Royal Neighbors Burial Insurance Review

Written on June 19, 2016 by Choice Mutual

Royal Neighbors Burial Insurance Review

If you fill out the quote form, you will see real quotes from multiple burial insurance companies. The list will show you which ones in your state are cheapest. You may call us as well if you prefer to speak with a licensed agent. Please call our toll free number 1-800-644-2926.

Considering some burial insurance by Royal Neighbors of America? If so, today is your lucky day. In this Royal Neighbors burial insurance review, we will give a complete outline of both the company and their final expense insurance. By the same token, you can read why we selected Royal Neighbors as one of the carriers who we feel is one of the best final expense companies.

Royal Neighbors Burial Insurance Review

One of our main missions in this business is to counsel those in search of burial insurance. A Choice Mutual review is a total investigation of a company’s burial insurance plan from top to bottom. We leave nothing out. In the end, we hope we can assist you in making the best decision possible for you and your family.

Like most companies, Royal Neighbors offers several different life insurance and annuity products. However, we will only be discussing their burial insurance in this article. With that, you have the option to read a quick review or the long review. If you just want a basic opinion about the company and their burial insurance. On the other hand, read the full review if you want all the little details.

 

Our Quick Royal Neighbors Burial Insurance Review

First and foremost, Royal Neighbors has an outstanding track record. They have been in business for over 120 years, they regularly give back to communities all over the nation, and they have some of the best financials in the business. Their final expense insurance offering is equally as impressive. They have two different plans you can apply for.

First up is their Graded plan. This one is a decent option for you if you deal with certain health issues. It does limit the payout of benefits during the first two years, but there is some immediate protection. The price isn’t bad either. Quite honestly, their graded plan may or may not be a good option for you. It just depends on your overall health profile. In most cases, you can find a better plan elsewhere. If you can’t, their Graded plan is still a competitive route to go.

On the other hand, their Simplified issue whole life plan is absolutely amazing. The underwriting on this plan is ultra liberal, and the price is still very competitive. If you deal with diabetic issues, this is a plan you must look at. Quite honestly, there are many health issues this plan is amazing for. Defer to the full review for a complete breakdown.

In the end, Royal Neighbors is an excellent fit for many folks. They are easily the most diabetic friendly burial insurance company on the market. This is not a company you can afford to not check out.

 

Company Background

Their official name is Royal Neighbors of America. Simply “Royal Neighbors” is what most people call them. They are a nonprofit insurer, and began doing business over 120 years ago.

It began in 1888 when eight women responded to an ad for a social meeting. At this time in history, women could not vote, own property, or own life insurance. In 1895, they officially founded Royal Neighbors. The founding women set out to empower women, provide life insurance to women and children, and improve the lives of their families.

Today, Royal Neighbors is one of the largest women- led life insurers. Royal Neighbors was actually one of the first insurers in America to insure women and children. Royal Neighbors has a sort of neighbor-helping-neighbor philanthropic mission. Their chief ambition is to empower women and their families.

Royal Neighbors currently has a “A-” rating with A.M. Best. They have over 200,000 members, and have more than $2.7 billion in life insurance in force. They currently have nearly $1 billion in assets under management. You can trust they will pay their claims when they are called upon. Their excellent financial rating and their balanced investment portfolio ensure they can always pay their bills.

Like most companies, Royal Neighbors offers several different life insurance and annuity products. However, we will only be discussing their burial insurance in this article.

 

Non Profit on purpose

In keeping with their goal to help communities, Royal Neighbors provides funding for many different philanthropic programs.

  • Community Leadership Chapters– Royal Neighbors will provide funding for members to organize local community charity events.
  • Difference Maker Fund– Royal Neighbors will provide funds to support a community project that aligns with Royal Neighbors mission.
  • Nation of Neighbors– Royal Neighbors provides financial grants to nominated members who are dedicated to helping others.

 

What is a fraternal benefits society?

Royal Neighbors of America is a fraternal benefits society. This legal structure is what allows them to pursue their philanthropic goals, and provide life insurance products to their members . A fraternal benefits society is a legal structure that is different than a regular life insurance company. Here is the U.S. legal definition of a fraternal benefits 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.

They have no shareholders. They exist solely to provide benefits and support to their members. Since they are a nonprofit, any profits from their life insurance business go to their members in the form of benefits and support.

