Simplified Whole Life Insurance(How it Works)

A simplified issue whole life insurance policy is used as burial insurance aka final expense, funeral, and cremation insurance. This type of life insurance coverage is designed for a senior that does not have the funds to make sure their family can pay for their funeral when they die.

In this article we will cover how these policies work, provide sample costs, pros & cons, and recommend top life insurance companies to purchase simplified life insurance from.

What is Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance & How Does it Work?

Simplified issue life insurance(whole life) is a permanent life insurance policy that does not require a medical exam to qualify. The only type of underwriting done for a simplified issue policy is a health history & prescription check via the Medical Information Bureau.

All the applicant has to do for simplified issue life insurance policies is answer health questions. The life insurance company will check the medical and prescription history and if their health history lines up with answers to the health questions the applicant will be approved.

If the applicants health or prescriptions do not line up with their answers they will be denied life insurance. Now this type of policy is designed to be final expense insurance for burial expenses. The death benefit of the policy is lower compared to traditional life insurance policies.

The maximum amount of coverage an applicant can typically apply for with simplified issue insurance is $40,000 or $50,000 in coverage amount depending on the company. Now the way simplified issue life insurance works is the premiums will never increase because they are level premiums, the death benefits of the policy never decrease because they are level death benefits.

In addition to this the policy face amount is tax free to the beneficiary and cash value builds in the policy over time as premiums are paid. New applicant ages typically range between 45 all the way up to age 80 or 85 with the highest age limit being age 90 for 1 specific company which is Guarantee Trust Life.

Now this type of life insurance provides coverage for seniors with pre-existing health conditions(more on that later).

Pros & Cons of Simplified Issue Whole Life

Just like any type of life insurance policy there are pros and cons to what they provide.


  • No life insurance Medical Exam
  • Simplified Application Process Only Answer a Few Questions
  • Fast Underwriting Process Can be Approved within 1 – 3 days
  • Can Qualify Even with Moderate Health Conditions such as Diabetes & Heart Conditions


  • Smaller Coverage Amounts Than a Traditional Policy
  • More Expensive Than Traditional Term or Whole

Cost of Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance

Below is going to be a table covering the average cost of simplified issue permanent life insurance for ages 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and 85.

Difference Between Simplified & Universal Whole Life

There are several key differences between these two types of life insurance. Now Universal life would be a traditional insurance that will look at medical history and require you to take a medical exam. Universal life is meant to serve as a funding vehicle for retirement because of the cash value it builds over time.

In addition to this due to the higher face amounts with this coverage provides it can be used as income replacement and mortgage protection. Now final expense insurance which is also called simplified issue life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam but they do ask applicants questions about their health.

In addition to the health-related questions there will be a medical and prescription history check.

Other Differences:

Universal Whole Life

  • Coverage Amounts – $50,000 – $1,000,000
  • Underwriting – Medical Exams, Doctors Records
  • Health Status – Optimal Health to Apply
  • Purpose for Coverage – Family Income, Retirement Savings, Mortgage Protection

Simplified Whole Life

  • Coverage Amounts – $2,000 – $50,000
  • Underwriting – Health Questions & Prescription History Check
  • Health Status – Can Have Certain Medical Conditions & Sub Standard Current Health
  • Purpose for Coverage – Funeral & End of Life Expenses

If you do not need to protect assets and cannot qualify for a traditional life policy. Getting a simplified issue life plan is your only option.

How To Qualify & Get Simplified Issue Whole Life

One of the first things to do in qualifying and getting a policy is work with an insurance agent. The insurance agent you work with needs to be a broker with access to over 15 companies to shop with to get life insurance. Now different companies have different niches in their underwriting.

A good example of this is that Aetna Accendo will accept applicants with COPD where as Mutual of Omaha will not. This is why when you work with a life insurance agent broker like us we know exactly which company will accept you. The best life insurance for you is a company that is accepting of your health conditions.

Life insurance applications to get simplified issue life insurance will have questions about your health within a specific time frame. This time frame is typically between 2 – 3 years depending on the company and condition. That is why this type of life insurance is perfect for seniors or people with certain pre-existing conditions.

