Royal Neighbors Final Expense Review: 2 Fantastic Options

Royal Neighbors Final Expense Review
Royal Neighbors Final Expense Review: 2 Fantastic Options

Royal Neighbors Logo black and white

There are many ways to plan for the inevitable final expenses of life. Creating a will, leaving detailed instructions explaining what you would like your final arrangements to look like. And of course, the money to pay for the service and celebration of your life.

This is where Final Expense Insurance comes in. There are many top-tier products in this industry from many different life insurance companies.

In this insurance review, we are going to take a deep look at this company and comb through the fine print!

Royal Neighbors Final Expense Review

Royal Neighbors was established in 1895. The company started with a singular vision: “To protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities.”

They are also on a mission to provide women and those they care about with the following:

  • Insurance and financial products
  • Financial education
  • Member savings and services
  • Opportunities to connect, and help support their community

Today, Royal Neighbors of America is one of the longest established women-led insurers providing financial products, member savings, and volunteer programs to its more than 200,000 members.

Bundled with a member saving program and a well-versed philanthropic volunteer program, the company from Rock Island IL makes a very strong case for why you should do business with them.

Company Details

  • Established: 1895
  • Headquarters: Rock Island, IL
  • A.M. Best Company Financial Rating: A- (excellent)

What Type of Insurance is Final Expense?

This is a type of whole life insurance designed to pay for the final expenses of the insured. Because coverage never expires it makes insuring lives with these plans an affordable option for seniors on a fixed income.

All whole life final expense insurance comes with standard features.

  • Price Lock
  • Coverage Lock
  • No Medical Exam
  • Builds a Cash Value

You might be wondering if final expense insurance makes sense. Well, this is a consideration that needs to be made on a case by case basis.

Insurance for final expenses could be worth it for you if you have little or no savings, do not want to financially burden your family, do not want to get a medical exam, or wish to have these expenses covered by a specific fund other than existing life insurance.

Simplified Issue Whole Life Plan 1

Plan 1: Simplified Issue Whole Life

This product is meant for someone in good health that is looking for coverage with no waiting period at an affordable price point.

Quick Facts

  • State Availability: 43 states (excluding AL, AK, HI, LA, MA, NH, NY)
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 75
  • Coverage amount: $7,000 – $35,000
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Ads-Ons:
    • Automatic premium loan option
    • Accelerated Living Benefit

Three Things to Know

1. Rates & Coverage are Locked InGreen Checkmark

When you purchase this product your plan will not change. This is crucial when it comes to being able to afford your policy and have it available for your family when it is needed the most.

Time and time again I hear from people who were sold a product that was not right for them. It was sold as a plan for final expenses but it only covered them for a short period before the prices started to rise and eventually, the policy terminated altogether.

Make sure no matter who you buy your policy from it fits within the whole life category.

2. No Waiting PeriodGreen Checkmark

There are usually two reasons why someone would buy a plan with a waiting period.

The first is if the client has a high-risk health condition and is unable to qualify for immediate coverage.

The second reason is if they were misinformed or did not know they had other options.

Each insurance company has a different risk tolerance and is willing to insure different, specific health conditions.

If you are turned down by other life insurance companies or it establishes a waiting period to get full coverage, there usually is a solution to this problem. Make sure you find an independent agent or agency that specializes in final expense insurance and has access to multiple companies.

An independent agent will provide the best possibility to qualifying for day one coverage.

3. Favorable UnderwritingGreen Checkmark

Royal Neighbors of America has lenient underwriting.

This piggybacks off the last point, but it is important to examine it closer. Insurance companies each get to decide which medical conditions they cover.

Some underwriting guides are more strict than others, Royal Neighbors has one of the most lenient for a policy with immediate coverage.

What Does it Take to Qualify?

You will need to be able to say “no” to the 9 health questions on the application. The full list of health questions will be provided later in this insurance review.

Should I Apply for the Simplified Issue Whole Life Plan?

This should be determined case by case. While this plan from Royal Neighbors is good, if you are a healthy person with no medical concerns, you will be able to find coverage at a lower cost from other providers.

If your health is average to below-average, this plan could be perfect for you. Lenient underwriting guidelines cause slightly higher prices so this is a good middle-ground for someone to still be able to qualify for immediate coverage.

An independent agent can guide you through this process.

Quick Quote Reference


Non-Tobacco Monthly Premiums



Non-Tobacco Monthly Premiums


Graded Death Benefit Plan 2

Plan 2: Graded Death Benefit

This plan offers partial coverage immediately but a two-year waiting period before the full death benefit can be received by the beneficiary.

