8.7 / 10

Lincoln Financial Life Insurance Review

Lincoln Financial offers a no-medical exam term life policy with quick decisions and affordable rates for shoppers of all age ranges.

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Published September 15, 2020

Methodology
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At Policygenius, we're committed to providing objective and transparent advice through strict editorial standards to help you get insurance right. Read more about our methodology.

Lincoln Financial

OVERALL

8.7

THE GOOD

    Affordable for older applicants

    Can skip the medical exam

    Extremely fast turnaround

    Benefits marijuana users

THE BAD

    Permanent policies are expensive

    No whole life options

THE BOTTOM LINE

When it comes to low costs, speedy underwriting, and the option to avoid blood and urine tests, Lincoln Financial has the competition beat. Younger shoppers, and applicants in their 50s and 60s, can receive a decision within days, not weeks, and pay industry-low prices for their coverage of choice.

Best for: Older Applicants
Lincoln Financial provides affordable term life insurance for all age groups, but their TermAccel product is especially helpful for people in their 50s and 60s who can’t normally skip the medical exam and still pay some of the lowest rates around.

For our reviews, we rate carriers based on our recommended term life product. In this case, that’s Lincoln Financial’s TermAccel plan.

Cost

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10.0

Confidence

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8.6

Third-Party Ratings

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7.8

Coverage Details

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7.2

Ease of Application

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7.8

LINCOLN FINANCIAL COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

3 of 5

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J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

A-

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BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A+

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A.M. Best

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

IN THIS ARTICLE

The Details


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The Good

Affordable for older applicants. Life insurance gets more expensive the older you are when you apply, and there's usually no getting around that. With that in mind, Lincoln’s TermAccel term life policy is a superb option for people in their 50s or 60s thanks to prices below industry averages.

No medical exam for some applicants. Lincoln’s TermAccel policy does not require a medical exam or lab test if you meet certain requirements — mainly, if you don’t use tobacco. Additionally, you don’t need to take a med-exam when renewing your term policy or converting to a permanent policy.

Extremely fast turnaround. TermAccel uses accelerated underwriting, meaning most policies can get approved within days. Considering most insurers take weeks to make a decision, Lincoln Financial is one of the fastest ways to apply for life insurance in the industry.

Benefits marijuana users. For people with low-level health conditions or habits, including marijuana users, Lincoln offers better rates than the competition.

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The Bad

Permanent policies are expensive. Lincoln’s TermAccel term life policy has competitive pricing, but most other Lincoln offerings become quite pricey, especially for younger applicants. The permanent life policies are cost-prohibitive for most people.

No whole life options. Although you’ll find a variety of universal life policies, there are no simple whole life policies available from Lincoln. For that, you’ll have to shop elsewhere.

The Breakdown

Cost

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10.0

If you're looking to shop early, or happen to be in your 50s and 60s, or you’re in relatively healthy shape, Lincoln Financial’s accelerated term life solution, TermAccel, is a superb option.

Here’s a sample rate based on a healthy male applying for a $500,000, 20-year policy:

AGELINCOLN AVERAGEINDUSTRY AVERAGE
20s$20.42$28.02
30s$22.36$32.06
40s$50.22$60.97
50s$120.73$152.00
60s$211.44$504.29

Rates current as of September 2020, according to Policygenius data.

TermAccel monthly premiums are well below the industry average for every age group. If you're older or younger, Lincoln is substantially cheaper than the competition.

In particular, those in their 50s and 60s will pay very competitive rates compared to the competition. That’s impressive because term life policies with accelerated underwriting — at this price range, for those age groups — are pretty rare.

Unfortunately, those over the age of 60 are not eligible for TermAccel and must shop for another policy.

→ If you’re age 60 or over, here’s a selection of the best life insurance available for seniors.

Of course, your rates will vary depending on your age, gender, and location.

Marijuana users will benefit from a TermAccel policy because Lincoln treats that particular cohort as a non-tobacco class, which is a rare position among life insurance carriers. Since there’s no penalty for using marijuana, anyone who fits into this group will pay better rates compared to the competition.

