Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance a Good Option?

We often get asked questions along the lines of “My aging parent is very ill and medical bills have drained his/her savings account, but I cannot afford to pay for the funeral if he/she should pass away.  Can I buy life insurance on my parent?”  In this scenario, we do not advise purchasing “regular” fully underwritten life insurance.  More often than not, term life insurance is going to be ideal for most people, but not in this scenario.

Why we wouldn’t recommend term insurance in this case…

Term life insurance would typically not work in this case because the coverage amount would be too small, the client would likely be uninsurable because of health issues, and the client’s age would be outside the range a life insurance company would approve coverage for.

What we would recommend…

When we get this question, we usually tell inquirers that they have two options:

  1. Take the money you would have spent each month on term insurance and instead put it into a savings account so it can start accruing interest. You can then access these funds later when in need of money for your loved one’s final expenses.
  2. Purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

What is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that you cannot be denied coverage on, hence “guaranteed”.  There are a few things you should know about this type of insurance.

  1. Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically known as “last resort” life insurance. It’s meant for those who may have been denied previously and/or are not in good health.
  2. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are designed so that surviving loved ones can pay for your final expenses, such as a funeral, burial, and medical bills.
  3. Guaranteed issue life insurance premiums will never increase.
  4. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy accumulates cash value.
  5. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies have significantly lower death benefit amounts compared to term or permanent policies.
  6. There is no medical exam or questionnaire required for guaranteed issue life insurance. The only factor that is really taken into consideration is the age of the insured.  Because of this, guaranteed issue life insurance premiums are higher per thousand than most other types of life insurance.
  7. Benefits are limited to the first two years. This is called a Graded Death Benefit period.  What this means is that if you die within two years of buying the policy for any reason other than an accident, your beneficiaries typically only receive the total amount of what you paid in premiums.  (This can vary depending on the carrier.)

So, if you’re in relatively good health, fully underwritten life insurance may be a better option for you.  However, guaranteed issue life insurance is a great option for those with a desperate need.

How much does guaranteed issue life insurance cost?

While you can get millions of dollars’ worth of term life insurance coverage, guaranteed issue life insurance coverage often caps at $50,000.  Again, its design is based around simply helping your surviving loved ones pay for your final expenses.

Quotacy works with Gerber Life to provide guaranteed issue coverage options.  Gerber’s guaranteed issue policy is available in all U.S. states except for Montana.  Take a look at the examples and table below to get an idea on what a guaranteed issue policy can cost.

Example #1

 John Smith is 55 years old and has been denied for traditional life insurance because of his Stage IV prostate cancer.  He does not want to burden his children with his final expenses so he plans on purchasing guaranteed issue life insurance.

He’s automatically approved without having to undergo a medical exam or fill out any health forms.  John obtains $20,000 in coverage and his premiums are $91.30 per month.

If John passes away within two years, Gerber Life will refund to his beneficiaries all premiums that had been paid plus 10% interest.  However, if John happens to die because of an accident unrelated to his health within those two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full $20,000 death benefit.  After two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full death benefit regardless of how he dies.

Example #2

 Jane Doe takes care of her 79-year-old mother Sally.  Sally does not have any life insurance and Jane is worried that she won’t have the funds to give her mother the funeral she deserves.  Jane decides to buy a guaranteed issue life insurance policy on Sally.

A $12,000 policy is enough for Jane to ensure she can pay for a proper funeral and burial.  Sally is approved for coverage and the policy will cost $165.70 per month.

Although this type of policy is easy to acquire, it offers less coverage and higher premiums than traditional life insurance, so explore all your options.  If you aren’t sure if guaranteed issue life insurance is the best choice for you or want more information, contact us here at Quotacy and we can help you.

Recap of Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance:

  • If you’re between 50 and 80 years old, you can be accepted for guaranteed issue coverage regardless of your health.
  • There are no medical exams to complete or health questionnaires to fill out.
  • Cash value accumulates within the policy.

Remember, term life insurance quotes are free to run on and there is no penalty for applying.  It doesn’t hurt to apply for term life insurance, then opt for the guaranteed issue if you end up being denied.  The more options you have, the better decision you can make.

How Agents Sell Homes Faster

In many parts of the U.S., the local housing market is undeniably in favor of the seller. For real estate agents themselves, that doesn't mean the process will be a total cakewalk from start to finish. 

According to agents who spoke with, it's quite the opposite: High-quality homes of all kinds are in high demand, but most homeowners selling their home are simultaneously buyers of another one. That puts extra pressure on their agent to close deals quickly and at an ideal price.

