Learn the requirements for buying final expense insurance for a relative, see sample costs, tips for finding the best policy, and how much a funeral costs.

The Requirements For Buying Final Expense Insurance For A Family Member

Nearly every final expense insurance company allows one family member to buy coverage for another. Overall, the requirements are relatively simple:

  • The insured agrees to the policy being issued.
  • The insured signs the application verbally, electronically, or via paper.
  • They answer the health questions if there are any (some policies have no health questions)

There is no scenario where you can bypass those requirements. Even if you have power of attorney over your family member, that does not empower you to complete any of those tasks on their behalf.

There must be what’s called “insurable interest” to buy any life insurance for another person. If there is insurable interest, that means the beneficiaries of a policy would incur a financial loss because of the death of the insured.

Fortunately, funeral costs easily satisfy this requirement, so you won’t endure any pushback or inquisition from insurance companies regarding why you want to buy final expense insurance for a family member.

The bottom line is that there is no way to buy life insurance for a parent or other family member if they are unwilling to participate in the application process. If you find yourself dealing with a relative who doesn’t want anything to do with a final expense insurance policy, check into a pre-paid funeral plan for them.


How Much Does Final Expense Insurance Cost?

The cost of a burial insurance policy varies based on the applicant’s age, gender, health, state of residence, tobacco habits, and how much coverage bought.

Below is a final expense whole life insurance rates table with sample monthly premiums.

Age & Gender$5,000$10,000
Female age 40$12$21
Female age 45$13$23
Female age 50$14$24
Female age 55$15$28
Female age 60$18$33
Female age 65$22$41
Female age 70$28$53
Female age 75$37$71
Female age 80$50$98
Female age 85$70$136
Female age 89$131N/A
Male age 40$14$25
Male age 45$15$27
Male age 50$17$31
Male age 55$20$36
Male age 60$23$43
Male age 65$29$54
Male age 70$37$70
Male age 75$50$97
Male age 80$69$135
Male age 85$91$178
Male age 89$180N/A
Source for monthly prices: Choice Mutual quote calculator. Rates valid as of 05/08/2024.


How Does Burial Insurance Work?

Burial insurance is a small whole life policy primarily that is meant to cover end-of-life expenses.

When your loved one dies, the insurance company will pay the beneficiary through a tax-free check. It’s important to remember that the payout money can be used for anything, such as debts or medical expenses, along with funeral bills. Also, any leftover funds stay with the beneficiaries.

Burial insurance policies are also called final expense or funeral insurance. In most cases, they are available from age 18-90, and you can buy up to $50,000 in coverage with most providers.

There are two basic types of final expense policies:

  • Simplified issue: A simplified issue whole life plan requires you to answer health questions to qualify. No medical exam is required. If you’re approved, there is no waiting period, which means you’re fully insured for natural or accidental death once you make the first premium payment.
  • Guaranteed issue: Also known as “guaranteed acceptance,” these plans don’t require you to take a medical exam or answer health questions. Because approval is guaranteed, there is a two-year waiting period. If you die during the waiting period, the insurance company will only refund your premiums plus approximately 10% interest. After two years, the full death benefit becomes payable for any reason.

The coverage is permanent because burial policies are a type of whole life insurance. Unlike AARP Life Insurance or Globe Life, whole life plans last forever.

Also, the premiums stay the same, and they build cash value.


Tips To Find The Best Burial Insurance For Family Members

Every final expense insurance company has a unique price, and they all accept and reject different health conditions. Therefore, it’s vital to compare multiple providers to find the best policy for a sibling, grandparent, or other relative.

To find the best final expense insurance policy for a family member, you should work with an independent insurance agency rather than trying to buy directly from an insurance company.

Independent insurance agencies (brokers) represent multiple providers rather than just one. They can objectively compare numerous policies to find you the best deal possible.

Whereas if you contact an insurer directly, such as Colonial Penn, you’re limiting yourself to just one option. If you don’t like what that company has to offer, there is no recourse.

Plus, final expense policies with no waiting period are overwhelmingly only sold through agencies. They are not sold online directly by insurance companies.

So, if you want to pay the least and have coverage that starts immediately, work with an independent broker like Choice Mutual, National Family, or Family First Life.

Whether you work with a broker or an insurance provider directly, be sure to thoroughly vet who you will work with. Check their reputation online from sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau.

Do they have online reviews? If not, that should be a cause for concern. Also, are the reviews negative? If so, that should also be cause for concern.


How Much Does A Funeral Cost?

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral costs $9,420, which includes a vault, burial, and viewing. Cremation costs are typically around $6,970 for a service and viewing.

These figures are helpful when determining how much coverage you’ll need.

Remember that you can reduce the cost of a funeral by forgoing formal services. If you opt for a “direct funeral,” the price drops significantly. Direct funerals have no memorial services. The body is simply cremated or buried immediately.

The savings is substantial. The average cost of a direct burial is $2,597. The average cost of a direct cremation is $2,183.

chart showing the cost difference between burial and cremation


Frequently Asked Questions

Buying burial insurance for parents is allowed so long as they sign the application and answer the health questions (if any).

It’s impossible to legally buy life insurance for another adult without their knowledge. That’s true even if you have power of attorney over the person you want to insure. You can only buy life insurance for another person without their knowledge and consent when buying life insurance for children.

Final expense insurance is best when you only need coverage to pay for funeral costs. If you need insurance to replace your income or pay off debts such as a mortgage, buy a term life insurance policy.

There is no such thing as family burial insurance, where a single policy simultaneously insures multiple adults. However, if an adult buys a policy insuring themself, they can add on a child or grandchild rider that also provides coverage to the children. To insure numerous adults, each person must have their own final expense insurance policy.

It typically costs $50-$100 monthly for a $10,000 burial policy. Remember that rates are determined by your age, gender, health, and how much coverage you select.

Choice Mutual often cites third-party websites to provide context and verification for specific claims made in our work. We only link to authoritative websites that are known to provide accurate information. You can learn more about our editorial standards, which guides our mission of delivering factual and impartial content.

  1. power of attorney. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-power-of-attorney-poa-en-1149/
  2. insurable interest. https://www.protective.com/learn/what-is-insurable-interest-in-life-insurance
  3. National Funeral Directors Association. https://nfda.org/news/media-center/nfda-news-releases/id/6182/2021-nfda-general-price-list-study-shows-funeral-costs-not-rising-as-fast-as-rate-of-inflation
  4. direct funeral. https://www.everplans.com/articles/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-direct-burial