Burial Insurance- Complete Buying Guide (2021)

burial insurance

What is burial insurance? How does burial life insurance work? Can I afford funeral insurance? What if I have bad health- can I still get burial insurance? Burial insurance for seniors will be one of the hot topics in 2021 among the over-60 population who are planning for their retirement years and looking ahead to put everything in place including covering their final expenses.

In fact, in a recent study by Limra, Americans stated the #1 reason for owning life insurance was to cover burial and final expenses.question marks

With so many questions and misconceptions about life insurance and the recent rise of popularity in final expense insurance policies, we have constructed our Complete Guide to Burial Insurance for 2021 to help educate you on this topic. We hope our 2021 burial insurance guide will clear up any questions you may have. You can contact us directly at 888-510-1381 at any time to speak to one of our licensed specialists or add your information on the left and hit the Get Quotes Now button.

Table of Contents – Quick Links

burial insurance 2020What is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance is a life insurance policy designed to pay for a person’s burial expenses or funeral expenses upon their death. Burial insurance is also called funeral insurance, final expense insurance, and whole life insurance. All burial insurance policies are whole life insurance products, which means that the burial insurance policy is good for one’s whole life as compared to a term life insurance policy which expires after a certain amount of time/term. This is important because when someone chooses to buy burial insurance, they want to be sure it will be in place upon their death when their family needs it the most. Of course, we cannot know when that time will come so it is important to purchase your policy sooner than later. Also, your beneficiary will have complete control on how your funeral burial insurance wise owlinsurance funds will be used. Once again, your death benefit doesn’t have to be used for just burial expenses. Other final expenses could be cremation expenses, funeral expenses,  and debit or any final expenses that your beneficiary sees fit. This is why it’s very important to choose your beneficiary wisely.

The best time to purchase burial insurance is when you are young and healthy because rates are determined by age and health. However, Assurance Life works with companies that offer plans to cover ages up to 85 years old. In fact, we have some companies that don’t ask any health question on their applications and everyone is approved. Plus, monthly premiums will NEVER increase and your policy will NEVER expire as long as your monthly payments are being made. 

Here is a quick recap on the benefits of burial insurance:

    • Burial insurance is good for your WHOLE life
    • Can purchase burial insurance up to 89 years old
    • Some burial insurance plans don’t ask any health questions
    • Your monthly premiums will never increase
    • Your policy can’t be cancelled due to age or health


How does Burial Insurance work?

Burial insurance has an easy approval and simple application process. It starts with a brief application including simple health questions with yes and no answers. You can complete this application online or with the help of an agent over the phone. Once the application is complete, approval is often instant or within a few hours. There are three categories of plans Seniors may be approved for. The plan you are eligible for is based on your age and health.

Types of plans:burial insurance coverages

Preferred coverage– This plan is for those in good health from ages birth through 85. Burial insurance with preferred approval includes DAY ONE coverage meaning you are covered immediately upon receipt of the first monthly payment. 90 percent of our customers qualify for preferred coverage. Life insurance no medical exam no waiting period is your best bet.

Graded coverage– This plan is for those who might have some health issues that prevent approval for preferred coverage. Graded coverage burial insurance means that the death benefit is phased in over a two year period. Each company is a little different but here is an average example. With graded coverage, if the insured dies in year one, the insurance company would pay out 40 percent of the death benefit. If death occurs in year two, they pay out 70 percent of the burial insurance death benefit. Then, after two years, the full benefit would be paid upon the insured’s death.

Guaranteed Issue- If you have severe or chronic health problems, that doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for burial insurance. Guaranteed issue burial insurance is for clients who aren’t able to qualify for preferred or graded coverage.  A Guaranteed Issue burial insurance plan is for anyone who has health conditions that prohibit approval for a higher level plan. There is a two year waiting period before the death benefit would be paid out. However, most guaranteed issue companies will give you all your monies back plus 10% interest if you were to pass away within the first two years. Plus, most GI companies pay full face amount for accidental death as well.

After you are approved for burial insurance under one of the three plan types, you would choose a death benefit amount, designate a beneficiary, and set up your monthly payment date. This date can be flexible, based on your budget and needs. Once payments begin, your coverage is in force and your family is protected through your burial insurance plan.

Quick FAQs- Common Insurance Myths Dispelled

Does an agent have to come to my house?don't worry about cleaning up

Absolutely not!  You are able to secure burial insurance through an online application process or ALL over the phone with a licensed agent who specializes in burial insurance. Assurance Life can complete the process 100 PERCENT over the phone. You won’t have to clean up the house for us.

Do I have to get a medical exam?

NO!  Approval for burial insurance is based on a questionnaire with yes or no questions and no medical exam is needed. This is why burial insurance has become so popular. The application is simple and NO EXAMS EVER.

