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Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Have you been denied life insurance? Not everyone qualifies for traditional life insurance. Mainstream providers may be reluctant to supply life insurance to clients who have underlying health issues or a lengthy medical history. The good news is that there are other life insurance options available to you. 

Guaranteed Life Insurance is an affordable solution that will provide you with the protection you need, regardless of your health or medical history. As long as you are under the policy’s maximum age, the insurance is guaranteed.

What is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed life insurance is a very simple, yet unique type of life insurance available to purchase in Canada. It is designed to provide a limited amount of insurance coverage for Canadians who cannot get approved for life insurance. This is usually because of past or current health problems which are long lasting.

You can get up to $50,000 of guaranteed life insurance if you are under the age of 60 and $25,000 over the age of 50. For certain Canadians it can make a lot of sense to purchase a guaranteed life insurance policy whereas for others it does not. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons. 

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Benefits of Guaranteed Life Insurance

If you are in a situation where you are finding it difficult (or even impossible) to get approved for a traditional policy, guaranteed life insurance offers many benefits which help you get lifelong life insurance protection in place. Here are some of the main benefits of guaranteed life insurance offered in Canada from numerous life insurance companies.

  • Lifetime Protection. Coverage lasts for your entire life.
  • Easy Application. No medical exams or health questions are required to be approved.
  • Locked-in Premiums. The rates are level for life and do not increase.
  • Tax-Free Benefit. Death benefit is paid out to your beneficiaries as a lump sum, tax free.
  • Living Benefits. Early payout and cash advance options in case of a severe and prolonged illness.
  • Non-Smoker Benefits. Enjoy lower premiums if you are a non smoker in the last 12 months.

Drawbacks of Guaranteed Life Insurance

As mentioned above, guaranteed life insurance is designed for those who have major health problems that prevent them from qualifying for traditional plans. One of the main drawbacks for guaranteed life insurance policies is that the life insurance companies build in a “waiting period” to the policy. The industry standard for this “waiting period” is two years. This means that for the first two years of the policy, if the life insured person passes away the life insurance company will not pay out the life insurance death benefit. Instead, the insurance company will refund the premiums paid plus interest. 

Here’s a quick example… You were just diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition and have no life insurance. You are now worried about your family having to pay for your final expenses out of pocket and would like to buy a life insurance policy. Unfortunately, at this point you can 

Another drawback is the cost of guaranteed life insurance policies. There is a higher risk to the insurance company because they do not require any health / medical questions to be completed to be approved. As a result, they price the premiums accordingly. Please refer the next paragraph for more insight on this.

Cost of Guaranteed Life Insurance

The cost of guaranteed life coverage in Canada is dependent on multiple factors. You must keep in mind that all insurance companies do not like risk. The higher the risk to the insurance company means that they will charge a higher premium for the coverage that they are providing. For example, if you are considered a high risk driver due to past speeding tickets and/or accidents, you can expect the insurance company to charge you an arm and leg for your auto insurance. 

With guaranteed life plans, the insurance company only asks if you are a smoker or not. This means that they are taking on a large amount of risk as they do not know anything about any given applicant’s health. The person applying could have just been diagnosed with a life threatening illness such as cancer or a heart attack and be told that they only have a few years left to live. The life insurance company does not ask any health questions and the applicant is not required to disclose anything other than if they are smoker. As mentioned above, the higher the risk to the insurance company, the higher the premium. 

As a result of the minimal (essentially zero) questions on the application, the cost for guaranteed life insurance is higher than traditional life insurance policies that most Canadians apply for. Guaranteed life insurance should be used primarily by those who have severe and prolonged health conditions and require a basic amount of permanent life insurance.

The premium (the cost) of the policy will be determined by your age, gender, smoking status and the company you are applying with. There are more than a handful of companies in Canada who now offer guaranteed life coverage, each with different costs. 

For guaranteed life insurance Canada Protection Plan is one of the largest and most trusted providers. Here are some cost examples from Canada Protection Plan. These rates are monthly, non smoking and quoted October 2020. Rates are subject to change.

Female Age 40Male Age 40Female Age 60 Male Age 60

We recommend that you discuss with one of our agents to first determine if you should be looking at guaranteed life insurance because it has the highest cost for life insurance in Canada. If it is the right type of product for you, we will work to compare all of the available providers to ensure that the company you are applying with provides a competitive price and product.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Canada

Applying for Guaranteed Life Insurance

It is very easy to apply for a guaranteed life insurance policy. Once you have decided on a coverage amount and company to apply with, you will work with a broker (we can help) to complete the application; choose your beneficiary; set up your banking information; and submit the application to the company.

The life insurance company will quickly review the application and it will be approved shortly after. These policies are put in force almost instantly because there is essentially no underwriting- hence the name of the product guaranteed issue life insurance.

Companies Offering Guaranteed Life Insurance

One of the benefits of Life Insurance is that we are brokers who deal with a large network of different life insurance companies in Canada. This ensures that we are able to put our clients interest first and provide them with all of their available options when they are shopping for not just guaranteed life coverage, but all types of life insurance products available in Canada.

Here are three companies (of many) that we deal with on a regular basis for guaranteed issue life insurance.