A fraternal benefits society is not the same as a traditional insurance company. Because of this type of legal entity, they are responsible for their own solvency and reserves. This differs from a regular life insurance company. A traditional life insurance company pays into the U.S. state guaranteed fund.

If any insurer that pays into the fund should become insolvent, the policyholders have the safety net of the fund. In other words, the state guaranteed fund ensures a policy holders benefits are still worth something if the insurer becomes insolvent (can’t pay their claims).

Any fraternal benefits society must, by their own accord, manage their business in such a way to prevent insolvency. In the event a fraternal were to become insolvent, there would be no state guaranteed fund bailout for the policy holder. If a fraternal should ever be in a situation where a block of business will not provide enough funds to cover the claims, they must rectify it themselves.

If deemed necessary, they would need to do an assessment to the members that comprise the bad block of business. Reducing benefits is one option. It could also be done by requiring payment of an equitable portion of the deficiency. Assessments are often temporary.

A less important, but notable difference is that a fraternal benefits society calls their insurance contracts “certificates”. It basically means the same thing as a policy.

To some, a lack of government bailout is scary. Some agents even tout this fact as a scare tactic to dissuade a person from purchasing insurance from a fraternal benefits society. Although it is illegal for any insurance agent or agency to use the state guaranteed fund backup as sales tool, it’s common knowledge that it still happens.

 

Traditional insurer vs Fraternal benefits society

When purchasing burial insurance, you can choose from an insurer that is a fraternal, or you can select an insurer that is a traditional life insurance company. As a whole, fraternals usually charge less for their insurance. Not to mention, they provide many valuable side benefits that traditional insurers do not offer.

In regards to the lack of the state guaranteed fund, ask the following about the fraternal:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. What is their financial rating?
  3. Have they ever done an assessment? If so, when?

If an insurer has been successfully operating for over 120 years, this is a clear indication they are doing something very right. If they have never done an assessment, this clearly means they are proficient at maintaining a healthy financial portfolio. If they have a strong financial rating with A.M. Best (the most respected life insurance company rating agency), they earned that rating for a reason.

If history is any indication, government safety nets for financial entities usually result in lax management. Fraternals must work harder to manage their business knowing it’s up to them to ensure they stay in the black. History also shows that insolvency among fraternal benefit societies is extremely rare.

Royal Neighbors passes all these tests with flying colors. Choice Mutual willingly and proudly recommends them to our customers when their product is the best option for them. Personally, we feel it’s absurd to think there is any reason to distrust any fraternal simply because they do not have a government bailout should something go wrong.

There are countless examples of people losing money, retirements, investments, or insurance because a traditional insurance company, backed by the government, failed to manage itself well enough.

Royal Neighbors Burial Insurance Review

Royal Neighbors Member Benefits

As they are a fraternal benefits society, they provide valuable member benefits to all their policy holders.

DENTAL DISCOUNTS

Members save 5% to 50% on most dental procedures including routine oral exams, unlimited cleanings, and major work such as dentures, root canals, and crowns at over 176,000 participating dental access points.

VISION DISCOUNTS

Members save 20% to 40% off the retail price of eyewear, plus discounts on exams from more than 65,000 providers nationwide including independent optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, and leading optical retailers.

Members save 40% to 50% off the overall national average cost for traditional LASIK surgery or receive significant savings on newer procedures like custom bladeless (all laser) LASIK at more than 800 QualSight locations.

LAB SERVICES DISCOUNTS

The discount lab program from DirectLabs provides savings from 10% to 80% off blood and lab procedures at over 3,000 facilities nationwide.

LEGAL ACCESS PLANS–FAMILY LEGAL PROTECTION PLAN

Members have access to a pre-qualified network of over 17,000 attorneys in all 50 states and U.S. territories who provide free and discounted legal services including consultations to help analyze legal issues, strategies, and options, and recommend a course of action.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG DISCOUNTS

Members have access to average savings from 15% to 60% off generic drugs and from 15% to 25% off brand name prescriptions at over 60,000 participating MedImpact pharmacies nationwide.

IMAGING DISCOUNTS

US Imaging is a premier diagnostic imaging program that provides savings from 10% to 60% on advanced imaging costs for MRI, CT, and PET scans at over 2,400 freestanding radiology facilities throughout the U.S. Not available in HI, VT, and WY.

