Lincoln National Life Insurance Review
B.A. Risk Management
Life Insurance Agent
Lincoln National is one of the most recognizable names in the insurance industry. Named after one of the greatest statesmen in United States political history, the company offers a variety of life insurance and annuity products to a customer base which is spread all over the country.
You will also see them referred to by the official name of The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. The parent company is Lincoln National Corporation and its family of companies operates under the name Lincoln Financial Group. For customers in New York, you will see them as the Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York.
How good are Lincoln National’s life insurance policies? How does the company fare against its competitors? Find out why Lincoln earns a spot on our list of the best life insurance companies in this detailed review.
Lincoln National is a reliable insurance provider. It exceeds expectations in terms of financial ratings, assets under management, past performance, and claims settlement record. If the price fits your budget, Lincoln National is a sound choice for life insurance.
History and Background
AM Best Rating
Lincoln National was founded in 1905 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by a group of businessmen who wanted to establish a life insurance company based on the values of honesty, trustworthiness, and dedicated service.
They decided to name the company after Honest Abe, as they believed that he represented these ideals better than anyone else in the country’s history.
Appreciating the sincerity of the founders, Abraham Lincoln’s son – Robert Todd Lincoln – allowed the company to use his father’s illustrious name and image. To date, it is the only business entity in the world to use Lincoln’s name and image and the only business entity to have the official endorsement of Lincoln’s family.
Shortly after its inception, Lincoln National made a name for itself by entering the reinsurance business. By 1912, it was one of the largest reinsurance service providers in the country.
By 1933, the total value of the policies issued by Lincoln had reached $1 billion. What is incredible is that the company not only survived the Great Depression but managed to do so without any layoffs.
By 1955, Lincoln had over 2,000 employees, one million policyholders, and had assets worth $1 billion. It became the ninth largest life insurance provider in the country. By 1983, the company had issued insurance policies worth $100 billion.
In 1998, the company was renamed to Lincoln Financial Group to emphasize the fact that it is one of the largest financial services companies in the world.
In 2013 and 2016, Lincoln National was named the Best Life Insurance Company by World Finance magazine.
Lincoln National Financial Ratings
- A.M. Best: A+ (Second highest rating)
- Moody’s: A1 (Fifth highest rating)
- Standard & Poor’s: AA– (Fourth highest rating)
- Fitch: A+ (Fifth highest rating)
- Source of Ratings
Lincoln National is ranked 23rd on the Fortune 500 list of companies in terms of total assets under management. It is ranked 187th on the same list in terms of revenue. So, it is safe to say that the company has great financial strength and is capable of meeting its commitments to its policyholders.
Let us now get to the most important section of this review – the policies offered by Lincoln National.
Life Insurance Policies Offered
Term Life Insurance
Lincoln National offers two types of term life policies – TermAccel Level Term and LifeElements Level Term.
You can choose your policy’s term length – 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. You must be under the age of 50 (if you are a smoker) or 55 (if you are a non-smoker) to be able to apply for the 30-year policy. The 10, 15, and 20-year policies are available for those between the ages of 18 and 60.
It is a level-premium plan, so your monthly or yearly contribution to your policy remains the same until the end of the coverage period.
The policy has a minimum coverage amount of $100,000 and a maximum coverage amount of $1,000,000. You can apply for the policy over the phone. If you are a qualified applicant, who meets the criteria set by the company, you will not be asked to undergo a medical exam.
The approval process is very fast. If you meet the required qualifications, you will be approved and issued a policy within two days.Extension of Coverage
Once the level-premium term period ends, you have the choice of extending your life insurance coverage every year.
When you do, the coverage amount is reduced by the company. The premium is set to increase every year, as long as you keep renewing the policy. This is ideal for those who only need to extend their coverage for one or two years.
If you want to extend your coverage by several years or if you need lifetime coverage, you can get your existing term plan converted into a permanent one.Riders Offered
Accelerated Benefit Rider – If you are terminally ill and have only six months to live, you are eligible to receive a portion of your policy’s death benefit.
Children’s Term Insurance Rider – If you have young children, you can provide coverage for all of them at an additional cost.
Waiver of Premium Rider – If you are unable to work due to a disability caused by an illness or an injury, your premium payments will be waived off by the company.
You can choose your policy’s term length – 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Your eligibility for certain term lengths depends on your age. The details are given below.
|Term Length||Eligible Age Group|
|10 Years (smokers and non-smokers)||18-80 years|
|15 Years (non-smokers)||18-75 years|
|15 Years (smokers)||18-70 years|
|20 Years (non-smokers)||18-70 years|
|20 Years (smokers)||18-65 years|
|30 Years (non-smokers)||18-55 years|
|30 Years (smokers)||18-50 years|
- Just like the TermAccel plan, this one is also a level-premium policy. So, the premium amount is determined by the company at the start of the term period and remains the same until the end.
