THE GOOD

Flexible policy riders:

Lincoln Financial life insurance provides ample opportunities to closely tailor a term life or universal life policy to your individual coverage needs. Long-term care and disability income riders provide benefits should you develop a long-term illness or get injured on the job. An accidental death rider offers your family special benefits in the event of your sudden death. If you're interested in extending your policy coverage to a loved one, Lincoln Financial offers a rider just for that purpose. You can even get an accelerated benefit rider that covers your medical costs and nursing home bills in the event of a terminal illness.

Multiple term and universal life options:

Lincoln Financial's term life policies are available for periods as short as one year and as long as 20 years, and many of these policies are eligible for conversion to universal life policies. Both standard and variable universal policies are also available, in addition to a specialized universal policy designed to combine standard universal benefits with long-term care coverage. On top of these policy options, you can select from a variety of additional coverages, including survivorship and joint coverage options, a mortgage life option, and a return of premium option.

Solid policy features:

With Lincoln Financial's interest rate guarantee, you can rely on a certain minimum rate of return on a cash value policy, which is especially valuable if predictability is a main concern. You also have the opportunity to choose the level of death benefit while retaining the flexibility to adjust your policy if your needs change over time. Other popular policy features include no-exam term conversions, a level premiums guarantee, and access to the cash value of your policy. Though Lincoln Financial is missing several features offered by some competitors in the market, including a dividend option with paid-up additions, the company still rates quite well in this category.

THE BAD

Whole life insurance not available:

A key omission in Lincoln Financial's policy lineup, whole life policies are designed to provide predictability with consistent premiums and a guaranteed accumulation of value. These policies make a great option if you have solid long-term goals and want to lock in a policy that you can count on to meet those goals. Universal life policies, which Lincoln Financial does offer, are primarily designed to provide flexible premium payments, though this flexibility comes at the cost of a guaranteed accumulation of cash value. Universal policies are ideal if you want to be able to respond effectively to future changes in your life and your goals. If you're looking for the kind of predictability a whole life policy can provide, Lincoln Financial won't be able to meet your needs, which is pretty disappointing given its success in other areas of life insurance.

Poor online tools and resources:

Highly valuable features like online quote tools and beginner's guides are nowhere to be found on the Lincoln Financial website. Even more, the relatively basic resources that are available do not offer enough information to help you make sound policy decisions. Instead, each simple policy description provides a link to policy brochures packed with details likely to be too complex for most non-expert shoppers. To be fair, Lincoln Financial clearly prefers that potential clients contact a company representative for personalized service in all these areas. That said, if you're a hands-on shopper who wants to learn about life insurance and work out your policy options independently, Lincoln Financial won't be able to deliver.

Limited payment options:

Lincoln Financial requires all premium payments to be made by personal check, either by mail or by electronic funds transfer, which is a direct transfer from your bank account. In this way, Lincoln Financial probably seems a bit old-fashioned especially if you're accustomed to paying online or via telephone. That said, this is a relatively minor criticism and is probably not going to be a deciding factor for many shoppers.

THE DETAILS

Details
A.M. Best FSR Rating A+
A.M. Best ICR Rating aa-
Moody's Rating A1
Policy Offerings Term, Universal
Standard & Poor's Rating AA-

FEATURES

Title
  • A.M. Best "Excellent" or Better The insurance company has an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better.

  • ICR Rating "Stable" The insurance company has an A.M. Best Credit Rating of "Stable" or better.

  • S&P Rated "Very Strong" The insurance company has an S&P rating of "AA-" or better.

  • Moody's "Very Strong" The insurance company has a Moody's rating of "Aa3" or better.

  • Cash Value Access The policy owner can access or borrow against the value of policy accounts.

  • Dynamic Premium Amount You decide the amount and date of premium payments, subject to basic minimums.

  • Expiration or Lapse Guarantee The policy does not expire if premiums paid are insufficient.

  • Graded Premium Option The life insurance company offers a policy that starts with a low initial premium and gradually increases over time.

  • Guaranteed Level Premiums Premiums do not increase over time but remain constant for the entire life of the policy.

  • Interest Rate Guarantee You receive a guaranteed minimum level of interest in the contract.

  • Level Death Benefit A policy where the death benefit remains level is available.

  • No Exam Term Conversion The insurance company guarantees conversion of a term policy to a cash value or permanent policy offered by the life insurance company without a physical exam.

  • Partial Surrenders You can withdraw funds up to a certain percentage of the policy value.

  • Tax-Deferred Growth The cash value of the policy grows tax-deferred.