Will my burial insurance expire when I get older?

Regardless of age, your burial insurance does not expire once you are approved and issued a policy. Once again, your burial insurance policy CAN’T be cancelled due to age.

Can my burial insurance be cancelled if I get a terminal illness?

Burial insurance can NEVER be cancelled as long as monthly payments are being made on time even if there is a change in your health status. In fact, some burial insurance companies offer “living benefits” with their policies. This allows you to access some of your death benefit early if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness while you are still living.burial insurance amounts

Is burial insurance really affordable if I’m on a fixed income?

Absolutely! You can purchase the specific amount needed from $2,000 to $50,000 depending on your insurance needs. Plus, it’s easy to budget for since your monthly payment stays the same and will never change.

Is the largest and most known insurance company always the best deal?

NOT EXACTLY. Not all insurance companies are created equal. In fact, EVERY life insurance company will most likely view your individual health conditions differently. This is why shopping SEVERAL insurance companies is important because your individual health condition will determine what you pay for insurance. Assurance Life uses all A Rated companies – AM Best which offer quality coverage, even if you haven’t heard of them because they specialize in final expense insurance. 

How to find the best Burial Insurance quotes

Shopping for a burial insurance quotes can be a tiring process for most. Where do you even begin? How does someone choose from the hundreds of companies available? You could pick up the phone and call all of these how to find best burial insurance question markscompanies yourself but this method is not recommended. It would take hours upon hours for you to research each company to make sure you make the right decision. This is where using an independent broker like Assurance Life can save you a ton of time and money. Let me explain. Independent insurance brokers don’t just represent one insurance company.  Instead, they have access to several companies. In fact, Assurance Life works with over 25 of the top funeral insurance companies in the nation.

So how does this affect you?

Well, using an independent broker like Assurance Life can simply save you a bunch of time and money. We do all the work so you don’t have to. Not to worry, because you won’t be paying a penny extra for this service- part of the service Assurance Life provides is helping you sort through all the options.  This is key because choosing the wrong insurance company could cost you thousands and this is where the TRUE VALUE of working with an insurance broker comes in. Let me give you an example-

In this example we will look at how two companies will view your health conditions differently and how much more you would pay if you weren’t able to compare. Also, in the example you will notice when comparing there isn’t just a difference in premium, there is also a difference in coverage between the two companies.

EXAMPLE: 68 year old male – Nonsmoking – Seeking $10,000 burial policy- Let’s say you have been diagnosed with Bipolar Depression and you currently have no other health conditions.

Company A is Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha specifically asks about Bipolar Depression on their application and if you answer yes to their Bipolar question, you would qualify for their Graded policy (phased-in coverage) and $10,000 of coverage would cost you $109.78 per month.

Company B is Liberty Bankers Life

Liberty Bankers Life doesn’t ask about Bipolar Depression on their application so they don’t view your condition as serious as Company A. You would qualify for their SIMPL Preferred plan (Day One coverage) and a $10,000 policy would cost you $66.71 per month.

Clearly, Company B is your best option but many, many clients don’t get a chance to compare options and end up paying too much for lesser coverage. By using an insurance broker like Assurance Life, in this example if you lived to age 90… you would end up saving $16,538.88 over the years choosing Company B.

You like to save money, right?

But, there is more to the story… with Company B you qualified for Preferred coverage and Company A you qualified for their Graded Plan. So what’s the difference in Preferred coverage and Graded Coverage?

Preferred coverage starts DAY 1 and your coverage begins immediately after your first payment is received. So NO WAITING PERIOD.

Graded coverage with Company A has phased in coverage with two years until the full benefit is realized. This means if you die within the first two years of taking out your policy, your death benefit would only be partially paid out.  Once again, 2 YEAR WAITING PERIOD before receiving your full death benefits.

So not only would you end up saving a ton of money by going with Company B, you would also end up getting better coverage without a waiting period.

The example above shows you the power of using an independent broker and why you should use an expert like Assurance Life to help you find the RIGHT insurance policy that matches your specific health conditions. Using an independent broker when buying life insurance will ensure you always get the lowest life insurance quotes possible.

How much does Burial Insurance cost?what does burial insurance cost

Life insurance companies use statistical data along with life expectancy charts to help them determine the amount of premium to charge. However, the amount you pay for your burial insurance policy will be determined by several individual factors relating to you. You will be asked about your:



Tobacco Use

Coverage Amount Needed

General Health

Age – Your age when applying for burial insurance will not only have a factor in how much you will pay, it will also determine whether you will qualify or not. Most burial insurance companies freely accept applicants between the ages of 50-80 years old. However, Assurance life works with several companies that take individuals between the ages of 18 months to up to 89 years old.burial insurance

Gender – Unfortunately, if you are a male, you will pay more for life insurance. Females tend to live longer than Males by an average of 5 years. Since males tend to die sooner, insurance companies have this factored in the numbers. Insurance companies get to collect additional premium payments on females who are out living the males for those additional years.

