Best Burial Insurance for Seniors [Top 15 Insurers]

There are many types of life insurance for seniors, but one of the most affordable is burial insurance.

In this article, we will tackle the most pressing questions regarding burial insurance for seniors.

You will learn the differences, if any, between burial & life insurance, the types of policies, which is the best for you as well as how to get a quote for the best policy available to you.

You will also learn about which are the best burial insurance carriers and the average pricing of the policy.

But before anything else, let’s first familiarize ourselves with what burial insurance is.

What is Burial Insurance for Seniors?

In its most basic form, burial insurance is nothing more than a small permanent life insurance policy. It is known by other names – final expense insurance, senior life insurance, or funeral insurance.

Whatever it is called, its purpose remains the same: to provide coverage for a person’s final expenses (which may include medical debt, burial, or cremation costs).

However, the beneficiaries can use the death benefit for any purpose they see fit.

The policy is a form of permanent life insurance marketed as something crucial to help protect loved ones from huge expenses upon your death.

Because of the small death benefit, the premiums are a lot more affordable compared to a regular permanent life insurance policy. It’s also very easy to qualify for this type of life insurance.

As wonderful as it sounds, the plan has its drawbacks. One example is that it doesn’t offer as much value per premium dollar as larger life insurance policies.

This means that what you pay in premiums when taken proportionately to the payout upon your death, is larger compared to other insurance policies with bigger coverage.

To understand whether burial insurance is the best option for you, keep on reading!

Life Insurance vs Burial Insurance

burial vs life insurance

In terms of function, burial insurance is exactly similar to a permanent life insurance policy.

However, the differences are in the pricing, benefits, and qualifying process.

As was already discussed, burial insurance is a lot cheaper than permanent life insurance.

This is due to the death benefit your beneficiary will receive when you pass away.

The policy usually pays out a lump sum between $5,000 to $50,000 while permanent life insurance policies rarely pay out anything less than $100,000 (usually averaging to around $160,000).

In terms of the qualifying process, it’s a lot easier to qualify for a burial policy than a regular whole life insurance policy.

For one, most life insurance companies that sell burial insurance don’t require a medical exam to apply (more on this later).

Another point of difference is the waiting period between the two types of policies.

For a burial policy, the waiting period can last years. This allows the policy to accumulate value before the payout.

If you die during the waiting period, your beneficiary will only receive the premiums you’ve paid on that point.

If a  permanent life insurance policy has a waiting period, it can be from 90 days to 2 years, depending on how you bought the policy.

Burial vs Funeral vs Final Expense Insurance

all are same

Burial insurance comes in many names including funeral and final expense insurance. In essence, the three names are very much interchangeable.

However, when insurance sellers talk about these three, they may be referring to slightly different things.

Burial insurance is designed to cover burial costs. This includes the casket, cemetery plot, headstone, etc.

When insurers say “funeral insurance,” they may be referring to something less specific. This may include the coverage of the service, flowers, and viewing.

Final expense is a more general term that still refers to mostly the burial or funeral costs of the insured.

However, final expenses may also include medical bills at the end of the insured’s life.

Mostly, seniors over 90 years opt for burial insurance as they have very limited options.

Types of Burial Insurance Plans

types of burial insurance plans

Although the function, general pricing, and qualification process of the burial plan are pretty much straightforward to understand, there’s more to it than those.

There are two types of burial policies, namely standard and prepaid (sometimes called pre-need).

The two types have distinct differences in four aspects: where they are purchased, how the benefits will be received, how flexible the benefits are, and how much you’re going to have to pay.

Where the Burial Insurance Plan is Purchased

The standard insurance plan is the more basic form of this type of insurance. In this plan, you are purchasing the coverage from an insurance company.

The purchase may be done through an insurance agent or via direct contact with the insurer. Nevertheless, it’s purchased from an insurance company.

You pay this type of insurance plan like you pay any permanent life insurance policy. You pay in premiums for the rest of your life.

If you opt for a prepaid burial insurance plan, you would have to choose a specific funeral home to buy the insurance from.

You will then specify the funeral arrangements you want, and the funeral home will give you the price of their services.

The payment for the funeral services is made ahead of time. You can either pay the funeral home all at once or through installments.

How the Beneficiaries Receives the Benefits

In the standard insurance plan, the beneficiaries will receive the payout from the insurance company upon your death.

However, in a prepaid burial plan, the beneficiaries will receive nothing except the comfort that they no longer need to worry about funeral arrangements while they grieve.

The arrangements are already planned and paid for, so they wouldn’t need to look for a funeral home, plan the services, and scramble enough money for payment.

