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What Does Burial Insurance Cover?

Burial Insurance


Burial insurance, often considered a subset of life insurance, is designed to cover the costs associated with end-of-life arrangements. While it might be a topic many wish to avoid, understanding what burial insurance covers is crucial for making informed decisions about end-of-life planning. This blog post aims to provide an exhaustive, detailed guide to help you navigate the complexities of burial insurance from our resident experts at PolicyHub.

Objectives of the Blog Post

  • To provide a detailed understanding of what burial insurance covers
  • To guide the reader through different scenarios and options
  • To answer commonly asked questions about burial insurance

What is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance, also known as “final expense insurance,” is a type of insurance policy specifically designed to cover end-of-life expenses, such as funeral and burial costs. Unlike traditional life insurance, which aims to provide financial security for the policyholder’s family or to settle outstanding debts, burial insurance focuses solely on covering the costs related to the funeral and burial.


At its core, burial insurance is a policy you purchase to ensure that your funeral and burial expenses are covered. These policies usually offer a smaller benefit amount compared to traditional life insurance, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Historical Context

The concept of burial insurance can be traced back to burial societies that existed in ancient civilizations. Modern burial insurance has evolved to become more comprehensive, offering different types of coverages and riders.

Types: Term, Whole, and Pre-need

Burial insurance can be categorized into three types:

  • Term Burial Insurance: Provides coverage for a specific period, typically up to 30 years.
  • Whole Burial Insurance: Provides lifetime coverage and may include a cash-value component.
  • Pre-need Funeral Insurance: A contract with a specific funeral home to provide services upon your death, paid for in advance.

Who Needs Burial Insurance?

While it might seem like burial insurance is geared toward the elderly, it’s beneficial for various age groups and financial situations.

Age Brackets

  • Young Adults: May benefit if they have specific end-of-life wishes or if they want to alleviate potential burdens on their family.
  • Middle-aged: Often consider burial insurance as part of a comprehensive financial planning strategy.
  • Elderly: Typically consider burial insurance as a way to ensure that their final expenses are covered, especially if they lack substantial savings.

Financial Situations

Burial insurance is ideal for those who don’t have enough savings to cover end-of-life expenses or those who don’t want to deplete their savings for this purpose.

Family Dynamics

Those with dependents or family members who would find it financially challenging to cover funeral costs often consider burial insurance to be a good option.

Pre-existing Health Conditions

Some people with pre-existing health conditions opt for burial insurance as it usually requires less rigorous health underwriting compared to traditional life insurance.

Key Components of Burial Insurance

Understanding the key components of burial insurance can help you make an informed decision.


Premiums for burial insurance can vary based on age, health, and the amount of coverage. They can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Death Benefits

This is the amount that will be paid out upon the death of the policyholder. It usually ranges from $5,000 to $25,000.

Waiting Periods

Some policies have a waiting period during which the full death benefit is not payable. Make sure to check the terms before purchasing.

Policy Riders

These are optional add-ons to enhance your coverage. Common riders include accidental death benefits and child coverage.

What Burial Insurance Typically Covers

The primary goal of burial insurance is to ensure that the costs associated with your funeral and burial are covered. Here are some of the typical expenses that burial insurance aims to cover:

Funeral Costs

  • Casket or urn: Whether you prefer a traditional burial or cremation, the cost of a casket or urn can be significant.
  • Funeral service: This includes venue rental, service fees, and other logistical costs.
  • Flowers: Decorations and flower arrangements are another aspect to consider.
  • Transportation: This could be for the deceased, family members, and sometimes for attendees of the funeral.
  • Clergy: If you want a religious ceremony, there might be fees associated with hiring a minister, priest, or other religious leaders.

Burial Plot Costs

  • Land: The price of the burial plot itself can vary widely depending on location and type of cemetery.
  • Headstone: The cost of a headstone or marker and its installation.
  • Maintenance fees: Some cemeteries charge a one-time or recurring fee for the upkeep of the gravesite.

