Reviewed: Great Western Insurance Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Great Western Insurance offers only final expense style insurance policies. Some of these are guaranteed issue life insurance policies with no medical questions or exams. One policy only asks a handful of medical questions. 

Great Western also offers pre-need insurance plans. We will touch on the difference between what that is and more traditional life insurance. 

Let’s get to it. 

Quick Summary

Great Western Insurance Company specializes in final expense, preneed insurance, and guaranteed issue life insurance. These plans focus on covering any end-of-life expenses, such as funeral costs and medical expenses. The right one for you will depend on your health, age, and personal preferences. 

The non-med policy offers one of the lowest issue ages for guaranteed issue life insurance contracts. You can also get up to $40,000 in benefits if you answer no on a few medical questions. Plus, you can still skip the exam. 

It’s also one of the fastest life insurance policies you can get.

Use the instant quotes tool on this page to compare guaranteed issue life insurance policies and get the best rates.

Great Western Insurance Company

Great Western Insurance Company (sometimes abbreviated GWIC) offers three types of life insurance: Great Assurance Plan, Graded Benefit Plan, and Guaranteed Assurance Plan. These are all whole life plans that focus on covering funeral services or other final arrangements.

We’re going to focus on Guaranteed Assurance since that application doesn’t ask any health questions or require a medical exam. We will also touch on the Great Assurance plan since that only asks a handful of qualifying medical questions and the name of your primary care physician. 

In early 2022, AM Best upgraded Great Western’s financial strength rating to A. Previously, the company held an A- rating. 

Guaranteed Assurance

Guaranteed Assurance does not have a health screening. It doesn’t ask medical questions. 

Anyone between the ages of 40 and 80 can apply. That makes it one of the youngest ages that someone can get a guaranteed issue policy. Most companies start their guaranteed issue policies at age 50. 

Benefits range from $5,000 to $25,000. 

Because Guaranteed Assurance doesn’t require someone to be in good health for a policy, they have a waiting period on benefits. If the insured person passes within the first two years, Great Western Life Insurance will pay the beneficiary 110% of the premiums paid. They have an exception for accidental death, which always qualifies for full benefits.

The policy accumulates cash value. You can take out a loan against the cash value using your policy benefit as collateral if you don’t repay. 

If you decide you don’t want the policy, you have a few options once you build up some of that cash value. They are: 

  • Continue as Extended Term Insurance (default if you stop paying premiums)
  • Surrender for cash
  • Continue as paid-up insurance

Great Western will automatically switch your policy to extended term insurance if you have built up enough cash value and stop paying premiums. A table in your contract will show how long that term will be and what your benefits will be. It depends on how long you’ve had the contract. 

Surrendering for cash means Great Western will send you the cash value of your contract when you notify them in writing that you want this option. 

If you decide that you want to keep the policy in force but don’t want to pay premiums, you can choose to continue as paid-up insurance. This reduces your benefits and ends your premium payments. It can vary, so look at the value tables in the contract.

Other Great Western Guaranteed Life Insurance Options

The Assurance Plus plan offers slightly lower rates but asks a few simple health questions. It also does away with the graded benefits. 

Here are the questions:

  1. In the last two years, have you been a patient in hospice, a hospital, or nursing home for five or more consecutive days?
  2. Are you unable to perform routine activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, or transferring?
  3. In the last two years, have you been diagnosed with, been prescribed medication for, or treated by a healthcare provider for any of the following diseases:
    1. Cancer
    2. Tumor
    3. Insulin-dependent diabetes
    4. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
    5. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
    6. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome-Related Complex (ARC)
    7. Any disorder of the: blood, kidney, lung, brain, heart, circulatory system, or liver

(You can mark “no” on Question 3 if you have been taking the same maintenance medication at the same or decreased dosage for over two years.)

In fact, benefits will be 125% of the face amount from Day 1 of owning the policy. You can choose between $1,000 and $40,000 in benefits. 

By comparison, most guaranteed issue and final expense policies stop between $25,000 and $35,000 in benefits.  

It comes with a free Accelerated Death Benefits (ADB) Rider, except in California. 

The ADB rider allows you to receive the present value of your benefit less the present value of expected future premiums for qualifying events. To qualify, you either must be diagnosed with a terminal illness resulting in less than 12 months of life expectancy or be unable to perform two of the activities of daily living. 

GWIC only counts five activities of daily living: eating, dressing, toileting, transferring, and bathing. 

After taking the advance, the policy terminates. 

Assurance Plus also has a child and grandchild rider you can add. It offers a $2,500 benefit covering a child or grandchild for the additional cost of $1 a month. 

GWIC Pre-Need Insurance

Pre-need insurance is one way to pay for your final rites. It also allows you to make all of the arrangements ahead of time with the funeral home of your choice. 

Instead of leaving the decisions to your heirs or listing your wishes in a will or other document, you make those decisions for yourself and set them up. 

Make sure you discuss your plants for pre-need insurance with the funeral home before signing anything. Not all funeral homes will work with pre-need insurance.

Great Western Insurance Guaranteed Life Insurance Rates

The rates in the table below show what you might pay each month for the Guaranteed Assurance policy. Smoking doesn’t matter. 

Age 45$30$82$135
Age 55$34$96$158
Age 65$48$137$226
Age 75$81$237$393
Age 45$25$68$112
Age 55$30$83$137
Age 65$42$120$197
Age 75$71$207$343


How long has Great Western been in business? 

Great Western Insurance Company was formed in 1983 by the owner of a family-run funeral home and mortuary service, John E. Lindquist. American Enterprise Group acquired it in 2018. 

What is a preneed insurance policy? 

Pre-need insurance is an arrangement between you and a specific funeral home to pay for final rites. The insurance component funds whatever services you agree to with the mortuary service. It’s similar to prepaying for a funeral and burial, except it’s paid through an insurance company rather than directly prepaying. 

Pre-need differs from a life insurance policy. You can use life insurance to pay for everything from final expenses to unrelated financial obligations. You can even donate the benefits to charity if you want. Preneed funeral insurance solely funds the funeral plans that you agree to with the funeral home.

What are some insurance policy options for the use of pre-need?

Insurance policy options for pre-need burial insurance let you choose the structure of paying for the policy. Most pre-need policies allow a lump sum, 3-year, 5-year, 7-year, and 10-year payment options. You will work with the funeral home to select the services you want before choosing the insurance to ensure that you both have adequate insurance and that the funeral home works with that particular insurance policy. 


Great Western offers flexible options in their guaranteed issue policies letting you customize a policy more than most. With no medical questions, you can get up to $25,000 in benefits or up to $40,000 if you answer a handful of questions. 

It’s one of the best customizable options with competitive rates. Use the instant quotes tool on this page to compare rates between guaranteed issue policies. You can also adjust the benefit amount to find a premium that fits your budget. 

Compare this policy with our two other top-ranking guaranteed issue policies to see options for what best may suit your family.

Click here for our review of Gerber Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance.

Click here for our review of AIG Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance.

How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help

At Abrams Insurance Solutions, we specialize in helping families find the best insurance to cover their needs for the lowest possible price. We take pride in being a family business of independent insurance agents helping others find peace of mind in taking care of their family members. 

If you have any questions about which guaranteed issue policy is right for you, call us at (858) 703-6178. In many cases, we can even find more affordable final expense plans – even if you’ve been declined for insurance before.