Is Burial Insurance Worth It? How To Decide

is burial insurance worth it
Is Burial Insurance Worth It? How To Decide

There comes a time when every family has to lay a loved one to rest. This is a time of reflection and mourning. However, the financial aspect to the end of someone’s life can easily be overlooked.

Funeral costs leave a significant monetary burden for family members attempting to honor their loved ones. Fortunately, there are ways to plan for these costs, but deciding which product or planning tool can be overwhelming.

A simple and easy way to prepare is by securing a burial insurance plan. There are several things to consider to ensure that funeral insurance is a good idea for you and your family.

Is Burial Insurance Worth It?

Burial insurance is a great option for anyone looking to secure affordable life insurance coverage that never expires. Final expense policies allow seniors to leave money behind for their funeral expenses and other end-of-life costs. This lets loved ones celebrate the life of the deceased rather than taking on a financial burden.

To better understand the costs associated with the end of one’s life, it is important to comb through the numbers and assess your needs. It is also a good idea to read reviews of the best burial insurance companies to make sure you get your policy from a trusted provider.

Funeral Insurance Coverage is a Good Idea if You:

  • are unable to qualify for a policy that requires a medical exam
  • do not want to get a medical exam
  • want a permanent policy
  • want a policy to cover funeral expenses
  • have no money set aside for your final expenses
  • want your monthly insurance premiums to be locked in for life
  • want your coverage amount to remain the same

*Seniors budgetingIs Funeral Insurance Worth The Cost?

Burial insurance is worth buying depending on the individual situation of the senior. For those with limited savings who do not want to leave a financial burden behind, final expense insurance is worth the cost.

The average cost for a traditional funeral service with a viewing in the United States is $7,643 for a burial and $6,280 for cremation. The price can vary drastically depending on the location of services and the options selected throughout the process. Not included in these price estimates are the cost of headstone or plot of land.

There can be additional expenses that come at the end of life rather than just funeral costs.

  • Medical Bills
  • Post-Mortem Expenses
  • Remaining Balance on a Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Remaining Car Loan Balances
  • Legal Expenses
  • Leaving an Inheritance
  • Charity Donations
  • Other End-of-Life Expenses

After adding all these expenses up, the final expenses can be well over $20,000.

How are Final Expense Insurance Premiums Calculated?

When looking at how much final expense insurance costs, the price will vary depending on four important factors.

Age: The older you are when you take out coverage, the higher the monthly premiums will be.

Gender: Males will pay more for coverage than females. There are several reasons why this is, but the most prominent component is that females live an average of four years longer than males.

Health: Your health has a major factor in the price point. If you are in good health, you will qualify for a less expensive plan than seniors in compromised health.

Policy Amount: You should expect your monthly payment to be higher the more coverage you take out.

Funeral Insurance Pricing

The leading funeral insurance companies offer very affordable rates. The chart listed below has a range of prices someone should expect to pay according to their age. The quote chart is intended to provide estimated prices only. To get a more accurate cost, fill out the quote generator on this page or see more funeral insurance quotes here.

If you are in great health, you can expect to pay the cheapest rates listed. If you have a complex medical history or a terminal illness, anticipate paying towards the high end of the price range.


Monthly Premium Range

Non-Smoking Rates

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

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

Do The Math

To make sure funeral insurance policies are worth it for your specific financial situation, all that you’ll need is a calculator and a little basic math.

According to statistics, the average life expectancy in the United States is 78.7 years old.

Suppose a healthy female takes out a $10,000 policy when she is 65. How long will she need to live for her to overpay the amount she could save in a savings account?

Let’s dig into the numbers.

In this example, the monthly premium would be $41 per month, and it would take over 20 years (244 months) for her to pay more than what she could have saved.

Here is a simple chart to illustrate the amount of money she would pay into the policy until the day she passes away.

Woman’s Age

Amount Paid Into Policy


This example shows final expense insurance is worth the money for her. The woman would only begin to overpay for the policy after turning 86.

See if coverage is worth it for:

Pig on calculatorThe Benefits Of Final Expense Life Insurance

Understanding how final expense insurance works is important before applying for a policy. This is a type of whole life insurance, but the primary difference between burial insurance and most traditional whole life plans comes down to two main factors.

Simplified Issue Underwriting: This means that coverage is easy to qualify for, and there are no medical exams. The application can be completed in approximately 30 minutes over the phone.

Lower Coverage Amounts: The coverage amount typically ranges from $2,000 – $40,000. This makes the monthly premiums affordable for seniors on any budget.

Whole Life Insurance Features

Once the plan has been issued and is in force, the policyholder will make a simple and affordable monthly payment. The life insurance company, in return, will guarantee three key benefits.

Coverage Lock: The coverage will never decrease or expire. It is locked in for life. Whether the insured passes in year one or year forty of the plan, the coverage amount will always be the same.

Price Lock: The price will never increase. Seniors on a fixed income know how important it is to budget costs down to the penny each month. There are no price games, just simple and straightforward payments.

Builds Cash Value: For every payment made, a portion will go towards the burial policy’s cash value, and over time you will be able to borrow from the policy if you choose. This money will need to be paid back and typically has a low-interest rate for the borrowed amount.

If you cannot pay this loan back before passing, the outstanding loan balance will be deducted from the money given to your beneficiary.

Plan Types

There are four types of plans that you will be able to qualify for depending on your health.

Level: This plan type comes with no waiting period and has the lowest prices. Level is reserved for seniors with a healthy medical history, but some providers will take on specific medical conditions like diabetes or obesity.

