California Funeral Insurance: 9 Valuable Questions Answered

California Funeral Insurance
California Funeral Insurance: 9 Valuable Questions Answered

The Golden State has so much to offer, from the beautiful beaches and big cities to Lake Tahoe and everywhere in between. This state is truly miraculous.

With all the things to do, it is easy for Californians to forget the costs associated with the end of one’s life. Typically families are not prepared for the shocking price tag that comes with celebrating the life of a loved one.

Funeral expenses can range over a wide variety of price points depending on many factors.

Fortunately, this financial predicament can be solved with a funeral insurance plan.

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9 Valuable Questions Answered About California Funeral Insurance

1. What is Funeral Insurance?

This is a whole life insurance product that comes with four key benefits.

Price Lock: The price will never increase, which is a key factor for any seniors on a fixed income. When budgeting for your monthly expenses, it is a top priority to know the costs down to the penny to make sure you don’t run out of funds. This product gives much-needed financial clarity.

Coverage Lock: The coverage amount will never decrease or expire. When purchasing funeral plans designed for final expenses, it is essential that the product is active for the family members left behind.

Builds Cash Value: For each payment made, a portion will go towards the cash value, overtime this account will grow, and the policyholder will have the opportunity to borrow from it.

Fast Payout Process: When someone passes away, things move quickly, and funds are needed as soon as possible. This product is designed to get the beneficiary the financial resources needed in a matter of days rather than weeks or months.

2.Three Product Names: What is the Difference?

You will hear companies use funeral insurance, burial insurance, and final expense insurance interchangeably. There is no difference between these three product names they are simply used to market the product.

3. What can the Beneficiary use the Financial Distribution for?

There is no state-regulated mandate that says what funeral insurance will cover. However, there is a list of items typically purchased with the death benefit.

  • Funeral Arrangments
  • Cremation
  • Memorial/Celebration of Life
  • Fees from Funeral Homes
  • Casket
  • Burial Expense
  • Embalming
  • Credit Cards
  • Legal Expenses
  • Medical Bills
  • Leaving an Inheritance
  • Remaining Balance on a Mortgage
  • Post-Mortem Expenses
  • Charity Donations
  • Remaining Car Loan Balances
  • Other End-of-Life Expenses

4. What is the Oldest Age Coverage will be Issued?

The majority of California insurance providers will award initial coverage until the age of 80 or 85. There are, however, a select few companies that will sign off on funeral insurance coverage up until 90 years old.

Reminder: This section is speaking on the initial application age only. Once you receive your coverage, it will never expire.

5. How is the Price Determined?

Other than the amount of coverage, there are three main factors that go into determining the price for life insurance.

Heath: Your past medical history has the largest effect on the price you will pay for burial insurance. This is because the more complications a senior has had with their health, the more of a risk they are considered by the carrier. The way the insurer combats this risk is by raising the price or by placing the applicant in plans that have a waiting period.

Age: As stated earlier, the price does not increase over time, but before securing your policy, the longer you wait, the higher the price will be. Someone who is 76 years old will pay less than someone who is 77 years old. Do not wait to lock in your price.

Gender: Your gender will impact your price point as well. Males will pay more for coverage than females, this is for a few different reasons, but the most prevalent is that women live four years longer than men on average.

6. What is a Waiting Period?

This is a time restriction that the carrier places on higher-risk cases before paying out the full coverage amount. The restriction is typically two years from the day the policy was issued.

How it works: If the insured passes away before the waiting period ends, the beneficiary will receive a predetermined portion of the coverage amount. On the other hand, if the insured passes away after the waiting period has concluded, the beneficiary will receive the full death benefit.

Work with an independent agent to find burial insurance with no waiting period.

7. Can I Purchase a Final Expense Insurance Policy for My Parent?

Yes, you can, but there are a few rules you need to follow. The insured will need to be involved in the process by agreeing to coverage and being in a healthy enough mental state to understand what they are agreeing to.

You cannot take out a final expense insurance policy on someone without their permission.

8. Captive vs. Independent: What is the Better Agent Option?

These agents are both able to secure coverage if licensed in California, but the process and amount of choices these agents have are very different.

