But remember that no single company will be the best option for everyone, which is why it’s important to compare multiple providers before deciding.

Best Final Expense Insurance Companies

Best for immediate coverage: Mutual of Omaha
Best for the elderly: Aetna
Best for young adults: Aflac
Best for guaranteed acceptance: AAA
Best for those with low grade cancer: AIG
Best for low coverage amounts: Transamerica
Best for paid-up policy options: Baltimore Life
Best for smokers: American Amicable
Best for diabetics: Royal Neighbors of America
Best for complicated medical history: Prosperity Life

 

 

Best for immediate coverage

Mutual of Omaha

Founding Year: 1909
Choice Mutual Rating
5.0
A+
Superior

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

No waiting period– If approved, you’re fully covered immediately for any natural or accidental death.

No exam coverage up to $50,000– You can buy up to $50,000 in coverage without having to take a medical exam.

Fast approvals– Most applications are approved within 24 hours.

The Bad

Agent phone call required– You cannot buy this policy online or directly from Mutual of Omaha. Only licensed Mutual of Omaha agencies offer it, and you must verbally speak with an agent to apply. If you buy Mutual of Omaha coverage through the mail or on their website, there is a two-year waiting period and a maximum coverage amount of $25,000.

All around, Mutual of Omaha’s “Living Promise” policy is the best plan on the market because 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. You can buy up to $50,000 in coverage (even for seniors over 80), which is much higher than most other providers.

Mutual of Omaha has best-in-class financial ratings and lower than average number of complaints with the NAIC compared to most life insurance companies. After policies are in force, it’s remarkably simple to update your coverage. They allow policyholders to make most changes verbally or by email. In contrast, most other companies require paper forms to be filled out, signed, and mailed back for any policy changes.

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

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-$50,000
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Accelerated Death Benefit: This free rider is automatically included. You can access the full death benefit while alive if the insured has a terminal illness or is under nursing home confinement.
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)

To get even more details, read our Mutual of Omaha review

 

 

Best for the elderly

Aetna

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

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Up to age 89 can apply– Aetna will issue a new policy to seniors as old as 89.

No exam & very liberal underwriting– You can get no waiting period coverage despite having a wide variety of chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes, and much more.

Discounts available– If you have certain Aetna senior products, you might qualify for approximately a 10% discount.

Virtually no NAIC complaints– Aetna has no registered complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is incredibly rare and impressive.

The Bad

No guaranteed issue option– Aetna requires you to medically qualify for their coverage by answering health questions, which means you can be denied. They presently have no guaranteed issue life insurance options.

Uniquely, Aetna will issue a new policy to applicants over 85. Their burial insurance for seniors has competitive rates and will approve applicants for a no-waiting period policy despite high-risk health conditions. For example, Aetna has no weight limits, so even if you’re severely overweight, it won’t matter.

Aetna has no complaints with the NAIC, an A rating with AM Best, and the Better Business Bureau.

You can apply for Aetna life insurance over the phone by speaking with a licensed Aetna agent. Frequently, they will let you know if you’re approved or declined in less than 15 minutes.

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
Accelerated Death Benefit: This free rider is automatically included. You can access the full death benefit while alive if the insured has a terminal illness that is expected to cause death within 12 months.
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)

To get even more details, read our Aetna review

 

 

Best for young adults

Aflac

Founding Year: 1955
Choice Mutual Rating
4.5
A+
Superior

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Excellent rates for young adults– Aflac has some of the lowest prices for adults in their 50s. Their prices are still competitive above 60.

Strong financial strength– Aflac has very high financial marks with all major rating agencies, such as AM Best. They are a renowned, trusted brand-name company.

No exam and favorable underwriting– Adults with various health issues (even chronic conditions) can still obtain a policy with Aflac that has no waiting period.

The Bad

Low age cap- Only seniors up to age 80 are eligible, whereas many final expense insurance companies will accept applicants as old as 85-90.

New to the market- Aflac has only been offering final expense insurance since 2022, which means there’s a higher chance (compared to other seasoned providers) of administrative hiccups if you need service on an existing policy.

Aflac’s funeral life insurance is a marriage of competitive premiums (particularly for younger adults) and lax underwriting. You can get no waiting period for high-risk chronic conditions like COPD, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes, to name a few. Like Aetna, Aflac has no build chart, so your height-to-weight ratio isn’t a variable that influences your eligibility or cost.

