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What Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

By Jessica Sillers Jun 22, 2023

In this article

Who Should Consider Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

Because most types of life insurance are medically underwritten—meaning that they take your health situation into consideration—it can be difficult to get a policy at all if you have major health issues or are over a certain age.

That’s where guaranteed issue life insurance comes in. With this type of life insurance, pretty much everyone can get accepted, even if they have serious health issues. You can think of this as a plan B for people with major health issues who need coverage for final expenses. 

Here’s why people tend to choose guaranteed issue life insurance:

  • Coverage for those with serious health problems that would rule out other types of insurance

  • Coverage for older adults who may not qualify for a regular term life insurance policy

  • No medical exam during the application process

Here are the main cons against guaranteed issue life insurance:

  • Fairly high premiums (e.g. $100 to $300 per month) 

  • Low coverage amounts, often maxing out around $25,000

  • Guaranteed issue policies typically have graded benefits, which these policies will usually not pay out the death benefit if you die within two or three years of getting a policy, except for accidents; your loved ones will get a return of the premiums you’ve paid to date, usually with about 10% interest added on

Because of these lower coverage limits, guaranteed issue life insurance benefits are likely to cap around the amount your family would need to cover funeral costs and associated expenses. It’s not a great option for people hoping a death benefit will provide for dependents or constitute a large inheritance after their death. 

If you’re able to qualify for a lower-cost or more comprehensive policy, you’ll probably get better value elsewhere. If the main reason you’re looking into guaranteed issue is because you really want to skip the health exam associated with more traditional life insurance policies, no-exam term life insurance or simplified issue insurance may be a better fit.

Who Should Consider Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

People who may not qualify for medically underwritten insurance and who don't have very high coverage needs. That might include wanting to cover final expenses or small debts, but probably doesn’t include taking care of financial dependents like young children—because the coverage limits are generally on the lower side.

If you’re not sure whether guaranteed issue is right for you, here’s how to think about which kind of no-exam life insurance is the best fit.

Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Fabric by Gerber Life exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Information provided is general and educational in nature and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, financial, legal, or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. We make no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use, and disclaim any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information.

Fabric by Gerber Life offers a mobile experience for people on-the-go who want an easy and fast way to purchase life insurance.


Written by

Jessica Sillers

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© 2023 Gerber Life Agency, LLC

Term Life Insurance Policy Series ICC22 2205-4004 WSA and Accelerated Death Benefit Rider policy series ICC22 2205-2623 WSA (and state variations where applicable) issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Cincinnati, OH which operates in DC and all states except NY, and distributed by Gerber Life Agency, LLC using Fabric Technologies. Gerber Life Agency, LLC is an affiliate of Gerber Life Insurance Company (est. 1967). All are members of Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern). Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Product provisions, availability, definitions and benefits may vary by state. Payment of benefits under the life insurance policy is the obligation of, and is guaranteed by, the issuing company. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Products are backed by the full financial strength of the issuing company.

All sample pricing is based on a 30-year old F in Excellent health for the coverage amount shown and a 10-year term policy, unless otherwise stated. Gerber Life Agency, LLC (GLA) is an insurance agency licensed to sell life insurance products. GLA will receive compensation from Western-Southern Life Assurance Company for such sales. The NAIC Company Code for Western-Southern Life Assurance Company is 92622.

Western-Southern Life Assurance Company's A+ Superior A.M. Best Rating: Superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations (second highest of 13 ratings; rating held since June 2009). Ratings are subject to change from time to time. The ratings shown here are correct as of 09/03/2022. For more information about a particular rating or rating agency, please visit the website of the relevant agency.

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In the State of California, Gerber Life Agency, LLC is known as and does business as Gerber Life Insurance Agency, LLC.

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