Best Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Companies in 2021

Table of Contents

People often think they have two choices when it comes to choosing a life insurance policy. A term life policy that lasts anywhere from 10 to 30 years, or a whole life policy that covers you for your entire life and that can build up cash.

However, those two common types of life insurance do not fit everyone’s coverage needs.

  • What if you need coverage that lasts longer than 30 years?
  • What if the cost of a whole life policy is out of reach?
  • What if you want a policy that will cover you for your entire life but aren’t interested in paying extra for a cash-value account?

Thankfully, a middle ground exists. Guaranteed universal life insurance policies, or GUL for short, can provide you with life insurance coverage that lasts your entire life without having to pay the price tag of a whole life insurance policy.

As long as you pay your premium payments on time, your death benefit will be guaranteed no matter what age you are when you pass.

Guaranteed universal life policies don’t offer the investment returns or interest generation of other permanent life insurance types. They build very little cash value, and because of that, they are a lot less expensive than any other form of permanent life insurance. 

These life insurance plans are designed to be a low-cost option for a permanent policy. You’re paying to have lifelong coverage and not for some of the complex features included with more expensive permanent life insurance options.

They’re also a great option if you’re worried that a term insurance policy won’t quite fit your coverage needs but cannot justify paying the cost of the whole life insurance policy.

Could a guaranteed universal life insurance policy be the best type of life insurance? 

We definitely believe they can be for many people, both young and old.

Read on to learn more about this relatively newer insurance option and how it compares to other types of life insurance. We have also put together our list of the companies that are highly recommended when choosing a guaranteed universal life insurance plan.

Whole Life Vs. Universal Life Vs. Guaranteed Universal Life

When you think of permanent life insurance policies, it’s safe to say that most people’s immediate thoughts are expensive and cash values. That assessment, for the most part, is not completely inaccurate.

Along with a few other features, that is the basic structure of traditional whole life policies, but whole life policies aren’t the only type of permanent life insurance coverage. Another option that has been around for a long time is universal life insurance.

A traditional universal life policy can also cover you for your entire life and has a cash value that grows over time, but it is not the same as a whole life policy.

Add guaranteed universal life insurance to the mix, which is completely different from both whole life insurance and traditional universal life insurance, and it’s easy to see why permanent life insurance can become misunderstood.

There are major key differences between the three permanent life insurance plans, which we are going to breakdown and discuss below:

FeaturesGuaranteed Universal Life InsuranceUniversal Life InsuranceWhole Life Insurance
CoveragePermanentPermanentPermanent
PremiumsFixedFlexibleFixed
Cash GrowthLittle to noneModerateHigh
DividendsNot eligibleNot eligibleEligible
Do rates increase?Rates are locked in for the entire contract durationRates are not guaranteed and may require additional premium as you get olderRates are locked in for the entire contract duration
CostLeast expensiveModerately expensiveMost expensive

Whole Life Insurance

Traditionally, whole life policies are designed to offer a guaranteed death benefit and a guaranteed premium that will require payment up to specific age, often to age 100 or 121.

Many whole life insurance plans can offer an alternate payment structure referred to as a limited pay option or paid-up insurance. Rather than paying premiums until you reach the age of 100, a limited payment option bundles all the premium payments into a shorter timeframe. This allows you to pay your coverage off sooner and build up cash value quicker.

Limited payment plans can consist of 10-pay, 20-pay, or even a single lumpsum payment. You can also find some companies that will offer a payment plan up to a certain age, such as age pay to age 65.

One of the greatest features of whole life insurance, besides being permanent protection, is its ability to accumulate guaranteed cash value growth. However, cash growth is one of the main reasons why owning a whole life insurance plan is so expensive.

The cash value growth on a whole life insurance policy works similarly to a savings account. In fact, it’s often referred to as a “forced savings account.”

When you own a whole life insurance policy, every time you make a premium payment, the insurance company splits it into a predetermined amount. A portion goes towards the overall cost of having the life insurance coverage and another portion into the policy’s cash value account where it will earn grow based on a fixed interest rate.

As you make payments, your cash value will continue to grow. At the very least, by the time the coverage expires, the cash value should be equal to the full death benefit amount of the life insurance policy.

