Understanding burial insurance
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the definition of burial insurance is typically a whole life insurance policy that provides the money to cover funeral and burial costs when you die.1 These types of policies are desirable for people who want to leave their loved ones with immediate funds to cover their burial or cremation costs, as well as associated funeral expenses.
Also known as funeral or final expense insurance, burial policies are typically small life insurance policies that can range anywhere from $5,000 up to $25,000. Because the death benefit is typically small on these types of policies, premiums can often be very affordable and may be a great option if you are unable to afford a larger premium but would like to pre-plan for your final expenses.
Burial insurance is generally easy to apply for, and some insurance companies won't require that you complete a medical exam. For this reason, burial insurance may be a good fit if you're older or have health concerns that may prevent you from securing a more traditional life insurance policy. Keep in mind, in lieu of a medical exam, the application will include questions regarding your health.
Burial insurance can be purchased through an insurance company or an agent. In many cases, you can buy a burial insurance policy directly from a funeral home as part of estate planning, and naming the funeral home as the beneficiary. When the funeral home is the named beneficiary, a contract of services is typically involved that essentially allows you to prepay for your final expenses, and to make arrangements in advance according to your specific wishes. This is known as a Pre-need plan. With this arrangement, the funeral home costs are prearranged so as to not be a financial burden on your family during their time of grief.
Because the costs of a funeral can range widely and unexpected costs can quickly add up, purchasing a burial insurance policy can be a good pre-emptive decision by relieving your loved ones from unexpected and immediate expenses at a very difficult time.