To navigate the ever-evolving real estate marketplace from the sales side, here are some basics to know:

Price is priority

The first piece of advice given to anyone looking to sell a home quickly involves setting the right price from the very beginning. This is especially critical in the modern homebuying environment, where information regarding past and current sales trends is available to anyone with an internet connection. As one agent explained in an interview with, buyers know from the outset if a home is overpriced, so agents can't expect to pull a fast one by starting out with a list price above the market. Aim for the going market rate, and in the right area, offers high above that level will almost certainly come.

Negotiation tips

Once you've found interested buyers, then the real strategic work begins. As Redfin explained, a buyer's agent will likely make an initial offer that's more favorable to them, but there's always room for negotiation.

  • Sellers are often motivated to close quickly, but so are many buyers. If a fast close is important to you or your client, take this as a positive step, but don't allow it to detract from the final closing price.
  • Sweetening the pot with a high offer is music to every seller's ears, but concessions in the closing process allow the buyer to gain back some of that leverage. Remember that issues found in a home inspection or appraisal could cancel out a high offer as well as drag out the time to closing.
  • Don't forget that seemingly minor issues at the last minute could derail the entire offer. One common issue involves the title on the house. If any liens or other problems exist in the home's documented past, this is grounds for most buyers to walk away. Agents should exercise due diligence in title research to nip these in the bud, which may require help from a legal professional.

Finishing touches

Besides being a responsive agent and a diligent negotiator, some of the best ways to ensure a fast sale are also among the easiest to implement. Trulia recommended taking time to stage the home properly and increase curb appeal to reel in more buyers and allow them to see themselves in the home. These tiny details go a long way toward helping everyone get what they are looking for out of a home transaction.

Water Cooling Solar Panels To Cut The Air Conditioning Costs

The scientists at Stanford University, California have developed a cooling system which is capable of reducing the inside temperature of a building in a very hot (desert) climate condition by over 20% with the help of specially designed solar panels without increasing the electricity consumption or water evaporation.

We have been hearing about solar water heaters, but this technology developed at Stanford University when gets implemented commercially will lower the cost of industrial-scale air conditioning and refrigeration drastically.

These new water cooler solar panels that are necessarily installed on the rooftop, are made up of three components. The first component is a plastic layer with a silver coating which reflects nearly 100% incoming sunlight, thus keeps the panel away from heating up in the summer days, during the scorching heat. The plastic layer sits on the top of the second component- a coiled copper tube. Water is circulated through this tube, in turn, it sheds heat to the plastic. Then this heat is radiated out by the plastic on top of the tube at a wavelength which is in the range of the infrared (IR) spectrum, this can not be absorbed by the atmosphere and instead, goes all the way to outer space. Finally, the whole panel is encased in a thermally insulating plastic housing, this ensures that almost all the heat radiated away comes necessarily from the circulating water and not from the surrounding air.

To conduct the actual field trial the scientists recently placed three such water cooling panels on the roof a building at their university campus. Each panel area was 0.37 square meters. Water was circulated through these at the rate of 0.2 litres every minute. The result they reported was, this setup cooled the water as much as 5°C below the ambient temperature. The test was conducted over 3 days. Later they modelled o show how their panels would help if integrated with a typical air conditioning plant for a two-story building in Las Vegas, Nevada. The results were astonishing and this setup would lower the electrical demand required for air conditioning by almost 21%. The scientists have recently published the detailed report in the magazine Nature Energy.

How Do You Pick an Exterior Paint Color for Your Home?


It can be hard enough to pick a color for your guest bedroom (commitment isn’t easy!), so how in the world will you pick a color for your entire home? What will the neighbors think? Is lime green too bold?

We can answer these questions for you, taking a little of the complexity and stress out of the equation with a handful of practical tips.

And yes, lime green is too bold. See? We’re helping already.

Keep These 7 Tips and Questions in Mind

finding an exterior paint color

#1 Take a deep breath, relax, and don’t rush the process

The last thing you want is to have regrets when it comes to picking your exterior paint, or to wish that you had expanded your horizons a bit rather than just repainting the same color. There’s a world of colorful opportunity out there just waiting for you…

Once you’ve covered your bases, however, it’s time to leap. It’s easy to get lost in a maze of swatches and color samples, so our first tip is to do your research, then go for it!

#2 Talk to a Professional Painter About Color Consultation Services

Did you know that many reputable, local painters can connect you with a color pro? These experts can help you analyze all the factors at play, from architecture to edgy trends, and save you hours and hours and hours of searching. You’ll never regret it!

