Category: Simplified issue whole life

Whole Life


MassMutual    Recommended: strong dividend history; top tier financial strength ratings

Company Form: Mutual

Products:  Participating  (Par)

Whole Life Legacy 100
Whole Life Legacy High Early Cash Value
Whole Life Legacy 65
Whole Life Legacy 10 Pay   (note: works well for ages 40 to 60)
Whole Life Legacy 20 Pay

Comments: Plan options include premiums paid up 10 years, a 10 pay; paid-up 20 years, a 20 pay; paid up age 65; paid up age 100.  Ages 0 – 90;  Minimum Face Amount $25,000


The Guardian Life Insurance Company       Recommended

Company Form: Mutual

Products:  Participating  (Par)

Life Paid-Up at 95 (L95),
Life Paid-UP at 99 (L99),
Life Paid-Up at 121 (L121),
Ten Pay Whole Life (10 Pay WL),
20 Pay Whole Life (L20),
Life Paid-Up at 65 (L65)
EstateGuard Whole Life (EsG WL).


Non Par Whole Life:   (primarily designed for over age 55)

Simplified Issue, no blood test:  United of Omaha  Recommended
coverage amounts: $2,000  –  $40,000
United of Omaha, a Mutual of Omaha company

Final Expense Whole Life, over age 55 or having a major health condition



The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

“Guaranteed Choice (SM)  Whole Life”
The policy payment period can be from 5 years up to age 100.
note: tried a few quotes: 5 – 8 pay were MEC; 9 pay and above non MEC)


Other Whole Life Carriers, participating  (partial list)

MetLife Investors USA Life Insurance Company
Minnesota Life
Pacific Life Insurance Company
The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company


Participating Whole Life: research or ask an agent about current dividends, dividend interest rate, dividend history, financial size and strength.

For quotes insist the agent provide a full illustration, usually 10 to 15 pages at length, .pdf format, emailed for your review.  Do not accept a summary.  Do not accept the excuse you need to come meet with the agent to discuss.  All agents should and can produce full illustrations in .pdf format.  Compare apples-to-apples, rate classification and face amount illustration tables, non guaranteed values at time frames of 20, 30, and 40 years.  Also request direct premium comparisons.   Illustrations assume current dividends, non guaranteed projections, that are useful to a certain extent to judge comparative merits.

Whole Life, Participating    (Par Whole Life)

Pays dividends  (non guaranteed)
Guaranteed Cash Value Accumulation
Builds additional cash Value with Dividends
Increasing face amount
Builds guaranteed cash value
Flexible premiums in policy years after dividends build up
Paid Up Insurance
Cash value protects policy if payments are missed
Lifetime Coverage guaranteed

Pros: flexible to changing circumstances, strong guarantees
Cons: much more expensive than No lapse Guaranteed Universal Life for lifetime guarantees, premium inflexibility in the early policy years.


Whole Life, Non-Participating  (Non-Par Whole Life)

Covers person for life, as long as premiums are paid
The premiums remain the same for the life of the insured
The death benefit is fixed for life, i.e. a level face amount that will not go up or down
Builds guaranteed cash value

Pros:  full and immediate benefit; good option for ages 55 – 80, especially for coverage amounts $3,000 to $10,000; affordable premiums; less underwriting requirements no blood test; much less expensive than par whole life
Cons:  if considering over $10,000 in coverage, generally one’s better off with a $25,000 Guaranteed Universal Life since the Guaranteed UL will cost less for more coverage while still offering a lifetime guarantee;  level face amount does not keep pace with inflation as would a par whole life;

Please contact me for a free and confidential quote.  Many more options available.

sean's profile picLicensed Agent:  Sean Drummey
phone:  (910) 328-0447


last revised:   3/3/2015

AARP life insurance simply much more expensive


I first posted about AARP’s high priced life insurance program two years ago. Has there been any reform to that profit mill taking advantage of seniors?  No.  AARP member options are only among the most expensive.

AARP now promotes “The AARP Life Insurance From New York Life” on a separate website.  It’s “exclusively for AARP members.” Their mission statement: “To help make it simpler for AARP members to apply for affordable life insurance protection, AARP selected New York Life to provide a life insurance program just for its members.”  (italics mine)

simple = more expensive

The AARP New York Life insurance web page has three choices, all of them no physical exam, i.e. paramed exam.  Simple.  Higher priced simplicity.

Are you in good, average or even slightly below average health?  Focus on fully underwritten life insurance requiring a paramed exam. It’s free, at home or wherever you choose at your convenience, takes about 20 minutes and saves you a considerable amount of money.

