Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: What It Is and How It Works

For people with extreme health issues or older people experiencing difficulties obtaining life insurance, guaranteed issue life insurance is the perfect solution. However, this type of insurance comes with graded death benefits, high costs, and low coverage amounts. Thus, guaranteed issue life insurance is not always recommended, but if it is the only type of insurance you can get, then you can take it.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: What It Is and How It Works

What is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that guarantees coverage regardless of the applicant’s health status, age, or other factors that might typically affect eligibility for traditional life insurance policies. It is also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance or guaranteed life insurance. These policies typically have simplified underwriting processes and do not require medical exams or health screenings.

Additionally, compared to other types of life insurance, guaranteed life insurance is more convenient to obtain.

How Does Guaranteed Life Insurance Work?

The name guaranteed life insurance comes from the way the insurance provider guarantees and makes sure that they will give a policy just as long as you fall within the required age range when applying.

What’s more, the normal age range to qualify for guaranteed life insurance is 50 to 80 years old, and they are also pledging that you will be accepted as a policyholder. In the meantime, if you are outside the age range, there is a possibility of getting a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, but you will have access to fewer options.

Nevertheless, if you are finding it hard to qualify for a life insurance policy, here are some conditions that may disqualify you from getting one:

  • HIV or AIDS.
  • Terminal diseases with less than two years of life expectancy.
  • Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • If you are in a wheelchair due to a chronic disease or illness.
  • If you are on dialysis.
  • Organ or tissue transplant.
  • If you are in hospice or a nursing home.

Therefore, if you have one or multiple of these conditions, you may find it hard to qualify for life insurance.

Pros and Cons

Just like other insurance types, guaranteed issue life insurance comes with pros and cons that should be looked at before consideration. So, here are the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a policy:


  • No medical exam is required.
  • No health questions.
  • Easy to apply for.
  • Multi-purpose death benefits.


  • High premium cost.
  • Low coverage amount.
  • Death benefits will not be paid out in full if you die within 2 or 3 years after purchasing the quote (waiting period).
  • There is no cash value.
  • There are no term options.

How Much Does Guaranteed Life Insurance Cost?

The average cost of guaranteed issue life insurance for a 70-year-old woman is $154 per month. As for an 80-year-old woman, it costs $329 per month. However, this is not the price of getting one.

In other words, different factors affect the price of purchasing a policy. Nevertheless, this type of insurance is more expensive than others, and they charge more for coverage. Some of the factors that affect guaranteed life insurance costs include age, location, and gender.

How to Get a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Obtaining guaranteed issue life insurance is straightforward if you have the right process to follow. Besides, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration before applying, and you will learn about them in this section.

  • Determine how much coverage you need.
  • Find out how much you can budget.
  • Decide on who will get the death benefit.
  • Compare policies from different lenders.
  • Read reviews of insurance companies.
  • Apply for a quote.

After you have succeeded in finding which guaranteed life insurance company you would like to use, you can then begin to apply for and purchase a policy.

Alternatives to Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Without a doubt, not everyone can use or get guaranteed life insurance. If you have no existing health condition and are qualified for more options, here are some other coverages to check out:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment policies
  • Instant life insurance
  • Simplified issue life insurance
  • Group life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Accelerated underwriting

So, if you are less interested in undergoing a medical examination to obtain a life insurance policy, these are other alternatives to check out.


Who is eligible for guaranteed issue life insurance?

Generally, anyone within a certain age range (usually 50–85 years old) can qualify for guaranteed life insurance without the need for a medical exam or health questionnaire.

How much coverage can I get with guaranteed issue life insurance?

Coverage amounts typically range from a few thousand dollars up to a certain maximum limit, which varies depending on the insurance provider.

Are there any waiting periods with guaranteed life insurance?

Yes, most Guaranteed Issue policies have a waiting period before the full death benefit is available. During this period (usually two years), if the insured passes away due to natural causes, the beneficiary may receive only a portion of the death benefit or a refund of premiums paid, depending on the policy terms.

Is guaranteed life insurance more expensive than traditional life insurance?

Yes, guaranteed issue life insurance tends to be more expensive compared to traditional life insurance policies because of the higher risk involved for the insurance company. Since acceptance is guaranteed, regardless of health status, premiums are typically higher.

Can I cancel my guaranteed life insurance policy?

Yes, you can typically cancel your guaranteed issue life insurance policy at any time. However, be aware that you may not receive a full refund of premiums, and there could be surrender charges or fees associated with cancellation.

Can I get guaranteed life insurance if I have pre-existing health conditions?

Yes, guaranteed life insurance is specifically designed for individuals who may have difficulty obtaining coverage due to pre-existing health conditions.

Is the death benefit taxable?

In most cases, the death benefit from a guaranteed life insurance policy is paid out tax-free to the beneficiary under current tax laws. However, it’s essential to consult with a tax advisor for specific guidance based on your individual circumstances.

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