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Guaranteed issue life insurance may help you get life insurance if you’re a senior or have pre-existing conditions that prevent you from getting traditional life insurance.

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With no medical exams required, anyone can qualify, but is it worth it?

You should know the limitations of guaranteed issue life insurance before investing in it to make sure it’s right for you.

1. There’s a Waiting Period

Here’s the biggest issue with guaranteed life insurance – there’s a waiting period.

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It’s usually 2 years.

This means you don’t have coverage from the date you buy the policy until 2 years later. If you die within that time, your loved ones don’t get the full death benefit. All they get is the premiums you’ve paid to that point plus a small percentage.

keep waiting hour glass

These ‘graded benefits‘ might not be beneficial if you took the policy out to cover your final expenses or any other immediate needs your loved ones might experience when you die.

2. Coverage Amounts are Low

Most insurance providers won’t offer guaranteed life insurance for more than $25,000. They may even limit you to a policy as small as $10,000. It depends on the life insurance company, but $10,000 – $25,000 is barely enough to cover final expenses, let alone anything else your loved ones must cover when you die.

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It’s certainly not meant as a policy to leave behind a legacy or to help your loved ones financially when you’re gone beyond your final expenses.

3. The Premiums are High

Life insurance companies base their premiums on the risk of paying out. Life insurance companies take a considerable risk when there’s no underwriting or medical exam.

A senior with hands on head

Because they don’t know what they’re insuring – you could have a severe health issue that could cause you to die relatively soon which means the life insurance company would have to payout. As long as you make it past two years, they have to pay the death benefit.

To make up for this, they charge much higher premiums.

4. There’s an Age Restriction

Most insurance companies don’t offer guaranteed life insurance to applicants under 40 or 50 years old. Most companies also max out the age you can secure the policy at 80-years old. This doesn’t leave you many options if you’re looking for a guaranteed issue policy in your senior years.

You must decide early on if it’s something you need for your loved ones so you can secure the policy before you are too old.

5. There’s Rarely a Cash Value

Most permanent life insurance policies have a cash value, but guaranteed life insurance is an exception. Since it’s a policy primarily for seniors, there isn’t much time to build a cash value. Even if you find a policy that has a cash value, by the time it accrues to any amount worth using, you have already passed away or will be too old to care.

Where to Get Guaranteed Life Insurance

If you decide guaranteed life insurance is right for you, here are the top 5 insurance providers offering it.

Gerber Life Insurance

Gerber offers guaranteed life insurance policies for those aged 50 to 80. There is a 2-year waiting period. If you die within the waiting period, they’ll pay back the premiums plus 10%. You can take out a policy for $5,000 – $25,000.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha stretches the age limit, offering guaranteed life insurance policies from age 45 – 85 years old. There is a 2-year waiting period with a 20% premium paid, and you can take out a policy for $2,000 – $25,000.

AAA

AAA is another insurance company offering guaranteed life insurance up to age 85 (starting at age 45). They also have a 2-year waiting period, but they pay a generous 30% premium on top of the premiums paid during the waiting period. You can take out a policy between $5,000 – $25,000.

New York Life

New York Life offers guaranteed life insurance between 50 and 80. They also have a 2-year waiting period and pay a 10% premium. New York Life has one of the lowest caps on guaranteed life insurance policies, offering policies from $2,500 – $15,000.

AIG

AIG offers guaranteed life insurance for ages 50 – 85. The 2-year waiting period is in effect here, and they pay a 10% premium if you die within that time. You can get coverage from $5,000 – $25,000 at AIG.

Final Thoughts

Guaranteed life insurance has its limitations, but it can be a lifeline for many if you need final expense insurance because you don’t have enough money saved. Just make sure you read the fine print, know the waiting period rules and understand the higher cost of the premiums no matter which company you use.