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November 17, 2015

Life Insurance

Lincoln Financial Review

Lincoln Financial life insurance offers term and universal life policies with a deep selection of optional policy riders and impressive standard policy features. Though they're missing one type of major policy, they're still worth a look for what they do offer.

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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

General Information

  • 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-

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