RETAIL BENEFITS

This ecommerce portal and shopping assistant directs members to over 4,000 leading merchants where they can earn between 1% to 40% cash back just for shopping online.

HEARING AIDS AND SERVICES

Save on hearing aids, as well as a 30% discount on diagnostic services, which includes hearing exams at over 2,700 locations.

No member benefit provided by Royal Neighbors costs extra. They exist to fulfill their mission of provide quality insurance products, benefits, and support to their members. The member benefits are simply an additional value they provide because you have final expense insurance with them.

 

Royal Neighbors Whole Life Insurance

Choice Mutual Grade= A

Quick facts about these plans

  • Coverage never expires
  • Two plan options- Immediate coverage available
  • Fixed monthly premiums for life
  • Benefits never decrease

Royal Neighbors burial insurance is available in all U.S. states other than AK, AL, HI, LA, MA, NH, & NY. You must be between the age and 50 and 85 to apply for this plan.

This final expense coverage by Royal Neighbors is incredibly simple to understand. It’s a whole life policy, so it will never expire. Unlike AARP or Globe, you can count on it to always be there.

The monthly premium cannot increase for any reason. The benefits can’t decrease, and the policy will never expire.

Many burial insurance companies offer accidental death riders, but Royal Neighbors does not. However, they do offer, at no extra cost, an accelerated living benefit rider (not in all states).

The Accelerated Living Benefit Rider provides for a single lump sum payment of an accelerated life insurance benefit using a portion of your life insurance certificate’s death benefit.

Eligible proceeds are equal to 75% of the certificate’s death benefit in force on the day Royal Neighbors receives the acceleration request, up to a maximum of $250,000. A minimum amount of at least $5,000 must be requested. An insured may only receive one acceleration.

There are two versions of Royal Neighbors burial insurance. “Simplified Issue Whole Life” is the name of their first plan. The other is called the “Graded Death Benefit Whole Life”. Your health regulates which version you qualify for, if any.

Royal Neighbors has a point of sale interview process when you apply. Basically, you and your agent will complete a three way phone call with the company. By the end of the call, they will give you a firm decision regarding your eligibility.

They will take into consideration three different sets of criteria regarding your eligibility. They will ask you health questions. Additionally, they will analyze your prescription history (all done electronically). Lastly, they will see if you have any relevant records on file with the Medical Information Bureau.

They have no build chart. Your height to weight ratio does not matter to Royal Neighbors. This is incredibly unique. Nearly every single final expense insurer has a build chart.

The first and most important part of the application process is your answer to the health questions. There are two sections to their health questions. The first section has the knockout questions. The second section has the graded health questions. If you say yes to any questions in the knockout section, you are not eligible for any coverage.

 

Here are the knockout questions:

  1. Is the Proposed Insured currently:
    • Hospitalized, in a nursing facility, or receiving Hospice Care?
    • Confined to a wheelchair, bed, or using oxygen equipment to assist in breathing?
  2. Has a member of the medical profession ever diagnosed or treated the Proposed Insured for Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), AIDS Related Complex (ARC), or any immune deficiency disease, or has the Proposed Insured tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?
  3. Has the Proposed Insured ever been diagnosed as having or been treated for:
    • Congestive heart failure, or had or been recommended to have a organ transplant?
    • Insulin shock, diabetic coma, amputation caused by disease, or taken insulin shots prior to age 30?
    • Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or mental incapacity?
  4. During the past 18 months has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having:
    • Stroke, aneurysm, cardiomyopathy, or circulatory surgery?
    • Angina (chest pain), heart attack or failure, or heart surgery?
  5. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
    • Internal Cancer, Melanoma, or Leukemia?
    • Cirrhhosis, liver disease, kidney failure (including dialysis), chronic kidney disease, or systemic lupus?
  6. During the past 18 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having:
    • A condition expected to result in death within 12 months?
    • Been advised by a medical professional to have any diagnostic testing which has not been completed or for which the results have not been received?
    • Been recommended by a physician to have treatment or counseling for alcohol or drug abuse?

 

If you were to answer yes to any of these health questions, you are not eligible for either of their burial insurance plans. You can still be declined even though you answer no to all these questions.

Being declined in spite of no answers would only happen if they found something in your medical history that contradicts your answers. For example, if they found you took medication for chest pains (angina) 12 months ago, it would override your no answer.