Lincoln AccelTerm is best for the following groups:

People who live in California, Illinois, Louisiana, and Maine should consider TermAccel as well since there are no other major life insurance products with accelerated underwriting available in these states.

→ Read more about how where you live can affect your life insurance policy.

Potential applicants with more complicated medical histories, such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS are more likely to be denied a TermAccel policy. In that case, Lincoln Financial has an alternative term policy in its LifeElements product, although that will require a medical exam.

Confidence

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8.6

You should feel comfortable giving an insurance company your business — and your trust. Besides, they need to be around to protect your loved ones for decades to come.

To gauge trustworthiness, we look at ratings from the top credit firms in the industry, which measure the stability of a carrier. Essentially, they predict a company's ability to meet their financial obligations. And with high ratings, over a century in business, and several million customers with active policies, shoppers should feel confident choosing a policy from Lincoln Financial.

Here's how Lincoln Financial stacks up:

  • Year founded: 1905
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA-

Credit rating firm A.M. Best specializes in the insurance industry. They give Lincoln Financial an A+ grade, one of the best ratings possible, meaning they have a superior ability to fulfill customer obligations. Carriers with a B grade or lower are more vulnerable to risk.

Bond credit rating firm Moody’s scores Lincoln Financial an A1, making it a stable, financially strong company. Companies with an A rating and above are subject to low credit risk and considered upper-medium grade.

Credit analysis firm Standard & Poor’s grades Lincoln Financial an AA-. That means their ability to meet financial obligations is considered very strong. Companies are rated on a scale from AAA to D. The higher the rating, the more likely a company is to pay its debts.

Third-Party Ratings

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7.8

It's important to know what experts think about life insurance companies, but it's also good to know what actual customers and consumer sentiment sites are saying.

Unfortunately, there aren't many customer reviews available despite Lincoln Financial’s age. Currently, there are no Consumers Advocate or Consumer Affair reviews available. However, J.D. Power’s life insurance study does include the carrier, and rates them 3 out of 5, or “about average.”

Here’s what some places are saying:

  • Better Business Bureau: A-
  • Consumers Advocate: N/A
  • Consumer Affairs: N/A
  • NAIC complaint index: 0.28

The Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit organization that grades companies based on truth in advertising, customer complaints, and other factors, gives Lincoln Financial an A-.

The only other available score is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an organization of insurance regulators that tracks the amount of complaints sent to state insurance departments. Its complaint index reveals how many customers have filed grievances, with a score of 0 meaning there weren’t enough to track, and a score of 1 representing the baseline average. Lincoln Financial’s low score of 0.28 means the NAIC has barely received any complaints.

Coverage Details

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7.2

Lincoln Financial has term and permanent life insurance policies available. Their TermAccel term life product — the main focus of this review — provides level premiums and accelerated underwriting, so potential policy owners can attain coverage quickly without the need for a medical exam.

There are other options, too. LifeElements is a straightforward term life policy, though it will likely require a med exam. Permanent life insurance policies include LifeGuarantee UL and LifeGuarantee SUL, which are universal life products, while VUL One, AssetEdge VUL, AssetEdge Exec VUL, and SVUL One are all variable universal life policies.

Term life insurance

Of Lincoln Financial’s two term life products — TermAccel and LifeElements — we recommend TermAccel for shoppers because it boasts a speedy approval process and often requires no medical exam or lab test.

Lincoln TermAccel

TermAccel uses accelerated underwriting, so decisions are very fast — only two days of waiting, on average. Unless you’re a tobacco user, there’s no need for a lab test or a medical exam.

This policy has very affordable rates for all age groups, from 18-year-olds to 60-year-olds. Anyone older than 60 must look for another policy.

Policy FeatureTermAccel
Eligible ages18 to 60
Term lengths10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms
Coverage minimum$100,000
Coverage maximum$1 million

It’s important to note that tobacco users over 50 years old are not eligible for 30-year terms. For non-tobacco, it’s 55 years. If you enjoy using tobacco regularly, you may have to schedule a medical exam.

Marijuana users can benefit from this policy, but only if the policyholder gains no income from a marijuana-related industry.

