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Best Burial Insurance for Seniors in 2022

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It is never too soon to start planning for your family’s future. It may not be pleasant to think about what will happen after you pass away, but it’s important. While larger term or whole life insurance policies can help ensure that your loved ones are taken care of once you’re gone, you may not need an expensive policy with high death benefits. Instead, you may just want enough to cover your final expenses. In this case, you can opt for a burial insurance policy. No two burial policies or providers are exactly alike. So, in today’s guide, we’ll take a closer look at the best burial insurance for seniors in 2022!

  • 1. AARP

    Overview

    AARP offers a variety of final expense insurance options for seniors. Like many life insurance providers, AARP does not have a specific policy for burial insurance. Instead, it has multiple options that fall under the umbrella of final expense coverage to choose from based on your needs and budget. The most common types of policies for older adults are the guaranteed acceptance life insurance and simplified issue whole life policies. The former doesn’t require medical exams and cannot deny you coverage based on preexisting health issues, while the latter has no waiting period and provides coverage limits up to $50,000.

    Did You Know: AARP is not a direct insurance provider, so it uses providers like New York Life to maintain and underwrite its policies.

    If you are unfamiliar with AARP, it is important to note that the company offers services to fee-paying AARP members only. The annual fee starts at $12 per year, so the cost of maintaining a membership is not a major concern for most seniors. If you opt for an AARP membership and burial insurance policy, you will also gain access to all of AARP’s financial and educational resources, along with hundreds of discounts.

    Pros
    • Simplified issue policies
    • Guaranteed issue policies
    • Exclusive AARP resources
    Cons
    • Must be an AARP member to apply
    • AARP membership fees can increase over time
    • Two-year waiting period for guaranteed issue policies

    Final Thoughts

    AARP ranks among the best life insurance for seniors, especially if you want multiple policy options. The simplified issue policy will require you to answer some health questions, which means you could be denied coverage based on your health. Fortunately, you still have the option to pay a little more for a guaranteed issue policy and bypass the health questions and medical exams altogether. Either way, AARP makes sure that you can find a burial insurance policy that meets your needs.

    Pro Tip: Are you worried about being denied coverage based on your health status? Visit our list of the best life insurance for seniors without medical exams.

  • 2. Progressive

    Overview

    Progressive stands out for its high age limits. You can apply for a burial insurance policy if you are between 50 and 85 years old. Most other providers have a cut-off age of just 80, making Progressive ideal for seniors.

    Did You Know: Progressive also offers pre-need insurance, where you pay for your funeral costs ahead of time.

    Progressive also offers a plethora of useful information about its burial insurance policies. While other providers either do not promote their burial insurance or don’t delineate between burial insurance and standard whole life insurance policies, Progressive showcases its final expense coverage at affordable rates. With Progressive, you have the option to pay your premium monthly or annually, and you can choose a death benefit of between $5,000 and $35,000.

    Pros
    • No medical exam (guaranteed issue)
    • Competitive pricing
    • High age limit (85)
    Cons
    • Simplified issue policies require a health exam
    • Life insurance is not underwritten by Progressive
    • Some confusion about whom to call for customer service

    Final Thoughts

    Progressive may not underwrite its own burial and life insurance policies, but it still offers plenty of benefits for older adults. The monthly premiums are some of the lowest on the market, while policies are available to seniors up until their 85th birthday. That said, you may have to deal with multiple customer service providers if you have a question about your policy, as Progressive outsources its underwriting to various life insurance providers.

  • 3. State Farm

    Overview

    State Farm offers one of the most straightforward final expense policies for seniors. With State Farm, your premium is set for the duration of your policy, which means your monthly payment won’t increase. Rather than offering different types of insurance, death benefits, and add-ons, State Farm has one policy with a guaranteed $10,000 death benefit. Because a funeral can cost between $6,000 and $12,000, this is usually more than enough to pay for your final expenses.1

    Did You Know: The cash value of your State Farm burial insurance policy will grow tax-deferred.

    Anyone between the ages of 50 and 80 can apply for State Farm’s burial insurance. Many providers have a cut-off of 100 years of age, at which time your death benefit is paid out and you are no longer required to pay your premiums. With State Farm, this cut-off is not guaranteed, so you may have to continue paying your premiums if you live past 100. Fortunately, your insurance policy can accrue cash value and even pay dividends over time.

    Pros
    • No premium increases
    • Cash value accumulation and dividends
    • Simple, no-nonsense policy for most seniors
    Cons
    • Not available in Massachusetts
    • May not have an automatic payout at age 100
    • Maximum death benefit of $10,000

    Final Thoughts

    If you want a simple policy that will pay for your essential final expenses, State Farm is a great option. The premium will never increase, and you can even accumulate cash value and dividends on your death benefit. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more policy variety or add-ons, you may want to consider other providers. In short, State Farm is one of the best choices if you want to “set it and forget it.”

  • 4. Transamerica

    Overview

    Transamerica is a lesser-known provider that offers a wide range of senior and retiree benefits, including burial insurance. One of the key features of Transamerica’s burial insurance is the lack of a waiting period. Rather than needing to outlive a two- or three-year waiting period, your coverage starts as soon as you make your first payment. And while none of Transamerica’s burial policies requires a health exam, you will have to answer some general health-related questions when you apply.

