Burial insurance, aka funeral or final expense insurance, is small face value whole life insurance policy intended to pay for your end-of-life expenses.

Dozens of life insurance companies offer these policies, and they all differ in cost and policy limitations.

Learn how these plans work, the best final expense insurance companies, well-known companies to avoid, which companies do and don’t have a waiting period, and tips for finding the best policy.

The 12 Best Final Expense Insurance Companies

Simplified Issue Plans

Simplified issue plans don’t require a medical exam, but you must answer health questions. If approved for this type of policy, there is no waiting period.

Guaranteed Acceptance Plans

Guaranteed issue plans don’t require you to answer health questions or take a medical exam. These plans always have a two-year waiting period.

Company & Policy Type Insurance
Company
Coverage Options
Applicant Age Range
Policy Type
$2,000 - $40,000
45-85
$2,000 - $50,000
40-89
$1,000 - $50,000
45-85
$7,000 - $30,000
50-80
$5,000 - $35,000
50-85
$1,500 - $35,000
50-80
$5,000 - $40,000
40-85
$3,000 - $40,000
18-80
$2,500 - $50,000
50-85
$5,000 - $25,000
45-85
$5,000 - $25,000
50-80
$5,000 - $25,000
50-80

 

1 ) Mutual of Omaha

Founding Year: 1909
A+
Superior
BBB
A+
Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
5.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

Living Promise” is the name of Mutual of Omaha’s (aka “United of Omaha”) burial policy. All around, it’s the best plan on the market.

Their prices are consistently among the lowest, and they accept many common health issues.

Best of all, there is no waiting period if you’re approved.

If you need coverage for an elderly senior, they offer up to $40,000 in life insurance for seniors over 80, which is unusually high for people above 80.

They have a very simple application process that typically renders approvals in less than 24-48 hours.

They also have the best life insurance for children if you need coverage for a minor.

Check out the full Mutual of Omaha burial insurance review for more details.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,000-$40,000
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death (2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Mutual of Omaha products (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 10 Minutes to 2 Business Days
Common health conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Blindness
Blood clots > 2 years ago
Blood thinners
Cancer > 4 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 2)
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
Hepatitis A or B
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 2 years ago
Tumors (non-cancerous)

 

2) Aetna

Founding Year: 1853
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.5

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

It’s incredibly uncommon for a life insurance company to issue a new policy to applicants over 85, but Aetna will. They accept applicants as old as 89.

Their burial insurance for seniors has competitive rates and will approve applicants for a no-waiting period policy despite high-risk health conditions such as COPD.

Aetna’s application is incredibly simple and can be done over the phone. Oftentimes they will let you know if you’re approved or declined in less than 15 minutes.

Check out the full Aetna burial insurance review for more details.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 40-89
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,000-$50,000
(varies by age)
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death
(2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Aetna products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 15 Minutes-3 Business Days
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm (if surgically repaired)
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 2 years ago
Chronic bronchitis
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic coma > 2 years ago
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Graves’ disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
Hepatitis > 2 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insulin shock > 2 years ago
Lupus
Multiple sclerosis
Obesity
Over 85 life insurance
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Sarcoidosis
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors (noncancerous)

 

3) Transamerica

Founding Year: 1904
A
Excellent
BBB
B
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

Transamerica’s Immediate Solution funeral life insurance is a marriage of competitive premiums and lax underwriting.

They frequently have the cheapest life insurance for seniors over 70.

Transamerica has a unique plan with no waiting period for high-risk chronic conditions like COPD, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, angina, and many more.

Also, they are one of the very few companies that will allow you to pay with a Direct Express Mastercard from Social Security.

The main downside is with their application. It’s cumbersome and can take up to five business days to get approved if they don’t auto-accept you.

