Great Western Insurance Company Review

Great Western Insurance Company is part of the American Enterprise group of insurance companies.

Founded in 1983, Great Western specializes in Preneed Funeral and Final Expense life insurance policies.

AM Best Rating

As of April 2022, Great Western has an “A” rating with AM Best.

Financial Strength

  • $2.8 Billion in total assets
  • $777 Million capital and surplus
  • $789 Million in revenue
  • $469 Million in benefits and claims paid

Great Western offers three final expense life insurance products.

  • Great Assurance – healthy individuals
  • Graded Benefit – for those with some health issues
  • Guaranteed Assurance – No health screening

You’ll find additional details about each product in this article.


Great Western Insurance underwriting is simple. You never need to complete a paramedical exam.

The Great Assurance and Graded Benefit policies have 10-13 questions to qualify.

The Guaranteed Assurance plan has zero medical questions!

Specialties & Niches

Great Western specializes in preneed funeral and final expense life insurance, that’s it.

They focus on this niche and do a good job delivering a quality product and experience for life insurance customers.

Customer Service

When you need to reach Great Western, you have several options.

  • Toll Free – 800-733-5454
  • Mail
  • Online Account Access

Whatever works best for you!

Great Western Final Expense Life Insurance Products

If you’re looking for an insurance company that specializes in final expense life insurance, Great Western is a great company to consider.

In 2023, Great Western will be rebranding as Wellabe.

Great Assurance Plan

The Great Assurance plan offers immediate first-day coverage. There are 13 simple health questions, and no paramedical exam is required.

Your answers determine if you qualify for this plan or not.

  • Available to insureds aged 50-85
  • Coverage amounts:
    • $2500 – $40,000 for ages 50-80
    • $2500 – $25,000 for ages 81-85.
  • Non-tobacco and tobacco rates
  • Accelerated Death Benefit rider included at no cost for:
    • Terminal Illness
    • Chronic Illness
  • Accidental Death Benefit Rider for an additional cost.

The Accelerated Death Benefit rider is available if you become terminally ill or chronically ill.

Terminal illness – The insured has been diagnosed with a disease expected to cause death within 12 months.

Chronic illness – The insured cannot perform at least 2 of the five activities of daily living.

Accidental Death – The accidental death benefit rider pays out the total face amount in addition to the death benefit. There is an additional cost for this rider.

Graded Benefit Plan

The Graded Benefit Plan pays a death benefit based on when the insured dies.

The Graded Benefit plan also requires that you answer some simple health questions.

However, this policy does not require a medical exam.

Your answers to the initial underwriting questions determine if you qualify for the graded benefit plan.

  • Available to insureds aged 50-85
  • Coverage Amounts
    • $2500 – $40,000 for ages 50-80
    • $2500 – $25,000 for ages 81-85
  • Non-tobacco and tobacco rates
  • Child/Grandchild Rider

The death benefit your beneficiary would receive depends on when you die.

If death occurs:

  • Year 1 – Great Western would pay 30% of the face amount.
  • Year 2 – Great Western would pay 70% of the face amount.
  • Year 3 or later – 100% of the face amount.

Other companies that offer final expense policies to compare to include Corebridge Financial and Gerber Life.

Guaranteed Assurance Plan

The Guaranteed Assurance plan is a guaranteed issue policy.

  • Available for insureds aged 40-80
  • Coverage amounts – $1,000 – $25,000
  • Same rates for smokers and non-smokers
  • Child/Grandchild Protection rider

The policy has a limited death benefit for the first two years of the policy. The benefit will be 110% of the premiums paid to date.

If death occurs after two years, the full death benefit is paid out.

Accidental deaths would pay the full death benefit even if the accidental death occurred during the first two years.

All three plans offer a child/grandchild rider.

With this rider, as long as your policy is at least $5,000, you may have each child/grandchild insured for $2,500.

What is the total cost for the child/grandchild rider?

One Dollar per month covers all qualifying children between the age of 1-17 at the time of their death.

Underwriting with Great Western Insurance

Underwriting final expense life insurance policies with Great Western Insurance Company depends on your chosen policy and personal health history.

Great Assurance Plan

First day benefits

Answer “NO” to all 13 questions. Any “yes” answer results in Guaranteed Assurance Plan.

Graded Benefit Plan

Graded death benefit

Answer “No” to questions #1-10 and “yes” to any of questions #11-13.

