Insurance Review: Lincoln Heritage

Lincoln Heritage Insurance

Lincoln Heritage final expense insurance might bury your wallet. People who are buying final expense insurance, or burial insurance are thinking of their loved ones and beneficiaries. They do not want funeral expenses to bite a big chunk out of their estate and purchase the insurance to cover the cost associated with funerals and that final goodbye. We think that buying a burial insurance policy is a sound financial idea. No one wants to have beneficiaries saddled with enormous invoices.

It is natural for a consumer to go with a big-name insurance company like Lincoln Heritage for a policy. Reputation and the ability to pay the death benefit are the primary reasons for doing so. However, we want to point out that bigger does not always mean better. You may be paying more than you should for a benefit that is less than you need. We suggest that before purchasing the Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance Policy, you take a moment to inspect what you are getting.

Lincoln Heritage Is a Giant

lincoln heritage burial insuranceThe Lincoln Heritage Insurance Company offers this insurance product. Lincoln Heritage is the largest seller of burial insurance in the United States, and it asserts that most claims are settled within 24 hours. That’s great since many insurance companies will issue benefits after 30 days. Lincoln Heritage is a member of the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society (FCGS). This organization is dedicated to helping a family arrange the funeral, and the name itself suggests that the FCGS focuses on the consumer. That membership can be an additional reason why a senior citizen feels safe and secure in purchasing a Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance policy.

What we are saying is that marketing doesn’t outright lie, but the words can be a little bit deceptive. Lincoln Heritage is a big player in the industry, but there are a few caveats to the burial insurance they are offering the public. We think it is essential that a senior citizen take a careful look at precisely what a Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance product is, and then decide whether to purchase it. There are some grounds for caution.

Lincoln Heritage Insurance Is Very Expensive

Large companies have sizable overhead and must pay those bills. Premiums are a primary source of income for insurance companies, and it isn’t too surprising that some of the biggest life insurance companies charge hefty premiums for their policies. When you compare the Lincoln Heritage burial insurance to others, you may discover that Lincoln Heritage burial insurance is as much is 300% more expensive than what the competition is offering for the same coverage. The overall underwriting policies of Lincoln Heritage can be brutal.

Your Options with Lincoln Heritage

The Immediate Benefit Plan. We admit this has an excellent marketing hook. Assuming you qualify, Immediate Benefit Plan protects the insured from the first day. The benefit is 100% payable when the policy goes into effect.
A Lincoln Heritage policy has a 20-pay option. You will pay on the policy for 20 years, and after that, you’re finished with paying the premium, and your coverage is there for life. We would caution you that your premiums are going to be even higher however, because the insurance company needs to get as much premium as possible during those 20 years.
You qualify for the Immediate Benefit Plan if you do not have specified medical conditions or are taking certain kinds of medication. Those who have unacceptable health conditions or take proscribed medications must settle for the Modified Plan.

The Modified Plan with Lincoln Heritage

This is the insurance option Lincoln Heritage offers to those who are considered high risk due to medications or specified health issues. Sadly, the older you get, the higher the chances you will develop medical conditions younger people don’t ordinarily worry about. Pulmonary Hypertension, Blood Clots, Irregular Heartbeat, COPD, and Emphysema are just some of the health-related issues that affect the elderly. These also affect your Lincoln Heritage Premium.

The Underwriting With Lincoln Heritage Is Not Age Friendly

Lincoln Heritage is tough on health conditions. Anyone who is on blood thinner medication can expect to be placed in the Modified Plan that charges higher premiums than the Immediate Benefit Plan.

The older you are, the less insurance you can purchase. Anyone up to the age of 80 years can apply for as much as $35,000 in the Lincoln Heritage Advantage program. However, once you pass that age, the amount of available coverage drops substantially. Someone who is 81 can get no more than $15,000 in coverage.

The Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance policy underwriting policies have some other nasty underwriting features. The biggest one is the 24-month waiting period.

What it means is that the policy you purchase must be in effect for 24 months before any death benefit is paid out. It means if you die within that waiting period, your beneficiaries will receive a return of all premium +10% interest if the death occurs in the first year and 20% interest in the second. You will have paid a hefty premium for a policy that, in the end, is almost worthless if you die before the waiting period expires.

The Lincoln Heritage Modified Plan has a few wrinkles to its waiting period. While a person who is over 50 is subject to the two-year (24 months) waiting period, anyone under 50 must wait three years.

There Are Amount Limitations with Lincoln Heritage Insurance

When you examine the language of the policy, you find out that the Lincoln Heritage Advantage program has limitations based on state, age, and the amount of benefit. It is valid for any policy issued by a life insurance company, but you should know what the limitations are before you start paying premiums.

The Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance is not sold in New York State due to the strict regulations that state poses on insurance. Lincoln Heritage Modified Plan is not sold in Arkansas or Montana.

