Death, funerals, and burials are seldom discussed subjects. A burial insurance policy is even more taboo. But why don’t people talk about these very important topics more often?
Many of us are uncomfortable talking about this because it can be tough to process. Planning your own funeral sounds very dark. Avoiding these topics is a very understandable, and common, reaction for seniors.
Sadly, by avoiding these talks, we risk leaving our loved ones to deal with a large host of financial issues. These days, most funerals include a viewing, burial, and vault or gravesite. The average cost of this service was over $7,000 in 2019.
This cost does not even include miscellaneous items such as flowers, a headstone, and an obituary. While not mandatory, your loved ones will most likely want to provide this level of care and respect. This will ultimately raise the cost for the whole process.
This is why it’s very important to consider burial insurance for seniors. Thinking about your own funeral and considering insurance is a tough but necessary aspect of life.
Let’s discuss the types of insurance plans, as well as the cost and benefits of a burial insurance policy.
Table of Contents
Burial Insurance vs. Pre-need Insurance
These two insurance policies may sound similar because they both cover final expenses. But in fact, they are very different in how the beneficiary receives the payout.
Final expenses are a combination of funeral costs, medical bills, debts, and so on. When an individual passes away, they may have financial obligations besides funeral costs. Rather than leaving your loved ones responsible, a good solution is buying a burial insurance policy.
When you buy a burial insurance policy, your beneficiaries have the freedom to use the payout in any way. This means that they can pay your medical bills, nursing home expenses, credit card bills, and so on. There is more flexibility involved but also less control for you.
Pre-need insurance policies will directly pay the funeral home, or wherever you make arrangements. This means less flexibility in covering your final expenses but also more control. The funeral home will use the money to pay for your pre-selected funeral ceremony.
When choosing a policy, it’s important to consider your plans, beneficiary, and finances.
Your plans and wishes may influence an emotional choice. If you have very specific desires for your funeral, pre-need insurance may be a better option. Once you select your funeral package, your beneficiary cannot change a single thing.
This means that your funeral will proceed exactly as you designed it. This can also be an advantage when considering loved ones, especially your beneficiary.
The death of a family member can be a very traumatic and emotional process. Dealing with funeral arrangements while mourning the loss of a loved one can be especially difficult.
A pre-need insurance policy can ease the stress your beneficiary may feel. They won’t have to plan, coordinate, or do a single thing. This is a great option if you’re leaving behind an ailing spouse who can’t organize your funeral. Or if you simply don’t want to pass on the responsibility to your children or grandchildren.
More importantly, you need to consider the state of your finances. If you’re a nursing home resident or are staying in palliative care, you may have a lot of bills. Choosing a burial insurance policy will give your beneficiary the flexibility to use some or all the money to pay your debts.
Also, if you opt for a simple funeral, such as direct cremation, your beneficiary will get the rest of the money. If you’re a parent who would like to help your children one final time, this may be beneficial. Or if you’re leaving behind a spouse or family member who needs financial help, burial insurance is best.
You’ve probably heard the saying “death is expensive”. While cliché, it’s also true. The average cost of death in the United States is close to $20,000, including medical care and funeral costs. This is an exorbitant amount of money for one individual to prepare.
The long-term planning required to save for this cost is unachievable for most people. While some methods of burial may be less expensive than others, there is no cheap option.
Moreover, if your death is accidental or sudden, your loved ones may have to unexpectedly gather this money. This can place a lot of emotional, financial, and mental stress on family members. Thus, it’s best to be proactive and prepared.
Before buying burial insurance, you should consider the type of funeral you want. The most common and well-known methods are burial and cremation. Currently, 57% of funerals consist of cremation while 36% are burials.
A funeral involving a burial is a very common and traditional method. While it may be expensive, people don’t usually know the actual costs associated with it.
Funeral fees involve three major costs: basic fees, optional services, and cash advances charged by the funeral home. Some of these services and merchandise are not required but basic fees are mandatory.
Basic fees are charged for planning and organization services. Few people realize that there is a lot of paperwork involved with planning a funeral. The basic fees cover the costs of this paperwork.
These planning and organization services include:
- general funeral planning
- securing permits
- obtaining death certificates
- publishing notices
- coordinating with the cemetery
The second cost involved in funeral planning is the cost of optional services. While these services are not a must, they are traditionally used in most funerals.
These costs are associated with the burial day and focus on the funeral home and cemetery services. There are a lot of people working behind the scenes to make you or your loved one’s final day perfect.
These optional services costs include:
- hiring a hearse and transportation costs
- embalming services
- preparations for viewings and memorials
- purchasing or renting a casket
- graveside services
Finally, the cash advance cost comes from the funeral home for items, staff, and services hired for the burial. Some funeral homes will charge a cash advance cost while others will include it in the basic fee.
