Foresters Burial Insurance Review

Written on June 13, 2016 by Choice Mutual

Take a quick moment and fill out the quote form on this page. You will see a list of actual prices from many different final expense companies that operate in your state. If you deal with some major health conditions, call us for an accurate quote. You can reach us toll free at 1-800-644-2926.

If you are searching for an in dept review of burial insurance by Foresters Financial, your search is over. In this Foresters burial insurance review, we will be examining one of the carriers that made our list of best burial insurance companies. Foresters Burial Insurance ReviewThey are a major player in the burial insurance business. It’s widely accepted that Foresters is one of the top five biggest final expense insurers within the U.S. Amazingly, they are able to pull this off without investing in major advertising mediums.

We will take a look at the company history, and their burial insurance product. We will reveal both the good and bad about their burial insurance product. Foresters Financial actually offers much more than just life insurance. They help clients throughout the world with mutual funds, annuities, financial advisory services, and retirement savings plans. They service both businesses and individuals.

They have a robust life insurance division that offers a host of different products. They have term life, universal life, accidental death, single premium whole life, whole life, and whole life designed for final expenses. In spite of their wide range of product offerings, we will only be reviewing their burial insurance product. Make no mistake, we indeed are very familiar with all their products. Having said that, we will not be examining any of their other products in this article.

 

Our Quick Foresters Burial Insurance Review

Foresters is a very well established highly rated insurance company. They have been in business over 140 years, and they operate all throughout USA, Canada, and the UK. They offer all their policy holders access to many different valuable member benefits. These perks come at no additional costs, and they are indeed very useful. At the same time, their burial insurance lineup is very competitive. All in all, they have three distinct plans you can apply for depending on your health.

First of all, their modified plan is really not suitable for anyone. It comes with a waiting period which is understandable given the conditions the modified plan accepts. The main issue with this plan is the price. If your health would put you into their modified plan, you can absolutely find a cheaper price by going with options from other companies.

Next is their Graded plan. This is a decently built plan that offers some form of immediate protection. This plan is designed to absorb the risks of long term chronic illnesses like COPD or liver/kideny diseases. It’s decently priced, but you may find other carriers can beat it. In the end, their graded plan could be a great option for you, and it could be second to some other companies. It just depends on your overall health summary.

Last but not least is their Level benefit plan. This plan is fantastic in many ways. The underwriting is extremely liberal. In particular, its superior for anyone who deals with mental health issues, diabetes, or heart issues. The pricing on this plan is extremely competitive given what other carriers charge. If you are able to medically qualify for this plan, you can feel confident that you got yourself a solid burial insurance policy at a good price.

In summary, Foresters has a very strong and well thought out burial insurance offering. Their member benefits are pretty sweet too that many member take full advantage of. Check out the full review if you are curious about all the little details.

 

Company Background

Foresters Financial began over 140 years ago in 1874. They started out as a financial services organization. Their aim was to provide access to quality life insurance products to working families. As time went on, they added a variety of other financial products aside from just life insurance.

The operate in every state within the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. They presently have over three million customers and members. Their main headquarters is located in Ontario Canada. They must still adhere to all the U.S. laws set forth by the department of insurance. Being headquartered in Canada does not make them exempt from U.S. rules and regulations.

Foresters Financial has many well respected professional partnerships. They partner with KaBOOM! which is a U.S. based nonprofit. KaBOOM! is a non profit that promotes activity for children. They build playgrounds and teach the importance of children in motion. They particularly focus on helping those in impoverished areas. Together, Foresters members and KaBOOM! build playgrounds all across the U.S. every year.

Foresters also partners with the Ronald McDonald House. They collaborate to organize many different activities for those in need. They host BBQ dinners and bingo game nights. They also hold baking & cookie decorating events for house members. They even assemble and disseminate hygiene kits for house members.

Foresters and the American Red Cross joined together to work on preparing families for natural disasters. Foresters launched a program called Foresters Prepared with Care. Members are able to learn how to become prepared for an emergency or natural disaster through Red Cross training. They assemble emergency preparedness kits and help educate local communities.