A graded death benefit would be the best for someone who was unable to qualify for a plan with full immediate coverage.

Quick Facts

  • State Availability: 43 states (excluding AL, AK, HI, LA, MA, NH, NY)
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 75 (WA 50-78)
  • Coverage amount: $7,000-$10,000
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period: 2-years
  • Add-Ons:
    • Automatic premium loan option
    • Accidental death benefit
    • Accelerated Living Benefit

Three Things To Know

1. Favorable Graded Death BenefitGreen Checkmark

If your independent agent has exhausted all options and is unable to secure coverage with no waiting period this is your next best option.

This is because of the way the payout is structured if you were to pass away within the policy’s two-year waiting period.

Waiting period payout structure:

  • Death in year 1 – 30% of the death benefit
  • Death in year 2 – 70% of the death benefit
  • Death in year 3 or later – 100% of the death benefit

This is extremely favorable for policyholders and their beneficiaries when compared to the waiting period payout structure of other plans.

2. Accidental Death Rider IncludedGreen Checkmark

If the policyholder were to pass away due to an accident within the two-year waiting period, the beneficiary would be awarded the full death benefit. This is a small but beneficial addition to an already outstanding graded product.

3. Maximum policy of $10,000Green Checkmark

It all depends on the reason you are looking into this coverage. For your final expenses, $10,000 would give your beneficiaries enough money to celebrate your life respectfully without any additional financial burden.

However, if you wanted this policy to help with more than just a celebration of life and your family needs to pay for additional debt and medical bills left behind, then $10,000 may not be enough.

There are plenty of other carriers who offer more coverage than this plan.

What Does it Take to Qualify?

The reason that you would apply for this plan is if you were unable to qualify for a plan with no waiting period. You will need to answer “no” to the first 7 health questions to qualify.

Should I Apply For The Graded Product?

If you are in average to below-average health this plan could be the right fit for you. However, if you are in good health you should be able to find a policy that offers immediate coverage.

It depends on your health and the amount of coverage you are looking for. If you are looking for a small policy amount and cannot qualify for immediate coverage, this is one of the best graded plans on the market.

At Willamette Life, an experienced agent will be able to guide you through the process. Call us at 844-576-0019.

Quick Quote Reference


Non-Tobacco Monthly Premiums



Non-Tobacco Monthly Premiums


Doctor Smiling

Medical Questions

1. Has the proposed Insured used tobacco in any form in the last 12 months?

If you answer YES to questions 2 through 7, the proposed insured is not eligible for ANY coverage with this company.

2. Is the Proposed Insured currently:
a. Hospitalized, in a nursing facility, or receiving Hospice Care?
b. Confined to a wheelchair, bed, or using oxygen equipment to assist in breathing?

3. Has a member of the medical profession ever diagnosed or treated the Proposed Insured for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), AIDS Related Complex (ARC), or any immune deficiency disease; or has the Proposed Insured tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?

4. Has the Proposed Insured ever been diagnosed as having or been treated for:
a. Congestive heart failure, or had or been recommended to have an organ transplant?
b. Insulin shock, diabetic coma, amputation caused by disease, or taken insulin shots prior to age 30?
c. Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or mental incapacity?

5. During the past 18 months has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having:
a. Stroke, aneurysm, cardiomyopathy, or circulatory surgery?
b. Angina (chest pain), heart attack or failure, or heart surgery?

6. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
a. Internal Cancer, Melanoma, or Leukemia?
b. Cirrhosis, liver disease, kidney failure (including dialysis), chronic kidney disease, or systemic lupus?

7. During the past 18 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having:
a. A condition expected to result in death within 12 months?
b. Been advised by a medical professional to have any diagnostic testing which has not been completed or for which the results have not been received?
c. Been recommended by a physician to have treatment or counseling for alcohol or drug abuse?

Stop sign questions 8 and 9

8. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
a. Stroke, angina (chest pain), heart attack, or cardiomyopathy?
b. Heart or circulatory surgery (including pacemaker, heart valve replacement, bypass, angioplasty, stent implant, or any procedure to improve circulation to the heart or brain)?

9. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
a. Emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or tuberculosis (TB)?
b. Neuromuscular disease (including Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Epilepsy, or Parkinson’s Disease)?

If you answered NO to all 9 questions, you are eligible for Simplified Issue Whole Life (SIWL).

Accelerated Living Benefit Rider

The additional Accelerated Living Benefit rider is available for both the SILW and the Graded Death Benefit plans.

This added benefit allows you to accelerate a payout of 75% of the total face amount of the policy.

