PRO TIP: Guaranteed Universal Life is the best permanent life insurance, if you don’t need cash value.

In this article we will help you pick the best permanent coverage for you. There are many different types of permanent coverage, but we will focus on one: a Guaranteed Universal Life or GUL.

GUL’s are a very simple type of life insurance.

As opposed to some other types of permanent coverage like a whole life or index universal life. These are complex with many moving parts like dividends, caps, participation rates and much more.

The most important variables to consider while comparing a GUL are:

  • Price
  • Company Strength

We know there are more bells and whistles that you could add to a policy. But we want to keep things very simple so you can see what’s truly important.

Also we are going to try to remove as many variables from your choice as possible. Again to keep things simple.

All of our agents will do all of the research work for particular situation, so feel free to request a quote.

In this article we do want to prove to you with actual numbers why we made our choices. We will give quotes for 35, 45 and 55 year old that last until age 100.

What’s a Universal Life Policy?

Let’s start by first understanding a regular Universal Life Insurance. A universal life policy is a type of permanent life insurance that is designed to last until certain age (for example age 100).

These policies also have cash value.

You may not be familiar with this cash value feature. Cash value is similar to a savings account that grows inside of your policy. You can access the cash value at any point in time, just like a savings account.

As you age, the cash value you accumulate helps offset the cost of insurance.

Universal life policies are great for getting an affordable permanent death benefit.

So is it permanent or it expires?

Well it’s considered a permanent policy, but it can expire (or lapse) much later in life.

This is was very common issue with Universal Life policies. Especially if you got your universal life policy in the 80’s or 90’s. The reason these policies would expire was because they were created in a much higher interest rate environment. When interest rates dropped, then the policies wouldn’t grow the cash value fast enough.

That’s why the industry created a type of universal life policy that has a strong guarantees called: Guaranteed Universal Life.

What’s a Guaranteed Universal Life Policy?

A guaranteed universal life insurance is a type of permanent policy. It is guaranteed to last until certain predetermined age.

You can customize your policy to last until any age you want. The most common choices for ages are:

  • Age 121
  • Age 105
  • Age 100
  • Age 95

Once you select your guaranteed period, your policy last until the age you picked. Even if the cash value doesn’t perform as originally planned (because of low interest rates for example), your death benefit is guaranteed.

The longer the time period you, the more expensive the policy is. But be careful picking a short time frame. You want to make sure your policy is there when your family needs it.

The best way to think of a GUL is like a term insurance that last “forever”.

Guaranteed Until Age 100

As we mentioned, on a GUL you can pick how long you want your life insurance to last. It is very tempting to pick a policy that will last until age 90 let’s say. The reason is that prices can be much lower, and you may think that it’s a safe bet.

However, the odds of someone living past 95 are very good. A 65 year old woman has 31% odds to live past age 95.

In other words, if these women would buy a policy, over 30% of them would not get a pay out. That defeats the purpose of having permanent life insurance.

So we always recommend that you pick a policy that lasts at least until Age 100.

Who Should Consider A Guaranteed Universal Life?

First of all, you need to be sure you want permanent coverage that doesn’t expire. Many people think they want permanent coverage, but they are better suited with a cheaper term insurance.

However, if you decide that permanent life insurance is for you, then the next step is to very simple. To determine if a GUL is right for you, all you need to ask yourself is:

Do I care about accessing my cash value? 

If the answer is NO… then you should consider a GUL over any other type of permanent life insurance.

A GUL will give you the cheapest permanent life insurance you can get. And you still get strong guarantees.

If the answer is yes you do want to access your cash value, then do not get a GUL. On a GUL if you decide to access the cash value you will forfeit the guaranteed period for the life insurance. This would defeat the purpose of buying this type of life insurance.

However, if you want to access cash value then you probably need to consider a whole life or IUL. These type of policies give you more cash value growth. You can also access the cash value without affecting the policy if done correctly.

Top 7 Guaranteed Universal Life Companies

Our goal is to simplify your choice, so we build a table that will display all of the costs, company and ratings for a particular age. This way you can compare apples to apples.

We are going to display the top 7 companies based on pricing for 3 ages. Remember, that all of the prices can change based on age and health. But use this as a guide for you to pick the best guaranteed universal life company for you.