As you can clearly see, Foresters is not just a life insurance company. They focus on impacting the lives of their customers and their communities. Foresters Financial is able to fulfill this vision because they are a fraternal benefits society. Here is the U.S. legal definition of a fraternal benefit society:

A body corporate, without share capital, operating for the benefit of its members and not for profit, with a representative form of government including a lodge system, and that is incorporated for fraternal, benevolent, or religious purposes, including the provision of insurance or annuity benefits to its members, their spouses, children or beneficiaries.

In layman’s terms, Foresters has no shareholders. It’s run solely for the benefits of its members. Furthermore, they are not for profit. Any “profits” from its insurance business goes to fulfill its mission. The profits are used for its members in the form of dividends and special insurance benefits. The insurance contracts issued by a fraternal benefit society are called technically certificates.

Another item of importance is the maintenance of reserves clause. As a fraternal benefits society, Foresters is responsible for their own solvency and reserves. They are not members of the U.S. state guarantee funds. This means they cannot be assessed to pay for the insolvency of other insurance companies. However, this means that in the event they themselves become insolvent, they have to rectify the situation. If warranted, the Board of Directors may decide to assess the membership to restore the deficiency. This assessment could be done by reducing benefits. It could also be done by requiring payment of an equitable portion of the deficiency. Assessments are often temporary.

Only one time in the history of Foresters did they have to levy an assessment against its members. In 1913, an assessment was made on their pre-1898 certificates. At the time, federal and state laws forced Foresters to transition to an actuarial basis for its liabilities. Their pre-1898 certificate premiums could not support the new benefits promised. They had to raise their premiums accordingly.

Solvency, as it relates to insurance companies, refers to the ability to pay insurance promised. Insurance companies have liabilities (the insurance promised), and they have assets (premiums and investments). The ratio of these two must be meticulously managed to remain solvent. An insurance company would be insolvent if it did not have enough money to pay its claims.

Fraternals are required to remain solvent by their own accord. In other words, it’s on them to ensure they are taking in enough money to ensure they could pay off the insurance being promised. Some people view fraternal benefit societies as risky for this reason. Their main gripe is that there is no government backed bailout should the fraternal become insolvent.

Quite honestly, this fear of fraternals is largely irrational in our opinion. For starters, insolvency among fraternals, is historically exceedingly rare. If a fraternal was relatively new, maybe then it would be a cause for concern.

Foresters has maintained an A rating with A.M. Best for the last 15 years. This excellent rating along with their over 100 year track record of not issuing an assessment, gives us great confidence in the company. Everyone is free to choose. However, we like many other agencies, have zero reservation about working with fraternal benefit societies. They very often offer better prices on their insurance, and wonderful member benefits for their customers.

 

The Full Foresters Review

Just below you will see our complete review of Foresters. Since they are a fraternal organization, they give their members access to many valuable member benefits. They have a top notch burial insurnace program that very often outshines their competition. We have taken a detailed look at the underwriting, price, policy options, and offered our sincere opinion about all of it. We challenge you to find a more exhaustive analysis of Foresters and their final expense insurance.

Foresters Burial Insurance Review

Foresters Member benefits

Since Foresters is a fraternal benefit society, they provide more than just life insurance. In keeping with their mission to strengthen families, these benefits are available to all of their burial insurance customers.

Foresters Competitive Scholarships

Each year, Foresters Financial provides almost two million dollars for tuition scholarships for higher learning in the U.S. and Canada. Foresters members, their children, and grand children are all eligible to apply for these annual scholarships. Since the program’s inception, Foresters has awarded more than $30 million in financial support to more than 7,700 students.

Orphan Scholarships

This scholarship provides for the children of deceased members. It supplies a renewable higher learning scholarship of up to $6,000 per year for up to four years to cover tuition and maintenance.

Emergency Assistance Program

Emergency grants are available to provide short term, temporary financial assistance to members. This assistance is for members affected by significant personal hardship, disaster or large scale emergency. This benefit is a one time, per disaster payment.

Foresters Granting Program

This program provides member with financial grants to organize volunteer and fun family activities within their communities. Every year, Foresters members organize thousands of volunteer activities and fun family activities. Foresters provides tools for members to organize these events, and it grants all the funding.

