Great Western Life Insurance Review – Final Expense

Written by Jeff Root

In this life insurance review, we will thoroughly review Great Western Insurance Company and their Great Western final expense policy.

We understand the value Great Western can bring to high-risk life insurance shoppers, which is why we’ve rated Great Western in our three top guaranteed issue companies list.

In this article, we’ll provide insight into the company behind one of the more unique and “niche” guaranteed acceptance products on the market today. This analysis may help you decide if this policy is the right choice for you.

What You’ll Learn

About Great Western Insurance Company
Great Western Insurance Company Ratings
Policy Overview & Rates
Pros of Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Cons of Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Is Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Right for You?

Great Western Final Expense Life Insurance Review

As you read, it’s important to note that the best life insurance plan on the market is the one that caters to you. What works well for one person may not work well for you. We do our best to make sure you understand each carrier and product fully, while also not pushing you in any one direction.

In our experience, the three factors that most people use to make this decision include rates, age availability and plan features. We touch on all of these for Great Western below.

About Great Western Insurance Company

Great Western Insurance Company (GIWC) was formed in 1983 in Ogden, Utah. You may not have heard of Great Western before, and that might be because they specialize in more niche final expense policies. For this reason, they are one of our top choices for guaranteed acceptance whole life policies.

Since their inception, Great Western has focused on creating policies that serve members of the community who were interested in pre-funding and plan their own funerals. Now, this isn’t what a guaranteed issue policy is, per se, but it’s worthy of knowing that final expense, funerals, and end-of-life circumstances are Great Western’s wheelhouse.

Great Western Insurance Company Ratings

If you already read the three best-guaranteed life insurance companies of 2018 review, you’ll know that our other top contenders have ‘A’ ratings. With Great Western, we actually compromised on the rating, because of their strong niche value proposition which we’ll get to momentarily.

Great Western Insurance has a ‘B++’ (Good) rating, which is the closest you can get to the ‘A’ range without actually being in it.  

These insurance ratings are a score on the likelihood of an insurer paying its claims. It’s typically a formula surrounding how much the company is collecting in premiums, its financial holdings and the amount the company is paying in claims.

Usually, we’d like to include numbers about claims paid and other financial metrics, but we are unable to do so with Great Western. This information has not been made public on their website, unlike other reputable guaranteed insurance carriers in the US.

Notably, however, A.M. Best upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of Great Western in August 2017. Prior to this month, Great Western was in the BBB and now sits at BBB+, which shows signs of positive progress. This means the company has been recognized as having a stronger position to meet all the financial liabilities and obligations to its shareholders over the long-term.

Great Western Final Expense Insurance OverviewGreat Western Life Insurance Logo

Since we are unable to provide financial data and Great Western is rated lower than other guaranteed acceptance insurance companies we’ve reviewed, selection of GWIC will come down to you being a good “niche” fit.

What do we mean by this? Now we’ll review what makes this policy unique and possibly the right fit for you.

Policy Overview & Rates

Face Amounts: $5k – $25k

Age Availability: 40 – 85

Graded Period: 2 Years

State Availability: Unavailable in New York

Premiums Returned: 10%

Riders: Spousal Rider and Dependent Child & Grandchild Rider

How to Apply: Through an independent agent or directly through the carrier

Pros of Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Great Western is one of our top picks for final expense policies for a reason. Below are several advantages to going with Great Western Life Insurance.

Guaranteed Whole Life

With Guaranteed Assurance, you’ll receive a whole life policy that is guaranteed issue. This means that there is absolutely no underwriting and you do not have to worry about divulging any health information to an agent or the company. After the application is submitted, the carrier will also not look into your medical records or pharmacy report. This policy is guaranteed to anyone within the age limitations, regardless of current, future or past health standing.

As with other whole life plans, over time this policy builds cash value that is tax-deferred. This money can be used as security on a loan or to pay premiums if you are unable to make payment during one month.

The graded death benefit is two years and includes a 10% back on premiums if death is from a natural cause. Once the two year anniversary has passed, the full death benefit amount will go to your selected beneficiary, regardless of death including suicide. If death occurs by accident during the graded period, your beneficiary will get the full face amount.

Generous Age Availability

The availability of this product in terms of age and coverage amounts are the reasons why Great Western is considered one of the best guaranteed issue products for 2018.

Firstly, Guaranteed Assurance is available to people between ages 40 and 85. For young, high-risk people in their 40’s, this is the ONLY product that goes as low as 40 and one of the few that cover 45+. Even with other carriers that go as low as 45, Great Western is hands down the best value for anyone in their 40’s.

We think it’s pretty amazing that an entire decade worth of people have the ability to receive insurance coverage when almost every other carrier will automatically decline them.

Similarly, people between the ages of 80 and 85 have found Great Western to be an excellent choice for them. There are a handful of others on the market, but the pool to choose from is small.