Captive: This agent is tied to one single company like Lincoln Heritage, State Farm, or Colonial Penn. On the surface, this may seem like a minimal constraint. However, there are a few things to know when working with this agent type.

The underwriting process and standards differ depending on what company you apply with. An example is that one carrier will approve coverage for an applicant with a specific medical condition, but another company will deny coverage to this same individual.

This is also true for the price structure of burial insurance policies. Prices can vary drastically depending on which company you use.

Independent: This type of agent is not tied to any specific life insurance companies. This means they can have many options for seniors who have experienced medical complications and for a wide variety of budgets.

Choose Independent, and you will have more options!

9. How do I get a Quote?

The best way to receive funeral insurance quotes online is by using the instant price tool on this page that will show you the companies available in CA along with the pricing.

To have a better idea of what funeral expense company you can qualify for, contact Willamette Life.

Call Willamette Life at 844-576-0019

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What Is The Best Funeral Insurance For Californians?

Every insurance company has different underwriting standards. This essentially means the top company for you could be entirely different than the best company for your spouse. Having a clear understanding of the underwriting process will help you make an informed purchasing decision.


There are four plan tiers in the final expense insurance underwriting process.

Level: With immediate coverage and the lowest premium rates, this is the top product on the market. To earn approval for this plan, you will need to be in top health with no recent medical events.

Graded: A two-year waiting period is implemented with this plan. If the insured were to pass away during the waiting period, a percentage of the coverage amount would be paid to the beneficiary. If a death occurs during the waiting period, the death benefit is typically 30 percent in year one and 70 percent in year two.

Modified: This plan also has a restricted payout schedule. Offering a two-year waiting period with a return of premiums paid plus 10 percent if death occurs in the first two years of the policy.

Guaranteed Issue: Reserved for individuals with chronic or serious medical conditions, this plan asks no health questions and approves every senior who applies for this financial protection to cover burials.

Finding the Best California Burial Insurance Companies

There are three key things to look for when deciding what company will be best for you.

Low Cost: Every company has different price points, do not sign up with the first company that sends you a promotional mailer to your home like AARP/New York Life. Work with an independent agent that has access to many companies.

Immediate Coverage: Though it is not always possible due to previous medical histories, finding day one coverage will protect your family sooner and get you a lower monthly premium.

High Finacial Rating: Every insurance provider has a financial rating. Always look for B+ or better. This will show that the carrier is financially stable and will be assured to honor their financial commitment to your family.

California Funeral Cost Breakdown

Depending on where you live in the state of California will dictate how much you can expect the average funeral costs to be. For example, the cost in Orange County CA, will be different than in other areas of the state.

The average burial service in California is $7,279

The average cost of cremation in CA is $6,011




Bakersfield $6,819 $5,653
Eureka $8,167 $6,647
Fresno $7,293 $6,079
Los Angeles $6,639 $5,497
Monterey $8,215 $7,095
Palm Springs $6,515 $5,290
Redding $7,288 $5,908
Sacramento $7,360 $6,041
San Diego $7,117 $5,875
San Jose $7,381 $6,024
State Average $7,279 $6,011

Not included in these price estimates:

  • Cost of Headstone, Monument, or Marker
  • Cemetery Property, Plot of Land, Columbarium, etc.


In 2020 Californians choose to be cremated over 70 percent of the time. Projections for 2030 show that the creation rate will rise to 83 percent.


The average age upon death in the state is 79.4 for males and 83.7 for females.

This is at the top of the list for the national average lifespan.

National Average:

  • Males 76.1
  • Females 81.1

Cause of Death

Listed below are the top 10 leading causes of death in the state.

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Stroke
  4. Alzheimer’s
  5. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
  6. Accidents
  7. Diabetes
  8. Influenza/Pneumonia
  9. Hypertension
  10. Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis

No one knows when their health is going to decline. The most proactive thing to do is create a financial plan to leave family members with the protections and resources needed to celebrate your life.

Final Thoughts

a. California Funeral Insurance policies are great options for leaving a financial legacy to family members. No one knows when their health will start to decline, this means being proactive and creating a plan as soon as possible is a great idea.

b. There are both affordable and attainable plan options for everyone. Work with an independent agency to find the best plan for your specific medical history and budget guidelines.

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