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Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance Review 2020
Are you looking for final expense life insurance? The biggest kid on the block is Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance.1 In fact, final expense insurance is the only life insurance policy it sells.
We’ll provide a thorough review of Lincoln Heritage and its Funeral Advantage plan. We’ll answer your questions about who can qualify for the plan, how its premiums stack up against the competition, and whether Lincoln Heritage has the financial stability to stick around.
See if Lincoln Heritage is the right life insurance agency for you.
- Quick and easy application
- Solid financial footing
- Lower-than-average complaints
- Waiting period for certain conditions
- Limited benefit payout
- Reports of hardball selling tactics
Lincoln Heritage life insurance policies
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Table created using information available at LHIC as of 05-06-2019 and Maria Townsend of Townsend Insurance
Unlike many other insurance companies, Lincoln Heritage isn’t about trying to offer every type of insurance under the sun. Instead, it offers only one type of insurance: final expense insurance, also known as “burial insurance” or “funeral insurance.” (Learn more about why burial insurance is important for seniors.)
Final expense insurance
Final expense policies are typically a whole life insurance product, also known as “permanent insurance.” With a whole life insurance policy, a small amount of your monthly payment is automatically squirreled away on your behalf. Think of it as a savings account attached to your policy. This extra money will give your Funeral Advantage policy a “cash value.”
Over the years, as this cash value grows, you can use that money to pay for expenses, take a loan against it, or even use it to cover your monthly premiums. While you can likely earn a higher return by investing your money in other ways, this cash value can be a useful way to automatically sock away some emergency funds.
Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage life insurance
The only insurance product it sells is its Funeral Advantage insurance. This whole life burial insurance policy offers a modest payout of up to $35,000 when the applicant passes away. This benefit won’t be enough to pay off a typical mortgage, but it can help to cover your final costs. For example, your family can use the payout to cover your funeral or cremation costs, pay off hospital bills, or zero out your credit cards.
Lincoln Heritage’s Funeral Advantage insurance is a Once you get approved, you can keep the insurance for life as long as you continue to pay the premiums. (This is a major difference from term life insurance, which expires after a specified amount of time.) The premiums will also stay the exact same throughout the life of the policy. Even if you get injured or sick after approval, your premiums won’t budge.
If you decide to purchase a Funeral Advantage burial insurance plan, you’ll earn access to another unique benefit—membership to a service called the “Funeral Consumer Guardian Society” or FCGS.
Essentially, the FCGS assists your family with planning your funeral after you’re gone. The FCGS can even negotiate with local funeral parlors on behalf of your family. Lincoln Heritage claims that the FCGS saves families an average of $1,800 for traditional funerals and $600 on cremation services.2
The FCGS service may prove useful to certain families who wish not to deal with the emotionally fraught challenges of planning a funeral of a loved one. However, many families can handle making arrangements on their own, and the FCGS might not be as valuable a benefit as Lincoln Heritage likes to claim.
Riders and add-on policies from Lincoln Heritage
By the time your final expense insurance policy pays out, hopefully you’ll have lived a long and fulfilled life. The house will be paid off, diplomas will hang on the walls in your children’s homes, and a nest egg will be waiting in your investment accounts. In this scenario, your final expense insurance payout will be the perfect amount to cover your funeral cost or send those last medical bills packing.
But what happens if you are cut down in the prime of life when your family still has bills to pay? Lincoln Heritage offers a rider, called accidental death and dismemberment coverage, for this scenario. Depending on the nature of the accident or dismemberment you experience, your policy could pay an additional $5,000 to $20,000 per unit you add.
You can choose to purchase up to five units of add-on coverage, meaning your accidental death or dismemberment rider could pay a maximum of $100,000 in certain situations. (If you’d prefer an even higher benefit—perhaps to pay down a mortgage or make sure the kiddos get through college—take a look at these alternative life insurance policy options.)
Additionally, Lincoln Heritage also offers a child rider, which offers a payout if a biological, adopted, or stepchild should pass away.
Be careful before signing onto one of these riders. A sales agent may be able to make these riders sound indispensable, but they will add to your monthly premium. You can also purchase these riders as individual policies from other insurers, so it’s always a good idea to compare prices before committing.
Lincoln Heritage life insurance rates
You’d think a company that sells only a single type of insurance would offer the best prices in town. However, we’ve found that Lincoln Heritage’s life insurance rates for healthy adults are about average for the industry.
Lincoln Heritage sample rates
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Rates current as of 01-30-2019. Sample rates reflect those of a 50-year-old male smoker in good health and a 25-year old non-smoking female in excellent health.
