The 3 Best Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Companies

Written by Jeff Root

As our name implies, at Guaranteed Issue Life we know guaranteed life insurance. t is our #1 priority to stay on top of every guaranteed acceptance product on the market so you can make an educated decision. Below you will find our research on the three best guaranteed issue life insurance companies and their policies.

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The 3 Best Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Companies
How to Choose the Best Guaranteed Life Insurance Carrier
AIG Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Summary – Top 3 Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Carriers
Other Guaranteed Whole Life Options Available

On top of our ongoing research, we are a team of highly experienced life insurance agents with decades of combined experience selling the most innovative insurance products to people across the country. We have worked with thousands of high-risk shoppers interested in protecting their loved ones.

The 3 Best Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Companies

In order to help with the shopping process, we’ve analyzed 15 guaranteed issue life insurance companies and their products.

These are the three best guaranteed acceptance life insurance companies.

We chose these three in particular because of the unbeatable value they provide. You can read more about each company and policy below. Here is our list of the top 3:

With these three carriers, customers between the ages of 40 and 85 are able to buy a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy.

With over 15 companies offering some form of no questions whole life insurance, we understand the decision can be overwhelming. As seasoned agents with over 50+ years of combined experience, we’ve unfortunately seen the consequences of avoiding this important purchase because of information overload.

To prevent any delay in receiving life insurance coverage for yourself or a loved one, we’ve simplified the process. Below you will find a summary of the three best guaranteed life insurance companies so you can determine which is the best fit.

In each summary below, you will learn:

  • Information about the company (when they were founded, rating, headquarters)
  • A quick snapshot of their guaranteed issue product
  • An in-depth look at each companies plan, what unique features they have, how to make a purchase and what information is required
  • Sample pricing chart

How to Choose the Best Guaranteed Life Insurance Carrier

Ultimately, the best life insurance plan is one that works for your individual needs. There is no one plan that works for 100% of people, which is why there are so many options on the market.

In order to narrow down the options, we looked at all 15 major insurance carriers and narrowed it down to the top three based on value.

This value was determined by looking at many factors with greater emphasis on these four features:

  • Price
  • State Availability
  • Age Availability
  • Policy Specifications (face amounts, graded period, riders)

In our experience, these factors are what determine the majority of purchase decisions for this type of policy. See below for which companies made the list of the top three no questions life insurance companies.

AIG Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Below you will find details about AIG, a full review with benefits of their guaranteed issue life insurance policy, and sample quotes for men and women.AIG guaranteed issue life insurance logo

AIG Company Details

  • In business since: 1919
  • A.M. Best Rating: A (Excellent)
  • Headquartered: Houston, TX

AIG Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Overview

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance (GIWL)
  • Ages: 50 – 85
  • Unavailable States: NY
  • Face Amounts: $5,000- $25,000
  • Waiting Period: 24 months
  • Interest Granted: 10%

Commonly known as AIG, American General Life Insurance Company dates back to the year 1919 when it started as a general insurance provider in Shanghai, China. It then later became known as American International Underwriters when it opened it’s first domestic office in 1926 in New York City. More recently, the company became AIG when it acquired American General Corporation in 2001.

During the recession in the mid 2000’s, AIG took a big hit much like other financial instutions. Since then, they’re done a stand-up job at rebuilding their image and ensuring they’re exceeding the needs of their customers. They’ve done this greatly because of their increasingly strong ratings as well as their above-average insurance products. 

AIG Industry Ratings

Across all rating standards, AIG gets straight A’s. As of March 2, 2015, A.M. Best Company gave AIG Life Insurance an ‘A’ (excellent) rating, Standard and Poor’s gives AIG an ‘A+’, and Fitch’s Rating is an ‘A+’. It’s evident that AIG is a company on solid financial ground.

Once you’ve worked with AIG, you’ll realize it’s no surprise that they’ve worked with over 18 million other customers throughout America. In just the last 5 years, they’ve paid these customers over $39 Billion in claims. 

Across the board, AIG has set the standard high for most life insurance products, and are the #1 choice for many independent agents. Throughout their entire suite of products, they are able to balance competitive premiums with added policy benefits. They also excel in customer service and are known for their hassle-free application process.

