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5 Best Final Expense Policies

Best Final Expense Policies

When looking for the best final expense protection plans for you there are a few factors you want to take into consideration: cost, payout period, additional benefits, AM Best rating, and underwriting guidelines. In this article I will review some of the top companies and rank their protection programs based off these metrics and give an overall score. Lets take a look!

Americo Eagle Premiere

Cost: B

Payout Period: A+

Additional Benefits: A

AM Best: A

Underwriting Guidelines: A+

Overall Score: A

Americo’s Eagle Premiere product is a best-in-class final expense option. Its only real downside is the cost. Being one of the more expensive option, this is due to the additional benefits that are rolled into the product. It already comes with a double indemnity protection, basically means if you die in an accident the coverage is doubled. In addition, it has a terminal illness living benefit rider that pays out 50% of the policies benefit in case of a terminal diagnosis. This policy is great for individuals who have had heart attacks, strokes, stents, open heart surgery, cancer, diabetes (any type), and arthritis in any form. As longs as the heart and stroke issues were treated or diagnosed over a year ago and the cancer was only one time and treated over two years ago, a potential insured could be approved at the level benefit rate. Also, Americo is known for paying out the death benefit checks very quickly. I have had clients experience this first-hand. For all of these reasons, I pick Americo as the top option and give it an overall A rating. 

American Amicable Seniors Choice

Cost: A-

Payout Period: A

Additional Benefits: A+

AM Best: A

Underwriting Guidelines: A

Overall Score: A-

American Amicable’s product, the Seniors Choice, is very similar to Americo’s Eagle. It differs on underwriting slightly by increasing the time frames for heart and stroke complications from 1 year on Americo’s eagle to 3 years on the senior choice. It also increases the cancer treatment from 2 years to 3 years for level policy approval. Another difference is the Seniors Choice has three different approval levels, level, modified and ROP (return of premium). Depending on your health and approval, each of them increase in monthly premium cost and alter the payout timeline. Senior choices true strength is in their living benefits. They are one of the only carriers that have 100% terminal illness payout, and in addition, the policy comes with a confined care rider that pays out the policy in the circumstances of being in a confined care situation, such as home health hospice or a skilled nursing facility. The price is slightly cheaper than Americo, however its negligible usually. This is my go-to for certain conditions that Americo may deny the policy, however it could be accepted with the Seniors Choice. 

Transamerica Lifetime Whole Life

Cost: B+

Payout Period: A

Additional Benefits: A+

AM Best: A

Underwriting Guidelines: A-

Overall Score: A-

Transamerica’s Whole Life policy is one of the more unique policies. If approved it has different levels, that can make the policy cheaper, if healthy and on no medications, or more expensive if your health is mediocre to poor. Their ratings are Standard, Preferred, Preferred Plus, and Preferred Elite. In addition, if medically eligible this is the only whole life policy that can have the critical, chronic and terminal living benefit riders added to the policy. To find out more about living benefit riders, click here. The policy minimum is $100,000 with a maximum of $2,000,000, so this is a policy that is meant to pay off larger debts once you pass. They also have tiered pay structures, 10 pay (pays the policy in 10 years), 20 pay, 30 pay and Pay to 100. The tiered pay structures are great, because you pay significantly less into the policy than what the policy is worth. For instance, a 40-year-old healthy male with no medical conditions can get $100,000 with living benefits, for the following prices:

Pay PeriodMonthly PremiumOverall Paid for Policy
10 Pay$371.95$44,634
20 Pay$189.37$45,448.80
30 Pay$145.60$52,416
100 Pay$110.25$79,380

As you can see with each pay structure the price per month and overall price paid into the policy alters. For this scenario the 20 pay is clearly the winner, at nearly half the price of the ten pay and almost paying the same amount in for a $100,000 policy. You honestly cannot beat paying less than $50,000 for a $100,000 policy that continues to build cash value even after the payments are completed. The only complication with this policy through Transamerica is their underwriting standards and processes. Depending on health, age, and benefit amount requested the carrier may elect to do a fully underwritten paramedical exam. This can take anywhere from an additional week to sometimes months. Depends on how quickly Transamerica can receive the potential insureds medical records. This policy is great for a specific kind of clientele. Speak with an advisor to determine if this policy is right for you.

Foresters Plan Right

Cost: A-

Payout Period: A

Additional Benefits: A-

AM Best: A

Underwriting Guidelines: A

Overall Score: B+

In comparison to the other products that have already been mentioned Foresters Plan Right has rating classes that determine the price and the maximum amount that can be requested. Preferred: $35,000 maximum, Standard: $20,000 maximum, and Basic: $15,000 maximum are the rating classes and maximum amounts. Aside from the pricing structure their policy the additional benefits added to the policy are a terminal illness rider, same as Americo’s Eagle, a common carrier accidental death rider, death must occur while riding as a fare paying passenger, and a family health benefit rider. Prices are in line with American Amicable’s Seniors Choice. Solid product from a solid company. 

Mutual of Omaha Living Promise

Cost: A+

Payout Period: B-

Additional Benefits: B+

AM Best: A

Underwriting Guidelines: B+

Overall Score: B+

The Living Promise is probably one of the most well-known final expense product, due to Mutual of Omaha’s marketing presence efforts in the past few decades. When it comes to price, this product reigns supreme over nearly every other carrier. Make no mistake, this is a bare bones policy with very little added value, that the aforementioned policies had. Mutual of Omaha’s biggest downfall is their payout timelines. They have a reputation for taking their time when paying out policies, and making beneficiaries wait a little too long to receive the death benefit. I have seen this happen firsthand. It doesn’t happen in every case, but it has been reported on multiple occasions. As for the underwriting, there are specific conditions that will get denied, such as diabetes, if treated prior to the age of 50. This being a common illness may rule it out for several individuals. The reason why I have ranked it in the bottom, even though the price is stellar the payout timeline I feel is more important when comparing the two. What good is having a burial final expense policy if it takes two weeks to payout after death. That is added stress and frustration on an insureds beneficiaries when they are trying to mourn appropriately. 

Which Policy is Right For You?

The answer is always, it depends. It depends on price, value, and the reason for purchasing the policy. I hope that this article can shed some light on various aspects of different carriers and their final expense policies. Take the time to speak with an advisor and determine what policy would be best for you. That is always my highest recommendation! For more information on whole life final expense policies, click here. To speak with an advisor and get a final expense quote, click here. Until next time!