It’s important to note, being declined in spite of no answers is incredibly rare. This is because we would thoroughly review all your medications you take now, and any that you may have taken in the last two years.

Unless you completely forgot about a medication you took (which does happen), we would know ahead of time whether or not you will be approved.

Saving time and money are two major advantages when dealing with an experienced independent agency like Choice Mutual. Because of our experience, we can be very confident that you will get approved when we apply. Additionally, our independent status allows us to choose from any insurer we please. We are not beholden to anyone but YOU. We will identify which insurer will give you the most competitive price.

For us, it’s rare that we get declines. Our preparation with you, before we formerly apply, is what allows us to virtually know you will be approved.

If you were to answer yes to any of the knockout questions, do not be alarmed. There are still many options. For starters, depending on the condition you have that led to you saying yes, we might have another final expense company that has a product for you.

There are literally dozens of burial insurance companies on the market, and they all accept and decline folks for different reasons. Do not fret if you answered yes to one of these knockout questions. There is a good chance we will have access to another company that DOES accept your health situation.

On the other hand, it might make sense to wait for a period of time. Some of the health questions are time sensitive. Depending on the scenario, applying after waiting for a set period of time might be your best option.

In the event you have a health condition that no insurer will accept, there are still options. There are guaranteed issue burial insurance plans that are perfect for people in this situation.

With guaranteed issue, they don’t ask health questions or check your medical history. They approve everyone guaranteed.

We would only put you in a guaranteed issue plan if absolutely necessary. Gerber Life and Mutual of Omaha both have amazing guaranteed acceptance final expense plans.

Your Choice Mutual agent will be able to properly advise you on all of this. Through speaking with you, we will collect the information necessary to determine what’s your best course of action. Our experience and access to all the top final expense insurance companies enables us to get you the best deal possible.

 

The “Graded Death Benefit” by Royal Neighbors

Choice Mutual Grade= B

Quick facts about this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Limited benefits during the first two years
  • Fixed monthly premiums for life
  • Benefits never decrease

To be eligible for this plan, you would have to say no to all the knockout health questions. You can see the graded health questions below. If you say yes to any of these graded health questions you will be approved accordingly. Furthermore, if  your prescription history shows treatment for any of these conditions, they will approve you for this plan.

Here are the graded health questions:

  1. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
    • Stroke, angina (chest pain), heart attack, or cardiomyopathy?
    • Heart or circulatory surgery (including pacemaker, heart valve replacement, bypass, angioplasty, stent implant, or any procedure to improve circulation to the heart or brain)?
  2. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
    • Emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or tuberculosis (TB)?
    • Neuromuscular disease (include Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Epilepsy, or Parkinson’s Disease)?

 

This plan has a face amount minimum of $5,000. There is a maximum benefit of $10,000. With this graded plan there is a limited payout of benefits should you pass away during the first two years.

They will pay 30% of the benefit amount if you pass during the first year. They will pay out 70% of the benefit if death occurs during the second year. After two years has passed, they would pay the full coverage amount.

Royal Neighbors will pay out 100% of the death benefit during the first two years if the death is accidental (except in Arkansas).

There are many companies that would impose a full two year waiting period for the health conditions in the graded section. This is one area where Royal Neighbors burial insurance can be of great value. They can offer you some form of immediate protection if you have these health conditions.

On the other hand, it may honestly be more appropriate to go with another company altogether. It just depends on which health question you said yes to. Your Choice Mutual agent will absolutely advise you properly.

On the whole, Royal Neighbors Graded Death Benefit burial insurance is great for many people. For the health conditions accepted, the price is right. Compared to what other insurers charge for similar coverage given the health ailments asked about in this section, its priced well. It’s a great option for those who have these types of health conditions and are seeking a form of instant protection.

 

Royal Neighbors “Simplified Issue” Whole Life

Choice Mutual Grade= A

Quick facts about this plan

  • Coverage never expires
  • Full day one coverage
  • Fixed monthly premiums for life
  • Benefits never decrease

To be eligible for this plan, you would have to say no to every single health question on the application. Furthermore, your prescription history and MIB file would have to show no indication you have been treated for the conditions that appear in the health questions.

