Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Right for You?
Do you suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure? Are you employed as a police officer, roofer, or farmer?
Do you enjoy skydiving, mountain climbing, or motocross?
Any number of reasons such as these can make it difficult for an individual to obtain a traditional life insurance policy.
This is because pre-existing conditions, risky employment, or daring pastimes put you in even greater jeopardy of passing away sooner than your peers. However, you should not let these circumstances discourage you from shopping for life insurance coverage.
Working with a knowledgeable independent agent to find the right guaranteed issue life insurance coverage for high-risk individuals will give you the best chance of finding the right policy that fits your needs.
Many independent insurance agents specialize in helping all types of high-risk (aka “impaired risk”) individuals.
Some health conditions that could put you in the high-risk category include:
The same is true for those who work in certain occupations, such as:
Being a smoker or playing certain types of recreational sports also put individuals into the high-risk category. By purchasing guaranteed life insurance for high-risk individuals, however, you won’t have to worry about these conditions or lifestyle choices standing between you and the coverage you require.
Of all the people in need of buying a life insurance policy, those considered high-risk individuals need a policy the most. Remember, life insurance is not really for you, but rather a gift you buy for those closest to you.
Defining Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for High-Risk Individuals
Guaranteed issue life insurance isn’t really any different than other life policies. It can be purchased as either a term or a permanent life plan. The main difference is that guaranteed issue life insurance does not involve customary underwriting practices and, as a result, the coverage amounts are usually lower than a standard life plan.
If you select a term plan, you can expect the coverage to last a specified amount of time. Term plans usually last 10, 15, 20, or 30 years but no more. Once a term life insurance policy expires, you’ll need to buy a new plan in order to remain insured.
To do so, you will need to work with your agent on re-applying for a new insurance plan at your then-current age. This means the premium on a new guaranteed issue term life policy will likely cost more than the original plan.
If the guaranteed issue life insurance coverage you select is a permanent policy, you will be gaining additional financial protection in the form of cash value.
Over time this tax deferred, cash value can then be accessed by withdrawing or borrowing funds. Some insureds borrow money from their whole life policy to pay medical bills or educational expenses. Any cash balances that you do not pay back into the policy will be deducted from the overall death benefit.
Applying for Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance As A High-Risk Individual
The first step toward purchasing guaranteed life insurance is to work with an experienced independent agent who will do their research into the best company for your personal situation. There are over sixty different life insurers offering guaranteed issue life insurance for high-risk individuals. You should have no problem finding a suitable option.
Your insurance agent will explain that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy for high-risk individuals is a special type of insurance that is issued without completing a medical exam, answering medical questions, or providing medical information.
There is no underwriting and a short application with only basic facts is required. You will need to include on your guaranteed life insurance application details such as age, gender, height, social security number, and tobacco usage.
A few life insurers may include a short list of “knock-out” questions on the application. Depending on how you answer these “knock-out” questions, you may eliminate yourself from the application process immediately.
For example, some guaranteed issue life insurance companies include “knock-out” questions such as:
Of course, your insurance agent will most likely know the companies that include these questions. If these are questions you wish to avoid, the insurance agent will know that too. He/she will then steer you towards a guaranteed life insurance policy for high-risk individuals that better suits your situation.
Since the standard underwriting process is eliminated, guaranteed issue life insurance for high-risk individuals can be issued very quickly. In fact, most insurance carriers issue policies within 48 hours but no later than 30 days from the time of submission. Typical life insurance takes six to eight weeks for approval.
A final note about all life insurance applications is to never include misleading or incorrect information. Many insureds find it tempting to deny being a smoker or down-playing their amount of tobacco usage.
This is a terrible idea! You may save on guaranteed life insurance premium by saying you are a non-smoker but you are putting your policy at risk. How will the insurance company ever know anyway? Well, if you end-up passing away from a tobacco-related illness then your death benefits may be withheld. It is best to be forthcoming with your insurance agent. Tell your agent whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigs, or chew tobacco.
Coverage Amounts for Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for High-Risk Individuals
The face amount of your guaranteed issue life insurance policy for high-risk individuals will most likely be lower than more traditional plans. Coverage amounts between $5,000 and $25,000 are what insurance companies typically offer.
It will be a challenge to find a guaranteed issue for high-risk life insurance plan that provides a higher coverage amount. This is because the insurance company knows very little about your health or lifestyle. It leads them to believe they will probably pay out on your policy earlier than normal which increases their financial risk.
Life insurance with low face amounts are considered “burial” or “final expense” plans as they usually are just enough money to cover funeral costs.
Your insurance agent will also tell you that a guaranteed issue life policy normally has a two year waiting period. This clause is common. It will provide a graded death benefit which means only a portion of the death benefit is paid during the first two years.
Or it will state the death benefit shall not be paid if you die prior to the policy being in force for two years. Instead the insurance company will refund to your beneficiary the total amount of paid premium. However, for most guaranteed issue life policies, deaths caused by an accident unrelated to your lifestyle will guarantee payment of the full death benefit.
If you are a high-risk individual then it’s most important to secure a policy as soon as possible. The two year waiting period clause should not deter you from applying.
Cost for Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for High-Risk Individuals
Premiums for guaranteed issue life insurance policies are higher than more traditional life policies of equal coverage. This is because of the limited information the life insurer receives at the time of application. Therefore, the insurance carrier is taking on a higher risk by insuring individuals that may work or live in precarious situations.
Rather than simply denying you, the insurance company is willing to provide the coverage but at a higher cost. Your insurance agent knows this so he/she will certainly shop around to several carriers looking for the most competitive premium.
Your insurance agent will also know the steps you should take in order to increase your chances of finding affordable coverage. Keep in mind there are few factors that go into determining guaranteed issue insurance premiums.
So your agent will mainly focus on shopping around to different companies. Also, your insurance agent will probably tell you that being tobacco free for one year will help lower your guaranteed life insurance premium by fifty percent.
Be sure to confirm with your insurance agent if the policy premium could increase at any time in the future. Each policy is unique and it’s best to review every aspect of the contract’s fine print. You want to be sure the life policy you have is the right fit.