Can Life Insurance Pay For Funeral? The Perfect Answer

Can Life Insurance Pay For Funeral
Can Life Insurance Pay For Funeral? The Perfect Answer

When starting to think about the end of your life, it is important to understand the associated costs. For standard traditional services, the cost can range from $8,000 to $12,000.

This price does not include other bills and liabilities left behind. Taking these financial obligations into account, end of life expenses can easily reach $20,000.

So when looking into a life insurance policy, it is important to know if there are any rules or regulations for the financial distribution and what it can be used for.

Can Life Insurance Pay For Funeral?

Life Insurance policies, in general, can be used for funeral costs and any other expenses deemed necessary by the beneficiary. Funeral Insurance specifically will deliver your family members the financial resources they need within a week, while other life insurance distributions can take 30 days or more. 

Fortunately, funeral life insurance is specifically designed for the expenses that come at the end of one’s life and can be a monetary lifeline for some families.

funeral insurance policy guide

Benefits Of Funeral Insurance

This product is designed to be a simple and affordable way to plan for the inevitable end-of-life expenses. Five key features are included with this type of plan.

Price Never Increases: The monthly premium will never change. Knowing your expenses down to the penny each month is a critical feature for most seniors on a fixed income.

Coverage Never Decreases: When taking out a policy, it is important that the death benefit is available for your loved ones when it is needed most. This product guarantees a set death benefit that will never diminish or terminate.

Builds a Cash Value: A portion of each payment will go towards the cash value. Over time you will be able to borrow from the money that has accumulated.

Simplified Issue Underwriting: You will never be asked to take a medical exam. Instead, you can answer a series of simple yes or no health questions that will qualify you for coverage. This process can be done over the phone from the comfort of your own home.

Affordable Coverage: This product offers coverage amounts from $2,000 to $40,000. This makes your monthly premium much less than a larger traditional whole life plan while also receiving some of the same great benefits.

Does the Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy have to Pay for the Deceased Funeral Cost?

Life insurance is commonly used to pay for funeral costs, but the beneficiary has no obligation to use the inherited funds on the policy holder’s funeral.

There are typical funeral arrangement expenses that beneficiaries will spend the money on.

  • Funeral Expenses
  • Cremation
  • Memorial / Celebration of Life
  • Post Mortem Expenses
  • Medical Bills
  • Outstanding Bills
  • Legal Expenses
  • Leaving an Inheritance
  • Charity Donations
  • Other End of Life Expenses

How the Cost is Determined

The price of your policy can be vastly different than the price your spouse will pay. This is because the cost will heavily depend on four factors.

Health: The health of the proposed insured carries the most weight when determining the cost. If you have a healthy medical history, the providers will award you a better rate due to the lower health risk. If you have a complicated medical history, you will still be able to find reasonable pricing.

Age: Once you take out your policy, the price never changes. However, the initial age upon application does matter when it comes to setting the price. The sooner you take out the policy the lower your cost will be.

Gender: On average, females live four years longer than males. This ties directly into the cost difference between men and women. Females will pay less than males for the same coverage.

Coverage Amount: The more coverage you take out, the higher your premiums will be. This is why larger traditional whole life policies are more expensive than the smaller funeral insurance coverage.

Price Range Quotes

This chart ranges from the low-end to the high-end of funeral insurance quotes.

The healthier you are, the less you can expect to pay.


Monthly Premium Range

Non-Smoking Rates

Age $10,000 $15,000 $20,000
45 $23 – $34 $32 – $49 $42 – $64
50 $24 – $39 $35 – $57 $45 – $80
55 $28 – $47 $40 – $69 $52 – $103
60 $33 – $54 $48 – $80 $63 – $119
65 $41 – $66 $60 – $99 $79 – $146
70 $53 – $80 $78 – $120 $103 – $177
75 $72 – $116 $107 – $173 $142 – $254
80 $98 – $190 $146 – $283 $194 – $411
85 $136 – $220 $202 – $328 $269 – $436


Monthly Premium Range

Non-Smoking Rates

Age $10,000 $15,000 $20,000
45 $27 – $47 $39 – $68 $51 – $89
50 $31 – $56 $44 – $83 $58 – $110
55 $36 – $61 $52 – $91 $69 – $135
60 $44 – $68 $64 – $101 $84 – $149
65 $56 – $91 $83 – $135 $110 – $199
70 $75 – $106 $110 – $158 $146 – $233
75 $100 – $150 $148 – $223 $197 – $328
80 $140 – $232 $208 – $346 $276 – $461
85 $193 – $312 $288 – $467 $382 – $621

Other Ways To Plan

There are other vehicles to cover funeral costs depending on your financial situation. Each of the following products has a specific use and should be discussed with a trusted advisor and your loved ones to make sure it is right for you.

Traditional Whole Life

This product is similar to funeral insurance in the fact that they are both whole life coverage. However, while most of the benefits are the same, there are also some key differences.

Whole Life Benefits: As previously mentioned, all whole life policies come with coverage that never terminates and a price that never increases. Also included is a cash value that is built over time.

