Preparing for the funeral of a loved one is stressful, and this is especially true when money is tight. While a celebration of life can help families find closure and peace after the death of a loved one, the cost of a funeral is higher than many realize. In fact, the average price of a funeral with burial and viewing worked out to $9,135 with a burial vault in 2019, according to recent figures from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).
Individuals who want to save their families from having to cover funeral expenses in their time of grief can plan ahead with the purchase of a burial insurance policy. This insurance is a type of whole life policy that helps people make sure they have funding available for the cost of a funeral, burial or cremation, and even a headstone for loved ones to visit once they pass away.
To help you find the best burial insurance policy for your needs, we compared more than 15 companies based on price, coverage, and more.
Best Burial Insurance Companies of 2020:
- AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance: Best Overall
- Gerber Life Insurance: Runner-Up, Best Overall
- Foresters Financial: Best Coverage Types
- Globe Life: Best Price
- Mutual of Omaha: Best Underwriting Process
- Colonial Penn: Best Value
- AAA Life Insurance Company: Best Membership Discount
- Fidelity Life: Best for No Waiting Periods
Best Overall: AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance
Get a free quote online
No medical exam required
Not available nationwide
Limited benefits for the first two years
AARP Easy Acceptance Life Insurance is backed by New York Life, a company well known for its financial strength—including an A++ rating with AM Best. This policy lets consumers buy up to $25,000 in burial insurance with no medical exam, and it comes with guaranteed rates that will never increase.
AARP members ages 50 to 80 and spouses ages 45 to 80 are eligible to apply, although this life insurance product is not available in Montana, Minnesota, and Missouri. Your policy will also be paid in full at age 95, meaning you won't make any more payments, although you’ll have coverage until the end of your life, extending beyond 100. Fortunately, AARP makes it easy for its members to get a free quote online after providing some basic information and answering one simple health question.
While the actual price of burial insurance will vary, here are some basic quotes offered on the company website. Premiums for $25,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old male or female start at $137 and $106 per month, respectively. These prices jump to $285 and $237 for a 75-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: We selected AARP due to its reputation and the financial strength of New York Life, along with the ease with which consumers can apply for a policy online and without a medical exam.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Gerber Life Insurance
Apply for a policy online in minutes
Your premiums will never go up and the policy cannot be canceled
Gerber Life Insurance doesn’t offer example quotes online, so you’ll have to apply for a policy to find out how much you’ll pay
Limited benefits for the first two years
Gerber Life Insurance might be best known for children's plans, but this company also offers whole life burial policies for seniors. Your acceptance is guaranteed if you’re between the ages of 50 and 80 and if you don’t have to endure a medical exam or fill out a lengthy health questionnaire. The online application takes just minutes to complete and coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000.
Your premiums for burial insurance will never increase, and you can count on having coverage for the remainder of your life. However, limited benefits are available in the first two years. Specifically, suicides within two years only come with a refund of all premiums plus 10% in interest instead of a full death benefit.
Like other burial insurance providers, Gerber Life Insurance makes it easy to get a free quote online or over the phone. Premiums for $25,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man and woman are $108.86 and $84.79 per month, respectively. This jumps to $347.42 and $269.04 for a 75-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: Gerber didn't win best overall simply because of its waiting period for benefits in the first two years. Otherwise, Gerber Life Insurance offers a cut-and-dry burial insurance policy with guaranteed approval for those between the ages of 50 and 80.
Best Coverage Types: Foresters Financial
Coverage lasts to age 121 and has fixed premiums
Receive three additional riders at no additional cost
You have to speak with an agent to get a quote
Not available in the state of Oregon
Foresters Financial offers a PlanRight whole life insurance policy that is intended to cover the full costs of burial and other final expenses. This coverage provides lifetime coverage up to age 121, and your premiums will never increase. Foresters also adds three additional riders to your policy at no additional cost—an accelerated death benefit for terminal illness, a common carrier accidental death rider, and a family health benefit rider meant to add extra coverage for certain natural disasters.
While you do have to connect with an agent to work with Foresters Financial on a burial insurance policy, this company has a 140-year history in this business as well as an excellent A rating for financial strength from AM Best.
Premiums for $25,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man and woman are $75.27 and $60.40 per month, respectively. This increases to $252 and $182.96 for a 75-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: Foresters Financial made our list because of the three additional coverage riders you receive in your policy for no additional cost that widen the scope of your coverage.
