Great Western Life Insurance guide | A Great Choice in 2023

Last Updated May 24, 2024

     Great Western Life Insurance, is a tried and tested option for those who want to prepare for funeral expenses – But, is it worth it? What policies do they have? Who is the best individual for these policies? It’s our goal at Final Expense Benefits to analyze these providers and to provide you with as much information as needed to make an informed decision. Read on for answers to any Great Western insurance questions. 

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Origin of Great Western Life Insurance

Origins and humble beginnings of Great Western

     John E. Lindquist, a mortician and cemetery owner, founded what we now know as Great Western Life Insurance in 1983 specifically in response to his constant interaction with those dealing with final expenses. As a result, this would inevitably become Greatwestern insurance’s niche as the founder’s experience centered around this fact, and how often he would see the consequences of not being prepared in the event of untimely circumstance. As of 2021, GWIC oversees over $2.4 billion in assets and has over 46,000 employees in over 46 US states.

Your Coverage Options

final expense

     Great Western Insurance, who specializes in Final Expense Insurance, provides coverage for final expenses such as a funeral, ceremony, cremation, burial, etc. These policies are similar to a guaranteed whole life policy, although at a lower premium for a lower overall payout value. Although marketed for final expenses, the payout does not actually withhold any restrictions, meaning the beneficiary may use the funds for whatever they wish.


     Preneed Insurance, similar to Final Expense Insurance, involves a mutual agreement between an individual and a funeral home. You’re essentially pre-planning any final expenses and customizing the experience for any beneficiaries, further reducing any stress that an untimely circumstance may cause.


     Riders exist to customize coverage options, or by adding to existing coverage plans. One may think of these as ‘add-ons’ to your existing coverage. Rider applicant status depends on factors similar to those asked in the medical questionnaire. If accepted and qualified for riders, your policy may be customized based on your needs. Some common examples of riders include Child Term Riders, Accidental Death Riders, Family Income Riders, and so on. The two most commonly available riders offered by Great Western Insurance are as follows: 

  •  Dependent Child/Grandchild

 This is a clause stating that you will receive a one-time lump sum in the case of untimely circumstances with a child/grandchild/dependent.

  • Accelerated Death Benefit

An accelerated death and dismemberment benefit (also known as AD&D) is a clause one may apply to your current policy, what this does is allow for you to use coverage values while still alive if diagnosed with a terminal illness.

different kinds of insurance riders associated with insurance coverage

Great Western Life Insurance Final Expense Coverage

     Great Western Insurance offers two Final Expense Insurance policies, as is the standard. These two policies involve guaranteed assurance, and assurance plus, which only differentiate the underwriting between the two whole life policies. With guaranteed assurance, you are accepted regardless of applicant status, although at an adjusted rate depending on your qualifications. Assurance plus involves a medical questionnaire that may entitle applicants to their death benefit early, or at a reduced rate depending on any pre-existing conditions, tobacco use, etc. If possible, assurance plus is the better option, as it directly rewards you for your good health. Regardless of applicant status, Final Expense Insurance is a great option and can successfully coexist with other whole-life policies.

Great Western Insurance Pros and Cons

  • Generous Accelerated Death Benefit.

Most plans come with a free add-on involving an accelerated death benefit in which you may be entitled to funds early. Depending on qualifications, you may even be entitled to a percentage multiplier of your coverage amount, usually 125%.

  • No Medical Exam Required
Most policies require a medical exam in order to receive. Luckily, Great Western Insurance has no medical exam
  • Quick and Easy Acceptance 

In most cases, applications if approved, are approved quickly.

  • Limited Policy Options 

As they specialize in Final Expense Insurance, as well as all policies involving final expenses, your options may be limited.

  • Waiting Periods by Default 

Only those with great medical status or other factors may qualify for a reduced/removed waiting period.