Oftentimes, people do not think about aspects like customer service, digital applications, availability of information online or other non-policy related topics when shopping for insurance. Yet once you begin an application or have a question several years down the line, there are a handful of standout carriers who provide immense value.

It’s not uncommon for carriers backed by massive marketing budgets and flashy offers to appear reputable and consumer-friendly but really fall short on their promises. We do not promote these companies but have offered honest reviews of them on this website.

That said, there are several outstanding carriers on the market and AIG is most definitely one of them.

AIG is considered the “jack of all trades” in the insurance industry, but we believe they offer one of the best guaranteed issue products on the market.

AIG Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Product Review

The guaranteed issue product offered by AIG is known as the Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance (GIWL). It was designed to offer secure and affordable protection for families in the U.S. With it, you will find zero underwriting. This means that you will not have to undergo medical exams, lab tests or health questions whatsoever. The premiums are also level and guaranteed not to increase during the policy’s life. The price of the plan is determined by the current age at applying and will remain the same during its entirety.

AIG Offers a Wide Range of Coverage Amounts

AIG’s guaranteed acceptance plan comes in face amounts ranging from $5,000 – $25,000. These amounts make it an ideal policy to help cover final costs incurred near the end of life. These expenses can include remaining debts, outstanding medical bills, burial or cremation costs, a ceremony and more. If final expenses will accumulate to more than $25,000, you are able to carry this policy on top of another one with another carrier.

AIG Insures Many Ages

For elderly people interested in a no questions policy, AIG is one of the few carriers that offer a plan beyond age 80. At this time, applicants ages 50 to 85 will be accepted and age is determined by the last birthday. This is great for people who may have forgotten to take a policy out or have hit unexpected hardships after turning 80 and are in desperate need of a plan.

The mandatory graded period is similar to many of the other guaranteed issue products on the market at 24 months (two years). This means that if death occurs within the first two years, the premiums paid plus 10% will be returned to the beneficiaries. The only exception is if death occurs by accident, which will pay out in full at any time. These features are very standard throughout the insurance industry.

Very Simple Life Insurance Application

The application with AIG is also very simple and efficient. The application process takes less than 15 minutes and is completed entirely over the phone with an independent agent.

After the application, you’ll instantly be given a policy number to refer to. 

One of the top reasons the GIWL plan is our #1 choice above the rest is the custom features that come at no additional charge. These features make it so insureds can choose to accelerate the death benefit if they come down with an illness that meets the qualifications. Simply put, AIG offers life insurance that you can use while you’re still alive.

Accelerated Death Benefits from AIG

AIG offers two accelerated death benefits including Chronic Illness and Terminal Illness.

AIG’s Chronic Illness Rider

First let’s start with the Chronic Illness Rider, which details what will happen if you come down with a qualifying chronic illness and are in need of money. If this happens, you can access up to 50% of your policy’s full face amount in a lump sum. There is no waiting period, it is a one-time payout and there is no additional fee’s.

So what is a qualifying chronic illness? Well, a chronic illness is determined if you are unable to perform two out of six Activities of Daily Living (also known as ADLs). Examples of ADLs include normal functions like walking, bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.

It is important to note that there is a cap to the payout amount with the Chronic Illness Rider. You only have access to the premiums you’ve paid to-date, which cannot surpass 50% of the full coverage amount.

As an example, let’s say you’ve paid $4,000 into your policy and your coverage amount is $15,000. You will only receive $4,000 back since it does not exceed 50% or $7,500.

AIG’s Terminal Illness Rider

Next, let’s discuss the Terminal Illness Rider. This product is a time-sensitive feature that helps if your life expectancy is ever two years or less. If you contract an illness and it’s considered terminal by a medical professional, then you’re eligible to receive 50% of the death benefit right away. This money can be used to pay down medical expenses, care in a hospice facility or other expenses you’d prefer to not pass to your loved ones.

Something to keep in mind with both riders is that they both have a financial affect on the payout your beneficiaries will receive. If you choose to receive funds while still alive, the eventual check your loved ones will receive will total the policy amount minus the rider amount you used.

In other words: policy amount – rider payout = beneficiary payout.

AIG Guaranteed Issue Sample Policy Rates

To provide a snapshot of the affordability of AIG, we’ve included sample policy rates below. Keep in mind these can fluctuate, so the best way to compare rates for affordable guaranteed issue insurance is using the free quote tool on the site.