Aflac has an A+ rating with AM Best and the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, they have incredibly high marks from all the major insurance company rating agencies such as S&P and Moody’s. You can trust they have the financial means to pay their claims.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-80
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
Accelerated Death Benefit: This free rider is automatically included. You can access the full death benefit while alive if the insured has a terminal illness that is expected to cause death within 12 months.
Optional Riders: Accidental Death
(2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Aflac 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)

To get even more details, read our Aflac review

 

 

Best for guaranteed acceptance

AAA

Founding Year: 1969
Choice Mutual Rating
2.0
A
Excellent

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

No health questions or exam– Since the policy guarantees your acceptance, you cannot be declined due to your medical history.

Very low guaranteed issue prices– Relative to other providers that offer coverage with no health questions, AAA is typically the cheapest or very close to it.

Highest interest for a guaranteed issue policy– All guaranteed issue policies only refund premiums plus interest for the death during the first two years. AAA will refund 130%, whereas every other company is roughly 110%.

The Bad

Mandatory waiting period– You’re not covered for natural causes of death during the first two years (all guaranteed issue policies have this stipulation).

Limited coverage choices– You must choose from $3K, $5K, $7K, $10K, $5K, $15K, $20K, or $25K. Most burial insurance companies allow you to choose any increment you desire.

AAA typically has the lowest prices for guaranteed acceptance coverage. Plus, they refund all your premiums in the first two years plus 30% interest. No other guaranteed issue policy will grant more than 10% interest.

They will also pay out double the death benefit if you die from an accident, which is something no other guaranteed policy will do. If you want to buy funeral insurance online, AAA allows for that, or you can apply by calling them.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
2-Year Waiting Period: Yes
Coverage Amount Range: $3,000-$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

To get even more details, read our AAA review

 

 

Best for those with low grade cancer

AIG

Founding Year: 1919
Choice Mutual Rating
3.5
A
Excellent
F
Not Accredited

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Some types of current cancer are eligible for immediate coverage– AIG is the only company that will approve certain cancers that are stage 0-1 for a no waiting period policy. Every other burial life insurance company would either decline or offer a plan with a waiting period.

Fast underwriting and competitive rates– Applications are usually approved or declined in less than 10 minutes, and their prices are similar to most final expense companies.

Guaranteed acceptance option– AIG offers a guaranteed issue policy with no health questions or medical exam requirements.

The Bad

Poor customer service– AIG is known to be difficult to reach by phone, and policy changes always require paper forms to be filled out.

Not ideal for most health issues among seniors– They will offer you a graded policy with a two-year waiting period and a higher price if you have the most basic conditions such as diabetes, depression, and much more.

If you currently or recently have certain types of cancer that are stage 0-1, AIG is far and above your best choice. That’s because you’re still eligible for a policy with no waiting period and at the lowest price they offer. Please note that this only applies to specific types of cancer.

Another way in which they are unique and valuable is for folks who recently had a heart attack (if you’re a non-smoker) because they can obtain an immediate benefit plan.

Lastly, AIG also has a guaranteed issue whole life policy if you prefer to avoid answering any questions about health. However, because there is no health questionnaire, there is a higher price and a waiting period.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
2-Year Waiting Period: Yes
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$35,000
States Available: All States (except New York)
Product
Benefits
Premiums Stay the Same Forever: Yes
Builds Cash Value: Yes
Policy Duration: Lifetime
Accelerated Death Benefit: This free rider is automatically included. You can access the full death benefit while alive if the insured has a terminal illness or is under nursing home confinement.
Optional Riders: Accidental Death (2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell AIG 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 where AIG is a great choice


Arthritis
Asthma
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Current or recent stage 0-1 cancer (only certain types)
Circulatory surgeries
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack
Heart surgery
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA

To get even more details, read our AIG review

 

 

Best for low coverage amounts

Transamerica

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

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

No exam and no waiting period– Applicants with health conditions like COPD, kidney disease (even dialysis), heart disease, and many more can obtain immediate coverage without a medical exam. Keep in mind that you must still answer health questions.

Low coverage options– Transamerica will allow you to buy a death benefit as low as $1,000. Most funeral insurance companies have a minimum of $2,000-$5,000.

The Bad

Complicated application– The application is unusually lengthy, and it’s very difficult to make any changes after submission.

Long telephone hold times– Getting in touch with Transamerica via telephone can often take a long time (much longer than other providers).