All of the following companies offer the same features every Guaranteed Universal Life does like:

  • Level Premiums
  • Permanent Death Benefit
  • Guaranteed Until Age 100

So when you read the list just know that all these are already included.

First we will show you some of the tables we used, and below you can see the rankings.

We will have 3 tables one for mid 30’s, mid 40’s and mid 50’s. So feel free to jump to the one that is more relevant to you.

The following char is for permanent coverage for 35 year old in perfect health and a $250,000 death benefit:

35 year old in perfect health and a $250,000 death benefit

 

GUL $250,000
Carrier / Product AM Best Rating Age Health Class Monthly (Male)
Monthly (Female)
American National Signature Guaranteed UL A 35 Preferred Plus $99.95 $84.60
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® Custom Guarantee Gen 8 A+ 35 Preferred Plus $112.50 $97.50
Prudential Financial PruLife Universal Protector A+ 35 Preferred Best $113 $93.00
Symetra Life Insurance Company UL-G A 35 Super Preferred Non-Nicotine $114.25 $103.05
Protective Life Advantage Choice UL A+ 35 Select Preferred $118.07 $100.92
American General Life Companies – Secure Lifetime GUL 3 A 35 Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco $126.83 $104.18
United of Omaha Guaranteed Universal Life – Brokerage A+ 35 Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco $130.23 $104.73

 

Next is Permanent coverage for 45 year old with the same data as the previous table:

45 year old in perfect health and a $250,000 death benefit

 

GUL $250,000
Carrier / Product AM Best Rating Age Health Class Monthly (Male)
Monthly (Female)
American National Signature Guaranteed UL A 45 Preferred Plus Nicotine $136.75 $119.68
Symetra Life Insurance Company UL-G A 45 Super Preferred Non-Nicotine $151.55 $131.58
Protective Life Advantage Choice UL A+ 45 Select Preferred $161.34 $132.00
American General Life Companies – Secure Lifetime GUL 3 A 45 Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco $166.64 $136.20
Prudential Financial PruLife Universal Protector A+ 45 Preferred Best $168.00 $138.00
North American Company for Life and Health Custom Guarantee Gen 8 A+ 45 Preferred Plus $170.00 $147.50
United of Omaha Guaranteed Universal Life – Brokerage A+ 45 Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco $187.85 $151.88

 

Last is a chart of Permanent coverage for 55 year old in perfect health and 250k of death benefit guaranteed until age 100:

55 year old in perfect health and a $250,000 death benefit

GUL $250,000
Carrier / Product AM Best Rating Age Health Class Monthly (Male)
Monthly (Female)
American National Signature Guaranteed UL A 55 Preferred Plus Nicotine $228.05 $206.40
Symetra Life Insurance Company UL-G A 55 Super Preferred Non-Nicotine $237.95 $202.23
American General Life Companies – Secure Lifetime GUL 3 A 55 Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco $254.73 $215.63
Prudential Financial PruLife Universal Protector A+ 55 Preferred Best $255.00 $211.00
Protective Life Advantage Choice UL A+ 55 Select Preferred $262.05 $214.16
Lincoln National Life Insurance Company Lincoln LifeGuarantee UL 2013 (eTicket-LincXpress) A+ 55 Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco $270.74 $223.13
North American Company for Life and Health Custom Guarantee Gen 8 A+ 55 Preferred Plus $277.50 $235.00

 

We used all of the previous charts to pick the overall winners. In reality we used much more data that we can display here, but as we mentioned before we want to simplify your choice.

And we do need to pick some winners even-though all the data changes for every individual situation, so here we go.

American National Logo

American National Logo

1. American National

American National is our #1 pick.

It constantly ranks as the #1 Guaranteed Universal Life in the market. The reason is very simple, if you are lookin for a low cost permanent coverage, it is very hard to beat.

Ratings

  • A.M. Best: A
  • Standard & Poor: A

These represent good ratings for any company that gives you great pricing.

Product Description

Signature Guaranteed UL product that ranks constantly in the top 3 positions for pricing.

Features

  • Customizable Coverage: You can chose the amount of coverage you need
  • Customizable Term Lengths: You are able to the amount of time you need the coverage.
  • Cash Out: This product has a very attractive cash out feature which allows you to cancel and cash out your policy.
  • Benefit Acceleration: Access to your death benefit in advance if you suffer a qualifying condition.
Symetra logo

Symetra logo

2. Symetra

Symetra’s guaranteed universal life is a product that is very competitive with regards to pricing. Also, you have a Chronic Illness Rider included in the policy. This rider can help you access the death benefit later in life.

