We will look at the 5 best Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance companies. The criteria used in determining which carriers make the top 5 do not pertain strictly to a carrier’s financial strength and outlook. None of the carriers listed have poor finanicial ratings. We generally do not work with carriers that have an AM Best rating of less than A-.
A carrier’s financial strength and stability becomes much more important when looking at products with variables that can affect the products’ performance. Since Guaranteed Universal Life insurance is not designed for cash accumulation, it is in a different category as other types of permanent insurance.
In other words, carriers can adjust the non-guaranteed items such as the cost of insurance or other internal charges/fees with most types of permanent life insurance. This is more likely to happen if an insurance company is receiving poor returns on their investments.
Guaranteed Universal Life insurance is fully guaranteed – the face amount and the premiums are guaranteed to stay the same. So, regardless of the carrier’s financial status, the guarantees remain the same.
For a review of guaranteed universal life insurance, covering many of the basics, please click here. For a look at the pros and cons of GUL, please read our article here.
How We Determine the Top 5 Carriers
We will not rank the top five carriers from the best to worst. There isn’t one best carrier compared to all the others. One carrier might be the best fit for healthy people, whereas another carrier could be much better for someone with diabetes or a heart condition.
Also, one carrier (as you will see below) might be the very best for someone who needs a low face amount with expedited underwriting. Someone else, who wants a GUL with a high face amount would be much better with a different company.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at five of the best carriers offering Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance. The carriers listed below consistently have the lowest premiums.
Not all the carriers listed will show up on our instant quote engine, however, we work will all the top companies and will provide you quotes upon your request. Remember, you can select the guaranteed age from 90 to 120. The longer the guarantee, the higher the premium.
5 Best Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Companies Listed Below
1. North American Life. See our review of North American Life for more in-depth information.
In many cases, North American Life Insurance Company has the lowest premium. Another reason North American is in the top 5 is because they have a Chronic Illness benefit that is built into the policy, whereas most carriers offer this type of benefit only as a rider with an extra cost.
With consistently low rates, North American is a company we do business with a lot.
North American Financial Ratings
- Rated A+ by AM Best (Superior)
- Rated A+ by Standard & Poor’s (Strong)
- Ranked 93 by Comdex. This rating shows their overall financial ratings compared to all other carriers.
2. Sagicor Life Insurance Company. See our review of Sagicor Life for more in-depth information.
Sagicor is listed in the Top 5 because they offer guaranteed universal life insurance on a simplified issue (no exam) basis. They also have very competitive rates, (if not the lowest in the industry) for face amounts from $25,000 to $100,000. Most carriers do not offer GUL under $100,000.
- The combination of simplified issue, electronic underwriting AND very competitive rates for lower face amounts, makes Sagicor Life a very good option.
It is worth repeating why Sagicor Life is unique. Typically, carriers that offer simplified issue products charge significantly higher rates. Insurance companies take on increased risk (knowing they might catch a serious illness) that goes undetected without a blood or urine test.
Again, this is where Sagicor shines. This might be a concern (company taking on too much risk) if it were not for the fact that the premium and face amount are fully guaranteed never to change.
Sagicor Life Financial Ratings:
- AM Best Rating: A- (4th best)
- S & P Rating: BB- (6th best) Downgraded in 2015.
- Currently not ranked by Comdex.
3. Protective Life. See our review of Protective Life for more in-depth information.
Protective Life made our top 5 list primarily because they have consistently low rates, regardless of the face amount. They are particularly strong for people age 45 and older. You will often see them with rates very similar to AIG (also in the 5 Best Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance companies). Protective Life has the standard riders available. They are also very easy to work with.
Protective Life Financial Ratings:
- S & P: AA-. AA- is the 4th highest rating.
- Moody’s: A2. A2 is the 6th highest rating
- Comdex score: 85 This is they rank (taking into account all independent financial ratings) compared to all other carriers.
4. AIG (American International Group). See our review of AIG for more in-depth information.
They made our 5 Best list because of their low rates, lenient underwriting and Guaranteed Return of Premium provision.
As noted above, AIG is always in the mix, contending for the lowest premiums. Regardless of age and face amount, AIG is usually one of the lowest three carriers in terms of premium.
AIG also tends to have more aggressive underwriting. We have had several cases that were rated-up by other carriers and then AIG offered a better rate. Some carriers are more aggressive than AIG with certain medical conditions, but overall, AIG is one of “go to” carriers when shopping for “impaired risk” cases.