#3 Walk Through Your Neighborhood, Take Notes, and Steal Ideas

Unless your neighborhood is extremely rare and eclectic, there likely is similar architecture up and down your street. Check out what others have done for color, and take note of what you like AND what you don’t. This also will help you find a color scheme that connects with your neighborhood vibe without matching like a cookie cutter.

#4 See What’s On the Interwebs

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: You can spend many a happy hour clicking and swiping through examples of colors, style, home improvements, and more. Start with our profile, if you’d like! It’s always nice to see a familiar face when you visit someplace new.

#5 Consider Your Fixed Colors

Roof, chimney, driveway, stone facade… These are elements that need to be factored in and can help narrow down your color options.

#6 Research Your Architectural Style

Especially if you have an older home, or one built in a specific style, there is likely a traditional color scheme that matches your architecture. It can be fun to find out what that is and then develop a historically accurate palette. For example, check out this Victorian Painted Lady. Your home may not have a heritage this drastic (or colorful), but it certainly shows what we mean.


#7 Add Your Own Personality

Whether it’s in the trim, shutters, or door color, we always recommend having some fun with your color scheme in a reasonable way. After all, adding “spice to your space” is built right into our philosophy of painting! Make your home your own, and reflect your personality and tastes.


AQUAFLOR: The Newest Line of Laminate Flooring

Good news, the future of laminate flooring is here and just in time for renovation season. Introducing Avalon’s exclusive new high quality laminate collection Aquaflor. Thanks to groundbreaking technology, Aquaflor looks and feels like hardwood, but without all the maintenance of hardwood!

Each plank is imprinted with HD images to give a realistic wood look and embossed to give a realistic wood grain feel. But unlike hardwood, Aquaflor can withstand vast temperature changes and has waxed edges on each plank. This means you don’t have to worry about the effects of big spills or wet mopping seeping into the cracks and ruining your floors. This also means you can finally get the hardwood look you’ve always wanted in your kitchen now! And because of its dense core and “Diamente” finish—the crème de la crème of protective finishes—Aquaflor has one of the hardest wearing and scratch resistant surfaces; also making it the perfect choice for high traffic residential and commercial spaces.

aquaflor colors

It’s simple to install too—yet another advantage to add to the list. Aquaflor is installed free floating with its angle drop and lock system. And unlike other laminate flooring, it doesn’t require transition molding in spaces that are up to 105 feet in length and/or width. Hello seamless open floor plan!

Even with all these great features, with any large purchase, especially for your home, it’s important to know that you’re protected. Which is why Aquaflor comes with excellent warranties to give you peace of mind.

  • Industry leading 48 hour spill and wet mop warranty
  • Lifetime warranty for residential use
  • 15 year light commercial use warranty
  • 5 year heavy commercial use warranty

Layers of Aquaflor laminate flooring

So when weighing your flooring options for your next renovation, ask one of our PlaceFive design experts about Aquaflor. Because no matter what space you’re working with—it’s got you covered!

At PlaceFive Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

Stop by one of our 14 showrooms and we’ll be happy to work with you to figure out what’s best for your lifestyle.

How the Wrong Air Filter Affects Your Home

Most technicians recommend changing an air filter once every month, or at most, every 2 or 3 months. You might assume that this is because you need to keep your air clean. And this is true—partly. A technician’s number one concern, though, when it comes to your air filter, is keeping your air conditioner from being damaged.

That’s what your air filter is there for in the first place: damage prevention. But the wrong air filter can do way more harm than good.

How your filter protects your AC system

The air filter in your AC system is primarily there to protect your air conditioning system, although today’s filters are also effective at reducing allergens. If there were no filter present, your indoor blower fan could suck in large particles of debris as it sucked in the air, which could, in turn, damage an air conditioner.

However, you do still need a sufficient amount of airflow to move through the system. That’s why you are supposed to change your air filter regularly. If it’s too dirty, it could stop air from flowing into the system, not just debris.

Thinking of upgrading your home’s air filter?

Just as a dirty air filter can inhibit airflow, so too can an air filter that is the wrong size and rating for your air conditioner. The fibers that are meant to trap particulate in the air may be so tightly woven that they stop air from moving into the HVAC system altogether.

The MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of your air filter is a good indicator of how well it filters. Most air conditioners come with a filter of about 1-4 MERV, but may be able to hold a filter of up to MERV 8. However, if the filter is too strong, you put your air conditioner at risk. Consider a whole-house air purifier instead!