Burial Insurance For Seniors – Our Simple, Definitive Guide [2019]

Burial Insurance Picture Depicting a Cemetary

Burial expenses are not pleasant to think about and equally frustrating to plan for.  However, as a universal truth, everyone of us will someday have to face and deal with our own mortality. 

The vital key… we must do it while we still can. 

I realize some visitors here may be looking into coverage for a family member as well.  There is content here for all who need the answers to buying Burial Insurance.

Planning for the end of life is something we all must budget for.  It is not “cheap” to leave this world anyway you look at it.

As such, it is important that we take action to make sure family and personal obligations are covered while we can.   

We certainly do not want our passing to cause financial harm to our loved ones when we are gone.

Leaving a grieving family in a mountain of debt is the last thing most seniors we work with want to do. 

I suspect you feel the same way.

Burial Insurance to the rescue!!

So What Is Burial Insurance?

Well, Burial Insurance is a special type of life insurance issued by many different insurance companies actually.  It is a policy that is generally smaller in nature, typically between $3000-$25,000.  It is designed to pay out benefits quickly to your loved ones so your end of life expenses can be covered. 

Now, these are the typical size policies that are purchased.  However, there are burial policies up to $50,000 are available with a limited number of carriers offering up to $100,000.

Accommodating For Less Than Perfect Health As A Senior

To offer coverage for the varying levels of health with seniors, life insurance companies have developed a couple different programs.  You can think of them as benefit levels.  Both of these have their place when selected properly.

  1.  Level Benefits – The full death benefit or “face amount” of the burial insurance will be in force the day the actual application is approved by the insurance underwriter.  This is typically called “Simplified Issue” whole life insurance. 
  2. Guaranteed Acceptance (Guaranteed Issue) – With this whole life policy, there is a 2 or 3 year waiting period until full benefits are available.  If death of the insured takes place during the first 2 or 3 years of policy issue, all premiums will be returned plus compound interest which is typically 10%. 

I will also mention that there are also policies termed as “graded” or “modified.” These policies fall right between “level benefits” and “guaranteed acceptance.”

Graded life insurance is designed for elderly people who cannot obtain, immediate full benefits. They are quite similar to Guaranteed Issue coverage but have a few minor health questions which can help you obtain better benefits from day one. You can obtain partial benefits during the first couple years that are not available with a Guarnateed Acceptance policy.

In many cases we are able to place those who would otherwise fall into a high risk, Guaranteed Acceptance policy and get them better, graded coverage.

A standard “graded” policy may have better benefits and lower premiums than a Guaranteed Acceptance whole life policy.

As a life insurance consumer, you should be consulting with a seasoned professional who works with all the top carriers to see what is going to be in your best interest.

If you have no medical conditions beyond controlled high blood pressure and cholesterol, there is no reason to think beyond level benefit, senior burial insurance. There is a burial insurance quoting tool on the page where you can select your coverage and start the application 24 hrs. a day. If your on your computer, it should be on your right. Fill it out and your on your way.

For the most part, we recommend a conversation.

Most seniors have more than blood pressure issues but that does not mean they can’t get the best rates from a top burial insurance carrier. We just need to sort out the medical issue and point you in the direction of the carrier who is “OK” with that situation.

Simple as that.

The Different Types Of Burial Insurance Policies

The vast majority of this burial life insurance is going to be based on whole life insurance at its core. 

Whole life insurance is the “Cadillac” of simple, no exam burial insurance policies. 

Once the insurance policy is issued, the cost of ownership does not change, regardless of your health.

And…

The death benefit amount never decreases.  

There are 2 subtypes of whole life insurance that make up the vast majority of burial policies sold around the country.

At our office, we see about 90% of seniors applying for and being accepted on “simplified issue, whole life insurance.” 

What does that mean for you?