To get even more details, check out the full Transamerica review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $1,000-$50,000 (varies by age)
States Available: All States
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death (2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Transamerica products (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 15 Minutes- 5 Business Days
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Angina (chest pains)
Aneurysm (if surgically repaired)
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 4 years ago
Chronic bronchitis
Circulatory surgery > 1 year ago
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 2)
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
Hepatitis
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Kidney disease (no dialysis)
Lupus
Multiple sclerosis
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors

 

4) Royal Neighbors of America

Founding Year: 1895
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

Royal Neighbors has the most lenient underwriting period. They accept more risky pre-existing conditions than any other burial insurance company.

For example, if you have diabetes, they will almost certainly approve you for an immediate death benefit (even with complications).

In addition, their premiums are in line with other carriers. All their policyholders get access to many valuable member benefits at no extra cost.

Their application can be completed over the phone or via email. Both options will render an approval or decline within 10 minutes.

Check out the full Royal Neighbors of America review for more details.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $7,000-$30,000
States Available: All States
(except AK, AL, HI, LA, MA, NH, NY)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Royal Neighbors products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 10 Minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 2 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic neuropathy
Diverticulitis
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
Hepatitis > 2 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Home health care
Multiple instances of cancer
Pacemaker (installed > 2 years ago)
Retinopathy
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Severely overweight
Sleep apnea
Tia mini-strokes
Tumors

 

5) Foresters Financial

Founding Year: 1874
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

At most ages, Foresters Financial has premiums on the lower end of the spectrum.

Plus, their underwriting is very accepting of common health conditions present among seniors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

In fact, they are the only final expense insurance company that will approve someone with Cirrhosis for a no-waiting period policy.

They also have a traditional whole life policy called Advantage Plus. It’s one of the best life insurance policies for seniors if you’re looking for high coverage amounts.

Overall, their application can be relatively quick and produce a decision in less than 10 minutes.

Every policyholder has access to generous member benefits at no extra cost.

To get even more details, check out the full Foresters Financial review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$35,000
(varies by age)
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death
(2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Foresters Financial products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 10 Minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 3 years ago
Chronic bronchitis
Circulatory surgery > 1 year ago
Cirrhosis
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
Hepatitis
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insulin shock > 2 years ago
Kidney disease (no dialysis)
Lupus
Multiple sclerosis
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sickle cell anemia
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors

 

6) Prosperity Life Group

Founding Year: 1938
A-
Excellent
BBB
A+
Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

Prosperity Life Group has low prices and competitive underwriting that will accept many serious medical conditions.

Non-cigarette smoking tobacco or nicotine users (such as chew or cigars) can get a non-tobacco rate.

Prosperity will only apply a tobacco price to those who smoke cigarettes.

They accept many high-risk health issues, are available in nearly all states, and have a simple, instant decision application process (15 minutes).

To get even more details, check out the full Prosperity review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $1,500-$35,000
States Available: All States (except CT, MT, ND, & SD)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: Accidental Death (2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Prosperity products (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: 15 Minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 3 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic amputation > 2 years ago
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insulin shock > 2 years ago
Multiple sclerosis
Pacemaker (installed > 2 years ago)
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 2 years ago
Tumors

 

7) Americo

Founding Year: 1909
A
Excellent
BBB
A-
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.5

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Application

Americo’s burial life insurance coverage has limited health questions and no waiting period (if you’re approved).

Cost-wise, they are on the higher end of the spectrum, so they are only an ideal choice if you have certain high-risk medical conditions.

Seniors with high-risk conditions such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes, and many other conditions can qualify for immediate coverage.

For those conditions, they are a superior option to consider.

Their policy always pays out double for accidental death. Most other carriers charge an extra fee for that benefit.

The application is incredibly straightforward and renders approvals in less than five minutes.

To get even more details, check out the full Americo review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 40-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$40,000
States Available: All States (except NY & VT)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Americo products (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: < 5 Minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 2 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 1 year ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic amputation > 2 years ago
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insulin shock > 2 years ago
Lupus
Multiple sclerosis
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sickle cell anemia
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors (non-cancerous)

 

8) Liberty Bankers Life

Founding Year: 1958
A-
Excellent
BBB
F
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Application

Liberty Bankers Life is one of the few burial insurance companies that will offer an immediate coverage plan to someone with COPD.

