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In this Lincoln Heritage life insurance review, you’ll learn how their coverage works and how much they cost compared to other final expense insurance companies.
Also, we’ll discuss how their funeral planning benefits work and get clarification about whether or not they pay claims within 24 hours.
The Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage program is a simplified issue whole life insurance policy primarily meant to pay for funeral costs.
Even though they often refer to their coverage as burial or final expense insurance, it’s still life insurance.
The payout will be a cash benefit paid to your beneficiaries or funeral home. Your loved ones can spend the money with no restrictions.
The application process does not require a medical exam. However, you must answer health questions, and Lincoln Heritage will analyze your past medications to determine your eligibility.
They have two final expense plan benefits that you can potentially qualify for:
- Level benefit: To qualify for the level death benefit, you must be able to say no to all the health questions in the application. Also, you cannot have any prior medications meant to treat the health conditions mentioned in the application. If approved, this plan has no waiting period.
- Modified benefit: The modified benefit will be offered if you say yes to any of the “significant health conditions” questions. This plan costs roughly 100% more than the level death benefit. For example, Lincoln Heritage will charge a 65-year-old nonsmoking female $57.40 monthly for a $10,000 policy for the level benefit and $105.60 for the modified benefit. In addition to the higher cost, there is a waiting period. The waiting period for applicants aged 0-49 is three years, but it is only two years for seniors 50-85. If you die during the waiting period (except from an accident), Lincoln Heritage will only refund 110% of premiums.
Lincoln Heritage offers up to $35,000 in funeral insurance coverage. If you buy $20,000 or less, you only need to speak with one of the Lincoln Heritage insurance agents, who will ask you the health questions.
However, if you buy more than $20,000, they will require you to complete a telephone interview with an underwriter in addition to speaking with an agent.
You can add an accidental death and dismemberment rider for an additional cost that would pay out extra money if you die from an accident or lose a limb.
You can also add a child rider (for an additional premium) for minors under 18. It would provide life insurance for a child, stepchild, grandchild, or great-grandchild. The coverage insures the children until they are 25.
|Coverage Details||Level Benefit||Modified Benefit|
|Policy Type||Whole Life Insurance|
|Ages of Availability For New Applicants||0-85|
|Minimum Coverage Amount||$15 Monthly|
|Maximum Coverage Amount||Age 0-80:|
|Available States||All except for New York & Washington|
|Builds Cash Value||Yes|
|Can Be Denied For Pre-Existing Conditions||Yes|
|Prescription History Check||Yes|
|Waiting Period||No||Age 0-49:
|Subject To The Contestability Clause||Yes||No|
|Optional Riders At Additional Cost||Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and Child Life Insurance|
|Sample Application||Lincoln Heritage Application|
At a minimum, Lincoln Heritage requires you to buy enough coverage that costs at least $15 per month. Beyond that, prices are determined based on your age, gender, tobacco usage, health, and how much coverage you buy.
The primary downfall of the Funeral Advantage Program is the cost. Lincoln Heritage life insurance coverage is, on average, 20-25% more expensive than other insurance companies.
Furthermore, Lincoln Heritage underwriting is unfavorable to seniors looking for final expense insurance. If you’re not in the best of health, there’s a high chance that they will offer you their modified plan. Their modified whole life policy has a waiting period and is nearly 300% more expensive than what you could get from other providers.
|Mutual of Omaha||Aetna|
- Financially strong insurance company.
- No medical exam.
- Immediate coverage is available if you qualify.
- Accepts seniors as old as 85 and minors as young as 0.
- Pays some claims within 24-48 hours.
- Specializes in final expense insurance.
- Valuable riders that you can add to your policy.
- Includes funeral planning tools at no additional cost.
- Very high prices relative to other providers.
- Many applicants are offered the modified plan, which has a waiting period and is extremely expensive.
- Their website makes users believe they will see prices, but they don’t. After giving them your address and phone number, they simply send an agent to your house.
- Funeral planning benefits are often overstated and exaggerated.
- You must speak with one of their agents to buy a policy (you cannot buy online).
- Low coverage maximum.
- No term or universal life is offered.
- No coverage is available in New York or Washington.
- A high amount of consumer complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
- Most sales agents automatically include the riders (that cost extra) without informing the client the riders increased the premium.
