Final Expense Insurance for Seniors: Ultimate Guide (2022)

Final Expense Insurance for Seniors
Final Expense Insurance for Seniors: Ultimate Guide (2022)

Life insurance is a popular, useful, and needed financial tool to protect loved ones from financial hardship.

With average funeral costs between $8,000 – $12,000, this is a major financial burden to ask your family members to take on. However, some insurance plans provide the financial resources needed in this time of grief.

When looking into life insurance policies, there are many options, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, there is a program designed specifically for seniors.

Final Expense Insurance For Seniors

Final expense insurance is uniquely designed for seniors by offering permanent benefits, low-cost premiums, and an easy application process. This coverage is vital for families that do not have money set aside for end-of-life expenses.

This ultimate guide was put together to help seniors understand the basics of final expense life insurance, find the best plans, and answer every question in-between. Our goal is to help you determine if this product is the right choice for you and your family.

Senior final expense programs are also known as burial insurance and funeral insurance. Coverage options and pricing will differ depending on your age and health at the time of application.

Benefits of Burial Insurance for Seniors

A senior final expense program refers to a type of whole life insurance coverage. Two items make final expense insurance unique and separate it from other whole life plan options.

No Medical Exams: Applicants will never be asked to get a health exam or go to a doctor’s office. The entire process can be completed from the comfort of your home over the telephone.

Affordable Coverage: The coverage amounts are typically $2,000 – $40,000. This allows the monthly premium to be much more affordable than a larger, traditional whole life plan.

Whole Life Insurance Features

Final expense coverage is designed for seniors to make a simple and low monthly payment to receive three permanent benefits. These benefits are standard with every whole life insurance policy.

Price Never Increases: The monthly premium will always be locked in. This means the price you pay on day one will be the same price in year 30. Knowing the costs down to the penny for those on a fixed income is very important for monthly budgeting. This plan has no surprise price increases.

Coverage Never Decreases: Your insurance coverage will never decrease or terminate. When purchasing a plan meant for your end-of-life expenses, it is key to know that your policy will be there when it is needed. This plan will always be active as long as your monthly premiums are paid.

Builds a Cash Value: For each payment made, a portion will go towards the cash value. Over time this amount will grow and can be borrowed from in future years.

What Can the Money be Spent On?

Burial insurance can be used to cover anything the beneficiary deems necessary. There are no rules or regulations on what the payout must be used for. However, there are common final expenses that beneficiaries use the payout for.

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial and cremation expenses
  • Remaining mortgage or car loan balance
  • Outstanding credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Legal expenses
  • Leaving an inheritance
  • Charity donations

Piggy bank and calculator

Cost: Final Expense Insurance For Seniors

The monthly cost can vary depending on several factors. Because of these varying factors, every senior citizen could pay a different price.

How Senior Final Expense Insurance Quotes are Calculated

There are four key parts when life insurance companies determine the cost of final expense insurance.

Health: The medical history of the applicant will carry the most weight. The healthier the person, the lower the risk is for the providers, and a lower risk means lower monthly premiums.

Age: Once the policy is in force, the price is locked in and will never increase. However, the longer someone waits to take out coverage, the more the price will increase. Burial insurance for seniors over 80 will cost more than for someone in their 60’s.

Gender: Females live an average of four years longer than males. This matters because the shorter your expected life span, the more risk is assumed by the carrier. With more risk comes higher premiums, so men pay more for coverage than women.

Policy Amount: The more coverage someone takes out, the higher premiums they can expect to pay.

Price Estimates for Senior Funeral Insurance

The price chart listed below shows burial insurance quotes, use the quote tool on this page for a custom quote.

If you have a simple and healthy medical history, you can expect to pay on the lower end of the price range. If you have a complex health history, you will be required to pay towards the higher end.

Female

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

Male

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

The Best Funeral Insurance Companies And Plans For Seniors

This is a list of the best funeral expense insurance companies with the top product each offers. There is a plan that is right for every specific and unique medical condition.  You should discuss this in further detail with a trusted insurance professional. With any purchase, it is important to read reviews and make an informed decision.

Top Final Expense Company Logos

AIG

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Issue
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 80
  • Death Benefit Size: $5,000 – $25,000
  • Health Questions: None
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: 2-years
  • State Availability: 49 states & DC (excluding NY)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Americo

  • Plan Name: Eagle Premier
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 85
  • Death Benefit Size: $2,000 – $30,000
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • State Availability: 48 states & DC (excluding NY & VT)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

CVS/Aetna

  • Plan Name: Accendo Level
  • Age Eligibility: 40 – 89
  • Death Benefit Size: $2,000 – $50,000 (depending on age)
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • State Availability: 48 states & DC (excluding MA, NY)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Foresters Financial

  • Plan Name: PlanRight Preferred
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 85
  • Death Benefit Size: $5,000 – $35,000 (depending on age)
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • States Covered: All 50 & DC
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Gerber