Everyday Money

A toll free and confidential phone- based financial helpline gives Foresters members access to an accredited counselor. They can get answers to their questions about everyday management of their money.

The Legal Link

Access to certain free and discounted legal services in your local area. You can connect with lawyers for help with a variety of issues including wills, home ownership and family law. You may be eligible for a free basic will if its deemed appropriate for your situation.

Orphan Benefit

A monthly payment for orphans. It pays $900 per month per child to the legal guardian for children under 18 upon death of both parents.

Fun Family Events

Foresters gives members a chance to relax and connect with each other and their loved ones. Foresters provides tickets to events such as: sporting events, theme parks, zoos, circuses, and museums.

These benefits provided by Foresters do not cost extra. They are available to all members who have insurance from Foresters. Regular insurance companies simply do not provide these kinds of perks when you buy their insurance. This is one of the great things about having your burial insurance through a fraternal benefits society.

 

Foresters’s “PlanRight” whole life insurance

Overall plan grade= A

Quick facts on this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Immediate benefit available
  • The monthly premium cannot increase
  • The benefit will not decrease

Foresters burial insurance is formally called PlanRight. Most insurance companies come up with a name for their insurance products. Foresters calls their burial insurance PlanRight. It’s a permanent whole life product that was designed specifically for final expenses.

The premiums on this plan are guaranteed to never increase. The benefits cannot decrease, and the policy can’t expire. At no additional charge, the policy comes with a common carrier accidental death rider. Common carrier means a motorized vehicle if, at the time of the accidental bodily injury for which the benefit is claimed, that vehicle meets each of the following:

  • Is being operated by a business organized and licensed to transport fare-paying passengers
  • Is being piloted, driven or captained by a person who is then licensed to pilot, drive or captain that vehicle, to transport fare-paying passengers
  • Is transporting fare-paying passengers on regularly scheduled routes, from one location to arrive and exit at a different location

The common carrier accidental death benefit would provide an insurance amount equal to double the normal death benefit. This rider would pay out its insurance amount on top of the regular death benefit. Let’s say you were covered for $10,000, and you passed away in a plane crash. Per the agreement, Foresters would pay out $10,000 for the normal death benefit, and another $20,000 for the common carrier death benefit.

Another built in feature with burial insurance by Foresters, is their terminal illness loan option. This is a benefit that does not cost extra. Foresters will provide an interest free loan for any member who becomes terminally ill. The total loan can be up to 75% of the total amount of the Foresters life insurance on the insured. The maximum loan amount is $250,000.

There are three versions of Foresters burial insurance. Which version, if any, is determined by your health profile. Eligibility is concluded by examining three separate things. They ask each applicant health questions. They also check your prescription history through an Rx database, and they will access your MIB (Medical Information Bureau) file.

The application process involves a point of sale interview. Foresters will conduct a short interview with you, and your agent. They formally ask you the health questions, and seek authorization to access your medication history. All of this is done electronically, and a decision is reached within minutes.

The first step in the overall application process is their health questionnaire. Your agent will review these with you. The health questions are divided into three sections. There is a knockout section, a modified section, and a graded section. The knockout questions would knock you out of eligibility if you answer yes to any of them. If you should answer yes to any of these questions, you would not be eligible for any coverage with Foresters. Below are the questions in the knockout section:

  1. Are you currently: a resident in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility; a patient in a hospital or psychiatric facility; receiving, or have been advised to receive, skilled nursing care, hospice care, or home healthcare; confined to a correctional facility?
  2. Do you require a wheelchair due to a chronic illness or disease, or do you require assistance (from anyone) with activities of daily living such as taking medications, bathing, dressing, eating, or toileting?
  3. Within the past 12 months, have you:
    • Used, or been advised to use, oxygen equipment to assist with breathing (excluding use for sleep apnea) or had, or been advised to have, kidney dialysis?
    • Been advised to have surgery, hospitalization or a diagnostic test (excluding tests related to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)) which has not yet been started, completed, or for which results are not known?
  4. Have you ever received, or been advised to receive, an organ or bone marrow transplant, or had an amputation due to complications of diabetes?
  5. Have you ever been diagnosed with, or received or been advised to receive treatment or medication for:
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), congestive heart failure, or any terminal illness or end-stage disease?
    • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), AIDS Related Complex (ARC), or tested positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?
    • Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or been prescribed: Aricept, Cognex, Donepezil, Exelon, Razadyne, or Namenda?
  6. Have you ever had or been diagnosed with more than one occurrence of the same or different type of cancer; or do you currently have cancer (excluding basal cell skin cancer)?

