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Guaranteed issue life insurance is excellent when you need only a small amount of coverage and aren’t terminally ill. But there’s a problem.

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It only offers up to $25,000 in coverage in most cases. What if you need more?

Term life insurance expires, so it’s not an option for most people looking to leave money for their loved ones. What if you outlive the policy? If you’re over 80-years old, very few policies are available to you.

So, what should you consider?

Here are your options.

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Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is another ‘easy’ to qualify for a life insurance policy because you don’t need a medical exam.

However, you must answer some important medical questions. They’ll typically ask questions about your history of cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, chronic disabilities, or mental illness. If you have any of the conditions they ask about, you won’t get approved.

But, if you don’t, you can get coverage without a medical exam and for up to $250,000. The coverage lasts for your lifetime, but the policy usually has graded benefits.

If you die within the first two years of securing the policy, your beneficiaries will only receive the premiums you paid thus far plus a premium of 10% – 20%.

Whole Life Insurance

Term, Whole or Burial - Life Insurance Choices

If you’re under age 85, you may qualify for whole life insurance. This permanent life insurance policy lasts for your lifetime (if you pay the premiums) and usually builds a cash value based on a fixed percentage. Depending on the age you buy it, you may have time to accumulate a balance that you can use to supplement your retirement income or cover major medical expenses.

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Whole life insurance requires a medical exam that proves you don’t have any chronic illnesses or factors that could result in a sudden heart attack, kidney failure, or any other terminal issue.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is another form of permanent life insurance that lasts for your lifetime (as long as you make the premiums). Unlike whole life insurance, your cash value grows based on the investments chosen for the account. This means your cash value balance can increase or decrease at any time.

Universal life insurance also requires a medical exam that proves you aren’t at a high risk of dying soon. However, one benefit that differs from whole life is that you can increase or decrease your death benefits as needed (an increase requires another medical exam).

Final Thoughts

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a great option when you need final expense coverage and know you won’t pass a medical exam.

If you’re healthy enough, though, and think you could pass, there are other more affordable options.

Aside from the simplified issue policy, you must pass a medical exam, but you’ll benefit from smaller premiums and no waiting period. Permanent life insurance policies with a medical exam cover you immediately, so your loved ones would get your full death benefit if you were to pass away unexpectedly.


Meet Aaron H., a senior life insurance agent from California with 15+ years of experience. With a major in finance, excellent analytical and communication skills, and a passion for helping clients find personalized solutions, Aaron is a trusted advisor in the industry. He stays up-to-date on the latest trends and developments by attending webinars and workshops, reading industry blogs, and writing informative blog posts on this website. Aaron also has a keen understanding of SEO and online marketing, which he uses to help his clients reach a wider audience and get the coverage they need. He cherishes spending quality time with his wife, two children, and elder parents.