There is no doubt that in Big Sky Country life is a little more beautiful. From Kootenai National Forest down to The Yellowstone River, this state is truly miraculous.
The item that is not always at the top of mind for Montanans is the cost associated with the end of their life.
For family members who have just lost a loved one, this financial aspect is a massive burden.
Funeral costs can range over a wide variety of price points depending on many factors. From location to casket selection, burial insurance policies can help ease this financial responsibility.
Montana Burial Insurance: 11 Vital Questions To Explore
1. I Have Heard It Called 3 Different Names: What’s the Right Terminology?
Life insurance companies will commonly use three names interchangeably to market the product. There is absolutely no difference between burial insurance, funeral insurance, and final expense insurance coverage.
2. Burial Insurance: What is it?
Burial coverage is a type of permanent whole life insurance, meaning you will receive 5 impressive benefits with your policy. These policies were built to provide seniors with an affordable way to plan for their end-of-life expenses, so they do not leave this burden to their family members. Also, no medical exam is required!
Guaranteed payout: As long as the monthly premium payments are made, the policy’s beneficiary is guaranteed a lump-sum payment. The death benefit that is received is dependent on the coverage amount when getting the policy.
Fast claim process: After the beneficiary files the claim, they can expect to receive the money in a matter of days. Other, more traditional life insurance products on the market can take weeks or even months to payout.
Price never changes: The premiums are locked in and will never increase. For any senior on a fixed income, this feature is of the utmost importance. Knowing the exact cost is a major benefit when budgeting monthly expenses.
Coverage never decreases or terminates: When taking out a policy to cover final expenses, the death benefit must be there for the beneficiary when needed. Other types of life insurance policies will cancel or decrease coverage over the years. Whole life coverage will not.
Builds cash value: For each payment made, a portion will go towards the cash value. Over time you will have the opportunity to borrow against this amount if you choose.
3. What Can the Beneficiary Use the Death Benefit For?
Life insurance is state-regulated. However, there are no regulations that say how the death benefit money needs to be spent. The money often goes towards fees charged by funeral homes, outstanding bills, and other funeral arrangements.
Common items burial insurance covers are listed below.
- Cemetery plot
- Funeral arrangements
- Charity donations
- Leaving an inheritance
- Legal expenses
- Medical bills
- Remaining balance on a mortgage
- Remaining car loan balances
- Other outstanding debts
- Other end-of-life expenses
4. Plans: What Can I Qualify For?
Every plan is different when it comes to the qualification standards, and each company sets its own standards. So understanding which plan is best for you can get to be a little tricky.
No senior should be turned away for whole life final expense coverage. Generally speaking, if you are in good health, you will qualify for the lowest-cost plan. If you have a chronic or terminal medical diagnosis, you will still be able to get coverage, just at a higher price.
To find the best burial insurance policy, it is helpful to work directly with a life insurance agent.
5. Captive or Independent Agent: How Do I Choose?
Any agent licensed in the state of Montana can secure coverage for an applicant. However, the access to funeral insurance policies is vastly different.
This agent is contracted with one single carrier. Even if there are better prices elsewhere, they are obligated to sell you coverage from the one life insurance company they represent.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it can be quite problematic when taking a closer look.
Each carrier has different qualifying standards. This means one provider may approve a senior citizen with Crohn’s Disease while another will decline someone with this condition.
The same can be said for the price point of each plan, there could be two carriers with the same plan type, but the price could be very different.
This agent can represent as many insurance companies as they wish.
This flexibility means they can have a much larger portfolio of plan options.
Having the right plan type for every budget and every applicant’s medical history is important for securing the most optimized coverage.
6. What is the Age Limit to Get a Plan?
The majority of carriers will award initial coverage to seniors from 50 – 85 years of age. There are, however, a select few providers that will issue coverage until 90 years old.
As a reminder, this section is speaking specifically on getting initial coverage because your plan will never expire once it is active.
7. How is the Price Calculated?
Two major factors play into the way price is determined for Montana residence.
Health: Your medical history has the heaviest weight on the price. This is because the healthier you are, the lower risk you are to the insurance company, and they will charge less. The same goes for someone who has more medical concerns, which will raise the price due to the increased risk.
Always speak with an independent agent that can match your specific medical history with the perfect plan.
Age: The senior’s initial age at the time of application will impact the price. As stated earlier, your price will never increase. However, each year you wait to buy burial coverage will increase the price.