If you answered no to all these health questions, they more than likely have a product they can place you with. Now its just a matter of determining which version is appropriate for you based off your health. The first version we will discuss is called the Modified benefit. Its important to note, if you answered no to all those questions, it is still possible for you to be declined. This would happen if something came up in your prescription history. There would have to be a drug(s) that was consistent with a medical condition asked about in the knockout section.

For example, most people we speak with who have congestive heart failure (one of the knockout conditions), don’t seem to realize it. They in turn answer the corresponding health question no. Unfortunately, their prescription history proves otherwise. They inevitably get declined because it’s clear to Foresters that they have been treated for congestive heart failure. This does not happen often, but it does indeed occur.

Can you guess which health condition most people forget they have? You guessed it- Alzheimer’s disease & dementia! That’s just a joke we like to tell. If you should have any of the conditions asked about in the knockout section, don’t fret. Your only option might be to go with a guaranteed issue burial insurance policy. However, it might make sense to wait a bit to apply or to look at another company. Your agent will advise you on what your best course of action should be if this happens to you. Just know, there’s always options. It’s our job to find the best one for you at all times!

 

The “modified benefit” from Foresters

Overall plan grade= F

Quick facts on this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Two year waiting period
  • The monthly premium cannot increase
  • The benefit will not decrease

To be eligible for this plan, you would have to say no to all the knockout health questions. You will be approved for this plan if you answer yes to any health question in this section. Here are the health questions that would apply to PlanRight with a modified benefit:

  1. Within the past 2 years have you had, or been diagnosed with, or received or been advised to receive treatment or medication for:
    • Alcohol or drug abuse, or have you used illegal drugs?
    • Complications of diabetes such as: diabetic coma, insulin shock, retinopathy (eye), nephropathy (kidney), or neuropathy (nerve, circulatory)?
  2. Within the past 2 years have you had, or been diagnosed with:
    • Angina (chest pain), heart attack, cardiomyopathy, or any type of heart or circulatory surgery?
    • Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA/mini-stroke)?
    • Brain tumor or aneurysm?
  3. Within the past 3 years have you had or been diagnosed with cancer, or received or been advised to receive chemotherapy or radiation for cancer (the term “cancer” excludes basal cell skin cancer)?

If you were to answer yes to any of these questions, you will be approved for their modified benefit. Modified simply means that it costs more, and it has a two year waiting period. If you are approved for this plan, Foresters will not pay out the death benefit during the first two years of the policy. If you do pass away during this time, Foresters will give you back all your premiums you had ever paid them. They will also pay you an additional 10%. If the death is accidental, Foresters will pay out the full benefit even during the first two years.

It’s important to reiterate that these health questions are just one part of the qualification process. As previously mentioned, Foresters will ask health questions, check your prescription history, and access your MIB records to determine your overall eligibility for coverage.

There are at times people who will answer the health questions no, but they are consequently approved for the modified benefit. This would happen because of their prescription history. As it relates to a modified benefit, here are the most common drugs we see that force people into a modified benefit. In some cases, Foresters looks at drug combinations to conclude that an applicant may have a specific condition.

  • Any kind of “Nitro” or “Nitrate” pill or patch- This is prescribed for chest pains
  • Isosorbide- This is prescribed for chest pains
  • Ranexa- This is prescribed for chest pains
  • Gabapentin or Neurotin or Lamictal along with: Metformin, Glipizide, Glyburide, Humalog, Januvia, Novolog- This would indicate to Foresters that you have diabetic Neuropathy

One common health event that most people overlook is a stent placement surgery. If you had a stent put in your body within the last two years, you should be approved for the modified benefit. The question that asks about a heart or circulatory surgery would be the one you would say yes to.

