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The most important thing to understand is that burial insurance is a life insurance policy. It’s just a very specific type of life insurance.
The people who buy these policies do so to ensure their end of life expenses won’t become a burden to their loved ones.
To be more specific, burial insurance plans are whole life insurance. Because they are whole life policies, the way they work is incredibly simple.
Burial policies work like this…
As you can see, these are incredibly simple to understand. There is no fine print you need to be leery of.
Life insurance is a contract that stipulates the insurer will payout the prescribed death benefit upon the passing of the insured.
Basically, once you pass away, your burial policy will result in the insurer cutting a tax-free check directly to your beneficiary(s). This will give them the money to pay for your final expenses.
There are no stipulations or restrictions on how the money is to be used. These burial life policies merely payout cold hard cash.
The good news is that every funeral home in America will accept cash, so the fact that they simply payout money is a very good thing.
If there are any proceeds leftover after all the final expenses have been paid, that money will simply stay with your family to enrich their lives as they see fit.
Very often, burial insurance plans for seniors result in a leftover financial legacy.
Each final expense insurer will usually have different health ratings for their policy. Most of the time they will have three ratings, but some companies only have two.
Which one you qualify for depends on your health. There is usually a low, medium and a high version (in terms of cost).
Which plan you fall into depends on whether or not you answer yes to any of their health questions.
A level benefit plan is one where you say no to all their health questions. If you are approved for this plan, your coverage will 100% protect you from day one, and you’ll pay the lowest price they offer.
Some carriers use the word “preferred” instead of “level” to describe their best rating.
A graded plan is typically the medium option. You would only be offered this plan if you said yes to any of their “graded” health questions.
Graded plans typically provide partial coverage during the first two years of the policy. For example, most graded plans will payout 30% of the death benefit if you pass away during year one. During the second year of the policy, it will payout 70% of the death benefit.
The exact percentages vary by company. Year one payouts typically range from 25%-40%. Year two payouts typically range from 50%-75%.
A modified plan is always the highest risk plan a company offers. They would only offer you this plan if you had any of the health issues that appear in the “modified” section of their health questions.
Modified plans are always “return of premium” during the first two years. That means if you passed away during the first two years of the policy, the insurance company would only refund your premiums paid plus interest.
Insider Tip: Modified plans are 100% worthless. Never under any circumstance buy one. If you all you can qualify for is a modified plan, just go with a guaranteed issue policy. It’s the same thing, and will be substantially cheaper.
Anyone who is 0-89 is welcome to apply. Please understand that there are a few factors that determine your eligibility such as…
The most common age of availability is 50-85. If you are within that age range, there is a 99% chance that we can get you a burial insurance policy. If you are younger than 50 or older than 85, your options will depend on your health and state of residence.
All in all, it’s incredibly uncommon that we cannot find a policy for someone.
We get this question a lot, so let’s set the record straight.
All three of these terms mean the exact same thing. There is no difference whatsoever.
Burial Insurance = Funeral Insurance = Final Expense Insurance
You will consistently see us use all three labels interchangeably. Think of the words “attorney” and “lawyer”. They both have the same meaning. It’s just like that.
If you happen to see a website suggest these terms have different meanings, run as fast as you can. It’s a bold face lie to suggest that.
What if you were offered a life insurance policy for final expenses that would expire once you reached the age of 80… would you take it?
Well believe it or not, these kinds of policies do exist. They’re called “Term Life Insurance”. The word “Term” is short for terminate because the policy will terminate at a preset date.
Oh and once it expires, you don’t get your money back. Your protection simply ends. You would be 80 years old and have no coverage to take care of your final expenses.
There are some companies out there that will attempt to sell you a term life insurance policy, and they will make it appear as if its normal burial insurance policy.
You will be completely unaware that the policy they are selling you expires one day. In addition to expiring, these temporary life plans will also have a price increase every five years.
If you look at the very fine print, you will see their insurance expires once you turn 80, and the premiums increase every five years.
Full disclaimer, their policies do cost less per month, but only because they expire. Comparing a permanent plan to a temporary one, you can surely guess which one will have a cheaper monthly premium.
