Baltimore Life Final Expense Review
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The Baltimore Life began in 1882 to originally help people avoid being buried in a Potter’s Field, or financially help the families who lost an income earner. The company was originally called The Baltimore Mutual Aid Society of Baltimore City and later went through another name change. Baltimore Life was of course domiciled in downtown Baltimore and the company’s total assets in the beginning were only $260.93 and is currently rated B+ by A.M. Best.
Their portfolio of products encompasses, Term, Universal and Whole life which includes their Final Expense insurance plans. They also offer annuities and Critical illness protection that provides a lump sum of money upon the first diagnosis of Cancer, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure or organ transplant.
Lifetime payments, a 10 year Limited Pay Life and Single Premium options
The Silver Guard Final Expense (burial insurance) policyholder can choose either lifetime payments, or a 10 Pay. The 10 pay is referred to as a Limited Pay Life. Many companies offer Whole Life policies sold in large amounts to be paid for over a certain number of years, then the policy becomes “paid up”, meaning no more premiums are due for the rest of the insured’s life. There are very few companies that offer this option for small amounts for final expense (burial insurance policy) other than Baltimore Life.
The 10 pay option is an excellent way to predict exactly how much a person will pay for the life of the policy. It’s a great option especially for people who are still working and earning an income. Most people have more disposable income while they are employed rather than retired. Many people can plan to eliminate any premiums owed on their life insurance during retirement.
Silver Guard I – Immediate level death benefit from the first day of coverage.
- Ages 50 – 80
- $2,500 – $25,000 ($15,000 for ages 76-80)
Silver Guard II and III – Modified Death benefit. 25% of the death benefit if death occurs in year, 50% in year two and 100% thereafter. Both levels are the exact same benefit. The rates will differ depending on health.
- Ages 50 – 80
- $2,500 – $15,000 for Silver Guard II (accidental death pays 100% on day one)
- $2,500 – $10,000 for Silver Guard III (accidental death pays 100% on day one)
This modified benefit is better than most other modified or graded policies that are limited in the first two or three years. Most policies will only pay a return of premiums paid plus a small amount of interest, typically 10% during the beginning years. If a 65 year old female purchased a $15,000 Silver Guard II and pass away from natural causes in the 13th month of the policy, the beneficiary with receive $7,500. Had the same person purchased a policy that only paid return of premiums plus 10% interest from another company like Gerber or the graded plan from Colonial Penn, the beneficiary could have received much less, probably $1,000 to $1,500.
What level could you qualify for?
The Baltimore Life policy is one of the best final expense (burial insurance) plans on the market today. While qualifying for the Silver Guard I, the immediate death benefit is fairly lenient, Silver Guard II and III is much easier than most others. Once an applicant passes the first set of questions, they will at the very least qualify for the 25% in year one and 50% in year two. If you have ever had any of the following conditions, you should not apply and talk to your independent agent about other options.
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s or terminal illness expected to result in death within the next 12 months
- Kidney dialysis or Hepatitis C
- Confined to a wheelchair, bedridden, living in any long term care facility currently in the hospital
- Current use or recommendation to use oxygen by a physician
Outside of these parameters it is best to talk with the agent to help determine if you will get the immediate death benefits or the modified benefit. In addition to the health questions, there are also certain medications that will cause a decline or a bump to level II or III. It’s a great company to look at and see what you qualify for before the agent checks out other companies. This way you can always compare not so much the price, but the benefit if you are only offered the graded or modified versions of a final expense plan.
Secure Solutions Single Pay Whole Life
In addition to the Silver lifetime or 10 pay plans, Baltimore Life also offers Single Pay Whole Life final expense policy (burial insurance). This policy is designed like burial insurance and benefits the final expense customer who wants to purchase a whole life policy with one lump sum. I’ts an excellent tool for CD, annuity and money market customers. If the applicant can pass a simplified version of health questions similar to the Silver Guard series questions, policy holders can increase the value of that money immediately by 30%, 50% or more.
As an example, you are a fairly healthy 65 year old female that has a $20,000 in a CD, and it is coming due in one month. The money was set aside to accumulated interest and pass to your beneficiary. The money will never be used during your life, but you don’t want to risk tying it up in the market. You have been shopping around for fixed annuity rates instead of another CD because you don’t want to lose what you have, but you want a better return than what you can get on a CD. What you are finding are rates around 3% on a guaranteed amount of interest for a fixed period of time. It would take over 20 years for that money to double.
The Secure Solutions single pay whole Life is a great way for this person to almost double their money as a life insurance benefit immediately. Your money will grow income tax free and be passed to your beneficiary income tax free too! There are benefits while the person is alive as well, including access to a portion of the policy to pay for nursing home expenses or upon diagnosis of a terminal illness. If you have a lump sum and are in average health with a few issues, this is an absolutely fantastic option. The agent will be able to access your health and get quotes for you based on how much you want to put in.
- Minimum – $5,000 ages 50 – 85
- Maximum – up to $250,000 depending on age and level of coverage
The health questions are a little more difficult to pass than most final expense policies, but if you can do this it’s a smart way to increase your assets. As always with all of the simplified issue product on the market, you need to check on the height and weight guidelines before you even start. You’ll save a lot of time and effort if you think your build is questionable.