Heidi works with top-rated life insurance carriers to bring her clients the highest quality protection at the most competitive prices. She is a wife, mom, and former school teacher, specializing in helping families. As parents, it's our responsibility to ensure our family is financially sound, regardless of what life brings. Her goal is to make the process of obtaining life insurance as simp...

Full Bio →

Written by

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 2, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

The Facts of Life

  • Guaranteed universal life insurance (GUL) is affordable life insurance with long-term protection.
  • Guaranteed life insurance offers level premiums and no-lapse guarantees.
  • Guaranteed life insurance policies bridge the gap between cheap temporary coverage (term) and expensive permanent coverage

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Highly popular, guaranteed universal life insurance offers long-term protection and affordable premiums. Sometimes business owners offer this to employees, but most of the time you’ll have to apply for a policy.

Before you apply, it is a good idea to uncover the details of this type of life insurance coverage – to make sure it matches your needs.

Everything you need to know about guaranteed universal life insurance is found here – including an overview, what’s good, what’s bad, sample rates, and frequently asked questions.

Use our free comparison tool to find local guaranteed universal life insurance in your area. Enter your ZIP code to get started.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Overview

To start, let’s uncover the foundational aspects of this type of life insurance. In this guide, we’ll define universal life insurance and find the best guaranteed life insurance rates available.

What is guaranteed universal life insurance?

Guaranteed universal life insurance, or GUL, is an affordable type of life insurance that offers long-term protection, level premiums, and a no-lapse guarantee.

There are seven key components to be aware of.

1. GUL is a bridge

GUL is a bridge Considered a sweet spot between term and whole life, guaranteed universal life insurance offers (almost always) lifelong coverage, without the expensive aspectsexpensive aspects of whole life insurance.

Guaranteed universal life insurance is affordable coverage that won’t expire.

In other words, a GUL policy bridges the gap between cheap temporary coverage (term) and expensive permanent coverage (whole).

It is an ideal type of coverage for many – none of the frills that whole life offers, and coverage that is still in force when you need it most.

Free Life Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

2. Level premiums

Unlike other forms of universal life insurance, a GUL policy includes level premiums.

What does that mean? Your premium payments remain the same for the life of the policy.

Level premiums are typical for traditional term and whole life insurance.

Other types of coverage, like variable or indexed universal life insurance, offer more premium flexibility.

That being said, depending on the specific GUL policy, you do have the option to adjust your premium amounts.

Note – some GUL policies allow you to pay up your policy early.

3. Limited cash value

There is limited cash value to guaranteed universal life insurance.

To make the policy more affordable, GUL policies have minimal cash values.

What is cash value? Separate from the death benefit, cash value is an additional component to most permanent life insurance policies that can be accessed via loans or withdrawals while the insured is living.

If you have no interest in utilizing the cash value of a life insurance product, a GUL policy could save you money.

Note – recently, additional GUL products have come onto the market in which the premiums cost a little more and do include some cash-value.

Free Life Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

4. Lasts your whole life

At the time of purchase, you will select a specific age in which the policy will expire: age 90, 95, 100, 105, or 121.

So, in that sense, GUL is technically not permanent life insurance. The policy will, almost always, outlive you, however.

Selecting an older age, 121 for instance, will cost more than selecting a younger age for the policy to expire.

5. Affordable

Your premiums are more affordable than permanent life insurance products, thanks to the simplistic design of the policy.

Guaranteed universal life insurance generally has little or no cash value. Because of this, it’s the cheapest kind of universal life insurance you can buy. Forbes

With a no-frills strategy, a GUL policy focuses on the death benefit – financial support for your loved ones or business partner – and not living benefits. This makes your policy cost less.

6. Flexible death benefit

Often, a guaranteed universal life insurance policy includes a flexible death benefit.

What does the mean? If the financial needs of your beneficiaries change over time, you may have the option to reduce the death benefit.

If your finances change and you need to lower premium payments, this option becomes advantageous.

Adjusting the death benefit will not impact your coverage guarantee period.

7. No-lapse guarantee

The no-lapse guarantee means that your policy’s death benefit is guaranteed to the selected age you purchased, such as 121.

In fact, GULs are sometimes referred to as no-lapse guaranteed universal policies.

Even if the cash-value of your GUL policy is zero, the life insurance company guarantees your coverage remains in force.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Features
GUL Features
Level PremiumsYes
Cash ValueModest
Lifetime ProtectionAlmost always
CostAffordable
Adjustable Death BenefitOften
Face AmountWide range available
Required Medical ExamOften
Individual policies may vary
Get Your Rates Quote Now
Compare RatesStart Now →

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are the pros of guaranteed universal life insurance?

There is a lot that is good about this form of coverage. Keep reading for a list of reasons to consider guaranteed universal life insurance.

Long-term affordable coverage

If you are interested in life insurance that will last until you die and don’t want exorbitant premium payments, consider the GUL policy.

In fact, seniors looking for life insurance often settle on guaranteed universal life insurance for this reason – they need coverage that will outlive them and not break the bank.

Guaranteed tax-free death benefit

As long as your premium payments are made, your policy remains in force – known as the no-lapse guarantee.

Further, the death benefit is tax-free, just like almost all life insurance policies. In contrast, funds from an estate are often subject to taxes.

Not subject to market fluctuations

Different from other universal life insurance products, a GUL has no market exposure. Your cash-value, although likely minimal, is not affected by stock market performance.

Remember, a GUL is simplistic in design.

Riders

Like most forms of life insurance, you can add riders onto your GUL contract.

What are riders? They are helpful contractual provisions in addition to the death benefit. Riders make all the difference during a difficult time.

