Great savings with Great-West Life’s Universal Life Plan

In 2003, Great-West Life Assurance Company acquired Canada Life Assurance Company. The transaction brought together three of the largest insurance companies under one financial roof—Canada Life, Great-West Life and London Life Insurance Company.

Great-West Life’s Universal Life plan allows the choice of multiple cost of insurance (COI) options, including an increasing COI which allows the applicant to focus on cash accumulation in the early policy years.

There is also a level COI option which guarantees that the rates are fixed for life, and a quick pay COI option which allow for the COI charges to end after 10, 15 or 20 years. This universal plan has a full host of guaranteed and market-based investment options.

A very attractive feature of Great-West Life’s plan (like the Canada Life plan) is that it qualifies for their “Astra program.” This program gives a 50% reduction in premiums to all rated policyholders. A rated policy is one which the insured is charged an extra risk premium for certain health or lifestyle issues.

The savings can be dramatic, take, for example, a 45-year old male diabetic non-smoker who applies for $250,000 of universal life level cost coverage. Assuming the insured’s policy is rate plus 50% for his diabetes, the minimum premium (i.e., the premium to keep the plan in force) would be $259.57 per month. With the Astra program, the same individual’s premiums drop to $176.45 per month. This has a tremendous impact on the premiums paid over the life of the policy.

Great-West’s plan, which is one of the best in the industry, does have a surrender charge on all withdrawals in the first 10 policy years.

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