Final Expense Insurance

Best burial and final expense insurance for seniors

Burial insurance for seniors is usually an easy-to-qualify-for whole life insurance policy. It provides a quick cash payout typically within a few days to ensure your funeral costs don’t burden your family. Some companies have a 2-year waiting period, but many offer immediate coverage with no waiting period.

In this article, we’ll show you prices, the best companies, sample applications, how to avoid a 2-year waiting period, and more.

Topics covered in this article

 

What is burial insurance for seniors?

Senior burial insurance is typically a no-exam required whole life insurance policy with lenient underwriting. Senior citizens with health issues can still qualify despite high-risk ailments.

The proceeds will cover the costs associated with a funeral. Coverage usually ranges between $2,000- $50,000, and premiums are generally $50-$150 monthly depending on gender, age & coverage bought.

It’s helpful to remember that “burial insurance” is just a marketing term coined decades ago. Also, you will frequently see the terms “funeral insurance” and “final expense insurance for seniors,” “cremation insurance policy” used interchangeably with the words “burial insurance.”

These labels all mean the same thing.

A whole life burial policy for a senior is very straightforward.

  • Monthly payments are fixed for life and cannot increase for any reason.
  • Coverage cannot decrease for any reason.
  • The policy will not expire at any age for any reason.
  • Cash value accumulates from which you can borrow on.

When your day comes, your beneficiary(s) will receive a tax-free check equal to your death benefit. Then they’ll have the money to pay for your final expenses or anything else (there are no restrictions on spending money).

If there is any money left over, that money stays with them to use as they see fit.

 

How much does final expense insurance for seniors cost?

The cost of funeral insurance for seniors will vary based on your health, age, gender, state of residence, and the amount of coverage you buy. That said, expect to pay anywhere to $50-$150 per month for a policy in the $10,000-$15,000 range.

But to give you a more accurate idea of what to expect, we’ve provided some senior funeral insurance quotes below.

AgeFemale
$10,000
No Waiting Period
Female
$10,000
Guaranteed Acceptance
Male
$10,000
No Waiting Period
Male
$10,000
Guaranteed Acceptance
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
89$275N/A$358N/A

 

What is the best burial insurance for seniors?

We’ve taken the liberty of showing you five of the best final expense life insurance companies for seniors.

  • Best overall: Mutual of Omaha
  • Best for old age: Aetna
  • Best for smokers: American Amicable
  • Best underwriting: Royal Neighbors of America
  • Best guaranteed acceptance: AIG

If you’re looking for a senior final expense insurance plan, check out these five companies because your best policy is probably with one of them.

 

1) Mutual of Omaha

  • First-year in business: 1909
  • 2 Year Waiting Period?: No (subject to underwriting approval)
  • Face amount options: $2,000-$40,000
  • New Applicant Age Range: 45-85
  • A.M. Best Rating: A+ (superior)

Mutual of Omaha Living promise has some of the lowest rates on burial policies for seniors.

Their graded plan is rarely your best option. If you don’t qualify for the level plan, you’re probably better off applying with another company altogether.

On a side note, Mutual of Omaha also offers inexpensive whole life insurance for babies if that’s something that interests you.

Unless you have had recent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or significant chronic illnesses/diseases, you will probably qualify for their final expenses insurance. Seniors who are accepted get immediate coverage that has no waiting period.

 

2) Aetna

  • First-year in business: 1853
  • 2 Year Waiting Period?: No (subject to underwriting approval)
  • Face amount options: $2,000-$50,000
  • New Applicant Age Range: 40-89
  • A.M. Best Rating: A (excellent)

Aetna is unique because they will accept a new applicant as old as 89.

Additionally, they will offer no waiting period coverage to seniors with serious health issues such as COPD, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and many more.

 

3) Royal Neighbors of America

  • First-year in business: 1895
  • 2 Year Waiting Period?: No (subject to underwriting approval)
  • Face amount options: $7,000-$30,000
  • New Applicant Age Range: 50-75
  • A.M. Best Rating: A (excellent)

Royal Neighbors of America isn’t a name you’ll see on TV, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trustworthy or financially sound. They are A-rated and have been in business since 1895.