These cash advance costs include:
- flowers and decoration
- professional photography printing
- musicians and singers
- printing obituaries
- food and beverages
It’s clear that a lot of work, preparation, and time goes into planning a burial funeral. This is why the costs for burial are generally higher than a cremation service.
Cremation has recently become a popular funeral option. Not only does this service involve less preparation and time, but it can also be less expensive.
There are three basic types of cremation services and they range in price from $1000 to over $5000. The cost depends on your location and the services required.
The most expensive type of cremation is cremation with a viewing. This is when the family chooses to have a traditional viewing without a burial. Instead, the deceased is cremated after the ceremony, and the ashes are given to loved ones.
This type of cremation often involves the same costs associated with a burial funeral. This will include the use of the funeral home, staff costs, and flowers. Typically, this is the most expensive cremation option.
The family can also choose to have a cremation with a memorial. This is a slightly less expensive option because there is no need for embalming services or caskets. Loved ones simply pay their respects and the family receives the ashes.
The least expensive option is a direct cremation. This option doesn’t involve any ceremonies and the cost reflects the cremation services. It is usually done when the deceased chooses to have their ashes scattered in a special location.
Generally, cremation costs usually include:
- cremation service
- the urn
- embalming services
- memorial or viewing costs
- cremation casket purchase or rental
- optional purchases like flowers
It’s easy to see why cremation is becoming a more popular option. Regardless, cremation costs are still high and can be an unexpected strain on loved ones. Luckily, purchasing a burial insurance policy can make it much easier for them!
Advantages of Burial Insurance
Now that you’re familiar with the cost associated with funerals, it’s time to decide. Should you buy a burial insurance policy? Let’s examine some of the benefits of burial insurance.
Generally, burial insurance policies do not require you to pass a medical exam. This can be a great advantage if you have a chronic disease or ailing health. They also rarely ask a lot of health questions.
Even residing in a nursing home or being in a wheelchair can sometimes result in rejection from insurance companies. With burial insurance policies, you don’t have to fear this problem.
Burial insurance policies allow you to plan your funeral ahead of time. You get to be in control and choose exactly how you want your final days to be. This also means that the responsibility won’t fall into your loved ones’ hands.
You can also control where your money goes. If you would rather your beneficiary use the payout for bills or debt, there is flexibility to make this choice ahead of time.
Burial insurance policies for seniors are a lot less expensive than life insurance. They have a lower minimum coverage amount, usually starting with $1000 and maxing out at $25,000. Although there are burial insurance policy providers who will offer up to $50,000 coverage.
This can be an advantage for those who can’t afford the expensive minimums of life insurance. Or for people who would rather keep their funeral a simple affair.
Take Care of Loved Ones
With burial insurance, your beneficiary or loved ones receive the payout. They are free to use it as they wish, for any services. This allows more flexibility and choice on their part.
Costs of Burial Insurance
The cost of burial insurance depends a lot on your location, age, gender, and needs. Generally, younger women have a lower cost of burial insurance while older men have the highest.
For example, the average cost of a $10,000 burial insurance policy for a 50-year-old female is only $37 a month. Meanwhile, the average cost of a $10,000 burial insurance policy for a 70-year-old male is around $100 a month.
Remember, these are just the average amounts nationwide. This is why shopping around and finding the best quotes is key. A good place to start is by getting a quote from a burial insurance provider. Even better if they compare multiple carriers!
You also need to consider whether you want to pay a monthly fee or buy the policy outright. If you’re on a budget, it might be easier to add in an extra $30 a month for burial insurance. Alternatively, if you prefer to buy one time and forget about it, you can also pay for the policy in full.
Types of Burial Insurance
There are two main types of burial insurance to choose from, simplified and guaranteed issue policy. It’s important to know the difference because your choice may depend on your health.
The simplified issue policy involves a health questionnaire. The disadvantage of this is that if you have any serious or chronic health conditions, you may be denied. The benefit to choosing this policy is that if you’re relatively healthy, it can be cheaper than the next option.
The guaranteed issue policy does not involve a medical exam or health questionnaire. This option is best for seniors who may be in a wheelchair, or have serious health conditions. Of course, the disadvantage is that the cost can be higher.
When choosing the best policy for you, it’s important to take your health, age, and gender into account. But each individual plan has its own requirements and terms. That’s why comparing quotes from many carriers is strongly recommended.
The Right Burial Insurance Policy
Finding the right burial insurance policy begins with choosing the type of funeral service you want. Once you have a clear answer, you will need to find a trusted burial insurance provider.
A burial insurance provider usually focuses only on this specific type of insurance. You will need to reach out in order to get a quote for your burial insurance policy. You will then be able to choose whether you will pay a monthly fee or the cost upfront.
If you’re ready to think about the future, contact us today to get your free burial insurance quote. Our experienced agents will help you through every step of the process.