    Did You Know: Transamerica has an automated underwriting process that could get you same-day approval on your application.

    Getting a policy fast can be a great benefit to seniors who want to avoid a long or complex application process. However, there are some drawbacks to Transamerica’s policy options. Unlike most providers, Transamerica sets coverage limits based on your age. If you’re between the ages of 56 and 65, the maximum death benefit is $40,000. This benefit decreases to $30,000 if you’re between 66 and 75, and then $25,000 if you’re over 76 years old.

    Pros
    • No waiting period
    • No medical exam
    • Fast application process
    Cons
    • Coverage add-ons vary by state
    • Maximum coverage decreases with age
    • Health questions required for all policies

    Final Thoughts

    Transamerica’s burial insurance is unique, as you have several policies to choose from, all of which have death benefits that decrease with age. The lack of waiting periods and medical exams make these policies great options for many seniors, especially those with preexisting health conditions. Just remember that you will still have to answer some health questions, which could impact your eligibility and/or monthly premiums.

How We Chose the Best Burial Insurance for Seniors

Burial insurance differs from other types of life insurance, as it is designed to cover the cost of your funeral and similar final expenses only. Many providers put specific limitations on these policies, including low death benefits and even two- or three-year waiting periods (periods that you must outlive in order for your beneficiaries to receive the full death benefit). When evaluating the best burial insurance policies and providers, we examined a wide range of factors, including the following:

  • Overall cost
  • Fixed or variable premiums
  • Waiting periods and refund policies
  • Cash growth and dividends
  • Coverage limits
  • Medical exam requirements
  • Application age limits

Comparing the Best Burial Insurance for Seniors

Starting premium* Age limit Maximum benefit
AARP $46 per month 80 $50,000
Progressive $53 per month 85 $35,000
State Farm $50 per month 80 $10,000
Transamerica $57 per month 80 $40,000

* Premiums are for burial insurance policies with a benefit of between $5,000 and $50,000 (as of 2022). These are the lowest available premiums for seniors ages 50 and above; actual premiums will vary based on age, location, health, and other factors.

What Is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance, also known as funeral or final expense insurance, is a term for a low-death-benefit life insurance policy designed to provide the funds to pay for funerals and associated expenses related to your death. Burial insurance is best for seniors who want a small insurance policy that will provide their beneficiaries with the essential funds they need to pay for these final expenses. While the premium is generally lower than that of a larger term or whole life insurance policy, it is important to note that you will need to pay a relatively high premium for a low death benefit.

Quick Tip: Visit our guide to burial insurance to learn more about final expense insurance, including the costs and whom it’s best for.

For example, let’s say you have a burial insurance policy that costs $50 per month and pays out a death benefit of $25,000. Alternatively, you could get a comprehensive whole life insurance policy for $100 per month that pays a death benefit of $100,000. While the larger policy requires you to pay twice as much per month, it offers four times the value in death benefits.

How Much Does Burial Insurance Cost?

Burial insurance costs vary widely based on your age, health, location, type of policy, and maximum coverage. That said, you can generally expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $80 per month for burial insurance when you are in your 50s. This is about half the cost of larger whole life insurance policies. As previously mentioned, you do not get as much value for your money with a burial insurance policy. Unless you get a policy with a fixed premium, you can expect your premium to get substantially more expensive as you age. For example, the average burial insurance premium for someone in their 80s is roughly $335 per month.2

Tips for Choosing the Best Burial Insurance for Seniors

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best burial life insurance for you:

  • If you live on a fixed income, think about how much you can feasibly afford to pay per month for burial insurance. It might be a good idea to get a policy with a fixed premium so this cost doesn’t increase as you age.
  • Don’t settle on the first provider you find. Get quotes from several providers before making a final decision.
  • Determine if a burial insurance policy has a waiting period and, if so, what kind of refund policy it offers. Generally, a policy with a waiting period will pay out only the amount of premiums that you have paid into the policy (sometimes with interest) if you pass away before the period ends.
  • Do the math on a burial insurance policy versus a comparable whole life insurance policy with a larger death benefit. You may find that it is better for you and your family to pay a little more per month for a bigger payout.
  • Consider how a burial insurance policy will play into your overall estate-planning goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Burial Insurance

  • Is burial insurance cheaper than life insurance?

    Burial insurance is a form of life insurance with low death benefits, but it tends to have a lower monthly premium than a larger term or whole life insurance policy.

  • Are prepaid burial policies a good idea?

    For seniors who already have the funds to provide their loved ones with financial stability, a burial policy is a great way to ensure that the costs of your funeral and final expenses are covered. However, if you do not have other financial vehicles to take care of your beneficiaries, you may want to get a life insurance policy with a higher death benefit.

  • Can burial insurance be used for anything?

    Yes. The death benefit paid out to your beneficiaries can be used for anything. You can set stipulations in your will to ensure that the funds are used in a certain way; otherwise, your beneficiaries can use the death benefits as they see fit.

  • Can you cash out a burial policy?

    Yes. Many burial insurance policies accrue cash value that you can withdraw during your lifetime. However, this takes away from the death benefit that your beneficiaries will receive.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

Citations
  1. Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage. (2022). How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

  2. Choice Mutual. (2022). How Much Does Burial Insurance (Also Known As) Final Expense Insurance Cost?