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Best Burial Insurance for Seniors

No one likes to think about death, but it’s a reality for everyone at some point, and planning for it takes a lot of stress from our loved ones. For those left behind, finding money for a funeral isn’t always easy. Parting, the funeral home comparison website, gives the average cost of a funeral between $7000 and $10,000. That’s a lot of money to find all of a sudden, especially at an already difficult time.

Just as older adults look for health insurance to cover procedures, or car insurance in case of an accident, they can also purchase burial insurance for seniors to make sure all expenses are covered in the event of their death.

What is the best burial insurance for seniors? Read our guide to find out.

Best Burial Insurance for Seniors

It’s always a good idea to shop around to find the best plan for your needs. We’ve compared several well-known plans to get you started. Please note that some providers use the terms “whole life insurance” or “final expenses insurance” instead of burial insurance.

1. AARP – Best Overall Plan

About: The AARP has millions of senior members, and provides a wide range of benefits to its members. One of those benefits is life insurance.
Burial insurance or life insurance: AARP offers a life insurance policy, which can be used to cover a wide range of costs and expenses, but not a burial-specific insurance policy.
Whole life or term insurance: Offers both; note that whole life does have a cut-off point of 80 years old.
Age range for acceptance: 50 – 74 for term insurance and 50 – 80 for whole life insurance.
Making a claim: AARP understands the difficulty associated with losing a loved one and offers options when making a claim. Beneficiaries have the option of calling New York Life at 1-800-695-5165 or downloading a claims packet that contains instructions and necessary forms for filing the claim. Mail or fax the completed claims forms along with the death certificate.
Policy amount: Up to $100,000 for term insurance and up to $50,000 for whole life insurance.
Acceptance rules: There are some simple questions but no medical exam.
Cost: Rates depend on your coverage amount and your age at the time if you have term life coverage. If you have whole life insurance through AARP, premiums are based on your age at time of policy issue and do not go up as you age.

2. Mutual of Omaha – Best Selection of Plans

About: Mutual of Omaha offers easy-access affordable whole life insurance.
Burial insurance or life insurance: Burial insurance.
Whole life or term insurance: Whole life insurance.
Age range for acceptance: 45 – 85
Making a claim: Mutual of Omaha requires that the person making the claim is the listed beneficiary on the policy, contacts the company to start the claims process. Call the company or complete the claim online. Send a death certificate along with completed form.
Policy amount: Up to $25,000
Acceptance rules: Guaranteed acceptance – no health questions or medical exams.
Cost: Cost of the Guaranteed Acceptance policy varies according to age at time of policy issue and the amount of policy. The cost of this policy does not increase with age.

3. AIG – Best Customer Service

About: AIG offers a wide range of insurance products for every period of life. This includes a whole life insurance policy.
Burial insurance or life insurance: Burial insurance.
Whole life or term insurance: Whole life insurance.
Age range for acceptance: 50 – 85
Making a claim: Make a claim with AIG by visiting the website and complete the claimant’s statement. Return the form to the company along with a death certificate and obituary from newspaper. Visit website for additional forms found in the company’s customer service/claims section.
Policy amount: $5,000 – $25,000
Acceptance rules: Guaranteed acceptance – no health questions or medical exams.
Cost: Cost depends on factors such as the face value of the policy and age when you purchase the policy.

4. Colonial Penn – Best Value

About: Colonial Penn offers a straightforward, guaranteed acceptance, burial insurance policy. Do be aware however that there are reduced benefits paid out should the policy holder die during the first two years of their coverage period.
Burial insurance or life insurance: Burial insurance.
Whole life or term insurance: Whole life insurance.
Age range for acceptance: 50 – 85
Making a claim: Complete the process of making a claim by visiting the website and downloading a “Claimant’s Statement For Life Insurance Death Benefits.” Beneficiaries also have the option to receive the form by email or by calling the company at 1-800-523-9100 and requesting the form. Include one certified death certificate, even if the deceased had more than one policy. Send the claim and documentation to the address on the website or claim forms.
Policy amount: Policy amounts vary, based on units and the state where you reside. Visit the site for additional information.
Acceptance rules: Guaranteed acceptance – no health questions or medical exams.
Cost: Costs of Colonial Penn policies vary based on your age at time the company issues the policy and your gender.