Canada Protection Plan
– Guaranteed issue life insurance product is called Guaranteed Acceptance Life
– Typically has the lowest premiums (costs) for guaranteed issue life insurance
– Ages 0 to 60 years old can qualify for up to $50,000 of coverage
– Ages 60 to 75 years old can qualify for up to $25,000 of coverage
– Additional benefits can be added to the policy such as accidental death benefits (optional), terminal illness benefit (included) and transportation benefit (included)

Industrial Alliance
– Guaranteed issue life insurance product is called Guaranteed Access
– Competitive premiums
– Ages 6 months to 17 years old can qualify for up to $10,000 of coverage
– Ages 18 to 50 years old can qualify for up to $50,000 of coverage
– Ages 51 to 80 years old can qualify for up to $25,000 of coverage

BMO Life Insurance
– Guaranteed issue life insurance product is called Guaranteed Life-Plus
– Competitive premiums
– Ages 40 to 75 years old can qualify for up to $50,000 of coverage (maximum coverage depends on age)
– Accidental Death Benefit will pay your beneficiary five times your basic benefit if you die as a result of a covered accident. This coverage ends when you turn 85

Is It Worth Buying Guaranteed Life Insurance?

Yes and no. It really depends on your situation and needs. Have you been denied life insurance recently? Do you require life insurance? Are you able to wait two years for your life insurance to pay out? Do you have severe health issues? 

There are numerous questions that need to be asked before purchasing guaranteed life insurance. If you do not want to complete a medical exam, there are still other options to consider (no medical life insurance) before you settle on a guaranteed policy.

Guaranteed life insurance should be looked at as a last resort. You should discuss with one of our brokers to evaluate your situation, needs and options before applying for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Click here to contact us to discuss further.

Examples of Guaranteed Life Insurance

A man in his mid 60’s was recently had a stroke and has no life insurance. Due to his current medical condition he can no longer qualify to purchase life insurance through traditional methods. He would like to ensure that he has enough life insurance coverage in place to pay for his final expenses and any other unexpected bills at death.

He can get approved for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy even though he recently had a stroke. He will have to wait for two years after the policy has been issued before the death benefit is payable, but he can still get the coverage that he requires. 

A 35 year old female was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and can no longer qualify for life insurance through traditional means. She wants to ensure that she has at least enough life insurance coverage in place to cover her final expenses in the event that she passes away.

She can qualify for up to $50,000 of guaranteed issue life insurance coverage at an affordable cost. There is still a two year waiting period that has to be satisfied before the death benefit becomes payable, but it will still provide her with the permanent life insurance coverage she is looking for.


Guaranteed issue life insurance is a product designed for individuals who cannot purchase life insurance through normal means. This is usually because of past or current medical or health issues which life insurance companies consider as high risk.

Guaranteed issue life insurance provides a limited amount of permanent life insurance protection up to $50,000 depending on your age that will last your entire life. It is a great product to be used by certain individuals who can no longer qualify for life insurance, but still require a basic amount of life insurance to cover permanent needs such as funeral costs, leaving an inheritance/legacy, cover unexpected bills, etc. If you would like more information on Guaranteed life insurance please reach out to us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guaranteed life insurance is a unique product designed for individuals who have had or currently have severe health conditions which are going to last for a long period of time. These individuals typically have been denied in the past and/or are not eligible for a traditional life insurance policy.

Guaranteed life insurance provides Canadians with a basic amount of permanent life insurance maxed out at $25,000 or $50,000 depending on the age at the time of applying. These policies are typically purchased to cover final expenses (funeral costs) or other unexpected bills, taxes, etc. at the time of death.

There are several life insurance companies in Canada who offer guaranteed issue life insurance policies. For the most part they are very similar but there are slight differences between the available products.

We recommend that you speak with one of our agents to determine what is right for you and your family as it is a long term financial commitment.

You are not required to fill out any health questionnaires or undergo a medical exam to apply or to be approved. The life insurance company won’t need to know anything regarding your medical history, prescriptions, etc. to be eligible for guaranteed issue life insurance. Regardless of your current or past medical conditions, you will not be turned down for coverage which makes this type of life insurance very appealing to those who have been turned down insurance in the past or have health concerns.

The amount of guaranteed issue life insurance you are able to purchase depends on your age. You will either qualify for a maximum of $25,000 or $50,000 of coverage. We suggest that you speak with one of our knowledgeable agents to determine the right amount of coverage.

We typically see clients purchase amounts around $25,000 as they are wanting to make sure there is enough money available to cover their funeral expenses while having an affordable premium (cost of the policy).

Many additional member benefits may be included as part of your policy or can be added for an extra premium. These can include terminal illness benefits, transportation benefits, 5X accidental death benefits, plus others offered specifically by the insurance provider.

To ensure you are getting all the additional benefits you need, our team will take the time to carefully access your needs to determine what additional benefits you should consider.

Each insurance provider will have different limitations and exclusions. The most common limitation is when the insurer passes away within two years of becoming insured. The death benefit is only paid in full if death occurs after two years or if it is accidental. If death occurs in the first two years of the policy, typically the life insurance company returns the premiums paid back to the beneficiary of the policy plus simple interest.

Life insurance companies accept payments for life insurance monthly or annually. Most life insurance companies do not accept credit card payments unless you are paying annually. If you are paying annually, there are companies which will accept credit card payments.

Typically the payments are paid by monthly withdrawal from your bank account.

Our insurance agents do not consider themselves as sales agents. They think of themselves as customer representatives, who are here to help you find the best product for your needs. Each one of our agents are specially trained to take the time to gather all the necessary information, answer all of your questions, and show you all the available options that meet your requirements. Unlike the agents that work for a particular insurance company, we work for you. Our business is based on building relationships with all the leading insurance companies across Canada so that we can offer you the best product for your needs.

The Life Insurance Canada team is here to help guide you through the insurance process and then put the control back in your hands so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you.

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