Life Insurance

Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance Review: Coverage and End-of-Life Planning Services

Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance Review: Coverage and End-of-Life Planning Services

Editor's Rating

Great final expense insurance if you’re quite healthy or can’t qualify elsewhere, but expensive in between.

Good for

  • People below 70 with no health issues
  • Issues that disqualify you from coverage elsewhere

Bad for

  • People with a single health condition, such as a recent heart attack
  • If you need over $20,000 in coverage
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Editor's Rating

Great final expense insurance if you’re quite healthy or can’t qualify elsewhere, but expensive in between.

Good for

  • People below 70 with no health issues
  • Issues that disqualify you from coverage elsewhere

Bad for

  • People with a single health condition, such as a recent heart attack
  • If you need over $20,000 in coverage
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Lincoln Heritage's Funeral Advantage program is a great option for final expense insurance if you're healthy and able to qualify for immediate coverage. Learn more about Lincoln Heritage’s whole life insurance coverage and rates.

Lincoln Heritage's Funeral Advantage program is a great option for final expense insurance if you're healthy and able to qualify for immediate coverage. The company has good prices and a strong focus on customer service. And because the company accepts applicants with a wide set of conditions, we also recommend the Funeral Advantage program for seniors who want coverage but can't qualify elsewhere.

Keep in mind: Lincoln Heritage agents have a reputation for being aggressive, particularly for in-person consultations, so it's important to be prepared for a strong pitch before you set up a meeting.

Final expense insurance

The Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company only offers one life insurance product, which is its Funeral Advantage program. Funeral Advantage is essentially a whole life insurance policy designed to cover a limited set of funeral costs. It's also referred to as final expense insurance.

Funeral Advantage life insurance coverage

Funeral Advantage whole life insurance policies offer up to $20,000 in coverage and have a cash value that grows over time. Policyholders can borrow against this cash value for emergency expenses or to cover premiums, but it's not part of the death benefit. As with most whole life insurance policies, the death benefit and premiums are level for the length of the policy.

Lincoln Heritage's application process is relatively simple and doesn't require a medical exam. You just complete a set of questions related to your health, but honesty is important here. If any of your answers are inaccurate, Lincoln Heritage may deny your beneficiary a payout.

Based on your health responses, you'll either qualify for immediate coverage or Lincoln Heritage's "modified plan." Policyholders younger than 50 have a two-year waiting period that begins as soon as you purchase a policy. The waiting period rises to three years once you turn 50. If you die during the waiting period, your beneficiary will receive a limited payout that's equal to your premiums plus 10%–30% interest. Waiting periods are common for final expense insurance, particularly when there's limited underwriting. Insurers want to limit the risk of a sick person buying coverage and passing away shortly after.

You qualify for the modified plan if you were diagnosed with or treated for any of the following in the past two years:

  • Heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cancer
  • Lung, liver or kidney disease
  • Alzheimer's disease, dementia or ALS
  • Complications (such as amputation or blindness) related to diabetes

While it's not a component of Lincoln Heritage's life insurance coverage, each policy does come with a Funeral Consumer Guardian Society membership. This organization gathers your funeral preferences and assists your family after your death. While this option can be helpful, you can do most of this work yourself. Communicate your final wishes clearly, and make arrangements with local funeral homes.

Cost of Funeral Advantage life insurance

The average premium for a final expense insurance policy was $719 in 2015, according to an industry survey. Lincoln Heritage's rates are average if you're middle-aged or healthy. However, if you only qualify for the modified plan, their prices are significantly higher than competitors.

Age$10,000 immediate coverage (female)$10,000 immediate coverage (male)$10,000 modified plan (female)$10,000 modified plan (male)
50$31.80$38.60$76.10$88.70
60$43.00$56.60$86.60$106.70
70$71.90$82.50$116.80$145.90
80$145.00$183.20$169.00$202.80
Sample monthly premiums are for a nonsmoker

Funeral Advantage tends to be more expensive if you're not healthy. While every insurer charges higher premiums for certain health problems, shopping around can typically help you find better rates. Because Lincoln Heritage agents are not independent, they can't help you find a better-priced alternative elsewhere.

Lincoln Heritage's add-on policies and riders

Lincoln Heritage offers several add-ons and riders to provide additional benefits while alive and after you pass, though these will increase your premiums:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage
  • Child rider (coverage for your children)
  • Dental, vision and pharmacy discount plans
  • Identity theft protection
  • Medical bill reduction plans
  • Health care system assistance
  • Auto expense protection

Lincoln Heritage's accidental death and dismemberment coverage is one of their most promoted add-ons. It offers up to $100,000 in additional death benefits — but only if you die in an accident, which accounts for 5% of deaths in the U.S. You can purchase coverage by the unit, up to five units, which costs less than $15 per month. Lincoln Heritage's accidental death policy offers several payouts, depending on what happens to you:

Coverage1 unit5 units
Accidental death (general)$5,000$25,000
Accidental death (auto accident)$10,000$50,000
Accidental death (on other transportation, such as a subway or airplane)$20,000$100,000
Accidental death (war or terrorism)$20,000$100,000
Loss of 1 limb$2,500$12,500
Loss of multiple limbs$5,000$25,000
Death >200 miles from home (transport of remains)Up to $1,000Up to $5,000

Restrictions of Funeral Advantage

Only a few conditions would cause you to not qualify for Funeral Advantage. These include testing positive for HIV, being diagnosed with AIDS, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, being incarcerated, being hospitalized, or receiving hospice care.

Lincoln Heritage insurance is only sold through captive agents, meaning these representatives don't offer life insurance from any competitors and won't be able to help you compare rates or features from multiple insurers.

While the Funeral Advantage program is available in every state besides New York, you won't be able to name a funeral home as your beneficiary if you live in any of the following states:

  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

If you trust a friend or relative to handle your funeral, we recommend you name that person as your beneficiary instead of a funeral home. While it can be hard to manage burial planning and the associated costs during an emotional time, your beneficiary can keep the rest of the payout if the total costs are less than your death benefit.

Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage customer reviews and complaints

Lincoln Heritage has decent financial ratings — but overall, the company is not one of the best life insurance companies. Their A.M. Best Rating is A-, or Excellent, and the company's NAIC Complaint Index is the same as the national median for life insurers. That means the number of complaints it receives is exactly what would be expected for an insurer of its size.

While Lincoln Heritage's in-house customer service team receives glowing reviews, particularly when it comes to claims, the company's captive agents are equally criticized for being too aggressive with potential clients. If you're considering Lincoln Heritage, we recommend bringing a friend or relative to any in-person consultations with an agent. Not only do you get a second perspective, but the other person can jump in if the agent seems to be pushing too hard.

Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage payments

As with most insurers, you can make Funeral Advantage payments via direct bill or automatic bank draft, but Lincoln Heritage also lets you pay by credit card (Visa, Mastercard and Discover). If you fail to make a payment, you have a grace period of 31–60 days, depending on the state you live in, to pay the premium before coverage will lapse. While Lincoln Heritage allows you to take an "Automatic Premium Loan" from the cash value of your policy, keep in mind you'll need to repay it later.

Maxime Croll

Maxime is a Director at ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry. Previously she was the Director of Product Marketing at CoverWallet, a commercial insurance startup, and helped launch NerdWallet's personal insurance business. Maxime has contributed insurance insights and analysis to Forbes, USA Today, The Hill, and many other publications.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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