One of the downsides of Symetra is that you can only get policies over $100,000.

Sweet Spot: Symetra’s UL-G becomes very competitive if you are between 40-55 with decent to average health. In these cases it ranks among first or second in many scenarios.

Ratings

  • A.M. Best: A
  • Standard & Poor: A

Product Description

Symetra UL-G is a great guaranteed universal life policy with strong guarantees. It also has additional riders that can give you interesting features, like a return of premium rider, or charitable giving rider.

Minimum Policy Size: $100,000

Features

One of the strongest features from Symetra is the Chronic Illness Rider. This feature lets you access half of the death benefit if you have a chronic illness.

North American Logo

North American Logo

3. North American

As number 3 we have North American.

They have an incredible GUL policy at great prices. Also their array of IUL and UL’s is very impressive. North American has better Ratings than our first 2 companies, so if you are looking for stability, then this could be a good choice.

Ratings

  • A+ (Superior) A.M. Best
  • A+ (Strong) S&P Global Ratings

Product Description

Custom Guarantee Gen 8 is an amazing product from one of the highest rated companies from our list.

  • $50,000 for ages 15 days to 59 years
  • $25,000 for ages 60 to 85 years

Features

Pricing for guarantees until age 105 don’t change that much.

In addition, there is this interesting feature that allows you to switch your Custom Guaranteed policy to one of North American’s universal life insurance products that focuses on cash value accumulation.

You also have an Extended No Lapse Guarantee included on every policy and extends the guarantee period to any age up to age 120 (under certain conditions). Also there is very little to no price increases to extend your guarantees from age 100 to age 110 or further.

It is also very powerful for single premiums of up to $500,000 per year. This allows you to set your money there and just make sure the next generation gets it, and not worry about payments.

Over all it’s a great product from a great company.

American General Logo

American General Logo

4. American General Life Companies

American General is definitely the largest company in our list. They have many different permanent insurance products, and a great Guaranteed UL.

Financials & Income

Income 10,972,673

Net Premiums Written 2,582,512

Assets : 178,704,993

Liabilities: 170,721,408

Ratings

  • Standard & Poor’s: A+ (strong)
  • Moody’s Investor Services: A2 (good)
  • A.M. Best = A (excellent)
  • Fitch: A+ (strong)
  • Weiss (Safety Rating): B
  • Comdex: 81

Source AIG

Product Description

The product we are highlighting in this article is Secure Lifetime GUL 3. It’s a solid GUL with strong guarantees. 

Features

Here are some of the cool features:

If you don’t life insurance, you can surrender the policy in year 20 and receive 50 percent of the premiums you paid. Or in year 25 and receive 100 percent of premiums paid up to 40% of face amount.

Protective Life Logo

Protective Life Logo

5. Protective Life

Protective has been around for over 100 years offering clients many financial products. Their guaranteed Universal life product (Advantage Choice UL) has decent pricing.

Advantage Choice UL becomes more competitive in at Standard Rates. That means that if your health is just average, then you can consider Protective. But if your health is great then any of our top 3 are best.

Financials, Income & Earnings

Assets: 47,662,818

Liabilities: 43,380,541

Income: 4,762,606

Earnings Before Dividends and Taxes: 874,784

Ratings

Protective has incredibly strong ratings, and it is a solid company over all.

A.M. Best Company(Financial Strength): A+

Standard & Poor’s(Financial Strength): AA-

Moody’s(Financial Strength): A1

Fitch Ratings(Financial Strength): A+

Weiss(Safety Rating): B

Comdex Ranking(Percentile in Rated Companies): 9

Product Description

Protective Life Advantage Choice UL.

$50,000 (Non-Tobacco and Tobacco) $100,000 (all other classes)

Features

It lacks any bells and whistles like a strong chronic illness rider, but it’s a very strong company with great ratings. The product is fairly priced also.

Prudential Life Logo

Prudential Life Logo

6. Prudential Financial

Prudential Ins Co Of America has been around for over 140 years. It’s a strong company with strong products. Also, some of our clients pick Prudential, as it’s a name they recognize. But in general their GUL’s will not be competitive to the top in our list.