Best value in rapidly descending order:

  1. full underwriting:      paramed exam
  2. simplified issue:      no paramed exam
  3. guaranteed issue:   no health questions

Unsure if qualified for fully underwritten coverage?  Find out. You’d be surprised. Type 2 diabetics with good control can get standard rates. Always check first before applying. Even if a simplified issue product is advisable, shop around for the lowest prices. There are much better deals than those offered through AARP.

Doubly more expensive permanent

For example, $25,000 permanent coverage female 66 years old, monthly premiums

$70.00     Transamerica at preferred non-tobacco, GUL*, age 121
$74.00     Transamerica at standard non-tobacco, GUL*, age 121
$127.52    AARP Life Insurance program from New York Life, age 121

Why would an organization, supposedly acting in its members best interest, not promote fully underwritten life insurance options?  How about: ease of issue, faster turn around, lower labor costs, higher premiums, higher profits.

Term:  At your age?

Term is to replace lost income or to cover a debt like a mortgage. If there is a shorter duration need, term life insurance might be suitable, but generally retirees should get permanent life insurance for estate planning and final expenses, not term.  Outlive the term period, and there’s zero benefit.  If for some reason term is needed, get fully underwritten coverage. No physical exam term is much more expensive. The AARP program term rates are five-year age bands: e.g., 65-69, 70-74.  Tiered rate term insurance is an inferior product and much more expensive. Level premium term is the best. The rate is the same for the entire term period.

Double to triple more expensive term

For example, $50,000 term, female age 67, monthly premiums

$36.52  at preferred non-tobacco, 10 year level premium term, Genworth
$57.27  at standard non-tobacco, 10 year level premium term, Genworth

$120.88 ages 65-69 tier
$183.13 ages 70-74 tier AARP Life Insurance program from New York Life


Please contact me for a free and confidential quote.  Many more options available.

sean's profile picLicensed Agent:  Sean Drummey
phone: (910) 328-0447


* Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL), also called no-lapse Guaranteed Universal Life, look for lifetime no-lapse guarantee level premium to age 120 or age 121; three major life carriers have GUL products starting at $25,000.

Product and carrier details:
Transamerica Life Insurance Company: “TransACE”
Genworth Life Insurance Company: “Colony Term”

quotes 6/14/2013, rates subject to change

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

call me: (910) 328-0447


No Health Questions - No exam – Acceptance Guaranteed

graded death benefit whole life insurance, premiums never increase, builds cash value, cannot be cancelled.

Note: benefit limited 2 or 3 years to return of premium plus interest; full benefit after this graded or modified period; full benefit for accidental death from issue date; only consider guaranteed acceptance if in extremely poor health (see list below), always check first into plans offer with limited health questions.  Benefit structure varies by carrier.

Note: Definitions vary. Many carriers call their return of premium plans modified whole life and their graded death benefit are plans where the death benefit is limited in the first few years, for example: 30% death benefit in the first year, 70% in the second year, full benefit thereafter.  Plans that provide a percentage of a death benefit immediately from policy issue generally have health questions.  Guaranteed acceptance plans with no health questions are those with return of premiums in years 1 and 2, sometimes year 3.



Lowest premiums:


policy amounts: $5000, $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000
Issue Ages: 50 – 80

Policy amounts: $5,000 – $25,000
Issue ages 50 – 80

Royal Neighbors:
policy amounts: $3,000 – 10,000
Issue ages: 50 – 85; non-tobacco rates


Oldest issue age:

Royal Neighbors
Issue ages: 50 – 85
policy amounts: $3,000 – 10,000
non-nobacco rates

Youngest issue age

Philadelphia American Life
Issue ages 0 -80

Reserve National Ins. Co.
Issue ages 40 – 80
policy amounts $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, $25,000

Issue ages 18 – 80

Highest policy amounts:

CSI Life
Policy amounts: $2,000 – $25,000
Issue ages 25 – 80; non-tobacco rates

Columbian Mutual
Policy amounts $2,000 – $25,000
Issue ages: 50 – 80; age nearest birthday


Please contact me for a free confidential quote.

sean's profile picLicensed Agent:  Sean Drummey 
phone:  (910) 328-0447



For best rates and benefits look for:

  • non tobacco rates   (tobacco users look for combined rates)
  • 2 year waiting period for full benefit
  • highest return of premium interest rate during modified period
  • age last birthday rates


Use Guaranteed Issue for:

