Just insurance for funeral expenses is marketed in several ways. Some insurers offer guaranteed acceptance policies and market them as burial insurance. And remember there are many different types of life insurance policies depending on your needs. Burial or final expense insurance is a policy with a low face value generally from $5,000 to $50,000.
Today, the average North American traditional funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000. This price range includes the services at the funeral home, burial in a cemetery, and the installation of a headstone. While cremation is gaining in popularity, the traditional funeral is still the most popular manner for disposing of the deceased.
The Federal Trade Commission wants you to know that when you arrange for a funeral, you have the right to buy goods and services separately, not having to accept packaged deals whether you are making arrangements when a death occurs or pre-need. It is also important to recognize your rights because laws do vary from state to state. Many believe that embalming is required by law. No state requires routine embalming. Services like direct cremation and immediate burial do not require any form of preservation. Many funeral homes require embalming if you’re planning a viewing or visitation. But embalming generally is not necessary or legally required if the body is buried or cremated shortly after death. A specific casket will not preserve the body for longer periods of time either.
Many are planning their own funerals in advance. You may wish to make decisions but not pay for them in advance. Over time businesses may close or change ownership. Prices may go up but in some cases, down. If planning on prepaying, state laws govern the prepayment for funeral goods. If you are planning on prepaying, ensure that your family is involved in any contract that may be signed.
Burial insurance tends to be more affordable in comparison to a basic life insurance policy. Seniors up to age of 85 can be eligible to apply with some insurers. Most often, no medical exam is required and those with health concerns may qualify. However, a simplified issue plan does require that you complete a basic medical questionnaire and meet certain qualifications.
Final expense insurance is similar to life insurance in that a policy may be issued on a term or whole life basis. Term life policies provide financial protection for a set period of time, often up to the age of 80. At that time, if no claim has been filed and the policyholder is still alive, the policy will expire.
Keep in mind standard life insurance policies does cover final expenses, but if you do not qualify for a standard policy because of illness, this may be a way to provide what you need for your funeral. Make sure that you talk to a a trusted insurance specialist for the best options available.
Want to learn more about life insurance? Read our article The Most Frequently Asked Life Insurance Questions.