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In this Funeral Advantage review, you’ll learn how their program works, the cost, and the details of their funeral support services.
Also, find out if they genuinely pay claims within 24-48 hours as they so often proclaim.
Topics Covered in this article
How Does The Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Program Work?
The Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage program is a small death benefit whole life insurance policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. It pays a cash benefit (tax-free) to your loved ones or a funeral home to cover all your funeral expenses.
It’s common for Lincoln Heritage to refer to their Funeral Advantage plan as final expense, funeral, or burial insurance.
The application process only requires you to answer 12 health questions. In addition, Lincoln Heritage will review (with your authorization) your prescription history. Lincoln Funeral Advantage is not guaranteed acceptance because you will be declined if you are bedridden or hospitalized, receiving hospice care, or have AIDS, HIV, or a terminal illness.
There are two plans you can qualify for:
- Level benefit: This plan has immediate coverage and the lowest price they offer. You must be able to say no to all their health questions, and your medication history cannot show treatments for any of the health issues mentioned in the questionnaire.
- Modified benefit: If you say yes to any of the questions in the “significant health conditions” section or have medications for those conditions, you will be offered the modified plan. It has a 2-3 year waiting period (depending on your age) and a much higher price.
You cannot purchase the Funeral Advantage final expense insurance program online or by mail. You must either speak with one of their licensed insurance agents via phone or meet with them in person.
If you want a coverage amount above $20,000, they require you to also speak with an underwriter at their home office.
|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|
How Much Does Funeral Advantage Cost?
Funeral Advantage costs as low as $15 per month or as high as $319 depending on your age, health, tobacco habits, state of residence, amount of coverage, and if you opt to add on any riders.
As noted in most Lincoln Heritage life insurance reviews, the most significant criticism is the cost.
At a baseline, it’s usually 20%-25% more expensive than the top final expense insurance companies in the USA.
Moreover, the cost could be up to 300% higher than what you could get from other providers if you have pre-existing conditions that would cause them to offer you the modified plan.
Below is a whole life rates chart that shows you how the cost of the Funeral Advantage program compared to Mutual of Omaha Living Promise, a primary competitor.
Alternatively, you can use this quote tool to view Lincoln Heritage insurance quotes and dozens of other providers in your state.
Female Non Tobacco
|Mutual of Omaha|
Female Non Tobacco
Male Non Tobacco
|Mutual of Omaha
Male Non Tobacco
Pros And Cons Of Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage
- Financially sound company
- No medical exams required
- Good for seniors on a fixed income since the payments remain fixed
- No waiting period coverage is possible if you qualify
- Seniors over 80 (up to 85) can get coverage, or minors as young as zero
- Some claims are paid within 24-48 hours
- Final expense life insurance is Lincoln Heritage’s specialty if that’s the type of coverage you need
- Good riders available to add on
- Funeral planning and family support services added to every policy
- Their prices are incredibly high compared to other companies
- The modified plan is offered to many applicants causing them to pay exorbitant prices and having to endure a two-year waiting period
- The funeral planning help they advertise is exaggerated and regularly misrepresented by their agents
- Low coverage maximum
- You must speak with their agents to buy a policy
- The company website is very deceptive in that they make it appear as if you will see actual prices, but in reality, they just send an agent to your house after you input your address and phone number
- They don’t offer universal or term life insurance
- New York is not a state they service
- BBB has received a high number of complaints about them
- Its commonplace for their sales agents to automatically bundle in riders without informing the client that the riders increased the cost
Should You Buy Funeral Advantage Funeral Insurance?
If you need a final expense plan to cover your funeral costs, look to other companies instead.
Funeral Advantage has three significant drawbacks making their coverage not worth the cost:
- The cost is exceptionally high for no justifiable reason: Even if you’re in excellent health, you’ll pay 20%-25% more than other final expense insurance products. And if you aren’t in the best health, that figure could rise as high as 300%.
- The underwriting (what health issues they accept/reject) is unfavorable for most senior citizens: It’s common for Lincoln Heritage to offer the modified plan because of health issues that are common among seniors. That leads to a waiting period and a much higher price.
- Most Funeral Advantage agents cannot offer you any other company: Most of their agents are captive. That means they cannot sell you insurance coverage from any other provider. State Farm and Colonial Penn are two other well known examples of captive companies. Ultimately, if you don’t like the price of Funeral Advantage or the terms of the agreement, their agents have no recourse. They cannot sell you a policy from another company that would be cheaper or have better terms. For example, a 65-year-old female who takes a prescription blood thinner would pay $105.60 for a $10,000 Funeral Advantage policy (and have a waiting period). That same person would get a $10,000 no waiting period policy from Mutual of Omaha for $56.66. Sadly, nearly all Funeral Advantage Lincoln Heritage agents cannot pivot and offer Mutual of Omaha (or any other company) because Funeral Advantage is typically all they’re allowed to sell. Contrast that to agencies like Opencare or Choice Mutual, where we represent many companies to find you the best price and coverage.
Do Funeral Advantage Policies Really Pay Out Within 24 Hours?
