Multiple insurance providers offer these plans, but you must qualify for it.

Learn the eligibility requirements for immediate coverage when a waiting period cannot be avoided. Also, see free quotes from the best life insurance companies offering this type of insurance.

How Does Burial & Life Insurance With No Waiting Period Work?

Any type of life insurance with no waiting period pays out the entire death benefit, even if death occurs during the first two years.

Death can be from natural or accidental causes, and your beneficiaries will still receive the full death benefit.

You don’t need to be in good health to qualify for an immediate coverage plan. Many life insurance companies offer this type of policy to people with medical conditions. Insurance experts agree that working with an independent life insurance agent (compared to buying directly from an insurer) is the best way to qualify for a no waiting period plan.

Despite past health issues, most people can qualify for a “first-day coverage” plan that doesn’t insure them only for accidental death.

It’s usually just a matter of searching until you find a life insurance company(s) that will accept all your health conditions and insure you for immediate coverage.


How To Qualify For No Waiting Period Coverage

To qualify for life or final expense insurance with no waiting period, you must apply with a company where you answer health questions and are subsequently approved.

You don’t have to undergo a medical exam, but you must answer some medical questions.

Remember that no health questions life insurance plans always come with a two-year waiting period (except for accidental death).


What Is A Partial Waiting Period?

Commonly referred to as a “graded plan” by most companies, a partial waiting period means that only a portion of the death benefit will pay out during the first two years.

It’s common for partial plans to have a payout that is 30%-40% during the first 12 months. Then, during months 13-24, the payout is typically 50%-75%.Image of partial waiting period plan explanation

The precise payout amounts vary based on the company. The image to the right shows an example of a partial coverage policy.

Also, partial waiting period life insurance plans come with a higher premium payment. You’re in a higher-risk category, so the company charges you more in addition to the partial waiting period.

Some people may not be eligible for an immediate benefit type of life insurance but could qualify for a partial plan.

And just like a no waiting period burial insurance policy, partial coverage options still require you to answer health questions to qualify (there is never a medical exam).


Burial Insurance Vs. Life Insurance

Burial insurance is a marketing expression that refers to a particular type of whole life insurance policy intended to cover funeral costs.

It’s a special type of permanent life insurance designed for seniors with pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t qualify for traditional life insurance coverage.  Oftentimes, a burial policy is the only way they can secure immediate peace of mind, knowing their burial costs won’t create a financial burden for their family members.

Burial life insurance is also known as “funeral insurance “ and “final expense insurance.”

Burial expense policies for seniors are very different from traditional life insurance products. The primary ways they differ are the underwriting, coverage amounts, and payout time.

First, these policies were created to accept applicants with lots of health issues. Most unhealthy people won’t qualify for term life insurance or universal life.

However, they will qualify for a no exam burial insurance policy. And many high-risk conditions are still eligible for a plan with no waiting period.

Second, you can buy a minimal amount of coverage. Most insurance companies will offer a final expense policy with coverage as low as 1,000 or $5,000 in coverage.

Finally, checks are generally disbursed within 24-48 hours once claims are approved. The money can be paid directly to your loved ones or funeral home to pay for funeral expenses, cremation expenses, medical bills or anything else (the money does not have to be spent only on end-of-life expenses).

FeaturesFinal Expense InsuranceTraditional Life Insurance
Medical exam requiredNoSometimes
Accepting of high-risk medication conditionsYesVirtually never
Typical minimum coverage amounts$1,000-$5,000$50,000-$100,000
Typical maximum coverage amounts$50,000No limit
Payout timeTypically 24-48 hours upon claim approvalCan take months to payout
Builds cash valueYesSometimes
Typical approval time5-15 minutes1-60 days

For even more information about how burial insurance differs from traditional life insurance, read “burial insurance vs. life insurance.”


Health Issues Where You Will 100% Have A Waiting Period

Unfortunately, some medical conditions are such a high risk that no insurer will offer immediate or partial coverage.

If you have any of these conditions in your medical history, you will have a two-year waiting period, no matter what you do.

  • AIDS or HIV
  • Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Recommended to have an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • Cancer within the last 12 months (excluding certain stage 0-1 cancers)
  • Circulatory surgery within the last 12 months
  • Currently in a hospital, nursing home, or skilled nursing facility
  • Dialysis
  • Stroke within the last 12 months (TIA mini-strokes do not count)
  • Heart attack within the last 12 months
  • Heart surgery within the last 12 months
  • Hospice care
  • Insulin shock, diabetes-related amputation, or diabetic coma within the last 24 months
  • Kidney disease from diabetes (nephropathy)
  • Oxygen to assist with breathing (except for sleep apnea)
  • Terminal illness (you’ve been given a life expectancy of 24 months or less)
  • Wheelchair usage due to an illness or disease

There may be other conditions, but this is the majority of them.