5. Foresters – Best Tailored Plans

About: Foresters offers a variety of life insurance products, along with financial solutions for members. The website features online tools that help individuals calculate their insurance needs and learn about other financial tools.
Burial insurance or life insurance:Purchase burial or life insurance through Foresters Financial Solutions
Whole life or term insurance:Foresters features both whole life and term life insurance policies. The company offers additional options within the term life and whole life categories of life insurance.
Age range:There is no minimum age specified for PlanRight Whole Life Insurance from Foresters. The policy provides coverage up to age 121 with level and fixed premiums as long as you make your payments.
Making a claim:Call the company and speak to a claims representative between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM. Beneficiaries have the option to complete the process online.
Policy amount:Policy amounts depend on the type of policy you purchase, along with any optional riders.
Acceptance rules:Answer some basic questions, with no medical exam required for term or whole life insurance.
Cost: Cost varies according to the value of the policy and any optional riders. Term costs potentially increase when you renew the policy at the end of each term.

6. MetLife – Best for MetLife Customers

About: **MetLife no longer sells life insurance policies to individuals. Information included for historical reference.** Some of the U.S. business separated from MetLife to become Brighthouse Financial, Inc. The company sent existing policyholders information about company changes.
Burial insurance or life insurance: MetLife offers life insurance policies that beneficiaries likely want to use to cover burial expenses. The company does not offer a specific burial policy.
Whole life or term insurance: MetLife offers both term and permanent life insurance. There are multiple options within each type of life insurance coverage.
Age range for acceptance: MetLife offers its life insurance policies to anyone eligible to purchase life insurance.
Making a claim: Make a claim through MetLife by calling 1-800-638-5000 to start the process. Some beneficiaries opt for completing the online form then mailing it back to the company, along with the original policy, if available, and a certified copy of the death certificate.
Policy amount: Policy amounts at MetLife vary, based on several factors. Contact your workplace or MetLife to learn more about term life and permanent life policy amounts through your workplace.
Acceptance rules: MetLife no longer offers individual life insurance policies. Individuals purchase MetLife policies through their employer, based on specific qualifications through that employer and MetLife.
Cost: The cost of MetLife premiums depend on several factors, including your age, sex, weight and height. Other factors that determine policy costs include your health status, whether you are a smoker or work at a high-risk occupation. Costs increase as you age.

7. State Farm Life – Best for State Farm Customers

About: State Farm offers a range of life insurance policies. Their whole life policy is more like a standard life insurance policy, however they also offer a specific final expenses policy to cover funeral expenses and more when the policy holder dies.
Burial insurance or life insurance: Burial insurance.
Whole life or term insurance: Whole term insurance.
Age range for acceptance: 50 – 80 in most states, 50 – 75 in New York.
Policy amount: $10,000
Acceptance rules: There is a minimum age of 50 to qualify for the Final Expense Plan. There is a requirement of answering several questions that determine acceptance.
Cost: There is a minimum age of 50 to qualify for the Final Expense Plan. There is a requirement of answering several questions that determine acceptance.

8. Gerber Life – Most Affordable

About: Gerber Life offers an easy-acceptance final expenses insurance policy with no questionnaires or medical exams. Acceptance is guaranteed, no matter what your health status.
Burial insurance or life insurance: Burial insurance.
Whole life or term insurance: Whole term insurance.
Age range for acceptance: 50 – 80
Making a claim: Make a claim on your Gerber life insurance policy by calling the company at 1-800-628-0560 and requesting a life insurance claim form. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 AM through 7 PM and on Saturdays 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Time.
Policy amount: $5,000 – $25,000
Acceptance rules: Guaranteed acceptance – no health questions or medical exams.
Cost: Cost depends on the value of your policy, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 whole life insurance. Get a free quote online for the exact cost of your Gerber Life policy.