AIG Guaranteed Issue Sample Rates for Men


AIG Guaranteed Issue Sample Rates for Women


These sample rates include a $24 annual policy fee that is mandatory by AIG.

These rates are as of 08/17/2016.

Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Read below for details about Gerber Life Insurance, including a review of their guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy with sample quotes for both men and women.

Company Details

  • In business since: 1967
  • A.M. Best Rating: A (Excellent)
  • Headquartered: White Plains, NY

Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Overview

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Life
  • Age Availability: 50 – 80
  • States Unavailable: MT
  • Face Amounts: $5,000- $25,000 (up to $15,000 in SD)
  • Waiting Period: 24 months
  • Interest Granted: 10%

The Gerber Life Guaranteed Life Plan is a top product backed by a highly-reputable and trusted brand name. After decades of offering affordable plans for each family member, including plans for children under 18, Gerber Life has truly become a household insurance name.

For families interested in simplifying the insurance process and having one carrier for everyone, Gerber Life is a great option.

Note – Guaranteed Life policies is $25,000. Gerber Life Insurance Company will not issue insurance for any proposed insured when a POA or Guardianship exists on the proposed insured, except legal guardians of children. South Dakota residents, maximum coverage of $15,000.

Over the years, Gerber Life has become a household name offering plans for every family member, including children. When a family is interested in streamlining the insurance process for every member, Gerber Life Insurance is a strong choice.

For more than 50 years, Gerber Life has been providing budget-friendly life insurance so
that children and adults can have greater financial protection.

You can count on Gerber Life to provide insurance plans for the entire family that offer the reliability, flexibility and peace of mind you deserve.”

You may recall that this is the same family-friendly company that has dominated the baby food and baby products market.

Gerber Life Insurance Ratings

A.M. Best, the impartial reporting firm that rates insurance companies on financial stability and ability to meet financial obligations, has awarded Gerber Life an “A+” (Superior) rating, most recently in January 2024.

It refers only to the overall financial status of the company and is not a recommendation of specific policy provisions, rates or practices of the company. This rating is the second highest awarded out of thirteen possible categories. For 22 consecutive years, Gerber Life has maintained a rating of A (Excellent) or better.

Gerber Life Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Review

The Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue product is a standard insurance policy when it comes to its benefits and features. At the end of the day, what really makes it stand out from alternatives is the strong brand name, simple application process, and payment options.

The purpose of Gerber Life’s Guaranteed Life Plan is to help alleviate the burden of final expenses, such as medical bills, leftover debts, and funeral costs.

Gerber Life’s Age and Coverage Availability

To review, this product is for older individuals between 50 and 80 years old and is available in quantities ranging from $5,000 up to $25,000. 

With a policy from Gerber Life, you are also able to take out multiple guaranteed life policies. However, the cumulative amount should not exceed $25,000. The total amount you’re insured for is currently not subjected to federal incomes taxes after it’s paid to the named beneficiary.

Gerber Life’s Simple Application Process

The application process is very simple, similarly to AIG’s. The process takes place entirely over the phone with a licensed, independent agent and is complete in under 20 minutes. There is no medical exam and absolutely no health questions to answer.

Regardless of your health, your acceptance is guaranteed.

The Policy Owner Doesn’t Have to be the Insured

One other interesting difference to AIG is that Gerber Life has made it okay for the person insured by the policy to be different from the owner of the policy.

As an example, let’s say that a child wants to take out a policy on their father. In this case, the father will be the insured and the adult child is the policy owner. AIG does not offer this benefit to its customers and might be the #1 reason for some people to choose Gerber Life depending on individual family needs.

Gerber Life Offers Flexible Payment Options & Discounts

Another unique feature of Gerber Life is that they offer flexible payment options and provide discounts provided for certain methods. You can pay by direct billing, debit, credit, or ACH (preauthorized checking). When you pay by ACH, you can get a discount of up to 8%.

Gerber Life is known for their competitive pricing, although they are about 20% more expensive than AIG’s Guaranteed Issue product. That said, once you select the amount of coverage you need, your premiums are guaranteed to never increase for as long as you hold the policy.

Gerber Life Graded Death Benefit

Similarly to AIG and other guaranteed acceptance products, the graded death benefit for this product is 24 months (2 years).

