Burial insurance for seniors has become one of the most popular types of insurance policies for seniors. It’s very affordable, easy to buy, and most importantly, easy to qualify for.
In fact, there are burial insurance policies available where the company doesn’t even consider your health. Virtually anyone who is alive can buy affordable burial insurance. You can get a quote on this page or call us at 844-528-8688
Most seniors that spend any time watching television have seen the ads from companies that sell burial insurance directly to consumers.
Companies like Colonial Penn, Globe Life, and John Hancock have commercials running daily that are targeted for seniors. Although this is a good thing, seniors should understand what they are buying because it may not be the most affordable life insurance for seniors. We’ll discuss more about that later.
The best thing about burial insurance (funeral insurance) for seniors is the huge number of companies out there that sell it.
Although this can become confusing, the bottom line is competition benefits the consumer significantly. More competition translates into lower prices and generally the best burial insurance for seniors.
Here’s What We’ll Cover
- What You Should Know about Burial Insurance
- The different types of Burial Insurance Plans
- Burial and Funeral Insurance Plans on TV
- Burial Insurance vs Final Expense Life Insurance
- What about Cremation?
- Funeral Home Pre-Need Plans
- Prosperity Life Insurance
- Royal Neighbors of America
- Liberty Bankers Life
- Mutual of Omaha
- Foresters Life Insurance
What is Burial Insurance for Seniors?
First and foremost, seniors should understand that burial insurance is a marketing term describing the “use” of life insurance policies, not the type of life insurance.
Two things that make it a little more confusing, are the terms “burial insurance,” “funeral insurance,” and “final expense insurance”, they are used interchangeably, and are the same product.
They will all provide the same thing when you pass away; pay for your funeral and burial expenses.
What You should know about Affordable Life Insurance for Seniors
Even though you could use term or universal life insurance for your burial insurance, almost all burial insurance policies are a whole life insurance policy.
This means that the burial insurance policy you purchase will come with all the great benefits and guarantees found in traditional whole life insurance.
All in all, affordable burial insurance for seniors is pretty straightforward and typically the best burial insurance for seniors.
You will receive a whole life insurance policy contract that includes a copy of your application after your policy is issued.
This contract sets out the terms and conditions of your insurance coverage. You will not find any hidden legal language that reduces your coverage or increases your payments.
You will find the amount of interest you will earn on your policy and an illustration showing your cash value amounts over time.
All Burial Insurance Policies for Seniors are Not the Same
We talk to seniors all the time and almost always they ask about the differences between burial insurance from company A compared to the burial insurance from company B.
Other than the rates, there is primarily one main difference between one burial insurance policy and another: how the death benefit is paid.
There are three types of affordable life insurance for seniors and typically the only difference other than rates is how the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. The three available policies are:
Level Benefit Burial Insurance
The level benefit life insurance policy is the closest to a traditional insurance policy. Once issued, your insurance is in force from the first day and the full death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary.
There are no waiting periods. Although there is no medical exam requirement, there are questions on the application about your current health and your health history.
We call these “knockout questions” meaning that if you answer yes to particular ones, you will not qualify for level benefit burial insurance.
Graded Benefit Burial Insurance
The graded benefit policy is available for applicants who do not medically qualify for level benefit burial insurance.
The graded benefit rates are higher than level benefit rates and the death benefit is paid to the beneficiary on a “graded” basis for the first two years for death resulting from natural causes.
Not every company uses the same calculations for Graded Benefit Burial Insurance so be sure you check with the agent after you get a quote.
For most companies like Royal Neighbors Life, if death occurs in the first year of coverage, the beneficiary would receive 30% of the full death benefit and if death occurred in the second year, the beneficiary would receive 70% of the death benefit.
Beginning in month 25 and after, the beneficiary would receive the full death benefit. All deaths resulting from an accident, however, would result in the beneficiary receiving the full death benefit from the first day of coverage.
Modified Benefit Burial Insurance
The modified benefit policy was designed for applicants who do not medically qualify for level benefit or graded benefit burial insurance.