Best Price: Globe Life
Low starting rates for burial insurance policies
Broad coverage amounts from $5,000 to $100,000 available
You can’t get a quote without providing considerable personal information
Globe Life offers burial insurance with a lot of flexibility and choices. For example, you can buy burial insurance in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, and you can purchase burial insurance for adults as well as for children with no medical exam and no waiting period. And if you’re worried about quality, you should know that Globe Life has an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best. Globe Life also boasts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
According to Globe Life, monthly rates for burial insurance start at $3.49 for adults and $2.17 for children or grandchildren. You can apply to receive free life insurance information in the mail, and only a simple application is required for their burial insurance policies.
Premiums for $20,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man and woman are $26.34 and $18.85 per month, respectively. This jumps to $11.79 and $67.81 for a 75-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: Globe Life advertises affordable monthly rates for their guaranteed burial insurance policies, including rates for 50-year-old men and women for less than $30 per month.
Best Underwriting Process: Mutual of Omaha
Affordable rates for burial insurance
Guaranteed coverage with no medical underwriting
Limited benefits for the first two years
Mutual of Omaha offers burial insurance in amounts between $2,000 and $25,000, and it is also transparent when it comes to price. Not only does the company let you apply for a free quote by providing limited information online, but it also has a chart of average premiums based on gender and age displayed prominently on its website.
With Mutual of Omaha, you don’t have to complete a medical exam or answer any pressing medical questions. Benefits are never reduced due to your age or your health, and you are guaranteed to be accepted if you’re between the age of 45 and 85. The majority of claims are also paid within 24 hours.
For additional assurance, you should note that Mutual of Omaha has an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best.
Premiums for $10,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man and woman are $36 and $30 per month, respectively. This jumps to $89 and $69 for a 70-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: You don’t have to complete a medical exam or answer questions about your health, and coverage is guaranteed up to age 85. Most insurers stop at age 80.
Best Value: Colonial Penn
Guaranteed acceptance with no medical exam
Cost per unit rates are $9.95 regardless of age and health
Maximum coverage limits vary and you have to apply to see how much coverage you can qualify for
Limited benefits for the first two years
Colonial Penn is well known for its television commercials, but this company actually does offer high-quality burial insurance. This company has been around for over 60 years and offers guaranteed life insurance. Individuals ages 50 to 85 are eligible for coverage in most cases, and you cannot be turned down because of your health.
Your premium for Colonial Penn burial insurance is fixed for life, but you do have the option to pay your premiums on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annual basis. You won’t have to take a medical exam at all, and you can apply for a free quote online.
One downside of Colonial Penn is the fact that coverage limits may not be high. All policies are priced at $9.95 per unit, with the option to buy one to eight units. But the company lowers the amount of coverage per unit as people age regardless of when purchased. We reached out to Colonial Penn to get quotes for their burial insurance, and all of the following policies priced at $79.60 per month (8 units):
- $16,444 in coverage for a 50-year-old woman
- $14,288 in coverage for a 50-year-old man
- $10,664 in coverage for a 65-year-old woman
- $7,456 in coverage for a 65-year-old man
- $6,336 in coverage for a 75-year-old woman
- $4,480 in coverage for a 75-year-old man
It is possible to get one unit of coverage for $9.95 with a limited death benefit.
Why We Chose This Company: Rates for guaranteed burial insurance coverage can be as low as $9.95 for all ages, although coverage amounts will vary.
Best Membership Discount: AAA Life Insurance Company
Guaranteed acceptance for individuals aged 45 to 85
Premiums never go up and coverage is for life
Limited benefits for the first two years
AAA offers burial insurance coverage for individuals who are between the ages of 45 and 85. You’re guaranteed to be approved if you fall within that age range, and you don’t have to go through a medical exam or answer any medical questions. Coverage is good for up to $25,000, although you can buy lesser amounts if you choose. Further, coverage is lifelong and does not expire as long as you continue living and paying premiums until age 100, at which point you no longer need to but are still covered.
While you don’t have to be an AAA member to buy this coverage, an annual fee of $60 for your policy is waived if you are an AAA member. You may also be eligible for bundling discounts if you purchase life insurance with other policies. Premiums for $25,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man and woman are $115 and $83 per month, respectively. This jumps to $251 and $209 for a 75-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: The $60 annual fee for this burial insurance is waived for AAA members and you have the option to get bundle discounts on multipolicy premiums.
Best for No Waiting Periods: Fidelity Life
No medical exam and no waiting period for coverage to start
Apply for a free quote online
You do have to answer health questions to get coverage, and your answers can impact your monthly premium
Fidelity Life offers RAPIDecision® Final Expense coverage intended to help individuals pay for the price of burial and other final expenses. This coverage is a good option if you’re between the ages of 50 and 85 and you want to purchase burial insurance in the range of $5,000 to $35,000. You can apply for a policy online and no medical exam is required. Coverage begins the day your policy is approved.