Alzheimer’s, senile dementia, dementia, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), tested positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), terminal illness or end stage disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Huntington’s Disease, uncontrolled diabetes, diabetic coma, insulin shock, diabetic neuropathy or amputation, bedridden, resident of a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, home health care or long-term care, requiring assistance for activities of daily living, such as taking medications, eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, getting out of a chair or bed, confined to a hospital, hospice, hepatitis C, muscular dystrophy, advised to use or use oxygen equipment to assist in breathing (except using for sleep apnea), cystic fibrosis, organ transplant, congestive heart failure, mental incapacity, advised, waiting or received organ or bone marrow transplant, liver failure, kidney failure, require a wheelchair due to chronic illness or disease, paralyzed, metastatic cancer or recurrent cancer of the same type, severe COPD, very servere COPD, also called end stage COPD


Not guaranteed issue: check first simplified issue whole life

Over 2 years ago:  heart attack, internal  cancer

guaranteed issue: check first fully underwritten or simplified issue whole life

Mild to moderate COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Hepatitus A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Lymphoma, Leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, Angina, Atrial Fibrillation, Bladder cancer, Lupus, Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Malignant melanoma, Ovarian cancer, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Carriers :
Vantis Life Insurance Company
Royal Neighbors of America
Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company
Reserve National Insurance Company

Basic Types of Policies: NY Dept. of Financial Services

last revised: 8/22/2014   product subject to change; product features, availability and premiums may vary by state

Mail offers from United of Omaha for whole life insurance: why you should not return


Like everyone else I get mail pitching life insurance.  United of Omaha last week mailed me an offer for “Easy Way” whole life insurance.   Coverage is up to $10,000.  No health exams.  Guaranteed acceptance.   It took me a few minutes to find the key term tucked into the brochure as the last of 10 benefits.  That’s the place where they got around to mentioning it was a graded death benefit.

During the first two policy years, if you die from natural causes (and cause other then accidental), your beneficiaries will received all premiums paid, plus 10%.  After two years, the full benefit is paid for death due to all causes.

There is no life insurance benefit for 2 years, just money back plus interest, unless it’s an accidental death.

Easy is not always the best and with life insurance.  It’s the most expensive.   Find your best option:

1st choice:  Life insurance that requires a blood test.   Saves lots of money.  Called fully underwritten life insurance

2nd choice:  Full and immediate benefit life insurance called simplified issue whole life

3rd and last choice:  graded benefit life insurance, guaranteed issue

Guaranteed issue is only suitable when in extremely poor health, terminally ill or uninsurable for a condition like AIDS.

Check first to see if you qualify for better coverage. Even if guaranteed issue is the only option, shop for the best premium.  There are many companies that offer graded benefit coverage besides United of Omaha.


Please contact me for a free and confidential quote.

sean's profile picLicensed Agent:  Sean Drummey
phone:  (910) 328-0447


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Life insurance after a major health problem: Modified Whole Life


Final Expense Options
Individuals, mostly seniors, looking for final expense coverage have four choices.  Their desirability is in descending order:

  1. fully underwritten Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL)
  2. simplified issue whole life
  3. modified benefit whole life
  4. guaranteed issue whole life,  also called graded death benefit whole life

Regrettably, profit and volume driven marketers, including AARP, not acting in their client’s best interest, skip over option #1 to concentrate on the easier to write and faster to place options #2, #3 and #4.

Look for
Option # 1, Guaranteed Universal Life with North American or Genworth starting at $25,000 in coverage is very cost effective coverage.  Full and immediate benefit. Fully underwritten, it requires a blood tests and carriers usually review 5 years of medical records.   Applications take on average 6 weeks and require from the agent and brokerage good old fashioned time and expense, and have a lower placement ratio.  That’s why certain marketing organizations, including direct mail, phone and mail solicitations, don’t want to get bogged down doing them, even though it’s in the client’s best interest.

Plan B
Option #2, Simplified Issue Whole Life, is full and immediate benefit, comes into play for affordability, smaller policies $3,000 to $8,000.  Also the underwriting is less strict, no blood test or medical records, and helps with coverage if a serious condition occurred two or more years ago.   Remember a $25,000 Guaranteed Universal Life cost about as much as a $10,000 whole life, so make sure to consider option # 1 before settling on option # 2.

Option #3   Suitable for those who have had a major health problem but having occured  over two years ago.

Option # 4    No health questions.  Basically, all one needs is be cognitively and physically able to sign the application.

Modified Benefit Whole Life
The beneficiary receives a percentage of the death benefit in the first few coverage years.  The percentage rises and generally by the 4th year there is a full benefit.