9. Aetna – Best for Aetna Customers

About: Aetna offers life insurance options as well as its health insurance and Medicare plans. Life insurance policies are not sold to individuals.
Burial insurance or life insurance: Aetna offers life insurance policy products through employers only and not to individuals.
Whole life or term life: The company offers group term insurance through employers.
Age range for acceptance: Age range is not applicable because policyholders only purchase policies through employers and not as individuals.
Making a claim: Call 1-800-523-5065, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 7 PM Eastern Time. Send a certified copy of the death certificate, eligibility information and required signed documents from the employer along with the completed claim form.
Policy amount: Check with your employer about policy amounts available through your place of employment.
Acceptance rules: Aetna accepts life insurance applications only through employers.
Cost: Policy costs vary, according to policy amount and specifics of policies offered at place of employment.

Why Burial Insurance for Seniors Matters

Burial insurance is a simple and affordable way to make a difficult time easier, and make sure our loved ones aren’t left struggling to pay for funeral and other associated expenses. If you choose a guaranteed acceptance policy there’s no hassle and no forms or exams to worry about – you can start coverage straight away. As always, we recommend reading the fine print and asking the questions mentioned in this article before signing up.

Trying to find money for a funeral isn’t easy. Grieving loved ones don’t need the added stress of funding a burial. Sometimes a lack of funds can even lead to making different choices than the family wants, or different than the deceased expressed a wish for, such as a cremation instead of a burial, or a simpler service.

Burial insurance takes the worry out of the situation. When a loved one dies, their family knows they have the funds available to have a proper service for them. For many older adults, burial insurance is a way to continue taking care of their families even after they’re gone.

Burial insurance can also be used alongside a last will and testament to make clear how the deceased wishes the final celebration of their life to be carried out.

What Is Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance is a policy taken out specifically to cover end of life expenses. The policyholder pays their regular premium, and then when they pass away their chosen beneficiary gets a cash sum to use towards funeral and burial expenses.

The money can also be used towards other expenses associated with a death, such as catering the wake, accommodation for friends and relatives who’ve traveled for the service, or travel to and from the church or crematorium. Beneficiaries might also choose to use it to cover the policy holder’s unpaid debts or medical expenses.

Questions About Burial Insurance

Burial insurance is sometimes known as funeral insurance or final expenses insurance.

What Are the Main Types Of Burial Insurance?

These are known as whole life or term policies.

A whole life policy covers the policyholder until their death, whenever that might be. On the occasion of their death, the policy pays out.

A term policy, however, only covers a specific term. Say someone purchases a policy that only covers them until age 75, when they reach that age the policy will end and they will need to look for a new one.

It’s important to check which kind of policy you’re signing up for – if you want it to cover the rest of your life, opt for a whole life policy.

How Much Do the Policies Pay?

Burial insurance policies are typically small, ranging from around $5000 – $25,000. Some insurers may offer slightly bigger or smaller plans.

How Do I Buy Burial Insurance?

You can buy burial insurance through a private insurance company, just as you would buy car or auto insurance.

Are There A Lot Of Questions Or Restrictions?

No. Burial insurance is one of the easiest policies to purchase, as most insurers don’t ask many questions. There is usually a minimum age limit, typically around 50 years old. Some insurers will ask a few health related questions, while others have guaranteed acceptance policies that anyone can sign up for.

Because the payouts are relatively small compared to other kinds of insurance, the risk to the providers isn’t as great, and so the plans are easy to access and the premiums are affordable.

How Is Burial Insurance Different From Life Insurance?

Life insurance is designed to cover the loss of wages and help loved ones cover the cost of everyday living when someone dies, and the premiums and payouts are typically much higher than for burial insurance. Both policies pay out at the end of life, but life insurance is more complicated to set up, and typically pays more. Life insurance isn’t designed specifically to use for funeral expenses, though it can be used that way.

Is Burial Insurance The Same As A Prepaid Funeral?

No. A prepaid funeral is a plan set up with a local funeral home where you pay off your funeral ahead of time, meaning that your loved ones don’t have to worry about paying for it. It covers a specific service at a specific place (although some plans let you change to another funeral home in their network) and can’t be used for any other expenses.

Questions To Ask When Purchasing Burial Insurance

As with any insurance plan, we recommend reading the fine print and asking questions before signing up. Useful questions to ask include:

  • How much will my monthly premiums be?
  • How much will it pay out?
  • Is this a whole life policy or a term policy?
  • How do my loved ones claim?
  • How do I name the beneficiary?
  • Can I name more than one beneficiary?
  • Is this an unrestricted access policy or are there terms and conditions?