8. Does Gender Effect the Cost?
Montana is the only state that has unisex pricing. In every other state, life insurance for a man costs more than for a woman. However, due to state regulations, this discrepancy does not exist in Montana burial insurance.
9. Waiting Period: What is it?
A waiting period is the time restriction the insurance company places on higher-risk cases. Typically this restricted period is two years but varies from company to company.
How it works: If the insured passes away during the waiting period, the beneficiary will receive a portion of the coverage amount. If the insured dies after the waiting period, the beneficiary receives the full death benefit amount.
10. How Do I Secure Immediate Coverage?
The best way to receive coverage with no waiting period is by working with a highly rated and specialized independent agent who has access to many different companies.
11. Can I Buy a Policy for My Parents?
Yes, you can purchase coverage for a parent or other loved one, but there are a few things to know when obtaining this product.
The proposed insured needs to agree to the coverage and sign their name on the policy application. You cannot take out a policy on someone without their permission.
Who Has The Best Burial Insurance For Montanans?
As briefly mentioned above, each burial insurance plan has its own qualifying standards that the insurance company sets. The process of determining if you qualify is also referred to as underwriting.
There are 4 different types of final expense coverage, level, graded, modified, and guaranteed issue. Each plan has separate underwriting standards, with each carrier setting its own criteria.
Level: Coming in at the lowest cost, this is the premier final expense insurance coverage. Level plans are available with no waiting period.
Graded: These plans are slightly more expensive and have a 2-year waiting period. Partial coverage is available immediately, with full coverage available once the waiting period concludes.
Modified: Also referred to as “return of premium” plans, modified coverage has a 2-year waiting period before full coverage can be awarded to the beneficiary. These policies come with a higher price tag.
Guaranteed Issue: this final expense insurance plan accepts everyone, and there are no health questions asked. This sounds great, but it also comes with a higher price tag and can be expensive. With that said, there are several affordable options from highly rated insurance companies.
Finding the Best Company and Plan
Since the best plan for you could be vastly different than the best plan for someone else, there are three basic things everyone should look for in a policy.
Price: Finding a policy that you can afford is obviously an important piece to the puzzle. The coverage amount can be adjusted to make sure that it is affordable for the budget of every senior.
Coverage: Whenever possible, it is important to get coverage with no waiting period. While this is not always the case, make sure you work with an agent that exhausts all possibilities to immediately access full coverage.
Financial Rating: Getting funeral insurance from a financially strong company will ensure that the policy will be paid out when a claim is filed. A reputable agent will only represent insurance companies that are highly rated.
To find the best policy for you that meets these three pillars, work with an independent agency like Willamette Life.
Final Expense Statistics
The cost of carrying out the final wishes of a loved one varies from state to state. Montana is one of the least expensive states to lay someone to rest.
The average traditional burial service in MT is $6,842
The average traditional cremation service in MT is $5,550
Not included in the price estimates:
- Cost of Headstone, Monument, or Marker
- Cemetery Property, Plot of Land, Columbarium, etc.
The western half of the US has a preference for cremation as opposed to burial. In 2020 Montana residence chose cremation about 82% of the time, with 2030 projections coming in at just under 90%.
The average age of death in the state is 76.8 for males and 80.9 for females, which is very close to the national average for both genders.
- Males 76.1
- Females 81.1
Causes of Death
Listed below are the top 10 leading causes of death in Montana, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis
No one knows when their health will decline, this makes it even more important to create a financial plan to leave your loved ones with the financial resources necessary.
a. Montana Burial Insurance is both affordable and easy to get. Coverage options are available for any medical history and budget. There is an insurance policy for everyone.
b. If you are in good health, getting immediate coverage will be very easy.
c. Work with an independent agent that has access to many different carriers. This will give you the best chance to qualify for a top-notch plan.
Willamette Life specializes in burial insurance and will help you find the best plan.
Call us at 844-576-0019
I’m the owner and founder of Willamette Life Insurance. Willamette Life specializes in Final Expense Insurance. We compare prices with different insurance carriers while finding the perfect match for your health and budget. This company was started to help educate the public on why Final Expense Insurance could be a great option for them and their family. We strive to be friendly, informative, and always have the client’s best interest as our top priority. Everything in this article is my own professional opinion and experiences I have had during my time in helping clients.