Wide Range of Coverage Options

Secondly, Guaranteed Assurance is available in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $40,000. Contrast this to most other carriers who only offer GI products between $5,000 and $25,000, this is a substantial financial difference.

If you and your family determine that your total need for insurance is less than or greater than the typical amounts of $5k-$25k, Great Western should be your first stop. You may have mounting medical bills, a large amount of credit card debt, or high ongoing household expenses. All of these on top of a funeral and ceremony can easily climb beyond $25,000.

Great Western has Competitive Premiums in 40’s

Great Western does not necessarily offer the most affordable rates when compared to some of the other top guaranteed acceptance companies. But they are the best deal for shoppers in their 40’s. 

To give you an idea, we’ve calculated the price of a policy for both males and females ranging in ages and policy amounts. Keep in mind, these prices are subject to fluctuate and do not paint the whole picture. You are always able to take out an amount in between major pricing tiers.

The best way to compare guaranteed acceptance prices for your exact birthday is by using our complimentary instant quote tool.

Easy Application Process

Applying for a policy is simple and happens on the phone with an agent appointed with Great Western. Their questions you will be asked will focus on personal information, beneficiary name, owner info (if different than insured), and banking information. As mentioned, there will be zero health and lifestyle questions asked.

Once you receive your policy, you have a 30-day “free look” period, where you have 30 days to return the policy with absolutely no questions asked.

Riders & Accelerated Death Benefits

A few of the other highlights of this plan include the built-in riders at no additional cost. These include the Spousal Bonus Rider and Dependent Child and Grandchild Rider.

Spousal Bonus Rider

This is commonly known as the “first-to-die” rider. If spouses apply at the same time, Great Western will pay an extra $1,000 when the first spouse dies. In order to qualify for this, both spouses must each apply for at least $10,000 of coverage. The first death must also be after the 24 month graded period. There is no additional cost to this rider and it is already built in.

Dependent Child and Grandchild Rider

With this option, Great Western will pay $2,500 for the first death of a child or grandchild. This coverage will apply to all of the children/grandchildren of the insured, but will only pay when the first one dies. This coverage does not apply to stepchildren unless legally adopted, but does apply to children of whom the insured has legal guardianship. The cost to elect this rider is an affordable $1.00 per month.

Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Rates

Rates for Males


Rates for Females


Cons of Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Of course, we do not recommend Great Western to everyone. Below are a few cases where another life insurance provider may be best.

Pricing Not Competitive Above 50

In our opinion, Great Western is the #1 choice for high-risk candidates in their 40’s and not very many others. From a price standpoint, they are no longer an affordable option after age 50 despite the additional riders. With a rating less than that of other quality companies and higher prices, we strongly advise that that you look at the other best guaranteed acceptance products available for people over 50.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you and Great Western is just one of 15 no questions, high-risk companies to select from that have quality reviews on this site.

Is Great Western Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Right for You?

At Guaranteed Issue Life, we have experienced life insurance agents that are independent and licensed with several dozen of the country’s best life insurance providers. As always, it is our goal to talk to you as a real person to understand your unique circumstance and needs. We will then compare options and find the best price and value for you.

If you believe you are ready to purchase the Great Western guaranteed issue life insurance policy or want to learn more about how it can help your family, contact us. We can compare Great Western it with other carriers like Americo, Kemper, and more to find the best fit for you. We’re available at 949-480-9638. Not ready to talk? No problem! You can also use our self-serve option by filling out the quoter on the side of this article.

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.

This entry was posted in Companies. Bookmark the permalink.


[…] Great Western […]

November 14, 2018 at 7:57 pm

[…] Great Western […]

November 14, 2018 at 8:37 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 12, 2018 at 12:10 am

[…] Gerber, and Great Western are the companies we recommend more than any others for their strong financial ratings, customer […]

April 27, 2019 at 5:05 am

[…] We’ve found that the 3 best guaranteed life insurance companies for most people in their 60’s are AIG, Gerber & Great Western. […]

April 29, 2019 at 9:43 pm

[…] Great Western […]

June 27, 2019 at 9:38 pm

[…] Great Western […]

July 25, 2019 at 8:41 pm

[…] Great Western […]

November 29, 2022 at 6:58 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 2, 2022 at 9:42 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 6, 2022 at 4:29 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 7, 2022 at 11:46 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 8, 2022 at 9:31 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 15, 2022 at 4:17 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 15, 2022 at 9:19 pm

[…] Great Western […]

December 4, 2023 at 9:07 pm

[…] Great Western […]

January 5, 2024 at 9:27 pm

[…] Great Western […]

January 5, 2024 at 9:27 pm

[…] Great Western […]

January 5, 2024 at 9:30 pm

[…] Great Western […]

January 5, 2024 at 9:56 pm
Leave A Reply