They have great prices and a fast application that takes less than 10 minutes.

Eligibility depends on how you answer the health questions (no exam required) and your medication history.

Liberty Bankers also offers pre-need insurance, which is a type of policy that names the funeral home as the beneficiary.

Those are more costly than a final expense policy but well worth it if you can afford the payments.

To get even more details, check out the full Liberty Bankers review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 18-80
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $3,000-$40,000
States Available: All States (except CT, MA, MN, NH, NY, RI)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Liberty Bankers Life (you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: < 10 Minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm
Arthritis
Asthma Bipolar disorder
Blindness Blood clots
Blood thinners Cancer > 2 years ago
Chronic bronchitis
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diabetic coma
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
Hepatitis > 2 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insulin shock > 2 years ago
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke > 2 years ago
TIA mini stroke

 

9) American Amicable

Founding Year: 1910
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

American Amicable has a sleek application process that will let you know if you’re approved in less than 10 minutes.

If you smoke cigarettes, they will likely offer you a lower price than any other company.

Unlike other carriers, American Amicable offers non-tobacco rates to applicants who smoke an occasional cigar or pipe.

Another exciting aspect of their program is their rider selection. You can opt to add some exciting perks, such as double indemnity for accidental death or a waiver of premiums if you become confined to a nursing home.

To get even more details, check out the entire American Amicable review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-85
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,500-$50,000 (varies by age)
States Available: All States (except CT, ME, MT, NH, NY, VT)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell American Amicable products
(you can't buy this plan directly from them)
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: No
Application Approval Time: < 10 minutes
Common conditions still eligible for no waiting period coverage:


Afib
Aneurysm > 3 years ago
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 3 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 3 years ago
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 2)
Diverticulitis
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 3 years ago
Heart surgery > 3 years ago
Hepatitis > 3 years ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Pacemaker (installed > 3 years ago)
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Sickle cell anemia
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 3 years ago
Tumors (non-cancerous)

 

10) AAA

Founding Year: 1969
A
Excellent
BBB
A-
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
2.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure

AAA only offers guaranteed acceptance coverage. Because there are no health questions, there is a waiting period of two years.

What’s most unique about AAA is that they will refund 130% of your premiums for non-accidental death in the first two years.

Most guaranteed issue companies will only refund 110%. Also, they pay out double the death benefit for accidental death.

If you want to buy funeral insurance online, AAA allows for that, or you can call them.

Check out the full AAA burial insurance review to get even more details.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
2-Year Waiting Period: Yes
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$25,000
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Application
Details
Where to Apply: AAA Online Application
Phone Number to Apply: 1-888-523-1863
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: Yes
Application Approval Time: Instantaneously

 

11) AIG

Founding Year: 1919
A
Excellent
BBB
A-
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
3.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

AIG’s burial coverage is guaranteed issue life insurance.

It’s a type of life insurance policy that has no health questions or medical assessments.

Your acceptance is guaranteed.

Because there are no health questions, benefits are limited during the first 24 months. Should death occur during the first two years, AIG will only refund 110% of the premiums paid.

The policy also includes (for free) two riders.

The chronic illness rider will return premiums if you cannot perform two of the six “activities of daily living” (dressing, continence, bathing, eating, toileting).

It will also be triggered if you are diagnosed with a severe cognitive impairment like dementia.

The other rider for terminal illness allows you to access up to 50% of your death benefit if a doctor tells you that you have less than 24 months to live.

It’s important to note that both riders are only in effect after the 24-month waiting period has passed.

