Choice Mutual Rating

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

Ethos final expense insurance offers the convenience of guaranteed approval, but there are major disadvantages to weigh.

For example, every applicant has a two-year waiting period for natural causes of death.

Learn how their policy works, the drawbacks, some big red flags about their website, and how to find the best burial insurance plan.

How Does Ethos Final Expense Insurance Work?

Ethos partnered with AAA Life Insurance Company, the insurer that actually underwrites the policy.

It’s a guaranteed life insurance plan that requires no medical exam or health questions.

Your approval is guaranteed regardless of your previous health issues.

Ethos is essentially just selling AAA’s burial insurance. The product, including the cost, is identical in every way.

If you die during the first 24 months, AAA will refund 130% of your premiums.

An Ethos burial insurance policy will only pay the full death benefit if you:

  • Die after two years
  • Die of accidental death (even if the first two years)

You can apply for their final expense coverage online or by calling them.


Ethos Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Product Details
Policy TypeWhole Life Insurance
Policy DurationForever
PremiumsRemain the same
Builds Cash ValueYes
Medical ExamNo
Health QuestionsNo
Guaranteed AcceptanceYes
2-Year Waiting PeriodYes
States AvailableAll Except New York
New Applicant Age Range65-85
Coverage Options$10K, $15K, $20K, or $25K


A Big Red Flag

We analyzed the following pages from the Ethos website:


There are many apparent discrepancies.

The image below is a screenshot taken from their website highlighting their whole life insurance.

screenshot from ethos life insurance website

Please note the section circled in red where it says, “Coverage starts the moment you make your first payment.”

As noted on multiple pages of their website, Ethos funeral insurance is a guaranteed acceptance whole life plan.

The fine print at the bottom of their website says very clearly:

This Guaranteed Issue Whole Life policy is referred to as graded benefit whole life insurance. If you suffer a non-accidental death within the first two years of coverage, your beneficiaries will get 100% of the level monthly premiums you paid, plus 30%.

So they own up to the fact that there is a 24-month waiting period for natural deaths.

But here’s the big problem.

They are marketing guaranteed issue whole life insurance.

On that type of page, when you print the words “Instant Coverage,” every consumer will assume they are insured immediately and not subjected to a two-year waiting period.

It’s unbelievably deceiving.

All guaranteed issue life insurance plans (from every company) have a minimum of a two-year waiting period for non-accidental death. There are no exceptions to that rule.

Ethos likely chose those words on purpose.

They probably rationalized their misleading statements by claiming that “the accidental death coverage in the first two years is still coverage, and thus coverage beings when you make your first payment.”

But when you know how consumers will interpret something, you should act with honor and change your messaging to avoid confusing them.

They chose the dishonorable route, and shame on them.


How Much Does Ethos Burial Insurance Cost?

They make it harder to get a final expense insurance quote than most companies.

The Ethos quoting tool gives you an odd range of prices.

It’s strange because guaranteed acceptance life insurance prices are based only on your age, gender and how much coverage you want.

So if you are a 65-year-old male who wants $10,000 in coverage, there is only one price it could be. So why do they show a range of prices?

It makes no sense.

That said, the prices of Ethos final expense insurance are identical to that of AAA’s guaranteed issue coverage.

The table below outlines some sample monthly prices.


Age BracketFemale $10,000Male $10,000Female $20,000Male $20,000


Pros & Cons Of Ethos Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance

The Bad
  • Guaranteed approval regardless of health
  • Often the cheapest guaranteed issue coverage
  • Applicants as old as 85 can apply
  • Available nationwide except for New York
  • AAA Life (the insurer that underwrites the policy) has strong financials, including an A (Excellent) rating with A.M. Best
  • 200% death benefit payout for accidental death
  • Refunds 130% of premiums in the first two years, which is more interest than any other guaranteed acceptance plan
The Good
  • Everyone has a two-year waiting period, even if you’re in good health
  • Natural causes of death in the first two years are not covered
  • Most seniors can get cheaper coverage with no waiting period, which Ethos does not offer
  • Unless you have very dire health conditions, you can get cheaper rates elsewhere
  • Coverage options are limited to $5,000 blocks
  • Someone else cannot be the policy owner, which can be a big issue for seniors on Medicaid
  • AAA has a high number of complaints on BBB


Better Options To Consider

First, most people don’t need a guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan.

Most applicants can qualify for a senior final expense policy that asks questions about health.

That will lead to a plan that has no waiting period. In addition, the cost will likely be lower compared to a guaranteed issue policy.

Don’t give your money to Ethos if you want or need a guaranteed acceptance policy. Ethos doesn’t deserve it due to their dishonesty.

Call AAA directly at (888) 523-1863.

But if you want to get an immediate benefit policy, call Choice Mutual.

Our independent agency represents over 15 highly-rated final expense insurance companies, such as Mutual of Omaha, Aetna, and many more.

We’ll compare all the top insurance companies in your state to find which one (if any) will approve you for a no waiting period policy at the lowest price.

We aren’t like Trustage life insurance or Colonial Penn, where we only have one option to offer you.

We have dozens of plans to choose from, like other agencies such as Opencare and Life Insurance Savings Group.

Check out what other happy customers have said about working with us.

You can reach us at 1-800-644-2926.


Ethos Company Background

Ethos is an insurance technology startup founded on the promise to make buying life insurance online faster and easier.

They claim to leverage data to issue coverage, so consumers don’t have to take a medical exam.

Ethos is not an insurer. They are an agency that sells insurance for various insurance companies.

A complete list of their carrier partners can be found on their website.

Below is their contact information:

  • Corporate headquarters: 75 Hawthorne St, Suite 2000 San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Customer service phone number: (415) 322-2037
  • Website:


The Bottom Line

2.0/5 rating
Ethos earned 2 stars out of 5 for overall performance. Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and financial strength ratings.

Learn about our rating methodology.

Policy rates relative to other carriers
Financial Strength
Credit ratings from A.M. Best
Customer Reviews
Consumer feedback from third-party websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Trustpilot
NAIC Complaint Ratio
Up-to-date complaint score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Advertising Practices
Accuracy and trustworthiness of marketing
Available Products
Number of policy types, including no-exam options