Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2022

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The Brief

  • Great Western Insurance specializes in preneed funeral insurance and final expense whole life insurance
  • Great Western is a highly rated and financially strong insurance company
  • GWIC makes qualifying for final expense whole life insurance easier by offering two option plans

Preneed funeral insurance and final expense whole life insurance are coverage plans that you should consider when preparing for the future. These plans are designed to assist you and your family during a difficult time. They can provide you the peace of mind of knowing that things like funeral and burial expenses will be taken care of upon your passing, easing the stress on your family. 

Great Western Insurance Company specializes in preneed funeral insurance and final expense whole life insurance coverage. The company offers a variety of options from which you can choose in those areas. Each plan can help you prearrange your final wishes in different ways. 

If you’ve been searching for a place that offers solid and reasonably priced preneed and final expense coverage packages, Great Western Insurance might be a good place to start. However, there are many other insurance companies out there that offer similar coverage, and it’s always wise to shop around to find a plan that best suits your needs and finances.  Enter your ZIP code to compare free quotes from the top companies that carry preneed and final expense coverage.

What is Great Western Insurance?

Great Western Insurance was established in 1983 by John E. Lindquist, owner of the five-generation family business Lindquist Mortuaries & Cemeteries.   

GWIC utilizes its background in funeral and burial services to provide the best final expense and preneed insurance coverage packages possible for its clients. The company also ensures that its agents are well-trained and well-versed in all areas of insurance. This includes license preparation, product knowledge, and continuous field training. Great Western is licensed in 46 states and the District of Columbia. 

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Is Great Western Insurance a highly rated company?

Great Western is a solid company with a strong financial standing. It‘s part of a financially robust organization with more than $2.4 billion in assets.  A few years ago, mutual insurance holding company American Enterprise Group acquired Great Western following several years of business collaboration between the two companies. A.M. Best, one of the most trusted rating agencies, recently upgraded the financial strength rating of American Enterprise Group’s six insurance company subsidiaries from an A- to an A. GWIC is among that group of insurance companies.

Great Western’s surplus to liability ratio is among the highest in the industry, exceeding the margin of assets over liabilities and excess surplus standards that are averaged by America’s 25 largest life insurance companies.

What kind of products does Great Western Insurance offer?

Great Western offers insurance products that were created to help families during a difficult time following the loss of a loved one. The company also carries a financial-service product that helps clients maximize their benefits plans. Here are the products that GWIC offers:

  • Preneed insurance
  • Final expense insurance
  • Group annuity funding agreement

Preneed Insurance

Preneed insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that solely covers funeral expenses. The insurance is purchased through your selected funeral home, and it involves an agreement between you and that funeral home. Under the preneed service agreement, you select everything that you want included in your funeral service, from the casket to flowers to transportation for your family. The funeral home director sums up the cost, and that total is the basis for your preneed insurance plan. You have the option of paying the amount in one installment or through monthly premiums. Upon your passing, the funds are used to pay the funeral home for your funeral services. 

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Final Expense Insurance

Final expense and preneed funeral insurance are both designed to help reduce the burden on your family during a difficult time. However, these two plans go about it in different ways. With preneed, you work with a specific funeral home to choose and price all the aspects for your funeral. The beneficiary is the funeral home.  With final expense insurance, you choose one or more beneficiaries.

This plan doesn’t remove the task of planning the funeral but eases the burden on your family by covering funeral costs and a variety of other expenses. It’s up to your beneficiary or beneficiaries how they choose to use the money. It could be used for things like unpaid bills, medical expenses, or even college tuition for your children or grandchildren.  And if they decide to use the money for your funeral services, they can make arrangements with any funeral home. Final expense insurance policies typically range from $1,000 to $25,000 and have a cash value that grows over the life of the policy, like an investment.

Group Annuity Funding Agreement

The group annuity funding agreement can help you get the most out of your benefit plans. It offers a fixed rate asset accumulation product to fund both qualified and nonqualified benefit plans. Qualified plans entail health savings accounts linked to a high-deductible plan, 410k and other defined contribution plans, and profit-sharing plans. Nonqualified plans consist of supplement executive retirement plans.

Great Western’s Simplified Qualifying Process 

One of the things that makes Great Western’s final expense insurance coverage stand out is that it offers two whole life plans to make qualifying as uncomplicated and straightforward as possible. These plans are assurance plus and guaranteed assurance.

Assurance plus was created for individuals who are in good health and looking for additional value.  It asks you to answer three (four in Florida) simple health questions.  If you are able to answer “no” to each one, you will qualify for a 25% increase of the full-death benefit starting on day one with no required medical exam.

Additionally, the accelerated death benefit rider is included at no additional cost. And for a mere $1 a month, you can provide protection for your family with the dependent child and grandchild rider. This one-time benefit will pay $2,500 on the first death of a dependent child or grandchild.

Guaranteed assurance provides coverage with no underwriting required and no health questions to answer. Here’s how the coverage plan works:

  • If at any time an accidental death occurs as defined in the policy, the full death benefit will be paid.
  • If a death occurs in the first two policy years, and is not accidental, the benefit paid will be 110% of the premiums paid to date.
  • After the first two policy years, regardless of how the death occurs, the full death benefit is paid.

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Average Great Western Insurance Rates by Age

Great Western’s sample life insurance rates will typically be near the average rate of a top 10 company. For instance, if you’re in your 40s and a nonsmoker, your rates will probably fall somewhere in the $400 to $500 range per month. These rates vary from person to person and are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, how much coverage you want, and the underwriting process.

Great Western Insurance Company is located in Des Moines, Iowa. Visit the company’s homepage for more details about the insurance plans it offers. 

Now that you have read this review of Great Western Insurance, you can feel confident in choosing the right coverage plans. Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes today.