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Acceptance
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 80
  • Death Benefit Size: $5,000 – $25,000
  • Health Questions: No
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: 2-years
  • State Availability: 49 states & DC (excluding MT)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Guarantee Trust Life

  • Plan Name: The Heritage Plan
  • Age Eligibility: 40 – 90
  • Death Benefit Size: $2,500 – $20,000 (depending on age)
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: 2-years
  • State Availability: 48 states & DC (excluding CA & NY)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Mutual of Omaha

  • Plan Name: Living Promise Level
  • Age Eligibility: 45 – 85
  • Death Benefit Size: $2,000 – $40,000
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • State Availability: 49 states & DC (excluding NY)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A+ (superior)

Oxford Life

  • Plan Name: Assurance
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 85
  • Death Benefit Size: $5,000 – $30,000
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • State Availability: 45 states & DC (excluding AL, MS, MT, NY, WV)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Royal Neighbors of America

  • Plan Name: Simplified Issue Whole Life
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 75
  • Death Benefit Size: $7,000 – $30,000
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • State Availability: 43 states & DC (excluding AL, AK, HI, LA, MA, NH, NY)
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Transamerica

  • Plan Name: Immediate Solution
  • Age Eligibility: 0 – 85
  • Death Benefit Size: $1,000 – $50,000 (depending on age)
  • Health Questions: Yes
  • Waiting Period for Benefits: None
  • State Availability: All 50 & DC
  • A.M. Best Company Rating: A (excellent)

Who Is A Final Expense Policy Good For?

Burial insurance is absolutely critical for families without savings allocated for funeral expenses. For a simple and affordable monthly payment, families will be given peace of mind knowing they can honor the deceased while avoiding the major financial responsibility.

Pros and Cons of Burial Insurance for Seniors

Every senior has a different financial situation. There are several things to look into to make sure final expense insurance is worth it for you.

Pros

Cons

Cheap coverage Slightly more expensive than a term plan
Rates never increase Lower coverage amounts than other products
Coverage never terminates Living a long time could lead to overpaying
Simplified underwriting (no medical exam)
Builds a cash value over time
The beneficiary receives check quickly
The payout can be used for anything

Crunch the Numbers

To better understand if this product is right for you, your parents, or other loved ones, all that is needed is a calculator and basic math skills.

As an example, if a healthy male takes out a $10,000 final expense policy when he is 65 years old, how long would he need to live to be overpaying the amount he could have put aside in a savings account?

Let’s make a comparison of the numbers.

Here is a chart to illustrate the amount of money the applicant would pay into the account up until the day he passes away.

Man’s Age

Amount Paid Into Policy

70 $3,360.00
72 $4,704.00
74 $6,048.00
76 $7,392.00
78 $8,736.00
80 $10,080.00

In this sample, the monthly premium would be $56 per month, and it would take just under 15 years (179 months) for him to pay more than he could have saved.

The average life expectancy in the United States is 78.8 years old.

This adds up to the man beginning to overpay for the policy just before his 80th birthday, which is over the national average lifespan.

Final Expense Insurance vs. Life Insurance

Funeral insurance is an affordable whole life policy with permanent benefits that simplifies planning final expenses. However, there are other options to review when looking into financial planning for seniors. Every person’s situation is different and should be considered when deciding if final expense coverage is worth it for each individual.

Term Life Insurance

This plan provides temporary coverage and is very useful in specific situations. However, using it to cover funeral expenses can be risky for your family’s financial well-being.

Coverage Terminates: Your coverage will expire. For example, if you take out a 20-year policy at 50, your policy will terminate when you reach 70 years old.

Price Is Cheaper: Since coverage will eventually terminate, the monthly premiums are cheaper. Some life insurance companies like AARP and Globe Life offer temporary coverage that actually increases in price the older you get. Beware of plans like this that are marketed as a senior final expense life insurance plan.

Does Not Build Cash Value: This policy will build no cash value, which means you are essentially renting coverage each month with no additional or living benefits.

Prepaid Funerals

There are specific pros and cons of a prepaid funeral, also known as a pre-need funeral plan. However, this coverage is right in specific situations.

Funeral Home is the Beneficiary: This plan is unique because the beneficiary of the plan is the funeral home. This limits what the money can be used for. There is usually a final phone or electric bill that needs to be paid after someone passes away, which cannot be covered with a prepaid funeral plan.

Covers Specific Expenses: The only things the money can be used for are directly tied to funeral costs. This includes a casket, urn, viewing, memorial service, etc.

Single Funeral Home: What happens if this business is no longer operating in future years, or you decide you would like to change the location of your final resting place? These are real examples that can cause problems for your family as this protection typically is not mobile or transferable.

Savings or Investment Account

This may seem like the safest way to prepare for final expenses associated with passing. However, there are still risks involved.

Passing Away Unexpectedly: No one knows when their health will decline, this can cause saving efforts to come up short and put families in a difficult financial situation.

Investment Uncertainty: The stock market is another way to grow your money and use it for final expenses. However, the market is not a guarantee and has been known to be volatile.