How Flexible the Benefits are

Since the funeral arrangements are already set in place in a prepaid burial plan, there’s not much your survivors can do about it.

Besides, there’s no monetary payout, so the “beneficiaries” won’t receive anything that they can use for whatever they see fit.

In a standard burial policy, on the other hand, the beneficiaries will receive a payout which they can use freely.

The money can be used to pay for the funeral services, doctor bills, other final expenses, and pretty much anything else that they want to use it for.

How Much You’re Going to Have to Pay

Because a standard burial insurance plan is basically a small-scale permanent life insurance policy, you’d have to pay premiums for as long as you’re alive.

The price you have to pay each month is fixed. It can’t be changed for any reason whatsoever.

Of the two types of burial insurance plans, this can be the more expensive option in the long run because of the continuous payment while you’re alive.

If you live long enough, the cash value of the insurance policy may exceed the death benefit. The beneficiaries will not receive that accumulated cash value; it will return to the insurance carrier.

Due to the fixed nature of the prepaid burial insurance plan, you know exactly how much you have to pay to get your own funeral expenses covered.

Once that cost is paid for, you won’t have to pay anything else. It can be the cheaper option, except for a few things, experts say.

For one, prepaid funeral expenses are usually tax-deductible. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says that if the funeral costs are paid by the estate, the expenses can be used against taxes as a deduction. This is exactly the scenario in a prepaid burial insurance plan.

It’s advisable to always consult a financial or tax professional before making a big decision such as purchasing a prepaid burial insurance plan.

Another reason why a prepaid insurance plan may be more expensive in the long run is the risks involve in it. These plans don’t have a lot of regulatory oversight.

Federal and state authorities have found shocking violations of trust between funeral homes and their pre-paying customers.

The funeral home can easily embezzle or unintentionally misspend the money assigned to your funeral.

Then there are the cases of the funeral home going out of business before the need for your prepaid funeral services arises.

Although the Funeral Rule passed in 1984 provides a bit of protection to customers, laws vary from state to state.

Other states provide more protection than others. It’s important to be extremely careful when conducting business directly with a funeral home.

Which One is Better: Prepaid or Standard Burial Insurance Plan?

which one is better

The answer to this question entirely depends on your specific circumstance and preference. If you need flexibility for your family, the standard plan is better for you.

It gives them the freedom to use the death benefit however they please. There is also the chance that they can have a little bit of extra money from it if they manage to find affordable funeral services.

However, there is also the chance that the cash value of the policy exceeds the death benefit. In which case, it is financially unwise.

Again, this depends on your circumstances. If you’re a senior with pre-existing conditions, the cash value of your policy may never exceed the death benefit.

A prepaid plan may or may not be cheaper, but the real danger is in how reputable the funeral home you’re working with is.

If you trust the funeral home totally, then a prepaid burial insurance plan can be the more financially wise option. But again, make sure to consult a tax professional before signing any contract.

If there is no funeral home you trust, you may opt for a safer standard burial insurance plan.

What About Cremation Insurance?

There is another type of final expense insurance called cremation insurance.

Cremation insurance is specifically designed to cover the costs of cremation and other final expenses.

In the past, cremation was more affordable than a traditional burial. Since the popularity of cremation increased over the years, funeral homes adjusted their prices on this service.

Today, cremation costs closely rival the prices of traditional burials.

In terms of how it works, cremation insurance is exactly like a standard burial insurance plan, except for how your beneficiaries will use the death benefit.

You can buy a burial insurance policy, and your family can still use the payout to have a cremation instead of a burial if that is your wish.

Or, you can purchase cremation insurance and have your family use it for your burial.

Either way, the payout can’t be touched by taxes, and the beneficiaries can use it for whatever they want.

Quick Burial Insurance with No Waiting Period & Medical Exam

no medical exam

It was mentioned above that a burial insurance policy has a waiting period that can last years. But there are also policies that have no waiting period and need no medical exam to qualify.

In this type of policy, your beneficiary can receive the entire death benefit even if you have only paid one payment in the policy. The policy will be immediately effective.

The only problem is, it can be quite hard to find an insurance carrier that sells this kind of policy.

To get a policy like this, you would have to work with a broker that has access to all of the major insurance companies, like – Seniors Life Insurance Finder.

Working with such a broker can help you pinpoint which insurance companies have underwriting that will accept your age and whatever medical condition you have with no waiting period.

When applying with a company that sells burial insurance with no waiting period, you will have to answer medical questions.

This is not the same as a medical exam, as your blood pressure or other medical tests won’t be required.

The best way to get approved for a policy with no waiting period is with a company that doesn’t ask about your specific medical conditions.

If they don’t ask about it, it means that they don’t care whether you have the condition or not.