Transamerica is a very financially secure insurance company that’s been in business for over 100 years. Their final expense insurance is typically one of the lowest-cost policies compared to other providers. In particular, Transamerica has the cheapest burial insurance for seniors over 70.

They accept applicants who have health issues that most companies would outright deny. Also, they are among the few companies that will allow you to pay with a Direct Express Mastercard from Social Security. Transamerica also has a well-priced 10-pay option. With a 10-pay plan, you make payments for ten years, and then your policy is “paid up. ” No additional premiums are due, and your coverage remains in force indefinitely.

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
Accelerated Death Benefit: This free rider is automatically included. You can access the full death benefit while alive if the insured has a terminal illness that is expected to cause death within 12 months.
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
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

To get even more details, read our Transamerica review

 

 

Best for paid-up policy options

Baltimore Life

Founding Year: 1882
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0
B++
Good
A+
Not Accredited

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Multiple paid-up policy options– Baltimore Life offers a 20-pay plan where you only pay for 20 years, which then makes the policy paid up for life. They also have a single pay option where you cut a check for a single amount, which gives you lifetime coverage with no additional premiums due.

Excellent underwriting– Applicants with many high-risk conditions can obtain no waiting period coverage. They’ll accept people with health issues like COPD, diabetes, kidney disease, previous heart attacks, or strokes. In many cases, Baltimore Life approves clients for immediate coverage that most other companies decline.

The Bad

Nearly all policy changes require a wet signature– Unfortunately, Baltimore Life is behind the times and requires a wet signature on paper forms for virtually all changes to an application or active policy. Most other providers allow policyholders to execute changes verbally or electronically.

Lower ratings than other providers– Baltimore Life only has a B++ rating with AM Best, which is lower than most final expense insurance companies.

Baltimore Life’s final expense policy is one of the top companies because the premiums align with most carriers, they tend to approve high-risk applicants that would likely be declined elsewhere, and they accept seniors as old as 89.

They have multiple limited-pay options, which is very rare in the burial insurance market. Applications are typically approved within 10 minutes.

Some people may be turned off by their B++ AM Best rating, which is understandable. But consider that AM Best classifies B++ as “Good” and claims the insurer has “a good ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.” Also, Baltimore Life has been in business since 1882, which is a clear indication they are a stable company that will be in business for the next 100 years.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 45-89
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $2,500-$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
Accelerated Death Benefit: This free rider is automatically included. You can access the full death benefit while alive if the insured has a terminal illness that is expected to cause death within 12 months.
Optional Riders: Accidental Death
(2X the payout for accidental death)
Application
Details
Where to Apply: Agencies licensed to sell Baltimore Life 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 (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 complications
Diverticulitis
Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia
Graves’ disease
Heart attack > 1 year ago
Heart surgery > 1 year ago
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Over 85 life insurance
Pacemaker (installed > 1 year ago)
Parkinson’s disease
Sarcoidosis
Scleroderma
Seizures
Sleep apnea
Squamous/basal cell skin cancer
Stroke/TIA > 1 year ago
Tumors (noncancerous)

To get even more details, read our Baltimore Life review

 

 

Best for smokers

American Amicable

Founding Year: 1910
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0
A
Excellent

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Low prices for smokers– American Amicable is usually one of the lowest-cost providers for applicants who smoke cigarettes. Plus, people who smoke an occasional cigar or pipe are eligible for non-tobacco prices.

Unique optional riders– For an additional cost, you can add these riders to your policy that would provide an enhanced level of protection: Accidental Death, Children’s Coverage, Grandchildren Coverage, and Nursing Home Premium Waiver.

Understanding underwriters– American Amicable is one of the few companies that will allow you to explain why you were prescribed certain medications or details about your medical history. Most companies operate on a strict set of guidelines that determine your eligibility independent of any feedback you may provide.

The Bad

Not the lowest cost for healthy applicants– If you’re in moderate to good health, multiple other companies are about 5%-15% less expensive.

American Amicable made the list primarily due to their underwriting. For seniors with a challenging medical history (particularly if you have an extensive medication list), they are often the only path to coverage with no waiting period.

Their prices for smokers are typically the lowest, and they’ll allow you to apply at a non-tobacco price point if you smoke cigars or a pipe occasionally. That could translate into a premium that is 20%-40% lower compared to other providers that would charge you a tobacco-user price.

