Cremation insurance is a small life insurance policy where the proceeds are meant to pay for a cremation and other final expenses.
This article will discuss how these plans work, the cost, tips for finding the best policy, and much more.
Topics Covered in this article
Cremation insurance is a type of final expense life insurance that’s earmarked to cover a cremation cost.
They are generally a no-exam required whole life policy with the option to buy small amounts of protection.
Whole life insurance plans for cremation are very straightforward.
- Premiums can never increase.
- Policy can’t expire at any age.
- Coverage can’t decrease.
- No medical exam to qualify.
- Fast payout of benefits upon passing of the insured.
As you can see, once your cremation insurance policy is issued, it will never change in any way.
You can always count on it being there to cover the cost of your cremation and other end-of-life expenses.
Ultimately, the policy is still life insurance, so it will simply pay out a tax-free cash benefit to your beneficiaries. There are never any restrictions on how that money is used.
If they don’t use all the money on your final expenses, the remaining amount stays with them.
Cremation insurance plans have two very unique features not available with traditional life insurance policies.
- Small face value options: Some of these carriers will allow you to buy as little as $1,000 in coverage. On the flip side, you can buy as much as you’d like. The ability to purchase low amounts of coverage is optimal because it allows you to purchase what you need, especially when it comes to cremation. Most other forms of life insurance require you to buy $25,000-$50,000 in coverage.
- Very relaxed underwriting: The design of these plans is to accept many severe health issues that would otherwise get you declined for traditional life insurance policies. Also, there are even some plans that have no underwriting at all. These are called guaranteed issue plans because your acceptance is guaranteed no matter what. Now those are the last resort, but they do have their place for specific health issues. It’s nice to know that no matter what, you can get a policy!
The average cremation insurance policy costs roughly $25 per month, and the most common coverage purchased is $10,000.
Your net price could be lower or higher depending on your gender, age, health, state of residence, and the exact amount of coverage you buy.
Below are some sample prices.
If you plan for your final expenses properly, it starts with determining what kind of service you’d like. In your case, it’s evident that you’ve chosen to be cremated rather than buried since you are reading this article.
Before you buy a cremation insurance policy, it’s a good idea to estimate how much your cremation will cost. This way, you know how much coverage you’ll need to ensure you have enough to pay for everything, so your family won’t have to.
There are a few ways to go about cremation. Which particulars you choose will heavily influence the final cost.
Direct cremation | $600-$1,200
Direct cremation is a term used to describe the most basic cremation service possible. There are no funeral services or events. You are just paying for the cost to have the body transferred, cremated, and placed in a basic urn.
The cost of a direct cremation can vary depending on the funeral home. You’ll find they, on average, cost in the $600 to $1,200 range.
Direct cremation with a viewing | $1,400-$2,000
This one is merely a direct cremation, but you pay extra to have a viewing of the body before it’s cremated. In this scenario, you’ll have the direct cremation cost along with whatever the funeral home charges for the viewing.
For the viewing, they will perform minimal preparation. You can select how much time you would like for loved ones to come and see the deceased one last time. Just remember, the more time you request, the more it will cost. If the departed underwent an autopsy for some reason, the funeral home would likely charge you more for the preparation.
Most viewings will cost in the $700 to $1,500 range. Please note, those numbers are on top of the direct cremation itself.
Full-blown funeral with cremation instead of burial | $4,000-$6,000
For some reason, some people are under the impression that a funeral isn’t possible with cremation. When in fact, nothing could be further from the truth!
It’s actually quite common to have a traditional funeral (less the burial aspect) when the deceased has elected to be cremated.
If you can’t wrap your mind around this concept, start by imagining a traditional burial service. Now instead of a body in a casket, substitute an urn in its place. Everything else stays the same. There’s literally no difference other than that the body is no longer intact because it was cremated.
From traveling in a caravan to the final resting spot to family members delivering a eulogy, funeral services for folks who have been cremated are every bit as viable.
You can choose many options, so not only will the price vary quite a bit, but it can get pricey too. You’ll find that a funeral service with cremation will cost anywhere from $4,000-$6,000 on average.