In addition to the guaranteed cash-value account, some whole life insurance plans may be eligible to receive dividends. A dividend is similar to receiving an annual bonus paid from the insurance company to its policyholders.

Although dividends are not guaranteed to be paid each year, they can increase your cash value, raise your death benefit, or reduce your premiums when received.

How can you use the cash value of a whole life insurance policy?

An excellent living benefit feature that whole life insurance offers is immediate access to the cash value if you ever need to use it. If you need to access your cash at any time, you can borrow from the cash value account through policy loans. Policy loans do not have a timeframe for when the money needs to be re-paid, whereas bank loans do, but there will be an annual interest charge on any unpaid loan amount.

A whole life insurance policy can also be a good source of supplemental income to a retirement plan. As you get older and your life insurance needs to decrease, you can request partial surrenders to take tax-free withdraws from the cash value account, which will reduce the overall death benefit and put cash in your pocket.

Let’s look at an example of how this works. Say you purchase a whole life plan at 35. You pay $250 a month for the first 20 years of your policy to secure a $750,000 policy. You pay off your mortgage and help your children through their education.

When you retire, you take $500,000 out of your account to use in your retirement. This leaves with you a death benefit of only $250,000. However, you’re comfortable with this amount since you don’t have a mortgage or dependents anymore.

Whole life insurance plans have been around forever and remain a popular choice for life insurance when the right criteria are met. However, be aware, these plans are very pricey and generally not the greatest option for families with a high need for coverage due to their expensive cost.

Whole Life Insurance - Pros

Whole Life Insurance - Cons

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance, also referred to as “Current Assumption UL (CAUL),” is another popular form of permanent life insurance. These plans have been around for a long time and offer both premium payment flexibility and the ability to build cash value growth.

While there are some similarities that both universal life insurance and whole life insurance share, they are structured to perform very differently.

When we look at the overall cost difference in owning a universal life policy, it is much less than a whole life insurance policy. This is because the cash value growth is not designed to reach the full value of the policy’s death benefit once the contract ends, whereas whole life insurance does. Since it’s not structured this way, it doesn’t require a larger premium payment to go into the cash account.

Instead, universal life insurance builds its cash value growth based on an interest rate. The interest rate can fluctuate but will always have a guaranteed minimum which can vary anywhere from 1-4% depending on the insurance company.

Universal life insurance is the one type of life insurance coverage that offers flexible premium payments. Whereas whole life insurance requires payments to be paid in full and on time, universal life insurance allows policyholders to change their payment amount or even skip payments as needed, just as long as there is enough cash value built up to cover the insurance cost.

As mentioned, your cash value account will earn interest based on a rate that can fluctuate. The higher the interest rates, the more your cash value will grow. If interest rates fall to the minimum, it will take longer for the cash value to grow.

Universal life insurance does come with a risk, a potentially major risk. Your life insurance rates are not guaranteed with this type of life insurance coverage, and there may be a time where you could actually end up having to increase your payment.

With universal life insurance plans, premiums often work with the cash value account to keep the cost at a fixed rate to the policyholder. As you age, the cost of coverage increases. Every year the insurance company will release an annual policy statement. Within the annual statement, you can view details of the coverage’s performance and see what the new cost of coverage will be for the upcoming policy year.

Increases in the annual cost of coverage often tend to be minor, but that’s not always a guarantee. Take, for example, a pending class-action lawsuit on a well-known life insurance company that increased the cost of insurance rates on its policyholder’s already underperforming universal plans. The drastic increase in rates left many, including senior policyholders, no choice but to cancel their coverage due to the high costs.

You must make sure that you keep a close eye on how the insurance coverage performs each year and make adjustments as needed with universal life insurance plans. If you are underpaying and not adjusting the premium to reflect any new changes in the cost of insurance each year, the difference in cost will be taken out of the cash value account. After a time, it could eat away at the overall cash amount, forcing you to adjust your payments or risk losing your coverage.

Another potential risk to universal life insurance is the low-interest rates. These plans were great in the 80s and 90s when interest rates were over 8-10% or even higher and making excellent cash growth.