Typically, modified benefit burial insurance costs a lot more but the most important difference is how the death benefit is paid to your beneficiary.
Not every company uses the same calculations for determining the death benefit for their modified death benefit policy because not every company sells the same type of life insurance.
For example, John Doe purchased a modified benefit burial policy from Prosperity Life Insurance with a death benefit of $20,000 and a monthly premium of $99.
If Mr. Doe should pass away during the first year of coverage, his beneficiary (loved ones) would receive 110% of all premiums paid to the insurance company.
If the death occurred in the second year of coverage, Mr. Doe’s beneficiary would receive 231% of the premiums paid.
If Mr. Doe’s death had occurred in the 25th month of his policy or later, the beneficiary would have received the full death benefit of $20,000.
Or, if Mr. Doe’s death was the result of an accident instead of natural causes, his beneficiary would receive the full death benefit from the first day of coverage.
Which Senior Burial Insurance Policies are they Selling on TV?
In almost every case that we have reviewed, the companies advertising on TV use the term “guaranteed issue” or “guaranteed acceptance”.
This means they are offering a policy without regard to health questions or medical exam and there will always be a two or even three-year waiting period similar to the modified benefit plan and probably not the best burial insurance for seniors or their surviving loved ones.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with these plans because the applicant is getting the life insurance coverage they need, but why buy a modified benefit or guaranteed issue plan if you can qualify for a level benefit or graded benefit plan at much lower rates?
These companies are offering one-size-fits-all life insurance products with rates that are generally the highest in the marketplace and unwilling to pay the full death benefit during the first two years if you pass away.
Burial Insurance vs Final Expense Insurance
We are frequently asked what the difference is between burial insurance and final expense insurance. The simple answer is they are the same product.
Burial Insurance and Final Expense Insurance are marketing terms for whole life insurance (and sometimes term insurance). When you purchase burial insurance or final expense insurance, your insurance policy will title the policy as whole life insurance not either one of the marketing terms.
Marketing terms are not considered suspect because the marketing term describes the purpose of the life insurance being purchased. Based on this, a Burial Insurance policy is typically purchased to pay for the specific expenses of a funeral and burial.
On the other hand, a Final Expense policy is typically purchased to cover more final expenses than just a funeral and burial. In many cases, the applicant will purchase additional coverage to pay for other final expenses like unpaid medical bills and nursing home expenses that might not be covered by health insurance or a long-term care policy.
What if I Choose Cremation?
Even if you choose to go the cremation route, there will still be significant funeral expenses involved, especially if you want to have a memorial service and burial service along with the cremation.
Certainly, the expenses for cremation will be less than a traditional funeral, but you’ll likely want to cover these expenses, $6,000 to $8,000, by purchasing life insurance rather than passing them on to surviving loved ones. Many people like the idea of cremation but still want the memorial service so that loved ones can say goodbye with family and friends.
What about a Pre-Need Plan from a Funeral Home?
In many cases (depending on your needs), a pre-need funeral plan can cost less than Burial Insurance. However, it’s important to understand that pre-need funeral plans are insurance and as such, there is an underwriting process that will certainly include health questions.
If you are expecting to save money by purchasing a pre-need funeral plan because you don’t qualify for level benefit burial insurance, you’ll likely be disappointed when you discover the savings is simply not available.
Additionally, there are other disadvantages that should be considered:
- Not all pre-need plans are portable. If you move to another state or decide to change funeral homes, your plan might not follow and therefore stranding loved ones from the benefit when you die.
- If your funeral home goes out of business and you select an alternate, your pre-need plan may not accommodate the change or offer a refund.
- Pre-need funeral plans purchased through a funeral home typically require the policy to be paid in full in 10 years rather than make monthly payments during your lifetime.
- If you have health issues, you will likely be offered a graded benefit or guaranteed issue funeral plan based on your answers to health questions which will result in higher rates and a waiting period before the full death benefit will be paid.
- With a pre-need funeral plan, the beneficiary is the funeral home and not a surviving loved one. This means that if there is money left over after the funeral and burial, the funds are typically retained by the funeral home.