Look, if you want to roll the dice and take a chance on a temporary plan so you can save $10 bucks per month, more power to you.
Just know, the numbers are not in your favor. Less than 1% of all term life insurance policies sold in the USA result in a death claim 😟.
For final expenses, go with a permanent policy so you know with 100% certainty that your family won’t be left with a burden.
In multiple ways, final expense life insurance policies are unlike any other kind of life insurance.
The insurance companies designed these plans knowing who would buy them and why.
They made sure that seniors with health problems could still qualify. They also made sure that seniors could buy as little or as much coverage as desired.
Final expense life insurance is different in three main ways.
By far the most unique element to burial life insurance is the underwriting. Insurance carriers designed these plans to absorb the heavy risk of various high-risk conditions.
Most of the health issues accepted by funeral life insurance policies would get you auto declined for any traditional life insurance product.
The lax underwriting is amazing because it enables seniors with high risk conditions to qualify for a policy, so they can have peace of mind knowing their funeral bills won’t be left to their family.
If you have any of the following health issues, you can still get a final expense policy that fully protects you from day one.
Please remember your age and state may affect your options.
There are many other high-risk health issues that are easily insurable as well. If you have a condition not on that list, please don’t assume you cannot be insured because you can.
Again, it’s incredibly rare that someone cannot qualify for a plan with immediate coverage.
Even though final expense insurance as a whole has incredibly lenient underwriting there are some health conditions that are so risky that they are considered “uninsurable”.
For these ultra high-risk conditions, a guaranteed issue life policy is the only solution, and thank God for them. If they didn’t exist, people with these health issues would be not be able to get coverage at all.
Guaranteed issue plans have no health questions. In fact, they have no medical underwriting at all. As long as you are mentally capable of entering into a legal contract, your acceptance is guaranteed.
So what’s the catch?
There are two drawbacks to these no health question plans which is why they are only to be used as a last resort.
If you have any of the following health issues, a guaranteed issue final expense policy is your only option.
At the end of the day, because guaranteed issue is always an option, there is virtually no health issue you could possess where you could not get a policy.
If you can believe it, some burial insurance companies will allow you to buy as little as $1,000 in coverage.
Most companies tend to have face value options somewhere in the range of $2,000-$25,000. Some carriers go lower and some go higher.
There is no other form of life insurance that will allow you to buy such small amounts of protection.
This is amazing because it allows you to buy only what you need. You won’t have to payout a bunch of money for coverage that you don’t really need.
For example, let’s say you want to be cremated. For a cremation, you would need roughly $2,000-$5,000 in coverage to ensure everything would be taken care of.
Whether you want $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000 in final expense protection, you can do that!
You might be wondering… Can I get higher face amounts?
Yes you can!
Some companies have high face amount limits such as $40,000 or $100,000. Even then, you could always buy multiple policies to get the total amount of coverage you desire.
Not surprisingly, those who buy a funeral insurance policy do so because they love their family, and don’t want to burden them with their final expenses.
Beyond that, these policies are a great option for any of the following reasons:
At the end of the day, everyone is different. Fortunately, these plans are customizable to suit everyone who has a need.
Applying for a final expense life insurance plan is easier than renting a movie.
First, there is never a medical or physical exam to qualify. Furthermore, you won’t need to provide your medical records.
Basically, the application will have you answer some basic questions about your health (except for guaranteed issue policies).
The insurance companies on their end will conduct a prescription history check. They do this to validate your health so to speak.
You won’t need to get a printout from your pharmacist or anything like that. With your consent, they can electronically analyze your medications in seconds.
Your prescription history and answers to the health questions are how they determine you are medically eligible for coverage.
Most applications take less than 20 minutes, and they very often render and immediate decision.
The medium by which you apply varies by the company. Having said that, the application process will be in one of the following three ways:
In case you didn’t notice, at no point will you have to let an agent into your house. You are able to completely apply and be accepted all from the comfort of your own home.
Pretty amazing right?
To save you time and help you on your quest to find your best burial policy, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best burial insurance companies.
