Affordable Burial Insurance For Seniors: A Simple, Definitive Guide

Burial Insurance Picture Depicting a Cemetary

Looking into burial insurance for seniors is not a pleasant topic. 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 for a senior.

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. 

Right now we are living in tough times. The world is going thru some challenges make life all the more stressful for families.

What is the take home here…

It is more important than ever to have financial order in place for our loved ones. End of life expenses can be potentially devastating for those we leave behind. We urge you to take prompt action if you have not already. There will be no better time than now to take care of business.

I suspect you feel the same way.

Affordable Burial Insurance to the rescue!!

So What Is Burial Insurance?

Well, affordable burial insurance for seniors is actually a special, no exam whole life policy offered by many different insurance companies.  It should be a permanent policy that is generally smaller in nature, typically between $2000-$50,000.  It is designed to pay out benefits quickly to your loved ones so your end of life expenses can be covered. 

One item to note…

Burial Insurance for seniors is built on a permanent plan, typically whole life insurance. No medical exam is commonplace so the process is quite “painless” and fast.

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 3 different programs. You can think of them as benefit levels or “tiers.” 

  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 and the first payment authorized by you.  This is typically called “Simplified Issue” whole life insurance. 
  2. Graded Benefit – The first couple years, the death benefit is reduced in the policy to offset additional risk of the insureds perceived health risk. The “grading” varies from company to company.
  3. Guaranteed Acceptance (Guaranteed Issue) – With this whole life policy, there is a 2 or 3 year waiting period until full benefits are available.  If natural death of the insured occurs during the first 2 or 3 years of policy issue, all premiums will be returned plus interest which is typically 10%. 

Graded life insurance is designed for elderly people who cannot obtain, immediate, full benefits simply because of very rocky health. They are similar to Guaranteed Issue coverage but have a few minor health questions which can help you obtain better benefits and lower premiums. You can obtain partial benefits during the first couple years that are not available with a Guaranteed 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 often has 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. Check the burial insurance quoting tool on this page where you can select your coverage and/or even start the approval process. If your on your computer, it should be on your right. On a cell phone, it should be at the bottom. Fill it out and you’re on your way.

For the most part, we recommend a conversation to sort you needs and any special risks out.

Most seniors have more than controlled high blood pressure but that does not mean you still can’t get the best rates from a top burial insurance carrier and policy. We just need to sort out the issues and point you in the direction of the carrier(s) who are “OK” with that situation.

Simple as that.

The Different Types Of Burial Insurance Policies

The vast majority of 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 for seniors.

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


The death benefit amount never decreases.  

There are 2 sub types 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 or broker 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 to purchase unless you have have reached 90+ years.

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.

Affordable burial insurance for seniors is readily available for people 50-85 from most life insurers. A select number will accept seniors in decent health beyond age 85.  Each company will charge a different premium for the same amount of coverage.

You will want to have 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 considering self insuring as well.  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 probably have health issues.

No worries. 

Qualification requires no medical exam.

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 and there is no “insurable interest.”

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 in this case 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 $50,000 is not adequate, for best affordability we would recommend also taking a look at at a Guaranteed Universal Life Policy (GUL).  This is also a form of permanent life insurance.  However, applying for another burial insurance policy with an alternate carrier may be a better solution depending upon your personal situation.

Why look at Guaranteed Universal Life if exceeding $50,000.  Well, it is more affordable than a larger whole life policy.

Then why not for smaller policies? First, no company offers small GUL policies. Second, they are harder to qualify for.

You cannot buy a guaranteed universal life policy below 50K as of now.


GUL is commonly more 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 the protection

For seniors, a burial plan should include an appropriate type of life insurance that ensures the needs of your love ones are met regardless of how long you live.

A Special Risk Note…

Beware of low quality term life insurance products being called burial insurance.  A number of these policies are very poorly written and expire at age 75 or 80.  That does not protect the family if it is expired does it? Companies like New York Life/AARP and Globe Life offer term policies that go up in price every five years. Not recommended to those who have a need for term life insurance.

So Do I Really Need a Burial Policy?

Whole life, 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 if they have deeper pockets and have all the financial reserves in place to cover their 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 rather than their loved ones.  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” (85% of seniors) and “graded benefit or guaranteed acceptance life insurance” (15% of seniors). 

Be sure to use “Excellent Rates” if your are a 90% candidate or “Decent or Poor Health” if you are a 15% candidate.  The rate classes are found the under “Health Class” menu on the instant quote tool.

When you are ready select a policy, we do recommend you give us a call. We will walk you thru everything to make sure you get the best deal your family.

Simplified Issue Whole Life Quote Comparison



Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Quote Comparison

AgeMetLife InsuranceGerberMutual of Omaha

Burial Insurance for Seniors – The Wrap Up

If you are interested in specific companies we often place seniors with, check out part of our article on the best burial insurance companies.

Burial Insurance is a niche product designed to meet the family planning needs of people in or approaching their golden years.  Burial insurance for seniors is designed to be easy to apply for. No exam and limited health questions make it easier to qualify for.

A burial policy, is built on whole life insurance.  You are in full control of whom the benefits are paid to.  Its design also includes tax free benefits to a properly named beneficiary(s) of the policy.

A burial insurance policy may build up cash value as a living benefit, however, we do not recommend taking loans against this policy.  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. This of course could leave you family without the resources to cover your end of life expenses.

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 you age and overall health (for the lowest pricing). We have placed client business with companies not on this list. There are many fine companies out there.  Your independent life insurance agent/broker can guide you to what is best for you and your loved ones.

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” burial insurance for seniors.  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 unnecessary use of expensive guaranteed acceptance and poor quality increasing term life insurance which expires at age 80.

The solution??

Find a good independent agent/broker who will listen to your life insurance goals, discuss your overall health and then 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.

Are you looking for affordable burial insurance?

None of us are going to get any younger. This is something most people can agree on. The sooner you lock in your financial protection on a quality burial insurance policy designed for a fixed income senior, the more savings you will have in the long run.

As you contemplate you next step, keep in mind that a change in health will make it more challenging to qualify for the best rates.

While we have laid out a some serious 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 269-230-3464. 

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

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