Inflation: The United States has a history of inflation. It is hard to predict what the dollar will be worth in future years and if your saving efforts will outpace the rate of inflation.

Senior citizen smiling

Burial Life Insurance For Seniors FAQs

Is Funeral Insurance Necessary?

Funeral insurance allows families to simply and easily plan for the cost associated with death. Very few families have a savings account designated specifically for end-of-life expenses. That’s what makes this product such a necessity for millions of Americans.

How Much Final Expense Coverage Do I Need?

An average funeral costs $8,000 – $12,000. This does not take into account postdated utility bills, car payments, mortgages, etc. It is always better to have more coverage for your family than not enough, leaving them to stress when paying the final bills. Taking out a $25,000 life insurance policy can help cover additional unexpected costs.

Can Life Insurance Cover Funeral Expenses?

Life insurance can be used to cover final expenses, but ultimately the decision will be left to the beneficiary. There may be other items deemed a higher priority. The beneficiary and family can decide to use another form of payment for the deceased’s final arrangements.

Can Final Expense Life Insurance Be Denied?

Fortunately, Guaranteed Issue plans allow applicants with terminal or chronic medical conditions to receive coverage. The only time an applicant will be denied is if they are mentally incapacitated and unable to legally enter into a contract.

Is it Worth Getting Burial Insurance?

There are no coverage decreases or price increases, so each applicant can calculate how many months they would need to pay into the plan to consider it as overpaying. Once you run a comparison and calculate the numbers, you will have a better idea if this product will be worth it for you. Even if you live past this threshold, the final expense insurance policy builds cash value that can be borrowed from, and your family will have permanent financial peace of mind.

What is the Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Program?

Many seniors receive mail promoting a state-regulated senior life insurance program. This information is a misleading marketing tactic used by some life insurance agents. The state regulates all life insurance, so this information is not false, but it is meant to be confusing and generate sales leads. Learn more about these final expense mailers.

How Do I Choose the Best Burial Insurance Policy?

The best plan will drastically differ depending on your health, age, gender, and desired coverage amount. Your health history will carry the most weight when determining the best plan for you. The three things that make a policy best for someone are low price and immediate coverage from a financially stable company.

Can I Buy Final Expense Insurance for Someone Else?

It is common for children to buy coverage for parents or grandparents. However, some guidelines need to be followed to have a valid and enforceable contract. There has to be an insurable interest, and the applicant will need to be involved in the application process. This means they will be required to answer medical questions and sign their name. You cannot get coverage on someone without their consent.

Are There Funeral Insurance Plans for Families?

Each funeral insurance policy is individually underwritten, and approval will be determined by numerous factors specific to each independent applicant. Unfortunately, there are no plans for families as a unit.

Does Social Security Help with Final Expenses?

Social Security awards up to $255 death benefit to the living survivor of the deceased. This is nowhere close to what is needed to lay a loved one to rest. Do not count on this as your sole financial plan.

life Insurance Coverage Application

How To Get Funeral Insurance For Seniors

There are three ways to take out a policy and secure coverage.

Direct With The Company: You will most often see this through direct mailing flyers and tv commercials from final expense insurance companies like AARP, Globe Life, Colonial Penn, Lincoln Heritage, and many others. The majority of the time, these products are expensive guaranteed issue plans. They can also be term plans that expire, which are not a good option to cover funeral costs.

Captive Agent: These agents will typically be your local neighborhood insurance provider. There is nothing wrong with these plans, but the issue with using this type of agent is that they are handcuffed to one carrier. This means that even if another company has a lower price, they can only sell the one company they represent. With this product, every provider has different underwriting standards and prices. This means you are taking the chance that the company you use will be a good fit.

Independent Agent: This agent works for themself and is free to represent whatever life insurance companies they wish. This means a highly rated independent agent will have access to the perfect company for your health condition and budget. This is almost always your best option for finding a great plan structure at the lowest price. Let an independent agent take care of the plan and price shopping for you.

Getting Quotes and Buying Online

The best way to find a final expense insurance quote is by using the instant online quote tool on this page. The lower the price, the healthier the applicant will need to qualify. Once you have secured your quote, speak with an expert about your plan options. Every person’s medical history is unique, and every company has different underwriting standards.

Work with an Independent Agent

Working with a highly rated independent agent or agency will provide the best opportunity to find a top-tier plan that will be best for both price and plan structure.

Burial insurance is state-regulated. Learn more about your state’s burial and funeral restrictions.

Alabama | Arizona | California | Colorado | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Washington DC

Final Thoughts chalk board

Final Thoughts About Life Insurance For Seniors

a. Final expense insurance for seniors has great benefits, including affordability, a price that never increases, a death benefit that never decreases, and a cash value that builds over time.

b. Regardless of health, all seniors can qualify for final expense coverage with no medical exam.

c. Other products on the market can help pay for funeral expenses, but each comes with potential drawbacks. Speak with a professional to understand how the pros and cons of each apply to your specific situation.

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