However, those days at the moment are long gone, and you are lucky to find interest rates higher than 4% on a traditional universal life insurance plan. A low-interest rate may not build enough cash value to keep up with the insurance’s rising costs. If this happens, you will need to re-adjust your payments to cover the increase in coverage.

Also, keep in mind, anytime the premium payment is skipped or not fully paid, the balance of the amount is drafted from the cash account to cover the cost of the insurance, so be careful that you don’t take advantage of the flexibility of not paying premium payments too often as it can result in a serious issue later down the road.

Universal Life Insurance - Pros

Universal Life Insurance - Cons

Guaranteed Universal Life

Guaranteed universal life, also referred to as GUL for short, is a relatively newer type of permanent life insurance introduced in the early 2000s. There’s very minimal risk to this type of policy, and how the coverage works is pretty straightforward.

In fact, due to today’s volatile interest rates, many companies have replaced their traditional universal life insurance plans by offering guaranteed universal life insurance.

These plans offer a guaranteed premium and death benefit designed to last up to age 121. Some plans will even allow you to choose a shorter payment plan if you prefer. Generally, the limited payment options include payment periods up to age 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, or 115.

How is guaranteed universal different than traditional universal life insurance?

Guaranteed universal life policies are nowhere near as unpredictable as traditional universal life insurance plans. They are backed by contracted guarantees such as the premium payment and death benefit that will never change for the life of the contract, provided you make your premium payments when due.

A guaranteed universal life insurance plan will be much more affordable than traditional universal life insurance plans. These plans are not designed to build cash values. Instead, they focus on providing the absolute lowest cost for permanent death benefit protection.

This makes guaranteed universal life insurance a great fit for people who want lifelong coverage of whole life insurance or universal life but aren’t interested in paying extra to build up cash value growth. Your premiums go towards the cost of protection and keeping your policy in force, not into a cash value savings account. 

Unlike traditional universal life, it doesn’t matter if your cash value gets down to zero or insurance costs rise. They are protected with a built-in feature that is referred to as a “no-lapse guarantee.” The only way your policy will lapse is if you stop making payments.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance - Pros

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance - Cons

Guaranteed Universal Life Vs. Term Life Insurance

FeaturesGuaranteed Universal Life InsuranceTerm Life Insurance
CoveragePermanentTemporary
Contract LengthTo age 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115 or 12110, 15, 20, 25 & 30 Year Plans
PremiumsFixedFixed
Cash GrowthLittle to noneNone
Do rates increase?Rates are locked in for the entire contract durationNot unless you choose to keep paying after the term length has expired
CostRoughly double the cost of term life insurance plansMost affordable life insurance coverage

While guaranteed universal life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance, it actually shares many of the same similarities as term life insurance policies. The characteristics they share are so similar that guaranteed universal life insurance is often jokingly referred to as “permanent term insurance.”

If you’re not familiar with term life insurance, it is temporary life insurance coverage based on contract lengths. Contract lengths typically range from 10-year plans and increasing in 5-year increments up to 30 years. More recently, a select few companies can even offer a 35 and 40-year term option.

Both life insurance options offer a fixed premium based on their respected contract lengths. However, guaranteed universal life policies offer coverage for a lot longer than term policies. Instead of lasting until the end of 20 or 30 years, your guaranteed life insurance policy can last until you’re 121.

Neither term insurance nor guaranteed universal life insurance is a good choice if you want your life insurance policy to be a savings or investment account.

Regarding affordability, term life insurance has the upper hand, but guaranteed universal life is not too far out of reach. In most cases, premiums are double the cost of term insurance rates versus whole life insurance, which can be as high as five to fifteen times the cost.

It’s easy to see why guaranteed universal life insurance can be referred to as a permanent term life insurance plan, as the two have a lot in common.

Guaranteed Universal Life Vs. Guaranteed Acceptance Policies

FeaturesGuaranteed Universal Life InsuranceGuaranteed Acceptance
CoveragePermanentPermanent
Contract LengthTo age 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115 or 121To age 100 or 120
PremiumsFixedFixed
Cash GrowthLittle to noneGuaranteed
Do rates increase?Rates are locked in for the entire contract durationRates are locked in for the entire contract duration
Death Benefit PayoutImmediate2-year graded death benefit
CostRoughly double the cost of term life insurance plansExpensive

It’s easy to confuse guaranteed universal life and guaranteed acceptance policies. After all, both are offering a “guaranteed” product. However, the guarantee is very different.

