Well, you’ve gotten pretty far in life now haven’t you? You’ve also learned that a lot of things are pretty darn costly to afford and can be even painful on the pocketbook. One of the facts of life is death. Universal for all of us. Problem is, it is flat out expensive to leave this world no matter how deep your pockets are!! Funerals are very a major expense, so many seniors are looking to make sure that burial and funeral costs don’t become a financial burden for their loved ones.
The life insurance industry introduced funeral insurance for seniors many years ago. It is sometimes known as burial insurance as well. Don’t let the different names confuse you. They are the same thing…a form of life insurance.
Quality funeral insurance will be built on a whole life insurance platform which is permanent type of coverage, meaning you cannot outlive the policy benefits. Term insurance is also available, but the risk of outliving the coverage is very realistic.
Funeral insurance for seniors now has high demand as the cost of living (and dying) has gone up dramatically over the decades.
The good news is there are all kinds of companies that do offer affordable coverage to seniors. Top top it off, you don’t have to be in A-1 health to qualify for full benefits and there is and excellent chance that you can qualify for funeral insurance with no waiting period.
What is a waiting period? A waiting period is a 2-3 period where the policy beneficiary is not entitled to the full benefits of the policy. A an example of this type of coverage would be the Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company’s “Guaranteed” Acceptance policy. You’ve seen those ads with Alex Trebek haven’t you? They accept anyone regardless of health, but are very expensive and it have a waiting period for full benefits. If you die during the waiting period due to natural death, your beneficiary only gets your premiums paid in plus interest.
How These Policies Work
How do you find the best policy? How can you apply? What are the health questions? We will give you those answers in this article, a few sample quotes and also some big name companies you may surprisingly want to avoid.
What is Funeral Insurance for Seniors?
Funeral or Burial Insurance is typically based on whole life insurance and most often designed for seniors to have little or no medical underwriting (guaranteed acceptance). No medical exam even for those with health conditions are pretty normal applicants that can qualify for the coverage. The better your health, the better price you can often obtain.
These types of policies are purchased most often to cover the costs a funeral and burial plot expenses, but there are also other less obvious reasons. For example, final medical bills, an outstanding debts such as a credit card or even as an endowment to a loved one to hire help around the home.
Most people buy policies between the smallest of $2,000 up to $50,000. If you need a larger policy, it would be best to explore a guaranteed universal life policy which would allow a larger death benefit, permanent coverage and a lower premium per thousand.
I mentioned this a bit earlier in this article…
Funeral insurance is the same thing as burial insurance with one substantial exception. Both in fact are just marketing terms you may have heard of before but a Funeral Insurance policy is set upon death to pay the benefits to the funeral home rather than a loved one.
Funeral insurance will sometimes offer an inflation rider to cover the risk of rising funeral costs. Often times, a irrevocable trust is set up to ensure any cash value is not lost due to possible Medicaid spend down. Cash value in such in a policy is not exempt from Medicaid spendown requirements. A irrevocable life insurance trust will nullify that concern. However, you would give up your rights to access the policy at that point and it cannot be changed.
While these are specialized policies meant for seniors who are typically not in A1 health any longer, they both are still life insurance triggered by a loss of the insureds life. Upon death, the company will pay the beneficiary of your choosing the benefits according to the terms of the policy.
Coverage is meant to be purchased in smaller amounts to enhance affordability, but offer simplicity of qualification and fast payout upon death. It is easier for consumers to understand funeral insurance or burial insurance for seniors rather than small, easy to qualify for whole life insurance policies. Heck, there is even a “cremation” insurance policy well. Not that “funeral” insurance did not already cover that marketing base!!
Guess we can say it is like two words that mean the same thing such as “Doctor” or “Physician.” Any website (including our site) or experienced life insurance agent you speak with will use some or all of these terms. It is life insurance lingo. Some folks are more in tune with different terms.
The Nitty Gritty on Burial and Funeral Expense Insurance For Seniors
Funeral Insurance, Burial Insurance, Final Expense Life Insurance etc. are pretty black and white, typically small whole life insurance policies. Certain benefits all these policies will be the same across the board no matter which insurer has issued your coverage.
- Premium payments are level for your life and cannot be raised for any reason
- The policy will not expire at any age. It is permanent coverage. (non payment of premiums in an exception!!)
- Death benefit cannot decrease
- Policy develops cash value which you can take a loan against (I do not recommend this personally)
There you have it. There aren’t any hidden surprises in a quality policy that any reputable agent/broker will advise you to select. Yes, there is a lot of junk out there from some big names, but we will get to that a little later in this article.
Your decision start with simply deciding on a death benefit amount your loved one(s) need. With that respective benefit you will know exactly what you will pay for coverage, permanently. Most people opt for monthly coverage. Nothing will change, ever. When you or another insured passes away, the beneficiary (loved one or another) will receive a tax free check to the exact amount of coverage your purchased day 1. This amount will be equal to the face amount or “death benefit” of the policy.