Tobacco Use – All burial insurance applications will ask about tobacco or nicotine use. Obviously, your life insurance rates will be higher if you have used tobacco/nicotine in the past 12 months due to the risks. In fact, most insurance companies are now including e-cigarettes on their applications as well. However, not all life insurance companies are created equal when asking this question on their applications. Some companies only ask about cigarettes, so cigars and chew would qualify for nonsmoking rates with these companies. This is another reason to use an independent broker with access to multiple companies so you have access to the ones that fit your personal health profile when purchasing your burial insurance policy. Once again, this ensures you always get the lowest price possible because we get to shop your health conditions to several different companies to find you the exact match.

Coverage Amount Needed – Of course, the amount of insurance you need to cover your final expenses will determine how much your life insurance policy will cost. We always recommend to ONLY take out the amount that you can afford. It’s very important to make sure the amount taken out fits into your monthly budget. Most burial insurance companies offer plans between $3,000 and $45,000. The most common priced burial insurance policy is $10,000 since this is about the average cost of a basic funeral.

General Health – Most life insurance companies will ask about your build type – height and weight. However, we do have a few companies that don’t so we have you covered either way. ALL burial insurance companies will ask you simple yes or no questions on their applications to help determine your eligibility. 90 percent of our customers qualify for preferred coverage so not to worry if you have some health issues. In fact, we have some companies that don’t even ask any health questions and EVERYONE is GUARANTEED approval. Life insurance companies also use your past medical history and recent prescriptions as well to determine your eligibility. Here are some sample burial insurance quotes from Sentinel Security Life and Liberty Bankers Life:



best burial insurance companies


Who are the Best Burial Insurance Companies?

BEST means different things to different people. So, how do know which burial insurance company to choose? Lots of factors to consider before making your final decision to purchase your policy. Some look for company size, company reputation, company ratings, claim history, products available, pricing, underwriting, etc. We look at them all. Assurance Life always recommend working with a independent life insurance broker that has the knowledge and experience to lead your way. Assurance Life works with 25 of the top burial insurance companies in the nation. We do this EVERYDAY! Working with several different companies allows us to shop all of our providers to find you the best rates and the BEST plan that fits your exact health conditions.

Here are just a few of our favorite companies that we use on a daily basis:mutual of omaha logo

Mutual of Omaha – MOO is a financially strong company that has been around for over a 100 years. Assurance Life offers Mutual of Omaha’s burial insurance “Living Promise” plan. This plan is available ONLY through independent brokers like Assurance Life and IS NOT sold directly by Mutual of Omaha. Mutual of Omaha’s Living Promise plan is available in ALL 50 states and their plan offers coverage up to $40,000 for those needing extra protection. MOO also has excellent rates for those who can qualify with a easy application process as well. MOO also has the best rates in industry for those between the ages 81-85.

Liberty Bankers Life– LBL is another company we like to offer our clients as it’s a solid company who has been around for over 60 years. Liberty Bankers Life has several great health niches where clients can qualify for DAY 1 burial insurance coverage when other companies would place you in a plan with a waiting period. Liberty Bankers Life also has some excellent child and grandchild riders available as well at affordable pricing. Plus, the entire LBL application can be completed 100% over the phone and approval is usually within 24 hours. Liberty Bankers Life burial insurance plans are available in 47 states and their phone application makes the entire approval process super easy for the client. LBL also offers coverage starting at age 18 when most burial insurance companies start at age 50.

AIG– We offer AIG’s guaranteed issue whole life policies for those with severe health conditions. This type of plan doesn’t ask any health questions and everyone is Guaranteed approval. No health questions to answer makes this application super simple. AIG (American General) has been in business for over a 100 years and currently has an excellent rating with AM Best. The AIG guaranteed issue plan is only offered as a last resort because this plan has a mandatory 2 year waiting period and is more expensive than other life insurance policies. Of course, AIG is a great option for those who can’t get approved for traditional life insurance because of a terminal illness or severe health conditions.sentinel security life insurance 70

Sentinel Security LifeSentinel Security Life Insurance Company has been serving the senior market for over 70 years now. They have some great products and few different burial insurance plans that we like to offer. SSL has great customer service and often some of the lowest rates in the industry. Another reason they are a favorite of our is because their application can be completed 100% over the phone. Plus, approval time is often within 24 hours or less. SSL is currently licensed to do business in 35 states with their New Vantage burial insurance product and is available up to age 85.