 

Unbeatable value

To put it bluntly, this plan by Royal Neighbors is amazing. It offers immediate protection starting on day one. There is a minimum face amount of $5,000 and a maximum of $25,000. Given the health issues they accept, the price for this coverage is extremely cheap. Royal Neighbors is just one of many carriers that we have access to that easily beats Colonial Penn’s and AARP’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.

This burial insurance plan freely accepts some very serious health problems. Elsewhere, you would pay A LOT more and have a waiting period.

As we have said many times, every insurer is different. They all have very different underwriting guidelines. The key is to find which burial insurance company will look at your health most favorably. That is the company that will most likely give you the best price.

Royal Neighbors unquestionably shines brightest for those with diabetes. More specifically, they are ultra friendly to those who have complications with their diabetes.

Royal Neighbors Burial Insurance Review

People with diabetes often develop liver issues, kidney issues, and circulation issues such as neuropathy. If you have diabetes and you have nerve pains or tingling in your legs, you most likely have neuropathy.

Royal Neighbors serves these specific diabetic clients in two huge ways. First, they give them immediate fist day protection. Secondly, they DO NOT charge them an increased premium.

Nearly every single insurance company will ask about diabetes related issues. If you have any issues with your diabetes, they will not respond well. They will either decline you, give you a waiting period, charge you more, or charge you more & give you a waiting period.

If you are on any of the following medications, you most likely have some sort of complication with your diabetes. If you have filled any of these prescriptions within the last two years, most likely every other insurer will look at you as very high risk. Royal Neighbors will not. They flat out don’t care.

  • Gabapentin
  • Neurotin
  • Lyrica
  • Lamictal
  • Lamotrigine
  • Tegretol

This is probably the most unique aspect of Royal Neighbors burial insurance plan. They are easily the most diabetic friendly final expense insurer on the market. Another way their plan is extremely favorable for diabetics is their lack of a build chart.

Diabetics, especially ones with complications, usually have weight issues. Most insurers have height and weight charts. This presents problems for many applicants who are obese. Since Royal Neighbors has no build chart, it simply does not matter. You could literally be 500 pounds and qualify just the same as a person who is 140.

Royal Neighbors may stand out the most for diabetic applicants, but that does not mean there aren’t other health issues they cater to. Another common condition they are very accommodating for, is the Transient Ischemic Attack. It is also know as a “TIA” or mini stroke. This is very different than a full blown stroke.

Most insurers will ask about this health event. If you have had one recently, they will most likely charge you more and impose a waiting period. Some will deny you altogether. Like diabetes issues, Royal Neighbors does not care about mini strokes. If you had one yesterday, it would not matter to them.

There are many other situations where Royal Neighbors gladly accepts applicants with varied health conditions. Below are some other common issues they would not penalize you for. You will still get day one coverage and not have to pay more.

  • Cholesterol Issues
  • Blood thinners
  • High blood pressure
  • All manners of mental health issues

Overall, this is a fantastic plan that is regularly the best option for many applicants. Your Choice Mutual agent will absolutely recommend this Royal Neighbors plan if it’s your best option. On the other hand, if they are not your most suitable option, they will certainly let you know. They will recommend another insurer altogether if necessary.

 

Royal Neighbors Summary

Our partnership with Royal Neighbors is one we cherish greatly. As you can see, they have a very well designed product that is quite often the best option for many applicants. Their liberal underwriting and excellent pricing enable them to capture a considerable amount of business in the final expense market.

In keeping with their mission, their generous members benefits are not to be taken lightly. We have had many customers take advantage of them. The prescription drug discount, hearing aid services, and vision discounts are easily the most popular benefits that our customers take advantage of.

Royal Neighbors is one the most competitive players in the burial insurance market. Thankfully, they have been in business for a very long time, and have extremely strong financials. We are more than comfortable relying on them. With the value they provide to our clients, we are overjoyed to have access to them.

Having said all of that, remember that Royal Neighbors is just one burial insurance company among many. We are an independent agency specifically so we can fulfill our mission of impartially serving our customers. Royal Neighbors might be your best option. However, they might not be. We will find out which one is whoever that may be.

If you are looking for burial insurance, give us a shot. Let us go to work for you. You have our word that we will put you in the best position possible, regardless of which insurer it happens to be. Thousands of families have done so already for a reason.

Fill out the quote form and an agent will be in touch shortly.

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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