To get even more details, check out the full AIG review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
2-Year Waiting Period: Yes
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$25,000
States Available: All States (except ME & NY)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell AIG products or directly from AIG.
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: Yes
Application Approval Time: 5 Minutes
Common conditions where AIG is a great choice


Alzheimer’s
Congestive heart failure
Cancer within last 12 months
Dementia
Dialysis
HIV/AIDS
Oxygen usage
Wheelchair usage

 

12) Gerber Life

Founding Year: 1967
A
Excellent
BBB
A+
Not Accredited
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The Complaint Index compares a company’s performance to other companies in the market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00. That means a company with a complaint index of 2.00 is twice as high as expected in the market. Reported scores are for the most recently available year and for “Individual Life” products.

Brochure Sample Policy Sample Application

Gerber Life only offers a guaranteed issue policy. It’s permanent life insurance with no health questions and guaranteed approval.

Because there are no health questions, there is a two-year waiting period.

Only buy guaranteed acceptance coverage when you have “uninsurable conditions” such as dementia, HIV, or renal failure.

Since they don’t ask health questions, applications are automatically approved.

They are infamous for the Gerber Grow-Up Plan children’s insurance policy, which is a good option to explore if you want life insurance on a grandchild.

To get even more details, check out the full Gerber review.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
2-Year Waiting Period: Yes
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$25,000
States Available: All
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Optional Riders: None
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Gerber Life products or directly from Gerber Life.
Phone Number to Apply: 1-800-644-2926
Medical Exam Required: No
Guaranteed Acceptance: Yes
Application Approval Time: 5 Minutes
Common conditions where AIG is a great choice


Alzheimer’s
Congestive heart failure
Cancer within last 12 months
Dementia
Dialysis
HIV/AIDS
Oxygen usage
Wheelchair usage

 

How We Selected The Best Companies

We analyzed over 30 different life insurance companies to select the top 12 burial insurance providers.

To determine the best ones, we assessed multiple factors, including:

  • Insurer’s financial strength
  • Cost of the insurance
  • If there is a waiting period
  • Underwriting requirements
  • The application process
  • Speed of policy issue
  • NAIC complaint history
  • Policy options & riders
  • Ratings from consumer review platforms such as the Better Business Bureau
  • Our personal experience dealing with various final expense insurance companies (Choice Mutual has sold thousands of policies)

In part, the cost was the most influential aspect due to a recent JD Power study that gives insight into what attributes most influence shoppers seeking life insurance.

That study notes that price was the top barrier to purchasing coverage.

Price is significant for seniors since most are on a very limited and fixed income, which is why it’s the most compelling factor.

Aside from the cost element, we placed heavy weight on customer feedback ratings from organizations such as the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners, Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Affairs.

 

Popular Final Expense Insurance Companies To Avoid

Just because you’ve heard of a company doesn’t mean they have the best burial insurance.

Massive advertising does not equal superior products, especially when it comes to cost.

Below is a list of popular funeral insurance companies that are well known but should be avoided, including the reasons why.

 

Colonial Penn

Choice Mutual Rating
1.0

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

The primary problem with Colonial Penn life insurance is that it’s costly and has a two-year graded death benefit even if you’re in good health.

Their advertisements for the $9.95 guaranteed acceptance plan make it seem like they are very cheap.

The question to ask is- what do you get for $9.95?

When you look at a Colonial Penn rate chart, you quickly discover that $9.95 per month buys a tiny death benefit amount.

For example, a 70-year-old male will only get $689 in life insurance from one $9.95 unit.

When you break down the cost per thousand dollars of coverage, Colonial Penn is one of the most expensive companies in the life insurance industry.

 

AARP

Choice Mutual Rating
2.5

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

AARP life insurance via New York Life is typically a term life insurance policy that expires at age 80.

Yes, it’s less costly per month than a whole life burial policy.

But it’s only cheaper because the coverage terminates on your 80th birthday.

The AARP final expense program also has two different whole life policies you can buy.

One has no waiting period for natural causes of death, and the other is guaranteed acceptance which has a waiting period.

