Simplified Issue Life Insurance: What Is It? How Does It Work?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

What is Simplified Issue Life Insurance?

Simplified life insurance is a way to buy permanent life insurance for people who can’t buy it other ways. It does not require a medical exam.

This type of life insurance is designed for older applicants, such as seniors. Getting a life insurance policy might be hard if you are older or have certain health conditions. But if you have people who rely on your income and debts, simplified issue life insurance can protect your family and pay for things like funerals.

Simplified whole-life insurance is an option if you can’t find a term or whole-life policy. It is also called simplified issue life insurance. It might be the best type of life insurance for seniors or people with certain pre-existing conditions.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance Calculator

Who is Simplified Issue Life Insurance For?

This type of coverage may be suitable for the following:

  • Individuals with health concerns: Simplified life insurance can be a viable option for individuals who may have pre-existing health conditions or may not qualify for a traditional life insurance policy due to health reasons. The simplified underwriting process may offer an opportunity for coverage without the need for a medical exam.
  • Time-sensitive coverage needs: Simplified issue insurance can be a viable option for those who need coverage quickly. The simplified application process typically results in a faster approval timeline than traditional insurance policies that may require medical exams and lengthy underwriting.
  • Individuals seeking convenience: Simplified issue life insurance can be an attractive option for those who prefer a simplified application process without the hassle of a medical exam.

How Does Simplified Issue Life Insurance Work?

Simplified issue life insurance works by streamlining the application process to make it more convenient and accessible for individuals seeking coverage. Here are the critical aspects of how simplified issue life insurance works:

Application process: The application process for simplified life insurance typically involves answering a few health-related questions on the application form. The questions may cover age, gender, tobacco use, medical history, and lifestyle habits. Based on the answers provided, the insurer assesses the risk and determines the eligibility for coverage.

Coverage amounts: Simplified issue life insurance policies typically offer coverage amounts ranging from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on the insurer and policy. The coverage amount may be determined based on income, debts, financial obligations, and intended use of the insurance proceeds.

Premiums: The premiums for simplified issue life insurance are typically based on the applicant’s age, gender, health status, coverage amount, and other risk factors. While simplified life insurance may be more accessible in terms of the application process, it is essential to note that premiums for this type of coverage may be higher than traditional life insurance policies requiring medical exams. However, the convenience and accessibility of simplified issue life insurance may outweigh the potential cost differences for some individuals.

Insurance Simplified

Benefits of Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue life insurance offers several benefits, making it a compelling option for individuals seeking coverage. Here are some key benefits of simplified issue life insurance:

  • Convenience: Simplified issue life insurance eliminates the need for a medical exam, making the application process quick and easy. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with time constraints or health concerns who may find the traditional underwriting process more cumbersome.
  • Accessibility: Simplified life insurance provides an opportunity for coverage to individuals with health conditions that could make them ineligible for traditional life insurance policies. This coverage can be more accessible to those with pre-existing health conditions, ensuring they have the protection they need.
  • Flexibility: Simplified issue life insurance policies typically offer flexible coverage amounts, allowing individuals to choose an amount that aligns with their needs and financial situation. This flexibility can make it easier to customize a policy that fits individual requirements and budgets.
  • Speedy Approval: Simplified issue life insurance policies are known for their faster approval times compared to traditional life insurance policies that require medical exams. This can be advantageous for individuals who need coverage quickly, such as those going through significant life events like getting married or starting a family.
  • Peace of Mind: Like any other form of life insurance, simplified issue life insurance provides a financial safety net for your loved ones in the event of your passing. This can offer peace of mind knowing that your family or beneficiaries will be financially protected and taken care of.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Considerations for Simplified Issue Life Insurance

While simplified issue life insurance has its benefits, it’s essential to consider some key factors when evaluating if it’s the right option for you:

  • Premiums: Insurance premiums may be higher than traditional life insurance policies requiring a medical exam. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully review and compare the premiums of different policies to ensure they fit within your budget.
  • Coverage Amount: Simplified issue life insurance may have coverage limits, which may be lower than traditional life insurance policies. It’s crucial to evaluate if the coverage amount offered by simplified issue life insurance aligns with your financial needs, obligations, and future goals.
  • Health Conditions: While simplified issue life insurance does not require a medical exam, you will still be required to answer health-related questions during the application process. It’s essential to provide accurate and truthful information to the insurer, as any discrepancies may result in future denial of coverage or policy cancellation.
  • Policy Terms: As with any insurance policy, it’s essential to carefully review the terms and conditions of the simplified issue life insurance policy. This includes understanding the coverage period, renewal options, beneficiaries, and any exclusions or limitations of the policy.