AIG’s Guaranteed Return of Premium provision is not a rider (with additional cost). This provision is a part of the policy. Basically, this provision guarantees a return of premium in Year 20 (at 50%) or Year 25 (at 100%). So, for someone who purchases a policy a guaranteed universal life policy at age 40, they would have the option to receive back 100% of their premium at age 65 if their circumstances changed and they felt there was no longer a need for the lifetime policy.
AIG Financial Ratings:
- AM Best: A (3rd best)
- Standard & Poor’s: A+ (5th best)
- Moody’s A2 (6th best)
- Comdex Score: 80 (compares overall financial rating to all other carriers).
5. Mutual of Omaha. See our review of Mutual of Omaha for more in-depth information on this company .
Mutual of Omaha makes our Best 5 GUL list because they have very low rates for higher face amount. For policies above $250,000, they are usually one of the very lowest, if not the lowest carrier.
In addition to their competitive rates, they offer the return of premium option. They call this option GRO – Guaranteed Refund Option. Like the provision offered by AIG, this is included in the policy. Mutual of Omaha’s GRO provision is a little more flexible since they have 7 different “60-day windows” when the policy can be terminated in exchange for a refund of all the premiums paid. 50% of the premium will be refunded at the end of policy year 15. The other windows are at years 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. The insured can receive a refund of 100% percent of all premiums paid.
An accelerated death benefit and chronic illness is included in the policy. Again, many carriers offer this as a rider at additional cost only.
Mutual of Omaha offers a policy called GUL Plus. This policy is designed for people who want to pay for the policy in one single premium or “dump in” a large amount of money over a short period of time.
Mutual of Omaha Financial Ratings:
- A.M. Best: A+ (2nd highest of 16) Rated for overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to policyholders.
- Moody’s: A1 (5th highest of 21) Rated for current financial strength and ability to withstand financial stress in the future.
- S & P: AA- (4th highest of 21) Rated for financial strength to meet obligations to policyholders.
Honorable Mentions: Carriers that offer very good Guaranteed Universal Life policies
It’s difficult not to include certain carriers in our 5 Best list because they have their niches and we recommend them when it is appropriate. Again, we would be remiss if we didn’t name the following companies.
Met Life See our review of MetLife here.
MetLife is an very large and financially sound company. Their guaranteed universal life plans are only guaranteed to age 95. Their guaranteed to age 95 rate is super competitive and is frequently the lowest priced carrier. We have some clients who do not mind exchanging a lower price for a reduced guarantee. This is not “term to 100”; only term to age 90 or 95.
MetLife Financial Ratings:
- AM Best rating: A+ (second best)
- Standard & Poor rating: AA- (fourth best)
- Comdex Score: 91.
Banner Life See our review of Banner Life here.
Like MetLife, Banner Life is a financially strong carrier. They are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General – the largest insurance company in the UK.
The reason they didn’t make the Top 5 list is because their rates are decent, but often not in the lowest three or four. This could certainly change. Banner is extremely competitive with all of their term life products, so we would not be surprised if they make their guaranteed universal life insurance a low price leader.
One drawback to MetLife’s GUL is that they don’t offer any riders. Waiver of Premium (for disability) is a rider that is commonly added to policies, but even that rider is not available.
Banner Life Financial Ratings:
- A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best
- AA- (Very Strong) from S&P
- 94 COMDEX score
*Nationwide Life Insurance
*Recently Added: We are now seeing Nationwide with some of the lowest GUL rates, especially for women. You can read a full review of Nationwide’s Guaranteed Universal Life insurance here.
*Principal Life Insurance Company
*Recently Added: We do a lot of level term insurance with Principal. Now, their guaranteed universal life rates are very competitive. We will also do a review of their GUL productss.
Although Nationwide and Principal Life don’t appear in the quote engine, we will gladly provide comparison quotes. Principal has very competitive “term to 100” rates.
Keep in mind, this list might change and we will update it if warranted. Some excellent companies do not offer guaranteed universal life plans currently, but they may introduce a very compelling GUL in the future. As of July 2016, the carriers listed above are the best ones available.
Sometimes, guaranteed universal life insurance is an excellent solution. Sometimes, a 15, 20, or 30 year term will suffice.
There is also the option of purchasing term and guaranteed universal life insurance. This is called laddering policies, which we explain here.
We keep our finger on the pulse of the industry, so call us anytime for a comparison quote or use our instant quote engine. We will be glad to help you find the life insurance that is the best fit for your situation.