If they ask about a particular condition that you have, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will not qualify for a no-waiting-period policy.

But it can mean paying a higher premium. In some cases, you can get a partial waiting period with only a slightly higher premium.

Sample Burial Insurance Rates for Seniors

What are the average rates for a burial insurance policy?

Well, it depends on a lot of factors.

Each insurance company has different rates, they also assign rates using different factors.

Most consider age to be a big factor, while others only base the rates on the diseases the applicants have.

Another point of consideration is the type you’re buying.

  • Simplified Issue Life Insurance: upon application, the company will ask a few health questions. Questions may include your use of tobacco, current health issues, and whether you’re living in a nursing home. Your answers may get your application declined or maybe you’d get higher rates.
  • Guaranteed Issue: there will be no health questions asked. But since the company is taking a risk by accepting you without knowledge of your health issues, the policy might include a waiting period and the rates will be high.

Another factor you have to consider is the size of the death benefit. Since this depends on the insurance carrier, we can’t tackle every detail accurately.

But for the sake of reference, here are sample rates.

Keep in mind, these are average estimates. They do not reflect all prices from specific insurers.

$5000 Death Benefits Burial Insurance

(No Tobacco)
(Tobacco User)
(No Tobacco)
(Tobacco User)

Final Expense Insurance Costs: $10,000

(No Tobacco)
(Tobacco User)
(No Tobacco)
(Tobacco User)

These prices reflect the rates you’d get if you apply at the age displayed.

For most insurers, the price you get when you apply will be fixed. Application is only valid for people between 50-85 years old, on average.

15 Best Burial Life Insurance Companies

There are a lot of options when it comes to insurance carriers that sell burial policies. This is one of the reasons why it’s fairly easy to qualify for insurance – it’s highly accessible.

However, you have better chances of getting a stellar policy with bigger companies.

For one, bigger companies tend to have better stability. This stability is important since you’re putting your family’s financial future in that company’s hands.

Globe Life

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Offering burial insurance with tons of choices and flexibility, Globe Life has one of the most affordable prices on the market.

The death benefits you can choose from range from as low as $5,000 to $100,000, which is unique for burial policies.

You can purchase insurance for both adults and children, both without the need for a medical exam and no waiting period.

Premiums for a $20,000 coverage for seniors can be as low as $26.34 and $18.65 for men and women, respectively.

Do all these sound too good to be true?

Don’t worry about the quality of this carrier. Globe Life has an A rating for its financial stability from AM Best. It also has an A+ rating from the Business Better Bureau (BBB).

The only thing some seniors may see as a downside to this is the considerable amount of personal information you have to disclose to get a quote.

But for its affordability and flexibility, Globe Life is perhaps the best option for a lot of seniors who want bural insurance.

If it is the lowest price that you value the most in a policy, Globe Life is the best option for you.

Mutual of Omaha

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If you dislike giving a ridiculous amount of information to get a quote out of a burial insurance provider, you’d like Mutual of Omaha for its transparency with its insurance rates.

You can get a quote online by providing minimal information. Aside from that, you can also see the average prices boldly displayed on their website. The prices are estimated by age and gender.

You don’t need to answer medical questions in the underwriting process. You also don’t have to pass a medical exam.

Benefits range from $2,000 to $25,000 and are never reduced due to any age or health concerns. Benefits are also paid within 24 hours of the beneficiaries’ claims.

As long as you’re between the age of 45 to 85, you are guaranteed acceptance. Most companies stop at age 80 but this company offers life insurance for over 80. This is one of the strengths of Mutual of Omaha.

They have one of the friendliest policies for seniors. Prices are not as affordable as other choices, but they are not as expensive as other carriers as well.

For seniors over 70 years old, the prices are $89 for men and $69 for women.

AM Best gave Mutual of Omaha an A+ rating for its financial strength.

The only downside with Mutual of Omaha is the limited benefits for the first couple of years of the policy.

But this is understandable considering the affordability and chances of acceptance.

Colonial Penn

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In terms of value, very few insurance companies compare to Colonial Penn.

Though mostly known for their TV advertisements, Colonial Penn actually has high-quality offers on burial insurance.

Seniors up to age 85 years old are eligible for a policy. And the company won’t deny your application due to a health condition.

You won’t have to pass a medical exam to qualify and you can get a quote online for free.

You have the option to pay your premiums either on a monthly, quarterly (every 3 months), semi-annually (twice a year) or annual basis.

And your premium is fixed for life. It won’t change, no matter how old you become or whatever health problems arise.

Acceptance is guaranteed with no medical exam needed. And the cost per unit rate is $9.95 – no matter how old you are.

The downsides are limited benefits for the first couple of years and maximum coverage has limits.

