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Royal Neighbors of America Review 2021

Founded: 1895
Based: Rock Island, IL
Grades: AM BEST A-
Where They Shine: Easy, first-day full coverage for certain health impairments.
What to Watch Out For: Premiums could be lower with other providers if you’re in excellent health

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Company Background
Simplified Issue Whole Life
Sample Rates
Summary

Company Background
Royal Neighbors of America, or just Royal Neighbors to you and me, began over 125 years ago as a non-profit organization led by women to serve local communities and those in need. Their mission statement reads; providing financial protection through life insurance and “neighbor-helping-neighbor” community service.

Since Royal Neighbors operates as a nonprofit their policyholders receive unique member benefits in addition to their insurance. Some of these include discounts on prescriptions, MRI/CT scans, dental, legal counsel, hearing aids, and lab testing. Royal Neighbors membership also provides numerous member discounts to common retailers such as Costco and Avis.

Here is the most popular plan that Royal Neighbors offers for their Burial Life Insurance or Non-Medical Whole Life insurance coverage.

Simplified Issue Whole Life (not available in AK, AL, HI, LA, MA, NH, & NY)

  • Coverage amounts: $7,000-$30,000
  • Issue Ages: 50-75
  • No waiting period, first-day full coverage
  • Level premium & coverage amounts
  • Lifetime coverage, no expiration

The Simplified Issue Whole Life plan is a traditional whole life insurance plan that doest require a medical exam. The plan offers enough coverage to take care of final expenses such as burial, cremation or funeral costs, though death-claim funds can be used for any purpose. The plan does accrue a modest cash value over time that can be borrowed against. However, this isn’t advisable since this would reduce the death benefit itself. Once approved the plan premiums remain static, so there’s no extra charge and the coverage never decreases. The plan will pay out for both an accidental or natural-cause death.

Riders

  • Simplified Issue Whole Life has just one rider; Accelerated Living Benefit, which allows the insured to take up to 75% of the death proceeds if diagnosed by a physician that there is 12 month or less life expectancy or the insured has been in a confined to a nursing home for 90 consecutive days and a physician has certified that it is expected to be permanent. This is a free rider and is built into the policy. (Not available  in MS, SC, IN, NJ, VT, WA) 

Approval Process

Royal Neighbors make the approval process super easy by offering a quick 15-25-minute phone interview that results in an instant decision. They use voice authorization instead of needing a physical signature or paperwork to approve the plan. There are two crucial parts to this phone interview:

#1 Passing a health questionnaire. 

#2 Passing a prescription check.

Step #1: Health Questions, Simplified Issue Whole Life Coverage

To be approved for this plan an applicant must answer ‘NO’ to the following questions:

  1. In the past 30 days, have you been diagnosed, treated, tested positive for, or been given medical advice by a member of the medical profession for COVID-19 (the SARS Co-V-2 virus)? 
  2. In the past 30 days, has a member of the medical profession administered a test on you for COVID-19, for which the results have not been received, or recommended that you be tested for COVID-19 (the SARS Co-V-2 virus)?
  3. In the past 30 days, have you been advised by a medical professional to self-quarantine?
  4. In the past 30 days, have you been treated, examined or advised by a member of the medical profession, whether in person, by phone or by other electronic means, for fatigue, fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
  5. Is the Proposed Insured currently:
    1. Hospitalized, in a nursing facility, or receiving Hospice Care?
    2. Confined to a wheelchair, bed, or using oxygen equipment to assist in breathing?
  6. Has a member of the medical profession ever diagnosed or treated you for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Aids Related Complex (ARC), or have you tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (AIDS virus) for the purpose of obtaining insurance; or any immune deficiency disease besides HIV?
  7. Has the Proposed Insured ever been diagnosed as having or been treated for:
    1. Congestive heart failure, or had or been recommended to have an organ transplant?
    2. Insulin shock, diabetic coma, amputation caused by disease, or taken insulin shots prior to age 30?
    3. Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or mental incapacity?
  8. During the past 18 months has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having:
    1. A stroke, aneurysm, cardiomyopathy, or circulatory surgery?
    2. Angina (chest pain), heart attack or failure, or heart surgery?
  9. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
    1. Internal Cancer, Melanoma, or Leukemia?
    2. Cirrhosis, liver disease, kidney failure (including dialysis), chronic kidney disease, or systemic lupus?
  10. During the past 18 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having:
    1. A condition expected to result in death within 12 months?
    2. 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?
    3. Been recommended to have treatment or counseling for alcohol or drug abuse?
  11. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
    1. A stroke, angina (chest pain), heart attack, or cardiomyopathy?
    2. Heart or circulatory surgery (including pacemaker, heart valve replacement, bypass, angioplasty, stent implant, or any procedure to improve circulation to the heart or brain)?
  12. During the past 24 months, has the Proposed Insured been diagnosed as having, or been treated for:
    1. Emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or tuberculosis (TB)?
    2. Neuromuscular disease (including Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Epilepsy, or Parkinson’s Disease)?

If a senior answers ‘YES’ to any of the above, they will be declined, with a few rare exceptions. The good news is that there are other choices if declined. Mutual of Omaha, for instance, has an excellent guaranteed issue plan also discussed on this site

Step #2 Prescription Check for Simplified Issue Whole Life

Royal Neighbors is a very generous company about who they approve, but there are some medications that they cannot accept. Their medications list is here and has two categories: 

  1. Medication taken in the last 2 years.
  2. Medication that has ever been taken.

You can see both in the attachment but remember; Royal Neighbors cannot tell if a senior has actually digested a medication or not. They simply go by the prescription report when it comes to your approval. This list is not exhaustive but has the vast majority of the medications Royal Neighbors checks for. 

Rates

The following shows a sample of monthly rates for the Simplified Issue Whole Life plan. Royal Neighbors does monthly billing from a checking account and doesn’t work with credit or debit cards. Most seniors who sign-up have chosen a date that coordinates with their social security benefits to make billing easy.

Female Non-Smoker

AGE$10,000$20,000$30,000
65$41.61$86.61$128.61
66$46.81$91.01$135.21
67$49.01$95.41$141.81
68$51.21$99.81$148.41
69$53.41$104.21$155.01
70$55.61$108.61$161.61
71$60.41$118.21$176.01
72$65.31$128.01$190.71
73$70.11$137.61$205.11
74$74.91$147.21$219.51
75$79.81$157.01$234.21

Male Non-Smoker

AGE$10,000$20,000$30,000
65$58.81$115.01$171.21
66$62.01$121.41$180.81
67$65.21$127.81$190.41
68$68.41$134.21$200.01
69$50.81$140.61$209.61
70$71.61$147.01$219.21
71$81.91$161.21$240.51
72$89.01$175.41$261.81
73$96.11$189.61$283.11
74$103.31$204.01$304.71
75$110.41$218.21$326.01

Summary 

Royal Neighbors is not the right choice for everyone,  but it’s the perfect choice for seniors that have had certain health diagnosis. For example they don’t have any height or build requirements which is extremely rare. They’re also only concerned with cancer episodes or most heart issues that have occurred within the last 2 years. The premiums can be a bit higher than other providers, however, many seniors can get first-day full coverage that they couldn’t get elsewhere. Plus, Royal Neighbors plans have no expiration to their coverage unlike AARP or Globe Life insurance and their rates stay level. This makes Royal Neighbors an excellent choice for those that love the additional member-benefit discounts and/or have had some kind health diagnosis in the past.

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