  • No Medical Exam
  • Health Questions designed For Those In Less Than Perfect Health
  • Full, Immediate, level benefit life insurance inside of minutes to a couple weeks
  • Fast payout to your beneficiary
  • Affordable and rock solid dependable for the rest of the insureds life

For those seniors who are evaluated by a seasoned independent agent to be medically uninsurable… only about 10% of our applicants by the way, there is always “Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance” if needed.

No worries, there are options for you.

Do I really need this coverage?

Well, maybe you do have money in the bank to pay those costs.  You could prepay your funeral and burial costs at the funeral home. 

Now, what happens if the funeral home goes out of business down the road? 

That is right, your money is gone!! 

No insurance with a funeral home. 

Next, ask yourself if there is going to enough money leftover for your spouse or other loved ones to maintain their current lifestyle or are there other family members you wish to leave a legacy for?

It is darn expensive to leave this world.  A full funeral and burial can easily run $10,000 these days.  Sure, cremation is much less, but still thousands of dollars after all accounted for.

Burial Insurance Plans are made for people 50-85 from most insurers.  Each company will charge a different premium for the same amount of coverage.

You will want to have get a professional ideally to guide you.  It is easy to get ripped off by some real big names.  Names you even see on TV.

Determine what size of life insurance you need. Get an accurate quote per month.

With an independent agent/broker, you will cut to the chase and find the best policy for you.  Burial Insurance can be very affordable prior to age 80.  At age 80+ we recommend self insuring.  It becomes very expensive at this point and the value of the protection has diminished.  Prepayment at the funeral home would be a second option.

Remember, burial insurance is designed for seniors.  It is expected that you have health issues.  Qualification requires no medical exam.  No worries there.

Who Can Purchase Typical Burial Policies

Typically, anyone 50-85 is the standard, but in some cases as early as 40.  There are limited insurance companies that issue burial insurance policies below age 50, but there are a few companies to look at.

Can I Buy Burial Insurance For My Parents?

A common question comes from children of elderly parents who are helping make funeral arrangements for their aging parent(s).

Yes, you can buy life insurance on your parents.

To buy life insurance on someone, you must first have what is called “insurable interest.” No, you can’t apply for a policy on the neighbor down the street because your friends.

With that said… 

Children may take coverage out on their parent(s) and become the owner and beneficiary of the policy, but the parent(s) must consent to the coverage.

Insurance carriers will call the proposed insured to conduct a quick phone interview to verify obtain consent and clarify understanding that someone is taking out burial insurance on them. 

Parents will also be required to give an electronic (over the internet) or voice (phone) signature attesting to their agreement.  This is for their own protection and does not take but a few minutes to complete.

What If I Need a Larger Burial Policy?

If a burial policy up to $25,000 is not adequate, we would recommend taking a look at at a Guaranteed Universal Life Policy (GUL).  This is also a form of permanent life insurance. 

Depending on your age, it may benefit you to look at Guaranteed Universal Life if exceeding $25,000. 

Why not for smaller policies?

Life insurance companies start at $25,000 and go up from there. You cannot buy a guaranteed universal life policy below that amount.

Sorry!!

GUL is commonly used for estate planning and offers much higher face amounts (death benefits) than simplified issue burial insurance.  The premiums are considerably lower for policies this size and the coverage can be guaranteed to age 121.

No exam coverage is also available for these larger policies, subject to your age and amount of the policy.

Remember, burial life insurance should only be based on permanent life insurance to prevent outliving your coverage

A burial plan should include an appropriate type of insurance that ensures the needs of your love ones are met regardless of your age.

A Special Note…

Beware of term life insurance being called burial insurance.  Most of these policies are very poorly written and expire at age 80.  Major offenders of this rule are companies like AARP and Globe Life.

So Do I Really Need a Burial Policy?

Burial Insurance is a very affordable type of coverage, but it isn’t for everyone. 

It just may not make sense to you to go that route.  That is ok. 

Some people are just better off self insuring.

Some people just have all the financial reserves in place to cover all burial costs, medical bills, outstanding debt and the like.

With that said

Having end of life protection is a very good way of ensuring your family has what it needs financially to carry on without you especially while they are mourning their loss.

