Does Final Expense Cover Funeral Shipping Costs?

final expense death benefits overlap funeral shipping costs

Why is funeral shipping necessary?

Death can happen anywhere. For some, death occurs far from their hometown. This can be states away, or it could be across the world. But your family does not live there, and the likelihood of them being able to attend the funeral in that other city, state, or country is low. Having a funeral far from your hometown is done under the assumption that your family can afford the travel expenses, and if they are able to make it, they would do so without encountering flight delays or car trouble.

Without funeral shipping, money that would otherwise go to your beneficiaries would now go toward their travel expenses, which would potentially force them to shoulder funeral costs out-of-pocket. That’s especially the case if you opt for a policy with a small death benefit.

This is where funeral shipping comes in. The costs may tack on an extra $1,500 (minimum) onto the overall funeral expenses, but it’s much more cost-effective than the alternative of buying airline tickets for everyone in your family.

How does shipping work?

The first step in transporting the deceased is contacting the funeral home in your city. Ask them to contact a shipping service, specifically one designated as a “known shipper” by the TSA. They are the ones who have to speak to the company shipping the deceased.

Once shipping has been arranged, the deceased person will be placed in a specialized container, which is then placed in the plane’s cargo hold. This container has its own cost, which varies depending on a number of factors. The overall funeral shipping cost is also influenced by travel distance, weight of the deceased, and the method of travel. Some states may require embalming and refrigeration before the deceased can be shipped. That is another variable when it comes to how much you will need to pay. This entire process could be as little as $1,500. But, if you’re making an international shipment, then you may have to pay upwards of $15,000.

Final expense’s role

How much final expense will cover depends on your policy’s death benefit and the funeral shipping costs specific to you. If your death benefit is small and your funeral shipping costs are more expensive, then the final expense may cover just a small portion. If your final expense policy has a large death benefit, then complete coverage is more likely.

Because of variability, the best way to compare is to look at them with respect to where they fall within their own spectrums.

One way to see this is to think of how the extreme ends relate. If you were to take a final expense policy with the smallest death benefit, and your funeral shipping costs were at the low end (roughly $1,500), then you get 100% of those costs covered. Insurance companies typically sell policies with a death benefit of no lower than $2,000. With the cheapest of both worlds, the costs are easily covered.

The same holds true when looking at the other side of the extreme. As mentioned before, $15,000 is on the high end for funeral shipping. That’s especially the case if you require international transport. But on the other side of the coin, the highest death benefit an insurance policy can offer is $50,000. A policy of this caliber would cover funeral shipping, with $35,000 to spare.

Dollar for dollar, final expense death benefits overlap funeral shipping costs by a considerable margin.

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