However, there are significant drawbacks to consider.

Additionally, for most seniors, a guaranteed acceptance policy is not the only way they can get coverage despite prior health issues.

Learn how these plans work, the exclusions you need to be aware of, if you need it, the best companies, and the cost.


What Is Guaranteed Life Insurance & How Does It Work?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that comes with guaranteed approval because there are no health or lifestyle questions.

Because there is no underwriting of any kind, there is a mandatory 2-3 year waiting period.

Any non-accidental death during the waiting period will result in a refund of your premiums plus interest (typically 10%).

In other words, your beneficiaries will not receive the full death benefit amount for death due to natural causes.

No life insurance company in the USA offers guaranteed acceptance life insurance with no waiting period.

Some life insurance companies will refer to the waiting period as a “graded death benefit” or “modified benefit.”

After the waiting period, the total life insurance benefit would pay out at any point.

Nearly all guaranteed life plans are whole life insurance.

A whole life insurance policy is a type of permanent life insurance that builds cash value and has ironclad guarantees.

The monthly premiums will never increase, and the coverage will never decrease or expire.

Since it’s life insurance coverage, the payout will be a tax-free cash payment to your loved ones.

They can use the money for funeral costs, medical bills, credit card debts, or anything else.

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance Policy Features
Policy TypeWhole Life Insurance
Policy DurationLifetime
Fixed PremiumsYes
Typical Coverage OptionsUp to $25,000
Health QuestionsNo
Medical ExamNo
Waiting Period2-3 Years
Typical New Applicant Age Range45-85


Pros And Cons Of Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance

The Good
  • Cannot be denied due to prior medical history
  • Typically whole life with a fixed cost and lifetime coverage
  • Can buy small amounts of coverage to cover final expenses
  • Fast application process
  • No health questions or medical exam
  • Pays out the full amount for accidental death during the waiting period
  • Typically whole life with a fixed cost, lifetime coverage, and builds cash value
  • Available for seniors up to age 85
  • Allows people with “uninsurable” conditions to get new coverage
  • No restrictions on how beneficiaries spend the money
  • Can be purchased online, through the mail, or via an insurance agent
The Bad
  • 2-3 year waiting period before the policy can payout for natural causes of death
  • Higher premiums compared to other life insurance options
  • Low coverage amounts
  • Typically only available to seniors
  • After many years, it’s possible to pay more into the policy than it would pay out
  • No living benefit riders for nursing home confinement or a terminal illness
  • No optional riders you can add on
  • Depending on your preferences, the payout may not be enough to pay for funeral costs


Do You Need A Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy?

All too often, seniors mistakenly assume that guaranteed life insurance is their only option due to pre-existing medical conditions.

For most people, that is not the case.

In fact, most applicants with previous health issues can qualify for a burial insurance policy with medical questions.

Please don’t assume you need a guaranteed issue life insurance plan because of your health history because you probably don’t. At Choice Mutual, over 90% of our policyholders qualified for senior burial plans with health questions, meaning they saved money and were fully covered immediately.

For example, final expense policies have very lenient underwriting.

Most seniors qualify for final expense coverage despite high-risk medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD, or previous heart attacks.


Health issues where guaranteed acceptance is your only option

Some health conditions have such a low life expectancy that guaranteed acceptance coverage is your only option.

You need a guaranteed life policy if you have any of the following medical issues.

  • Dialysis
  • Organ or bone marrow transplants
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Bedridden
  • Wheelchair-bound due to a disease or illness
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Personal oxygen equipment (unless it’s for sleep apnea)
  • Cancer or treatment for cancer within the last 12 months
  • AIDS or HIV
  • Liver failure
  • Currently in a nursing home, hospital or nursing facility
  • Diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage from diabetes)

If you don’t have any of the above conditions, there is a very high chance that you can qualify for coverage with underwriting (lower rates and immediate coverage).


Best Guaranteed Life Insurance Companies

Mutual of Omaha and AAA are the best guaranteed acceptance final expense companies.

However, Physician’s Mutual life insurance is cheaper at certain ages.

Companies like Gerber Life Insurance and AIG are reputable and financially sound, but their rates are much higher than most.

Notable companies such as the AARP life insurance program via New York Life or Colonial Penn aren’t competitive in terms of cost.

For example, check out a Colonial Penn rate chart or how much AARP final expense insurance costs relative to other insurance providers.

Below is a table that outlines all the top guaranteed issue life companies.


CompanyCoverage & New
Applicant Age Limits
Payout During
Waiting Period
Waiting Period Age 65 $10,000
Sample Quotes
Mutual of Omaha company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
AAA company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
130% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
AARP company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
Gerber Life company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
AIG company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
Great Western company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
physicians mutual company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:
trustage company logoCoverage:
Age Range:
110% Of Premiums24 MonthsFemale:


How Much Does Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance For Seniors Cost?

Most guaranteed acceptance policies cost about $50-$300 monthly for $10,000-$20,000 in guaranteed coverage.

All final expense life insurance quotes are based on your exact age, gender, and the amount of coverage you buy.

Ordinarily, life insurance rates would also be determined by your health. But since guaranteed life insurance plans don’t ask about health history, prior medical conditions will not affect the price.

The table below has some sample monthly prices.


Guaranteed Issue
Guaranteed Issue
Guaranteed Issue
Guaranteed Issue


Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance With No Waiting Period Real?

No life insurance products (from any company) have no health questions and no waiting period.

A no-health questionnaire plan always has a waiting period in the first 2-3 years of the policy.


No Exam Vs. No Health Questions

It’s essential to understand the difference between the terms “no medical exam life insurance” and “no health questions life insurance.”

They do not mean the same thing.

  • No health questions life insurance: A guaranteed issue whole life policy with no health or lifestyle questions.
  • No medical exam life insurance: Any life insurance that has health questions but does not require a medical exam.

So if you see a life insurance for seniors advertisement that only says “no medical exam,” that means it still has health questions.


How To Get Life Insurance With No Waiting Period

To qualify for life insurance products that immediately cover you for natural causes, you must apply for a policy with underwriting.

In other words, you don’t have to take a medical exam, but you will have to answer health questions.

At the very least, most applicants can qualify for a senior burial life insurance policy with first-day full coverage.


Medical conditions eligibility

The table below has various health issues and whether they are eligible for a no-waiting period policy.

Please remember that your age, resident state, and the totality of all your health issues may result in a different outcome.


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


Frequently Asked Questions

Guaranteed issue whole life insurance is only worth buying if you have high-risk medical conditions that render you uninsurable via any other policy. You should only opt for a guaranteed issue plan after you’ve exhausted all other options that do have underwriting.

All guaranteed issue plans have a minimum of a two-year waiting period. No company offers a 6, 12, or 18-month waiting period.

Most guaranteed issue life insurance companies offer a maximum of $25,000 in coverage. Keep in mind that you can always buy multiple policies from different companies.

The biggest downside with guaranteed issue life coverage is the waiting period and the higher premiums. All policies with no health questions have a 2-3 year waiting period. Additionally, they are typically more expensive since the insurance companies take on substantial risk not knowing about the applicant’s health.

No company offers guaranteed issue term life insurance. Lifeshield National Insurance Company used to but discontinued the product in July 2023. At present, whole life insurance is the only option if you’re looking for guaranteed acceptance coverage.

Guaranteed universal life is not the same as guaranteed issue life insurance. A “GUL” policy is a type of permanent life insurance with a fixed rate and death benefit. All guaranteed universal life plans have underwriting, so you must medically qualify. No company offers a guaranteed acceptance universal life product.