If death occurs within the first two years for any reason other than an accident, all premiums will be paid to the beneficiary, plus 10%. That’s 110% back if the insured dies within the first 24 months.

If death is due to accidental causes, the full death benefit will be paid. After the two-year Graded Death Benefit period, if the insured dies for any reason, the full face amount of the policy shall be paid to the beneficiary.

Unlike AIG, Gerber Life does not offer any accelerated death benefits or riders. So if you or a loved one feels strongly towards critical illness or terminal illness protection, AIG would be the stronger choice.

Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Sample Policy Rates

To see how Gerber Life Guaranteed Life fits within your budget, we’ve included sample policy rates below for both males and females. Keep in mind these prices are subject to change and are only for age brackets.

The best way to get an accurate, up-to-date quote for you is to compare guaranteed policy rates on our free quote tool on this website.

Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Sample Rates for Men


Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Sample Rates for Women


All rates shown include a $1.00 policy fee and a discount for ACH payment.

Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Next, we will review the guaranteed whole life policy from Great Western. You’ll read about the company, benefits of their policy, and view sample rates below.Great Western guaranteed issue life insurance company

Company Details

  • In business since: 1983
  • A.M. Best Rating: B++
  • Headquartered: Ogden, Utah

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Overview

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Assurance
  • Age Availability: 40 – 85
  • States Unavailable: NY
  • Face Amounts: $1,000- $40,000
  • Waiting Period: 24 months
  • Interest Granted: 10%

Great Western Insurance Company specializes in final expense whole life insurance and has done so since 1983. They are less of a household name than AIG and Gerber Life, but their dedication to final expense insurance and their niche product features make them one of our top choices for high-risk and senior-friendly guaranteed acceptance policies.

From their early days, Great Western’s focus was on creating policies so that members of the community could fund pre-arranged funerals. This legacy has stayed in place ever since. They are available in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Today, despite being a lesser-known company, they are seen as one of the best ‘pre-need’ insurance companies in the country.

When it comes to their finances, there is not much information to be found. You may have noticed that both AIG and Gerber Life have announced the number of policies that have been paid out and how much they hold in assets. Great Western, however, has made mention of the following in their marketing collateral:

“With its history, Great Western understands the responsibility of being a trusted financial steward for providers and the families they serve. As a result, all investments are professionally managed under diversified and conservative guidelines. Great Western’s Surplus to Liability Ratio is among the highest in the industry, exceeding the margin of assets over liabilities and excess surplus standards averaged by America’s 25 largest life insurance companies.”

Great Western Life Insurance Ratings

Our way of assessing their financial position is through the official A.M. Best Ratings. As you read through all of the company reviews on this website, you’ll notice that all carriers come with a rating. Our top choices are both in the ‘A’ category, which spans from A++ to A-.

Great Western is just a notch below with B++. Although this is not in the ‘A’ range, it is the closest rating possible.

Since we are unable to provide financial information and make our own assessment about the strength of this company, selecting Great Western will most likely come down to being a “niche” customer.

Great Western Final Expense Product Review

First, we’re going to give an overview of Great Western’s no questions policy.

Similar to all other guaranteed issue products on the market, this policy is designed for the final expenses in life so that your loved ones do not have to be burdened with any costs associated with your passing. This could include funerals, which cost between $8,000 and $12,000, medical bills, outstanding debts, court fees, and many others.

With Great Western’s guaranteed acceptance option, there is no underwriting whatsoever so you will not have to worry about a medical exam or health questions. The graded death benefit period is identical to AIG and Gerber Life at two years and includes the 10% interest back if death occurs from natural causes within this period. Once the two years have passed, the full death benefit amount will go to your chosen beneficiary or beneficiaries regardless of the cause of death.

When you purchase this policy, you have the peace of mind in knowing that the rates will never increase. As opposed to some less trustworthy companies out there, your rate is locked in for as long as you are paying the premiums.

If you’re unsure whether this policy is for you, it does also include a ‘free look period’ of 30 days. This allows you to return the policy with no questions asked during the first 30 days after the policy is delivered.

Benefits of Great Western Guaranteed Life Insurance

So what makes this plan worthy of our top 3 spots? Two reasons.