Our Top 5 Companies that Offer Burial Insurance for Seniors
Certainly, we represent many of the top-rated insurance companies that offer burial insurance for seniors, however, in this article we want to pay special attention to our go-to companies and share with our reader why we use these companies more frequently than others.
Here are our top 5 companies that offer burial insurance for seniors in no particular order along with actual insurance rates.
Prosperity Life Insurance
We tend to look to Prosperity Life Insurance whenever we have a prospective client that has health conditions that the company will accept for their level benefit plan.
As we mentioned earlier, the level benefit plan provides first-day coverage (no waiting periods) and has the lowest rates. Here are some the health and lifestyle issues that Prosperity is willing to accept for level benefit coverage:
Although Prosperity does not offer optional insurance riders they do include the Accelerated Death Benefit option at no additional charge.
This is a popular rider because it offers a living benefit to the policyholder. The rider provides for the insurance company to advance the insured up to 50% of the death benefit if he or she is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
This advance can be used to pay for end-of-life expenses while the insured is alive.
Prosperity offers level benefit, graded benefit, and modified benefit burial insurance plan that allows them to offer affordable burial insurance to seniors whether they are healthy or have health conditions.
We can typically get almost any prospective client insured with Prosperity Life even when the applicant says yes to health questions.
Here are Prosperity’s actual rates for a $10,000 burial policy for a male and female non-smoker:
|Age of Applicant||Male Non-Smoker||Female Non-Smoker|
These are Prosperity’s actual rates for the ages listed. For an accurate rate for your actual age, please complete our online rate request form or call our office during normal business hours at (920) 545-4884.
Life insurance shoppers need to understand that getting the lowest rate possible should not be the only factor when considering life insurance from any particular company.
Remember, life insurance is simply a promise to pay a death benefit to your loved ones in return for a premium.
It’s important to check the ratings for each company you consider to make certain that they are financially stable so you can have peace of mind knowing they will be there when you need them.
The Prosperity Life Group’s financial stability is demonstrated by the company’s A- (Excellent) rating that was awarded by A.M. Best, a national rating service that rates life insurance companies on an annual basis.
Additionally, the company has doubled its asset values, after-tax operating gains, and operating return of investment from 2012 to 2016. We consider them financially stable now and in the future.
Royal Neighbors of America
Royal Neighbors of America is among our top 5 burial insurance offerings because of its track record of offering comprehensive insurance solutions for seniors at very competitive and affordable rates.
The company has been in business for about 120 years and has become a trusted life insurer that most insurance brokers rely on.
We love knowing that Royal Neighbors of America is organized as a fraternal benefit society rather than a privately-held or publicly-held corporation.
This means that the company is dedicated to its membership (policyholders) rather than stockholders and Wall Street.
Fraternal Benefit insurance companies also provide financial support and community outreach to the neighborhoods and communities of their policyholders, a service that many seniors are in favor of and proud to be a part of as members of the fraternal benefit society they have purchased insurance from.
You get More than a Life Insurance Policy from Royal Neighbors
When you buy burial insurance for seniors from Royal Neighbors, you not only become a member/owner of the company, you get discounts on other health-related services which will actually offset a considerable portion of your life insurance premium. These discounts include the following:
- Prescription Drug Discounts – Included with your life insurance purchase is a prescription discount card that will help you pay less for medications at 60,000 MedImpact pharmacies across the United States.
- Vision Services Discounts – Members of Royal Neighbors of America can save between 20 to 40% on the cost of eyewear and receive additional discounts on eye exams. The Vision Discount plan can also save members as much as 50% on LASIK surgery at QualSight Lasik centers.
- Dental Discounts – When you become a member of the Royal Neighbors family you can save money on dental procedures at over 176,000 dentist offices across the country. Savings typically run from 5 to 50% depending on the service.
- Hearing Tests and Hearing Aid Services – With the cost of hearing services on the rise, Royal Neighbors membership can also save you money for tests and equipment at 2,700 locations.
