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How Much Is Burial Insurance?

Burial Insurance


Death is an inevitable part of life, and while discussing it may be uncomfortable, preparing for end-of-life costs is an act of love for those we leave behind. One avenue to consider is burial insurance. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide on the cost of burial insurance, why you may need it, and how to make the most informed decision possible.

In this exhaustive guide, we will dig deep into the details to help you understand the factors that influence the cost of burial insurance, how to calculate your own coverage needs, and what options are available to you.

Why Consider Burial Insurance?

Emotional Burden on Family Members

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is an emotionally draining experience. Having to arrange a funeral and deal with financial matters can make the process even more harrowing. Burial insurance can ease some of this emotional burden by covering funeral-related costs.

Financial Stress During a Difficult Time

The financial impact of a funeral can be significant. In a time when your family should be focused on healing and coming together, the last thing you’d want to add is financial strain. Burial insurance can provide the necessary financial support to avoid such stress.

Avoiding Debt

Many people do not have the savings to cover funeral expenses, which can lead to accumulating debt. Burial insurance offers a safety net, ensuring that these expenses do not turn into lingering financial burdens.

Leaving a Financial Legacy

Some burial insurance policies can offer more than just funeral cost coverage. They can also serve as a small financial legacy that helps cover outstanding debts or offers a nest egg for your loved ones.

What is Burial Insurance?


Burial insurance, often called funeral insurance or final expense insurance, is a type of life insurance designed to cover the costs associated with your passing. This typically includes funeral and burial costs, but may also extend to other end-of-life expenses.

Comparison with Other Insurance Types

Unlike term life or whole life insurance, burial insurance is specifically geared towards covering funeral and burial costs. While other life insurance policies offer larger death benefits and can cover a range of financial needs, burial insurance is more specialized and thus, generally has lower premiums.

Types of Burial Insurance

  • Standard Burial Insurance: Coverage for funeral and burial costs only.
  • Pre-need Funeral Insurance: Specifically designed to cover future funeral costs at today’s prices.
  • Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: Does not require a medical examination but comes with higher premiums.
  • Simplified Issue Life Insurance: Requires a basic health questionnaire and offers moderate premiums.

Coverage Details

Typically, burial insurance policies offer coverage ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, although some companies offer higher limits. The payout is usually made to a named beneficiary who can use the funds at their discretion, although the intent is for them to cover funeral-related expenses.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Burial Insurance


The older you are, the higher the premiums will generally be. Most companies offer burial insurance for individuals between the ages of 50 and 85.


Your current health status can also affect the cost. While some policies don’t require a medical exam, they might require you to answer health-related questions.

Type of Policy

  • Standard burial insurance policies generally have lower premiums but offer less flexibility.
  • Pre-need funeral insurance can be more expensive, as it locks in current funeral service prices.
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance policies usually have the highest premiums due to not requiring a medical exam.

Coverage Amount

The higher the coverage amount, the higher the premiums will be. It’s crucial to calculate your expected burial costs accurately to avoid over-insuring or under-insuring.


Geographical location can play a role in the cost of both your funeral services and your insurance premiums. In some states, insurance is naturally more expensive due to regulatory factors or the average cost of funerals.

Additional Riders

Adding riders like accelerated death benefits or accidental death coverage can increase the cost of your premiums.

Payment Plans

Some policies allow you to choose your payment plan. Paying annually could potentially save you money over a monthly payment plan.

Breaking Down the Costs: Real Numbers

A Look into Actual Rates for Different Age Groups

Premiums can vary significantly based on age. For example:

  • Ages 50-59: $25-$50 per month
  • Ages 60-69: $50-$75 per month
  • Ages 70-79: $75-$150 per month
  • Ages 80-85: $100-$200 per month

Examples of Policy Costs Based on Health Conditions

If you have pre-existing health conditions, you can expect your premiums to be higher. For example, smokers often pay 30%-50% more on premiums.

Case Studies

Case 1: A 65-year-old non-smoker male could expect to pay around $60-$70 per month for a $10,000 policy.

Case 2: A 75-year-old female smoker might expect to pay upwards of $100 per month for the same $10,000 policy.

Anecdotal Evidence

One 60-year-old customer reported paying $45 per month for a $10,000 burial insurance policy. Another customer, an 80-year-old, was quoted $120 per month for the same amount of coverage.

How to Calculate Your Burial Costs

The Funeral Service

Funeral services can range from a few thousand dollars for a basic service to upwards of $10,000 for a more elaborate arrangement. Consider the type of service you wish to have and research local costs.

Casket and Embalming

The casket and embalming process can add significantly to the overall cost. While a basic casket can cost around $2,000, high-end options can reach $10,000 or more.

Burial Plot or Cremation

While cremation can be a less expensive option ranging from $500 to $3,000, burial plots can cost between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on location and the specific cemetery.

Legal Costs

There are often legal fees for processing the death certificate and other paperwork, which can range between $200 and $500.

Headstone or Urn

A headstone can cost from $1,000 to $3,000, whereas an urn can range between $100 and $1,000.

Floral Arrangements

Floral arrangements can add another $500 to $2,000 to your funeral expenses.

