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How Does Burial Insurance Work?

Burial Insurance


Preparing for the end of life is something that many of us would rather not think about. However, it’s a necessity that can save your loved ones from financial and emotional distress. This article aims to provide an exhaustive guide on a specific aspect of end-of-life planning: Burial Insurance. You’ll learn what it is, why it’s crucial, how it works, and much more.

Part 1: What is Burial Insurance?


Burial insurance, also known as funeral insurance or final expense insurance, is a type of insurance policy designed to cover the costs associated with your funeral and burial services. This insurance helps ensure that your loved ones are not burdened financially when planning your final arrangements.


The primary purpose of burial insurance is to provide financial support for funeral expenses, thereby reducing the monetary strain on your family during an emotionally challenging time.

Types of Burial Insurance

  • Pre-need Funeral Insurance: This insurance is directly linked with a funeral service provider and covers specific funeral services.
  • Final Expense Insurance: A more flexible form, where beneficiaries can use the death benefit for any purpose, not just funeral costs.
  • Burial Life Insurance: A type of life insurance with a smaller death benefit aimed explicitly at covering burial costs.

Each type has its pros and cons, which we will explore further in this article.

Part 2: Why Consider Burial Insurance?

Financial Implications of a Funeral

Funerals can be surprisingly expensive. The average cost can range between $7,000 to $12,000, including services such as embalming, casket, burial plot, and the funeral service itself. Considering these expenses, having insurance can offer substantial relief.

Emotional Benefits

Losing a loved one is emotionally taxing, and having to arrange a funeral can add to the stress. Burial insurance ensures that your family can focus on emotional healing rather than financial strain.

Legal Requirements

There are no legal obligations to have a funeral, but burial and cremation laws require specific procedures. Burial insurance can help ensure that these are followed without financial hardship.

Part 3: How Does Burial Insurance Work?


Premiums for burial insurance can be paid monthly or annually. The rates depend on several factors such as your age, health, and the amount of coverage you opt for.


Typically, burial insurance covers funeral services, casket or urn, embalming or cremation, and other associated costs. However, it’s crucial to read the policy carefully to know what is and isn’t covered.


You can nominate one or more beneficiaries who will receive the insurance payout upon your death. The funds should ideally be used to cover your funeral expenses.

Part 4: How to Buy Burial Insurance

Eligibility Criteria

Most burial insurance policies have age restrictions and may require a basic health questionnaire. No comprehensive medical examination is usually required.


Insurance can be bought from specialized burial insurance companies, regular insurance providers offering burial plans, or directly from funeral service providers. It can also be purchased through independent insurance agents.

Policy Features

Some policies offer customization options such as adding riders for accidental death, child protection, etc. Make sure to understand these features before buying.

Payment Options

Payment can be made through various methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, or checks. Make sure to understand the payment schedule.

Part 5: What to Watch Out For


Be wary of insurance scams. Always check the provider’s credentials and look for reviews or testimonials.

Overlapping Policies

If you already have life insurance, make sure that burial insurance doesn’t overlap with the existing coverage, rendering one unnecessary.


Many policies have exclusions for specific causes of death, such as suicide within the first two years of the policy. Be aware of these limitations.

Part 6: Frequently Asked Questions

Is burial insurance worth it?

The answer depends on your financial situation and whether you already have provisions for funeral expenses. For many, it offers peace of mind.

How does it differ from traditional life insurance?

Traditional life insurance usually offers a higher payout and can serve multiple financial purposes. Burial insurance is focused primarily on covering funeral costs.

Can I buy burial insurance for someone else?

Yes, it’s possible to purchase burial insurance for someone else, provided you have their consent and insurable interest.

Part 7: Case Studies

Case Study 1: The Financially Unprepared Family

Jane’s family was left to scramble for funds when she passed away unexpectedly. The absence of burial insurance led to financial strain and conflict during an already difficult time.

Case Study 2: Smart Planning

John had burial insurance, which enabled his family to focus on coming together and celebrating his life, rather than stressing about finances.

Part 8: Expert Opinions

According to insurance advisors, burial insurance is a wise investment for those without substantial savings or other forms of life insurance. For reliable information on various types of insurance, including burial insurance, experts often refer to publications from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Insurance Information Institute (III). These organizations provide credible, comprehensive guides and statistics, affirming the importance of planning for end-of-life expenses.

Part 9: Additional Resources

For further reading, you may want to consult websites specializing in insurance comparisons or look for books that focus on end-of-life planning.


While discussing end-of-life arrangements may be uncomfortable, preparing for it is a responsible action that eases the burden on your loved ones. Burial insurance is an option that offers both financial and emotional relief. This comprehensive guide should serve as a starting point for anyone considering it.

Appendix: Glossary of Terms

To help you better understand the terminology used in this guide, here’s a glossary of commonly used terms in the context of burial insurance.


The individual, trust, or organization named in an insurance policy to receive the death benefit.

Death Benefit

The lump-sum payment made to the beneficiary upon the death of the insured person.


Specific conditions or circumstances for which the insurance policy will not provide coverage.

Final Expense Insurance

A type of burial insurance that provides a death benefit which can be used for any purpose, not just for funeral costs.


The amount of money paid to the insurance company in exchange for the insurance coverage. This can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Pre-need Funeral Insurance

A type of burial insurance that is directly linked to a funeral service provider and covers specific funeral services.


An optional add-on to an insurance policy that provides additional benefits at an additional cost, such as coverage for accidental death.


The process used by insurance companies to assess the risk associated with providing insurance to a specific individual and to set premiums and coverage amounts accordingly.


Special thanks to insurance experts, family members who shared their experiences, and readers like you who seek to be informed and prepared.

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