Large Policy Amounts: This product typically starts at $50,000 – $100,000 of coverage and can go well into the millions. The larger policy amounts make the monthly payment much more expensive.

Used To Preserve Wealth: If you speak with a financial advisor, they may recommend using this plan type to shelter your wealth or use it for tax-saving purposes.

Term Life Insurance

This plan type might look like a great option to cover funeral costs. However, there are a few major flaws to using it as your main funeral planning tool.

Coverage Terminates: The coverage will eventually cancel. For example, if you take out a 30-year policy at 50, your coverage will terminate when you turn 80 years old.

Price Is Cheaper: This product type is cheaper than a whole life plan because it eventually cancels. It is imperative that you read the fine print. Some term policies actually raise in price the older you get.

No Cash Value Earned: The insurance provider is exchanging coverage for your premium. No additional cash value is added to your payments and you are essentially renting coverage. Use term insurance for income replacement, not funeral expenses.


This product type is taken out with your local funeral home and is much more limited to what the funds can be spent on.

Pays for Specific Services: This product only pays for costs associated with the funeral home. This includes all the items needed to lay your loved one to rest respectfully.

Funeral Home is the Beneficiary: When the insured passes away, the funeral home will receive the distribution and use the money to fund your final wishes. This includes the casket or urn you decided on and other associated costs. Since the mortuary is the beneficiary, it does not allow for flexibility in any extra money left over from the policy.

Not Flexible: Being proactive and plotting your funeral plan is honorable, but it may not be the best option. This process will lock you into one funeral home. What happens if the business is no longer operating when you pass away or change where you would like your final resting place to be.

These scenarios can be problematic if your situation changes over the years.

Savings or Investment Account

A savings or investment account can be an option to put away money for your end-of-life expenses. However, there is still some uncertainty involved with this pre-paid method.

Sudden Death: No one knows when their health will decline, this can cause you to come up short in your saving efforts and leave family members in a tough financial position.

Investment Volatility: Another way to save for the costs associated with death is through an investment account. This can work, but it is impossible to know if your portfolio will cooperate with your plan.

Inflation: The US dollar is consistently changing in value. It is hard to say if your saving efforts will outpace inflation.

Man writing and thinking

Things To Consider

When taking out a policy meant for your funeral arrangements, it is important to consider a few other factors.

Varying Funeral Expenses

The costs are highly dependent upon where you live and what your wishes are. Depending on where you live geographically, your funeral costs will fluctuate.

For example, here are the 10 most expensive and least expensive states to have a traditional service.

10 Most Expensive States

1 Minnesota $8,658 $7,241
2 Maryland $8,491 $6,933
3 Iowa $8,296 $6,898
4 Michigan $8,287 $6,828
5 Massachusetts $8,281 $6,886
6 Illinois $8,265 $6,858
7 Rhode Island $8,263 $6,958
8 Indiana $8,242 $6,782
9 Virginia $8,082 $6,601
10 New Jersey $8,009 $6,448

10 Least Expensive States

40 Oklahoma $7,275 $5,830
41 Hawaii $7,253 $5,840
42 New York $7,230 $5,937
43 New Mexico $7,150 $5,823
44 Idaho $7,129 $5,850
45 Mississippi $7,054 $5,636
46 Ohio $7,049 $5,777
47 Arizona $6,920 $5,639
48 Washington $6,868 $5,851
49 Montana $6,842 $5,550
50 Oregon $6,826 $5,503

Probate Court

One item individuals do not always think about is the legal process that occurs after they pass away.

Probate occurs to make sure the deceased debts have been paid, and the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiary. This process can take months and can be costly. This is often problematic for loved ones attempting to celebrate the deceased’s life but does not have access to funds due to this lengthy legal process.

Fortunately, as long as you name a beneficiary to your life insurance policy, the funds should not go through a probate court. This is because the funds belong to the beneficiary by law and are not in your name.

This should be discussed further with your trusted advisor.

Create a Detailed Plan for your Final Wishes

When someone passes away, there is typically shock and high emotions from family members. These two combinations do not always mesh well with planning someone’s celebration of life or service. Within 24 or 48 hours of death, loved ones are forced to start the planning process.

This can be an extremely volatile time. The best thing these family members can have is a detailed guide to what the deceased final wishes are. This will take out any guessing or disagreements and give everyone involved a guide on moving forward and honoring the final wishes of someone’s life.

There are many great resources to help families through this process.

What Type of Insurance Pays a Death Benefit to Pay for Funeral Costs?

Funeral Insurance is designed specifically to cover funeral costs. For low-cost monthly payments, the policyholder receives peace of mind knowing that their family will have the financial resources needed to carry out their final wishes.

woman holding lightbulb

Final Thoughts

a. When looking into your financial options, it’s important to ask, can life insurance pay for funeral. This product can pay for all costs associated with funerals and anything else the beneficiary deems necessary.

b. Funeral insurance is necessary for any families who have not planned for the costs associated with death. For a simple and affordable monthly payment, you and your loved ones will receive peace of mind knowing these costs will be taken care of.

c. There are many financial vehicles to choose from when planning funeral costs. Each option is unique and should be looked at in detail to make sure it is a good fit for you.

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