If you need insurance to cover your burial, Lincoln Heritage is typically not the best option.
Lincoln Heritage burial insurance has three main problems:
- They are unnecessarily expensive. If you’re in great health, expect to pay 20-25% more than other burial insurance companies. If you aren’t healthy, you could spend about 300% more than other companies would charge you.
- Underwriting is not favorable for seniors. Many final expense insurance customers often have health issues where Lincoln Heritage will offer their modified plan. It costs significantly more and comes with a 2-3 year waiting period.
- Most Lincoln Heritage agents cannot offer another insurance company. Like Colonial Penn or AARP life insurance, most Lincoln Heritage agents are captive to the company. That means that they do not represent any other life insurance companies. If you don’t like what Lincoln Heritage offers, most of their agents cannot connect you with another insurance company that would offer you a better policy. Independent agencies like Opencare, Family First Life, National Family, and Choice Mutual can all compare offers from multiple providers on your behalf to find you the best deal.
Below are five examples of real clients we’ve helped in the past who were considering Funeral Advantage. See a breakdown of what Lincoln Heritage was offering compared to a few other providers. All the names have been redacted for privacy.
- Mary Smith: 67-year-old female living in Texas who does not use tobacco. She only has high blood pressure and a thyroid condition. She was seeking $20,000 in coverage.
- Lincoln Heritage: $126.20
- Mutual of Omaha: $88.52 ←Her choice
- Transamerica: $87.62
- Foresters Financial: $91.09
- Aflac: $93.36
- Dave Green: 53-year-old male living in California who does not use tobacco. He has COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. He was seeking $15,000 in coverage.
- Lincoln Heritage: $152.40 (with a 2-year waiting period)
- Mutual of Omaha: $62.88 (with a 2-year waiting period)
- Aetna: $66.11 (no waiting) ←His choice
- Aflac: $69.51 (no waiting)
- Liberty Bankers Life: $67.37 (no waiting)
- Lisa Davis: 80-year-old female living in Arkansas who does not use tobacco. She has high blood pressure, diabetes (with insulin), high cholesterol, restless leg syndrome, and had a heart attack three years ago, which caused her to be on a blood thinner (Plavix). She was seeking $10,000 in coverage.
- Lincoln Heritage: $182.20 (with a 2-year waiting period)
- Mutual of Omaha: $98.43 (no waiting) ←Her choice
- Prosperity Life: $100.10 (no waiting)
- Aetna: $101.41 (no waiting)
- American Home Life: $108.32 (no waiting)
- Mike White: 71-year-old male living in Florida who does not use tobacco. He has no medical conditions. He was seeking $30,000 in coverage.
- Lincoln Heritage: $275.40
- Transamerica: $218.63
- Aflac: $224.31 ←His choice
- Aetna: $229.51
- Mutual of Omaha: $230.02
- Gary Smith: 59-year-old male living in Texas who smokes cigarettes. He has high blood pressure, diabetes, and Afib. He was seeking $12,000 in coverage.
- Lincoln Heritage: $132.36 (with a 2-year waiting period)
- American Amicable: $69.55 (no waiting)
- Aflac: $75.89 (no waiting)
- Aetna: $76.05 (no waiting) ←His choice
- Prosperity Life: $77.09 (no waiting)
Virtually all Lincoln Heritage agents and their advertisements proudly proclaim that claims are paid within 24 hours.
The truth they don’t want you to be aware of is that only approved claims are potentially paid within 24 hours. Lincoln Heritage policies provide no contractual guarantee that approved claims will be paid within 24 hours. It’s just a marketing promise they aren’t willing to back up in the policy.
So, what does it take for a claim to be approved? Well, it depends upon when you die.
- Death within the first 24 months: They will need a death certificate and copies of the insured medical records. Then, they will review those medical records to ensure the insured truthfully answered all the health questions in the application when they originally applied. If they find evidence of a health condition (at the time of application) that would have caused them never to issue the policy, they will not pay the claim. Instead, Lincoln Heritage would only refund your premiums. If they confirm that the applicant accurately answered the health questions when they applied, then they will pay the entire claim. You should expect this process to take many weeks or months to complete, which is true for all life insurance companies.