Also, you have to apply to see how much death benefit you can qualify for.

Nevertheless, if you need guaranteed acceptance for the lowest rates, Colonial Penn is the answer.

Just don’t expect the biggest coverage.

Foresters Financial

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Foresters Financial doesn’t have the best prices, but it does have the best coverage types.

For one, coverage lasts up to age 121, and premiums are fixed. For another, three additional riders can be enjoyed at no additional costs.

These three riders include an accelerated death benefit for any terminal illness, a family health benefit, and an accidental death rider.

All of these will give you extra coverage for any natural disasters that come your way.

If you’re concerned about whether this carrier can give away these riders and not be financially stable, you should know that AM Best rates it as an A for its financial strength.

Also, the company has been in the insurance business for about 147 years now.

The downsides with this insurer are you have to work with an agent to get a quote, it’s not available in the state of Oregon, and premiums are not the cheapest.

Premiums for a man and woman in their 50s are around $75 and $60, respectively. Those prices go up to $252 and $182 for 75-year-old men and women.

Overall, the three additional riders are what sell this insurer to seniors.

AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance

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If you don’t want a weak insurance policy for protection, you can’t go wrong with AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance.

This carrier is well known for its financial strength with an A++ rating from AM Best. It is backed by New York Life.

Acceptance is easy, as the name suggests. A medical exam is not necessary, and seniors up to age 85 are eligible for their burial insurance policies.

You can qualify for a burial policy with a death benefit of $25,000 which comes with fixed rates.

Another great thing about this insurer is once you reach age 95, your policy will have been paid in full.

You will no longer need to make payments even though your coverage is still in force. You can get a free quote online by giving only basic personal information and answering one health question.

The downsides are:

  • Not available in Missouri, Montana, and Minnesota
  • Limited benefits for the first two years
  • Not as affordable as other options ($285 and $237 for men and women at age 75)

If you prefer to have a policy from a reputable insurance company, AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance is one of the best options.

Gerber Life Insurance

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Although best known for their life insurance policies for children, Gerber Life Insurance also has outstanding burial policies for seniors.

Acceptance is guaranteed as long as you’re between 50 to 80 years old – with no need for a medical exam or answering pages of health questions.

The online application can be finished in minutes. Coverage range from $5,000 to $25,000. Premiums will never increase and the policy cannot be canceled.

However, there’s only a limited amount of coverage for the first two years of the policy.

Another drawback with Gerber Life insurance is the lack of sample free quotes online. You would have to apply for a policy to know how much you would have to pay.

However, our research shows the average prices for 75-year-olds. The prices are not affordable.

For a 75-year-old man, premiums are around $350. For women, prices play around $270.

Gerber Life Insurance only works for those who need a quick, guaranteed acceptance policy with no questions asked.

Fidelity Life

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A waiting period is often seen as a disadvantage. Fidelity Life doesn’t have that disadvantage.

Fidelity Life doesn’t require you to take a medical exam to qualify for immediate coverage. It’s easy to apply for – you can get a free quote and apply for a policy online.

Anyone from age 50 to 85 can qualify for final expense insurance with death benefits ranging from $5,000 to $35,000.

As soon as your policy is approved, coverage begins. The caveat is, you have to answer health questions. And the answers to the questions affect the price of the monthly premiums.

The premiums will never change. But its price depends on age, gender, and other factors.

Sample quotes say that a $10,000 coverage for 75-year-olds cost around $110 for men and $85 for women.

The prices are not as affordable as other options, yes, but keep in mind that immediate coverage comes at a price.

AAA Life Insurance Company

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With the AAA Life Insurance Company, anyone between the ages of 45 and 85 is guaranteed acceptance.

Aside from that, acceptance is made easy by the fact that you don’t have to pass a medical exam and answer tons of medical questions.

The maximum coverage is $25,000. Though you can purchase a policy with a death benefit smaller than that.

Coverage is lifelong as long as you pay until age 100, at which point you no longer have to pay but the coverage is still in force.

One of the cons is that there is a two-year waiting period. Also, there is an annual $60 fee for non-members.

Members are eligible for discounts if they purchase bundles on multipolicy premiums.

In terms of how easy it is to apply, AAA Life does a pretty good job. You can get free sample quotes online.

For 75-year-old men and women, the prices are around $108 and $84, respectively.

Transamerica Immediate Solution

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Transamerica Immediate Solution is another good option for seniors who don’t want a waiting period on their funeral insurance policy.

If you are within the age range of 45 to 85 years old, you can easily qualify for a policy. Coverage amounts are as low as $1,000 and as high as $50,000.