For instance, most carriers offer the following riders for the GUL products:

  • Accelerated death benefit – the option to access a percentage of your death benefit if diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Accidental death – an additional death benefit paid if death occurs as the result of a qualifying accident.
  • Children’s term – provides term life insurance to eligible children.
  • Waiver of premium – the option to forgo premium payments after experiencing a total disability.

Depending on the particular company and policy, additional riders are also available.

What are the cons of guaranteed universal life insurance?

GULs are not for everyone. Some people’s needs aren’t compatible with or they don’t understand how universal life works. Keep reading to see what stands out to you.

No significant cash value

Your policy will not accumulate significant cash value in all likelihood.

Depending on your goals, the savings component (cash value) of a life insurance contract can be advantageous:

  • Policy loans
  • Policy withdrawals

Cash accumulation does make premium payments more expensive. However, those monies may make all the difference should you need to finance a major purchase or access funds during a hardship.

More expensive than term

GULs are less expensive than permanent products but cost more than cheap term life insurance.

If you only want temporary coverage, such as while you are raising a family, a GUL may not be your best bet. Term life insurance will cost less and ends after a certain number of years (e.g. 20-year term life insurance).

Less options than other universal products

GULs are uncomplicated by design. In fact, a GUL is more similar to term life insurance than its universal counterparts.

Other universal products, like variable universal life (VUL) or indexed universal life (IUL) offer more flexibility and features.

For example, VULs and IULs provide market exposure, either directly or indirectly, for the possibility to grow your cash value.

These products also feature an adjustable death benefit and premiums.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Quotes

To gain a general idea of cost, consider the following sample rates.

Keep in mind, however, your individual quote will vary and depends on your age, health, and policy specifics.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Best Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance Companies

Many life insurance companies offer guaranteed universal life.

AIG Life Insurance Company

Product name: Secure Lifetime GUL 3

Product at a glance

  • Guaranteed death benefit up to age 121
  • Issue ages: 18 – 80
  • Minimum face amount: $100,000 (restrictions apply)
  • Modest cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • Option to surrender policy with a return of premiums

Free Life Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

North American

Product name: Custom Guarantee

Product at a glance

  • Guaranteed death benefit up to age 120
  • Issue ages: 0 – 85
  • Minimum face amount: $50,000 ($25,000 for ages 60 – 85)
  • Modest cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • Guaranteed exchange privilege

Prudential

Product name: PruLife Universal Protector

Product at a glance

  • Accelerated underwriting available (no medical exam)
  • Guaranteed death benefit up to age 121
  • Issue ages: 0 – 85
  • Minimum face amount: $50,000 ($100,000 for ages 76 – 80; $250,000 for ages 81 – 85)
  • Modest cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • Adjustable no-lapse guarantee period

Banner

Product name: Life Step UL

Product at a glance

  • Guaranteed death benefit up to age 121
  • Issue ages: 20 – 85
  • Minimum face amount: $50,000
  • Modest cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • Extended maturity date (beyond age 121) available

Mutual of Omaha

Product name: Guaranteed Universal Life

Product at a glance

  • Simplified issue available (GUL Express)
  • Multiple GUL products available
  • Guaranteed death benefit up to age 120
  • Issue ages: 18 – 80
  • Minimum face amount: $100,000 ($50,000 for ages 66 – 85)
  • Modest cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • Catch-up option for late or skipped premium payments

Free Life Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Protective

Product name: Custom Choice UL- Protective

Product at a glance

  • Death benefit period ranges from 10 to 30 years; similar to term
  • After the initial level period, death benefit decreases and premiums remain level
  • Premiums and charges discontinue at age 121
  • Issue ages: 18 – 75
  • Minimum face amount: $100,000
  • Minimal cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • Income provider option pays monthly or annual income for up to 30 years

Sagicor

Product name: Sage No Lapse Universal Life

Product at a glance

  • No medical exam underwriting available
  • Guaranteed death benefit up to age 121
  • Issue ages: 16 – 85 years
  • Minimum face amount: $25,000
  • Modest cash value
  • Some policy flexibility
  • Multiple riders available
  • The potential to be approved within minutes

How To Buy

Plan to do two things in order to buy a guaranteed universal life insurance policy, or any form of coverage for that matter.

First, most importantly, collaborate with an independent agent.

Second, be prepared for the application. That way, the purchasing process is streamlined.

In particular, jot down any major health issues you have, medications you take, your physician’s contact information, your annual income, and your beneficiary’s name and address.

Start comparing affordable guaranteed universal life insurance rates in your area today. Enter your ZIP code to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about guaranteed universal life insurance and their unbiased answers. Learn more about this policy, and why the Insurance Information Institute called in the mos flexible permanent policy.

Who should buy a guaranteed universal life insurance policy?

Guaranteed universal life insurance is an excellent fit in many situations.

In particular, consider the following scenarios in which a GUL is often the best life insurance option.

Who should not buy a guaranteed universal life insurance policy?

There are two primary reasons someone should skip purchasing a GUL policy.

First, if your life insurance needs are only temporary, term coverage will be more affordable.

Second, if you are interested in utilizing the cash-value of a life insurance contract for loans or withdrawals, look to other permanent products, such as traditional whole life insurance.

What company offers the best guaranteed universal life insurance?

Your specific needs and goals will determine the best life insurance carrier to apply with.

To start, you will want to analyze:

  1. Your overall health
  2. Purpose of the policy
  3. Financial needs of your beneficiary
  4. Length of time coverage is needed

Based on your unique situation, an independent agent will compare and contrast the best carriers and their rates to find the ideal policy.