The Burial Insurance Guide for Seniors

Buyer's Guide with the 6 Best Companies to Consider

Updated: March 2024

This article is for seniors interested in learning more about burial insurance.

If you want to find out how burial insurance works, and see the best burial insurance plans, this is the place for you. We’ve reviewed dozens of life insurance companies to help you find the best burial insurance plans available.

First, we’ll give a high-level overview of what burial insurance is and who it’s best for. Then we’ll go over the cost of burial insurance before showing you the top 6 burial insurance companies.

Quick Tip: Compare the nation’s top-rated burial insurance plans using our instant quote tool on this page.

Burial Insurance

What is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance is a type of life insurance for seniors between the ages of 50-85 whose family would be burdened with funeral costs and final debts in the event of their death.

Burial insurance is often referred to as Final Expense Insurance because that is exactly what it offers. Coverage for the final expenses of one’s life.

Burial Insurance is used to cover expenses such as a funeral, memorial service, cremation, headstone, casket etc. Burial costs in America are between $7,000 and $10,000 on average.

This coverage can also be used to cover additional final expenses such as outstanding medical bills, legal costs, or any other debts that you owe, such as credit card bills.

Burial insurance is defined by 5 core benefits:

  1. Day 1 Coverage. Upon approval, burial insurance provides IMMEDIATE protection. Even if you pass the day after your first payment!
  2. Price Lock Guarantee. Qualify today while we know you can qualify. Regardless of your health, age or future health, your payments are locked in!
  3. Death Benefit Guarantee. Your death benefit will never decrease for the life of the policy
  4. Whole Life. This coverage lasts your whole life and never expires. Additionally, it can never be cancelled by the company due to changes in your health.
  5. Builds cash value. Over time there will be cash value you can access.

Who Needs A Burial Insurance Policy?

Senior couple with burial insurance

As mentioned, the typical age range of a person purchasing burial life insurance is between the ages of 50 and 85. People purchase this type of coverage because the average family doesn’t have $10,000 on hand to pay for the funeral of a loved one.

This type of policy is also sometimes used as a replacement for people looking to spend a little bit less on their life insurance policy. This isn’t the best move for everyone, but depending on your age and health, it may be a better way to ease some of the financial stress that comes with the loss of a family member.

These policies often have a much smaller death benefit, so the premiums will be smaller than a lot of other life insurance policy options.

Being that one of the main reasons people purchase life insurance policies to protect their family from financial distress, a burial insurance policy might be a good move for those that don’t have children to provide for or large debts that need to be paid off. If your income isn’t supporting anyone, and no one will take on your debts, this type of policy is often all you need. This will save you money if you don’t need the full benefits of a term life insurance or permanent life insurance policy.

Types of Burial Insurance Policies

Not all burial insurance policies work the same when it comes to paying out benefits. So, it is important that you have a good understanding of just how the payout is structured. That way, your policy’s beneficiary can know what to expect if and when they need to file a life insurance claim.

Some of the best burial insurance policies will pay out 100% of the stated amount of the death benefit, regardless of how long the policy has been owned when the insured passes away. In other cases, though, the policy may have graded benefits.

Here are the two types of policies you should know.

Level Benefit Policy

The first is what we call a level benefit. This just means that you will be paid your full death benefit regardless of when you die. There is no waiting period.

Not everyone will qualify for a level benefit policy. This will depend on your health, age, and several other factors.

Graded Benefit Policy

Insurance companies often protect themselves, however, by offering funeral insurance plans with a graded benefit. This means that the insured has a waiting period before being eligible to receive the full policy amount in benefits. Typically this waiting period is 24 months but will differ between companies.

Here, if the insured passes away within the first few years of owning the burial insurance policy, the beneficiary will only receive a certain percentage of the total stated death benefit.

Almost anyone can obtain a life insurance policy with a waiting period, regardless of health, such as guaranteed issue life insurance. However, these policies are usually more expensive because the insured is typically at higher risk of death.

Level BenefitGraded Benefit
Paid full benefits upon death, regardless of dateWaiting period after death before receiving full payout
Full amount paid out immediatelyUp to 24 month waiting period
Less expensiveMore expensive

There are still other types of burial insurance policies where the death benefit may consist of only the amount of paid-in premiums if the insured dies within the first few years of policy ownership. Then, after a certain amount of time has passed, if the insured passes away, the stated amount of benefit would be paid.

You Can Choose a Term or Permanent Policy

Burial insurance can be either term or permanent.

With a term policy, the plan can be very affordable – and you can choose from many different options with regard to how long your coverage lasts. Terms can last from 5 to 30 years.