- The policy has a minimum coverage amount of $250,000. The maximum coverage amount is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the company’s underwriting limits. From the fourth year of the policy, you have the option of reducing the coverage amount – in case your financial needs change.
- The application process involves a phone interview. If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you might not be required to undergo an exam by the company.
At the end of the level-premium period, you have two choices.
- If you only need to extend your coverage period by one or two years, you can extend it yearly. The coverage amount will be reduced by the company. The premium amount will increase every time you renew your policy.
- If you need to extend your coverage period by several years or for a lifetime, you can change your term plan into a permanent plan. The conversion can be done before your policy’s term comes to an end or when you reach the age of 70, whichever is earlier.
Just like the TermAccel policy, this one too offers three riders – Accelerated Benefit Rider, Children’s Term Insurance Rider, and Waiver of Premium Rider.
Universal Life Insurance
Lincoln National offers three types of universal life policies – traditional, indexed, and variable.
Traditional Universal Life
- The policy is set to accumulate cash value at a fixed rate. The rate of interest paid by the company is decided based on a variety of different factors.
- The policy is very flexible. You can adjust the death benefit amount depending on your changing needs. You also have the option of choosing the amount you pay as premium on a monthly or yearly basis.
Indexed Universal Life
- The policy is set to accumulate cash value depending on the performance of an index.
- The policy accumulates cash value faster when the market performs well. When the market goes down, the rate of return also goes down. The policy, however, has built-in downside protection, which means there is no risk of negative returns at all, even in the event of a crash. There is a minimum guaranteed rate of interest, which is credited to your account regardless of how the market performs.
The money in the cash value account remains accessible to you throughout the coverage period. You can take out a loan to meet your financial needs from time to time. The amount, however, needs to be paid back with interest. Otherwise, the company will deduct the total outstanding amount from the death benefit amount.
Variable Universal Life
- The policy is set to accumulate cash value depending on the performance of a wide range of investments.
- There is enormous potential for growth since there is no cap on the rate of return on your investments. At the same time, the cash value could go down if the investments do not perform well. Unlike the indexed universal life policy, there is no downside protection here.
- You get to choose where your money gets invested. The company offers you a wide range of investment options to choose from. You can choose an ideal mixture of high-risk, low-risk, and steady rate-of-return investments to minimize the risks and maximize your cash value account’s growth potential.
- The death benefit can be adjusted based on your needs. The monthly or yearly premiums too can be adjusted, as long as you make the minimum required contributions set by the company.
Pros and Cons of Lincoln National
- Lincoln National is well established, financially solid, and reliable. The company has excellent financial ratings and is one of the top insurance providers in the country today in terms of revenue as well as assets under management.
- The company offers substantial coverage through its term life policies at very competitive rates. You have multiple term lengths to choose from. You also have the choice of extending your coverage period by one year at a time or convert your existing term plan into a permanent one.
- The company’s LifeElements term life policy is available for people between the ages of 18 and 80. Many insurance providers offer term life policies only for people under the age of 60. Lincoln, on the other hand, offers 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year policies even for people between the ages of 60 and 80.
- The company has established a set of qualifications for its term life policy applicants. If you meet the criteria, you can get qualified without taking any tests. Even if you do not meet the qualifications, you can still undergo a medical test and qualify for a policy.
- The approval process only takes about two days, which is very fast by industry standards.
- The company offers indexed as well as variable universal life policies that have high growth potential and can accumulate cash value faster than traditional universal life or whole life policies.
- The company offers a variety of riders that are designed to enhance the protection offered by its policies.
Lincoln National does not offer whole life insurance policies. While the company’s term and universal life policies are very good, the lack of whole life policies is certainly a downside.
Many people prefer a level-premium whole life policy with a fixed rate of return over other types of permanent life policies. If you are one, you have no option but to look for other companies that offer whole life plans.
Lincoln National Life Insurance Company – Final Thoughts
Lincoln’s term life policies are among the best you can find in the market today. They are competitively priced and provide you with ample coverage. You have the option of renewing the policy and extending the coverage for one year.
You can also have it converted into a permanent plan. More importantly, you can qualify for a term life policy even if you are above the age of 60.
Lincoln does not offer any whole life policy. If you require one, there are several other companies whose product range includes excellent whole life policies.