They are incredibly receptive to seniors with diabetes, past heart issues, past instances with cancer, and many other high-risk health issues. In addition, their prices are in line with most other final expense companies, so you can trust that you’re paying a fair price with them.

 

4) American Amicable

  • First-year in business: 1910
  • 2 Year Waiting Period?: No (subject to underwriting approval)
  • Face amount options: $2,500-$35,000
  • New Applicant Age Range: 50-85
  • A.M. Best Rating: A (excellent)

If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s Fixer Upper, set in Waco, Texas, you may have spotted a tall building with an “ALICO” sign. That’s the home office of American-Amicable.

They do have the best funeral insurance for seniors in some situations. For example, folks with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia can all get rock-bottom rates and full day-one coverage.

Their tobacco rates are among the lowest in the nation, so American Amicable is an excellent choice if you smoke. Also, pipe and cigar users can get a non-tobacco rating. That could save you as much as 40% on your monthly premium!

They are a strong carrier with a final expense program that is a superior choice for many people.

 

 

5) AIG

  • First-year in business: 1919
  • 2 Year Waiting Period?: Yes (Acceptance is guaranteed)
  • Face amount options: $5,000-$25,000
  • New Applicant Age Range: 50-80
  • A.M. Best Rating: A (excellent)

AIG’s final expense policy is a guaranteed issue plan, so there are no health questions. Since your acceptance is guaranteed, there is a two-year waiting period.

AIG will refund 110% of the premiums paid for any non-accidental death during the waiting period. After two years, then the full death benefit will pay out for any cause of death.

Buying a guaranteed issue policy isn’t suitable for most seniors. That said, there are some health issues where it’s necessary. If your health is such that a guaranteed issue plan is your best option, you should consider AIG.

 

How to get funeral insurance for seniors with no waiting period

To get a policy with immediate coverage and no waiting period, you must answer health questions and be subsequently approved.

You don’t have to take an exam, but you must answer health questions.

All no-health-questions final expense policies have a mandatory waiting period of two to three years.

But here’s the good news.

There’s at least one company out there that will approve you for immediate coverage for most people.

The next question is usually, “Which one is it?”

Well, that’s where we come in. You’re going to need an agency that has access to dozens of burial insurance companies (we do). We can check all the top companies to see which will approve you for immediate coverage.

There’s no way you can figure this out on your own. You’d need to know the underwriting from 15+ carriers to determine if you’re eligible for immediate coverage with someone. Only agents know all of that.

If you want no-waiting-period coverage, call us, and we’ll figure out if it’s possible in less than 60 seconds. Our toll-free number is 1-800-644-2926.

 

Sample senior policies & applications

Just below, you can click to see the actual applications from each company, along with a sample policy (if available).

Just remember, you can’t fill these applications out and send them in. All these insurance companies (except Gerber & AIG) will not allow that.

To apply, you have to work with an agency such as Choice Mutual.

 

Funeral insurance options for seniors over 80

Believe it or not, seniors buying life insurance after 80 is possible.

What particular options you’ll have depends on your age and health.

If you are between 80-85, the following companies can issue you a new policy:

  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Aetna
  • Transamerica
  • Foresters Financial
  • American Amicable
  • Americo
  • Guarantee Trust Life
  • Prosperity Life Group (80 is the max-age for new applicants)
  • AIG (80 is the max-age for new applicants)
  • Great Western (80 is the max-age for new applicants)
  • Gerber Life (80 is the max-age for new applicants)
  • Liberty Bankers Life (80 is the max-age for new applicants)

Now, if you’re seeking life insurance after 85, there are considerably fewer options. From age 86-90, there are only three companies available.

  • Aetna
  • Guarantee Trust Life
  • Security National Life

If you’re between 80-90 and need burial life insurance, call us, and we can help.

 

Coverage for elderly parents

In short, yes, you can buy funeral expense insurance for your parents.

It is prevalent for children to purchase life insurance for their parents or grandparents.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • They must agree to the policy being issued. You cannot buy life insurance on someone else without their knowledge and consent.
  • If you want a policy with no waiting period, you’ll need to gather your parent’s health information. With this information, your agent can determine which company (if any) will approve them for an immediate benefit plan.