This can be triggered if you are diagnosed by a physician as having a terminal condition with a life expectancy of 12 or fewer months OR if the insured is confined to a nursing home for 90 days and the physician expects the confinement to be permanent.

The best part of this additional benefit is that there is no associated cost.

This rider is not available in all states. Please speak with a licensed Willamette Life agent for more information.

Blue piggy bank and money going into it

Financial Overview & Member Savings

As of 2019 reports and reviews show an excellent financial position for Royal Neighbors of America. You should feel very secure in working with this carrier knowing that your policy will be paid when your family needs the financial resources most.

Here are some of the numbers for 2019:

  • Assets: over $1.1 billion under management
  • $195 million certificate holders surplus
  • $3.8 billion in Life protection
  • $29.2 million in Life policies paid out

Fraternal Benefits Society

It is important to understand what this means because this company operates much differently than a for-profit carrier. A Fraternal Benefit Society is not-for-profit and does not have shareholders to answer to. This allows for giving back to the policyholders in the form of membership benefits.

Also, with this specific company, there is a lot of charity work and overall social good that is done.

Traditional Life Insurance Companies Vs. Fraternal Benefits Society

Traditional life insurance companies are for-profit and pay into a government program that works as a backstop called “State Guaranteed Fund.” This allows the beneficiaries to still receive claims even if the company was not able to pay. Basically, it acts as insurance for the insurance company.

A Fraternal Benefits Society is not-for-profit and is required to manage their own money responsibly for all policies they issue. If they mismanage their money and cannot payout to the beneficiary then there is nothing that can be done and the money paid in by the policyholder is essentially lost.

Royal Neighbors has been in business for over 125 years, this is a company you can trust and know that they will manage their funds properly and also give back to clients through the member savings plan and social programs.

Member Savings Plan

Once you obtain a policy with this carrier you are automatically signed up for the wonderful member savings plan that is offered. You can expect to receive the “Members Saving Card” in the mail.

This card will give you access to free and discounted services by participating providers. Not all states participate in this program benefits program.

Some of the great member benefits include:

1. Dental visits
In most cases, you will save 20%-40% per visit. Just present your membership card to one of 160,000 participating dental offices.

2. Glasses, contacts, and vision exams

You can save 10%-60% on contacts, glasses, exams, LASIK, and designer eyewear.

3. Labs, scans, and other health screenings

When using the membership card for CT Scans, Ultrasounds, and MRI’s save 40%-75%. Also, save 10%-80% on typical costs for lab work at over 1,500 major clinic laboratories.

4. Hearing

Enjoy a 2 year supply of hearing aid batteries plus a 60-day money-back guarantee when working with the company Amplifon for your hearing needs.

5. Prescriptions

Save 10%-85% on most prescriptions at thousands of pharmacies around the country. Save on average 46% per prescription, all you need to do is present your membership card.

6. Wills and other legal services

Receive legal advice at a discount rate. Either $125 an hour or 40% of the hourly rate whichever is greater!

Charitable Contributions

Being heavily involved in social good and philanthropy work is extremely important to Royal Neighbors of America. It was founded on principles that it has kept as a core to its foundation through today.

You can truly feel that by working with this carrier you are involved with something bigger than just profit and loss metrics.

Here are some of the statistics that were accomplished in 2019!

  • 18 million dollars in social good
  • 175 thousand dollars in scholarships awarded
  • 100 thousand dollars in “Nation of Neighbors” women empowerment grants
  • 1.2 million in philanthropic spent

Who Has the Best Final Expense Insurance?

The truth is that the best final expense plan for you could be completely different than the best plan for someone else. This is because of the varying underwriting guidelines that the different insurance companies have.

Royal Neighbors is commonly listed among the top-ranking organizations in insurance company lineups.

There are several life insurance reviews that would lead you to believe that the Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage is the best, but upon closer examination, SEVERAL other companies beat their rates!

light green shield with check mark

Final Thoughts

a. Analyzing the products throughout this Royal Neighbors Final Expense Review it is clear that this life insurance company is competitive in price and even more understanding when it comes to health condition acceptance. You should not look far down the list before applying for coverage with this high-class carrier.

b. When looking at the makeup of this company, they put social work and charitable donations over profits. This is not a focus in many other life insurance reviews. This is a wonderful company to work with on many levels.

c. Having an independent insurance agent guide you through the process will save you time and money. While Royal Neighbors of America has two wonderful products, they might not provide the best coverage given your specific circumstances.

Speak with a Willamette Life independent agent today 844-576-0019

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