Available riders

  • Accelerated death benefit. This pays out part of the death benefit if the policyholder becomes terminally ill and has six months left to live. There is a one-time charge if this rider is used.
  • Children’s term benefit. For an extra cost, provides level term coverage for all children of the policyholder, up to $15,000 per child. There’s no additional charge per child.
  • Waiver of premium benefit. Also for an additional cost, this rider waives premium payments if the policy owner becomes totally disabled.

Temporary coverage
Policyholders can receive up to $500,000 temporary coverage during the time of underwriting.

Policy conversion
TermAccel customers can convert to a permanent whole life policy before the end of the term limit, or before the policy owner turns 70, whichever comes first.

Lincoln LifeElements

LifeElements is a standard term life policy with the same term lengths as TermAccel. It has a higher-than-average starting coverage amount that should work for most people.

Like TermAccel, it’s possible to waive the medical exam, though there is a caveat — you’ll need to apply through Lincoln’s LincXpress app and you can only apply for up to $1 million of coverage.

After the third year of your term, you can reduce your death benefit if you need to.

Policy FeatureLifeElements
Eligible ages18 to 80
Term lengths10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms
Coverage minimum$250,000
Coverage maximumVariable

Eligible ages are split up by term length and by tobacco use. 10-year terms are for applicants aged 18 to 80, whether they use tobacco or not. 15-year terms are for ages 18 to 75 (70 for tobacco users); 20-year terms for ages 18 to 70 (65 for tobacco); and 30-year terms are for ages 18 to 55 (50 for tobacco).

Available riders

  • Accelerated death benefit. This pays out part of the death benefit if the policyholder becomes terminally ill and has six months left to live. There is a one-time charge if this rider is used.
  • Children’s term benefit. For an extra cost, provides level term coverage for all children of the policyholder, up to $15,000 per child. There’s no additional charge per child.
  • Waiver of premium benefit. Also for an additional cost, this rider waives premium payments if the policy owner becomes totally disabled.

Temporary coverage
Policyholders can receive up to $500,000 temporary coverage during the time of underwriting.

Policy conversion
Your coverage can continue after the term’s end, but the death benefit decreases. In some cases, the premium will remain the same for the next three years — after that, it increases annually. In other cases, premiums will increase after the coverage amount decreases.

Otherwise, like with TermAccel, policyholders can convert to a permanent whole life policy before the end of the term limit, or before the policy owner turns 70, without taking a medical exam.

Permanent life insurance

Lincoln Financial offers several universal, indexed universal, and variable universal policies that build cash value over time. Some are connected to a stock option. There’s also a “survivorship” product that covers two people under the same policy.

These types of policies are often confusing, very pricey, and a pain to deal with, to the point that they’re not worth the hassle. We generally do not recommend them unless you have complex finances. Due to the high costs involved, we advise you purchase a regular term life insurance policy and look into other investment options instead.

→ Universal life insurance is a permanent policy with a cash value element. Learn more about how universal life compares to other policy types as you shop.

Lincoln LifeGuarantee UL Details

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A universal life policy with a flexible guaranteed premium, as well as a flexible death benefit. This means you can choose how much you pay, when you’ll pay, and how much your coverage amount will be, all depending on your financial situation.

This policy is not available in New York.

Lincoln LifeGuarantee SUL Details

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This is a “survivorship” universal life policy that covers two people, under the same coverage. It pays out upon the death of the second covered person, with premiums that are flexible and guaranteed to stay level. The amount of the death benefit, amount and frequency of premium payments, and length of the policy period are all flexible.

This policy comes with a Coverage Protection Guarantee (CPG) rider that ensures coverage continues even if the cash surrender value is insufficient to cover charges. There are other factors involved that can affect the CPG’s duration.

Complications aside, these policies only work under a very specific set of circumstances, and won’t be the best option for most people.

→ Want to learn more about survivorship life insurance? Learn why it may or may not work for you before you buy.

Indexed universal life

Lincoln Financial offers two indexed universal life products, WealthAccumulate IUL and WealthPreserve IUL. Versions of these policies are available in New York.