A guaranteed universal life policy guarantees that your policy won’t lapse as long as you make your payments. A guaranteed acceptance policy guarantees that the insurance company will accept you for a policy, regardless of past or current health.

These two life insurance plans share the only similarities that they are both forms of permanent life insurance. Other than that, they are completely different.

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance is really another name for non-participating whole life insurance plans often marketed as burial insurance. These plans are limited to an age group of typically ages 50-80 and have a maximum death benefit amount of $25,000. They are also very expensive because you cannot be turned down, no matter what.

On the other hand, guaranteed universal life insurance is a fully underwritten life insurance plan that requires you to meet underwriting guidelines to qualify for coverage. Plans are available to anyone between the ages of 18-85. There are no restrictions on the amount of coverage you can get, provided you meet financial guidelines for the requested amount of coverage.

Another significant difference between these two life insurance options is how the death benefit is paid at the time of the insured’s passing. Guaranteed acceptance plans have a two-year graded death benefit. This means that if death occurs within the first two policy years, the payable death benefit is only a full return of all premium payments paid plus interest. The actual death benefit is not fully payable until after policy year two.

Guaranteed universal life insurance does not have a waiting period on the death benefit. It is fully payable beginning the first-day coverage is active. All fully underwritten life insurance plans have a two-year contestability period that allows an insurance company to investigate a death claim made within the first two policy years to make sure there were no errors or fraud committed on the application. Still, it is not the same as a graded death benefit.

So, a guaranteed acceptance policy is one you’re guaranteed to get. A guaranteed universal life policy is one you’re guaranteed to keep.

When Guaranteed Universal Life Policies Make Sense

Often, term life policies are the best choice when you’re looking for the most affordable life insurance coverage based on the total amount of coverage you can get. However, there are several reasons a guaranteed universal life policy is a great choice.

Some examples include:

  • You’re a small business owner.
  • You have a dependent with special needs who will need lifelong care.
  • You have debts that won’t be paid by the time your retire.
  • You want to use your life insurance policy to leave an inheritance.
  • Your estate is likely to be highly taxed, and you want a cushion.
  • Your term policy has ended, but you still want coverage.
  • You are worried that you will outlive a term insurance plan and will still require life insurance coverage.

Any situation that would cause a need for a large amount of money well after you retire could be cause for a guaranteed universal life insurance policy.

Keep in mind that term policies will only payout during your term contract, but guaranteed universal life policies will cover you for your entire life. As an example, let’s look at three family situations that would cause someone to apply for life insurance.

Scenario 1 – Term Life Insurance

Marcia is 36 and married. She and her spouse have two kids in elementary school. They bought a house five years ago and have a 30-year mortgage.

She is healthy, makes a good income, and decides to take out a 30 term life policy of one million dollars. Her policy will be in place until her mortgage is paid and her kids are adults who finished school. The death benefit will also last long enough for Marcia to retire, in which her spouse would no longer be dependent on her income.

The 30-year term insurance plan is a safe bet as it ends around retirement age when life insurance needs will have likely lessen and requiring either a smaller policy or no coverage at all.

Scenario 2 – Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Ryan is 34 and married. He and his spouse have three kids. Their youngest son is five and has down syndrome. He’ll need care throughout his life. They have a 20-year mortgage along with the typical financial debts most young families have.

Ryan is healthy and can get great life insurance rates but can’t afford a whole life policy. Ryan is concerned about a term life policy because, in 30 years, his youngest son will still need care.

He decides on a guaranteed universal life policy instead. For Ryan, this makes sense. He knows his guaranteed universal life policy will ensure that his son can be cared for no matter when Ryan passes away, and because he is young, the rates are not much higher than if he were to have purchased a term insurance plan.

Scenario 3 – Term Life Insurance and Guaranteed Universal Life Combo

Jack is 55 and purchased a 20-year term life insurance policy when he was 35. Now that he is 55, his original term insurance plan is getting ready to expire.

