Lincoln Life Insurance Company Review

Officially known as the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Life Insurance is a century-old life insurance company that prides itself on the values of honesty and excellence synonymous with its namesake, President Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company currently holds an A+ (superior) rating from A. M. Best for financial strength. The company does well with other third-party rating companies as well, holding an A+ (strong) rating from Fitch, an A2 (good) rating from Moody’s, and an AA- (very strong) rating from Standard and Poor’s.

Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, which operates in New York state in place of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, also holds an A+ rating from A. M. Best.

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History and Structure

Lincoln National Life Insurance Company was founded in 1905 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where it maintains its company headquarters. It should not be confused with several similarly named but unrelated companies, notably the defunct Lincoln Income Life Insurance Company based in Kentucky.

Founded at a time of deep social mistrust of corporate America in general and of insurance companies in particular, the original officers of Lincoln Life Insurance wanted to convey a reputation of honesty and trust. To that end they convinced Abraham Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, to grant the company permission to use the president’s name and likeness, which the company continues to use to this day. Within 10 years Lincoln Life Insurance had grown to become one of the most respected companies in the industry.

More recently Lincoln Life Insurance has redoubled its efforts in the life insurance field. In 1998, it acquired the domestic life insurance portfolios from both the pioneering group life insurance carrier Aetna and from CIGNA, one of the oldest insurance companies in the country. Today both Aetna and CIGNA are primarily health insurance companies.

At around the same time Lincoln Life Insurance acquired the asset management firm Delaware Investments, but sold this business in early 2010 to the Sydney, Australia-based Macquarie Group to focus on its core insurance and retirement planning interests.

Today Lincoln Life Insurance is part of the Lincoln Financial Group (LFG), which includes several companies in the financial services industry. LFG is based in the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor, Pennsylvania. Insurance companies include Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York in New York state and Lincoln National Life Insurance Company elsewhere. Unlike many other insurance companies which offer variable products, Lincoln Life Insurance does not have a separate broker/dealer company, but rather offers these products through various other broker/dealers with selling agreements with the company.

LFG also owns First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Company of Greensboro, North Carolina, which not to be confused with the Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Life Insurance Company, a Lincoln Life Insurance competitor.

Term Life

The following product discussions are intended to be a generic representation of the policies Lincoln Life Insurance offers. Not all products may be available in every state as described. In addition policy features and underwriting requirements may change without notice. Consult with a Lincoln Life Insurance agent for the most up-to-date information.

Lincoln Life Insurance currently offers two term life insurance policy plans, the LifeElements Level Term and the LifeElements 2010 Level Term. Pending underwriting, both plans are available to adults for terms of up to 30 years in most states and require a minimum face value of $250,000. The policies can be converted to a permanent policy up to age 70, and can be renewed annually up to age 95 after the end of the original policy term.

Available riders on both plans include waiver of premium, children’s term insurance and accelerated benefit. A $125 annual policy fee is included in the premiums of both products.

Universal Life

Like some other companies, Lincoln Life Insurance has dropped the whole life insurance model entirely to focus on universal life insurance. As such all permanent life insurance policies offered by Lincoln Life are UL or VUL products.

Lincoln Life Insurance offers four varieties of universal life. All four policy types offer an accelerated benefits rider either with or without critical illness, accidental death rider, children’s term rider, disability waiver of premium rider and guaranteed insurability rider. The LifeCurrent, LifeGuarantee and LifeGuarantee Plus products also include a coverage protection guarantee rider which helps prevent policy lapse. Available options on these policies are slightly different in New York state.

All policy types provide an option of a level death benefit or a death benefit of face value plus account value. The LifeGuarantee policy is also available as a two-party survivorship policy.

Annuities and Other Products

Lincoln Life Insurance offers fixed, indexed and variable annuities. These products are available in qualified or non-qualified plans. The fixed annuities feature a guaranteed interest rate from three to 10 years depending on product.

An indexed annuity is an annuity product which ties its return on investment on the performance of a stock index. Although the Lincoln Life Insurance indexed annuity products are considered fixed annuities, they are considered a middle of the road option between a traditional fixed product and a variable annuity, providing elements of both. All three Lincoln Life Insurance index annuities are tied to the Standard and Poor’s 500 index.

Lincoln Life Insurance has offered variable annuities since 1967. The American Legacy variable annuity products feature separate accounts managed by American Funds while the Lincoln ChoicePlus products offer separate accounts managed by AllianceBernstein, American Century, American Funds, BlackRock, Delaware Investments, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and other companies. As with any variable annuity, these products may outperform their fixed and indexed counterparts in return on investment, but also carry the risk of losing money.

A distinctive product offered by Lincoln Life Insurance is its Moneyguard Reserve “Linked Benefit” life insurance policy. This policy is a hybrid of a universal life and long-term care (LTC) policy, providing benefits associated with both. The product details can vary from state to state; contact a Lincoln Life Insurance agent for more information.

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