The Best Burial Insurance For Seniors: What You Need To Know

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Does life insurance pay for end-of-life expenses? One of the most important decisions you will make is how to handle their funeral and burial expenses. Burial insurance can help remove some of your financial burdens during this difficult time. This guide will discuss what burial insurance is and how it works. We will also provide information on the different types of life insurance coverage available to help you make the best decision for your family.

Best Burial Insurance For Seniors
Insurance For A Funeral

Burial Insurance Quotes

Under “length of coverage,” select “Final Expense” to compare your options. For example, $50,000 is the maximum coverage for a funeral.

What Does Burial Insurance Cover?

Burial and funeral insurance cover the cost of funeral homes, burial expenses, medical bills, and other final expenses when you die. For example, the life insurance company pays a surviving spouse a death benefit for getting your body treated, a funeral, or a cremation.

This type of whole life policy is for seniors who don’t have any other life insurance policies or can not get approved for a policy due to serious health issues. Funerals can cost a lot of money, so you should get this type of life insurance to relieve the financial burden on your loved ones.

Burial insurance policies are permanent and never expire as long as the insured pays the premiums. Burial policies are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company, and the provider’s financial strength should be considered. (NAIC)

The permanent policy is for small amounts only. It is designed for when senior citizens don’t have the money to pay premiums on traditional policies but still want to pay for their funeral and other expenses ahead of time. In addition, the insurance is ideal for adult children of elderly parents who can’t afford to pay for these expenses themselves.

The whole-life policy has higher monthly premiums for limited coverage, so you’ll want to consider other forms of funding (savings account, investments, social security) if you or your family could otherwise afford the monthly payments.

How Does Burial Insurance Work?

This type of whole life insurance policy comes in two forms:

Simplified Issue

You can get these types of life insurance policies at moderate risk. Applicants have to answer a detailed questionnaire, but no medical exam exists. However, you will still pay more than with a term policy.

A simplified issue insurance policy means that you can skip the medical examination. It’s called a “no exam policy.” You still have to fill out the health questionnaire, though. In addition, you have to answer medical questions about smoking habits and serious illnesses. There may also be a phone interview with the insurance providers’ medical underwriting department.

The life insurance payout from a simplified issue policy is higher than the guaranteed acceptance policy.

If the insured is over a certain age, has medical problems, or cannot fill out the application yourself, they might not be eligible for simplified issue life insurance.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Being approved for coverage is nearly certain with a guaranteed issue policy. You can expect to pay higher rates and lower maximum coverage amounts than simplified issue plans with this type of plan.

Guaranteed coverage means you do not have to answer extensive questions about your health or take a medical exam. Instead, you fill out the application, answer a few health questions, and pay the premium to the insurance provider. The burial life insurance company will give you coverage if you pay it.

If an applicant didn’t answer the few health-related questions on the application due to advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s, they would not qualify for guaranteed issue insurance.

Life Insurance For Burials, Funerals, And Cremations

What Is A Preneed Funeral Insurance Policy?

Preneed funeral insurance sets aside money for your funeral before you die. This type of insurance is suitable because it protects your loved ones from covering funeral expenses when you are dead.

The preneed insurance covers the cost of your funeral. The permanent life insurance will pay for a standard funeral home, funeral arrangements, memorial service, and church and burial services. You can also lock into today’s prices for those things so that you do not have to worry about it if they go up.

Helpful Tip: If you want to complete your estate plan at an affordable price, we recommend:

How Much Does Burial Insurance Cost?

The Difference Between Burial Insurance and Preneed Funeral Insurance

There is a distinct difference between funeral insurance and a burial policy. When the insured dies, instead of the life insurance companies giving the money to the beneficiary (Burial Insurance Plans), the funeral insurance companies distribute the death benefit directly to the funeral home (Funeral Insurance Plan) to pay for burial or cremation expenses only without the beneficiary’s discretion.

What Is An Average Funeral Cost?

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost ranges from $7,000 to $12,000. This average includes the cost of viewing and burial, basic service fees, and transporting remains to a funeral home. The average cost of cremation is $6,000 to $7,000. These costs do not include a cemetery monument or marker.

In the 1980s, funerals cost $2,000. Today, a funeral service provider may charge up to $9,000 or more if you bury or cremate the body. In addition, you might have to pay thousands of dollars for a casket, depending on what type of materials you want.

Burial Insurance Policy Rates

These are sample monthly payment rates based on age, gender, coverage amount, Preferred status, and non-tobacco consumers.


Burial Insurance Pros and Cons


  • Premiums stay the same (most companies)
  • The death benefits pay for funeral expenses.
  • The final expense policy is straightforward.
  • Most burial insurance policies offer fast approvals for coverage, including same-day.


  • Coverage amounts are minimal to cover final expenses only.
  • Few companies available
  • It can be expensive, but not as expensive as paying out of pocket.
  • Little to no cash value.
  • The median cost is not as cheap as term insurance.
  • Typically policies are whole life rather than universal life policies.
  • When receiving the proceeds, a waiting period (up to two years) may be imposed on family members.
  • Proceeds are not meant to be an income replacement.

Burial Life Insurance Companies (We Recommend)

Transamerica’s whole life insurance policy offers the most competitive benefits for those needing a burial insurance policy. In addition, there is no waiting period, so you can be sure that your loved ones will be taken care of immediately. Transamerica was founded in 1928 and is rated A+ with A.M. Best.

Americo would be our second choice for the best company.

A Cheaper Alternative

Before you buy final expense insurance plans, consider term life insurance. Generally speaking, level-term insurance can be a cheaper alternative for relatively healthy seniors seeking primarily to cover funeral and burial costs and offers better protection at a fraction of the cost. However, a medical examination may be required.