Jack realizes that he still requires life insurance coverage as he plans to work well into his late 60s. He also has some time left on his mortgage, and his wife would need his income should he pass.

Knowing that term insurance has an end date, he wants something more permanent. He still requires a high amount of death benefit protection while working and doesn’t care for the cost to have a high death benefit on a permanent life insurance plan.

A perfect solution in this scenario would be a combination of both term insurance with enough death benefit protection lasting during Jacks working years and a guaranteed universal life insurance plan with a smaller death benefit that will last for the rest of Jack’s life to cover smaller expenses such funeral costs.

The combination method of both term life insurance and guaranteed universal life insurance can work in any three scenarios. Be sure to consider this option when planning for coverage. Utilize term insurance to cover higher life insurance needs that are temporary while using guaranteed universal life insurance as a permanent life insurance option for smaller but long-lasting life insurance needs common with final expenses.

Life insurance policies protect your family from heavy financial hardship if you die. For many families, that protection is needed most when kids are young when parents are working or significant bills to pay. This is what term life policies are best for.

Covering your family during those years. However, not everyone will see their expenses decrease as they get older. In this case, a guaranteed universal life policy might be the best fit.

Applying for Guaranteed Universal Life

A guaranteed life insurance policy will be fully underwritten. Fully underwritten policies require a detailed application and often a medical exam. The insurance company will look at a wider range of factors to get a complete picture of you before offering you coverage. They’ll look at:

  • Your age – You’ll pay less for coverage if you’re younger.
  • Your gender – Women generally pay less than men.
  • Your marital status – Married people normally get lower rates.
  • Your driving history – Risky driving, such as a history of speeding tickets, can lead to an increase in your rates.
  • Your insurance score – Your insurance score is a credit score that represents how risky you are to insurance. You’ll pay less if you have a higher score.
  • Your job – Some dangerous jobs, such as mining, will raise your rates.
  • Your hobbies – You’ll pay more if you have high-risk hobbies like deep-sea diving. 
  • Your lifestyle – Alcohol and drug use can raise your rates.
  • Your family health history – You could pay a higher rate with a history of family health conditions.
  • Your personal health history – Any conditions you have now or have had in the past can raise your rates.
  • Whether or not you smoke – Smokers always pay more for life insurance. 
  • Your medical exam results – Your medical exam will give the insurance company information, such as your cholesterol or blood pressure, that can impact your rates.

Life insurance companies get this information from the information you provide, your medical exam, and information they pull from databases. You’ll be assigned to life insurance rate classification based on that information. Your classification will determine your rates. Life insurance rate classifications include:

  • Preferred plus: This rate classification is for people in exceptional health who the insurance company considers very low risk. You’ll pay the lowest rates if you get this classification.
  • Preferred: This rate classification is for people in overall very good health who don’t quite meet the strict standards of preferred plus. You’ll still get great rates if this is your classification.
  • Standard plus: If you’re in good health with a well-controlled health condition, you might get this rate classification. Your rates will still be low in this classification, but they’ll be higher than preferred plus or preferred. 
  • Standard: This classification is for people in average health. You’ll get the insurance company’s base rates if this your classification. 
  • Substandard: People in below-average health will get this rate classification. You’ll pay the highest rates in this classification.

Depending on your health and other factors, you might not meet the company’s underwriting standards for coverage. Your application will be denied if this is the case, and you’ll need to look for coverage from a different company.

Once you get your assigned rate classification and accept your policy, your rates will be set. They won’t go up, even if your health declines later. This is especially noteworthy in a guaranteed universal life insurance policy since they cover you for your entire life.

Can you get coverage without a medical exam?

When applying for life insurance, the option to skip the medical exam has become very popular with term life insurance plans. More than a fair share of companies offer it on their guaranteed universal life insurance plans as well.

If you’re in relatively good health with no significant pre-existing health conditions and are between the ages of 18-65, there is a good chance you will meet those guidelines for a no medical exam guaranteed universal life insurance underwriting process.

Be sure to reference our recommended list of companies that offer guaranteed universal life insurance listed below, as we will be discussing which companies offer a non-medical underwriting option.