- Other Service Discounts – Royal Neighbors of America members will also get discounts on Legal Protection Plans, Imaging Services, and Lab Services. Taking advantage of all of the available discounts can easily off-set most of the cost of your burial insurance plan from Royal Neighbors of America.
Royal Neighbors of America Burial Insurance Plans
Royal Neighbors offers two types of affordable burial insurance for seniors: Simplified Issue (Level Benefit) and a Graded Benefit plan. Applicants who do not medically qualify for the Simplified Issue plan will typically qualify for the Graded Benefit plan depending on answers to the health questions.
Here are actual rates for the Simplified Issue Plan (level benefit) for a $10,000 policy for a male and female non-smoker:
To get an accurate quote for your actual age, fill out our quote request form or call us during normal business hours at 844-528-8688.
Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company
Another provider in our top 5 insurance companies that offer affordable burial insurance for seniors, we must take a look at Liberty Bankers Life, another one of our go-to carriers for burial insurance and final expense insurance for seniors.
Although the Liberty Bankers’ roots do not go as far back as other nationally known insurance companies, the company has become a major player in life insurance for seniors and is represented by many independent insurance brokers across the country.
Liberty Bankers is one of a handful of life insurance companies that will still do business the “old-school” way, by having an insurance division dedicated to providing smaller life insurance policies to people living in the inner cities.
They prefer to have an agent come to their home, ask all the health questions, take care of their insurance needs, and collect the premium on a monthly basis although, most of the company’s insurance products are sold online through independent insurance brokers and the premiums are collected electronically.
Burial Insurance for Seniors from Liberty Bankers Life
Liberty has two burial insurance products to offer and both are affordably priced. Unlike other life insurance companies who compete in the senior market, Liberty Bankers will offer burial and final expense insurance to applicants age 18 to 80 rather than just seniors.
SIMPL is a traditional level benefit whole life insurance policy that was designed for applicants in relatively good health. The policy provides first-day coverage and is the more affordable out of the two burial insurance products they offer. Applicants can purchase death benefits from $3,000 to $30,000 and a medical exam is never required.
Since the SIMPL policy is whole life insurance, the policy comes with the same benefits and guarantees as traditional whole life insurance:
- Coverage for life that cannot be canceled by the company except for non-payment.
- Level premium payments are locked in from the first day and cannot be increased by your insurer.
- Cash value that accumulates over time which can be accessed through policy loans or withdrawals. The cash value account earns a specified guaranteed interest rate that is stated in the policy contract.
Here are Liberty Banker’s actual rates for a $10,000 level benefit policy for a male and female non-smoker:
|Age of Applicant||Male Non-Smoker||Female Non-Smoker|
These insurance quotes should help you get an idea of how much your life insurance will cost.
For an accurate rate based on your actual age and death benefit, please call us during normal business hours at 844-528-8688 or complete our quote request form at your convenience.
Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company
Mutual of Omaha is considered to be a leader in providing affordable burial insurance for seniors. With decades of offering affordable life insurance policies under its belt, Mutual of Omaha remains a tremendous resource for burial insurance for agents and their clients.
Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha is certainly of the most well-known life insurance providers in the U.S. and is recognized by consumers across the country because of the company’s advertising during popular television shows like Wild Kingdom.
The company’s subsidiary organizations have enabled Mutual of Omaha to become and remain a competitively priced insurance provider with a history of outstanding claims service.
Mutual of Omaha’s Financial Ratings
Knowing that life insurance is a promise to pay a financial benefit in exchange for an agreed-upon premium, it’s important for policyholders to feel confident that their life insurer can keep their promise for decades.
Mutual of Omaha demonstrates its ability to pay claims with outstanding financial ratings from all of the national rating services:
|Rating Service||Rating and Description|
|A.M. Best Rating Services||A+ (Superior) 2nd highest of 16|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA- 4th highest of 21|
|Moody’s||A1 5th highest of 21|
|COMDEX Score||93 out of 100|
Mutual of Omaha Burial Insurance Plans
Like other highly-rated insurance providers, Mutual of Omaha can accommodate most applicants by offering liberal underwriting guidelines and multiple burial insurance plans for healthy applicants and applicants dealing with health issues.
