National Western Life Life Insurance Review

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Edited byVictoria Copans
Edited byVictoria Copans

Updated: May 22, 2024

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MoneyGeek’s Take: Is National Western Life Right for You?

National Western Life is an ideal option for those looking for universal life insurance that provides annuities and death benefits. It offers policies that have annuities to give you an additional source of income, with taxes distributed throughout your policy term. It also has riders for terminal and chronic illness death benefits.

If you need other types of life insurance policies, this company may not be the best choice for you. Mutual of Omaha is a good choice for those who need term life insurance because of its free riders and competitive rates. Northwestern Mutual is an ideal option for whole life insurance with dividends. For seniors looking for final expense insurance, AARP can provide living benefits and has no waiting period to issue a policy.

At a Glance: National Western Life Life Insurance

National Western Life



Doesn't require medical exams


Issues policies quickly


Offers life insurance in all states except New York



Offers only universal life policies


Has low coverage limits


Does not provide online quotes


National Western Life offers only two life insurance products, NWL Lifetime Returns Select and NWL Lifetime Returns Solutions, which are both indexed universal life policies. With these options, you can choose to pay your premiums over 5 or 10 years, and NWL Lifetime Returns Select also offers a single-pay option. National Western Life also provides riders allowing policyholders to add benefits for terminal and chronic illnesses.

These policies are issued through simplified underwriting, so you don't need a medical exam to qualify. You simply need to answer certain medical questions during the application process, which allows policies to be issued faster. National Western Life may also check the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) for your medical information.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), National Western Life has a slightly above-average complaint index of 1.1. However, this is based on only three complaints in 2022 that led to a high complaint index due to the company's small market share. Additionally, the company received an AM Best rating of “A,” signifying its excellent financial stability.

National Western Life does not provide life insurance products in the state of New York. The availability of specific products may also depend on which state you live in.

Key Takeaways

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National Western Life uses simplified underwriting to issue insurance.

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It offers only universal life insurance policies.

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Its products are ideal for those who want flexibility and cash value accumulation in their life insurance coverage.

National Western Life Policy Options Explained

Having life insurance can make you feel more financially secure. According to a 2022 LIMRA study, 68% of insured people feel secure, while only 47% of noninsureds feel that they’re financially secure.

Universal Life Insurance Options From National Western Life

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides flexibility in payment and coverage options and includes an investment component to grow your cash value. National Western Life offers two indexed universal life policy options, both of which are simplified issues, meaning they don't require a medical exam.

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    NWL Lifetime Returns Select

    The NWL Lifetime Returns Select plan offers single-pay, 5-pay and 10-pay options and provides a guaranteed death benefit up to age 121. It is available to those aged 45 to 85 and provides coverage amounts between $25,000 and $700,000, depending on the applicant's age at issue. This policy comes with three riders included at no additional cost: Accelerated Benefit Rider for Terminal Illness, Paid Up Life Insurance Rider and Return of Premium Rider. You can also get a 10% penalty-free withdrawal after the first year of your policy.

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    NWL Lifetime Returns Solutions

    The NWL Lifetime Returns Solutions plan is funded by a Single Premium Immediate Life Annuity on which you can earn interest. It is available to the same age range and offers the same coverage options as NWL Lifetime Returns Select. In addition, it has four interest options to choose from depending on your investment preferences, including Fixed Interest Rate. This policy offers 5-year and 10-year premium periods with taxes spread over time. It includes the Accelerated Benefit Rider for Terminal Illness and the Paid Up Life Insurance Rider.

If you want to accumulate cash value in your policy that you can invest and access while you're still alive, universal life insurance policies could be great for you. They also offer flexibility in payment and coverage options if your needs change over time.


National Western Life Life Insurance Riders

A life insurance rider can extend the coverage of your life insurance coverage and provide more benefits. National Western Life offers the following riders, either automatically with certain policies or as optional add-ons.


Accelerated Benefit Rider for Terminal Illness

This rider provides an advance for a maximum amount of $250,000 or 75% of
the death benefit — whichever is lower — if the insured is diagnosed with a
terminal illness.

Accelerated Benefit Rider for Chronic Illness

A policyholder with a chronic illness can get 24% of the death benefit per year
(2% of the death benefit per month) or $120,000 per year ($10,000 per month),
whichever is lesser.

Paid Up Life Insurance Rider

Your policy won’t lapse if your loan balance is about to go over your
account balance.

Return of Premium Rider

This rider is only available for single-pay premium payment plans. It provides
a cash surrender value of the first premium minus the partial surrenders and
rider benefit payments.

How to Get National Western Life Life Insurance

The application process for life insurance can differ from one provider to another. Here are a few steps to follow when applying with National Western Life, as well as what to do if your application is denied.

How to Buy Life Insurance From National Western Life

Do Your Research

Finding a life insurance policy that works best for your needs requires a lot of research. It's important to explore your options and go over the different benefits. National Western Life offers a Life Insurance Needs Calculator to help you determine how much coverage you might need.

Compare Quotes

Comparing quotes from different providers will help you find the best rate. Various factors such as age, health and gender can influence the cost of your life insurance policy, and options may vary across companies.

Health Check

Some companies may require a health exam as a basis for your policy approval or rates. When researching a company, check whether it has this requirement or not. National Western Life has a simplified underwriting process that only involves a few medical questions.


To apply for a policy with National Western Life, you'll need to call an agent. If approved, you'll receive your policy details and make your first payment to begin coverage.

What to Do if National Western Life Denies You Coverage

Here are some steps you can follow if your application is denied:

Contact Your Broker

Ask your broker about the reason for the denial. This will allow you to address the reason and potentially increase your chances of being approved the next time you apply, either for the same policy or with another company.

Lifestyle Changes

If your health is the main reason for your denial, the insurer may postpone your application until you’ve made improvements. Consider making lifestyle changes to try to better your health.

Explore Other Options

Different insurance companies may have coverage options that are easier to receive coverage for, such as guaranteed issue policies. However, they may cost more for less coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions About National Western Life Life Insurance

We answered some important questions to help you decide if National Western Life life insurance is best for you.

Can you borrow from your National Western Life life insurance policy?
What’s the maximum amount of life insurance coverage available from National Western Life?
Do life insurance policies from National Western Life pay dividends?
Can you get life insurance from National Western Life if you have cancer?
Do life insurance policies from National Western Life cover death by drug overdose?
Do life insurance policies from National Western Life cover death by suicide?