Which Is Better: Burial Insurance Or Life Insurance Policy?

Term life insurance expires after you have exceeded a certain period. Permanent life insurance will last the remainder of your life. Burial coverage can generally be considered comprehensive insurance lasting up to death. A death-in-sale policy can be more effective than a death insurance policy.

Next Steps

Now that you understand what burial insurance is, how it works, and the different types of coverage available, you can make an informed decision about what is best for your family. Of course, no one wants to think about their own death, but it’s essential to be prepared. Please contact us if you have any questions or want a final expense life insurance quote. We are here to help you protect your loved ones.

The Best Burial Insurance Policies With No Waiting Period

Online Burial Insurance Quotes

Contact us for a burial insurance quote. The service is free of charge.

Life Insurance Inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best life insurance to cover funeral expenses?

Final expense insurance is the best life insurance to cover funeral expenses. It is specifically designed to cover the costs of a funeral, and it can be used to cover any other final expenses as well.

Who offers the best funeral insurance policy?

Americo has been one of the best burial insurance companies in business for over 100 years. They are rated “A” with A.M. Best which means they are a good company with a solid financial history.

What does a burial policy cover?

A burial policy covers the funeral, cremation, and other final expenses.

How much does a burial policy cost?

The cost of a burial policy varies depending on your age, gender, and health. However, policies typically start at just a few dollars per month.

Do funeral home services accept burial insurance?

Yes, every funeral home will accept funeral expense insurance because the proceeds are paid to the beneficiaries, who can spend it on the funeral costs.

What is the difference between burial insurance and life insurance?

Burial is a type of whole life insurance designed to cover final expenses. Life insurance generally has a much more significant death benefit and can be used for things like estate planning or leaving money to your family.

What is the difference between burial insurance and preneed funeral insurance?

Preneed funeral insurance is a type of life insurance that pays the funeral home directly when you die. The insurance pays your beneficiaries, who can use the money to pay for your funeral.

Is burial insurance worth it?

The insurance proceeds can be an excellent way to cover your funeral costs and other final expenses. It is generally less expensive than traditional life insurance, and it can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will not have to worry about these costs after you die.

How do I get final expense insurance?

You can get insurance for burial or final expenses through a life insurance agent or by shopping online for quotes. Be sure to compare policies and rates before you purchase a policy.

What is a death benefit for burial insurance and life insurance?

Burial plans are generally less expensive than traditional life insurance. The death benefit is typically much smaller, and the policy only covers final expenses.

Can burial insurance be used for anything?

Yes, the proceeds can be used for anything. However, most people use it to cover costs like a funeral, cremation, and other final expenses.

Can you have two funeral policies?

Yes, you can have more than one funeral policy. However, most people only need one policy to cover their final expenses.

How do you cash in a burial policy?

You can cash in a burial policy by contacting the insurance company and requesting a surrender form. Once you have submitted the form, the insurance company will send you a check for your policy’s cash value.

What happens if you don’t use all of the money from your burial policy?

Your burial policy will go to your beneficiaries if you have money left over. They can use the money for anything they want.

What type of insurance policy pays for funeral and burial costs?

A whole life insurance policy with a small death benefit for funeral and “final expense” costs is called burial insurance.

Can I get burial insurance for my parents?

Yes, you can get final expense insurance for your parents up to age 85. This type of policy is called a third-party policy.

Can I get burial insurance for my parents without them knowing?

No, you cannot get insurance for your parents without them knowing. The insurance company will require that they sign the policy application and consent to have you as the beneficiary.

What is the best age to buy burial insurance?

The best age to buy coverage is between 50 and 60. This is because most people start to think about their funeral and final expenses as they get older.

What are some other names for burial insurance?

Some other names are final expense insurance and preneed funeral insurance.

What is the maximum amount of coverage for burial insurance?

The maximum coverage for burial insurance varies by company, but it is typically between $25,000 and $50,000.

Is there a waiting period for burial insurance?

Yes, there is typically a waiting period of two years for burial insurance. This means that if you die within the first two years of your policy, your beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit, but the premiums paid instead.

How do final expense agents get paid?

Final expense agents are paid through commissions from insurance companies. They do not charge a fee for their services.

Is funeral insurance the same as life insurance?

No, funeral insurance is not the same as life insurance. Funeral insurance is a type of insurance that pays for the costs of your funeral and other final expenses. Life insurance is a type of insurance that pays out a death benefit to your beneficiaries.

Can you use life insurance to pay for funerals?

Yes, you can use life insurance to pay for funeral costs. This is one of the most common reasons people purchase life insurance.

Which type of insurance would most often pay for funeral expenses?

Life insurance is the type that most often pays for funeral expenses. When you purchase a policy, you can specify a beneficiary who will receive the death benefit when you pass away. This person can use the money from the policy to cover the costs of your funeral and other expenses.

Is burial insurance a good deal?

Burial insurance is a good deal for seniors wanting their funeral expenses to be covered.

Can I get a burial policy without a waiting period?

Burial insurance can be purchased with no waiting periods. You may also have to take a medical exam or complete health checks if you’re eligible to be insured for health insurance. All guaranteed issue whole-life policies require strict waiting periods of up to 36 months. The death benefit will not be paid when you die, and beneficiaries will receive a refund from your insurance claim. Life insurers have imposed this rule to stop ill people from taking ill health insurance plans right before their deaths.

*Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide may be affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no cost if you purchase a policy. It helps us keep the lights on!

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

Scroll to Top