Is Burial Insurance Worth It? How To Decide

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Updated August 9, 2022

The average cost for a funeral with a viewing in the United States is $7,643 for burial and $6,280 for cremation. However, the price can vary drastically depending on the location of services and the options selected throughout the process.

Fortunately, there are ways to plan for these final expenses, but deciding which product or planning tool can be overwhelming.

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

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Is Burial Insurance Worth It?

Burial insurance is worth it for seniors who do not have money set aside for their funeral or final bills. Burial coverage is best suited for seniors needing up to $40,000 of permanent life insurance. This plan should not be used for anyone wanting to replace income or cover mortgage payments.  

For a low-cost monthly premium, you will receive coverage that never expires and premiums that do not increase. It is a good idea to read reviews of the best burial insurance companies to ensure you get your policy for the lowest possible cost.

Funeral Insurance 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 budgeting

How Are Final Expense Insurance Premiums Calculated?

The price will vary depending on four important factors regarding how much final expense insurance costs. The applicant’s age, health, gender, and policy amount will determine the monthly premiums.

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

Health: Your health has a significant factor in the price point. If you are in good health, you will qualify for a less expensive burial plan with no waiting period. Seniors who use tobacco will see increased premiums.

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, so it is estimated they will be paying into the policy longer.

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

Is Funeral Insurance Worth The Cost?

Final expense insurance is worth the cost for people with limited savings who do not want to leave a financial burden behind. The death benefit is paid out rapidly and can be spent on anything the beneficiary decides is needed. Burial insurance is worth buying depending on the individual situation of the senior.

The leading funeral insurance companies offer very affordable rates. The chart below has a range of prices someone should expect to pay according to age. To get a more accurate cost estimate, fill out the quote machine on this page.

If you are in good health, you can expect to pay the cheapest rates. If you have a complicated medical history, anticipate paying towards the high end of the price range.

Monthly Premiums

Age Female $10,000 Male $10,000 Female $20,000 Male $20,000
45 $23 – $37 $27 – $54 $42 – $71 $51 – $104
50 $24 – $39 $31 – $56 $45 – $80 $58 – $110
55 $28 – $47 $36 – $61 $52 – $103 $69 – $135
60 $33 – $54 $44 – $68 $63 – $119 $84 – $149
65 $41 – $66 $56 – $91 $79 – $146 $110 – $199
70 $53 – $80 $75 – $106 $103 – $177 $146 – $233
75 $72 – $116 $100 – $150 $142 – $254 $197 – $328
80 $98 – $190 $140 – $206 $194 – $411 $276 – $416
85 $136 – $221 $193 – $316 $269 – $436 $382 – $629

Saving vs. Life Insurance: Do The Math

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

According to statistics, the average life expectancy in the United States is around 78.8 years.

Suppose a healthy female takes out a $10,000 policy when she is 65. How long will she live to overpay the amount she could have saved?

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 she could have saved.

Here is a simple chart illustrating the amount of money she would pay into the policy over the years.

Woman’s Age

Amount Paid Into Policy

70 $2,460
75 $4,920
80 $7,380
85 $9,840

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, well over the average lifespan.

See if final expense coverage is worth it for:

Should I Buy Burial Insurance?

You should buy burial insurance if you have no money to pay for your funeral expenses. With no guarantee, it could take years to save enough money to cover your final expenses. Funeral insurance policies are a better and more secure alternative to saving for most people.

Pig on calculator

Other Planning Options For Final Expenses

There are other vehicles to use when planning for end-of-life expenses. Everyone’s financial situation is different, the following four options are available for funeral planning, but each has its considerations and drawbacks.

Traditional Whole Life Insurance

Traditional whole life has similar benefits to burial insurance policies, with a few specific differences. The death benefit for traditional whole life plans typically starts at a higher coverage amount. This means the monthly premium will be much more expensive than a smaller policy designed specifically to cover final expenses.

Term Life Insurance

Term coverage differs from whole life in several major ways. The coverage will eventually terminate at a specific age or after a period of time. If your primary goal of taking out final expense insurance is to pay for your burial, a term policy is not in your best interest.

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 term products are marketed as a final expense plan but expire when you reach a certain age. An example of this would be the AARP Burial Insurance plan and Globe Life Insurance plan.

Pre Need Insurance

Pre Need is much different than the previous products we discussed. This coverage is also known as a prepaid funeral plan. Unlike other 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 expenses. The life insurance company will pay the distribution directly to the funeral home. This will drastically limit what the funds can be used for.

Savings or Investment Account

Placing money in a savings or investment account is an idea that is worth pursuing in certain situations. If you are a disciplined and frugal saver, this could be an option. However, there are some risks involved. Saving or investing is a good idea, but no one knows when their health will decline, and having enough money is not guaranteed.

man and women trees

What Are The Benefits Of Final Expense Life Insurance?

Burial insurance benefits include no medical exam, no expiration, immediate coverage for those that qualify, a death benefit, and affordable monthly premiums that are locked in. One of the major advantages of funeral insurance is that coverage is easy to apply for in 20 minutes or less.

Built-in Whole Life Insurance Features

Once the plan has been issued and is in force, the policyholder will make their simple and affordable monthly payment. The life insurance company, in return, guarantees the monthly premium will never increase, your coverage will never expire, and a cash value will build over time.

Plan Types

There are a few main types of burial insurance plans you can qualify for, depending on your health. The Level plan will provide immediate coverage and requires applicants to be in good health. The Graded plan has a 2-year waiting period and is more accepting of health conditions with mid-point premiums.

Guaranteed acceptance policies ask no medical questions and approve every applicant. There is a minimum two-year waiting period with every guaranteed issue plan, but this could be your best option if you have a chronic illness.

Woman writing on paper in orange sweater

Final Thoughts On If Burial Insurance Is Worth Buying

a. Burial insurance is worth it because coverage is straightforward, easy to get, and will help cover funeral expenses.

b.  Most seniors receive coverage with no waiting period, and you and your family will have peace of mind knowing your final expenses are taken care of.

c. To get final expense coverage, work with a specialized life insurance agency with access to several policies that can find the best plan based on your health and budget.

Call Willamette Life at 844-576-0019