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Bottom line: This niche insurer offers burial insurance without a medical exam. But if you need more than $35,000 of coverage, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Policies offered: Permanent.
Financial strength: Strong.
Complaints: Far more than expected.
Buy online? No.
How we review life insurance companies
Since it opened its doors in 1963, Lincoln Heritage has specialized in one type of life insurance: final expense. Its Funeral Advantage policy is tailored to those who want to purchase a small amount of coverage to take care of their funeral, burial and end-of-life expenses.
You can get a policy without a medical exam, and Lincoln Heritage is unique for giving all policyholders access to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society. This organization can help you plan your funeral and price shop costs.
Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair, so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.
Lincoln Heritage life insurance
Lincoln Heritage earned 2.5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.
» MORE: Best life insurance companies
Lincoln Heritage life insurance pros and cons
No medical exam required.
Sells one type of policy only.
Accidental death and dismemberment add-on available.
Not available in New York.
Offers help with funeral planning.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
Lincoln Heritage life insurance policies
Lincoln Heritage sells one final expense policy: Funeral Advantage. Open to applicants 50 to 80 years old, it’s a permanent policy that’s designed to help your family cover your funeral, burial and end-of-life costs. You can buy up to $35,000 of coverage without a medical exam, and the premiums never change.
To apply, you’ll need to contact a local agent by calling customer service or filling out a form on the website. Then, the agent will ask you to fill out a health questionnaire.
There are three possible outcomes:
You’ll be approved for coverage. If you’re relatively healthy, you should be approved.
You’ll be offered a “modified plan.” If you have a history of serious health conditions like heart disease or cancer, you might be eligible for a modified plan. This plan has a two-year waiting period, which means your life insurance beneficiaries won’t receive the full payout if you die during that time. Instead, the insurer will reimburse them for the premiums you paid.
You’ll be denied coverage. You won’t be approved in these situations:
You’ve tested positive for HIV.
You’ve been diagnosed with AIDS.
You’re currently hospitalized.
You’re receiving hospice care.
All Funeral Advantage policyholders have access to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society at no extra cost. The organization can help you make arrangements for your funeral or burial, and share those details with your loved ones when you die.
» MORE: Best burial insurance companies
Available riders and add-ons
Lincoln Heritage allows you to add up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment insurance to your policy. With this rider, your beneficiaries will receive an additional payout if you die in an accident, and you’ll receive a lump sum if you’re seriously injured in an accident.
Lincoln Heritage customer complaints
Over three years, Lincoln Heritage’s customers filed far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
More about Lincoln Heritage
Lincoln Heritage has a network of life insurance agents across the country.
You can manage your policy through the online portal. And when you die, your beneficiaries can file a claim over the phone or by mail, fax or email. The insurer says it typically pays out approved claims within 24 hours.
Life insurance buying guide
Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.
When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.
Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.
For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.
Life insurance ratings methodology
NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.
These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.