Guaranteed Universal Life Riders

A life insurance policy rider is an added benefit to a life insurance policy. Riders allow you to add additional coverage, make changes to your policy down the road, and more. Some riders will only be available with select companies, while others are more general. 

Some of the more common policy riders found with many term life insurance plans are also available for guaranteed universal life policies. These riders generally include:

  • Accelerated death benefit
  • Accidental death benefit
  • Children’s term insurance
  • Living benefits
  • Waiver of premium.

Another rider that used to be very popular with term life insurance but since shifted to many guaranteed universal life insurance plans is the return of premium rider.

A return of premium rider provides the ability to cancel your life insurance coverage for a refund of up to 100% of every premium payment paid towards the coverage returned to you.

There will generally be a set window of time you’re able to use this rider, and some companies will stipulate that only a certain percentage of your premiums can be returned. So, you might be able to get 50% of your premiums back if you cancel your policy in its 15th year, but if you wait to cancel in the 25th or 30th policy year, you might get 100% of all your premium payments returned.

Also, most guaranteed universal life with return of premium option require that the surrendering of the policy takes place within 60 days of the eligible policy anniversary year.

The rules are different from company to company. The terms of how the return of premium rider should be spelled out in your policy. It’s a good idea to make a note of them, especially if you think you might want to cancel your policy down the road.

One other rider worth mentioning and not currently available with term insurance plans but very popular on guaranteed universal life insurance plans is the long-term care rider. If you know anyone or have had a loved one require long-term care assistance, you are well aware of the costs associated with services.

A few life insurance companies offer a long-term care rider that can be added to guaranteed universal life insurance, which will help pay for long-term care services should an illness or injury occur. Adding the policy rider to the coverage provides an income stream taken from the death benefit and paid to the insured.

Guaranteed universal life insurance offers much more than just valuable death benefit protection. Be sure to check out all the available policy rider riders when shopping for a plan.

Comparing the Costs of Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Guaranteed universal life policies can be seen as a middle ground when it comes to overall cost compared to other life insurance options.

You’ll pay more than you would for a term policy because the policy lasts much longer. Conversely, you’ll pay a lot less than you would for whole life or a standard universal life policy because the cash value is so small.

Guaranteed universal life is the least expensive way to get entire life coverage. Your rates will depend on your individual plan and circumstances. Factors that impact your rate include:

  • Your rate classification
  • How much coverage you purchase
  • What age you select as the end date for your policy

So, while your rate will depend on you, guaranteed universal life is generally pretty affordable. Simply put, if you’re interested in a policy that will cover you throughout your life but can’t make a whole life policy work in your budget, a guaranteed universal life policy is your answer.

To provide you with an example of how affordable a guaranteed universal life insurance policy can be, we have put together actual rates for coverage, as shown in the table below. 

The sample rates represent the current monthly cost for male and female applicants utilizing a preferred plus health classification.

Guaranteed Universal Life Sample Rates

Male$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
Age 30$48.00$96.42$171.92$315.05
Age 35$56.00$116.75$212.01$393.62
Age 40$68.00$139.72$270.10$507.69
Age 45$83.00$161.85$317.20$614.32
Age 50$104.39$205.38$400.98$782.42
Age 55$130.10$268.05$521.97$1,022.94
Age 60$167.20$345.99$679.02$1,337.46
Age 65$224.59$467.30$920.80$1,817.44
Age 70$305.50$641.48$1,277.46$2,543.92
Female$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
Age 30$41.00$85.86$148.53$268.46
Age 35$48.00$103.31$185.46$341.06
Age 40$59.00$125.76$237.33$443.23
Age 45$72.00$148.11$279.12$536.90
Age 50$90.00$190.59$362.13$704.80
Age 55$113.00$243.00$469.00$906.00
Age 60$148.00$311.95$603.26$1,190.00
Age 65$191.00$412.39$803.52$1,592.20
Age 70$258.00$570.78$1,130.39$2,248.00

*Monthly rates shown in the above table are based on a male/female considered excellent health with no use of tobacco products. Rates are current as of 03/4/2021, representing the cost of a $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 guaranteed universal life insurance policy.

