With the increasing number of companies offering burial and final expense insurance solutions across the country, knowing what some of the best final expense insurance options are is the first step in ensuring that you enjoy the very best deals from these companies and the entire insurance market.
As you look for reliable final expense insurance, Sentinel Security Burial & Final Expense Company is one of the insurers you’d want to get a quote from.
In this review of Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company and their burial and final expense insurance covers, we’ll take you through the finer details of the company and what they have to offer. This will allow you to determine its suitability. So, let’s dive right into things!
Overview of Sentinel Security Company
Established in 1948 by a group of Utah-based funeral directors who saw the need among families who were looking for reliable and practical burial insurance products to allow them to cover funeral costs, Sentinel Security Life is, today, one of the most reputable insurance companies offering burial insurance products.
Sentinel meets the challenge of the high funeral costs thanks to their move to create the Sentinel Mutual Insurance Company that enables their families to access affordable insurance products that cover final expenses.
Like many other burial insurance companies, Sentinel has evolved in its 70+ years of existence. The first change that the company faced was a change in the name of the company – the company was known as the Sentinel Insurance Company in 1954, but in 1957, the name changed to Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company.
While they still offered burial and final expense plans to help families cater for the high funeral costs, it wasn’t until 2009 that the company would start to sell Medicare Supplements, hospital indemnity plans, and annuities.
Today, you can access a wide array of important insurance products from the Sentinel Security Company, and you will be happy to know that their final expense and burial insurance options are some of the best for you.
Though most of the older insurance companies boast good ratings that point to their financial standing and capabilities, this is not always the case. Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company is, however, one of the good companies you could buy insurance from.
A.M. Best Rating rates Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company a B++, which translates to Good. In other words, the company boasts a good and stable financial standing, and they are capable of fulfilling their financial obligations – they will pay the claims on time, at all times.
What States are Available for Sentinel Security Life Final Expense Insurance?
The biggest caveat that Sentinel Security Life Insurance presents is the fact that their products are not accessible in all the states in the country.
Sentinel Security Life Final Expense Insurance Company is accessible in these states – AR, AK, CO, CA, ID, HI, GA, FL, DE, IA, IN, KS, MS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MD, NE, NM, NV, ND, NC, OK, OH, PA, OR, RI, TX, SD, UT & WY.
So, what insurance products are offered by Sentinel Security Life Insurance?
For starters, it’s important to note that final expense insurance is an insurance product that is ideal for individuals interested in insurance protection that ensures the best level of protection and support with the funeral and burial expenses.
These expenses include cremation, casket, and the final medical bills, and though these costs appear minimal, they often stack up so fast and can be almost crippling to your loved ones, hence the need for final expense insurance.
Keep in mind that although the coverage option you choose might be the lowest one and unable to cover all the costs, a simpler funeral arrangement and an insurance cover would ensure peace of mind for your loved ones. They’d also be able to mourn and grieve without having to be stressed out by the high insurance costs.
Note that burial insurance is a type of permanent life insurance, and this means that the coverage amounts are fixed, as are the monthly premiums payable, for as long as the insured is alive and premiums are paid.
As a whole life policy, it’s important to note that this insurance product boasts a cash value accumulation benefit in which the value of the cash grows over time and on a tax-deferred basis. What this means is that after a certain period, you could use the accumulated cash value of the cover to access a loan, but you could also use it when surrendering the insurance policy.
The other feature common with the whole life insurance policies offered by the company is the fact that applicants do no undergo medical examinations, and the underwriting process is tied to a simple Yes and No health questions section.
The answers to these questions will determine the policy that you will qualify for – immediate level, graded, or the modified death benefits option.
Below, we take an in-depth look at everything you should know about the final expense insurance products offered by Sentinel Security Insurance Company.
- New Vantage I – The Immediate Level Benefits
This is an immediate death benefits final expense plan that come with a 100% guarantee of the coverage’s death benefits, which are to be paid after the demise of the insurer, whether the death happens days, months, or years after the purchase of the insurance cover.
What this means is that the death benefits will be accessible to the family of the insurer as long as the insurer has passed away.
But not everyone qualifies for this insurance plan, and for you to qualify for the immediate death benefits plan, you have to be in good health, without any significant pre-existing health conditions like heart attacks, stroke, or cancer diagnosed and treated for in the past 5 years.