Graded: This product has a two-year waiting period that typically has a progressive payout schedule within years one and two. Graded offers midpoint premium prices. If you have a more serious medical condition, this plan could be your best option.

Modified: This plan has a two-year waiting period. If you were to pass away in the first two years, your beneficiary would receive all the premiums paid plus 10 percent interest given to them. This product type is not recommended due to the high premium prices in correlation with the underwriting standards.

Guaranteed Issue: This plan asks no medical questions and approves every applicant. There is a two-year waiting period that is intended to offset the life insurance company’s risk. If the policyholder passes away during the waiting period, the beneficiary will receive all premiums paid plus 10 percent interest. A guaranteed issue plan could be your best option if you have a chronic or terminal illness.

man and women trees

Is It Better To Have Life Insurance Or A Funeral Plan?

Having adequate life insurance coverage will guarantee that your family has the financial resources to cover funeral costs. Saving money to cover funeral expenses is a good idea in theory, but it is impossible to predict when your health will decline and your saving efforts might come up short to pay for your final expenses.

However, there are other vehicles to use when planning for end-of-life costs.

Everyone’s financial situation is different, the next four planning tools are available for funeral planning, but each of them comes with its own considerations.

Savings or Investment Account

Placing money in a savings or investment account is noble and an idea that is worth pursuing in certain situations.

If you are a disciplined and frugal saver, this could be an option for you. However, some risks still come into focus.

Passing Away Unexpectedly: Saving or investing is a good idea, but no one knows when their health will decline, and having enough money is not guaranteed.

Investment Risk: There is always the possibility of your investment not performing the way you planned. This can leave your family members in a crippling financial position.

Inflation: No one knows what our dollar will be worth in the coming years, and it’s hard to predict if your savings efforts will be enough to cover burial costs in the future.

Traditional Whole Life Insurance

Traditional whole life has very similar benefits to burial insurance policies, with a few major differences.

Standard Whole Life Benefits: Like final expense insurance, this product offers a coverage lock, price lock, and builds cash value over time.

Larger Policy Amounts: The death benefit for traditional whole life plans typically start at a higher coverage amount. This means the monthly premium will be much more expensive than a smaller policy designed to cover their final expenses.

Used To Preserve Wealth: There are many financial planners and experts that will counsel individuals to use this product as a tool to protect their wealth.

Term Life Insurance

Term coverage differs from whole life in a few huge ways.

Coverage Expires: The coverage amount will eventually terminate at a specific age or a period of time. Multiple products on the market will end the coverage agreement when you turn 80 years old. You are basically betting that you will not outlive your policy.

Price Is Cheaper: Since coverage expires, term policies are cheaper than whole life coverage. Keep in mind not only do plans expire, some even raise in price the older you get. Purchasing this plan type is fine as a short-term option, but you may not have coverage when your family needs it the most.

Some products market themselves as a plan meant for your final expenses but actually expire when you reach a certain age. An example of this would be the AARP Level Benefit Term plan and Globe Life’s Term plan.

Does Not Build Cash Value: Unlike a whole life plan, this product does not allow you to borrow from the policy. You are simply paying a monthly fee for temporary coverage.

Pre Need Insurance

Pre Need is much different than the previous products we discussed.

Covers Specific Services: Unlike the other two life insurance policies that allow the beneficiary to use the funds on whatever they choose, this product is designed to pay specifically for your burial costs.

Funeral Home is Beneficiary: The life insurance company will pay the distribution directly to the funeral home. This will limit what the funds can be used for.

Single Funeral Home: You are making these arrangements and have an agreement with one funeral home. This raises a few concerns. What happens if you decide you want to be buried in another state or the company goes out of business?

These are all things to keep in mind when determining your best option.

Lights and FAQ

FAQs About The Value Of Final Expense Insurance

Does Burial Insurance Have a Cash Value?

Over time a cash value builds with every whole life final expense insurance plan. A portion of every premium is allocated to this account, allowing for the policyholder to access the money whenever they wish.

Can Funeral Insurance be Denied?

Some funeral insurance plans can be denied. However, some plans offer guaranteed acceptance. So, while seniors can be turned down for specific plans that offer immediate protection, there are coverage options that guarantee approval. These guaranteed plans have a minimum two-year waiting period before seniors are fully covered.

Should You Buy Burial Insurance?

You should buy burial insurance if you have no money to pay for your final expenses and are unable to qualify for other types of life insurance. Another reason to get a burial policy is if you want specific coverage for funeral expenses with a locked-in death benefit and premiums.

Can I Purchase Final Expense Life Insurance for Someone Else?

A few rules need to be followed when looking into purchasing insurance for parents or grandparents. The applicant needs to be involved in the process. They will have to be able to answer the medical questions and sign their name on the application.

If they apply for a guaranteed issue plan with no medical questions, they will still need to be healthy enough to sign their name and understand what they are agreeing to. By getting life insurance, you are entering into a legal contract with the provider.

Woman writing on paper in orange sweater

Final Thoughts On If Burial Insurance Is Worth Buying

a. So, is burial insurance worth it? This coverage is straightforward and will help you leave a financial legacy for your family. Not only can you receive coverage with no waiting period to cover funeral costs, but you and your family will have peace of mind knowing your final expenses are taken care of.

b. One of the best ways to understand if funeral insurance is a good idea is by doing the math and seeing how long you need to live before overpaying for the policy.

c. After doing the math and seeing how much coverage is needed, you will know how to move forward with your funeral planning. Many variables come into play, and every person has a different financial situation. The key is learning your options and choosing the best final expense insurance plan to use.

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