- Death after the first 24 months: They will either need a death certificate, or a funeral home that has the body will need to provide proof of the deceased. This process could take less than a week or more, depending on how long it takes for a death certificate to be issued.
In summary, a Lincoln Heritage burial insurance policy will never pay out the death benefit within 24 hours if death occurs within the first two years. It would be impossible due to the contestability clause that gives them the right to order medical records before approving or denying the claim.
If you die after 24 months, you might see an approved claim paid within 24 hours. But the truth is that nobody knows how long it takes for a Funeral Advantage policy to pay out because Lincoln Heritage will not contractually define how quickly claims are paid.
When Lincoln Heritage says they assist seniors with funeral planning, the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society (FCGS) is what they are mainly referring to. Per their website, the FCGS is an independent senior advocate organization that helps guide families through the funeral process.
Funeral Planning Assistance
Lincoln Heritage will provide you with a funeral planning form they created so you can document how you want your final wishes carried out. But you don’t need to overspend on Lincoln Heritage life insurance for this benefit. Many funeral planning companies like Ever Loved offer this service for free. Or you can download a free planning guide from Metlife.
Funeral Plan Activation Help
The FCGS will provide your loved ones with family support services. It’s broken up into two parts. First, they will notify Lincoln Heritage of the insured’s death and will pass along their funeral preferences (if the insured completed the funeral planning documents and sent them back in). The second part of this benefit is the one that Lincoln Heritage agents love to boast about.
They claim (not contractually) that the FCGS will compare prices of funeral services to save money. Per the Lincoln Heritage website, they proclaim the FCGS saves each family an average of $1,800 off traditional funerals and $600 for cremation costs. Saving money is excellent, but does that make their overpriced insurance worth it?
When you consider that their insurance is 20%-300% more expensive than other providers, you realize that the math doesn’t add up. You’d be far better off having a guaranteed higher death benefit (with another company) that is 20%-300% larger than a Lincoln Heritage policy rather than having the potential to save $600-$1,800 off your funeral expenses.
The Funeral Consumer Guardian Society benefits don’t justify Lincoln Hertiage’s overpriced final expense life insurance.
Jack Londen started Lincoln Heritage in 1963. To this day, they are still a family-owned, privately held corporation. Their headquarters are in Phoenix, AZ, but they offer insurance in all states except New York and Washington.
Presently, final expense insurance is the only type of life insurance they sell.
Below are the financial strength ratings and customer reviews for Lincoln Heritage as of 09/26/2023:
- A.M. Best rating: A- (Excellent)
- NAIC: 1.15 complaint index in 2022 for individual life products (average is 1.0), which means they get slightly more complaints on average
- Better Business Bureau: Accredited with an A+ rating and 274 complaints within the last 36 months
- Google: 4.2/5 stars with 830 reviews
- Yelp: 2/5 stars with 13 reviews
Lincoln Heritage is a legitimately licensed insurance company based in Phoenix, AZ. Also, they are accredited with the BBB and have an A+ rating. Their final expense insurance is very expensive relative to other providers, but that does not detract from the fact that they are a legitimate insurance company.
How long it takes for a Lincoln Heritage death claim to payout depends entirely on how long you have the policy when you die. If you die in the first 24 months, expect the payout process to take many weeks or months. However, if you die after the policy has been active for more than two years, the payout will likely be less than a week.
You must buy coverage that costs at least $15 per month. For a $10,000 final expense policy, a 70-year-old female would pay $75.30 monthly, and a 70-year-old male would pay $86.40. The exact cost is based on your specific age, gender, health, state of residence, tobacco habits, and how much coverage you want.
Lincoln Heritage only offers whole life final expense insurance. They do not offer term or universal life. However, you can add accidental death coverage to their whole life insurance for additional benefits.
The Funeral Advantage plan is a whole life final expense insurance policy from Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company. It pays a tax-free cash benefit to your loved ones so they can cover your funeral expenses. It’s available up to $35,000 in all states except for New York and Washington.
You can cancel a Lincoln Heritage life insurance policy by calling them at 1-800-433-8181. You can also contact them via their website, which is www.lhlic.com/contact-us.
Lincoln Heritage only sells whole life insurance, a type of permanent coverage that lasts your entire life. They do not offer term or universal life insurance.