UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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Although the term fraternal organization generally refers to brotherhood, and most were founded by men, the LCBA’s history traces back to a group of women. Originally the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association, it was founded by women for women in 1890. The original goal of the group was to assist women in financial need and was the first benevolent society of its kind in the country.
By 1910 the society had more than 117,000 members and offered a range of new insurance products. Eventually, the decision was made to open membership to both men and women, and in the 1960s the name change was made official, switching to Loyal Christian Benefit Association to include both genders while keeping the familiar acronym.
LCBA today covers 35 states and the District of Columbia, offering life insurance, annuities, and Medicare Supplement products. Like most such associations, membership is required and comes with a list of benefits that include scholarships, newborn and orphan benefits, and discounts.
LCBA offers life insurance, funeral pre-planning, annuities, and Medicare Supplement, which we have reviewed separately here. LCBA offers some products that are directly underwritten, while others are offered through the LCBA Agency, which partners with other insurance companies for extended selection.
The only policy LCBA underwrites directly is their Family Protector Plan, which is designed to be a final expense life insurance policy. This plan can be issued anytime between the ages of 0 and 90. For coverage up to $25,000, the plan is a simplified issue product – with no medical exam or in-depth underwriting process. It can also be purchased with death benefit amounts over $25,000, although this requires full underwriting.
Riders for the Family Protector Plan include Accidental Death, Waiver of Premium, and a children’s rider.
Through the LCBA Agency, members can purchase a wide variety of other traditional life insurance plans. The agency works with such big-name insurers as MetLife and Prudential to provide a full range of choices.
LCBA partners with funeral homes to provide funeral pre-planning products. These allow for money to be set aside ahead of time to cover funeral expenses and also allow the policyholder to pre-arrange the funeral they would prefer.
There are two products in this category. The Futura Insurance Plan is essentially a life insurance product that can be purchased on a single premium or installment plan basis. Futura is a simplified issue product with the benefit directed to the chosen funeral home to ensure it is used specifically for the requested funeral expenses.
The second choice is the Guardian, which is an annuity rather than a life insurance policy. This plan is designed for those who do not qualify for a life insurance plan due to age or other issues. The annuity is tax-deferred and can be paid in a single lump sum or in installments over time.
In addition to the Guardian plan, LCBA offers annuities to provide retirement income or a death benefit to any named beneficiary. The Legacy Annuity is a tax-deferred investment with a rate guarantee and an eight-year surrender period.
LCBA does not offer rates on their website, and quotes can only be obtained by calling directly. This is a common practice for a fraternal society where membership is part of the deal.
We were unable to find a section of the website directly relating to claims, nor is a claims phone number listed on the contact page. There are several options to contact LCBA, including phone and email, as well as a live online chat service that popped up repeatedly during our visit to the site for this review.
There is also a login section for members, and it is possible that claims information is located there. As we have noted many times in the past, this is not helpful to a beneficiary who likely does not have the insured’s login credentials. That said, it is likely that a call to the main customer service line will result in the needed assistance.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
There are three Google reviews for LCBA, all of which are positive. On Facebook, we found six reviews, most of which were simple 5-star reviews with no comment. One comment seemed to indicate the review was done to win a contest, and one was negative, indicating non-payment of benefits.
Outside of these few reviews, we found very little regarding LCBA’s reputation. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) does not have a file listed for LCBA. As a fraternal society with a small product lineup, it is not entirely surprising that information is limited.
The Bottom Line
LCBA is likely to appeal to those who like the idea of a faith-based membership community. While we are unable to compare their products based on rates, the cost of the product may be less important to those who choose a fraternal benefit society than are the membership benefits and the religious affiliation. Those seeking the best deal in life insurance will want to be sure to check other rates and compare accordingly.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.