Buying a burial policy can work well for those who want and/or need permanent coverage and prefer to put their final expense burden on the insurance company.  In a simplified issue whole life policy, this can make a lot of monetary sense.

Burial Insurance Cost And Quotes

Below are a couple tables showing a a few of the companies that offer coverage to cover the cost of funeral and burial expenses.  While you specific age may not be quoted, it will give you a general idea how much insurance may cost. 

For improved accuracy, may I again suggest you use our Burial Insurance Quote Tool on this page which will give you free instant quotes for both “simplified issue” (90% of seniors) and “guaranteed acceptance” (10% of seniors). 

Be sure to use “Excellent Rates” if your are a 90% candidate or “Poor Health” if you are a 10% candidate.  The rate classes are found under “Health Class” menu on the tool.

When you are ready to consult with us or purchase, give us a call and we will walk you thru everything to make sure you get the best deal your family.

Simplified Issue Whole Life Quote Comparison

AGEMale
$10,000
Female
$10,000
Male
$20,000
Female
$20,000
65$55.76$41.01$108.31$78.82
66$59.35$43.44$115.49$83.68
67$62.93$45.86$122.66$88.52
68$66.53$48.29$129.85$93.38
69$70.11$50.81$137.02$98.42
70$73.70$53.24$144.20$103.28
71$78.36$56.63$153.51$110.06
72$82.92$60.12$162.64$117.04
73$88.01$63.93$172.82$124.65
74$93.16$67.78$183.11$132.36
75$99.53$72.41$195.85$141.62
76$106.87$78.25$210.54$153.29
77$113.64$83.51$224.08$163.81
78$119.86$88.44$236.51$173.67
79$126.23$93.41$249.25$183.62
80$132.65$98.43$262.11$193.66
81$143.00$106.21$282.79$209.22
82$153.54$113.96$303.88$224.71
83$163.41$121.31$323.62$239.41
84$173.28$128.55$343.36$253.90
85$183.15$135.90$363.10$268.60
86$220.83$174.17N/AN/A
87$242.50$186.67N/AN/A
88$264.17$198.33N/AN/A
89
$285.83$210.83N/AN/A

 

Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Quote Comparison

AgeMetLife InsuranceGerberMutual of Omaha
50$42.50$28.14$24.67
55$48.50$35.84$28.40
60$57.50$46.48$32.87
65$69.50$55.46$41.01
70$88.50$68.75$53.24
75$118.50$90.29$72.41

Top 10 Life Insurance Companies + 1 Best Burial Insurance Carriers

One of the big problems consumers face is having the time it to investigate and determine which burial insurance carrier will offer them the best rates.  Here is the fact…there is no “Best” insurance company for everyone’s personal needs.  What you are looking for is the ideal product first and then determine its cost to see if it is a good solution for your family needs.

There are many factors that go into determining the ideal life insurance company that are best left to working with an independent agent/broker who specializes in high risk life insurance.  They can quickly identify who may be your best option.  However, for your reference, here are the 10 + different companies that tend to be great contenders…

AIG

AIG

AIG came out of nowhere in 2017 announcing their Guaranteed Issue policy.  Burial Insurance is now available from the life insurance giant, American General with absolutely no health questions and no medical exam required.

This particular policy is for ages 50-85 and has coverage amounts available up to $25,000.  As is the the norm for guaranteed issue coverage, this policy is graded and will pay 110% of the premium paid in if the insured dies in the first two years of coverage.  The full death benefit will be paid out after the 2 year waiting period expires.  The person paying on the policy can be someone else other than the actual insured.  This makes this a good option for those children looking to plan for a parent or parents inevitable passing who may not be able to afford the costs associated with death.

