Burial insurance, also known as senior insurance or final expense insurance, is a whole life insurance policy that covers funeral expenses and small expenses. You can usually get approved for the death benefit without having to undergo a medical exam. Some policies will require you to answer health questions, while others won’t. These policies are guaranteed-issue policies. This means you will be covered regardless of your health condition.
You must ensure that your family member is present if you are buying a policy.
Final expense insurance is best for those with medical issues that prevent them from being approved for a policy that requires a physical exam. These policies may be more affordable than policies that require an examination, but they are still much more expensive per dollar for burial insurance premiums.
When deciding which burial insurance company (or other) is right for you, it’s important to consider your priorities and needs. Companies that provide an online application process without the involvement of agents, such as TruStage, SBLI, or Mutual of Omaha, are good choices if you’re looking for something fast and simple. You have two options if you require a policy that covers more final expenses.
SBLI may offer the best of both, offering an online application process for death benefits up to $35,000. Your SBLI policy may have a three-year graded death benefit period (one year longer than Mutual of Omaha).
If $10,000 is enough coverage and you aren’t afraid to apply with an agent, State Farm may be an option. State Farm is the most financially sound company on this list. Ensure that your company has an A-level AM Best rating (A+ or higher). It is a good idea also to review customer complaints with the NAIC.
What is Burial Insurance?
Burial insurance is also known as senior life insurance or funeral insurance. It covers the immediate costs your beneficiaries might face if you die. Burial insurance policies are similar to other whole-life policies. They have a death benefit and a cash worth. This means that coverage will last your entire life as long as your premiums are paid on time.
Burial insurance policies that cover death benefits generally do not exceed $50,000. However, they are more common than $25,000 policies. You may not need to answer any questions about your health, but approval may be granted regardless of your health. In either case, a medical exam is not necessary.
Guaranteed-issue policies will typically have a reduced death benefit after the first two to three years depending on which company. A traditional whole life policy, which requires a medical exam and/or has an accelerated underwriting procedure, is best for you if you are healthy. Because final expense policies have higher premiums, they are more costly for those who are not in good health.
What is a Graded Death Benefit?
A graded death benefit is a policy that allows you to die from natural causes within the first two-three years of your policy. Your beneficiaries will not be entitled to the entire death benefit amount. The premiums paid to your policy will be returned to you, often with an additional 10%. Your beneficiaries will receive the entire death benefit amount if you are killed in an accident.
Graded benefits allow life insurance companies to provide coverage for people with severe medical problems. It is important to find out if there is a defined benefit period for any policy that you are applying for. Some policies limit the benefit period to just two years, while others allow for three. Consider how much of your premiums will be returned if you are not able to work during the graded benefit period. Some companies offer 10% while others offer lower rates.
What is Guaranteed-Issue Insurance Life Insurance?
Final expense policies can be either guaranteed or simplified. These are the two types of underwriting that companies use in determining premiums and whether or not you’re approved for coverage. Guaranteed issue is cheaper, requires no underwriting, and your coverage will be approved. The only thing you need is to be in the age bracket that is eligible for the policy.
Although simplified-issue policies can be very simple, they do require a few questions about your health. A simplified-issue policy may not offer a graded benefit period whereas guaranteed-issue policies do. While some companies offer both coverages (e.g. Mutual of Omaha or SBLI), others only offer one type of coverage (e.g. TruStage).
A guaranteed-issue policy might be the best option for you if you have had life insurance denied to you because of your health. Be aware that your beneficiaries will not receive the full death benefit if you die from natural causes.
How we chose the best life insurance companies
We developed a comprehensive life insurance methodology to compile our list. We began by researching the needs of consumers regarding life insurance companies. For that purpose, we used third-party consumer studies such as J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance New Business Study. We also looked at J.D.
We gathered more than 50 data points about 91 life insurance companies to help us make these findings. This includes ratings for financial strength, customer satisfaction, and customer complaints. It also contains information about years in business and online tools, no exam options, dividends, and maximum issue ages.
Companies with strong financials, easy application processes, and few customer complaints were given preference in our review process. Online resources such as an insurance calculator or educational information were given rating boosts. Each company was ranked according to the following weights and categories.
- 35%: Financial stability
- 25%: Customer satisfaction
- 25%: Easy application
- 15% Off Online Resources
We compared the individual offerings of top companies to finalize our list by taking into account third-party ratings as well as digging deeper into product details, such as death benefit amounts and graded benefits periods. This research was used to identify the top burial insurance companies.