Financials, Income & Earnings

Total Assets: 266,164,441

Liabilities: 256,216,169

Income: 31,844,341

Net Premiums Written: 25,303,813

Net Operating Earnings: 505,276

Ratings

Prudential is one of the highest rated companies in our list, and it’s a household name many people can recognize.

A.M. Best Company(Financial Strength): A+

Standard & Poor’s(Financial Strength): AA-

Moody’s(Financial Strength): A1

Fitch Ratings(Financial Strength): AA-

Weiss(Safety Rating): B

Comdex Ranking(Percentile in Rated Companies): 9

Product Description

PruLife Universal Protector is a “basic” GUL with all of the normal benefits of a GUL. 

Features

In general, Prudential will be not be competitive as a GUL option. There are a few areas where it may make sense. If you are a smoker, then Prudential could be a great option.

Sagicor Life Logo

Sagicor Life Logo

7. Sagicor

Sagicor is not a well known name, but they have a strong life insurance product line. They offer fantastic non medical options that rival any company.

Financials

Assets: 1,115,003

Liabilities: 1,042,343

Ratings

A.M. Best Company(Financial Strength): A

Weiss(Safety Rating): C

Products

Sagicor GUL is a good GUL with a non medical option. This could be a good idea if you don’t want to go through the pain of taking a medical exam.

Features

Sagicor’s Accelewriting® you will not have to do a medical exam if you are between ages 16 years and 65 years applying for amounts $25,0002 to $400,000.

Like many GUL’s in our list, you will get accelerated benefits for chronic illness and for terminal illness.

That concludes our Top 7 list. You should have a much better idea what company to pick for your own needs.

Good Companies That Didn’t Make The List

Penn Mutual Logo

Penn Mutual Logo

Penn Mutual

Not including Penn Mutual in our list was a hard choice. Mainly because they have a Guaranteed Universal Life product that rivals many in terms of pricing and features. But there is one feature that makes Penn Mutuals GUL not competitive.

It has zero cash value from start to end of the policy.

So we were the ones that were saying that you should buy a GUL if you don’t care about the cash value right? So why is this so important?

Because no cash value means there is no exit plan from their GUL. Once you have bought it, if you cancel it, you lose everything. If you compare this to other products where you can get all your premiums back or more, it just doesn’t make sense for most people.

You read our ranking for GUL companies, but now we want to give you more in depth costs.

Guaranteed Universal Life Cost

Please use the following as a guide to get the cost of a guaranteed universal life policy.

The following is a table of the price for a $100,000 that is guaranteed until age 100. We use many different companies for the pricing, but we just wanted you to have an idea:

GUL $100k To Age 100
Age Premium (Male) Premium (Female)
30 $42.00 $36.00
35 $49.00 $43.00
40 $58.00 $51.00
45 $72.00 $63.00
50 $92.00 $78.00
55 $111.37 $97.08
60 $133.73 $106.52
65 $168.99 $138.78
70 $238.95 $193.96

As you can see, the cost for this type of policy in general is great. You can get a permanent coverage for a very reasonable price. 

What Changes The Pricing On A GUL?

GUL’s pricing is mostly based on:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Company You Pick
  • Length Of Guarantee

As any life insurance, the healthier and younger you are the cheaper your life insurance is.

Apart from that you can see below our pricing chart. You see that each company has different prices for different ages and healths.

Guaranteed Universal Life vs. Term

Ok so if we said that there is no cash value then why wouldn’t you consider a term insurance instead of a guaranteed universal life.

Well… you should consider a term as well.

Picking a GUL vs a term coverage depends on your specific situation.

The main questions to ask are:

  • How long do you want your policy to last?
  • Do you want to cash out at any point in time?

A term insurance policy will be cheaper in general, but it won’t last as long. In addition, you won’t be able to get any cash back if you decide to cancel your policy.

Final Word

A Guaranteed Universal Life insurance is one the best permanent life insurance you can get. It is hands down the best, if you want permanent coverage for a low price, and you do not care about having cash value.

Also, our list of the best guaranteed universal life insurance companies is there for your to pick the best GUL without much trouble. So you can be confident that we have done the research for you.

If you would like a quote or a customization, please reach out to us!

Further Reading

Indexed Universal Life Cost

Top 7 Whole Life Insurance Companies For Cash Value

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