One downside is that the maximum coverage available to you is determined by age. This means that the older you are, the smaller the death benefit may be.

However, prices are very competitive for those who want coverage quickly.

You can get a free quote online, and the application isn’t a grueling affair. Also, you have the option to add on riders.

Riders include accelerated death benefits, accidental death benefits, and children’s/grandchildren’s benefits for up to nine individuals.

Must Read: Transamerica living benefits review.

AIG Direct

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AIG Direct’s Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance not only covers your funeral and other final expenses but also provides coverage for chronic and terminal illnesses.

If you already qualified for the policy, then are diagnosed with a chronic disease that diminishes your quality of living, AIG will return the premiums you’ve paid, but only up to 25% of the policy’s face value.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness, however, AIG allows you to use up to 50% of your death benefit to pay for medical bills and other expenses.

Even though you have to pay an administrative fee to avail of those options, it’s good to have those options available to you should you suffer medical conditions later in life.

You can get a quote online and acceptance is guaranteed between the ages 50 and 80 years old.

Application is easy. No medical exam is needed. No medical questions are asked. Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Premiums are fixed.

State Farm

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If it is customer convenience and service that you value most in an insurance company, State Farm is your best friend, quite literally.

Since 1929, this company developed very strong customer service, with about 19,000 agents scattered across the United States.

Payments for a final expense insurance policy are flexible. You can choose to pay monthly or annually, with a possible discount on annual payments. You also have the choice of making payments online.

Getting a quote isn’t as easy as the other options in this list. You have to talk to an agent to get a quote.

Eligible ages are from 50 to 80. There’s no need to pass a medical exam, however, you’d have to answer health questions.

Death benefit size is $10,000. there is no waiting period, and the policy matures once you reach 100 years old.

There are downsides to this policy, though. One is they are not available nationwide. Two is a yes to any of their health questions will get you disqualified for their policy.

However, they are extremely favorable, in terms of prices, for men in ages 78, 79, and 80 who smoke or chew tobacco.

But if you are in excellent health, State Farm offers some of the best prices. Premiums can be as low as $28 a month.

Royal Neighbors of America

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Royal Neighbors of America has one of the most outstanding histories among insurance policies.

Since 1895, this insurance carrier has grown into one of the financially strongest companies there is.

Boasting an A rating from AM Best and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, Royal Neighbors remains one of the most trusted insurers.

Although a medical exam is not required, acceptance is not guaranteed. There are health questions in the underwriting process, and a 2-year waiting period is also possible.

However, they do accept a lot of health issues, so you can there’s a high chance you can qualify. They accept applicants from 50 to 85 years old.

Application is easy enough. You can apply through licensed agencies, and you can know whether you’ve been approved within 20 minutes.

There is no application fee, no down-payment, and you decide when to make the payment of the first premium.

The premiums are fixed, and developing health conditions after approval doesn’t affect the policy.

One downside is it’s not available in AK, AL, HI, LA, MA, NH, and NY.

But among the top insurers, the Royal Neighbors of America has the most lenient funeral policy towards diabetics.

Prosperity Life Insurance Group

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Prosperity Life Insurance Group has a funeral policy that is very similar to other major insurance companies, at least by some appearances.

However, they have a unique feature: an accidental death optional rider can be part of the policy.

This rider automatically doubles the payout if the policyholder suffers death due to an accident.

Aside from that, this company looks a lot similar to the Royal Neighbors of America in terms of features.

You have to apply through agencies.

You don’t need to pass a medical exam, but have to answer medical questions. If everything favors you, you may get immediate coverage (subject to the underwriting process).

Coverage ranges from $1,500 to $35,000. Anyone from 50 to 80 years old can apply. Premiums are fixed. The policy never expires.

And health issues after the policy is approved don’t cancel the policy. Like the Royal Neighbors of America, it’s also not available in all states.

You may not be familiar with this company, but Prosperity Life Insurance Group is the superior choice for tobacco or nicotine users who don’t smoke.

They also accept a lot of high-risk health issues.

American Amicable

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American Amicable is not for everyone. It works only for select individuals, and those individuals will have it no other way.

Such individuals include tobacco users and cigarette smokers. American Amicable is a great option for such people because the rates are significantly lower for them.

This is such a big deal because smoking is a separate risk factor on its own in the eyes of insurance companies.

Another great thing about American Amicable is that they are willing to offer non-smoker rates to occasional smokers.

Also part of their policy terms is the option to add riders for a minimal additional fee. Some of their customers really see the value in these riders and think that they are a great feature.

The riders include accidental death benefit; children and grandchildren term; and a nursing home waiver.

As for the application and underwriting process, American Amicable is not so different from most insurance sellers.