We mentioned how health conditions would affect the premium you pay under the Lincoln Heritage Advantage program. Some conditions will disqualify you immediately. If you are hospitalized, bedridden, in a care facility or hospice care, or if you are incarcerated, you will not be eligible for a Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage Life Insurance policy. If you test positive for HIV or have been diagnosed with AIDS or terminal illness, you cannot apply for insurance with Lincoln Heritage.

Tobacco rates are a standard feature of life insurance policies. Lincoln Heritage will charge tobacco rates for those who smoke cigarettes. Still, there are also other tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and chew, that forces the user into the tobacco rates. Other insurance companies only apply the tobacco rates to cigarette smokers.

You Need to Read the Disclaimers

Marketing is going to promote the sales pitch in bold, large print. The disclaimers, on the other hand, are written in small fonts. Those disclaimers are the caveats of the policy.

Lincoln Heritage will make a point of saying that claims are quickly paid. A consumer may believe that they can expect the payment to happen within 24 hours. That is theoretically true, but it is rarely possible.

The reason, as it is stated in a disclaimer, is the claim must be approved. It means that the claim that is submitted must be approved before Lincoln Heritage will pay it. It might take up to a month to get final approval from the company of a claim your beneficiaries submitted to them. We are a little bit skeptical, and we think there is no proof that a claim was ever paid within 24 hours of submission. The approval process takes a while.

Marketing can also make a big deal of something that is small potatoes. The Funeral Consumer Guardian Society is something that Lincoln Heritage will point to in its advertising text. The Society is a senior advocacy organization, and you can get a membership in the Society by buying a Lincoln Heritage policy.

The Funeral Consumer Guardian Society provides service that helps survivors deal with funeral planning. The Society also wants to help people save on the funeral. Their objectives are commendable, but most of what Is provided is something a person can do without the Society’s assistance.

Primarily, the Society will help document the wishes of the policyholder regarding funerals. Anyone can do that without having outside help. 

What Lincoln Heritage is doing by promoting the membership is to try to justify charging higher than regular premiums. You do not need help from the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society at all. Everything needed to be done isn’t really that difficult. What you must keep in mind is that while the Society is reputable, Lincoln Heritage is using it to push the product.

The Policy Riders with Lincoln Heritage

Lincoln Heritage offers an opportunity to purchase policy riders in addition to the burial insurance product.

A child writer can be purchased for children, grandchildren, stepchildren, or even great-grandchildren. The child must be no younger than 30 days old and be under 18 years of age. A unit of coverage gives $5000 for an eligible child, and the cost per unit is two dollars. Those children can convert to a permanent plan later if they are under age 25.

There is also an AD&D rider. This is a standard accidental death and dismemberment coverage a person might buy as a separate insurance policy.

These riders are nice, but their primary use is to make the burial insurance policy look more appealing. Frankly, the child rider is not the best thing to do for a juvenile. An older person might do better by setting up a plan to help with later college expenses. That would be of more significant benefit to a youngster than an insurance policy, which may or may not be converted into a permanent one. 

The same is true for the accidental death and dismemberment rider. A person can do better by buying a separate policy if this is the kind of coverage they would like to have.

Never Let Marketing be the Sole Deciding Factor when Purchasing Insurance

We do not want you to think that Lincoln Heritage is a bogus operation. The company has been in existence for more than 50 years, and it specializes in burial and final expense life insurance. They have an A- rating with A.M Best and an A+BBB listing. Its financial stability speaks well for a company that relies on one primary product. There is no question but that they can pay a final benefit.

Our criticism of Lincoln Heritage is centered on the cost of the premium, which is incredibly high compared to other Insurance companies, and the underwriting of the policies. It isn’t easy to get a Lincoln Heritage product, and you will be paying a lot for the coverage. Other companies can provide the same benefits as substantially lower prices.

At Insurance for Final Expense, we know this because we represent some of those companies.

We think it is essential to shop around for coverage, but we also know that time is precious for any consumer. We are willing to look at insurance companies and find one that may have precisely what you want and need. We think comparison shopping is an excellent idea. That is why we will show you the options and let you decide what is best for you. We do not believe in pressure sales. You decide what you want, and we respect your decision

Insurance for Final Expense Can Find Better Insurance for You

We represent companies that can match the Lincoln Heritage claims, make it easy for folks to qualify for coverage, and do it all for lower premiums. A senior citizen wants an affordable price for insurance but does not want to sacrifice quality.

Burial insurance is a smart purchase, make no mistake about that. You can consider this part of estate planning because the coverage protects a person’s estate from being gouged with funeral expenses. Purchasing the policy is something that we suggest you think about.

What we want to caution you about is do not be fooled by the marketing. We subscribe to the adage that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. There are ways in which a company makes an assurance of service and uses disclaimers to mitigate the obligation. Let’s face it; insurance companies don’t like paying claims. They will do so if the terms of the policy require them.

We encourage you to read any insurance policy carefully. If you are a client of ours, we will gladly go over any insurance policy with you, explaining what your coverage is and how to go about filing a claim. We are committed to providing the best service possible to all our clients. Please feel free to contact Insurance for Final Expense at your convenience to find out more about us.

Gary P. Cubeta



(Serving Americans In All 50 States)