The Most Popular Final Expense Companies (That You Should Avoid)

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Kim Wilhelm CEO of Final Expense Direct Life Insurance
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Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 30 Nov 2021

When you’re searching for something on Google or your preferred search engine, do you go with one of the first few options and ignore the rest? If you do, then that’s probably what you’ll do if you’re shopping for life insurance.

While you might think that the first few results are the best choice available, that usually isn’t the case with life insurance, especially final expense life insurance. 

Why?

Because Google is only going to bring up the most relevant and popular life insurance companies based on the words you searched. And if you have any kind of health issue or special needs when buying life insurance, those first few options are probably going to leave you really disappointed.

How would you feel if you put in the work of applying for life insurance and going through the entire process only to be turned down for coverage

Would you feel like your time was wasted and probably better spent doing something else

Maybe you’d throw up your hands in frustration and think that if one or two life insurance companies declined you, they all will. What’s the point of going through the process just to get denied again? Do I really need life insurance anyway?, you think to yourself.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could provide all your health information one time and get approved the same day?

And wouldn’t it be even nicer if you could do it in just one phone call?

If you answered Yes, then Final Expense Direct is the company you’ve been looking for. Our licensed agents have over 35 years of experience working with the top final expense life insurance companies. We know what these companies offer, including what one’s offer the best rates for pre-existing conditions, certain age groups and coverage amounts.

Our 4-step process solves your life insurance problem. Why do the work of finding the perfect life insurance company for your needs when we’ve already done it for you? 

Call us at 1-877-674-0236 to connect with an agent who will listen to you, ask specific questions to narrow down your plan options, help you decide, and get you approved. All in just one phone call!

Before you do, we want you to understand what those “popular and best” final expense companies offer and why you may want to avoid them. Then, we’ll show you the companies we work with so you can see the difference.

Most Popular & Best Final Expense Companies You May Want To Avoid

AARP

AARP Logo

Overview:

AARP has teamed up with New York Life to offer life insurance for seniors. AARP is a name you have heard and probably trust, and New York Life has been around for a long time, so they should be a good option, right?

Through this partnership, AARP New York Life offers:

  • AARP term life insurance up to $100,000 in coverage
  • AARP term life insurance with no medical exam up to $50,000 in coverage
  • AARP guaranteed issue whole life with no medical exam up to $25,000

Ratings:

They have the highest financial ratings available (these ratings prove a company’s ability to pay out claims, which is an important measure of how likely they will be able to pay your death benefit in full when the time comes):

  • A.M. Best: A++
  • Fitch: AAA
  • Moody’s: Aaa
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA+
  • BBB: A-


But the customer reviews come with mixed messages. AARP Life Insurance Program has had 110 complaints filed with the BBB in the last 3 years, with 58 closed in the last year. Their star rating with the BBB is 1.25 out of 5, which is pretty bad. Most have to do with billing issues and poor customer service. Though Consumer Affairs gives AARP 4.1 out of 5 stars, several bad reviews talk about poor customer service, policies being canceled, and rates increasing to the point of no longer being affordable.

Pros

  • No medical exam
  • Easy application process
  • Accepts pre-existing conditions like cancer
  • Smokers pay nonsmoker rates (except with emphysema or COPD)

Cons

  • Only AARP members are eligible
  • Low death benefit amount
  • Not the best option for healthy seniors
  • Premiums are expensive
  • Coverage is limited to seniors aged 50-74

When is it good to use:

  • You’re in poor health


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Healthy seniors
  • Seniors who need more than $100,000 in life insurance

Gerber

Gerber Logo

Overview:

You probably recognize Gerber Life Insurance as a company specializing in infant life insurance. While that’s true, Gerber also offers guaranteed issue whole life insurance for seniors. If you are between the ages of 50 and 80, you can get between $5,000 and $25,000 in guaranteed life insurance coverage from Gerber. 

They also offer term and whole life insurance for adults, with coverage up to $300,000.

There’s no health questions or medical exam to complete, but there is a waiting period called a graded benefit. That means if you die within the first two years of the policy, your beneficiary will only get the premiums returned you paid, and not the full death benefit.

Ratings:

The only financial strength rating available is through A.M. Best, which is an A excellent rating. Gerber also has an A+ rating with BBB, but only 1.05 out of 5 stars for BBB customer reviews. They’ve had 102 complaints filed in the last 3 years and 37 closed in the last year. Most reviewers complain about not being able to change their payment method online, payments not being applied, and lack of customer service. Consumer Affairs reviews are the same, giving Gerber 3.9 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Seniors between 50-80 can’t be turned down
  • No health questions or medical exam

Cons

  • Low coverage limits
  • Poor customer service
  • Graded death benefit for guaranteed life insurance

When is it good to use:

  • Seniors who are in poor health
  • Seniors who don’t need much coverage


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Healthy seniors
  • Those who want the full death benefit available immediately

New York Life

New York Life Logo

Overview:

Most New York Life insurance products are fully underwritten, which means you’ll have to answer health questions and complete a medical exam. You also usually have to go through a New York life representative to get a quote and complete the application, but they have a couple of options you can quote online.

New York Life’s simplified issue term life insurance policy only requires a few health questions and no exam for up to $150,000 in coverage. However, rates on this policy increase every five years, making it more expensive as you get older, eventually surpassing rates for a final expense policy with the same coverage.

New York Life also has a guaranteed issue whole life policy for seniors 50-80, but coverage is limited to $15,000. There are no medical exams, health questions to answer, or rate increases with this policy.

Ratings:

We already listed New York Life’s financial ratings in the AARP section, which are excellent. The BBB rating and customer reviews are also the same. Consumer Affairs rates New York Life 4.0 out of 5 stars with poor ratings for customer service and billing issues.

