Guaranteed life insurance

Peace of mind for end-of-life costs, without the hassle

Colin Lalley 1600

Colin Lalley

Published August 1, 2019

What is guaranteed life insurance?

Guaranteed life insurance, also called burial insurance, is a kind of whole life insurance for seniors or those who can’t qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. Unlike traditional life insurance, guaranteed life insurance involves no health questions. If you want the security of knowing you can pay for end-of-life expenses such as funeral costs, as well as covering any outstanding debts so they don’t get passed on to your family, guaranteed life insurance is worth considering.

Guaranteed life insurance belongs to a category of policies called final expense life insurance. The other main type of final expense insurance is simplified whole life insurance.

What’s the difference?

Simplified whole life insurance:

  • For seniors or people who can’t qualify for a more traditional life insurance policy, but who are only at moderate health risk. Detailed medical questionnaire is required.

Guaranteed life insurance:

  • For seniors or people who can’t qualify for simplified whole life. No medical questions are asked and almost no one is turned down.

How it works

  • A basic application is required—no medical exam or health questions.
  • Guaranteed life insurance is the most accommodating form of life insurance. All applicants will be approved.
  • The coverage amount payable to your beneficiary at the end of your life, called your death benefit, usually has a maximum limit of around $25,000.
  • You’ll pay monthly or annual premiums to keep the policy in force, and it will stay active until the end of your life as long as you keep paying the premiums.
  • Some guaranteed life insurance requires you to hold the policy for at least two years before it will pay the death benefit. If you should pass away before then, your beneficiaries simply get refunded the amount you’ve paid into the policy so far.
  • If you wish, you may designate a funeral home as a beneficiary to be paid directly for your funeral costs. Some facilities will accept assignment of the policy as prepayment for burial costs.

Unlike a traditional whole life insurance policy, guaranteed life insurance doesn’t have a “cash value,” or savings component. You simply make monthly payments in exchange for a fixed amount to be paid out upon your passing.


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Average cost

Since guaranteed life insurance is highly accommodating and covers high-risk people, it’s more expensive than other forms of final expense life insurance including simplified whole life. If you can qualify for a simplified whole life policy, you’re likely to get a higher benefit amount at a lower monthly premium than you will with guaranteed life insurance.

Other types of permanent life insurance

Simplified whole life insurance

Whole life insurance

Variable life insurance

Universal life insurance

Consider term life insurance

Term life insurance

Term life insurance s a type of life insurance meant for younger, healthy adults, usually with dependents. Term life offers coverage for a set period of time and then expires, and pays a death benefit to beneficiaries if the policyholder dies while the policy is in effect. Because the risk of insuring these individuals is lower, term life offers a much higher death benefit payment at a much more affordable monthly premium.

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