It’s more than fine to start by speaking with an agent to gather quotes and understand how the application process works.

After that, have a conversation with your parent to seek their approval. Then it’s just a matter of contacting your agent to get the application submitted.

 

 

How to find the best burial insurance for elderly people

No matter what product you’re buying, it’s no secret that you compare offers from multiple companies before you commit to one.

The same is true when you’re looking for affordable burial insurance for seniors.

Lots of websites (this site included) allow you to get quotes from multiple insurance companies.

It’s good to do your online research to get a sense of what coverage will cost you.

In the end, if you want a policy with no waiting period at the lowest price possible, you will need to speak with an agent.

But don’t speak with just any agent. Here are the criteria you should look for when selecting an agency to work with:

  • Independence: Be sure to work with an independent agency that has access to over ten companies. They will compare offers from multiple provides to match you with the best one.
  • Reputation: Check their online reputation to ensure other past customers are satisfied with their service. A bad online reputation is usually indicative of lousy service.
  • Expertise: It’s hard to be a jack of all trades in the insurance business, so be sure to find one specializing in funeral insurance for seniors. This way, you know you’re dealing with an expert rather than a novice.

Ultimately, working with an agency gives you access to the lowest rates on policies that come with full day-one coverage. It’s just like shopping around: The only difference is that the agency you work with is the one doing all the shopping for you.

Whether you’re looking to buy your parents’ life insurance or get coverage for yourself, you must work with an independent agent.

Give us a chance to earn your business, and we won’t let you down. Below are some genuine reviews from happy clients. Those customers are satisfied for a reason!

Alternatives to burial insurance

It may be possible that you don’t need final expense insurance or that you simply don’t want to go the insurance route.

There are alternatives that you can pursue. Below are some other options to consider.

 

Prepaid funeral plans

If you go into a local funeral home, you can contractually plan out your entire funeral. They will let you know what your services would cost you and give you a couple of payment options.

First, you can opt to pay for the funeral outright with cash (if you can afford that). That would pay off your funeral, and no subsequent monies would be due later on.

The other option is to make monthly payments over a 1-10 year period of time. In the long run, you’ll pay more money total if you opt to make money payments.

Either way, the main advantage of a prepaid burial plan is that you lock in today’s rates. No matter what a funeral costs 10 or 20 years from now, you lock in the rate as of the date you set up the contract with the funeral home.

The biggest downside to prepaid burials is the cost. Most people don’t have the cash to pay it off outright. Furthermore, the monthly payments are usually very high, which is also problematic for retired seniors on a fixed income.

That said, if you can afford a prepaid funeral plan, it’s an excellent end-of-life planning option to consider.

 

Existing life insurance

Suppose you already have some form of life insurance. In that case, there is no reason you can’t earmark the proceeds from that policy for your final expenses. Life insurance of all kinds pays out a tax-free cash benefit to your named beneficiaries.

You can spend the money on anything.

Just make sure you don’t plan to use a term life policy (which usually expires at the age of 80) as the financial mechanism to pay off your funeral bills. We say that because most people live beyond 80.

 

Savings account

You can set aside money into your savings account to be used to pay for your final arrangements. This method is highly unadvisable unless you are an extremely disciplined saver.

Furthermore, you must be willing to never touch this money even during a financially stressful moment.

The other downside with this plan of action is the fact that until you’ve saved enough money, your loved ones are at risk of having to pay for your funeral costs.

 

POD account

A “Payable-on-demand” account is a particular type of savings account where the funds in the account will be paid out to the beneficiaries you name.

A death certificate is all that is needed to procure the funds in this account.

So you could set up a POD account and put in enough money to cover your final expenses. Then when you die, the beneficiary(s) can claim this money to pay for everything.

 

FAQs about funeral life insurance for seniors

 

What is cash value?

Cash value in any life insurance policy is like a behind-the-scenes savings account that accumulates value over time. Every time you make a payment, a portion of your payment goes towards the cost of insurance. A part goes into a behind-the-scenes savings account called the cash value. You may elect to borrow from this cash value.