Prosperity Life– Another company we like to use with long history of financial strength and stability is Prosperity Life. Prosperity Life Group companies have been serving consumers for over 100 years. Prosperity Life currently has a excellent rating with AM Best and is licensed to do business in 49 states with all of their products. Assurance Life only focuses on their burial insurance plan which is called New Vista. Prosperity Life has several benefits to their final expense products that we like to take advantage of for our clients. First, they specifically ONLY ask about cigarettes on their application. This means all other tobacco/nicotine use would qualify for nonsmoking rates. Also, Prosperity Life freely accepts the direct express card which is rare in the burial insurance industry.

Can I buy Burial Insurance with no waiting period?burial insurance no waiting period

Absolutely! Buying burial insurance with no waiting period is our top priority for you. In fact, 90 percent of all of our clients don’t have a waiting period attached to their policies. The main reason Assurance Life uses over 25 different burial insurance companies is because our #1 goal is to get your policy approved without a waiting period. Once again, each insurance company will see your health conditions differently. So, we shop your application against all of our companies to find the perfect match for your health profile. Matching you with the right company will ensure you get the best burial insurance rates and the correct policy for your specific health situations. This is an important step in getting the best life insurance protection for you and your family.

How do I buy Burial Insurance for my parents?

Buying burial insurance for your parents is a easy process. First, you must know that life insurance companies will look for “insurable interest” when someone buys a life insurance policy for someone else. Insurable interest simply means that you would suffer a financial loss from the death of person you are buying the policy for. When it comes to child to parent relationships, insurance companies most always approve this type of policy purchase. However, just know you will be the owner of the policy and not your parents.

Steps for buying burial insurance for parents:

      • Contact an independent broker like Assurance Life – Using a independent broker will make sure your parents get the best price and best burial insurance policies specific to their health conditions. Assurance Life will also help you and your family determine how much life insurance is needed to cover your parents final expenses.
    • Complete the application process – Your parents will still have to answer all the health questions in the application process and give you permission to be the owner of their policy. The application process for buying final expense insurance is short and sweet and often approvals are instant or within 24 hours depending on the insurance company.

Can I buy Burial Insurance without answering any health questions?application clipboard

You can! However, it really should be your last resort. When you apply for life insurance you really want a policy that asks you health questions. This why we always recommend NOT to buy life insurance from a solicitation you receive in the mail. All of these mail offers don’t ask any health questions, so you end up paying more than you need to.  Answering health questions on a life insurance application will always get you better pricing than not answering health questions. 

Plus, you will ALWAYS have a waiting period with a no health questions policy. This is type of policy is called a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. No health questions are asked and everyone is approved. Your approval is guaranteed acceptance. However, you will pay more for this type of insurance and WILL ALWAYS have a 2 year waiting period. Once again, a 2 year year waiting period means if you die within the first two years your policy won’t pay the death benefit. You will get all your money back plus 10 percent interest so not a total loss. If you currently have a terminal illness or severe health issues than a burial insurance no health questions will be your best bet. However, this type of policy should be purchased only when you have exhausted ALL other options. Burial insurance with no waiting period is still your best bet.

Is Burial Insurance available if you are over 80?get better with age

Absolutely! So, don’t think for a minute you are too old or not healthy enough to buy burial insurance for seniors over 80. NO medical exams are EVER required when applying for burial insurance and the application is short with simple yes or no questions. This is why funeral insurance has become so popular because the application is super easy and approval time is less than 24 hours most of the time.

Most final expense insurance companies stop providing life insurance coverage at age 80. However, Assurance Life has a few companies that go up to age 85. In fact, we have ONE company that goes up to age 89. Your options are limited in this age range, so contact one of our licensed specialist to help assist you at 800-517-0810 ASAP.

Buying Burial Insurance in 2020 and Beyond

With the rise in burial expenses over the past few years, the cost of a basic funeral is now over $9,000 and could be higher depending on what state you live in. What do you think a funeral will cost 20 years from now? I can promise you it won’t be cheaper than it is today. Seniors are now having to plan ahead so their families don’t have to take on this expensive financial burden. Cremation has become popular recently because its a cheaper alternative than paying for typical funeral. However, even cremation services can cost over $5,000 if you add a viewing before the cremation and other memorial services like flowers, visitation, or a remembrance service. 

The good news is that buying life insurance for funeral expenses or cremation expenses has never been so easy. Assurance Life works with 25 of best burial insurance companies in the nation, so we got you covered. Once again, we do this EVERYDAY.

We help:assurance life family

    • Seniors wanting a policy to cover their final expenses
    • Grandparents buying life insurance as a gift for their grandchildren
    • Children buying burial policies for their parents
      • Parents wanting to leave additional monies behind for loved ones or relatives
    • Families wanting to leave a legacy to an organization/charity using a life insurance policy

Regardless of the season of life you are in, Assurance Life is here to help. Ask about our Senior Cremation Insurance Plans as well. Call us at 888-510-1381.