They do ask health questions during the application process. And there are diseases that they may decline. But for smoking, they have a relaxed policy.

For a death benefit of $20,000, premiums cost around $214 and $160 for 75-year-old men and women, respectively. It’s not as expensive as other companies.

At the end of the day, American Amicable is not for everyone. But for a few people, American Amicable is the best choice.


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If you are buying burial insurance in very old age, Aetna may be the best option for you. For one, they are very senior-friendly. Applicants as old as 89 years old are not immediately declined.

Their underwriting process is also unique from other companies. They offer partial coverage for people who had congestive heart failure (CHF) and cancer survivors who had at least a year of no cancer.

Aside from all this, they also offer coverage despite severe health issues other insurers will instantly decline.

Despite the many health risks they accept, Aetna still has very competitive pricing for its burial policy. Coverage ranges from $3,000 to $35,000.

Premiums are fixed and can be as low as $86 and $109 for 75-year-old men and women, respectively.

How to Get Quotes Real Quick?

Funeral insurance is easy to qualify for, and it is also easy to get a quote for it real quick.

A lot of insurance companies that sell this type of life insurance have a free online quote that also allows you to quickly sign up on their website.

We on this site provide free quotes. You can easily request one from our quotes page.

When shopping for the burial policy that best suits your needs, it’s advisable to get quotes from multiple insurers so you can compare your options.

The prices and the coverages differ from one another. Signing up for the cheapest plan you find might end up being the least favorable to your family upon your death.

It’s easy to get a quote online. You’d only need to fill out a form with your details.

Usually, the form requires your name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth (to gauge your age), sex, as well as whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker.

You will also have to input the type of insurance you want, in this case, burial life insurance.

Then you have to choose the coverage you want among the options.

Benefits of Burial Life Insurance

Now that you know what burial insurance is, its types, how much it will probably cost you, what the best providers of this type of insurance are, as well as how to get quotes, you might be wondering if this is really for you.

To help you decide, here are the benefits of the policy. If you need any of these benefits, then this might probably be for you.

Burial Insurance is Cheaper than Whole Life Insurance

For those that can’t afford to pay a fortune in monthly premiums, final insurance is a good option to still get your family financial cushion after you die.

It’s cheaper. And that’s already a big benefit.

Of course, this comes with an attached string. The premiums are cheaper, but the death benefit is also lower than that of a traditional or modified whole life insurance policy.

The premiums will not increase as you age.

It’s Extremely Easy to Qualify for a Burial Policy

A burial policy doesn’t need a medical exam to qualify. Insurance companies that sell this kind of insurance usually accept applicants up to 85 years old.

So, even if you are already a senior and living with a pre-existing condition, you can still qualify for this type of insurance.

And once you’ve qualified for a burial policy, it can’t be canceled even if you develop a serious medical condition afterward.

You can buy the policy online and even on the telephone. You are only asked about your age, tobacco use, and your health condition.

Other insurers don’t even bother asking about your health issues. This is called a guaranteed issue life insurance.

It’s designed for people who have severe health conditions that prevent them from qualifying for any other type of life insurance.

Another reason why a burial insurance policy is very easy to qualify for is that most insurers sell it. Big insurance carriers offer it, small companies sell it – you can easily find it wherever you are in the US.

Just bear in mind that the easier it is to qualify for a life insurance policy, the more expensive premiums may get. Also, there’s likely to be a waiting period for such life insurance policies.

Because a funeral policy is extremely flexible, you wouldn’t have to worry over minute details you’d normally worry over in a prepaid insurance plan.

You only need to be aware of a few things (waiting period,  medical questions, pricing, etc.) before fully committing to a policy.

Beneficiaries can Use Burial Insurance Benefits Any Way They Want

One of the biggest advantages of having a burial policy in force is the financial security and freedom your named beneficiaries will have upon your death.

Although the name implies that the payout is dedicated to burial expenses, no one can strictly enforce it that way.

The beneficiaries can use the death benefit to pay for the funeral expenses, sure. But they can also use it for any other expenses.

They are free to use the funds to pay debts like a mortgage; medical and doctor bills; student loans (if any); the money can also be used to open a savings account, or as an investment.

A Burial Policy Payout can be More than Enough to Pay for an Average Burial

Besides the fact that the beneficiaries can use the money for whatever they need, there’s also the fact that there’s a chance that the payout exceeds the costs of an average funeral.

The average costs of a funeral with a burial ranges from $7,000 to almost $9,000.

This estimate doesn’t include flowers, an obituary, monument or marker costs, cash advance fees.

Then there’s the fact that your personal preferences on the materials you want in your funeral can affect the prices considerably.