The good news is that applicants that suffer from common health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or the insulin-dependent-diabetics using under 50 units of insulin daily would qualify for this final expense plan.
This plan comes with the option of paying for the insurance coverage in one premium, although you have 10 and 20-year options, as well as plans for applicants up to 65-year, or the ones paid up by applicants at 85 years,
In other words, you can access this plan if you are aged 0-85, there are no medical exams carried out for applicants, and qualified applicants access the immediate death benefits.
For applicants aged 0-75 years, the face value of the insurance cover is between $1,000 and $35,000. Applicants between 76 and 80 years access policies valued at $1,000-$25,000; and finally, applicants between 81 and 85 years only access policies valued at between $1,000 and $15,000.
The payment options vary as well, and there are single pay options as well as 10 and 20-pay for applicants under 75 and 65 years, respectively.
This insurance plan comes with riders as well. The riders are as follows:
- WOP or Waiver of premiums – this is applicable where the insured is permanently disabled from an illness or injury. It is applicable for persons aged 15-55.
- ADR or Accidental Death Rider –this is a common rider, and it means that the insurer will cover additional costs in case of accidental death and if the insured is under 60 years.
- CPR or Children’s Protection Rider – this rider allows you to buy term insurance coverage for your child and a maximum death benefit of $50,000.
- New Vantage II – Graded Death Benefit
This is the graded death benefits insurance plan. With this insurance plan, it means that the full death benefit is only paid if the insured passes away after the waiting period, in this case, 2 years.
So, if the death of the insured is not accidental and it occurs in the first 2 years of getting coverage, then it means that only part of the benefits are paid. The good news is that, unlike other insurers, Sentinel Security opts for a different approach that’s different from the full-premiums paid and maybe a 10% interest.
In this case, Sentinel pays the beneficiaries 30% of the total death benefit in case death occurs in the first year of getting coverage, and 70% if death strikes in year 2. 100% death benefits are paid in year 3 onwards.
That said, accidental death means that Sentinel pays for the full death benefits regardless of the few months that had elapsed after the policy was bought.
This is often the option given to insured individuals with minor health conditions like the insulin-dependent diabetics using about 50 insulin units daily, as well as applicants with minor health conditions, as long as the conditions were treated within the 5 years prior.
- New Vantage III – Modified Death Benefits
The modified plan might be the preferable option for you if you struggle with more severe health problems that have been treated in the past 2 years. These conditions include heart surgeries, congestive heart failure, or if you’ve suffered a stroke.
This plan is meant to shield the insurance carrier given the risks involved with such applicants, which is why the carrier modifies the value of the death benefit.
If the insured passes away within the first 2 years of policy purchase, the beneficiaries would only collect the paid premiums plus an additional 10% interest, and the full death benefits would only be payable in the third year, unless the death is accidental, in which case, Sentinel pays the full amount of the death benefits.
Details of Sentinel’s New Vantage II & III
- These plans are accessible to applicants aged 45-85, and though there is no medical examination needed for the policy’s approval, the benefits are graded.
- In years 1 and 2, Sentinel pays 30% and 70% of the face value of the policy, respectively, with the full death benefits only paid in Year 3 onwards.
- The face value of the plans differs depending on age as well. So, while the minimum value of the insurance cover is $1,000, the maximum amount payable is $20,000 for the 45-80 age gap and $15,000 for the 81-85 age groups.
- There is also an accidental death benefits rider offered at no extra cost for the first 2 years of the insurance application.
As mentioned above, the rates of payable premiums and the face value of the insurance policies will change depending on your age and your health status. But the average premiums payable for Sentinel Security is a follows:
Males aged 50 & 80 pay $27.72 and $147.06, respectively – for the $10,000 policy
Females aged 50 & 80 pay $23.05 and $108.29, respectively, for the $10,000 policy.
Thanks to the good rating by A.M Best and the fact that the company is financially stable, Sentinel Life pays their customers’ insurance claims in a timely manner.
The only catch is that the company doesn’t really have a dedicated claims section on its website. Naturally, this is a curveball that could be avoided easily, and it would result in delays in claims processing.
To lodge a claim, you need to fill the downloadable forms from their online page, then mail or fax them. There is a policyholder service number to ease the processing of the application.