Other potential costs to consider
There may be other end-of-life expenses to consider outside of the cremation itself.
It’s a good idea to consider these factors as well. This way, you can select enough coverage (assuming you can afford it) to ensure all your final costs are paid for.
Consider the following:
- Medical bills
- Outstanding debts
- Travel costs for people attending the funeral
- Transportation fees if you want a final resting place that’s out of town
- Income replacement
- Time off work for a surviving loved one (they’ll need money to do that)
- Leave money behind as a legacy to a loved one or charity
- Inflation (everything increases in cost over time. Funeral expenses are no exception)
Once you’ve decided that you want the peace of mind that a cremation final expense policy affords, it just becomes a question of how you find the best one for you.
First, determine how much coverage you’ll need. If you haven’t yet done that, read the section above again.
Please keep this in mind as you consider buying a policy.
No matter how much coverage you want, the monthly payment must be 100% comfortable in your budget. It makes no sense to buy a policy whereby you will choose between food and your insurance one day. You’ll only lose money that way.
You might be wondering, what if you can’t afford as much coverage as you’d like? What do you do then?
It’s simple. You buy as much as you can afford. Whatever amount you can provide to your family is money they don’t have to take out of their own pocket. They will love you for doing the best you could.
You have two basic choices regarding how you buy a policy.
1) Buy a policy entirely online or through the mail without ever speaking to an agent
Buying without having to talk to an agent sounds good.
Here’s the truth.
Any offer you ever receive (from any company) through the mail will always be what’s called guaranteed acceptance life insurance.
A guaranteed issue policy has no health questions or medical underwriting. Your health is not a factor. No matter how sick or healthy you are, you are approved!
You might be thinking, wow, that’s amazing!
Sorry but these plans all have two significant drawbacks.
- They cost a lot more. The insurance company is taking on a considerable risk because they know nothing about your health. For this reason, guaranteed acceptance plans typically cost 40%-300% more.
- They all have a minimum 2-year waiting period. The insurer will not pay out a death benefit during the first two years of a guaranteed issue policy. Instead, they’ll merely refund all premiums plus 10%-20% interest. There are no exceptions to this. No guarantee issue life policy on the planet does not have a two-year waiting period.
As you can see, you’ll pay a high cost to not work with an agent.
If you are cool with that, go for it. But understand that 95% of people do not need a guaranteed issue plan.
Most people can qualify for a policy that costs much less AND comes with immediate coverage (no 2-year waiting).
That brings us to option number two regarding how you can find the best final expense plan for cremation (working with an agent).
2) Working with an independent agent
An independent agent represents multiple insurance companies. Their goal is to evaluate your health, so they can determine which insurer is best for you.
You’ve heard the concept of “shopping around.” Heck, we all do it, especially in the age of the internet.
Well, working with an independent agent is doing just that! The only difference is they are the ones shopping for you.
Now, a good and reputable independent agent will not have an affinity for any particular insurer. They will connect you with whichever insurance company has the best deal for you.
Here’s a couple of truths about working with an agent.
- Many end-of-life insurance companies offer coverage that has no waiting period. Immediate coverage plans are only available through agents. If you don’t talk to an agent, you are going to have a two-year waiting period.
- An independent agent is not out to sell you anything. Quite frankly, it’s your job to sell yourself. On your own accord, you need to decide that you A) want the peace of mind that a cremation policy provides and B) are willing to pay for it. No agent can convince you of that. However, once you have decided, your agent’s job is to act as your advocate by helping you find the best deal. They are very much like a cashier at a grocery store. They help you process your request to buy something (and they provide expert guidance to ensure you get the best deal).
Choice Mutual is your go-to for the best final expense insurance for cremation
Unless you want to pay more and have a waiting period, working with an agent is far and above the surest path to your best policy.
And you might be wondering, why should you work with Choice Mutual?
It’s straightforward. Here’s why we are best equipped to help you find your best funeral insurance plan.