Their customer service is top-notch. They have a live chat service where you can typically communicate with a company representative within 60 seconds. Also, nearly all policy changes can be executed verbally or electronically.

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)

To get even more details, read our American Amicable review

 

Best for diabetics

Royal Neighbors of America

Founding Year: 1895
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0
A
Excellent

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Incredibly diabetic friendly– People with diabetes will easily find a home with Royal Neighbors of America. That’s true even if you use insulin or are severely overweight (there’s no weight limit).

Very few declines– It’s rare to have applicants declined. Most who apply are approved for coverage with no waiting period. They are very accepting of most medical conditions typical among seniors.

The Bad

High prices for seniors in their 50s– From age 50-60, Royal Neighbors rates are essentially the same as what other companies charge for ages 60-65. If you’re below 60, look elsewhere unless you have health issues that would make them a superior option relative to other companies.

Extremely long telephone hold times– If you want to call Royal Neighbors of America, expect to be on hold for 15-30 minutes.

Their prices from ages 60-80 are competitive, and their underwriting is incredibly forgiving, which leads to most applicants being approved for immediate coverage. For example, if you have diabetic neuropathy, you’ll likely be declined or offered a modified policy from virtually every other company. But with Royal Neighbors, they will approve you for their lowest rate and coverage that fully insures you the day you make the first payment.

While getting in touch with them can be challenging, it’s worth the headache for applicants with a high-risk medical background because elsewhere, they would probably pay more and have a waiting period.

Royal Neighbors is a financially strong company with a rich philanthropic background. They also afford all policyholders free member benefits at no additional cost.

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-$40,000
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
Arthritis
Asthma
Bipolar disorder
Blindness
Blood clots
Blood thinners
Cancer > 5 years ago
Circulatory surgery > 2 years ago
COPD
Crohn’s disease
Depression
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Diverticulitis
Emphysema
Fibromyalgia
Grave’s disease
Heart attack > 2 years ago
Heart surgery > 2 years ago
Hepatitis B or C
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Multiple Sclerosis
Pacemaker (installed > 2 years ago)
Parkinson's
Schizophrenia
Scleroderma
Severely overweight
Sleep apnea
Tumors

To get even more details, read our Royal Neighbors review

 

 

Best for complicated medical history

Prosperity Life

Founding Year: 1938
Choice Mutual Rating
4.0
A-
Excellent

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The scores range from A++ to D-.

The BBB rating is based on information BBB is able to obtain about the business, including complaints received from the public. BBB seeks and uses information directly from businesses and from public data sources. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

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.

The Good

Promising underwriting for people with a complicated medical history– They are very understanding of people with multiple health issues and lots of medications. If you’re getting declined elsewhere due to medications in your past, Prosperity may be the solution.

Non-cigarette smoking tobacco users get non-tobacco prices– The application only asks if you have smoked cigarettes, which means people who use cigars, chew, snuff, vape pens, or any other form of tobacco will save a lot of money.

The Bad

Only available between age 55-80– Most providers start offering final expense policies around age 45-50. On the top end, most companies will accept new applicants 81-89.

Prosperity Life excels at insuring seniors who have a lot of prior high-risk medical conditions. In particular, people with ambiguous medications (current or past), such as certain heart pills, will have success with Prosperity at obtaining no waiting period coverage they otherwise could not get elsewhere.

Their graded plan offers partial coverage and is frequently an ideal choice for seniors with difficult-to-insure medical conditions such as kidney disease or liver cirrhosis.

Aside from the underwriting, their prices are toward the lower end of the spectrum compared to their competitors, and they approve applications in just a few minutes.

They also have a handy customer portal where you can make specific policy changes directly on their website.

Product
Details
Policy Type: Whole Life Insurance
New Applicant Age Range: 55-80
2-Year Waiting Period: No (subject to underwriting approval)
Coverage Amount Range: $5,000-$35,000
States Available: All States (except CT, MT, ND, NY, SD, SC)
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

To get even more details, read our Prosperity Life review

 

 

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 automatically equate to superior products, especially regarding 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 considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s 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 have very low insurance rates.

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 coverage 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. The high cost and the mandatory two-year waiting period for everyone is why Colonial Penn should be avoided.

 

AARP

Choice Mutual Rating
2.5

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s 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 cheaper than a whole life burial policy, but only 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 two-year waiting period.

The issue with their no waiting period permanent life insurance 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 with Mutual of Omaha. AARP would charge $109.00 for the same coverage.