As you read that list, you’ll notice that many chronic illnesses are not listed. As stated earlier in this article, most conditions are insurable.

It’s well worth consulting with an experienced licensed agent who can determine if you’re eligible for first-day or partial coverage.


How Do Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Policies Work?

A guaranteed issue life insurance policy does not have an underwriting requirement. The application process does not require you to take an exam or answer questions about health or lifestyle.

Simply put, your acceptance is guaranteed because your health history does not determine your eligibility.

It’s critically important to understand that all guaranteed acceptance policies have a mandatory two-year waiting period. If the policyholder dies within the first two years, the insurer will only refund the premium payments.

The only exception to the waiting period rule is for accidental death. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy will still pay out the full coverage amount in the first two years if you die from an accident.

Generally, guaranteed issue coverage will be a whole life policy. Presently, guaranteed issue term life insurance does not exist. However, there is a company that is slated to release a guaranteed acceptance term policy in 2024. We’ll update this article when that product becomes available.


Is there guaranteed acceptance with no waiting period?

There is no such thing as no health questions and no waiting period. All guaranteed issue policies have a two-year waiting period.

Sadly, some companies will lie and make it seem like you can get a policy with no questions and no waiting period.

Companies that advertise guaranteed acceptance life insurance with no waiting period only do so because they get paid a fee when you click on their website. They don’t care if they have to lie to get you to click. All they care about is collecting their fee.

If there were a policy that was not underwritten and covered you immediately, every hospice patient would buy it.

The insurance company would be out of business within a month.


No Exam Vs. No Health Questions

No exam life insurance policies are not the same as ones with no health questions.

Life insurance ads that only say “no medical exam to qualify” are not guaranteed acceptance.

To set the record straight:

  • No medical exam life insurance: A policy that does not require you to undergo an exam to give a blood and urine sample. You will still have to answer health questions. Your health determines your eligibility. These types of policies typically have no waiting period.
  • No health questions: A guaranteed acceptance policy that does not require you to answer questions about health or take an exam. You cannot be denied these life insurance options. The plans always have a two-three year waiting period.

Given the prevalence of deceptive life insurance marketing (such as the Colonial Penn $9.95 plan), it’s understandable how shoppers get these two terms confused.


Tips For Getting Full First-Day Coverage

You can take some practical steps to give yourself the best chance at finding a life insurance plan that covers you in the first two years.

The goal is to find an insurance company that has underwriting accepting of all your health issues.

The best way to find said insurer(s) is to work with an independent insurance broker. Independent agencies like Choice Mutual partner with multiple insurance companies for the policyholder’s benefit.

That gives them the freedom to compare dozens of policies on your behalf. They will look at the underwriting of each one to determine if any will approve you for immediate coverage.

If you deal with a captive agent (only represents one insurer), they cannot investigate multiple companies on your behalf. If their one company doesn’t approve you, they have no recourse.

The same is true when dealing directly with an insurer such as Colonial Penn, TruStage, or Globe Life.

If they don’t approve you (which all three of those companies rarely do), they certainly will not try to find you another insurer that will.

Working with an independent life insurance agent doesn’t cost you anything. Also, the insurance isn’t more expensive because you used a “middleman.” Brokers get paid by insurance companies, so their services come at no charge to you.

If you’ve had difficulty finding burial life insurance with no waiting period, call us at 1-800-644-2926.

We’ve helped thousands of customers secure first-day coverage when they thought it was impossible otherwise.

You can check out our past customer reviews if you want to learn more about us.


Best No Waiting Period Burial Insurance Companies

Coverage & New
Applicant Age Limits
Policy Type & Sample Application
Mutual of Omaha company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Aetna company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Royal Neighbors of America company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Foresters Financial company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Transamerica company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Prosperity Life Group company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
AIG company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Americo company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
Liberty Bankers Life company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance
American Amicable company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
Whole Life Insurance

Dozens of final expense life insurance companies offer no waiting period life insurance.

One company, in particular, can’t be the best for everyone because they all accept and reject different health ailments.

That said, companies like Mutual of Omaha, Transamerica, AIG, and Aetna (to name a few) have very aggressive underwriting.

They all accept many more health conditions compared to most other carriers and often offer the best burial insurance for most seniors.

Please use our custom insurance quote tool if you want more life insurance quotes other than what’s shown in the table. You’ll see insurance rates from multiple carriers in your state.


Eligibility For Each Medical Condition

The table below lists health issues and whether or not they are eligible for no waiting period life insurance.

Please remember that your age and state may result in a different outcome. That said, this list is pretty accurate for most people in the USA looking for coverage.

New York is the only state where this list will not be remotely accurate. The problem with NY is a severe lack of options. Very few companies offer coverage there.

