We’ve all learned to evaluate our purchases and make sure we need it before buying. You wouldn’t buy new tires until the ones you have are worn down and need to be replaced. You wouldn’t buy more food when you have enough in the refrigerator.

This approach is counter-intuitive when it comes to purchasing a life insurance policy. If you wait until after the diagnosis of terminal illness, you will not be able to buy a traditional policy and have to opt for guaranteed issue life insurance instead.

Today, I review Kemper Life Insurance Company, which only offers one life insurance product: guaranteed issue policies for those who can’t get a traditional policy. Is Kemper Life a good choice when contemplating guaranteed issue life insurance?

About Kemper Insurance

Kemper Corporation (formerly known as Unitrin, Inc.) is a major insurer in the US which specializes in home, auto, life, and health insurance solutions for individuals and businesses.

Quick Facts About Kemper Corporation

  • Is licensed to sell insurance in 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Has more than 7 million policies on the book
  • Has more than 30,000 agents and brokers
  • Has more than 7800 employees

Kemper Life Financial Ratings

  • A.M. Best: A-
  • Standard & Poor’s: A-
  • Moody’s Investor Service: A3
  • Fitch Ratings: A-

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance Plan

As the name implies, guaranteed issue life insurance ensures your acceptance regardless of any current or past health challenges. There is no exam you need to undertake or health questions you need to answer. Instead, you need to be between the ages of 40 and 80 and be able to pay your premium.

Your premium payments remain the same for life, and the policy can’t be canceled even if your health deteriorates over time. Guaranteed issue policies are whole life, which means there is a cash value element that grows on a tax-deferred basis. The policy owner can access the cash value by taking a loan, withdrawal, or surrendering the policy (cancel coverage).

Plan Highlights

  • Issue ages: 40–80
  • Face amount: $25,000, $20,000, $15,000, $10,000, $7,500, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000, or $2,000
  • Guaranteed premium
  • Whole life coverage that can never be canceled
  • Graded benefit for the first two years
  • No health questions or exam
  • Smokers pay no more premium than non-smokers

Guaranteed Issue Kicker—Two-Year Graded Benefit

When it sounds too good to be true, it most often is. Can an insurance carrier issue a policy without conducting an exam or asking any health questions on the application? Sure, they can! You share the gamble they are taking on your life. Kemper Life limits the death benefit you can purchase to a maximum of $25,000, so if you thought you could buy million-dollar life insurance on a guaranteed issue basis, you are sure to be disappointed.

This is the first layer of a shelter the carrier uses to hedge on their bets (selling guaranteed issue plans). The second layer they use is narrowing the payout should you die within the first two years of buying the policy.

Hence, if you purchased a face amount of $25,000 and died in the first year, your beneficiaries will receive the total paid in premiums plus 10% interest. A face amount doesn’t equal the death benefit amount (the actual amount paid to your heirs). For accidental death any time after the policy is in force, Kemper Life will pay 100% of the face amount on the application.

A Guaranteed Issue Coverage Must Always Be Your Last Option

I have seen too many individuals obtain guaranteed issue because they believe they can’t get approved for a traditional coverage or because that was the only option their agent presented them when suggesting a coverage. Never ever let the guaranteed issue be your first choice; always leave it as the last resort alternative.

Kemper Life vs. Other Carriers’ Sample Monthly Rates

Male $10,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Gerber Life $44.09 $63.89 $99.18 $247.32
 AIG $51.92 $63.17 $98.18 $246.44
 Columbian Life $63.16 $79.87 $131.80 $238.03
 Kemper Life $85.74 $111.36 $145.90 $231.80
 Americo$94.77 $131.82 $220.83 $312.16

Female $10,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Gerber Life $34.47 $51.06 $75.53 $176.37
 AIG $35.83 $50.02 $74.52 $175.42
 Columbian Life $51.76 $62.03 $103.01 $198.27
 Kemper Life $75.74 $93.31 $124.98 $196.13
 Americo$73.55 $101.95 $157.39 $224.81

Male $15,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Gerber Life $65.68 $95.38 $148.32 $370.52
 AIG $76.89 $93.75 $146.27 $368.66
 Columbian Life $93.00 $118.06 $195.97 $355.31
 Kemper Life $126.38 $164.62 $216.33 $345.13
 Americo$140.26 $195.83 $329.34 $466.34

Female $15,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Gerber Life $51.24 $76.13 $112.84 $264.09
 AIG $52.74 $74.03 $110.78 $262.13
 Columbian Life $75.91 $91.31 $152.77 $295.67
 Kemper Life $111.39 $137.69 $185.04 $291.75
 Americo$108.42 $151.03 $234.18 $335.31

Male $25,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Gerber Life $108.86 $158.36 $246.59 $616.92
 AIG $126.81 $172.22 $268.55 $672.87
 Columbian Life $152.68 $194.44 $324.29 $589.86
 Kemper Life $207.62 $271.15 $357.19 $571.79
 Americo$231.23 $323.86 $546.37 $774.70

Female $25,000 Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

 CompanyAge 50Age 60Age 70Age 80
 Gerber Life $84.79 $126.27 $187.46 $439.55
 AIG $91.91 $137.19 $204.00 $479.22
 Columbian Life $124.19 $149.86 $252.30 $490.46
 Kemper Life $182.64 $226.50 $305.14 $482.98
 Americo$178.17 $249.19 $387.77 $556.32

Bottom Line

Kemper Life offers a single life insurance product: guaranteed issue life. As mentioned above, you should leave this choice as a last resort and opt to get a level benefit plan; a plan that has no waiting period and pays whether you die an hour or 10 years after buying the coverage.

For individuals aged 40 through 49, Kemper Life may be a good choice because other companies, such as AIG or Gerber, will not sell guaranteed issue plans until you reach the age of 50. If you are over the age of 50 and must buy a guaranteed issue plan, there are other options with lower premium cost than Kemper Life (see table above).

Kemper Life is priced very well if you are 80 years old, so be sure to compare their pricing. 
We at Effortless Insurance represent more than 50 carriers, and after a short interview, will recommend the best coverage for you. Give us a call today at 866-326-3053 for unbiased life insurance quotes. Alternatively, you can use the form on the right-hand side to enter your information and see instant life insurance quotes.

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