Burial Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, and Funeral Insurance: What You Need To Know

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Does life insurance pay for funeral expenses? Many consumers have relatively unknown products: burial insurance, a final expense, and funeral insurance. Yet, it can be an essential part of your financial plan to ensure that you have the money for funeral costs if something happens. This guide will look at burial insurance policies and how you can get more information about them.

Best Burial Insurance For Seniors
Insurance For A Funeral

What is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance covers the cost of funeral homes, burial expenses, 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 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.

What is Final Expense Life Insurance?

The financial products provide a small amount of money, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for funerals and “end-of-life expenses” such as funeral and burial costs, medical bills, credit card bills, and other outstanding bills. These life insurance plans are also known as end-of-life insurance.

Seniors up to the maximum age of 80 can expect a short application process and immediate coverage.

What is Preneed Funeral Insurance

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.

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.

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral costs $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, it can cost 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 Calculator

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

Burial Insurance Policy Rates

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


How Does Burial Insurance Work?

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

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

You can get this type of life insurance 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 physical. Instead, you fill out the application, answer a few health questions, and pay the premium to the insurance provider. The life and annuity 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.

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)

Great Western’s whole life insurance offers the most competitive benefits for those needing a burial policy. In addition, there is no waiting period, so you can be sure that your loved ones will be taken care of immediately. Great Western was founded in 1983 and is rated A- with A.M. Best.

A Cheaper Alternative

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

Next Steps

Burial and final expense is a type of whole life insurance that helps pay for final expenses, like burial and cremation. Burial insurance typically includes a small death benefit to help cover funeral costs. You can get more information about burial plans by contacting us because we’re a licensed life insurance agent or run a quote below.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Need Help Getting A Policy?

Feel free to contact us if you need investment advice on determining how much coverage you need and purchasing a life policy at a better value. 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 burial insurance?

Americo provides the best burial insurance because they are “A” rated and have provided life insurance for over 100 years.

Who offers the best funeral insurance?

Americo is a life insurance company that has been in business for over 100 years. They are rated ” A, ” 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.

Does every funeral home accept burial insurance?

Yes, every funeral home will accept the 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 burial 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.

Is burial insurance cheaper than 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 final expense insurance. There is no difference between burial and final expense insurance.

Can I get burial insurance for my parents?

Yes, you can get 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 final expense insurance?

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

Is there a waiting period for final expense insurance?

Yes, there is typically a waiting period of two years for final expense 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.

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. 

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