If you browse their website (lhlic.com) or talk with one of their agents, you’ll likely be exposed to their famous claim that approved claims are paid in 24 hours.
The critical point of fact they typically fail to point out is that little word “approved.” Only approved claims can potentially be paid in 24 hours.
It’s also critical to remember that a Funeral Advantage burial policy has no contractual guarantee regarding how long it takes for claims to be paid.
But the big question is- what does it take for them to approve a claim? The answer is it depends on when you die.
- Death in the first two years: To process a claim for life insurance, they will require a death certificate and copies of the insured person’s medical records. They will carefully review the medical records to ensure that the insured person provided truthful answers to the health-related questions when they first applied for the insurance. They will not pay the claim if they discover any evidence in the records that the insured person had a health condition at the time of application, which would have made them ineligible for the policy. Instead, they will only refund all the premiums that were paid. On the other hand, if they confirm that the applicant honestly answered the health questions during the application process, they will pay the entire claim. It’s important to note that this review process can be lengthy, often taking several weeks or even months to complete, which is true for all life insurance companies.
- Death after two years: They will require either a death certificate or proof from the funeral home where the deceased person’s body is located. The duration of this process may vary, taking less than a week or a couple of weeks, depending on how quickly the death certificate is issued.
How Funeral Advantage Program Assists Seniors With Funeral Planning
One of the most prominent features of the Funeral Advantage Program they promote is how they will help with funeral planning and provide your family members with support services after you die.
While that is true to a degree, the details paint a less rosy picture.
Every Funeral Advantage policy includes the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society (FCGS) membership.
The FCGS claims they are an independent senior advocacy organization with no affiliation with any funeral home, religion, cemetery, or preference toward traditional funerals or cremation.
Membership grants every policyholder the following benefits:
- Funeral Planning Assistance: They will send you a final wishes form so you can record how you want your loved ones to carry out your funeral. Documenting your last preferences is a great idea, but you don’t need to grossly overpay for a Funeral Advantage plan to get a funeral planning guide. Companies like Ever Loved offer that same service totally free, or you can download and print a planning guide online (still free).
- Funeral Plan Activation Help: This benefit has two main parts. Firstly, they will inform Lincoln Heritage about the insured person’s death and share their funeral preferences if they (the deceased) previously completed and returned the funeral planning documents. The second part is that the FCGS can help compare funeral service prices to potentially save money on funeral expenses. Their website states they realize an average savings of $1,800 for traditional funerals and $600 for cremation costs. While saving money is beneficial, it’s essential to consider whether their expensive insurance policies are worth it. Comparing their insurance costs, which are 20% to 300% higher, with other companies, it becomes clear that the numbers don’t add up. It would be more advantageous to opt for a guaranteed higher death benefit payout (with another company) that is 20% to 300% higher rather than potentially saving $600 to $1,800 with the Funeral Advantage program.
Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company Ratings, Background & Customer Reviews
Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company was started by Jack Londen in 1963. They are headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, but they sell final expense insurance for seniors in all states except New York.
They don’t sell any other type of insurance. Funeral Advantage to cover final expenses is the only product they offer.
Below are their financial strength ratings and consumer reviews as of 05/25/2023:
- A.M. Best rating: A- (Excellent)
- NAIC: 1.15 complaint index in 2022 for individual life products, which means they get slightly more complaints than normal
- Better Business Bureau: A+ rating and 64 complaints within the last 36 months
- Google: 4.2/5 stars (772 reviews)
- Yelp: 2/5 stars (13 reviews)
Frequently Asked Questions
Funeral Advantage costs anywhere from $15 to $319 monthly, depending on your age, state of residence, health, tobacco habits, optional riders, and how much coverage you choose. Funeral Advantage is typically 20%-25% more expensive than other final expense insurance companies. And if you have many common health issues seniors deal with, they might offer you a plan that is about 300% more expensive than most other providers, which also includes a waiting period.
A Funeral Advantage program will only pay out once the claim is approved. Death claims in the first two years usually take many months to pay out because they will first order your medical records to ensure you were truthful about your health when you originally applied. If they find that you had a health issue at the time of the application that would have caused them to deny you, they won’t pay your claim. Instead, they’ll refund your premiums. If you die after two years, the claim will likely be paid within 24 hours to one week.
Funeral Advantage is underwritten by Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, a duly licensed insurance provider. Even though their insurance is expensive and often has a waiting period, it does not detract from the fact that they are a legitimately licensed insurance company.
The Funeral Advantage program has two options. The level benefit has no waiting period, but the modified plan does have a 2-3 year waiting period. To qualify for the no waiting period level benefit, you must be able to say no to all the questions in the health questionnaire. Additionally, your medical history must be free of prescriptions meant to treat the health issues in the application. If you say yes to any health question or have medications for said conditions, you will be offered the modified plan, which has a waiting period and a much higher price.
Funeral Advantage is a whole life insurance policy with up to $35,000 in coverage underwritten by Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company. It pays a tax-free cash benefit to your beneficiaries to cover your end-of-life expenses, but the money can be spent on anything.