The issue with their no waiting period whole life coverage is that it’s more expensive than other providers, and it’s hard to qualify for if you have pre-existing conditions.

For example, a 65 year old female would pay $97.72 monthly for $25,000 in whole life burial insurance coverage.

AARP would charge $114.00 for the same coverage.

 

Lincoln Heritage

Choice Mutual Rating
1.0

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

Lincoln Heritage life insurance is roughly 25-300% more expensive than other final expense life insurance companies.

In addition, many health issues common among seniors are forced into buying their modified whole life policy which has a 2-3 year waiting period and a significantly higher premium.

For example, a 70-year-old female would pay $78.26 per month with Mutual of Omaha for $25,000 in coverage.

Lincoln Heritage would charge this same person $117.30 monthly for the same thing.

And if that 70-year-old female takes prescription blood thinners, Lincoln Heritage would charge her $190.65 with a two-year waiting period.

 

Globe Life

Choice Mutual Rating
2.0

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

Globe Life insurance is a term life policy that expires at age 90. In addition, the premium payments increase every five years.

Globe’s initial rates are lower than whole life final expense policies, but that’s because A) the prices increase every five years and B) it expires on your 90th birthday.

Also, their coverage is hard to qualify for.

Seniors who’ve had past heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, or other common ailments simply will not qualify for Globe’s coverage.

For those who take the risk on Globe’s term life insurance, the premium increases after age 75 are generally too expensive.

Most seniors are on a fixed income and lose their Globe Life coverage because they can no longer afford the payments.

 

TruStage

Choice Mutual Rating
2.0

Choice Mutual's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, financial strength ratings and complaint data.

TruStage life insurance is competitive for term life insurance but not for a whole life type of policy.

Remember, term coverage is not advisable if you need life insurance to cover burial costs.

Their biggest downfall with TruStage is that the first product they offer customers is typically their guaranteed acceptance coverage.

That’s unfavorable because A) it has a two-year waiting period, and B) it is much more expensive than other companies that sell guaranteed issue coverage.

Their healthier customers would be better served by buying their whole life insurance with health questions. That would result in a lower price and immediate coverage for the full death benefit.

While TruStage prices are competitive, many other burial life insurance companies are less expensive.

For example, a 70-year-old female would pay $105.75 monthly for $15,000 in coverage with TruStage.

The same thing with Mutual of Omaha would cost $78.26.

Overall, TruStage is convenient. That is no question about that. But you pay for that convenience via higher prices.

 

How To Find The Best Funeral Insurance Policy

Finding the best final expense policy is similar to shopping for any other product or service.

You need to compare plans from multiple companies.

It’s beneficial to remember that life insurance companies compete with one another primarily via price and underwriting (which health issues they do and do not accept).

Tip:
No single company can be the best option for everyone (although many will make that claim). That’s because they all have different prices and accept, reject, and respond to health issues differently.

For example, if you were diagnosed with diabetes at age 42, then Mutual of Omaha would not be your best option.

Their application asks if you were diagnosed or treated for diabetes before age 50.

A yes answer to that question will cause them to offer you their graded policy, which costs more and has a two-year waiting period.

On the other hand, a company like Aetna would be a superior choice since their application does not ask if you were diagnosed with diabetes at any particular age.

With Aetna, you would pay less and have full first-day coverage.

 

Practical advice from an experienced final expense insurance agent

Anthony Martin is one of the nation’s most prolific final expense insurance agents.

He’s been in this business for over a decade and has helped over 7,000 people buy burial insurance.

Here’s the best advice he offers to anyone shopping for this type of life insurance.

“When shopping for any form of life insurance, you should not limit yourself to companies that you’re familiar with.” – Anthony Martin

According to Statista, there were 737 life insurance companies in the USA.

At best, 1% of them advertise on a mass scale to be a household name like State Farm or Farmers.

The other 99% of companies that are unfamiliar to you aren’t less trustworthy or financially unstable.

