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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 their immediate coverage. They have good prices and a strong focus on customer service. We would also recommend the Funeral Advantage program for seniors that really want coverage but are unable to qualify elsewhere, as they accept applicants with a wide set of conditions.
Just note that 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 setting up a meeting.
- Final Expense Insurance
- Consumer Reviews & Complaints
- Funeral Advantage Payments
Final Expense Insurance
The Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company only offers one life insurance product, which is their Funeral Advantage program. Funeral Advantage is essentially a whole life insurance policy designed to cover a limited set of costs associated with your passing, and is 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. This cash value can be borrowed against for emergency expenses or to cover premiums, but is 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 need to complete a set of questions related to your health. Keep in mind that, if any of the answers are inaccurate, your beneficiary might be denied a payout, so it’s important to be honest.
Based upon your health responses, you will either qualify for immediate coverage or Lincoln Heritage’s “modified plan”, which has a 3 year waiting period (only 2 years if you’re under 50). The waiting period begins as soon as your purchase a policy and, if you pass during that time, your beneficiary will receive a limited payout (return of premiums plus 10-30% interest). Waiting periods are common for final expense insurance, particularly when there’s limited underwriting, because insurers want to avoid having particularly ill patients sign up for large amounts of coverage but pay only a couple months of premiums before passing.
You would qualify for the modified plan, not immediate coverage, if you were diagnosed with or treated for any of the following in the past 2 years:
- Heart disease
- Coronary artery disease
- 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 collects your funeral preferences and offers assistance to your family when you pass, getting quotes from funeral homes and assisting with any questions. It’s very helpful for family and friends that are going through an emotional time, but most of the benefit can be obtained if you communicate your final wishes clearly and check out local funeral homes yourself.
Cost of Funeral Advantage Life Insurance
The average premium for a final expense insurance policy was $719 in 2015, according to an industry survey. If you’re middle-aged or haven’t had any health issues, Lincoln Heritage’s rates are pretty close to those of their peers. 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)|
Funeral Advantage tends to be more expensive if you’ve had a health condition because a very wide range of issues will cause you to pay the higher prices of the modified plan. While every insurer will have higher quotes for applicants with a certain set of conditions, by shopping around you can typically find a few insurers that are more lenient to your situation. However, Lincoln Heritage agents are not independent, so they can’t help you find a better-priced alternative elsewhere.
Lincoln Heritage’s Add-on Policies & 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
- Healthcare system assistance
- Auto expense protection
Lincoln Heritage’s accidental death and dismemberment coverage is one of their most promoted add-ons, and can added to your final expense policy to offer up to $100,000 in additional death benefits. Just note that this amount would only be paid if you die from an accident (about 5% of deaths in the United States). Coverage is purchased on a per-unit basis, you can only purchase up to 5 units, and costs less than $15 per month (for 5 units of coverage). Lincoln Heritage’s accidental death policy offers several payouts, depending on what happens to you:
|Coverage||1 Unit||5 Units|
|Accidental death (general)||$5,000||$25,000|
|Accidental death (auto accident)||$10,000||$50,000|
|Accidental Death (on other transportation, such as 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 $1,000||Up 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:
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
If you have relatives or people that you’re close to that you would trust to handle your funeral, we generally recommend that you name them as your beneficiary instead of a funeral home. While it can put stress on a loved one to try to handle burial planning and the associated costs during an emotional time, they’ll be able to keep whatever remains of the payout if the total costs are less than your death benefit.
Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Customer Reviews & Complaints
Lincoln Heritage has its fair share of complaints but, overall, the company is well rated. Their A.M. Best Rating is A-, or Excellent, and the company’s NAIC Complaint Ratio is the same as the national median for life insurers (meaning the number of complaints they receive is exactly what would be expected for an insurer of their 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. We recommend that, if you’re considering Lincoln Heritage, to have a friend or relative with you during 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, Discover). If you fail to make a payment, you have a 31-60 day grace period, 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 this amount will still have to be repaid later and should not be leaned on regularly.