This policy never expires as long as the premium is paid, and your premiums will remain the same for life. How much you’ll pay varies depending on your age, gender, and other factors.
Some quotes to consider: Premiums for $10,000 in coverage for a 50-year-old man and woman are $41.05 and $32.29 per month, respectively. This jumps to $108.05 and $83.66 for a 75-year-old.
Why We Chose This Company: Your coverage begins immediately upon approval and payment of your premiums, with no waiting periods with limited coverage.
What Is Burial Insurance?
Burial insurance (sometimes called final expense coverage) is a type of whole life insurance that is specifically marketed to cover final expenses, including those for burial and cremation. This makes final expense coverage different when compared to traditional life insurance policies, which are usually purchased in order to replace income and cover regular living expenses for families when a parent or another breadwinner passes away.
Where traditional life insurance is often purchased in amounts of $250,000, $500,000, $1 million, or more, burial insurance typically comes in amounts up to $25,000. As a result, policies are generally less expensive.
Burial insurance also tends to be guaranteed, meaning you cannot be denied coverage regardless of your health. And since burial insurance lasts for a lifetime and never expires, this type of coverage can provide considerable peace of mind.
What Does Burial Insurance Typically Include?
Like traditional life insurance, the proceeds of burial insurance can be used in whatever way seems fit at the time. That means the money go toward a traditional burial with a vault and cemetery plot, cremation, or alternative services.
Burial insurance proceeds can also be used to cover medical bills or end-of-life care, credit card bills, and various debts accrued at the end of someone’s life.
Note that if you want to make sure your burial insurance proceeds are used for the type of service you want, you can set an appointment with a funeral home in your area without prepaying for your services. During one of these meetings, you’ll sit down with a funeral director or representative who will talk over and record your final wishes. At that point, your final wishes will be kept at the funeral home until you pass away. You can also make a copy for your records or for your family members to keep on file.
Can Burial Insurance Be Denied?
Burial insurance is typically “guaranteed issue,” meaning you cannot be denied for coverage, nor can your policy be canceled for medical reasons. As long as the policy is paid each month until you reach the age where your insurer no longer requires you to pay premiums, your policy remains in force for the rest of your life.
To make sure you wind up with burial insurance that never expires, you should ask your insurer or check policy terms and conditions. Many companies also have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section or a page with queries such as, “Will my burial insurance expire?”
What Are the Expected Costs of Burial Insurance?
How much you’ll pay for burial insurance can vary by quite a bit depending on your age, gender, and overall health. Policies can cost as little as a few dollars per month, but you may also pay several hundred dollars per month if you’re of advanced age and want a higher level of coverage.
If your goal is saving money on burial insurance, your best bet is shopping around among several issuers, including taking the time to get a free quote. From there, compare burial insurance policies based on the amount of coverage you’ll receive, monthly or annual premiums required, and any waiting periods that apply.
Is Paying for Burial Insurance Worth It?
If you’re worried about covering the various costs involved in your final disposition, then burial insurance can be well worth it. Keep in mind that this coverage is mostly purchased by individuals of an advanced age who may not be able to qualify for traditional life insurance with higher coverage limits. Coverage amounts for burial insurance are lower as a result, yet premiums can still be relatively affordable based on the peace of mind these policies provide.
With the average funeral costing approximately $9,135 in 2019, according to the NFDA, it makes sense to pay a reasonable premium for coverage that can kick in to pay for a funeral as well as any other final expenses that might come along. Thanks to the FTC Funeral Rule, you are entitled to receive pricing for funeral expenses over the phone or in-person, including a written list of estimated costs. You are also entitled to pay for only the services you want and to see a written price list for burial vaults, caskets, and alternative containers required for cremation.
To be worth it, you must have enough burial insurance to cover the costs estimated for your services and not pay more than the expected costs in premiums over a reasonable period of time.
How We Chose the Best Burial Insurance Companies
To come up with the burial insurance companies for our ranking, we looked at a wide range of factors including whether policies were guaranteed and whether each required a medical exam. We also looked for burial insurance policies that could be purchased in amounts up to $25,000 or more, and we gave precedence to companies that offered some information on pricing without having to fill out an application and apply. We also looked at each company’s reputation, including whether they were backed by a major national insurer that is ranked by third-party agencies like AM Best.
While some companies we profiled offer more information for consumers than others, we compared many other burial insurance providers that offer almost no information online. In total, we looked at more than 15 companies to come up with our list.
National Funeral Directors Association. "2019 NFDA General Price List Study Shows Funeral Costs Not Rising As Fast As Rate of Inflation."
Federal Trade Commission. "The FTC Funeral Rule."