Additional/Optional Expenses

  • Obituary: $200-$600
  • Funeral procession: $300-$800
  • Additional memorial services or wakes: Variable

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Calculating Based on Your Expected Expenses

Add up all the items from the previous section to get an estimate of your expected burial costs. Make sure to add a buffer for unforeseen expenses.

Additional Funds for Outstanding Debts or Other Financial Responsibilities

Consider whether you’ll leave behind any debts or other financial responsibilities that need to be covered. This could include medical bills, mortgage, or car loans.

Contingency Funds

It’s wise to add a 10% contingency fund to your calculated burial costs to account for inflation and unexpected expenses.

Shopping for Burial Insurance

Preparing Yourself: What Information You Will Need

You’ll typically need your basic identification, medical history, and details about your desired coverage.

Where to Shop: Agents, Online, Funeral Homes

You can purchase burial insurance through insurance agents, directly from insurance companies online, or even through some funeral homes.

Questions to Ask

  • What is the coverage amount?
  • Are there any exclusions?
  • Is a medical exam required?
  • What are the premium payment options?

Understanding the Fine Print

Always read the terms and conditions. Look out for any waiting periods, exclusions, and what circumstances could result in a denial of benefits.

Discounts and Bundles

Military or Group Discounts

Some insurers offer discounts for military veterans or those purchasing multiple policies.

Bundling with Other Insurance Types

If you already have an existing insurance policy (like home or auto), you may receive a discount for bundling your burial insurance with the same company.

Early Payment Options

Some insurers offer a discount if you pay your premiums annually or bi-annually rather than monthly.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Burial Insurance is Too Expensive

Many people think burial insurance is out of their financial reach, but policies can be tailored to suit various budgets. Coverage amounts can be adjusted to make premiums more affordable.

It’s Unnecessary if You Have Life Insurance

While life insurance can cover burial costs, the payout may take longer to process, leaving the immediate financial burden to family members. Burial insurance often pays out more quickly.

The Benefits Aren’t Worth the Cost

For those who have little to no savings and are concerned about leaving a financial burden to their loved ones, the benefits of burial insurance can far outweigh the costs.

Debunking these Myths

It’s crucial to do your research and understand your specific needs and circumstances. Many of these myths can be easily debunked with accurate information and careful planning.

What If You Cannot Afford Burial Insurance?

State or Government Assistance

If you genuinely cannot afford burial insurance, some state and government programs can assist with funeral costs. Check your state’s social services programs for information.

Community Funds

In some communities, local churches or organizations offer financial help for funeral costs.


Platforms like GoFundMe allow people to raise money for funeral expenses. However, this should be a last resort and not a replacement for proper financial planning.

Alternative Funeral Options

Direct cremation or donating your body to science are alternative options that may be more affordable.

Case Studies

Examples of Individuals Who Benefited from Burial Insurance

Case Study 1: A family was able to quickly cover the $15,000 cost of a funeral thanks to their mother’s burial insurance, alleviating financial stress during a difficult time.

Examples of Those Who Didn’t Have It and the Consequences

Case Study 2: A family had to resort to crowdfunding to cover funeral expenses, creating additional stress and financial uncertainty during an already challenging time.

Legal Considerations

Taxes on Benefits

Generally, burial insurance payouts are not subject to income tax. However, interest earned on the policy may be taxable. Always consult a tax advisor for personalized advice.

Legal Obligations to Pay Back Debts

It’s essential to understand that your debts do not disappear upon death. In many cases, your estate will be responsible for paying back these debts, which could reduce the inheritance left for your heirs.

Inheritance Considerations

Make sure to consult an estate planning attorney to understand how your burial insurance can affect your overall estate and inheritance plans.

Frequently Asked Questions About Burial Insurance

Is burial insurance worth it?

Whether burial insurance is worth it or not depends on your individual circumstances. If you don’t have any other financial arrangements to cover funeral costs, burial insurance can be a valuable investment. It can relieve the financial stress from your family members during a challenging time, allowing them to focus on grieving and memorialization rather than scrambling to find funds.

What are the different types of burial insurance?

There are primarily two types of burial insurance:

  • Simplified Issue: This type does not require a medical exam but asks a few health-related questions.
  • Guaranteed Issue: This type requires no medical exam or health questions but usually comes with higher premiums and a waiting period before the full benefits are available.

How do I choose the best burial insurance policy?

Choosing the best burial insurance policy involves considering several factors:

  • Your estimated funeral costs
  • Your current health condition
  • Your budget for premiums
  • The reputation and customer service of the insurance company

Make sure to compare different plans, read reviews, and consult with insurance advisors to find a policy that suits your needs.

How soon after death does burial insurance pay out?

Most burial insurance policies pay out within 24-48 hours after the necessary documentation has been submitted, such as a death certificate. This is one of the advantages of burial insurance; it provides quick financial aid when it’s most needed.

Can I buy burial insurance for my parents?

Yes, you can purchase burial insurance for your parents, but they will generally need to provide consent and may need to answer health-related questions depending on the policy type. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your parents and involve them in the process to ensure that their wishes are being met.


Burial insurance offers a way to financially prepare for the inevitable, easing the burden on your loved ones during an emotionally difficult time. By understanding your options and needs, you can select a policy that offers peace of mind and financial security. Reach out to talk to a certified PolicyHub pro to find the best burial insurance for you fast.


Additional Reading

More Burial Insurance Common Questions FAQs

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