  • Term Renewal Guarantee You are guaranteed a renewal option annually after term expiration.

  • Variable Death Benefit A policy where the death benefit increases or decreases with your policy account value is available.

  • Waiver of Monthly Deductions Future monthly deductions are waived in the event of disability.

  • Dividends The policy owner can receive periodic dividends based on account performance.

  • Limited Premium Payments Whole life insurance premium payments can be limited to a fixed number of years.

  • Paid-Up Additions You can purchase additional insurance with paid-out policy dividends.

  • Accelerated Benefit for Terminal Illness A rider which grants early access to the death benefit to defray the cost of a terminal illness is available.

  • Accidental Death Benefit A rider that pays an additional death benefit in the event of the accidental death of the insured is available.

  • Additional Insured Rider A rider that extends coverage to an additional person/spouse is available.

  • Child Rider An added rider that covers the death of your child is available.

  • Disability Income Rider An added rider that provides income in the event of a bodily injury that prevents you from working is offered.

  • Estate Protection Rider A rider that provides extra coverage to offset estate taxes if the policy is included in the insured's estate is offered.

  • Final Expenses Policy A rider or a policy that covers funeral expenses is available.

  • Long-Term Care Rider A rider is available that covers the cost of long-term care if needed during the policy term.

  • Whole Life Guaranteed Insurability Rider An option to guarantee future insurability at standard rates without further proof of insurability is available.

  • Cash Surrender Option Policyholders of lapsed or surrendered policies can request immediate cash disbursement or remaining balances.

  • Mortgage Life Option A policy in which the death benefit stays level for a fixed number of years but then decreases over the remainder of the term is available.

  • Return of Premium Option An option is available where the premiums paid over the life of the policy are returned at the end of the term less any deductions or loans taken.

  • Survivorship/Joint Coverage Option The policy covers two people and is paid when the first or the last of the two people covered in the policy dies.

  • Term Conversion Option Conversion to a cash value or permanent policy is offered by the life insurance company.

  • All Policy Types Term, whole, and universal coverage options are available.

  • Flexible Coverage Options Low initial coverage options below $100,000 are available.

  • Whole Life Vanishing Premium Option A whole life policy whose dividends can be used to reduce future premium payments is available.

  • Email/Ticket An email or ticket system dedicated to support is available.

  • Phone You can get support by phone.

  • Social Media You can contact the insurance provider with questions through social media websites.

  • Live Chat You can get support through live chat.

  • Assignment Clause The insurance policy is freely assignable to anyone.

  • Automatic Premium Loan Provision The insurance provider can automatically pay an outstanding premium with a policy loan, preventing a lapse of coverage.

  • Grace Period The insured has a grace period after missing a premium payment before the policy is cancelled.

  • Incontestable Clause After an initial period, the provider can no longer contest or revoke the policy.

  • Policy Discount A discount is offered if you hold additional insurance with the life insurance company.

  • Waiver of Premium An option that waives the premium payment if the policyholder becomes disabled or otherwise unable to pay is available.

  • Interest-Free Cash Value Loan You can borrow against the cash value of the policy without paying interest.

  • No Maximum Age No maximum age for policy coverage is imposed.

  • No Maximum Coverage Level The provider does not impose a maximum coverage level.

  • No Medical Exam Required A medical exam is not required in order to qualify for a policy.

  • No Minimum Age The provider does not impose a minimum age for policy coverage.

  • No Minimum Coverage Level The provider does not impose a minimum coverage level to start a policy.

  • No Minimum Premium The provider does not impose a minimum premium amount in the early stages of a policy.

  • FAQs You have access to a collection of relevant frequently asked questions and answers.

  • Glossary You have access to an online resource that explains commonly used insurance terminology.

  • Policy Selection Guidance A tool or guide to help you select the best type of coverage is offered.

  • Claim Status and Management Death claims can be managed online.

  • Learning Resources You have access to online resources that explain the various types of life insurance.

  • Level of Coverage Calculator An online tool to determine the level of insurance coverage that you need is available.

  • Online Agent Contact You can forward the details of your online rate quote directly to an agent for review.

  • Online Purchase You can purchase a new policy over the Internet.

  • Online Quotes You can obtain a term insurance quote online.

  • Automatic Payments Premium payments can be automatically scheduled.

  • Bank Account Payment You can pay your premiums with a linked bank account.

  • Credit Card Payment You can pay your premiums with a credit card.

  • Online Premium Payment You can pay your premiums online.

  • Phone Payments You can pay your premiums over the phone.

  • Single Premium Payment An option to pay a single life premium payment up front for whole or universal life insurance is available.

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