The company accommodates the majority of applicants who are healthy by offering Level Benefit burial insurance which has very affordable premiums, provides first-day insurance coverage, and does not require a medical exam.
When an applicant is presenting health issues that will not allow them to qualify for level s benefit whole life policy, Mutual of Omaha offers Graded Benefit Burial Insurance which is still affordable for most applicants but is priced somewhat higher than the level benefit plan and contains a two year period when the death benefit is reduced if death is the result of natural causes.Here are the actual rates for a $15,000 Final Expense Policy for a male and female non-smoker for level benefit and graded benefit whole life insurance:
|Age of Applicant||Male Non-Smoker||Female Non-Smoker|
To get a free and confidential quote for your actual age, please use our instant quote form on the right side of the page.
Foresters Burial Insurance for Seniors
Foresters Life Insurance is another life insurance organization founded by a fraternal organization.
Founded in 1874 by the Independent Order of Foresters, the company was originally established to service the financial and insurance needs of the fraternal society’s membership.
Like other nationally known life insurance and financial services providers, Foresters Financial maintains an “A” rating from A.M. Best rating services. The company continues to maintain its high financial ratings and sales performance year over year despite stiff competition from insurers who sell directly to consumers via television advertising and infomercials.
A substantial difference between Foresters Financial and TV insurance companies is Foresters offers three types of burial and funeral insurance plans and the agents that represent them strive to qualify each applicant with the lowest prices possible and first-day coverage with no medical exam.
This is directly opposite of TV insurance companies that are typically selling only guaranteed acceptance plans with considerably higher rates and a two-year waiting period for full benefit when death is the result of natural causes.
Forester Life Insurance Burial Insurance Plans
Marketed as PlanRight Whole Life Insurance, Foresters offers final expense, burial insurance, and funeral insurance for healthy and not so healthy applicants level benefit, graded benefit, and modified benefit insurance plans.
- Level Benefit burial insurance is for healthy applicants and offers the most affordable rates and first-day coverage.
- Graded Benefit burial insurance is available for applicants who cannot medically qualify for a level benefit plan. The rates are somewhat higher and the death benefit is paid on a graded basis during the first two years of coverage if death results from natural causes.
- Modified Benefit burial insurance is available to applicants who cannot medically qualify for the level benefit or graded benefit plan. The rates are higher than the graded benefit plan and the death benefit is paid out in the first two years of coverage as a return of premium with an additional 10% interest if death is the result of natural causes.
It’s important to note than all three burial insurance plans will pay the full death benefit if the insured’s death is the result of an accident.Here are actual rates showing the pricing difference between the level, graded, and modified benefit plans for a $10,000 burial insurance plan for a female non-smoker:
|Age of Applicant||Level Benefit||Graded Benefit||Modified Benefit|
The Bottom Line
Which Final Expense, Burial, and Funeral insurance to purchase is a very important decision for seniors to consider. Purchasing the wrong type of policy from the wrong company could have devastating effects when the worst should happen, especially if it happens during the waiting period.
To get the information you need about burial and funeral insurance before you sign the dotted line, always speak with an experienced and reputable independent insurance agent who will know and understand the challenges that many people face when attempting to purchase quality life insurance at a price they can afford.
Frequently asked Questions
What’s the difference between burial insurance and final expense insurance?
Burial Insurance and Final Expense insurance are marketing terms and the terms are interchangeable.
What is a modified benefit plan?
A modified benefit (guaranteed issue) burial insurance plan is offered when applicants cannot qualify for level or graded benefit plans. The death benefit is modified since the insurance company will provide coverage without considering the applicant’s health conditions.
What type of plans are sold on TV?
Whenever you hear the term “guaranteed” you can assume that the policy is a modified plan and will have a two-year waiting period before the full death benefit will be paid if death is from natural causes.
Does it make since to buy insurance to cover cremation?
Although cremation does cost less than a traditional burial, most people prefer a memorial service as well so that they can say goodbye with family and friends. A cremation with a memorial service is typically about $5,000.