This is important
Everyone’s situation is unique. For that reason, there is no one company that is truly the best. That just isn’t possible when you are dealing with life insurance.
One company might be great for you, and bad for another person.
All these companies provide unique value in the marketplace. Regardless of your situation, there is a really good chance that your best final expense plan is with one of these 12.
These companies are listed in no particular order.
“Living Promise”, by Mutual of Omaha is one of the best on the market. Backed by an extremely financially sound and well-known company, they very often have some of the lowest premiums.
Their underwriting is quite favorable as well. They insure a wide variety of high risk health issues.
If you are a senior over 80 looking for life insurance, they are particularly well priced.
All in all, if you can qualify they are an unbeatable option.
“PlanRight” final expense insurance from Foresters Financial is an extremely competitive final expense product. Although not a household name, Foresters has been in business for over 140 years, and is incredibly financially secure.
Their burial insurance plan combines very competitive premiums along with very liberal underwriting. Not to mention, since they are fraternal society, they give all their policyholders access to free & valuable member benefits.
They are particularly suitable for folks with diabetes, all mental health issues from schizophrenia to depression, and folks who deal with seizure issues.
There are many other health issues where Foresters is a favorable option. There’s a reason why they are one of the largest providers of final expense life insurance in the USA.
One of the first insurers ever to provide insurance for women and children, Royal Neighbors of America has been in business for over 120 years.
They too are a fraternal organization, so they provide you access to various member benefits. From free simple legal wills to discounts on prescription drugs, their benefits cost you nothing are quite useful.
On the insurance side, Royal Neighbors is unequivocally the most diabetic friendly final expense insurer in the nation. They are also very well suited for applicants who’ve had a TIA mini stroke, take blood thinners, or have any sort of mental health issue.
There are too many situations to list where Royal Neighbors is amazing. They might very well be the best final expense insurer for you. It wouldn’t be surprising.
To be very clear, AIG only offers guaranteed acceptance final expense. They do not have a policy that provides any protection during the first two years.
If guaranteed issue is suitable for you, they are an excellent choice. They have very low premiums, and are the only guaranteed issue company that offer some living benefits.
At no extra cost, they include two riders with every policy. They have a chronic illness rider and a terminal illness rider. Both riders will allow you to access some of your death benefit while you are still alive.
As mentioned many times before, guaranteed issue is rarely needed, but when it is AIG is a great option.
Liberty Bankers Life has a very unique final expense program. We say that because they are one of very few companies that will allow you to say yes to some of their health questions and still receive a full day one death benefit.
From an underwriting perspective, they are an excellent choice for people with COPD, emphysema, kidney disease, liver diseases, Parkinson’s, or systemic lupus. They will offer an immediate death benefit to anyone with any of those health issues.
Healthy folks would do well to apply with them as well. They have very competitive premiums especially for smokers.
Assurity’s burial insurance plan is one of the least expensive out of all the companies on the market. They offer unbeatable premiums for tobacco users, and they underwrite some very high-risk conditions other insurers would rather avoid.
For starters, they are hands down the best insurer for folks who have COPD. Not only can a COPD patient get coverage with them that has no waiting period, but it will also come at a price that is equal to what a non-COPD patient would pay.
There are many other health conditions where Assurity is a favorable option including folks with no health issues. If you can qualify with them, they are a great option no question about it.
Transamerica is one of the largest providers of funeral life insurance in the nation. They have achieved that because they designed a market competitive product that accepts a lot of high risk health issues.
From COPD to kidney disease, they offer day one coverage to some hard to insure health conditions.
By no means a well-known company, Sentinel Security Life built a very unique product. They have multiple payment options and will insure a wide range of ages.
From an underwriting perspective, they are the only company in the nation that will offer partial coverage to someone who is using oxygen equipment to assist with breathing. Aside from oxygen, there are many other health situations where they are extremely favorable.
Pricewise they aren’t lacking either. They are particularly well priced for folks on the younger end of the spectrum. No matter what age you are, their premiums are right in line with all the other competitive companies.
Where to begin with Aetna. There’s just too much to choose from.
For starters, they are one of the only companies in the nation that will insure applicants who are 86-89. It’s unbelievably uncommon for insurers to issue new policies to people over 85 (99% of them don’t).