The NFDA estimated the average costs of a funeral with cremation to total around $6,260, not including cash advance fees or marker costs.

Both of these estimations were calculated back in 2017, and prices have only increased since then.

However, burial insurance death benefits range from $5,000 to $50,000. Chances are, you can qualify for coverage that is more than enough to cover the costs of a funeral.

This is a big benefit since you might be able to leave your family with a small fortune after the costs of a funeral are subtracted.

And if you die as a result of an accident, there are extra benefits if that is part of your policy.

Burial Insurance Policies Build a Tax-Deferred Value

You can borrow against the tax-deferred cash value of your burial insurance policy.

This is extremely helpful in financial emergencies. The cash value of your policy is a tax-sheltered investment.

You can use the cash value of your policy as a financial cushion in financially trying times. You can also use it to pay your premiums.

And of course, it can be passed on to your beneficiaries as part of the death benefit.

The thing is, borrowing against your policy has an interest that you’re gonna have to pay in your lifetime, or it will be deducted from the death benefit upon your death. Taking a loan out against your policy has a very small interest rate.

Although the beneficiaries will not receive the accumulated cash value (it returns to the insurance company), there is a way to get it into the hands of your family.

If you have accumulated enough cash value, you can call your insurance provider and tell them you’re interested in making a trade.

You want to trade your accumulated cash value in exchange for a bigger death benefit. If you have been faithful in your payments, chances are they would accept since they wouldn’t want to lose your business.

The cash value can also be used to grow an investment. These funds are often sure to grow tax-deferred for years on end.

Before tapping into these funds, however, it may be wise to speak to an insurance agent or a financial advisor to make sure that you’re taking the right steps regarding your money.

Best Alternatives to Burial Insurance

As many benefits as burial insurance may have, it’s not the best option for everyone. There are types of life insurance that may suit you better.

Permanent Life Insurance

If the death benefit of a burial insurance policy doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps the juicier payout of permanent life insurance is more up your speed.

A permanent (also called whole) life insurance policy is exactly like a burial insurance policy in function.

They only differ in pricing, with the permanent life insurance a lot more expensive depending on the death benefit.

In the insurance world, the bigger the coverage is, the harder it is to qualify. This is true of permanent life insurance.

If you are interested in a permanent life insurance policy, you can expect a medical exam in the qualification process.

An upside is the smaller duration of a waiting period. The condition of your health despite your age can be a huge factor in getting better policies.

But as long as you weigh your options well and consult with an insurance agent, you can find a policy that will work for you well.

Since a permanent life insurance policy is exactly like a burial policy in function, it also holds some of the benefits you can find with a burial policy.

The usage of the death benefit is entirely up to the beneficiaries’ preferences and the policy also accumulates a tax-deferred cash value you can borrow against.

Term Life Insurance

If you want big coverage but with cheaper premiums, term life insurance may be the best alternative for you.

Although the premiums are not as cheap as in a burial policy, it’s more affordable than that of a permanent life insurance policy.

There are quite a few catches though. One is that such a policy may not be needed at all. As the name suggests, term life insurance only lasts for a pre-set amount of time, a term.

Once that term expires and you’re still alive, you would have only paid premiums for nothing.

When you outlive your policy, some companies give a small refund to you. But some companies give back nothing at all to term life insurance policyholders.

There is another type of term life insurance, the return-of-premium term life insurance. Not every insurer sells it, and it is a lot more expensive than a regular term life insurance policy.

But if you outlive this policy, you’ll be paid back all of the premiums you paid.

If you outlive your term life insurance policy, you can renew it again for another term.  But with each new renewal, you might be shocked by the drastic price increase of premiums.

It may be wiser to convert to permanent life insurance in some cases. Consult with a professional before diving headfirst into financial ruin.

You can continue renewing your term life insurance policy until you are 85 years old, depending on the insurance company. Renewing may also be yearly, instead of ten- or twenty-year increments. Note that you can get whole life insurance after 85 years.

Another catch with term life insurance is that it doesn’t accumulate cash value. Nobody likes paying for something they can’t use. But it’s a protection, not an investment.

In terms of the qualification process, term life insurance is not as easy to qualify for as burial insurance.

Some insurers reserve the right to deny applicants with pre-existing conditions or live a precarious lifestyle.

Some insurance carriers may even as harsh as denying someone with less-than-stellar financial standing or a person with a criminal record.

Despite the potential challenges with the qualification process as well as the chance of outliving such a policy, term life insurance is still a good alternative for seniors who are in fairly excellent health.

It’s more affordable than a permanent life insurance policy, even though the death benefit may be the same.

Universal Life Insurance

If you love breathing room concerning your life insurance policy, you’ll love universal life, also called adjustable life, insurance.