Americo

Americo has designed a few different burial insurance products for ages 50-85.  All these products are designed to cover final expenses and or burial expenses.   The premiums are as such guaranteed to never go up and the coverage amount can never be reduced unless you take a cash loan out against it.  (Not recommended)  Applicant age range is 50-85.  Coverage can never be cancelled due to your health or age.  Policies as low as $2000 and as high as $30,000 are available from Americo.  On their Ultra Protector Series, an accelerated benefit rider is available that allows up to 50% of the death benefit to be paid if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness.  The Ultra Protector I and II do require all applicants to pass the medical underwriting portion before coverage can be issued.  No medical exam is required.

American National

American National Insurance Company Logo

For level, graded and modified death benefit burial policies, American National offers permanent coverage with benefit amounts from $2000 all the way to $50,000.  Specifically up to $25,000 for grades and modified and $50,000 for standard whole life coverage with  full death benefit availability upon acceptance.  All policies build cash value and offer an terminal illness rider for policies of $25,000 and greater.

Assurity

Assurity is a top life insurance company for a simplified issue, no-medical exam policy.  These whole life products offer affordable answers those those who need, burial, final expense or funeral insurance.  Coverage can begin as soon as you are accepted and issue amounts range for $5ooo to $50,000 for those under age 65 and under.  From 66-80, the maximum benefit amount to your beneficiary is $25,000.

Baltimore Life

Baltimore Life

Baltimore Life offers a permanent, whole life, burial insurance plan called “Silver Guard.”  Silver Guard I is a policy that will require all applicants to qualify based on health questions contained in the application.

For those individuals that have a serious condition that can be maintained, the Silver Guard II and III could be good options.  While these are both graded death benefit policies, they offer 25% of the full death benefit in year 1, 50% in year 2 and the full 100% in year 3.  The full death benefit is payable in the case of accidental death.

Foresters

Foresters Financial logo

Foresters offers a competitive simplified issue burial policy which will require health questions to be answered, but there is no medical exam required.  Again, as a simplified issue plan, it is designed for seniors age 50-85.  Foresters health questions are quite liberal so often times they can offer coverage on standard rates versus a more expensive graded policy.  Even with the more liberal underwriting, Foresters can be very competitive for Burial Insurance. Maximum coverage is $35,000 to age 80 and $15,000 for age 81-85.

Gerber

Gerber is probably best known for its very competitive guarantee issue whole life policy.  It suits individuals with very serious health issues and provides low rates for being  burial insurance issued with no medical questions or exam required.  Coverage is available for people age 50-80 with death benefits ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.  As with any guaranteed issue policy, the coverage is graded for the first 2 years.  If death occurs due to an accident, the policy will pay the full amount.  If the insured passes away due to natural causes during the first 2 years, the beneficiary(s) will receive all premiums paid plus 10%  If your needs require a guaranteed issue policy, you can do a lot worse than Gerber Life.

Mutual of Omaha

http://snellingswalters.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/free-vector-mutual-of-omaha-logo_090645_Mutual_of_Omaha_logo.png

Here is another one of the big names out there in the life and health insurance business.  A Fortune 500 company at that.  Mutual of Omaha offers their own whole life burial policy for ages 45-85.  Burial insurance in the amount of $2000-$40,000 is available on this standard simplified issue policy.  An accelerated benefits rider allows the policy owner a one time option to receive a large lump sum payment in the event of a terminal illness.  Mutual of Omaha has random phone interviews and prescription drug screening for their policies.  You should be prepared for a 20 minute conversation with someone in the underwriting department to verify the information provided in the application is accurate.  Little more red tape, but Mutual of Omaha offers an excellent peace of mind combined with competitive rate.

Sagicor

Sagicor Life offers a simplified issue universal life insurance product for people 18-65.  Individuals age 66-85 will be required to go thru full medical underwriting during the application process.  While this is more involved for many to get issued, be aware that these policies start at a minimum of $25,000.  This is a no lapse, universal life product meant for higher death benefits.

Sagicor offering makes it a very good option for those needing a larger amount of coverage than typical burial insurance policies.  The company has many rate classes to qualify people and does take higher risk conditions in many cases.  An accelerated benefit rider for terminal illness/chronic illness is included in the policy at no cost to you.

