Tennessee Funeral Insurance: 13 FAQ’s

Tennessee Funeral Insurance
Tennessee Funeral Insurance: 13 FAQ’s

In the Volunteer State, there is much to be thankful for. From the city of Memphis and all the history that comes with it to Nashville, Knoxville, and everywhere in between Tennessee is a world-class state with top-notch beauty.

The item that is not on top of the mind of Tennesseeans alike is the inevitable financial burden left behind once someone passes away.

Whether you are starting to think about your own funeral or a loved one’s, the fact of the matter does not change that the financial repercussions can be daunting for family members left behind.

The average cost breakdown of funeral expenses depends on all of the items that are selected along the way, including the funeral homes selected, which causes a variation in costs.

The average traditional burial service in Tennessee is $7,684

The average cost of cremation service in TN is $6,297




Chattanooga $7,806 $6,320
Clarksville $8,643 $7,265
Cookeville $6,803 $5,563
Jackson $8,293 $6,734
Johnson City $7,139 $5,901
Kingsport $7,536 $6,177
Knoxville $8,000 $6,603
Memphis $7,066 $5,626
Murfreesboro $7,072 $5,758
Nashville TN $8,483 $7,019
State Average $7,684 $6,297

Not included in the cost breakdown:

  • Cost of Headstone, Monument, or Marker
  • Cemetery Property, Plot of Land, Columbarium, etc.

We need to be prepared and plan ahead for what is guaranteed to happen, this is where funeral insurance coverage can help!

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Tennessee Funeral Insurance

The average age of death in the state of Tennessee is 73.4 for males and 78.6 for females.

This is a slightly shorter life span than the national average.

National Average:

  • Males 76.1
  • Females 81.1

Listed below are the top 10 leading causes of death in the state.

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
  4. Accidents
  5. Alzheimer’s Disease
  6. Stroke
  7. Diabetes
  8. Flu/Phenomena
  9. Suicide
  10. Kidney Disease

Everyone knows a friend, family member, or loved one who has dealt with one of these conditions. Seniors need to be prepared for the inevitable and plan ahead to allow for loved ones to celebrate your life and not be financially burdened by the costs left behind.

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13 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Funeral Insurance?

This product is a type of Whole Life Insurance, meaning that there are a few very distinct features that will come with every whole life policy.

Coverage Lock: The coverage amount will never decrease and the policy will never expire.

Price Lock: The price will never increase.

Builds Cash Value: You are able to borrow from your policy. For every payment you make a portion will go towards the cash value.

The Death Benefit is Smaller: A plan that is meant for your end-of-life expenses is different than a traditional whole life policy in one major way.

Traditional policies are meant to replace someone’s income while a funeral policy is meant to pay for funeral expenses.

This allows for an affordable monthly payment that gives you peace of mind.

2. What Can the Policy Payout be Used for?

While most often the money is spent on fees of the funeral directors and funeral homes, it is not required. After the claim has been filed and the money has been distributed there are no restrictions that are state-regulated or set by funeral insurance companies. This flexibility is actually a part of the appeal of these policies.

Expenses that the money typically goes towards:

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

3. How Can I Qualify for Insurance Coverage?

Withing funeral plans there are multiple plan options in which each type has different health requirements.

Four Plan Types:

  • Level
  • Graded
  • Modified
  • Guaranteed Issue


The Level plan is for the healthiest of people. This means that you are able to answer favorably to a wide variety of health questions. If you pass the medical question section then you should be able to receive the best price and immediate coverage.


A Graded plan typically has a two-year waiting period with a payout structure that increases each year.


  • Death in year one: 30% of the face amount
  • Death in year two: 70% of the face amount
  • Death in year three and beyond: 100% of the face amount

This policy is built for individuals with minor or recent medical conditions.


Similar to the Graded plan, Modified has a two-year waiting period but does not have as favorable of a payout structure during the waiting period.


  • Death in year one: return of premiums paid plus 10% interest
  • Death in year two: return of premiums paid plus 10% interest
  • Death in year three: 100% of the face amount

This plan is not useful and should be avoided at all costs. This is because it has high premiums and requires you to answer health questions.