Get Insured at 40 Years Old

One of the main draws to Great Western’s Final Assurance Plan is the age at which they’re willing to insure applicants. Today, they are the only carrier that will provide a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy to someone as young as 40. Every other guaranteed issue product on the market begins at age 50.

This is fantastic news for younger, high-risk life insurance candidates who have been declined with every other carrier but are in desperate need of insurance to cover final expenses.

As with all guaranteed issue plans, however, we do urge consumers to make sure that this is definitely the type of plan they need. Many are able to qualify for a simplified issue life insurance policy instead, which Great Western offers.

Great Western Offers a Wide Range of Coverage Amounts

The second reason to select Great Western is the available face amounts. They are noticeably more generous with their policy amounts, which begin as low as $1,000 and as high as $40,000. This is excellent news for those who have a greater need than the typical $25,000 found in most guaranteed acceptance products.

Although we do not consider riders as a top reason for selecting Great Western, they do have a couple of standout options that might be a good fit for you.

Spousal Bonus Rider

The Spousal Bonus Rider is also considered the “first-to-die” rider. What this means is that if two spouses apply for life insurance at the same time together, Great Western will pay additional money to the surviving spouse. When the first spouse dies, the surviving one will receive an extra $1,000. 

This is only for spouses who apply for at least $10,000 in guaranteed issue coverage. Also, the first death must occur after the mandatory two-year graded period in order for the additional $1,000 to be paid. There is also no additional fee for this rider and it’s already included by default.

Dependent Child and Grandchild Rider

The dependent child and grandchild rider is an optional feature that pays out $2,500 for the first death of a child or grandchild of the insureds. This is a unique feature that Great Western offers and is applicable to every child and grandchild in question, yet only pays after the first death. However, this rider does not cover stepchildren unless they are legally adopted by the insured who has obtained legal guardianship. As an optional feature, there is a cost to this rider, and it is an additional (and quite affordable) $1 each month.

Great Western Guaranteed Issue Sample Policy Rates

If you believe Great Western is a fit for you because of age, policy amounts or riders, get a snapshot of prices below. Keep in mind these prices are subject to change and are only for age brackets.

Unlike the other two carriers, we’ve included rows for people in their 40’s as this is one of the few plans available to them, and by far the best.

Remember that policies are available in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 and the best way to compare the most accurate high-risk insurance rates are is by using our instant quote tool on the site.

Great Western Guaranteed Issue Sample Rates for Men


Great Western Guaranteed Issue Sample Rates for Women


Summary – Top 3 Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Carriers

We know that was a lot of information to take in. So in summary, here are the top reasons to select each of the three carriers mentioned in this article.

AIG Life Insurance

  • Very strong, financially stable carrier with quality brand recognition
  • Available up to age 85
  • Easy, fast application
  • Very competitive rates
  • Chronic Illness and Terminal Illness riders at no extra charge

Gerber Life Insurance

  • Highly reputable family name with strong rating
  • Simple application process
  • Flexible payment options
  • Affordable compared to others on the market

Great Western Life Insurance

  • The only plan for people in their 40’s
  • Plan available to people up to 85
  • Large face amount range from $1,000 to $40,000
  • Spousal Rider and Dependent Child & Grandchild Rider
  • Affordably priced

Other Guaranteed Whole Life Options Available

Although we do consider these the three best guaranteed issue life insurance companies, they are not your only options when comparing guaranteed issue policies. If you are interested in learning about the other twelve carriers reviewed on this website, you can use the navigation at the top of the page or click on their individual links below. We have offered in-depth reviews about their guaranteed acceptance products as well as the reputability of the companies.

The choice is up to you based on your financial needs, personal circumstances and preferences.

If you’d like assistance in determining which of the carriers and their products are the best fit for you, let us help you by calling 949-480-9638. Our agents have experience working with the top insurance companies in the country and can help you compare your options and receive instant quotes.

You can also use our free guaranteed issue life insurance quote tool on the website.

About Jeff Root & Guaranteed Issue Life
About Jeff Root & Guaranteed Issue Life

Jeff Root is the author of The Digital Life Insurance Agent and host of the Modern Life Insurance Selling Podcast.

Guaranteed Issue Life is a nationally licensed agency, that has helped over 1500 consumers purchase guaranteed issue life insurance. We represent over 30 life insurance companies & transact business in every state.

All content on this site has been written by life insurance experts & licensed life insurance agents.

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