Final Expense Insurance - The Basics

Final Expense Insurance - The Basics

Final expense insurance is also called burial insurance or burial life insurance. Regardless of what it's called, the function of such insurance is to help pay for final expenses and burial. Such policies help individuals or their loved ones pay for a funeral service and burial when the person insured on such a policy dies. Saving family members the financial burden of cremation, interment, and other funeral costs and expenses is something that every senior should think about.

Final Expense Insurance

Burial insurance is available from most life insurance providers. Policies are designed to offer protection for a loved one's family, and peace of mind that final arrangements have already been discussed and decided upon. They're often very affordable policies as well.

Final expense insurance may also be used to pay off expenses and debts left by the deceased individual. Burial or funeral costs can range from less than $1,000 to $10,000, depending on your burial options. Some of the most common funeral expenses include:

  • casket purchase
  • purchase of a cemetery plot
  • cost of a headstone
  • actual funeral service costs including arranging for programs, guest speakers, flowers, etc.
  • viewing or visitation costs charged by funeral home
  • payment to the minister/religious leader officiating over the service
  • cost of a hearse for transportation of the deceased from the funeral home to the cemetery

When anyone dies, they may leave behind other expenses including doctor bills, legal fees, and debts, such as car payments, credit card balances, or even a mortgage. In some cases, probate and taxes associated with wills and other legal costs involving lawyers can add up quickly.

Obtaining Final Expense Insurance

Contact your life insurance provider or log on for online life insurance and type in "burial insurance" into your favorite browser and you'll receive a wide variety of options to choose from. Whether you obtain final expense insurance from your current life insurance provider or insurance agent or online, you'll need to fill out an application. There may be a simple form for a no exam life insurance offering or you may be asked to follow up the application with an in-person or phone interview.

Final Expense Insurance

Coverage on a policy is guaranteed regardless of whether you or your loved one has health problems. Premiums never change and stay the same until the policy is paid. Death benefits on such policies don't decrease over the lifetime of the policy.

Individuals can use the death benefit on such policies to not only pay for funeral costs, but also take care of debts and other costs associated with legal issues. Policies cannot be canceled unless premiums are not paid, or when fraud has been detected.

Additional Benefit of Final Expense Insurance

In addition to offering coverage for costs of funeral and burial services, a burial life insurance policy may also serve as a whole life policy for individuals who no longer qualify for whole life insurance or term life insurance due to their medical condition or astronomical premium costs.

It becomes more difficult to obtain adequate insurance after the age of 50, and many individuals pay more than 10 to 20 times for whole life insurance than a 25-year-old does.

Some insurance carriers reject applicants who are over a certain age or who have been diagnosed with pre-existing medical conditions. Term life insurance premiums get higher the older you get.

Burial insurance policies don't require a physical examination and offer a variety of options, including policies that build cash value. Talk to your insurance agent or access a number of burial life insurance companies online to receive a quote.

Choosing a Final Expense Insurance Policy

While you may be inundated for a brief period with phone calls from agents interested in selling you a policy, don't be pressured or rushed into making a decision.

Have a list of questions handy for when you receive a follow-up phone call to your application.

Ask to see a policy before you make a decision so that you can read the fine print and make sure that such a policy is adequate for your needs. Most insurance companies offer policyholders up to 30 days to change their mind and cancel a policy, but do your homework ahead of time so that you don't have to rely on such an option.

Senior Insurance

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