They are every bit as reliable as funeral insurance companies that are renowned.

They simply have a different business model that relies on agencies such as Choice Mutual, Family First Life, Assurance, or Open Care Seniors to sell their products.

Being open to buying from these exotic companies will significantly expand your options and exponentially increase your chances of paying the least and avoiding a waiting period.

Also, it may be shocking to learn that the companies you see on TV and in magazines are the most expensive in nearly every case.

They have to charge more for their insurance to pay for all the advertising. Use this life insurance quotes tool to see for yourself.

 

Factors you should consider

When deciding which company has the best final expense plan for your needs, there are many factors to consider.

Consider the following as you do your due diligence:

  • What will your premium be?
  • Is there a waiting period?
  • How much can you comfortably afford to invest each month into a policy?
  • What are the financial ratings of the insurance company?
  • Are you willing to work with an insurance agent?
  • How much do you expect your funeral expenses will cost?
  • Do you want a headstone, premium casket, vault, or any features?

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral in 2021 was nearly $10,000.

The average cost of cremation is just shy of $7,000.

Be sure to consider those figures when choosing how much coverage you will buy.

Whole life final expense policies all have the same basic features and benefits.

They primarily differ in price, when you’re insured, and available riders.

 

The pros and cons of working with a licensed agent

The best thing you can do to ensure you find the best burial insurance plan is to work with an independent insurance agent.

Also known as brokers, independent agents can investigate multiple insurance providers to ensure you get the best deal possible.

Tip:
There is no cost to working with an independent agent. Also, any life insurance plan you buy via an agent doesn’t cost more. There are never any hidden fees or extra costs.

On the other hand, captive agents (State Farm is one such example) can only represent one company.

They have no freedom to compare multiple offers on your behalf.

There are some downsides to working with an agent.

First, you have to talk to a human being which some people don’t want to do.

Second, some agents have an agenda driven by commission where they will recommend a product based on which one makes them the most money rather than what’s best for you.

That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly vet an agency you’re considering.

You should check online for reviews and validate that they are licensed by going to your state’s department of insurance website.

Doing preliminary research online is very helpful and recommended.

Doing so should give you a good sense of what companies are available, the pros & cons, and cost estimates.

But in the end, you should speak with an agent representing ten or more insurance companies.

Let them assess your needs so they can recommend the carrier with the best burial insurance for you.

If you need a funeral life insurance policy, please give us a chance to earn your business.

Life insurance for seniors is our specialty. We have nearly 20 insurance carriers that we work with, so we can indeed find you the best price possible.

Check out what other actual Choice Mutual customers said after working with us.

 

 

Our toll-free number is 1-800-644-2926.

 

The pros and cons of buying directly from an insurer

The primary benefit of dealing directly with an insurance company rather than an agent is that you don’t have to speak to someone.

Most insurers that sell their coverage directly to consumers allow you fully apply online or through the mail.

Some will proclaim that you can “buy direct and save,” but that is just a marketing tactic. There is no substance to those claims. Their advertising is a considerable expense which is why their insurance is typically more expensive. Also, they often have stringent underwriting and deny most applicants.

On the other hand, there are significant drawbacks when you buy direct.

First is the lack of choices. What if you don’t like their offer? Your only recourse is to look elsewhere.

In contrast, an independent agent doesn’t have one option. They have dozens to choose from, so you can find the best policy.

Second, are the waiting periods. Many of the companies that sell directly to customers have a waiting period. Two famous examples are Colonial Penn and Mutual of Omaha.

Colonial Penn units have always have a waiting period. Now, Mutual of Omaha has a plan with immediate coverage and one with a waiting period.

Their instant coverage option is only sold through licensed agencies like Choice Mutual.

If you call Mutual of Omaha directly, the only plan they can offer you is a guaranteed acceptance policy with a two-year waiting period.

The final drawback to going directly to the carrier is the cost. Most of the direct companies charge higher rates.