WealthAccumulate IUL Details

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WealthAccumulate IUL is a standard indexed universal life policy, with a cash value component tied to S&P 500 market index performance.

WealthPreserve IUL Details

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WealthPreserve IUL is the same thing, but with guaranteed death benefit protection that lasts up to 40 years or to age 90. The policy's interest rate is guaranteed to never go below 1 percent, so you’ll always earn positive interest.

Variable universal life

Like universal life insurance, variable universal life (VUL) insurance gains interest at a fixed rate like a savings account. There’s a high degree of flexibility as you can pick and choose assets like an investment account, and premiums and death benefits will increase or decrease depending on how the market performs.

→ If you want to learn more about life insurance with investment components, here’s some choice reading material about variable universal lifeinsurance.

Lincoln VUL One Details

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This policy has a guaranteed death benefit, no matter how the market performs, although it is automatically rebalanced and investment options are limited to the right-to-examine period.

There’s also the chance you can stop paying premiums, if the policy's cash value reaches a certain threshold.

This policy is not available in New York.

Lincoln AssetEdge VUL Details

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Aside from S&P 500 options, this policy emphasizes an Income tax-free death benefit and the potential to replace income through policy loans or withdrawals. That basically means you’ll be borrowing from your death benefit, but only if it reaches past a certain threshold.

Available riders

  • Accelerated benefits. For an extra charge, this provides more cash in case you contract a permanent chronic or terminal illness, and can help pay for long-term care expense protection.
  • Waiver of premium rider. Also for an additional charge, this waives the monthly charge if you become totally disabled.

There is also a version of this policy aimed towards executives for protecting their business. Neither policy is available in New York.

Lincoln SVUL One Details

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Another survivorship policy, this provides a guaranteed death benefit for two people upon the second death, regardless of investment or market performance. It offers similar flexibility as the rest of the universal policies, and if your cash value reaches a particular threshold, you can stop paying premiums early or access the excess funds for income.

Ease of Application

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7.8

Your experience with Lincoln Financial products will vary. The following information is based on their TermAccel term life insurance product.

Application process

TermAccel applicants, unless they use tobacco, won’t have to contend with labs or exams. Instead, they answer basic medical questions, go over medical, prescription, and insurance histories, and figure out the best options with a licensed Policygenius expert over the phone. Thanks to accelerated underwriting, approval can happen within two to three days.

Turnaround time

It takes two to three days to make a decision for TermAccel customers. That’s exceptionally speedy. On average, life insurance policies take around six weeks from application to active policy.

Policy delivery

Lincoln Financial customers receive their policies electronically.

Rate reconsideration

After a year, you have the option to lower your premiums if your health improves. The newly reconsidered rate is based on the original age you applied.

More information

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State availability

Lincoln Financial products are available nationwide, but TermAccel is not available in New York.

Change method

Name and address changes are done by filling out and printing, faxing, emailing or mailing forms available on the Lincoln website.

Payment methods

Lincoln has an online account page where you can connect a bank account and pay your bills automatically. You can also request direct billing.

Digital tools

  • Online claims service

Claims documentation

You can file a claim online using Lincoln’s iClaim service. Input your personal information, policy number, and fill out a form and you’ll receive a claim package within five business days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Lincoln Financial offer online quotes?

There’s no online quote tool on Lincoln’s website, but you can receive one through Policygenius. TermAccel and LifeElements applicants can also receive a personalized quote by calling a Policygenius agent.

Do I need to take a medical exam?

For TermAccel, you can skip the medical exam if you haven’t used tobacco, or been convicted of a DUI or distracted driving in the last five years. Motor vehicle violations in the last three years and felony convictions in the last seven years will also disqualify you from waiving the med-exam. Hazardous sports players will also need to take a med-exam.

What are the main health conditions that Lincoln Financial covers?

Lincoln Financial’s TermAccel policy is aimed at shoppers with less complex health histories, or those with low-risk conditions and habits such as marijuana use. Higher-risk individuals should look into alternatives such as Lincoln’s LifeElements term life policy.

*Disclosure = We are an online marketplace that offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres is the reviews editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the last ten years.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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