This is how your loved ones cover those big bills and move on in their grief…without financial burden or even devastation of being financially unprepared.
Sometimes there are even monies leftover…money left behind as a legacy that they, as beneficiary, can use to adjust or enrich their life in your memory.
The amount you wish to purchase is a personal decision.
Can I Qualify with my Health or Not?
The Standard Questions Asked When Applying for Simplified Issue Life Insurance
The following are the typical Simplified Issue Insurance applications. Yup… just these 16 basic questions.
- Have you been diagnosed with a terminal illness or are you currently hospitalized, confined to a nursing home, hospice, bedridden or receiving home health care?
- In the past 10 years, have you been diagnosed by or received treatment from a member of the medical profession for Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS); AIDS Related Complex (ARC); or tested positive (through the use of an FDA-licensed test) for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?
- During the past 12 months, have you been admitted to or confined to a hospital 2 or more times?
- During the past 12 months, have you received a diagnosis which would lead to surgery or admission to a hospital or nursing facility?
- During the past 12 months, have you been confined to a nursing facility or received home health care?
- During the past 24 months, have you had a stroke, heart attack, or any procedure to improve circulation to the heart or brain?
- During the past 24 months, have you had or been recommended to use oxygen for any respiratory disease?
- During the past 24 months, have you received or been recommended to have kidney dialysis?
- During the past 24 months, have you had or been treated (including medications or surgery) for melanoma or internal cancer?
- During the past 24 months, have you had or been treated (including office visits, medications or surgery) for any one of the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease or any neurological disorder?
- Liver Disease, renal insufficiency, or kidney failure?
- Irregular heart rhythm or congestive heart failure?
- Alcohol and/or drug abuse?
- Diabetic complications, including diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, diabetic coma, insulin shock, or uncontrolled blood sugars?
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?
If you can give a honest answer of “NO” to each all of these questions without sugarcoating, you qualify for full benefits upon issue and should be accepted.
These sample application questions above are many years old from a small top notch, mutual life insurance company that is fairly particular about who they make offers to. Some carriers have small variations of these questions to suit there different underwriting practices and are more “forgiving” in what they will accept.
If you were unable to qualify based on these specific questions, don’t lose heart. This is one of a lot of top companies we have access to. It is meant for illustration only. We have guaranteed acceptance coverage available IF it is required. Please speak to a professional for help sorting your product needs out. Only 10% or so who apply for a policy need guaranteed issue coverage.
How to Obtain the Best Senior Funeral Insurance
Here are some assumptions we feel comfortable giving you to consider:
- A medically underwritten policy will be considerably more affordable to own
- A policy with no waiting period is much “better” than a policy with a 2 year partial benefits clause
- Having access to dozens of top rated carriers all at one place is ideal. Saves time, effort and money.
- Funeral Insurance for seniors should be provided by a financially strong and reputable insurance company.
- A policy for funeral insurance should be a permanent policy, not term insurance.
At Maple Valley Insurance Group, we bring all of that to the table, right under one roof. Our team knows how to handle your situation no matter what your health is like. We pride ourselves in tough, medical condition coverage.
What you need to do is simply heed our tips and advice.
What we do for you is the toughest part…shopping to find the best burial insurance for our possible.
Working With An Independent Agent Puts You In Control
This is probably the key to saving good money on a funeral insurance policy. What do you think would happen if you spent your time shopping down at the auto and homeowners corner office? That’s right…you probably could not get the right kind of coverage you need to start with. The bigger problem is… you would likely be grossly overcharged if you could qualify. Remember, when you work with a captive agent like State Farm or Allstate, that is all you can purchase there. These are not funeral insurance or big players in the life insurance business at all. Your independent agent/broker will have a lot more to offer you. Coverage that is actually in your best interest. Affordable, burial insurance options… where you have choices.
I am going to clear up a myth here while we are at it.
Insurance rates are not better if you buy “direct.” Laws are in place that prohibit anything different. The state actually approves all rates before they can be sold to you at all. Home offices typically just sell overpriced guaranteed issue final expense coverage. Guaranteed Issue coverage is “last resort” coverage ladies and gentleman. Don’t forget that. Does not matter if you heard about it on the TV or radio…no health questions, guaranteed acceptance…think “last resort.” “Last Resort” = much higher price as it is full blown, high risk life insurance.
It is to your advantage to have a good “middle man” in the insurance world. In particular, an independent agent who can offer you free consultation with an ability to shop all of the top insurers on market. If they are a seasoned professional, they are going to know who to recommend to you based on your health and goals. Don’t waste time trying to do what they can do for you in quick fashion. There is nothing to gain yet a lot to lose. The cost of insurance is set by the state and the insurance company. Your independent agent/broker specialist will sort thru it quickly and save you a lot of money and get you the coverage you need promptly and with limited effort on your part.
