually better than the alternative of leaving a burden on your family.

How do I get started?

You can either click the Request a Quote button below and complete a quick form or send me an email to start the conversation. During a free consult, I’ll gather information about your health and lifestyle. That allows me to pre-qualify you so that I can look at the right insurance policies and to determine if guaranteed issue is your best option. It may very well be that one or more of the 60+ insurance companies that I work with will consider you for a traditional policy. Even if you’ve been declined coverage already. I will help you explore every option.

My ultimate goal as an independent life insurance broker is to help my clients obtain the right coverage. Not only at the best price available, but with the appropriate insurance company for their unique situation and level of risk. I will never suggest that you apply for the cheapest option if I believe that for one reason or another you will not qualify for that specific insurance policy.

Life insurance is by no means a one size fits all purchase. Reach out today and let’s discuss your options!

-Danny Gallant
Life Insurance Broker