With life expectancy in the United States at around 80 years old, it can seem like pondering the question of when should I buy burial insurance can be answered with thoughts of having plenty of time. However, that isn’t necessarily the best way of making your burial insurance decision. Many factors go into burial insurance approval and rates so simply putting it off until you are closer to mortality age can end up costing you and your family the peace of mind that goes with knowing your burial needs will be taken care of. Also, as much as you may think you are on your way to meeting or exceeding average life expectancy, no one can really know when their time will come and it is a huge burden to leave your family without the proper funeral insurance protection.
Typically people have a term life insurance policy during the years when their children are growing up in the home because many people consider life insurance to be for supplementing income lost in the family while a family is being raised. Term life insurance policies are usually for a large amount intended to make a big financial difference for the surviving spouse if someone dies while the kids are still at home. While this approach is common and makes sense for protecting the family before the empty nest stage, it would be remiss to stop there when considering the importance of life insurance in your life. Most adults are not financially ready to pay for their burial insurance needs and final expenses once their children leave home. In fact many are surprised at how much they continue to financially contribute to their children’s needs meaning it is difficult to build up any kind of nest egg for retirement, let alone burial expenses if something should happen. So what is the solution as you ask when should I buy burial insurance?
Burial Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance
Burial insurance is different than the term life insurance many people have in their younger years because it never expires and the monthly premiums are never raised. Term life insurance is usually purchased for a period of 20 or 30 years. Most folks go along for their 20 or 30 years feeling quite secure with their term life policy when all of the sudden, they realize their policy will expire soon and their family will be completely unprotected if they should die. When you go to compare options at that stage of life, most people realize that their term life insurance options as empty nesters are limited and quite expensive. This is because approval is not guaranteed and even the smallest health factor such as taking medication for blood pressure or a history of digestive problems can greatly impact your premiums and even cause the application to be declined.
For many, a whole life insurance policy also known as permanent insurance, burial insurance or final expense insurance is the best choice after the term policy has expired. In comparison to term insurance you will want to know that with a whole life policy, approval is guaranteed, premiums never go up, and the policy never expires. With term life insurance you can be turned down, premiums can be raised, and the policy does expire. So the most common answer to the question of when should I buy burial insurance is that you need to buy burial insurance right before your term life insurance policy expires so that you aren’t without life insurance coverage. Another common situation is people who are solely counting on their employer provided life insurance and do not have a policy of their own. In that case, you will want to be sure the employer provided policy is enough to pay final expenses. If not, you may want to supplement with a burial insurance plan. Otherwise, you will want to purchase burial insurance as soon as you leave that job so that your family is protected with some kind of life insurance plan.
Choosing Your Burial Insurance Policy
Now that you know the answer to WHEN should I buy burial insurance, you want to think about HOW do you buy burial insurance. There are a few considerations as you start the process of buying a whole life insurance policy. First, you will decide how much insurance you need. Usually people want to pay for their funeral expenses, remaining debts, and sometimes even leave a little extra money to family members. You can think about whether your surviving spouse is employed and what benefits your employer or your spouse’s employer provide that would help financially. Would your surviving spouse need some money to adjust to the loss of your income or would some kind of pension or Social Security cover that? A typical burial insurance policy has a death benefit of between $10,000 and $50,000 depending on your situation. Other details to consider are whether you are adding on to any existing life insurance benefits when you buy your burial insurance. Maybe you have a small policy with your employer but it’s not enough for your final expenses to be paid. Or maybe you have a burial insurance policy but the cost of living has increased and you need an additional policy so that your family members will not have to pay for your final expenses out of pocket. Answering these questions will help you decide how much burial insurance you need.
Once you know how much insurance you need, you will want to use a broker to help you compare rates. A broker is better than an individual agent because a broker works with many companies and can get you the most coverage at the lowest prices. The applications are simple and quick, usually with just some yes and no health questions. With burial insurance, everyone under the age of 85 is automatically approved. For those with serious medical issues, there may be a two year waiting period. If you have health problems, you may want to apply for burial insurance before your term runs out or your employment changes so that any waiting period has gone by and you won’t be left without life insurance. However, about 90% of applicants for burial insurance are approved for DAY ONE coverage with no medical exams needed. The life insurance policy begins on the day of the first payment and will never be cancelled as long as payments are made. Burial life insurance lasts for your whole life!
What if I don’t have any life insurance?
For those of you who don’t have term life insurance or employer provided life insurance, if you are asking when should I buy burial insurance the answer is NOW if you are uninsured.
Do not wait any longer thinking you have plenty of time. Life takes unexpected turns and the last thing you want is to leave your family in a financially poor situation because you put off getting burial insurance. The entire process from application to approved and ready to go takes about an hour. Aren’t your loved ones worth an hour of your time to be sure they are protected?
So there it is- When Should I Buy Burial Insurance? If you have term life or employer provided insurance, you will want to buy burial insurance before those policies expire. If your employer provided insurance isn’t enough to pay final expenses, you may want to buy a burial insurance policy now as a supplement. AND if you do not have any life insurance in place for your family, ACT NOW and protect them immediately.