Their final expense plan is extremely good for folks with kidney disease, people receiving home health care, and for folks with congestive heart failure.
They are good in so many ways. There’s just too many to list.
Baltimore life is a true diamond in the rough. Their “Silverguard” final expense policy has three different health ratings.
The best rating is a good option if you are able to qualify for it. However, their remaining two offer unparalleled value.
They are the only company on the market that will offer partial coverage to someone who has cancer right now, had a heart attack within the last year, or a full-blown stroke within the last year.
Truthfully, there are many health scenarios where Baltimore Life is a great option.
Having been in business for over a century, they are a trustworthy option for anyone who can qualify. Truthfully, American Amicable has multiple situations where they are a favorable final expense option.
For example, tobacco users will find it hard to get a lower premium with someone other than American Amicable. Also, they will give occasional cigar users a non-tobacco rating.
Mental health afflictions such as schizophrenia are also no problem for American Amicable. We could go on listing all the high-risk health issues they insure, but it would take up too much space.
In general, they have an excellent product offering that could be right for you. It just depends on your situation.
A combination of great underwriting and fast approvals, Americo is a premier final expense company for a reason.
They are one of the few companies that offer day one protection to someone with COPD. The same can also be said for other conditions such as diabetic amputations or liver diseases.
All around, Americo is a great option for any of the niche health issues they insure or for healthy applicants.
Not surprisingly, the younger you are the less it will cost. With that, burial insurance cost is determined by a few different factors.
Premiums are determined based off the following:
The average monthly premium for a $10,000 final expense policy is about $50 per month. Your price might be higher or lower depending on the above factors.
Below are some sample quotes for a $10,000 & and $20,000 burial insurance policy. These premiums are at a non-tobacco rating and for a policy that has no waiting period.
If you want to run custom quotes, just use the quote tool on this page. You won’t need to input any contact info. We allow you to run quotes anonymously 👍.
The real secret to finding the most affordable burial insurance policy is to compare prices from multiple companies before you make any decisions.
But here’s the kicker
You cannot buy these policies directly from the insurance companies. If you were to call them and ask to sign up, they would merely inform you that you need to find an agent.
The cheapest burial insurance for seniors is only sold through agencies.
The best thing you can do to find the lowest cost on a final expense policy is to work with an independent agency that represents lots of insurance companies.
Their job is to evaluate your health to determine all the final expense companies that would accept you. Then they’ll present you with quotes from all those companies, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Working with an independent agency that specializes in funeral life insurance is just like shopping around. The thing about it is, you aren’t the one doing the shopping per say. They do it for you with all the companies they work with.
When selecting an agency to work with, make sure they have the following attributes:
We are an independent agency whose specialty is final expense life insurance. We do not deal with any other type of life insurance. When you speak with us, you can trust that you are dealing with true experts who live, eat, and breathe this product.
You have many choices who you allow to help you secure your burial policy. Having said that, there are three main qualities that set us apart from the competition.
The reason we contract with over 20 companies is so that we have the necessary products to serve each individual. Remember, no one insurance company can be the best for everyone.
That’s why it’s important to have lots of options to cover a wide variety of health issues.
After processing thousands of applications, we know inside and out how each insurer responds to various health conditions.
This knowledge is critical when trying to diagnose which carriers will approve you. Remember, the ultimate goal is to find which company is going to offer you the best deal. Because we know how they underwrite, we can do this in a very efficient and effective manner regardless of your risk profile.
Last but not least, our unwavering commitment is to always place you with whichever company is best for you. We are not married to any particular insurer, and we have no hidden agendas or back door deals.
We believe transparency is critical to building a foundation of trust. That’s why we allow users to run quotes anonymously on our website.
Before ever speaking with us, you can see up front exactly what each insurer charges. You don’t have to wonder if you are getting a good deal or if the price you are paying is competitive.
Ultimately, we believe we have a value proposition that no other company can match. But you be the judge. If what we are saying makes sense to you, give us a chance to earn your business. If not, hopefully some of our advice helps you on your journey.