Discussing Burial Insurance

Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 14 Apr 2024

No one likes the thought of our parents growing older or passing away, but if you have elderly parents, you have to come to terms with the eventuality of your parent's death. Funerals are becoming more expensive, and can place a significant burden on the children left behind. Older parents may not have a life insurance policy in place to offset the cost, and may not realize how much more expensive it's become.

If you have elderly parents, it may be time to sit down to discuss their final expenses and possibly purchase burial insurance coverage for them.


What Is Final Expense Insurance?

Burial insurance is a specific type of life insurance policy designed to cover the costs associated with funerals or cremation upon an individual's passing. Burial insurance policies are a good choice for anyone who wants to guarantee that their family's financial stability isn't placed at risk by their passing.

Acquiring burial insurance is both affordable and hassle-free, even for seniors, as it does not require a medical exam. A simple set of questions from your insurance agent is all that is required to secure coverage for your parents, ensuring their protection throughout their lifetime.

Burial insurance and cremation insurance policies fall under the category of permanent life insurance or whole life insurance, offering a death benefit that typically ranges from $5,000 to $35,000. These policies aren't constrained by a specific term or coverage period, and they remain in effect as long as the premiums are consistently paid.

These final expense insurance policies also come with a cash value component that allows for the accumulation of savings over time. Generally, burial insurance is available to individuals between the ages of 50 and 85, although a few insurance companies extend coverage to those up to and including age 89.

Why Should You Buy Final Expense Life Insurance For Your Parents?

There are a few reasons why you might want to look into final expense insurance for your parents:

Covering Final Arrangement Costs

Funerals have become increasingly expensive, and this trend is expected to continue. Many families underestimate the high costs associated with funeral services, whether it's for a traditional burial or cremation, and the various additional expenses like caskets, urns, flowers, obituaries, transportation, and the use of a funeral home for viewings. Caskets alone can run into thousands of dollars. Life insurance can help alleviate the financial burden of these expenses.

Assisting with Medical Bills

The last years of a person's life can be financially challenging, especially when it comes to medical expenses. Depending on their health, your parents may require costly medications, medical treatments, frequent doctor or hospital visits, and even around-the-clock care. In some cases, they may need hospice care during their final days. These medical costs can be overwhelming, especially if you have your own family to support. Having a small life insurance policy can help cover any outstanding medical bills and ease the financial strain.

Supporting Relocation for the Surviving Parent

When one of your parents passes away, the other parent may find it difficult to continue living alone. Many children choose to move their remaining parent closer if they live far away or transition them into an assisted living community. The process of selling their home and relocating can incur significant expenses, often totaling thousands of dollars or more. Purchasing life insurance for your parents can provide financial support to cover these costs, sparing you and your loved ones from shouldering the burden of these expenses.

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Buying a Life Insurance Policy for Parents

When it comes to purchasing life insurance, we often focus on coverage for ourselves. Remember that the primary purpose of buying life insurance is to shield our loved ones from the financial burdens they might face when we die. An essential part of safeguarding our families is also safeguarding ourselves, especially against unexpected bills that could potentially strain our finances.

In many cases, when a parent passes away, surviving family members are left grappling with various bills and may lack the necessary resources to manage end-of-life expenses, including medical bills and hospice care. The cost of arranging a funeral can add to the financial strain.

To protect yourself from enduring financial hardship when your parents pass away, consider the following steps for purchasing life insurance on their behalf:

Initiate a conversation with your parents about the benefits of burial insurance

While discussing death may feel uncomfortable and awkward, it is a crucial step in preparing for the future. Think about it: your parents wouldn't want to burden you when they're no longer here. Having burial insurance for your parents can alleviate this financial burden, ensuring that all final expenses are covered and provide everyone with some peace of mind. Your parents may have been thinking about this topic already, and might not know about the options available to them.

Determine the coverage amount they need

Funerals can easily cost $10,000 or more when you consider the average cost of a basic funeral, along with all of the additional extras: the transportation of the remains, the viewing, the grave marker or urn, flowers, catering and traveling to the funeral from out of state. You can do a little online research about the cost of the funerals in your state, and factor in any additional expenses, like medical bills and travel, you might want to cover. This will help you determine the appropriate amount of life insurance to purchase.

Find a policy tailored to their needs

A wide range of life insurance policies are available today. Before selecting a policy, carefully assess what it covers to ensure it addresses your specific needs. Cheaper monthly premiums do not necessarily translate to the best policy for your situation. At the same time, your parents may not qualify for every policy you're considering. Policies may reject them based on their age or health issues. It's a good idea to work with a company like Final Expense Direct to find a policy that matches their unique circumstances.

Decide who will own and pay for the policy

In most cases, you will need your parent's consent to purchase a policy on their behalf. You'll probably need their signature on the insurance application and they will need to complete an application which includes health questions. Demonstrating "insurable interest" is a critical factor in purchasing insurance for someone else. Insurable interest generally exists if you would suffer a financial impact from the insured person's death, a condition that typically applies to family members. 

Choosing Life Insurance For Your Parents

Parents nearing or entering retirement years generally find whole life insurance to be the preferred option. These policies typically accumulate cash value and provide continuous coverage as long as premiums are paid, without a predetermined time limit. You can qualify for whole life insurance without undergoing a medical examination, even if you've faced challenges in qualifying previously. Securing a low premium rate early on is essential, as it depends on your age and health. Seniors aged 60 and older, particularly those in their 70s and 80s, typically face higher insurance rates compared to younger parents due mainly to their increased age and health conditions. 

Ask them a few important questions before choosing a burial insurance policy, such as:

  • What kind of burial insurance policies are you interested in?