Cremation Costs

  • Procedure: The actual cremation process.
  • Urn: The container for the ashes.
  • Scattering services: If you wish to scatter the ashes in a particular location, there might be associated fees.

Ancillary Costs

  • Death certificates: Multiple copies may be needed for various legal processes.
  • Obituaries: Publication fees can add up, especially if you want to publish in multiple outlets.
  • Other administrative costs: These can include legal fees, estate settlement costs, and other miscellaneous expenses.

What Burial Insurance May Optionally Cover

While the basic idea of burial insurance is to cover end-of-life expenses, there are additional riders and options that can broaden the scope of your coverage.

Explanation of Optional Riders and Add-ons

These are extra features that you can add to your policy at an additional cost:

  • Travel Protection: Covers the cost of transporting the deceased back to their place of residence if they die while traveling.
  • Accidental Death: Provides an additional payout in the case of accidental death.
  • Child Riders: Offers a small amount of coverage for the death of a child.

Special Circumstances

  • Unconventional funerals: Such as eco-friendly burials or space burials.
  • Overseas burials: If you wish to be buried in a foreign country, certain plans can accommodate this.
  • Cultural and religious specifications: Customized plans can account for specific religious or cultural practices and rituals.

What Burial Insurance Generally Doesn’t Cover

While burial insurance is designed to be comprehensive, there are specific exclusions you should be aware of.


  • Suicide: Most policies have a clause that excludes coverage if the policyholder commits suicide within a specific period after the policy is issued.
  • Homicide: Some policies exclude payouts in cases of foul play, especially if a beneficiary is implicated.
  • Act of War: Events classified as acts of war are generally not covered.
  • High-risk Activities: Some policies will not pay out if the death occurs while the insured is engaged in high-risk activities like skydiving.

Pre-existing Conditions

Certain pre-existing conditions may either increase the premium or may be excluded from coverage altogether. Always read the fine print.

How to Choose the Right Burial Insurance Plan

Picking the right burial insurance plan involves multiple factors, from financial considerations to personal preferences. Here are some tips to guide you:

Assess Your Financial Situation

Look at your current financial status, including savings, debts, and monthly expenses. This will help you determine how much coverage you’ll need.

Understand Different Types of Plans

Be clear on the difference between term, whole, and pre-need insurance so you can decide which type best suits your needs.

Compare Quotes

It’s advisable to get quotes from multiple providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Keep an eye out for both premiums and payout amounts.

Read Policy Terms Carefully

Scrutinize the terms and conditions, paying close attention to any exclusions or waiting periods.

Consult with Loved Ones

It’s often beneficial to consult with family members or beneficiaries about your end-of-life wishes and how you plan to cover costs.

Seek Professional Advice

Consulting with a financial advisor or insurance agent can provide additional insights into choosing the best plan.

Common Questions About Burial Insurance

The world of insurance is filled with jargon and complexities. Here are some commonly asked questions about burial insurance to help you better understand this type of coverage.

Is Burial Insurance Worth It?

Whether burial insurance is worth the investment often depends on individual circumstances. If you lack significant savings or don’t want to burden your family with funeral costs, it can be a prudent choice.

How is Burial Insurance Different From Life Insurance?

While both life and burial insurance provide a death benefit, burial insurance is specifically for covering end-of-life expenses and usually offers a lower payout.

What is the Average Cost of Burial Insurance?

The average cost can vary widely depending on factors like age, health, and the level of coverage you choose. However, premiums generally range from $20 to $50 per month.

Can I Buy Burial Insurance for My Parents?

Yes, it is possible to purchase burial insurance for your parents with their consent. This can be a way to plan for their end-of-life expenses without burdening the family financially.

Resources and Further Reading

For those who wish to dive deeper into the topic, here are some resources and articles for further reading.


Understanding what burial insurance covers is crucial for anyone contemplating end-of-life expenses and the financial impact on loved ones. From the types of plans available to what is and isn’t covered, this guide aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of burial insurance. With the right knowledge, you can make an informed decision that aligns with both your financial and personal preferences.

More Burial Insurance Common Questions FAQs

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