You can find Guaranteed Issue policies that are cheaper with similar waiting period benefits.

Guaranteed Issue:

This product is meant for individuals who have serious, recent, or chronic health conditions. You will never be asked any health questions with this policy type and will receive insurance coverage on a guaranteed basis.

These policies accept 100% of applicants and typically have the following payout structure during the two-year waiting period.


  • Death in first 2 years – return of premiums paid plus 10% interest
  • Death in year three or later – 100% of the face amount

4. How Old Can I be and Still Receive Coverage?

On average companies will provide insurance coverage to the age of 85. If you search you can find a few carriers that will provide life insurance for individuals up to the age of 90 years old.

The two carriers we know about are Aetna and Guarantee Trust Life.

Remember funeral plans last the entire life of the insured, this category is just speaking on the initial age upon application.

5. How do I Know What Plan is Right for Me?

You need to call an independent agent that is able to help guide you through the process of securing a plan. You could buy a plan through the TV, the mail, or even your local State Farm broker but we can assure you this is not your best option.

This is because these companies will only show you the products that they offer which are typically limited. When working with an independent agent that specializes in this product you will be assured to find the right puzzle piece for your needs.

At Willamette Life, we represent many funeral insurance companies and will find the best coverage given your unique needs.

6. What are Waiting Period Plans?

A plan that requires you to wait for coverage is typically a product that will take on individuals with higher risk health conditions. Basically, the carrier is willing to provide coverage to someone with average or poor health but in return, they will hedge their bet and impose a waiting period on the plan.

If the insured were to pass away during the waiting period the beneficiary would receive a predetermined amount of money that is less than the full face amount.

7. How do I Qualify for Immediate Coverage?

You will need to answer a series of health questions. These health questions will dive into your health history. It is important to work with an agent that is able to navigate the waters and understands the best carrier to place you with depending on your medical history.

8. Which Funeral Insurance Companies have the Best Plans?

This is determined by the proposed insured’s medical history, age, and gender. There is not a one-size-fits-all company so you need to do your homework before buying the first plan that comes to you.

There are several companies that advertise like their plan is the best. The funeral advantage plan from Lincoln Heritage is one of the big names out there that specialize in this life insurance niche, however, the plans it offers are more costly than what you can find through an independent agent. The same goes for other large carriers with a big brand name and flashy logo.

9. I Have Heard Different Names Used for this Product Type, What’s the Difference?

This plan has three different names that all mean the same thing.

Three names for this plan type

There is no difference between the three, funeral insurance companies use these names interchangeably for marketing purposes.

10. Is this Type of Coverage Worth it for Me?

Having peace of mind and a financial safety net for your loved ones is always worth it. This will allow you to rest easy every day knowing if something were to happen, your loved ones would be taken care of.

11. How Much Will Social Security Payout?

The Social Security Administration will pay up to a $255 death benefit. This is not anywhere near a reasonable amount that would pay for one’s end of life expenses.

Have a plan and be proactive because social security will not give your family what they need financially to celebrate your life. By getting life insurance it could prevent your family from needing state help with the costs or needing to find charities that help with funeral expenses

12. Can I Purchase a Policy for a Loved One?

You can purchase the policy for someone other than yourself, however, the proposed insured needs to be involved in the process. They will need to be a willing participant and in sound mind, able to sign.

13. How do I get a Quote and Coverage?

You have a few options for funeral plans including using the instant quote machine that is on this page.

If you want a quote tailored for your specific health concerns contact Willamette Life and we will guide you through the process.

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Final Thoughts

a. Tennessee Funeral Insurance has many plan options to choose from. The plan we recommend for the healthiest clients is Mutual of Omaha’s Level plan. This product will provide the lowest rates and outstanding coverage.

b. Other plan options including term life and preneed funeral coverage are most likely not going to provide the best plan or lowest rates to cover the cost of cremation or funeral.

c. Always work with an independent agent that specializes in this niche. This will guarantee you find the product that is best for you and your unique health history.

Call Willamette Life at 844-576-0019

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