 

Transamerica

Transamerica

One of the most well known and highest, financially rated insurance carriers out there, Transamerica has provided top notch coverage to people all across the country for over 100 years.  Though the “power of the pyramid” is still their symbol, Transmerica is no longer headquartered there.  One of the pointers that sets them apart from their competitors is that they offer burial insurance plans that are considerably larger than most other companies in the industry.

Under age 55, you can purchase up to $5o,000 of coverage which doubles the offerings of most other carriers offer.  At age 65 you may purchase up to $45,000.

These are policies with a few extra bells and whistles not found elsewhere and receive positive reviews here.

 

United Home Life

Image result for united home life logo

United Home Life offers their Express Issue Premier series of Burial Insurance.  It is a simplified issue policy and covers people age 20-80.  Death benefit amounts start at $5,000 all the way to $100,000 for ages 20-60 and $5,000 to $50,000 up to age 80.  This makes United Home Life a good option for seniors.  It is favorable product for a bit healthier applicants that are looking for a very competitive cost of coverage.

While there are definitely other companies that we utilize with our clientele, a good majority have been placed with these carriers.  Not all companies have the flexibility for payment that some seniors needs. 

With the 11 mentioned here, we have another half dozen we place business with.

 

Burial Insurance for Seniors – The Wrap Up

Burial Insurance is a niche product designed to quickly meet the needs of those typically in their golden years.  Some of the purest products will be no exam and have limited health questions for coverage  Yes, policies can be issued to as low as age 40, but that is not the typical consumer of this type of life insurance product.

A burial policy, at the heart is permanent life insurance.  You are in full control of whom the benefits are paid to.  Its design also includes tax free benefits to your properly named beneficiary(s) of the policy.

You may also here the term funeral insurance used interchangeably with this type of coverage.    While burial insurance provides coverage for funeral expenses, the benefits of “funeral insurance” are most often assigned to a funeral home to cover the expense of a prearranged funeral cost, hence, “funeral insurance.”  The funeral home is often set up as a “irrevocable” beneficiary which is discussion beyond the scope of this article but something we may suggest/use for Medicaid planning.

We recommend that you make sure your beneficiary(s) is someone you know personally and someone that cannot “go out of business.”  Thus, we also do not recommend prepaid burials as an for the exact same reason.

Since a burial insurance policy may build up cash value as an additional benefit, we do not recommend taking loans against this type of coverage.  Often times, these are relatively small policies that don’t leave a lot of “fat” to allow for loans that may go unpaid and deplete the death benefit below expected funeral and burial costs.

I have mentioned at least 10 top life insurance companies that provide burial insurance plans.  We work with many others.   One is not necessarily better than the other.  I’m sure certain names are more familiar to you, but “the best” really depends on your needs and wants at a personal level.  We have placed client business with companies not on this list.  Don’t feel as though you must have coverage with any of these companies.  There are many fine companies out there.  Your independent life insurance agent/brokers can guide you to what is best for you.

I will put up a red flag here. 

Be very careful who you are placing your business with.  Some of the big names out there are pushing “high profit” life insurance to seniors for burial.  Lots of trusting consumers have been taken advantage because of poor representation of the actual policy that was sold to them.

Lots of misinformation and questionable marketing tactics have flooded the senior market.  This includes the use of guaranteed issue when not necessary or low grade term policies that before very expensive and expire at age 80.

Find a good independent agent/broker who can assess what you really need and can suggest the right product and carrier matched to your needs. 

It costs you nothing to have a middle man/woman shopping for you and suggesting what is in your best interest. 

If you do not like who you are speaking to, find someone else.  You have a lot to gain by having an advocate without the downside.

While we have laid out a some food for thought here, you may feel you still have some unanswered questions.  Feel free to continue browsing our site, leave a comment below or better yet, simply give us a call at 800-598-6445. 

We’re here to help and can get your questions or concerns addressed.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

css.php