 

How does a policy loan work?

As noted in the question above, your policy will accrue cash value over time. You are entitled to borrow from these accrued funds. When you do so, the money you borrow is considered a loan against the policy. The insurance company will charge interest on the loan. Every company has different interest rates, but most are within a 5%-10% range.

Here’s the thing to understand about loans

Any outstanding loans on your policy will reduce your death benefit accordingly. That means if you have a loan out on your policy, it will reduce the death benefit by the total amount of the outstanding loan.

Here is a helpful tip about life insurance policy loans.

You must work towards paying back your loan if you ever take one. Remember, interest will always accrue, which increases the total value of your loan. If you never pay it back, the loan will forever grow, which reduces your death benefit. The last thing you would want is for your family not to be left with enough money to pay your final expenses because you never took care of an outstanding loan.


Helpful Tip: You should not take out a burial insurance policy because they build cash value you can borrow on. It would be best to take out a burial insurance policy because it offers instant peace of mind, fixed monthly payments, and lifetime protection that will not expire. If that doesn’t interest you, burial insurance is not for you. Policy loans are convenient when you need them, but make sure you take them seriously by paying a little extra each month to pay down the loan.


 

What is the automatic premium loan provision (APL)?

The APL is a free provision that you can elect to have on your policy to act as a safety net. However, you must select this option at the time of the application. You cannot retroactively enable this provision after the policy has is issued.

Suppose you have this option included in your policy. In that case, the APL will make a premium payment for you should your regular premium not successfully process for any reason. The premium payment made by the APL will come from your policy’s cash value account. It will continue to do so for as long as there is sufficient cash value to keep it in force. Any APL payments made will count as a loan against the policy, which is subject to interest. An APL loan has the same effect on your policy as a loan you chose to pursue.

 

What does a burial policy cover?

Burial insurance is life insurance so that the net result will be a quick cash payout to your beneficiary(s). The money from the payout allows them to cover the costs associated with burial, cremation, and funeral services, adding up to thousands of dollars.

 

Is there an age limit for funeral insurance plans?

Yes, most companies have age limits for burial insurance. Typically, the minimum age is around 45 or 50, and most policies are limited to people 85 or younger. There are a few options for people between 86 and 90, but you will be required to answer health questions, and acceptance is not guaranteed.

 

Can I buy burial insurance for my mother or father?

Yes, you can purchase burial insurance on behalf of a relative. However, they will need to be involved in the application process.

 

What is the contestability period?

This provision is present in every life insurance contract, no matter what type of life insurance you buy or which company issues the policy. There are no exceptions to this rule.

The provision entitles the insurance company to investigate any death claim that occurs during the contestability period. The contestability period is usually two years. However, in some states, it’s only one year. Furthermore, some states disallow insurers to contest claims when you replace a life insurance policy.

The insurer will gather your doctor records to verify that you did not misrepresent your health at the application time. They are just trying to make sure that you didn’t withhold information about your health that would have prevented your insurability in the first place.

Should an insurer find information that would have caused them not to issue the policy initially, they will rescind the policy. When this happens, they will not pay the death claim. Instead, they will merely return all the premiums you paid into the policy. It’s also worth noting that the agent who sold you the policy will have to pay back all their commissions.

If they contest a claim and do not find health information that contradicts your answers on the application, they must pay the claim, and they will.

 

How long do contestable claims take to get paid?

It depends on a few factors. First, the insurance company will request medical records from your physician(s). Second, once they receive all the required information, they are required by law to decide on the claim within 30 days.

Here’s the thing

Contestable claims can take 30 days. Then again, they can take six months. The determining factor is how long it takes for the insured’s physician(s) to deliver the insured medical records to the insurer. As long as there are outstanding records, the insurance company cannot process the claim.

We always urge beneficiaries to call each doctor daily. The goal is to encourage the physicians to return the records to the insurer so they can process the claim. In addition, when one of our clients passes away during the contestability period, we also call to apply pressure on the doctor’s office.

Ultimately, the quicker the medical records are received, the faster the insurance company can pay the claim.