Final Expense Coverage benefits
- The premiums and the value of the policy remain unchanged throughout the life of the policy/ policyholder.
- The immediate level death benefits plan is flexible, and persons with common health conditions are eligible.
- Accidental death rider offered for all the three plans, though it’s limited to the first 2 years in the Vantage II and III plans.
What Are the Knockout Questions?
These are the questions that determine which insurance plans you are eligible for. The questions are in 3 parts, and to qualify for one or any other final expense insurance product by Sentinel, you’d have to answer No to these questions.
Answering Yes to part A of the questions, for example, means you are not eligible for the insurance products offered.
What Are the Health Questions Asked for a Whole Life Policy?
Part A Questions – Only proceed to Part B if all answers are No.
- Whether the proposed applicant current is confined to a nursing home, bedridden, correctional facility, home health care, etc., and if they have received or been advised to receive a tissue or organ transplant in the past 3 months.
- If the applicant currently suffers from a chronic disease or illness or if they use a wheelchair or need assistance for activities of daily living like bathing, toileting, dressing, or eating.
- Lastly, the insurer will want to know if you have had a diagnostic test, dialysis, surgery, hospitalization, home health care, etc., and isn’t complete or the results are unknown – in the past 24 months.
Part B Questions
Any yes to questions in this section mean that the applicant is only eligible for Vantage III, and No to all means one can proceed to Part C.
- Sentinel will want to know if the potential policyholder has, in the past 2 years, been treated or medically diagnosis by a licensed practitioner (and taken medication for):
- Alcohol or drug dependency, schizophrenia or manic depression
- Had a stroke, suffered a heart attack, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, TIA, circulation/ heart surgery, or an aneurysm
- Received treatment for neuropathy, diabetic coma, insulin shock, or had to be amputated from diabetes-related complications.
- Lastly, if the applicant has, in the past 3 years, been medically diagnosed or treated for internal cancer, brain tumor, leukemia, malignant melanoma, or sickle-cell anemia.
Part C Questions
Answering yes to any of these questions means the applicant is eligible for the Vantage II plan, while all Nos mean eligibility for Vantage I.
Here, Sentinel Security will want to know if, in the past 5 years, you’d been treated medically for or taken medication for the following:
- Heart-related illnesses like heart attacks, coronary artery disease, heart bypass, angioplasty, stent placement, pacemaker or defibrillator, chest pain, angina, aneurysm, chest pain, angina, stroke, or any other disease affecting the circulatory system or the heart
- Chronic illnesses affecting the lungs like asthma, COPD, or emphysema.
- Kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver cirrhosis, kidney failure, Systemic Lupus, Sjogren’s, or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Insulin treatment exceeding 50 units every day.
When it comes to underwriting this company, the products offered and the underwriting advantages you could enjoy are as follows:
- Very low premiums for New Vantage I policyholders, generally accessible to policyholders in good health
- Vantage II & III products are priced competitively
- Occasional non-cigarette tobacco users are regarded for the non-smoker rates, as long as the pipe and cigar smokers use the products a minimum of 4 times monthly
- Optional phone applications ensure better-streamlined applications with some back and forth
- Plans are friendly to diabetics
- Graded coverage offered to oxygen users – a feature unique to Sentinel
Pros & Cons
- Good financial standing
- Riders available
- Graded level plans accept applicants who use insulin, as well as the users of oxygen
- Good range of options for all applicants
- 85 years is the upper age limit for applicants
- Fixed premiums and coverage amounts
- 20-day free-look period
- Not available in all states
How does Sentinel Security Life compare to other companies rate-wise?
Sentinel offers pretty much the same products offered by other insurers, but they are more flexible, and their premiums are lower than those charged by their competing insurance companies.
How to Sell Sentinel Security Life’s Final Expense Product?
To sell Sentinel’s insurance, you have to be appointed as an agent by Sentinel, which means applying for an appointment by filling an online form on their website.
Sentinel Security Life boasts a B++ financial rating, and this means that it may not be your top pick given the A-rated competing insurance companies. Even so, they boast a wealth of experience, and their products are well thought out.
Their products are competitively priced, and if you are trying to save a few extra dollars charged by the A-rated companies, Sentinel would be a good option for you. That said, you can find better rates elsewhere for Vantage II & III. So, compare rates first before you settle on an insurance carrier.