Lincoln: Temporary Underwriting Guideline Changes


Beginning Monday, April 13, 2020, the following updates will apply to all pending and new submissions of Lincoln individual life insurance policies, including Lincoln MoneyGuard®. Lincoln will re-evaluate their position in June 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, and/or as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) gives further guidance.

PLEASE NOTE: These changes are temporary, subject to change, and will override any underwriting guidelines currently published in Lincoln’s marketing or reference material.

Life Insurance Underwriting Updates

The following updates are temporary and will apply to all Term, Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life and Variable Universal Life policies. Formal applications in a QUOTE, APPROVED, ISSUED or PLACED status as of April 13, 2020 will not be impacted.

Internal Retention

Lincoln’s Internal Retention will be reduced to the following limits:

  • $5 million maximum limit for term and permanent products
  • Available up to age 65 only
  • Preferred Plus, Preferred and Standard rate classes only

Table Reduction Program (TRP)

Temporary Table Reduction Program Guidelines:

  • Ages up to 65: No changes to current TRP guidelines
  • Ages 66-70: Limited offers with consideration up to Table 2 only. All other classes will be postponed
  • Ages 71 and up: No changes to current TRP guidelines; TRP not available


All cases meeting the following criteria will be postponed:

  • Ages 65 and under, rated Table 5 and higher
  • Ages 66-79, rated Table 3 and higher
  • Ages 80-85, all classes

Accelerated Benefit Riders (ABR)

All applications for an ABR meeting the following criteria, the rider only will be declined:

  • Ages 70 and up, with sub-standard rate classes
  • Applicable for Lincoln Care Coverage® ABR and Lincoln LifeEnhance® ABR only

The base life insurance policy will continue to be reviewed for an Underwriting offer.


Lincoln MoneyGuard® Underwriting Updates

The following updates apply to all Lincoln MoneyGuard policies. Formal applications in a QUOTE, APPROVED, ISSUED or PLACED status as of April 13, 2020 will not be impacted.


All cases meeting the following criteria will be postponed:

  • Ages 70 and up, deemed to be sub-standard, up to Table 4

(Lincoln currently issues Lincoln MoneyGuard cases up to Table 4 at a standard rating)

After the COVID-19 Underwriting restrictions have been lifted, clients who would have been eligible prior to this update could be considered for the Lincoln MoneyGuard product available in the market at the time of the offer.

Underwriting Guidelines for Foreign Travel

The following updates were implemented March 20, 2020, and apply to all Lincoln life insurance applications, including Lincoln MoneyGuard® Solutions.

  • Underwriting offers will be postponed indefinitely for any travel planned to a Level 3 country identified by the CDC, intended to be completed by June 30, 2020, or 14 to 30 days after the CDC lowers the alert status
  • Indication of planned travel after June 30, 2020, to a Level 3 country identified by the CDC will be evaluated on a case by case basis depending on the situation. Postponement is likely, but limited face amount options could be considered depending on the age and country travelled to
  • If travel plans to a Level 3 country are cancelled or delayed until travel is determined to be safe by the CDC, Lincoln will amend the application and proceed with completing the underwriting process
  • Each situation will be evaluated on its own merits and we will provide further guidance as more information is known about the pandemic status

Obtaining medical records, labs and other requirements

 As states are continuing to implement stay-at-home orders, along with facility closures and other state restrictions, Lincoln recognizes that you may experience delays as a result of the inability to retrieve an APS and medical records, criminal reports and/or obtain exams or labs. While these requirements will not be waived, to help keep business moving forward, Lincoln will:

  • Attempt to obtain information needed for Underwriting in alternative ways, including but not limited to: obtaining Electronic Medical Records, PHI calls for medical history information and/or clarification, Claims Billing Data, and asking the client to obtain medical information from their Patient Portal(s)
  • Work with clients to schedule exams and/or obtain necessary information as normal business operations begin to resume, including scheduling out farther than the current 45-day limit
  • Honor insurance applications for 1 year from the date of submission and Lincoln will keep the file open as we work to obtain outstanding requirements

Verification of Health Status

As previously announced, due to the ongoing pandemic and rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Lincoln is requiring the Declaration of Insurability (DOI) Form [ICC18LFF11709] for all underwritten life insurance policies issued on or after March 30, 2020. This requirement is applicable for:

  • All underwritten Term, UL, IUL, VUL products, excluding Lincoln MoneyGuard®
  • All ages and face amounts
  • Any exam completion date
  •  Any case that was previously closed and requested to be re-opened
  •  Any case with a Temporary Insurance Agreement (TIA) is in place

The DOI form is required to be signed after policy issue and will be a Delivery Requirement. For 1035 Exchanges, the DOI form will be required to initiate the exchange. The policy will not be placed inforce until the DOI form has been signed and returned to Lincoln in good order.

If the client has COVID-19, it must be disclosed. Lincoln will then determine if it can continue to offer the policy or postpone until the client fully recovers.

Up-to-Date Life Operations FAQS and Resources

Visit the NEW agent-approved website: for the latest news and updates, FAQs and resources from Lincoln Underwriting and New Business and Customer Solutions.

Please give us a call at 1-800-792-6795 if you have questions about these updates.