They have substantial advertising expenses, and the primary way they recoup that investment is by increasing the insurance cost.

Compare quotes to see for yourself.

 

How Much Does Burial Insurance Cost?

Generally, a burial insurance policy with a $10,000 death benefit will cost $50-$100 monthly.

It’s important to understand that the cost of final expense insurance products depends on your exact age, gender, state of residence, tobacco habits, health, and how much coverage you select.

However, your health or tobacco habits are not a factor if you buy a guaranteed issue policy.

Below is a whole life insurance rates by age chart with some sample monthly premiums.

AgeFemale
$10,000
No Waiting Period
(Monthly Rates)
Female
$10,000
Guaranteed Acceptance
(Monthly Rates)
Male
$10,000
No Waiting Period
(Monthly Rates)
Male
$10,000
Guaranteed Acceptance
(Monthly Rates)
45$22$28$27$33
50$24$30$30$36
55$27$38$35$45
60$32$42$43$55
65$41$51$54$66
70$51$69$70$89
75$71$98$99$121
80$98$140$139$166
85$135$170$192$230
86-89$171-$275N/A$236-$358N/A

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Mutual of Omaha is the best burial insurance company in the nation. Mutual of Omaha is a well-known brand-name company with a solid financial background. Their policy is frequently cheaper than other providers, and they offer no waiting period coverage to seniors with pre-existing conditions.

Dozens of final expense insurance companies offer no waiting period, including Mutual of Omaha, Transamerica, Aetna, and Alfac, to name a few. It’s important to remember that you must qualify for a no-waiting period policy. You don’t have to take a medical exam but must answer health questions.

Burial insurance, also known as funeral or final expense insurance, is a type of whole life insurance meant to pay for your funeral expenses. The coverage options are very small, and the underwriting is very lenient so that seniors with pre-existing conditions can qualify. The policy pays out a tax-free cash benefit to your loved ones which they can spend on anything.

Filing a death claim for a final expense insurance policy starts with a phone call to the insurer notifying them that the insured died. They will send you a beneficiary claim form that needs to be signed and returned with a copy of the death certificate. Once they receive that paperwork, they have what’s required to process the claim and cut a check. You can elect to have all the money paid to you, or they can send the funeral home their portion (and return the rest to you).

Coverage with no waiting period will take effect the day you make the first payment. A partial coverage plan (commonly known as a graded death benefit) will take 30-40% effect in year one and 50-70% during the second year. A policy with a full waiting period will make you wait two years before the full death benefit is payable.

All forms of life insurance pay out a tax-free cash benefit to your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries can spend that money on anything, including funeral expenses.

Claims paying history (speed and payout rate) is noticeably absent from the list of factors. That is an important element that ideally would be evaluated. However, it’s not mentioned because there is no public data to cite about the claims history for a given provider. Life insurance companies do not in any way publicly report what percentage of total claims are paid or how quickly. Additionally, there are no third-party entities that audit their claims track record. That all being said, Choice Mutual is a final expense insurance agency that has sold tens of thousands of policies and dealt with thousands of death claims over the years. In our experience, every burial insurance company pays claims within a few days once approved. The payouts aren’t large, and the insurers know the policies primarily cover funeral costs which is why they aim to pay them fast. Also, the only time a company doesn’t pay out the full death benefit is when A) there is a waiting period or B) the applicant didn’t answer the health questions accurately.

The cash payout to your beneficiaries is not subject to taxes.

Since burial insurance is a small whole life insurance policy, it will accrue cash value over time. As it builds up, you can withdraw it and spend the money any way you desire.

Yes, you can buy insurance to cover cremation expenses. It’s generally a small whole life insurance policy designed to cover the costs associated with a cremation funeral. These plans are easy to qualify for and cost very little since they only insure you for a small amount.

The short answer is yes, but it’s a tiny amount. Per the SSA.gov website, a one-time lump-sum death benefit of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if they qualify.