Our only gripe with the modified death benefit is the price. Quite honestly, we really do not recommend the Foresters modified death benefit. We say this for two main reasons. First, it has a two year waiting period. The second and biggest issue with this version of their burial insurance is the price. The price they charge for their modified benefit is on the high side.

Quite frankly, it would be much cheaper to go with a guaranteed issue policy. A guaranteed issue policy has the same two year waiting period. However, a guaranteed acceptance policy is much cheaper than a Foresters modified benefit plan. To us, it just doesn’t make sense to pay more for the same thing. Just don’t ever get a guaranteed issue policy from AARP or Colonial Penn. They charge way too much for their insurance. We can easily beat their prices with a company like Gerber Life Insurance Company.

If for some reason you are really fond of Foresters, and you just want all your coverage with them, go for it. We have in fact had this happen many times. There have been many customers who got Foresters initially. Down the line, they wanted to add more coverage. Unfortunately, they had a new health event that required them to answer yes to one of the modified questions.

We informed them of how their changed health had impacted the situation. We presented them with the numbers for a Foresters modified plan and a guaranteed issue plan. We gave them our recommendation to go with a guaranteed issue policy since it would be less money for the exact same thing.

In the end, they went with the Foresters modified plan simply because they were warm to Foresters. They already felt comfortable with Foresters, and it was reason enough to pay more. This is obviously fine because it is their choice. We just presented all the options, gave our advice, and let them choose. That’s just how we do business.

 

“Graded Benefit” by Foresters

Overall plan grade= C

Quick facts on this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Some benefits payable during the first two years
  • The monthly premium cannot increase
  • The benefit will not decrease

To be eligible for this plan, you would have to say no to all the knockout health questions, and all the health questions in the modified section. You will be approved for this graded plan if you answer yes to any health question for this section. Here are the health questions that would apply PlanRight with a graded benefit:

  1. Have you ever in your life had, or been diagnosed with, or received or been advised to receive treatment or medication for:
    • Parkinson’s disease or Systemic Lupus (SLE)?
    • Liver or kidney disease or condition (such as chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver)?
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, or emphysema?

If you were to answer yes to any of these questions, you will be approved for their graded benefit. Graded simply means that it costs a bit more, and it has a limited benefit for the first two years. Here is how the graded benefit payout works during the first two years. You will receive the greater of the sum of the total premium paid accumulated with 4.5% interest or 30% of the face amount in effect for the first year, and 70% in effect on the second year. After the first two years the death benefit is 100%. If the death is accidental, Foresters will pay out the full benefit even during the first two years.

As you can see, they do have some form of immediate protection with the graded benefit burial insurance. Albeit, it does not pay the full amount. It is certainly better than a full waiting period. There are many burial insurance companies that would issue a full two year waiting period if you have a condition related to the health questions for Foresters graded benefit plan.

Nearly all the health conditions they ask about in this section are chronic by nature. Once acquired, they do not go away. There are exceptions to every rule, but those examples are very rare. COPD is the most common condition that causes people to get approved for the graded plan. If for some reason you do get approved for this plan due to your prescription history, we may recommend another carrier. Your agent will be able to quickly diagnose the situation and advise you properly. This seldom happens, but we are always prepared for it.

The pricing on their graded plan is competitive. You will certainly pay more for your burial insurance if you have any of the conditions they ask about. Having said that, relative to the competition, Foresters graded benefit burial insurance is priced similar to other carriers.

 

Foresters’s “Level Benefit” final expense

Overall plan grade= A

Quick facts on this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Full benefits immediately- No waiting period
  • The monthly premium cannot increase
  • The benefit will not decrease

To be eligible for this plan, you would have to say no to every single health question on the application. Furthermore, you would have to clear the prescription history check. If your medication history shows treatment for a condition from the knockout, modified, or graded sections, you will not be approved for the level death benefit.

If you are eligible for the level benefit, you can elect to purchase an accidental death rider. The accidental death rider provides an additional death benefit (whatever amount you select) if the cause of death is specifically from an accident. Just like the already included common carrier accidental death rider, the accidental death rider will always pay out in addition to the normal death benefit.