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life
  also called  Graded Benefit Whole Life
No health questions.  Coverage is characterized by a waiting period for the full life insurance benefit.   The waiting period is typically 2 or 3 years.  If the insured dies during this waiting period, the beneficiary receives a return of premium plus interest, typically 5% or 10%.  After the waiting period, it’s the full death benefit.   The application question are limited, and coverage is not available only if the individual has a terminal condition or bedridden.

This doesn’t sounds bad, if you’ve had recently something like cancer or a heart attack and really need coverage. What’s the catch?  Well, Modified Whole Life is relatively expensive.  One of the best ways to judge this coverage is to divide premiums into the death benefit to see at what point cumulative premiums exceeds death benefit.  For example with Liberty Bankers Life a 71 year old female.

$99.88 monthly for $10,000  Face Amount  – Modified Whole Life

Years 1 – 3  benefit equals return of premium plus 10%
Year 4  death benefit 100%
Year 5  death benefit 105%
Year 6  and thereafter 110% benefit

In this example, Year 6 and thereafter a 110% of face amount is an $11,000 death benefit.    Annual premium is $1,198.56   ($99.88 x 12)

$11,000 / $1,198.55 =  9.2 years.     Thus, cumulative premiums exceed the death benefit after a little over 9 years.

Whether or not this is a good value depends on the individual’s health condition and life expectancy.  In the example above: will this 71 year old live into her 80’s?  If she does, the owner ends up paying more in premiums than receiving in benefit.


Please contact me for a free and confidential quote.

Licensed agent: Sean Drummey
phone: (910) 328-0447


Basic Types of Policies: NY Dept. of Financial Services

Revised: 8/22/14




Mail offers for child life insurance are second class

I got a offer for child life insurance in the mail today.  Whole Life. Low rates. Cash Value. Coverage for $5,000 to $25,000.  No medical exam.  My advice is to throw these offers away.

Why?  Because they are level benefit whole life coverage.  The death benefit always remains the same.  A $25,000 policy will always be a flat $25,000: 10 years, 20, 30, 70 years from now.  You want whole life coverage with an increasing face amount as a hedge against inflation.  This is called “par” or participating whole life.  It pays dividends. You get to share in the profits of the life insurance company, so it builds more cash value than “non par”, non participating, whole life that are offered by direct mail.

Par whole life is also inexpensive. MassMutual have the best plans.  For example a $25,000  policy for a 1 year old boy is $14.09 a month, for a 10 year old girl it’s $15.09 a month.  Applications are a bit longer to fill out than mail offers, but it’s worth it.  There are no medical exams.


Image:  Wikimedia Commons

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance: your last choice

Don’t fall for mail order offers for guaranteed issue life insurance or guaranteed issue life insurance. Better options are out there. You can potentially save thousands on premium or get twice as much coverage with another carrier.

I received the other day a mail solicitation from United of Omaha Life Insurance Company for guaranteed acceptance life insurance.  This is also called guaranteed issue life insurance or graded benefit life insurance.  They say “You Cannot Be Turned Down.”  They offered coverage choices from $10,000 to $3,000.

Wait. This is last resort life insurance.  Don’t even consider this until you’re sure you can’t get something better. Just to give you an idea, a 65 year old woman, preferred non smoker rate, can get $25,000 of guaranteed universal life, fixed rate to age 110, with Genworth for less than $10,000 whole life with a 2 year waiting period with United of Omaha for graded benefit whole life insurance.

Take these steps when shopping for a small final expense life insurance policy.

#1 Choice     For excellent, good, average, or even poor health

Fully underwritten life insurance.   Full and immediate benefit.  Applications require a blood test and short paramedical exam.   Carriers generally request your medical records, all at no charge to you.  This way life underwriters can gage your risk classification and make you an offer for coverage.   This will save you lots money over a no physical exam policy.  Genworth and North American offer lifetime guaranteed permanent coverage, called no lapse universal life, starting at a $25,000 benefit, and multiple carriers, including Lincoln National and Aviva, offer coverage of $100,000 and more for seniors.   Unless you’re in really, really poor health, try this first.  There is no cost to you to apply, and the worst they can do is offer you a higher rate or turn you down.

Plan B:     2 years after any major health problem, or with multiple serious health problems

If your health is marginal, or you want a smaller less expensive policy than $25,000 with Genworth or North American, the next step is simplified issue whole life.   It has a full and immediate benefit.  There is no physical exam.  There are many, many carriers that want your business. Comparison quote with an independent broker.   AARP offers this type of product but ask yourself, since both AARP and New York Life draw a profit from the policy, won’t going to directly to one carrier be less expensive?   Here are some final expense simplified issue whole life carriers:

  • Liberty Bankers Life
  • Settlers Life
  • Transamerica
  • Foresters
  • Royal Neighbors
  • Columbian Life
  • Philadelphia American
  • American Continental

Plan C:    Major health problems but not terminal

Graded Benefit Life Insurance If your health is very poor, coverage is offered with a 2 or 3 year waiting period for full benefit.  More expensive


Plan D:     Terminal health, or nearly terminal health

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance No medical questions.   Guaranteed approval.   2 or 3 year waiting period.  Most Expensive.