Health ConditionEligibilityHealth ConditionEligibility
Waiting periodAmputation due
to disease
<2 Yrs: Waiting period
>2 Yrs: Immediate
Angina (chest pains)ImmediateAnxietyImmediate
ArthritisImmediateAssistance with activities
of daily living (ADL’s)
AsthmaImmediateAtrial fibrillation
Bipolar disorderImmediateBlindnessImmediate
Blood clotsImmediateBlood
Bone marrow
Waiting periodCancer
(except basal or squamous)
<2 Yrs: Waiting period
>2 Yrs: Immediate
Circulatory/heart surgery<1 Yrs: Waiting period
>1 Yrs: Immediate
High cholesterolImmediate
Chronic bronchitisImmediateChronic kidney
disease (no dialysis)
CirrhosisImmediateCongestive heart
failure (CHF)
Full waiting period
Crohn’s diseaseImmediateCystic fibrosisImmediate
DefibrillatorInstalled <1 Yr: Waiting period
Installed >1 Yr: Immediate
DementiaWaiting period
DepressionImmediateDiabetes (Type 1)Immediate
Diabetes (Type 2)ImmediateDiabetic coma<2 Yrs: Waiting period
>2 Yrs: Immediate
Diabetic nephropathyWaiting periodDialysisWaiting period
EmphysemaImmediateEnlarged prostateImmediate
Graves diseaseImmediateHeart attack<1 Yr: Waiting period
>1 Yr: Immediate
Hepatitis AImmediateHepatitis BImmediate
Hepatitis CImmediateHigh blood
Home health
ImmediateInsulin shock<2 Yrs: Waiting period
>2 Yrs: Immediate
Insulin usageImmediateLupusImmediate
Mini stroke
ImmediateMultiple sclerosisImmediate
NephropathyWaiting periodNeuropathyImmediate
ObesityImmediateOrgan transplantWaiting period
Oxygen equipment
(except for sleep apnea)
Waiting periodPacemakerInstalled <1 Yr: Waiting period
Installed >1 Yr: Immediate
PancreatitisImmediateParkinson’s diseaseImmediate
RetinopathyImmediateRheumatoid arthritisImmediate
SchizophreniaImmediateSeizure issuesImmediate
Sickle cell anemiaAge 0-49: Waiting Period
Age 50+: Immediate
Sickle traitImmediate
Sleep apneaImmediateStroke (Non TIA)<1 Yr: Waiting period
>1 Yr: Immediate
Systemic lupusImmediateTransient ischemic
attack (TIA)
Tumors (cancerous)<2 Yrs: Waiting period
>2 Yrs: Immediate
Tumors (noncancerous)Immediate
Ulcerative colitisImmediate


How Does The “Contestability Clause” Work?

Life insurance policies that provides full or partial coverage during the first two years will still contain the incontestability clause.

The incontestability clause grants the insurer the right to investigate death claims within the first two years (it’s one year in some states).

Before paying the claim to your loved ones, the insurance company will order all your medical records.

Their goal is simply to determine if the applicant was truthful about their health when they applied.

All insurance companies in the USA include this provision. It’s impossible to avoid this clause in a life insurance contract. Some companies use deceptive marketing to make you think this provision doesn’t exist, but it does. For example, Lincoln Heritage advertisements frequently proclaim, “Approved claims paid in 24 hours.” That little word “approved” is the part most people miss. Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage death claims that occur within the first two years will only be “approved” after they exercise the incontestability clause.

If your medical records showed that you had a declinable condition when you applied, they would not pay your claim. Instead, they will “rescind” the policy and refund your premiums.

They will pay the full death benefit if your medical records confirm that you didn’t have any declinable conditions when you applied.

It’s important to remember that the insurance company will not be concerned about what health issues arose after you applied.

All they are worried about is your health history when you applied. Your health after the policy was issued is irrelevant.

Truthfully, contestable claims are rare, and most result in a total payout.

However, there are some claim denials because the insurance company found that the applicant rightfully didn’t qualify in the first place.

Check out this example contestability clause from an actual policy to see how it reads.

Remember that you can get no waiting period burial insurance, but it will still contain the contestability clause.


Frequently Asked Questions

Most burial insurance policies have no waiting period, but some do. The only ones with no waiting period don’t require a medical exam, but you must answer questions about your health history to determine if you’re eligible for immediate coverage.

If there is a waiting period, it will always be two years or more. No company offers a policy with a waiting period of less than 24 months.

Just like full immediate coverage, you must answer health questions to get partial coverage in the first two years. No exam is required, but you’ll have to complete a health questionnaire and subsequently be approved by the insurance company.

Plans with no health questions must have a waiting period to protect the insurance company. Since they know nothing about the applicant’s health, the waiting period protects them from those on their deathbed buying a policy and collecting thousands of dollars shortly afterward.

You do not have to take a medical exam to qualify for immediate coverage. However, you will have to answer questions about your health.

Absolutely not. If there are no health questions, there will always be a two-year waiting period.