Steps to Qualify & Get Coverage

  1. Speak with a Licensed Agent Like us
  2. Answer some Questions About Your Health
  3. Pick The Insurer and Policy Option Recommended from The Agent
  4. Provide Your Electronic Signature When Applying for Simplified Issue Life (E-mail or Voice Signature)

That’s it at that point you will receive either an instant underwriting decision or get a decision within a few days. It all depends on which insurer you applied turn around times differ between companies.

Benefits of Simplified Whole Life for Final Expense

Below is going to be a table describing the benefits of simplified issue coverage. Keep in mind this type of life insurance is used as burial insurance for seniors. The benefits of simplified issue life are very straight forward for this type of coverage to provide funds for your funeral and any other final expenses you leave behind.

Level PremiumsBurial insurance Premiums never increase for the life of the policy
Level Death BenefitBurial Insurance Death benefit never decreases for the life of the policy
Coverage Never ExpiresPolicy never expires as long as premiums are paid
Cash ValuePremiums paid into the policy build an additional savings to the policy’s face amount that can be borrowed against
Tax-Free Death BenefitThe Death Benefit to your beneficiary is 100% tax free
Peace of MindBurial, funeral and cremation expenses are all covered which gives you peace of mind
No Medical ExamsNo medical exams required to qualify. You only answer health questions.
Financial SecurityBurial Insurance provides the money to pay your funeral costs so your family does not have the financial burden placed on them to pay burial expenses.
Easy UnderwritingBurial Insurance is easy to qualify for. Even seniors with moderate health conditions can get a low premium.
Instant DecisionBurial Insurance uses instant decision during the application process. This means when you apply you will receive a decision of approval or denial right after the application is submitted.

Life Insurance companies that Sell Simplified Issue Whole Life

Now below are going to be the best life insurance companies for funeral insurance. We work with all of these companies to provide final expense insurance to our clients. All of these companies have excellent financial strength and have been in business for a very long time.

  1. Mutual of Omaha
  2. American Amicable
  3. Transamerica
  4. Prosperity Life
  5. Aetna Accendo
  6. Royal Neighbors of America
  7. Foresters Financial
  8. Greek Catholic Union
  9. Guarantee Trust Life
  10. Gerber Life Insurance Company
  11. American General AIG
  12. Great Western

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance is Not the Same as Simplified

Now guaranteed issue life insurance is the second type of final expense insurance. This is a last resort if you cannot qualify for a simplified issue policy. This is life insurance with no health questions to determine eligibility at all on the application. This means acceptance is guaranteed for the applicant.

That being said every single guaranteed burial insurance policy will have a 2 – 3 year waiting period before the policy will pay out. This is because if you can only apply for this type of policy you are extremely sick and the company is going to take on more risk by insuring you.

So you will have a waiting period  where if you die within that period your beneficiary will receive the premiums paid into the policy plus 10% interest. Now if you die due to an accident all guaranteed acceptance policies will payout the full death benefit within the waiting period for accidental death.

Below is going to be a table listing the health conditions that will only qualify for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Look closely to see if you have these conditions.

Health ConditionGuaranteed Issue Life Insurance Only
Kidney DialysisYes
Use of Oxygen Tanks (Does not Include Oxygen Concentrator or CPAP)Yes
Organ TransplantYes
Alzheimers & DementiaYes
Current Cancer or Cancer Within 12 MonthsYes
Nursing Home Confinement, Hospital, Mental Health Facility, HospiceYes
Terminal IllnessYes

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance?

The difference between simplified issue and guaranteed issue is that simplified issue has health questions along with a health history and prescription check. Guaranteed issue life insurance has no health questions or health & prescription history checks. Simplified issue policies also do not have a waiting period for the beneficiary to receive benefits. Guaranteed issue life does have a waiting period(2-3 years) before the beneficiary will receive benefits.

Does simplified whole life build cash value?

Yes simplified whole life does build cash value in addition to the policies face amount. An insured can borrow from this cash value to pay for things while they are alive.