Please contact me for a free and confidential quote.

sean's profile picLicensed Agent:  Sean Drummey
phone:  (910) 328-0447


AARP life insurance poor choices

AARP life insurance choices are flawed and will tend to be more expensive.  When you go to AARP’s website for life insurance, all the options say “No Physical Exam”. That’s more expensive coverage. Actually you want to take a “physical”, called a paramedical exam, even if you’re in your 70’s or 80’s.  It’s free, they come to your door, takes about 20 minutes and can save you lots of money.   Here’s the proper order of choices for life insurance as a senior.

#1 option

Fully underwritten life insurance.   Applications require a blood test and short paramedical exam.   Carriers generally request your medical records, all at no charge to you.  This way life underwriters can gage your risk classification and make you an offer for coverage.   This will save you lots money over a no physical exam policy.  Genworth and North American offer lifetime guaranteed permanent coverage, called no lapse universal life, starting at a $25,000 benefit, Penn Mutual starts at $50,000, and multiple carriers, including Lincoln National and Aviva, offer coverage of $100,000 and more for seniors.   Unless you’re in really, really poor health, try this first.  There is no cost to you to apply, and the worst they can do is offer you a higher rate or turn you down.

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In Your 50’s

 call me: (910) 328-0447
contact me


Income replacement; pay off mortgage, pay off debt; pay for college: 10, 15 or 20 year term life insurance

Cash value accumulation: Universal Life (UL), Indexed Universal Life (IUL), or Whole Life

Lowest rate permanent life insurance: Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) or Survivor Guaranteed Universal Life (SGUL) for couples. 

Chronic Illness, long term care protection with a rider on a life insurance product. Several companies offer these riders at no additional up front charge.


Recommendations:  Carriers and Products

Term:  American National  “ANICO Signature Term”  best for chronic illness and critical illness accelerated benefit, no up front cost rider

30 year term: Protective “Custom Choice UL” competitive rates, after level period ends features decreasing death benefit at a fixed rate.

Indexed Universal Life (IUL): North American Penn Mutual or Lincoln  

Universal Life (UL):  North American

age 90, 95 or 100 Guarantee Universal Life:  Protective  “Custom Choice UL”,
very competitive rates

age 120+ Guarantee Universal Life (GUL):  lifetime no-lapse guaranteed refer to your specific age: 51 years old, 52 years old, 53 years old, 54 years old, 55 years old, 56 years old, 57 years old, 58 years old, 59 years old

Whole Life:  MassMutual

Survivorship Universal Life: (second-to-die) Prudential  (carrier recommendation for lowest premium varies by age and health)


Whole Life:  Simplified issue, no blood test, inexpensive, limited health questions

$2,000  – $40,000  United of Omaha

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life
:   No health questions

Vantis Life Insurance Company

Tobacco Users

Universal Life:  John Hancock 

Whole Life:  MassMutual

Chewing tobacco, cigars, electronic cigarettes:  Prudential


Contact me for a free and confidential quote

Sean Drummey
Phone: (910) 328-0447


Carriers Recommended:

American National Insurance Company
John Hancock Life Insurance Company
Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company
MassMutual Life Insurance Company
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
Protective Life Insurance Company
Prudential Life Insurance Company and Pruco Life Insurance Company
United of Omaha Life Insurance Company a Mutual of Omaha Company


last revised:  2/25/2017

In Your 70’s


  1. Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL): fixed premium, coverage to age 120+
  2. Whole Life:  simplified issue, full and immediate benefit


Guaranteed Universal Life

$25,000+  North American     (contact me for details)

$50,000+  lowest premiums, see specific age: age 70, age 71, age 72, age 73, age 74,


Whole Life:  Simplified issue, no exam, short health questionnaire, inexpensive

$3,000 –  $40,000  Mutual of Omaha


Guaranteed Issue  Graded Benefit Whole Life: acceptance guaranteed, no health questions

$5,000 – $20,000  Vantis Life Insurance Company


Survivorship Life Insurance (second-to-die insurance)

$250,000+      Prudential    “Prudential PruLife SUL Protector”