The Foresters level benefit burial insurance plan is very strong. It offers immediate protection starting on the first day of coverage. There is no waiting period whatsoever. The pricing on this plan is very competitive. There are dozens of insurance companies that offer final expense insurance. Foresters is generally regarded as one of the lower priced carriers. If you can get approved for a level benefit by Foresters, you have a great plan. Foresters, is just one of many insurers we work with that  would handily beat AARP’s and Colonial Penn’s prices.

Quick tip: If you currently have Colonial Penn or AARP, you are paying way too much. Their prices are much more expensive than dozens of other final expense companies. Fill out the quote form to see how much less you could be paying.

The underwriting of Foresters level benefit burial insurance is designed to accept lots of health conditions. Many of these conditions other companies would deny or rate. Here are a few common conditions that you could have where Foresters would still give you level day one coverage. There are more, but these are all very common ones we run into.

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Depression
  • Bi Polar
  • Schizophrenia
  • Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Insulin Dependent Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol

The other great part about the level death benefit is what Foresters considers “maintenance medications”. They will look at certain medications and take into consideration how long you have been taking them. If you have been on them for a certain period of time, they will not penalize you. This is contrary to what some insurers will do. Many other companies will penalize you and charge you more simply because you are still on certain prescription drugs.

Often times, a stroke, heart attack, or a bout with cancer will result in your doctor prescribing new medications. These medications will usually persist long after the event itself as a form of maintenance. For example, Plavix is a very common drug that is prescribed to people after a stroke or heart attack. Doctors usually keep people on plavix indefinitely as a way to prevent a future heart attack or stroke.

Foresters will look at when you first filled the prescription for Plavix. If you started taking it over two years ago, they will approve you for a level death benefit. However, if you filled it for the first time within the last two years, they would approve you for the modified death benefit. Again, many insurers will not do this. Most of them would see a prescription for Plavix and charge you more even if you were taking it consistently for five years. Foresters does not operate like that. They will look at when you were first prescribed the medication. If you have been on it for 2 years or more, they will not penalize you for it. They do this for many different medications related to heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

Blood thinners are medications that MANY final expense insurers have issues with. It’s extremely common for people on coumadin and warfarin to get rated or flat out declined by many burial insurance companies. If you take these kinds of blood thinners, Foresters will still approve you for their level death benefit under certain circumstances. If the blood thinners were prescribed as a response to a cardiac valve replacement, a stroke, or mini stroke, they would approve you for a modified benefit. Other than those conditions, these kinds of blood thinners will not prevent you from being approved for their level benefit burial insurance.

 

Foresters Summary

We have had a long standing excellent relationship with Foresters for many years now. They offer excellent prices and very liberal underwriting. There are many applicants that have had trouble getting coverage elsewhere. With Foresters, we were able to put these people in a quality burial insurance plan at a very competitive price.

Their member benefits that come along with the insurance itself are quite nice too. We have had wonderful feedback from many customers who regularly take advantage of the benefits they provide. One in particular that a ton of people are fond of is the ability to get a free basic will. It’s a benefit provided through their legal link section of their member benefits.

Basically, an attorney, at no cost to you, will advise you if a basic will would suffice for your situation. If a basic will is appropriate, they will execute the will completely free of charge. If it turns out that a basic will would not be appropriate for your situation, they will advise your accordingly. This is just one of many great member benefits offered by Foresters.Foresters Burial Insurance Review

Foresters is without question a great provider of burial insurance. There is a reason why they are one of largest players in the final expense insurance market. However, they are just one of many. They may or may not be the best fit for you. This is why we are independent. We do not want to be tied to just Foresters or any insurance company for that matter. We want to have access to them all. You are our goal. Therefore, we will shop all the top burial insurance companies on the market to find you which one would view you most favorably. This is how we help our clients get the best price possible on their final expense plans.

If you are looking for burial insurance, we would love the opportunity to earn your business. We will show you some options and give you our honest professional advice. What you do with this information is your call. Fill out the quote form now or give us a call. We are here to help.

About ChoiceMutual.com
About ChoiceMutual.com

Choice Mutual works with all the top burial insurance companies throughout the nation to secure you the best price possible.

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