- We work with 15 different final expenses carriers. Having so many choices means we can shop the entire market to see which one will offer you the best deal. We don’t care which insurer it is. We care about you.
- Final expense life insurance for burial and cremation is all we do. We believe in being masters at this type of insurance. First, all our insurance companies are suited for this kind of insurance. Second, after completing thousands of applications, we have intimate knowledge of how each one underwrites. This knowledge allows us to know with virtual certainty which ones will approve you.
- Our reputation is stellar. Our satisfied customers have left dozens of online reviews because they were so pleased with our service. Also, we are licensed in all 50 states, including DC, and accredited with the BBB.
- You’ll get no pressure expert help. Our website provides you with actual prices from 15+ carriers (without having to put in a phone number or email), so you can comparison shop for yourself. Also, we provide you with a behind-the-scenes understanding of how these policies work. We want you to decide on your own time if and when you want to buy. When you are ready, then you contact us. One of our agents will merely help you get approved. You won’t get a sales pitch or upsells.
Do our services cost anything?
We get asked this question a lot.
The answer is no, absolutely not! Our services are free.
You might be thinking, why are our services free? What do we get out of this?
The insurance company we place you with pays us. After all, without us, they would not have you as a customer.
Now you might be thinking this may be cause for concern due to a potential conflict of interest.
Just know this.
We always recommend whichever carrier is best for you. We pay no attention to who pays us the most. Our objective is always to be impartial, and you can trust that we will do that.
One of the biggest reasons we have such an outstanding reputation is because we always put our clients first.
Check out our online reviews to see what other people had to say about working with us.
The exact application process you will endure will depend upon which insurance company you choose. That said, when you apply for a cremation policy through Choice Mutual insurance agency, here are the various ways the applications work.
Voice signature 100% via telephone
Many carriers have what is called a voice signature process. Your agent will gather all your information to fill out the application. At that point, you and the agent complete a three-way phone call with the insurance carrier. The three-way calls typically last 8-16 minutes on average.
They obtain the necessary authorizations, read some disclosures, and ask you the formal health questions on that call. Almost all voice signature carriers will give you an immediate decision regarding your eligibility on that 3-way call.
E-signature on our website
We have a proprietary electronic signature that you can use directly on this website. Your Choice Mutual agent will fill out the entire application. At this point, you will click on the link at the top of our website that says “Esign Application.” Then you would type in an access code that your agent would provide to you. Once logged in, you can review your application to make sure everything is accurate. Then to sign your application electronically, you press a button. That would forward the application to underwriting. Once approved, you will get a policy in the mail within 2-3 weeks.
Although not as common, signing via email is still an option with lots of burial insurance companies. With this option, your agent will gather all your personal information to fill out the entire application. Then you will get an email from the insurance company where you can sign the application by clicking a few buttons. That will put the policy into underwriting, whereby you’ll receive a decision about your acceptance within 1-3 days on average.
Paper via snail mail, email, or fax
Sadly, some insurance companies still require paper forms to be filled out. We will have to snail mail you the paperwork for these companies if you don’t have a fax or printer. If you do have the ability to print, we can email them to you. Regardless of how you receive the papers, you sign and return them. Usually, we’ll get a decision within four business days.
To do so, you must have the following:
- Insurable interest: Insurance companies require that beneficiaries can only be people who would endure some financial loss if the insured were to pass away. Fortunately, the sheer nature of your relationship satisfies this requirement. In short, insurable interest is not an issue when buying a cremation insurance plan for one or both of your parents.
- Their consent: You cannot take out any form of life insurance on someone without their consent. The insured must consent to release their medical information. Without it, the insurance company has no way of underwriting the policy. Even if you buy a guaranteed acceptance plan with no medical underwriting, they must agree to the policy. It’s impossible to buy a policy on your parent if they are unwilling to be involved.
If you haven’t talked to your parents about this yet, you can still speak with an agent. That way, you can get a price estimate and get familiar with the application process.
Then when you talk to your mom, dad, or grandparent, you can give them clear expectations about how the application process will go.