This is why the most affordable burial insurance for seniors is marketed and sold thru independent life insurance agents/brokers/agencies. The deals are not to be had by calling an insurance company or the local auto and homeowners agent. It isn’t found by listening to high paid spokespeople or self proclaimed gurus of financial fitness either. It should be pretty clear that an independent agent/broker is going to be the tool of choice here. Working with one will give you the full access to the lowest rates and coverage that offer full, day one benefits.
Ok, I have probably ranted enough about the wrong places to shop so we’ll move on.
How Do You Pick an Agency to Work With?
You are going to look for an independent agent/broker that has the right qualifications:
- Represents a good number of funeral insurance, burial insurance (life insurance) companies. 10 companies is probably a good number as a minimum. It is clear they are shopping for you rather than working for insurance companies like the State Farm agent. You want this agent/broker working for you, not the insurer.
- Medical Risk/High Risk specialty. They understand and are used to working with folks who are not in perfect health anymore. Preexisting conditions are routine for them.
- Find someone that is seasoned. Rookies make mistakes. I’ve been there. It is tough getting going when you are taking it all in and not sure of yourself while trying to help people. Just learning who the top carriers were was an art form when I started. There was no internet to do research. Anyway, someone who has been around for 3-5 years or more with a focus on medical conditions, the needs of seniors and has written burial policies along the way should be a decent bet. Seasoned experience will make a big difference. These pro’s have already made mistakes (if they’re being honest anyway) and they have witnessed clients mistakes such as buying too much or too little of coverage. Oh, even the wrong kind of life insurance.
If you have found an agent or agency that meets these criteria, you probably have found someone who can help you select and purchase a funeral policy.
How Can Maple Valley Group Help You Obtain the Best Funeral Insurance?
Yes, we do appreciate your consideration. Our resume is a pretty good one based on many years of working with seniors. The Better Business Bureau agrees with us.
- Our work began with seniors in 2001. We are used to the needs of seniors who are typically on a fixed income, have a health condition(s) and may have financial struggles.
- We do not market other types of insurance like automobile and homeowners. We are focused on life insurance and the products that meet the needs of our clientele. (Remember, funeral insurance is just a specific type of life insurance)
- As a company, we have been able to gain wisdom over the years to see how policy owners and their families have been benefiting and what could be improved. Lots of clientele and lots of interaction with many, many different insurers. We know who will accept you and who will not.
- Our interest is in you as a client. We are not beholden to any insurance company. While insurers do financially compensate us for placing your business with them on a case by case basis, we cannot earn anything without support of our clients. Ultimately, our success is based on our clients placing their confidence in us.
Here Are Some of the Best Funeral Insurance Companies
While there are dozens of life insurance companies that market funeral insurance for seniors, burial insurance, final expense life insurance…they are not all created equal. I’m not talking about how large they are either. We’ve worked with small carriers that are fast on their feet and easy as pie to work with.
I am going to mention 10 carriers that seem to be on top of this business as I write this article.
All these companies are recommended based on the following criteria:
- Underwriting Standards
- Financial Stability
These are not in any special order, just common factors among them. Yes, we do go outside of these top ten as necessary to achieve the best outcome for you personally. Every one of these companies is “A” rated by AM Best which backs the financial ability of the insurer to reliably pay its claims. All of these companies have proven themselves. All 10 of these companies will have competitive premiums and health questions designed for a senior. No worries there.
- Mutual of Omaha-Mutual of O has been in business since 1909. They offer funeral/burial coverage with Death Benefits ranging from $2,000-$40,000 for applicants age 45-85. Mutual of Omaha Living Promise has some of the lowest premiums for seniors. They are typically very competitive at the upper ages.
- Foresters Financial
- Royal Neighbors
- American Amicable
- Liberty Bankers Life
- Sentinel Security Life
Funeral Insurance Quote
Over on the right sidebar, there is a “Final Expense” Instant quote tool. Be sure to follow each step and be honest in the rate class about your health as the quote tool will give you the companies and rates based on your preliminary info. If your information is accurate, you will get a solid quote. All these rates will require you to medically qualify based on health questions on the actual application. If you went thru the health questionnaire above and passed, you should be able to qualify for most of the listed carriers and rates.
We hope this article has given you the confidence to reach a better decision for yourself. Funeral Insurance isn’t necessarily the best thing for everyone. Sometimes, due to age or a very serious health condition it can be better to try to self insure. While guaranteed issue life insurance can rescue someone with terminal illness, sometimes age factors combined with the products themselves can be too expensive. We see people in their 80’s run into this when their health is very shaky.
Moral of the story, take coverage out as soon as possible…while your health supports a more affordable product and company. There is no advantage to putting coverage off. You end up paying more money down the road if you qualify.
Let us know if you have any questions. We here to help 800-598-6445.
Feel free to comment below.