Top 10 Best Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Companies In 2021

Now that you know how guaranteed universal life insurance works, you will want to know which company can offer you the best plan. To help, we have put together our list of the top 10 best guaranteed universal life insurance companies in 2021.

Each of these companies, in our opinion, offers an excellent coverage option. However, some plans will offer features such as non-medical underwriting, free and optional policy riders that can provide financial protection if you become sick. Others can offer a return of premium option that can return all your premiums if you decide later in life you no longer require life insurance coverage.

The below table is an overview ranking the top 10 gul plans in 2021, followed by a detailed look at each plan and the policy features offered with the coverage.

Top Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Plans In Ranking Order

RankingCompanyAM BestNo Exam OptionChronic Illness RiderCritical Illness RiderLong-Term Care RiderReturn of Premium Option
#1NationwideA+YesYesYesYesYes
#2North AmericanA+YesYesYesNoYes
#3ANICOAYesYesYesNoYes
#4Lincoln FinancialA+YesYesYesYesYes
#5Pacific LifeA+YesNoYesNoYes
#6AIGANoYesNoNoYes
#7ProtectiveA+YesYesNoNoYes
#8Cincinnati LifeA+NoNoNoNoNo
#9Banner LifeA+NoNoNoNoNo
#10Mutual of OmahaA+YesYesNoNoNo

AIG

Company: AIG

AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)

Policy Name: AIG Secure Lifetime GUL 3

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Options: Payments to age 90, 95, 100, 105 or 121

Issue Ages: 18-80

Minimum Amount: $100,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Medical exam will be required

Policy Riders: Accidental Death Benefit, Children’s Insurance Benefit Rider, Enhanced Surrender Value Rider, Accelerated Access Solution, Lifestyle Income Solution, Terminal Illness Rider, Waiver of Monthly Deduction Rider

State Availability: All states

ANICO

Company: ANICO

AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)

Policy Name: ANICO Signature Guaranteed Universal Life

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Options: Payments to age 95, 100, 105 or 121

Issue Ages: 18-80 (non-nicotine) 18-75 (nicotine)

Minimum Amount: $25,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Two non-medical underwriting options are available, simplified and accelerated.

  • SimplifiedAvailable to applicants ages 0-65 for coverage amounts up to $249,999. The best health classification will be at the “standard” rates.
  • AcceleratedAvailable to applicants ages 18-50 for coverage amounts starting from $250,000 up to $1,000,000. Ages 51-60 are eligible for coverage amounts starting from $250,000 up to $500,000. Non-eligible applicants will require an exam.

Policy Riders: Accelerated Benefit Riders for Chronic, Critical and Terminal Illness, Children’s Level Term Rider, Disability Waiver of Stipulated Premium Rider, Guaranteed Cash-Out Rider

State Availability: All states except MT

Banner Life

Company: Banner Life

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Life Step UL

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Options: Payments to age 95, 100, 105, 110 or 121

Issue Ages: 20-85

Minimum Amount: $50,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Medical exam will be required.

Policy Riders: Accelerated Death Benefit (Terminal Illness)

State Availability: All states

Cincinnati Life Logo

Cincinnati Life

Company: Cincinnati Life

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: LifeSetter Flex UL

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Options: Payments to age 95, 100, 105, 110 or 121

Issue Ages: 18-75

Minimum Amount: $50,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Medical exam will be required.

Policy Riders: Accelerated Benefit Rider (Terminal Illness and Nursing Home Confinement), Children’s Term Life Insurance Rider

State Availability: All states except NY

Lincoln Financial Group Logo

Lincoln Financial

Company: Lincoln Financial

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Lincoln Life Guarantee UL

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Options: Payments to age 105 or 121

Issue Ages: 20-80

Minimum Amount: $100,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Accelerated non-medical underwriting option available to qualifying applicants ages 18-60 applying for coverage under $1,000,000. 