Guaranteed Assurance Plan

Graded death benefit

No Questions Required

Underwriting Questions from Great Western

  1. Are you currently or have you been advised in the past three months by a licensed member of the
    medical profession to be hospitalized, confined to a nursing facility, receiving home health care,
    or in hospice?
  2. Do you require assistance from anyone with the following activities of daily living: taking
    medications, bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring from a chair or bed, moving about,
    or are you confined to a bed?
  3. Do you require the use of an electric scooter, or are you confined to a wheelchair as advised by a
    licensed member of the medical profession due to a chronic medical condition or illness?
  4. Do you require the use of oxygen or oxygen equipment to assist with breathing?
  5. Do you currently have or are you being treated by a licensed member of the medical profession
    for any form of cancer (excluding basal cell skin cancer), or have you been treated for a recurrence
    of previous cancer or metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body)?
  6. In the past 24 months, have you been diagnosed, treated, tested positive, given medical advice,
    recommended to have treatment or prescribed medication by a licensed member of the medical
    profession for:
    • Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or organic brain disorder;
    • terminal illness that is expected to result in death within the next 12 months;
    • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS);
    • congestive heart failure or cardiomyopathy;
    • amputation due to disease;
    • sickle cell anemia;
    • respiratory failure, cystic fibrosis, or pulmonary fibrosis;
    • kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, or kidney dialysis;
    • cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, or any other chronic liver disease;
    • organ or bone marrow transplant;
    • diabetes with complications or in combination with a prior diagnosis of stroke/TIA, heart
      disease or disorder, neuropathy, kidney disease, any circulatory disease that affects the heart
      and/or blood vessels, diabetic coma, or insulin shock?
  7. Were you diagnosed by a licensed member of the medical profession with diabetes before age 30?
  8. Have you been treated for or diagnosed by a licensed member of the medical profession with
    acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), AIDS-related complex (ARC), or tested positive for
    human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)?
  9. Within the past 12 months, have you had any treatment, diagnostic testing, surgery, or
    hospitalization recommended by a medical professional which have not been completed or for which
    the results have not been received?
  10. Within the past 12 months, have you had any unexplained weight gain or loss greater than 10

Underwriting Questions continued

  1. In the past 36 months have you been diagnosed, treated, tested positive, given medical advice, recommended to have treatment, or prescribed medication by a licensed member of the medical profession for:
    • neuromuscular disease, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis;
    • internal cancer (excluding basal cell skin cancers), malignant melanoma, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, myeloma, or lymphoma?
  1. In the past 24 months have you been diagnosed, treated, tested positive, given medical advice, or prescribed medication by a licensed member of the medical profession for:
    • angina;
    • systemic lupus;
    • drug or alcohol abuse, dependency, or addiction, illegal drug use or misused prescription drugs;
    • hepatitis B, C, or chronic hepatitis;
    • chronic pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or chronic bronchitis or required the use of oxygen or oxygen equipment?
  1. In the past 24 months, have you been diagnosed, treated, had surgery, or has treatment or surgery been recommended by a licensed member of the medical profession for:
    • heart attack;
    • embolism or blood clot;
    • stroke or TIA (mini-stroke);
    • irregular heart rhythm;
    • seizures;
    • aneurysm;
    • heart, brain, or circulatory surgery, including:
      • pacemaker or defibrillator placement;
      • cardioversion;
      • stent placement;
      • bypass;
      • angioplasty;
      • ablation;
      • valve replacement or repair?

We’ll review these questions with you to ensure you qualify for your best personal rate.

Great Western Niches and Specialties

Great Western provides competitive final expense policies for people with perfect health or those with significant health issues.

With an easy-to-use e-application and electronic signature, you can have your application in underwriting in minutes.

We walk you through the process and let you know if you will qualify for first-day benefits, graded benefits, or guaranteed issue final expense.

Customer Service with Great Western

You have several options when you need to reach Great Western Insurance Company.

Great Western Insurance Company Phone Number – 800-733-5454

If you need to send mail to Great Western:


Great Western Insurance Company
1851 Miehe Drive
Grimes, IA 50111-6627

Regular Mail:

P.O. Box 14410
Des Moines, IA 50306-3410

Great Western offers a consumer portal where you can access policy information. When you purchase a policy from Great Western, you will receive a welcome letter with the information needed to register for account access.

Register for Great Western Account Access

Information needed to register:

  • Welcome letter
  • Your email address
  • Your policy number

Once you have account access, you may do the following:

  • Check the status of claims
  • Read Explanations of Benefits
  • Request an ID card
  • Make payments using a credit card or automatic bank withdrawal
  • Communicate with our Customer Care and Claims departments through the Message Center
  • Gauge progress toward deductibles
  • Download and submit forms

Final Words

Great Western Insurance Company offers a competitive final expense policy that is easy to qualify for.

With their online application and quick underwriting approvals, Great Western is definitely worth considering.

By Michael Horbal – Updated on 02/16/2023

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