Third-Party Rankings

NAIC Rating for Great Western Insurance

     The NAIC, or The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, is a regulation standard support organization based in America meant to add credibility to insurance companies. Essentially, the goal of this organization is to protect consumers and to mandate that insurers deliver on their promises made. The rating used within the NAIC involves a numerical value usually ranging from 1 – 10. One implies average customer complaints, where anything above this is above average, and so on. As of August 2022, the NAIC complaint rating given to Great Western Insurance company is a .069, implying very very few complaints. 

A.M. Best Rating for Great Western Insurance

     They utilize a rating, similar to the letter ratings placed on restaurants, meant to help you discern their overall quality. This letter ranking varies from A+ to F, similar to a scholastic grading system, and this organization is overseen by the chief insurance regulators regarding any US-affiliated territory. The rating itself is determined by a variety of different factors, such as performance, management, financial flexibility, shareholder safety, etc. As of April 2022, Great Western Insurance was given an A by A.M.’s best indicating an excellent rating. 

Cancellation Policy

Globe Life Cancellation Policy

     Insurance policies generally contain a 30-day refund introductory period, where you are able to receive a complete refund if canceled before the 31st day. This is a two-way policy, allowing for insurers to cancel your policy for the same reasons. This may also be overridden by state law, if applicable. An example includes Florida, which bars insurers from cancellation up to 90 days after the policy start date. Exceptions include, if premiums are not paid, substantial change in risk to insure, etc.

Customer Reviews

"As long as you do what you are supposed to do, the company will do what they are supposed to do. Needless to say, Great Western Life Insurance Company is one of the good ones. Thank you very much Great Western. "
Middle aged man at home
Christopher Smith ✓
Memphis, TN ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"Not a local company but they make it possible to take out life insurance on family members which is a major convenience when helping my mom with Alzheimer's."
Smiling mature middle aged woman sitting at workplace, portrait.
Michelle Detamore ✓
Paterson, NJ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"I've been writing with Great Western for over 10 years. Awesome company to do business with. Their quoting platform is very user-friendly and their customer care team is phenomenal!"
Happy African woman portrait
Karen Dixon ✓
Savannah, GA ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Our Review and Final Thoughts​

     If in need of Final Expense Insurance, Great Western Insurance remains one of your best choices. Great Western is one of your best bets for Final Expense Insurance on the market, just consider that GW doesn’t offer policies not involving final expenses, therefore your options may be limited. If in need of other policies, you’d have to contact another organization. Although, this is not a problem as we contract with over 20 suppliers, analyzing them based on their usefulness and ability to deliver on promises made. Overall, a highly recommended option considering the plethora of riders available to you at potentially no extra cost, as well as their guaranteed option plans remaining at a relatively low cost.

     Great Western is an incredibly solid option for anything final expense related, and here at Final Expense Benefits, we work with many providers to compare and contrast coverage options for you, so whatever you’re in need of, we promise to connect you to where you need to go.

Give us a call, M-F, 9-5, completely free (866) 311-4338.

What If I Need A Policy Great Western Doesn’t Provide?

     Thankfully, here at Final Expense Benefits, we contract with only the top senior life insurance companies. If you’re a senior on a fixed income, we work with carriers like;

We’d like to reassure you that there are a plethora of options regarding how you would like to handle funeral expenses, and as stated above, carry a very wide range of costs and features. If you’re interested in partaking in these costs, but aren’t sure how to prepare properly, then consider the following.

Company 50 y/o Male 50 y/o Female 60 y/o Male 60 y/o Female 70 y/o Male 70 y/o Female

These figures were obtained from the NFDA and are estimates only. For a detailed quote, please contact an agent. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Owns Great Western Insurance?

As of 2018, American Enterprise Group acquired Great Western Insurance.

Is Great Western a Good Insurance Company?

This is relative, but we feel if you’re in need of Final Expense Insurance then yes this is always going to remain a solid option. 

How Long Has Great Western Insurance Company Been In Business?

As of 2022, 39 years.

How Long Does It Take to Plan A Funeral?

This depends on a lot of factors, mainly because a funeral should be planned at your pace. There is no time limit minus any untimely circumstances causing said funeral to take place.


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