What’s even more surprising is that Funeral Advantage rates for customers with health issues tend to be significantly higher than what competitive policies offer. This may be because Lincoln Heritage doesn’t require its customers to submit to a medical exam.
Every life insurer has different standards for what health conditions it will cover and which conditions it won’t. Lincoln Heritage stands apart from the pack in that it’s willing to cover a much wider range of health issues than most insurers. Of course, there are caveats. Customers with health conditions are likely to be placed on Lincoln Heritage’s modified plan with a waiting period, and they will almost certainly pay a hefty premium for their coverage.
While not every insurer covers every health condition, you can still probably find at least a few insurance policies that will cover your specific condition. In most cases, if you are willing to do the leg work, you can find a policy for a lower rate than Lincoln Heritage even with a challenging health condition. That’s why it’s always a good idea to compare life insurance quotes from a variety of providers.
Lincoln Heritage history and financial strength
Founded in 1963, Lincoln Heritage is a family-owned business with an impressive track record of financial stability. Operating in 49 states (sorry, New York), the company currently underwrites over one million policies valued at over $8 billion.3
Lincoln Heritage’s strong ratings suggest the company will continue to be a reliable bet for the long term. That’s good news for families who hopefully won’t need to collect on policies for a few decades or more.
Ratings current as of 05-06-2019.
A.M. Best rates Lincoln Heritage an A- in both “Financial Strength” and “Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating.” Don’t let that minus give you pause. It actually equates to an “Excellent” rating from the agency, which also deems the company’s outlook “Stable” in both categories.
The rating of 0.87 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) indicates that Lincoln Heritage’s customer complaints are below average. (The national median is 1.)
Lincoln Heritage customer service and claims
When it comes to customer service, Lincoln Heritage has a bit of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde problem. Its claims departments and home office staff regularly receive excellent marks for customer service. As we mentioned a little earlier, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that Lincoln Heritage received fewer than average customer service complaints.
Look a little deeper, and you’ll see that the company’s sales team isn’t doing its reputation any favors. Reviewers writing to the BBB complain of aggressive sales tactics, including agents showing up at the reviewer’s homes without warning.
If you do decide to sit down with a Lincoln Heritage agent, gird yourself for a hard sell. Since Lincoln Heritage sells only a single product, its agents will have to sell you a Funeral Advantage plan if they hope to earn their commission—regardless of whether that policy is the best life insurance for you.
If you want to look at similar options from other companies, check out our list of the best burial life and final expense life insurance companies.
Bottom line: Lincoln Heritage is a great option for healthy adults
If you have your heart set on final expense insurance and prefer to work with a company that can boast a long and stable financial history, Lincoln Heritage is definitely worth your consideration. Healthy adults will find the company’s rates competitive and its claim service easy to work with.
However, adults with current or recent health issues may experience sticker shock and could be shuttled into a modified plan, with a two- to three-year wait period before the benefit kicks in. These customers would be better served by comparing rates from other insurers where they may be able to find better coverage options at a lower price.
Want to see what rates you can snag for final expense insurance or a different kind of life insurance? Compare rates online, or give our helpful support staff a call. We don’t work for any particular insurance company, so our goal is to find you the best life insurance for your needs and budget. Get a quote today.
Still have questions about Lincoln Heritage? These FAQs may help.
The answer to this question is yes; however, like most life insurance companies, Lincoln Heritage will charge tobacco users higher premiums than non-tobacco-users. Lincoln Heritage has a reputation for charging higher-than-average premiums to applicants with health conditions (including smoking), so we recommend that you compare policies from different insurers to make sure you get the best rates.
You may wish to name a funeral home as the beneficiary of your Funeral Advantage insurance premium. There are some reasonable benefits to this this decision. Giving your payout to a funeral home would seem to ensure that you’ll get the funeral and burial or cremation that you wish. This can also save your family from the emotional burden of handling the payments for your final expenses.
However, just because you can name a funeral home as your beneficiary doesn’t mean you should. By choosing a funeral home as your beneficiary, you take the decision about how to best use your payout away from your family. They may wish to use the money to pay your medical bills, or they may pay for your funeral and find that there is money left over that can go towards other important expenses.
Lincoln Heritage does allow customers to name a funeral home as their beneficiary unless you live in the following states:
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
1. Lincoln Heritage Life, “Found: Your One-Stop Final Expenses Insurance Solution”
2. Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage, “About The Funeral Advantage Program”
3. Lincoln Heritage Life, “About Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company”