A permanent policy will be more expensive because the insurance company knows they will have to pay out the death benefit.

Comparing several different plans can help you to choose the best burial insurance policy for your budget and your needs.

How Much Does Burial Insurance for Seniors Cost?

Burial insurance costs

Burial insurance is usually purchased with a much smaller death benefit, which means a cheaper premium.

As with all insurance, the cost is based on your age and health when you start. Finding the best life insurance companies that fit your specific need is one of the most important parts of getting burial insurance for seniors.

If you want to see real numbers based on your situation, I suggest using our Instant Life Insurance Quote Tool here. No need to guess when you can get exact numbers!

One thing to remember is your premiums can’t increase and your death benefit cannot decrease.

Most burial insurance plans insure from $5,000 to $25,000. This way, you can tailor a policy to meet your specific needs. A death benefit is payable upon the insured’s death.

$25,000 isn’t the most coverage you can receive from a burial insurance plan. Some companies can offer $100,000 and above as a death benefit.

Burial Insurance Rates For Men

Rates will vary based on your age, health, and other factors. Below are sample rates for both good or poor health (has a medical condition like cancer, HIV, CHF, etc.) men looking for $10,000 or $20,000 in coverage.

NOTE: These are sample rates and will not reflect the rates you will get, as every situation is different.

CoverageGood Health
Poor Health
Good Health
Poor Health
Age 50
Age 60$43$63$83$124
Age 70$74$93$145$184
Age 80$133$175$263$348

Burial Insurance Rates For Women

You can find sample rates for women below. We’ve also divided these by coverage amounts, and good or poor health (has a medical condition like cancer, HIV, CHF, etc.).

NOTE: These are sample rates and will not reflect the the rates you will get, as every situation is different.

CoverageGood Health
Poor Health
Good Health
Poor Health
Age 50
Age 60$33$45$63$88
Age 70$53$70$103$139
Age 80$98$135$194$268

How Burial Insurance Companies Determine Rates

This list must be prefaced by the fact that your health plays a big role in securing the best burial insurance plan for seniors. Every burial insurance company will look at your health differently. One carrier may decline you for level rates and another one may approve you.

As a rule of thumb, most burial insurance plans will take you on their best rates, even if you have high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, or other high risk life insurance concerns and other health conditions.

You’ll even get accepted if you’ve had cancer, heart attack or stroke and enough time has passed. It’s when you’ve had recent hospitalizations in the last few years or your health issues aren’t under control that you may be declined coverage.

It’s always best to compare multiple companies and plans before purchasing a policy.

6 Best Companies for Burial Insurance for Seniors

There are many top life insurance companies that offer great policies. When it comes to burial insurance plans for seniors, these 6 companies have some of the best policies to choose from:

If you have high-risk health problems and cannot qualify for a traditional burial plan, consider a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. The best companies for this are AIG Life Insurance and Gerber Life.

Should You Get Burial Insurance Coverage?

People planning burial insurance

As you move through the changes in your life, it is important that you ensure your overall financial plan is in-tact. This will oftentimes include a plan for covering final expenses so that loved ones don’t have to invade savings and/or sell off other assets in order to come up with the needed funds.

If you don’t have life insurance in place – or even if you do have life insurance, but you do not have an adequate amount of coverage – then adding one of the best burial insurance policies can be an affordable way to supplement that protection.

In many instances, burial insurance policies are not difficult to qualify for, as they often do not require that you undergo a medical exam as a part of the underwriting process. This means no blood test to go through – and no lengthy health questionnaire. Therefore, coverage can often be obtained easily and quickly for the added protection that you need.

How to Find The Best Burial Insurance

With this in mind, it is always a good idea to compare quotes from several burial insurance companies so that you can ensure that you’re obtaining the right plan for you and your specific needs. Doing so can entail taking a look at several policies, as well as comparing the best burial insurance companies, prior to making your final decision.

In most cases, the proceeds from one of the best burial insurance policies will be paid out quickly to your beneficiary. You may even name a funeral home as your beneficiary, so that the proceeds from the policy are paid directly to that entity.

Work with an Independent Agent

We can help you to narrow down your burial insurance policy options, as well as to provide you with premium quotes. Our company works with many of the best burial insurance companies, so we can show you quotes from quality carriers, and offer peace of mind for your loved ones. No matter what your particular life insurance requirements are, the independent agents at Spectrum Insurance Group will be able to assist in matching you with the best life insurance company for your needs.

Getting quotes for the best burial insurance doesn’t have to be a challenge – If you need a life insurance premium quote quickly, we can help. Simply fill in the information on the instant quote box.

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