  • Are you taking any chronic medications?

  • Do you have a pre-existing medical condition that might lead to life insurance companies deeming you a higher risk?

  • Have you been hospitalized for anything in the last two years?

  • What are your final wishes for your funeral?

  • Where would you like to be buried?

  • Do you have any policies with life insurance companies already?

This will give you an indication of how much life insurance you might need, and what type of policy they could qualify for. For example, if your parent is in remission from cancer or recently had a stroke, they may need to apply for guaranteed acceptance life insurance as they are seen as being at higher risk.

How Much Coverage Do My Parents Need?

Understanding funeral costs are essential for making informed decisions about burial insurance policies. According to our data, the average cost of a simple funeral is just under $7000, but individual funeral expenses can be much higher depending on where you live.

Here are some common funeral service options and their associated costs:

  1. Direct Burial: A direct burial has an average cost of $6,980. This option involves burying the deceased without a formal funeral ceremony or viewing.

  2. Full Funeral with Traditional Burial: For those who choose a full funeral with traditional burial, including a ceremony, service, and viewing, the average cost rises to $10,805.

  3. Funeral Ceremony with Viewing: If you opt for a funeral ceremony with viewing, the average cost increases to $7,410. This allows family and friends to pay their respects and say their final goodbyes.

  4. Funeral Ceremony with Service: Adding a service to the funeral ceremony brings the average cost to $7,910. This service typically includes religious or memorial components.

Embalming will cost around $683. A casket may cost $1,244 or more. If you require a hearse to transport the deceased to the cemetery, you can expect an additional average cost of $318. Moreover, there may be extra expenses related to transporting the body, purchasing grave markers, cemetery or mausoleum costs, and plot fees.

It's important to take these figures into account when buying final expense insurance. Burial insurance companies vary in terms of the coverage they offer, and their underwriting, so you may need to shop around to find a life insurance company that meets your needs.

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How to Find the Best Burial Insurance for Your Parents

To start, look for a plan that can help cover the costs of a funeral. Check out different burial insurance policies and what they offer. It's a good idea to compare plans from various insurance companies to find one that suits your budget.

When you apply for a plan, you become both the owner and beneficiary of the policy. Your parents will need to sign the plan electronically or provide a voice signature over the phone. Most insurance companies will have a quick phone chat with your parents to make sure they understand what they're applying for.

Most insurance companies begin offering these plans when you're 50 years old, but some start earlier. The maximum age to get this type of insurance is usually 85, but a few companies might offer coverage up to and including age 89. This type of insurance is great for older parents, and it typically doesn't require them to meet strict health requirements. If your parents have health issues, a guaranteed issue policy could be an option.

Here's what to look for when searching for burial insurance:

  1. Financial Stability: Choose an insurance company that has a strong financial history and can pay out claims reliably.

  2. Quick Coverage: Find a policy that can get your parents covered as soon as possible.

  3. Affordable Payments: Pick a policy with a low monthly payment to keep it budget-friendly.

Once you've decided to get burial insurance for your parents, don't wait. The sooner you get it, the better. Waiting could mean higher premiums. Getting it now will provide peace of mind for both you and your parent.


Can You Get Insurance for Your Parents Without Their Consent?

Most of the time, you can't get insurance for your parents unless they agree. If you're finding it hard to talk to your parents about getting insurance, you're not alone. Bringing up topics like life insurance and planning for the end of life can be tough. Tell your parents that you want to make sure their wishes are followed exactly how they want. Set aside some time to talk about how they want to be remembered and how much insurance money would be needed to cover their final plans.

How Much Insurance Should You Get?

The right amount of insurance is different for each person. You should think about your parents' debts, the bills they have to pay every month, and the kind of funeral they'd like. Funerals are expensive. Most Americans can't easily pay thousands of dollars at a moment's notice. To help cover your parents' funeral costs, you should look into final expense insurance. It's made just for these kinds of expenses, like unpaid medical bills and funeral costs.

How Much Will Burial Insurance Cost?

The price of insurance depends on a few things, but the most important are how old the person getting insured is and how healthy they are. Some types of insurance are cheaper, like term insurance, but it can be hard to get if you have health problems and you might need a medical exam. Whole life insurance usually costs more, but it has some extra benefits that term insurance doesn't have, like cash value, it doesn’t expire after a term, and has faster payments in some cases.

Can You Get Burial Insurance for Parents Over 80?

Many insurance companies that offer burial insurance will cover people up to age 85. You can get coverage for your mom or dad even if they're over 80. A lot of times, there's no waiting period, so the insurance starts right away if they meet the health requirements.


Buying burial insurance for your parents is a thoughtful and responsible step that ensures their peace of mind and protects your family from unexpected financial burdens during a challenging time. It's a gesture of love and care that can make a world of difference when the inevitable occurs.

Remember, open and honest communication with your parents is key. While these conversations may be difficult, they are essential to understanding their wishes and providing for their needs. Let them know that your intention is to honor their desires precisely as they express them, and work together to determine the coverage that best suits their requirements.

Choosing the right amount of coverage is crucial. Take into account their debts, monthly expenses, and the costs associated with their preferred final arrangements. With the average funeral expenses in the United States averaging $7,000 to $10,000, having adequate burial insurance can ease the financial strain on your family during an emotional period.

Whether your parents are in their 60s or over 80, rest assured that burial insurance options are available to provide immediate coverage without waiting periods, granting peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.

If you are interested in buying burial insurance for your parents, have questions about what type of burial insurance to get, or just need help understanding the process, call us today at 1-877-674-0236. We can provide a free quote along with any information you might need to make this important decision. 

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