 

Lincoln Heritage

Choice Mutual Rating
1.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

The primary reason to avoid Lincoln Heritage life insurance is because their coverage 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 monthly with Mutual of Omaha for $25,000 in coverage.

The Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage program would cost that woman $117.30 monthly.

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 considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

Globe Life insurance is a term life policy that expires at age 80 or 90 (varies by state). 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 80th or 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 be eligible for Globe’s coverage.

If you’re okay with taking the risk of buying a term policy to cover your final expenses, also consider what the future premiums will be for a Globe Life policy. In most cases, the premium increases after age 75 are too expensive. For many seniors (who are usually on a fixed income) they have to drop 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 considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

TruStage life insurance prices are competitive, but 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 because you can buy online. But you pay for that convenience via higher prices.

 

State Farm

Choice Mutual Rating
2.0

Choice Mutual’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers consumer experience, policy cost, underwriting criteria, the insurer’s financial strength ratings, and complaint data.

The biggest reason to avoid State Farm final expense insurance is because the only type of policy they sell is guaranteed acceptance.

That means you’re not covered for the full death benefit until the policy has been in force for two years or more. Death in the first two years will only result in State Farm refunding your premiums plus 10% interest.

 

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 whole life insurance for seniors would not be your best option.

Their application asks if you were diagnosed or treated for diabetes before age 45.

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

David Duford is one of the nation’s most prolific final expense insurance agents.

He’s been in this business for over a decade and has personally helped thousands of 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 you’re familiar with. – David Duford

According to Statista, there were 737 life insurance companies in the USA in 2021.

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 unfamiliar to you aren’t less trustworthy or financially unstable.

They are every bit as reliable as funeral insurance companies that are well known.

Those “unknown” companies 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 lesser-known 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 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. Simplified issue whole life final expense policies have the same basic features and benefits. They primarily differ in price, when you’re insured, and available riders.

image showing tips on how to find the best burial insurance policy

 

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. A funeral cost calculator can help you accurately determine what your desired funeral may cost.

 

Utilize the power of a licensed agent

Most final expense insurance companies sell their policies through licensed agents. There are very few providers, such as Globe Life, that sell their policies directly to consumers. If you take the position that you’re unwilling to work with an agent, you’re limiting yourself to 1% of the total market.

There are two types of insurance agents you can work with-independent and captive.

By far, the most helpful 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 offer you multiple insurance providers rather than just one. Their objective is to compare various companies in order to isolate which one will give you the best deal.

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.

On the other hand, there are captive agents, and they can only represent one single company. State Farm is an example of a captive company.

State Farm agents have no freedom to compare multiple providers on your behalf. If you don’t like what a captive agent offers, they cannot look at other companies that might be a better fit for you.

If you need a funeral life insurance policy, please give Choice Mutual 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.

 

How We Selected The Best Companies

We analyzed over 30 different life insurance companies to select the top 10 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 with various final expense insurance companies executing customer service requests (Choice Mutual has sold thousands of policies)

According to a 2021 JD Power study that gives insight into what attributes most influence shoppers seeking life insurance, price was the top barrier to purchasing coverage.

The cost 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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Dozens of final expense life 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. At a minimum, you must answer health questions (no medical exam required).

Burial insurance, which is also known as funeral insurance or final expense insurance, is a type of whole life insurance meant to pay for your funeral expenses. It provides peace of mind knowing your end-of-life expenses won’t cause a financial burden for your loved ones. The requirements for burial insurance are minimal. For example, you don’t have to take a medical exam, and most applications are approved in less than 24 hours. The coverage options are usually less than $50,000, 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, such as medical bills, credit card debts, the memorial service, and other funeral costs. The cash payout to your beneficiaries is not subject to taxes. Alternatively, you can elect to have the money paid directly to your preferred funeral home.

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 the amount of coverage you select. Viewing a whole life rate chart is helpful to get an estimate, but remember that your rate may differ based on those factors.

Filing a death claim for final expense insurance is exactly the same as a traditional life insurance policy. It starts with your family members making a phone call to the insurer, notifying them that the insured died. They will send the beneficiary claim forms that need 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 pay out the money.

A burial policy is a worthy investment if you have no other means to pay for your burial costs. A final expense policy provides instant peace of mind, knowing your family won’t go into debt trying to pay for your end-of-life expenses. Read more: Is burial insurance worth it?

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

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 in any way you desire.

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.