How to Apply for Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Applying for simplified issue life insurance is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the general steps:

  • Research and Compare: Research different life insurance companies offering simplified life insurance and compare their policies, coverage amounts, and premiums. Consider their reputation, financial strength, and customer reviews to ensure you choose a reputable and trustworthy insurer.
  • Gather Information: Collect all the necessary information for the application process, including your details, health history, lifestyle habits, and financial information. Be prepared to answer health-related questions accurately and truthfully.
  • Fill out the Application: Complete the application form provided by the insurer, providing all the required information accurately and truthfully. Double-check the form to ensure there are no errors or omissions.
  • Review and Submit: Review the completed application form carefully to ensure all the information provided is accurate and complete. Once satisfied, submit the application form to the insurer. It’s essential to keep a copy of the completed form for your records.
  • Undergo Underwriting: The insurer will review your application and may conduct additional checks, such as verifying your medical history and lifestyle habits. They may also use a database of medical records to assess your risk. This process typically takes less time than traditional underwriting, and you may receive an approval or denial within a few days to a few weeks.
  • Review the Policy: If your application is approved, the insurer will provide you with a simplified issue life insurance policy. Carefully review the policy document, including the coverage amount, premium, policy terms, beneficiaries, and exclusions or limitations. Seek clarification from the insurer if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Sign and Return: If you are satisfied with the policy terms, sign and return the document to the insurer. It’s essential to keep a copy of the signed policy for your records.
  • Pay Premiums: Once the policy is in effect, you must pay the premiums per the policy terms. Failure to pay premiums may result in the policy lapsing or being canceled.
  • Review and Update: It’s essential to periodically review your simplified issue life insurance policy to ensure it continues to meet your needs. In addition, update the insurer with any changes in your personal or health information that may affect the policy.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Qualifying for simplified issue life insurance

You must be between 45-85 years old to buy this insurance. You can’t have certain medical conditions, too.

You might not be able to get simplified issue life insurance if you answer yes to any of these questions.

  • Do you live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility?
  • Do you require a wheelchair, electric scooter, or medical equipment that uses pressurized air?
  • Have you ever had Alzheimer’s or dementia, congestive heart failure, a diabetic coma, an organ or bone marrow transplant, or another medical condition?
  • Do you have a life-threatening illness?
  • Have you had a heart disease or cardiac surgery diagnosis last year?
  • Have you been advised to have a non-routine surgical procedure or diagnostic testing?
  • Have you been diagnosed with cancer in the last two years?

You might still qualify for guaranteed issue whole life insurance even if you answer the above questions. Talk to a licensed life insurance agent or broker about this.

Simplified issue life insurance riders

Riders are extra things you can add to your policy to get more protection in certain areas. They cost more, but they are worth it for some people. You can customize your policy with riders.

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: A policyholder can use the death benefit to pay for medical care if they are terminally ill.
  • Long-Term Care Rider: If your health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care like a nursing home or at-home care, you can get it with a long-term care rider.
  • Disability Waiver of Premium: If someone loses their job, they can buy a disability waiver rider. This will cancel the monthly payments for the time that they are disabled. However, they might be limited by age, so it is essential to ask your insurer about this.

Pros and cons of simplified issue life insurance


  • No medical exam
  • Fast coverage
  • Cheaper than guaranteed-issue whole life
  • Some policies accept qualified funds from an IRA or 401k


  • More expensive than a standard life insurance plan
  • Limited coverage
  • Not as customizable

Next Steps

By researching, comparing, and applying for simplified issue life insurance with accuracy and truthfulness, you can secure a policy that meets your needs and provides peace of mind. Remember to review and update your policy periodically to ensure it continues to align with your financial goals and obligations. Speak with a reputable insurance professional to help you navigate the simplified issue life insurance landscape and make an informed decision.

Need Help Getting Life Insurance Coverage?

If you have a preexisting medical condition and want to buy life insurance, you will need help from an expert. This person can help ensure you get coverage so you don’t get declined.

Warning: Applying for life insurance without a medical exam can be risky. If you have declined coverage, it could take at least two years to get any life insurance.

Impaired Risk Life Insurance
Have You Been Declined Life Insurance Coverage Before?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a guaranteed issue and a simplified issue?

Simplified issue policies generally have higher death benefits than guaranteed issue policies. A guaranteed issue policy may only offer coverage of $25,000 or less. Those policies generally provide funds for a funeral and other final expenses.

What is a simple issue?

Simplified issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that only requires customers to answer health questions and doesn’t require a medical exam.

What does the guaranteed issue cover?

A requirement that health plans must permit you to enroll regardless of health status, age, gender, or other factors that might predict the use of health services.

What is the major problem with the guaranteed issue?

You can’t access the benefits of these plans immediately because there is often an initial waiting period. If the policyholder passes before the waiting period ends, the beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit.

How does guaranteed issue life insurance work?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a small whole life insurance policy without health qualifications. Guaranteed issue life insurance does not pay death benefits during the first two or three years the policy is in force. Still, it does return the policy’s premiums plus 10% interest if the insured dies during this period.

*Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide may be affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no cost to you if you purchase a policy. It helps us keep the lights on!

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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