Whole Life Insurance With 2-Year Waiting Period (And How to Avoid It!)

Kim Wilhelm CEO of Final Expense Direct Life Insurance
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Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 03 Dec 2022

If you’re shopping for life insurance, you may come across terms like waiting period and wonder what it means. It’s important to understand this term when buying any type of life insurance, especially final expense insurance, which is whole life insurance for seniors.

What is a Waiting Period?

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In the life insurance industry, a waiting period is the time from when the policy takes effect and when your death benefit starts. That means if you die before the death benefit begins, your beneficiary won’t receive any death benefit or will only receive a portion of it.

There are two clauses in a life insurance policy that include a 2-year waiting period no matter which policy you choose:

  • Contestability clause: If you die within 2 years of your policy date, the life insurance company has the option to contest the death benefit payout if they think you lied or misrepresented something on the application. For example, you applied as a nonsmoker but you died of a smoking related illness.
  • Suicide clause: This clause kicks in if you die by suicide in the first 2 years of the policy. This clause is in effect to keep people from buying life insurance to have a payout before they commit suicide.

What is 2-Year Waiting Period Life Insurance?

Some life insurance policies have an additional 2-year waiting period, called a graded or modified death benefit:

  • Graded death benefit: If you die in the first year, your beneficiary will receive between 30%–40% of the death benefit. A death in the second year means they get 70%–80% of the death benefit amount. A death after the first 2 years means your beneficiary receives 100% of the death benefit.
  • Modified death benefit: A modified death benefit is common with guaranteed issue final expense burial insurance policies. If you die in the first 2 years, your beneficiary receives the premiums paid plus 7%–10% interest. The full death benefit is available after the 2-year mark.

If the policy has no waiting period, you get an immediate death benefit. So even if you die the day after you make your first payment, your beneficiary is eligible for the full death benefit as long as you didn’t die by suicide and were truthful on your application.

Can I Get Life Insurance Without 2-Year Waiting Period?

Yes, you can get life insurance without 2-year waiting period. You can get most term life insurance with no waiting period, but term is usually not the best choice for seniors.

At Final Expense Direct, we work with many companies offering life insurance with immediate death benefit and no medical exam. Our agents are ready to answer your call to ask you a few health questions to find out if you qualify for burial insurance with no waiting period.

We also work with carriers offering guaranteed whole life insurance with no waiting period. That means you don’t have to answer health questions or take a medical exam. You just complete the application, pay your first premium, and you’re covered with an immediate death benefit.

To find out if you qualify for whole life insurance without 2-year waiting period, call us today. We can help you get the best life insurance with no waiting period.

How to Get Life Insurance With No Waiting Period And No Medical Exam

If you’re a healthy senior, it’s pretty easy to get life insurance with no waiting period and no medical exam. If you can answer a few health questions on the application, you’ll be able to get a cheaper rate for final expense insurance.

But what if you have a few health issues or are in poor health? Your best chance of getting life insurance with no waiting period and no medical exam is to work with an independent agency broker like Final Expense Direct. 

Each insurance company has their own health questions and criteria for approval. We know all the underwriting guidelines for each company, so we can help you find the right company that will approve you despite your health issues.

The most common health issues that may cause a 2-year waiting period are:

You could also get 2-year waiting period life insurance if you’ve had a heart attack, heart surgery, stroke, an organ transplant, or been in a diabetic coma in the last 24 months.

Even if you have one or more of these health issues, it doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for life insurance without 2-year waiting period. Call Final Expense Direct today to find out what you qualify for.

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FAQs Whole Life Insurance With 2-Year Waiting Period


Is There a 2-Year Waiting Period for Term Life Insurance?

No, there is usually not a 2-year waiting period for term life insurance, though there can be exceptions. All life insurance policies include the contestability and suicide clauses that have a 2-year waiting period.

Do All Life Insurance Policies Have a Waiting Period?

No, not all life insurance policies have a waiting period. Guaranteed issue final expense funeral insurance usually has a 2-year waiting period. Your health, age, and the company you apply for life insurance coverage will determine if there is a waiting period.

Can Life Insurance Be Denied After 2 Years?

Generally, life insurance cannot be denied after 2 years, which is when the contestability and suicide clauses expire.

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What Will Disqualify You From Life Insurance?

There are several things that disqualify you from life insurance, which depend on the type of life insurance you’re applying for and the company. Your age, health, hobbies or occupation (if deemed dangerous or high-risk), and answers to questions on the application can disqualify you from life insurance.

How Long is the Waiting Period for Life Insurance?

The waiting period for life insurance is 2-years long from the policy effective date. If the insured dies within the 2-years, the beneficiary may only receive the premiums paid plus interest, a percentage of the death benefit, or no payout at all.

How Long Do You Have to Pay on Life Insurance Before It Pays Out?

How long you have to pay on life insurance before it pays out depends on your policy waiting period. If you have an immediate death benefit, or no waiting period, the policy could pay out after you make the first payment. With a 2-year waiting period, the policy may only pay a portion of the death benefit instead of the full death benefit.

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