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Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance (Top Graded Benefit Policies)

Licensed Life Insurance Agent/Marketing Manager
April 08, 2020

There are many people out there inquiring about getting a life insurance policy without having to take a medical exam or answer any medical questions. If this is you, you may be looking for a final expense life insurance policy.

These folks are looking for what is called a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy.

We wanted to take a few moments to examine what guaranteed life insurance policies are and describe some of the pros and cons that you’ll find with them.  As well as provide a few examples where these types of policies may be a great option for some.

What is a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy?

A guaranteed life insurance policy can probably be best defined as a life insurance policy that is generally only going to have two requirements.

  • First, you need to meet the age requirements to purchase such a policy (typically between 40-85)
  • Second, you need to be a U.S. citizen

And that’s it.

Guaranteed life insurance policies basically say that if you meet the age requirement, and you’re a US citizen (and can meet the required payment methods outlined by the individual insurance company) you’ll be approved!

Guaranteed life insurance policies aren’t going to:

  • Require you to take a medical exam
  • Ask you any health-related questions
  • Consider if you use tobacco 
  • Or wonder about any previous or current health conditions 

Pros and cons of a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy

After learning a little more about what this policy is, it isn't difficult to see some clear benefits of this type of life insurance policy. However, there are some drawbacks too. We are going to examine both. 

Pro HeadingPros
  • Pro BulletEasy to qualify for coverage
  • Pro BulletNo medical exam
  • Pro BulletNo health questions
  • Pro BulletCan complete application in minutes
  • Pro BulletFast to get coverage
Con Heading Cons
  • Con BulletGraded death benefit
  • Con BulletLow policy limits
  • Con BulletHigher cost compared to other policies

Pros of guaranteed acceptance life insurance

One of the biggest benefits of this policy is not having to take a medical exam or answer any health questions. This makes it easier to qualify for life insurance coverage. 

Basically all you need to qualify for this policy is to be within the approved age range and be a U.S. citizen. Since less information is needed you can typically complete the application in minutes.

Your policy will generally go in force immediately upon receipt of payment.

While this policy is full of some pretty solid benefits, there are also some pretty glaring negatives. 

Cons of guaranteed acceptance life insurance

This policy will come with lower coverage amounts than a typical life insurance policy. The reason is since they aren't getting a ton of information about you, they can't properly assess the risk. So to mitigate their own risk they offer this policy at lower values than a traditional policy that would include a medical exam.

For the same reason, this type of policy is also generally more expensive than a traditional life insurance policy when comparing coverage amounts. For example, if you are a 50-year old male who is looking at a traditional term policy versus a guaranteed acceptance policy, you will likely pay approximately $16/month for a 5-year guaranteed policy compared to a 20-year traditional term policy for $30K in coverage.

Term policy for a 50-year old male for $30K

20-year traditional term
5-year guaranteed acceptance

*Sample monthly rates provided by Clearlink partner. All rates as of 4/8/2020.

When it comes to understanding what some of the disadvantages of purchasing a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy are, you should also know that this policy comes with a graded death benefit.

What is a graded death benefit?

A graded death benefit is a stipulation on a guaranteed policy that states that your policy will need to be in-force (active with premiums being paid) for a certain period of time (typically 2-3 years) prior to it covering death due to natural causes. 

That means that if you were to die of natural causes in the first 2 years (sometimes 3 years depending on the policy), your guaranteed policy would not pay a death benefit amount to your loved ones. 

The life insurance companies put this stipulation in place to protect themselves. Since they don't know anything about your health this protects them in the event you have a pre-existing condition. 

The situation is a little different if you were to pass away in the first 2-3 years from an accidental cause, such as a car accident. In this scenario, the guaranteed policy would pay out the death benefit to your loved ones.

It is also worth noting that if you were to pass away in the first 2-3 years of the policy, while your loved ones wouldn't receive the death benefit, with most policies they would still receive some if not all of the payments made towards the policy.

In the worst-case scenario, even if someone dies during the graded death benefit period, your loved ones would still likely receive everything you put into the policy.

Word of Caution

All life insurance policies vary, so be sure you fully understand how the graded death benefit clause is structured for the policy you are considering.

Who should get a guaranteed acceptance policy?

As you have seen there are some pros and cons to this type of policy. So who should consider a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy? 

  • Those wanting to purchase a small policy quickly
  • Those who use tobacco
  • Those who have already been denied traditional coverage
  • Those looking to get life insurance on someone else

Those who want to get a policy quickly

Sometimes folks are just looking to purchase a small whole life insurance policy that they can simply purchase quickly, without having to jump through a ton of hoops.

In cases like these, guaranteed life insurance policies are perfect, particularly if client has a pre-existing medical condition which could create a problem qualifying for a more traditional type of life insurance coverage.

Tobacco users

Another advantage that can often get overlooked when looking at many guaranteed issue life insurance policies is that because these types of graded death benefit policies aren’t going to ask about tobacco use, if one does use tobacco, a guaranteed life insurance policy may be a less expensive alternative to an insurance policy that would penalize them for their tobacco use.

Already been denied traditional coverage

If you’ve already applied for traditional coverage but have been denied due to either, some type of medical condition, or social lifestyle risk (dangerous hobbies, travel history, driving record, etc…) having the ability to reapply for guaranteed life insurance and being able to secure some coverage for your family can be a great benefit!

Life Insurance on someone else

Many times people by this type of policy because a loved one is willing to help pay for the policy or simply because they know they will be stuck with the final expenses and burial costs when you die.  Although you cannot buy life insurance on someone else without their knowledge, you can buy the policy and be the owner and payor if the insured consents in writing.


Now you know about guaranteed acceptance policies you can evaluate if they are the right option for you. If you want to see some of the top companies for these types of policies, check out our best final expense burial insurance companies.

If you aren't sure the next steps to take, give us a call and a life insurance agent can help guide you towards the right life insurance policy.

Written by
Chelsie Ball
Chelsie is fixated on developing innovative ways to present complex ideas and maneuvering people to the information they need. She has worked in digital marketing for the past eight years and has been a licensed life insurance agent since 2010. When she isn’t looking out for the user, you can find her watching Netflix or desperately trying to find a real hobby.