A universal life insurance policy is very similar to a permanent life insurance policy in a lot of ways.

You have to keep paying premiums and fulfill all other requirements of the policy to maintain coverage.

It comes with a savings component, cash value. And of course, the benefit is paid out to the beneficiaries upon your death.

As with any insurance policy that can accumulate cash value, you can withdraw money or borrow funds against your policy’s cash value. Also, the cash value earns interest; it’s a good investment opportunity.

Just bear in mind that the interest rate of the cash value in your account reflects the fluctuations of the market.

The interest the cash value earns may go down. Some insurance carriers offer protection against that, but it comes with a performance guarantee on the policy.

But the real benefit of universal life insurance is how flexible the premiums and death benefits are.

You can choose to lower the price of your premiums or completely stop paying it for a time if the cash value of your account can cover the costs.

This is very useful when money is tight. But if you drain the account’s cash value to pay for premiums, the coverage may also end.

Some companies offer a grace period – an amount of time in which you can make up for a missed payment before your coverage lapses or ends.

Be sure to carefully examine your policy or confirm with your insurance agent to make sure you have all the necessary details before missing a payment.

The other point of flexibility with a universal life insurance policy is you can adjust the death benefit.

You may want to reduce the death benefit paid out at the end of your life to lower the cost of the policy.

Likewise, you can also opt to increase the death benefit. Of course, that comes with a policy price increase.

If you want to increase the death benefit, you might have to pass another medical exam.

Universal life insurance is a good option for those who have long-term saving goals and want to have options regarding their expenses.

The cash value component and the flexibility of both the premiums and death benefit are big advantages for seniors who have reason to expect financial emergencies.

Variable Life Insurance

Risk and reward – that’s the name of the game with variable life insurance. You have a shot at drastically increasing the death benefit of the policy. But there’s also the risk of losing what you can of as an investment.

Variable life insurance combines death protection with a savings account, much like other forms of life insurance. In the savings aspect, you can invest in money market mutual bonds, bonds, or stocks.

The value of the policy may increase rapidly, but if the investments don’t perform well, you can lose a lot of it. Some companies guarantee that the death benefit will not fall below a pre-set minimum.

A variant of variable life insurance is called universal variable life insurance. It combines that investing characteristics of variable life and the premium/death benefit flexibility feature of a universal life policy.

This form of life insurance will only work for you if you have enough working understanding of how to make investments work.

If you can take the risks, this will work for you. But make sure to utilize the help of professionals to protect yourself and your family from financial ruin.

If everything goes well, you can leave your family with more than enough to cover the funeral and other final expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is burial insurance?

Burial, funeral, final expense, and senior life insurance are often used to describe the same type of life insurance.

It’s a smaller-scale type of permanent life insurance. The premiums are lower and the death benefit is smaller.

It’s designed to help families cover the costs of a funeral and other final expenses such as medical bills.

Is it hard to qualify for a burial insurance policy?

The short answer is no. Burial insurance is one of the easiest types of life insurance you can qualify for.

You don’t need to pass a medical exam to have coverage.

As far as your health goes, you’d only need to answer a few medical questions during the qualification process.

How is burial insurance different from prepaid burial (preneed) insurance?

You can buy burial insurance from insurance companies. On the other hand, prepaid burial insurance is something you buy directly from funeral homes.

You set a deal with a funeral home, discuss arrangements and prices, then pay the costs either at once or in installments.

Do I need burial insurance?

Covering funeral expenses is a huge burden without a plan in place. Burial insurance protects you from such a burden.

If you only need a small coverage upon your death, then you need it.

If your family doesn’t need a large fortune upon your death, the small benefit a burial policy pays out is the best option.

How much burial insurance coverage do I need?

This entirely depends on the cost of the funeral you’re anticipating. You can anticipate the costs of your funeral online.

And if you expect outstanding debts upon your death, you can include this in your calculation of how much coverage you need.

How much will burial insurance cost me?

This is a matter of circumstance. Older and less healthy individuals are likelier to pay higher premiums. To get a more precise price, request a quote.

You will have no obligation and can see whether you can afford the policy. We offer free quotes on our website.

Final Word

Burial insurance is the best option for people who aren’t exactly in the best of health and can’t find other affordable options.

It is cheaper, and acceptance is likely. Get insured today. Buy burial insurance for seniors, and save your family from more pain.

Linda Chavez

I'm a burial & senior life insurance expert, independent agent, Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder. I have been working in this sector since 2004 and established my own company in 2014. I have a team of seven members, and we are trying hard to share the knowledge we've gathered. We know how difficult often it is to find an affordable policy. Hence, we are doing our best to help you.