Policy Riders: Accelerated Benefits Rider (Terminal Illness, Nursing Home Confinement & Critical Illness), Children’s Term Insurance Rider, Disability Waiver of Monthly Deductions Rider, Lincoln Care Coverage, Lincoln LifeAssure, Lincoln LifeEnchance, Return of Premium Rider, Supplemental Term Insurance Rider (Insured & Spouse Options)

State Availability: All states except NY

Mutual of Omaha

Company: Mutual of Omaha

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: GUL Express

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Options: Payments to age 80 to 121

Issue Ages: 18-70 (non-tobacco) 18-65 (tobacco)

Minimum Amount: $25,000

Maximum Amount: $300,000 (Ages 18-50); $250,000 (Ages 51-60); $150,000 (Ages 61+)

Medical Exam Requirements: All applications will be automatically eligible for no medical exam underwriting.

Policy Riders: Accelerated Death Benefit for Terminal and Chronic Illness Rider, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Association Group Disability Rider, Dependent Children’s Rider, Disability Continuation of Planned Premium Rider, Disability Waiver of Policy Change Rider, Guaranteed Insurability Rider, Waiver of Surrender Charges for Partial Withdraws Rider

State Availability: All states except NY

Nationwide

Company: Nationwide

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Nationwide No-Lapse Guarantee UL II

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Duration: Payments to age 70 up to age 121

Issue Ages: 18-85

Minimum Amount: $100,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Healthy applicants may qualify for an accelerated non-medical underwriting process if they are between the ages of 18-60 and are applying for coverage amounts between $100,000 – $1,000,000. 

Policy Riders: Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Children’s Term Insurance Rider, Living Access Benefits (Chronic, Critical & Terminal), Long-Term Care Rider, Return of Premium Rider, Waiver of Monthly Deductions

State Availability: All states

North American Life

North American

Company: North American

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Custom Guarantee

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Duration: Payments to age 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115  or 121

Issue Ages: 0-85

Minimum Amount: $25,000 (Ages 60-85); $50,000 (Ages 0-59)

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Accelerated non-medical underwriting option available to qualifying applicants ages 18-50 ($100,000 – $2,000,000); ages 51-60 ($100,000 – $500,000). 

Policy Riders: Accelerated Death Benefit Endorsement (Chronic, Critical & Terminal Illness), Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Children’s Term Insurance Rider, Guaranteed Insurability Rider, Return of Premium Endorsement, Waiver of Monthly Deduction Rider

State Availability: All states except NY

Pacific Life

Company: Pacific Life

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Pacific Life Promise GUL

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Duration: Payments to age 90, 95, 100, 105, 110 or 121

Issue Ages: 0-80

Minimum Amount: $25,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Accelerated non-medical underwriting option available to qualifying applicants ages 50-69 applying for $1,000,000 or less. To qualify must have had a comprehensive physical will blood work within the last 18 months.

Policy Riders: Children’s Term Rider, Chronic Illness Care Rider, Disability Benefit Rider (Waiver of Premium), Return of Premium, Terminal Illness Benefit

State Availability: All states except NY

Protective Life

Company: Protective Life

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Protective Advantage Choice UL

Product Type: Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Contract Duration: Payments to age 90, 95, 100, 105, 110 or 121

Issue Ages: 18-85

Minimum Amount: $50,000

Maximum Amount: $1,000,000+

Medical Exam Requirements: Accelerated non-medical underwriting option available to qualifying applicants ages 18-45 applying for $1,000,000 or less. Applicants ages 46-60 can qualify for up to $500,000.

Policy Riders: Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Children’s Term Life Insurance Rider, Disability Benefit Rider, ExtendCare Rider, Income Provider Option, Return of Premium Rider, Terminal Illness Rider, Waiver of Specified Premium Rider

State Availability: All states except NY

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance - Final Thoughts

In many cases, a term policy will provide the exact coverage your family needs. However, everyone’s needs are different and term policy might not be right for you.

If it’s not, a guaranteed universal life insurance is a great way to get permanent life coverage at a low cost. You won’t build cash value as you would with a whole or standard universal life policy, but you’ll have coverage for your entire life and at a rate that is budget-friendly.

If you’re still thinking a term policy might be right for you, we can help you find a great one. We can show you quotes for policies from top companies that you can without taking a medical exam. Fill out our short form to get started today.

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Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance broker with a strong focus on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. Jeffrey is both a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website. Before becoming a licensed life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps. He transitioned from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage since 2009. No Medical Exam Quotes is licensed to offer life insurance coverage in all 50 U.S. States.

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