A quick guide to burial insurance

The death of a loved one is often hard to accept. And in such difficult times, one may overlook the financial strain funerals can put on their family. Burial insurance, also referred to as funeral insurance or final expense insurance, is a type of life insurance that covers the cost of final expenses. Many people often wonder whether or not, or when, they should buy burial insurance. This article answers these common questions and provides a list of the best burial insurance companies in the country.

How does it work?
Funeral homes usually do not offer burial insurance. Most people purchase it directly from an insurance company. In general, no medical examination is required to get the insurance, but the applicant might be asked a few questions concerning their health. There are two types of burial insurance policies, and the exact process depends on the type of policy an individual selects. Let us understand these policies in detail:

  • Simplified issue life insurance: This policy is offered without any medical exam. However, the applicant will need to fill out a health questionnaire. Keep in mind that people in wheelchairs, those residing in nursing homes, and those with severe diseases like heart disease, HIV, diabetes, and cancer may be denied coverage. But anyone in good health, including seniors, can easily get simplified issue life insurance.
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance: This policy is offered without a medical exam and health questionnaire. In other words, nobody is denied guaranteed issue life insurance. But, it is crucial to know that this policy is typically costlier than simplified issue life insurance because insurance companies are taking a risk by covering applicants without checking their medical history.

It is worth mentioning that both policies come with graded death benefits. That means if an individual passes away within the first few years of purchasing the policy, their family members will receive only a tiny percent of the coverage amount or a refund of the premium the individual had paid. That said, these policies usually cover entire funeral expenses for accident-related deaths right from the beginning.

Is burial insurance worth it?
Before answering that, it is essential to look at the pros and cons of burial insurance. The most significant advantage of burial insurance is that it does not require a health exam. And, even if a person is suffering from a serious health condition, they can qualify for guaranteed issue life insurance, which can fully cover the funeral expenses. However, the downside of burial insurance is that it can be expensive, even for people in good health. Also, if a person dies of natural causes within two or three years of buying the policy, most insurers will only refund a small amount to the beneficiaries.

Burial insurance is an excellent option for those who want to leave money behind for their funeral expenses and ease the financial burden on their loved ones while they are grieving. So, if an individual’s health is fragile or has an elderly or someone with a terminal illness in the family, getting burial insurance can be worth it.

The best burial insurance companies
Here are some of the top-rated, trusted burial insurance companies out there:

  • AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance
    Though not an insurance company, AARP has partnered with New York Life, one of the largest life insurance companies, to cover burial expenses. All AARP members are guaranteed qualification without medical exams. However, it is necessary to meet the age requirements. They offer coverage up to $25,000, which lasts until the end of an individual’s life. Also, no monthly premiums need to be paid after the age of 95. Another benefit is that AARP members can quickly get a free quote online.
  • Transamerica
    Transamerica stands out for providing burial insurance with no waiting period. In most cases, final expenses policies do not cover the cost of death due to natural causes for the first few years after buying the policy. But with Transamerica’s Immediate Solution policy, applicants are fully covered from the first day itself. And with coverage ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, the policy may be suitable for people with different budgets.
  • Mutual of Omaha
    The minimum age requirement for most burial insurance policies is 50. But Mutual of Omaha covers people as young as 45 (in all states except New York). They offer coverage between $2,000 and $25,000 and allow people to apply for a free quote by providing only basic information online. The company also makes it easier for family members to receive a substantial portion of the claim within 24 hours of the death of a loved one.
  • Foresters Financial
    Foresters Financial’s PlanRight Whole Life Insurance is designed to cover the total cost of burial and other final expenses. Their premium does not increase with age, and they continue to offer lifetime coverage up to 121. One of the attractive features of Foresters Financial’s burial insurance is that they provide two additional riders free of cost: Family Health Benefit and Accelerated Death Benefit. The former pays for ambulances or similar expenses associated with natural disasters, while the latter pays out to beneficiaries if an applicant dies due to a plane, bus, or train accident.
  • Colonial Penn
    Colonial Penn is an excellent option for budget-conscious people as it offers free coverage for one month to those who pay annually for their policy. Individuals can also pay premiums monthly, quarterly, or semiannually and apply for a free quote online. With Colonial Penn, premiums are fixed for life, and those below 50 can also get burial insurance. Also, no medical exam is required, and no one is turned down because of their bad health.

It is advisable to evaluate and compare multiple policies before selecting burial insurance. Choosing the right option can help ensure an individual’s family members suffer the least financially after their passing.