Pros

  • Senior term with no health exam
  • Guaranteed issue whole life coverage
  • Superior financial ratings

Cons

  • Poor customer service
  • Billing issues
  • Low coverage limits

When is it good to use:

  • When you don’t need much coverage


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Seniors who need more coverage
  • Healthy seniors

Metlife

Metlife Logo

Overview:

MetLife’s final expense life insurance is available to seniors between 45 and 75. Coverage amounts start at $2,500 and are capped at $50,000. This is a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy, so there are no medical exams or health questions to answer. 

Ratings:

Like Gerber, Metlife’s life insurance for seniors policy has a graded death benefit that pays back the premiums if you die within the first two years of the policy. The company has excellent financial ratings:

  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Fitch: AA-
  • Moody’s: Aa3
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA-
  • BBB: C-


Though its BBB rating is just average. MetLife also has a poor customer review score of 1.09 out of 5 stars with 746 complaints in the last 3 years and 245 resolved in the last year. Several complaints are from people having issues getting their parent’s death benefits paid, even after submitting the right documents! It doesn’t perform much better on Consumer Affairs, with 3.3 out of 5 stars and similar issues.

Pros

  • Final expense coverage starts at 45
  • Larger death benefit than most

Cons

  • Poor reviews
  • Graded death benefit
  • Issue age capped at 75

When is it good to use:

  • Based on reviews, we do not recommend MetLife


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Who definitely needs to reconsider using
  • There are better options available

State Farm

State Farm Logo

Overview:

State Farm is mostly recognized for its auto and home insurance, but it also sells life insurance. The Good Neighbor insurer offers a final expense life insurance policy for seniors nationwide, with premiums payable up to age 100.

State Farm’s final expense life insurance only comes with $10,000 in coverage. We’d call this burial insurance, because it basically only covers your funeral and not much else. Seniors between 50-80 can apply, with those in New York able to apply up to age 75. Unlike some other companies, State Farm pays the full death benefit from day one, except for suicide in the first two years (this is standard across all life insurance policies, not just final expense).

Ratings:

It’s not surprising that State Farm has excellent financial ratings:

  • A.M. Best: AA+
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA


But its customer service scores are lower-than-average, especially for life insurance. The BBB does not rate State Farm and its customer review score is 1.23 out of 5 stars. There have been 1,308 complaints in the last 3 years, with only 455 resolved in the last year. Similar to Consumer Affairs, BBB reviews state poor customer service, billing issues, and lack of understanding of the policies sold to them.

Pros

  • No graded death benefit

Cons

  • Only $10,000 in coverage
  • Poor customer service reviews

When is it good to use:

  • We do not recommend State Farm


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • All seniors looking for final expense life insurance

AAA

AAA Logo

Overview:

AAA is better known for its roadside assistance, but it also provides insurance products, including final expense burial life insurance. You can get a quote online or over the phone for up to $25,000 in life insurance for seniors coverage. This policy doesn’t require an AAA membership, but you can save $60 in policy fees per year if you have one.

Seniors between 45-85 can apply by mail or over the phone. Payments are required until age 100 and the policy comes with a graded death benefit. If you die in the first two years, your beneficiary will receive 130% of the premiums paid. AAA provides a Travel Accident Endorsement, which doubles the death benefit if you die in an accident.

Ratings:

AAA Life received an A rating from A.M Best for financial strength and an A+ rating from BBB, but only got 1 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. There were 36 complaints filed in the last 3 years with 25 resolved in the last year. Though AAA Life scores higher with Consumer Affairs with 4.1 out of 5 stars, several reviews state frustrations with billing and long wait times for death benefit payouts.

Pros

  • Quote online or over the phone
  • Can apply as young as 45
  • Accidental death doubles death benefit

Cons

  • Graded death benefit
  • Can only apply by mail or over the phone
  • Questionable reviews

When is it good to use:

  • Save on policy fees with an existing AAA membership
  • You are more likely to die in an accident than health related


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Healthy adults
  • Those who want an immediate death benefit

Colonial Penn

Colonial Penn Logo

Overview:

Have you seen the commercial starring Alex Trebek selling Colonial Penn’s final expense life insurance for seniors? He tells you that for just $9.95 a month, you can have a benefit that never ends with rates that never increase. 

Sounds too good to be true...and it is! Colonial Penn sells life insurance in units, which is a really expensive way to buy very little life insurance coverage

Ratings:

To learn more about Colonial Penn burial insurance, you can read our review. In short, we never recommend Colonial Penn for final expense life insurance to anyone.

Pros

  • You can feel nostalgic every time you see and hear Alex Trebek on the commercials, may he rest in peace

Cons

  • Cost
  • Unit measurement that makes no sense
  • Graded death benefit
  • Price goes up as you age but coverage DECREASES

When is it good to use:

  • Never


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Everyone

Globe Life

Globe Life Logo

Overview:

At Globe Life, you can get up to $100,000 in final expense life insurance. There is no medical exam, though you have to answer a few health questions. Coverage is just $1 for the first month, but rates aren’t offered online, you have to call or wait for them to send you information in the mail.

While Globe Life’s whole life policy is okay, its term coverage is not a great option for seniors who need life insurance. You can read more about that here. Globe Life offers rates in five-year increments, which means your rate could increase as you get older.

Ratings:

The company has an A rating with A.M. Best and A+ with BBB, but only 1 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. There have been 123 complaints filed in the last 3 years, with 57 resolved in the last year. Globe Life has a 3.52 complaint ratio with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which means this company receives over three times the national average complaints compared with competitors.

Pros

  • Get up to $100,000 in coverage
  • No medical exam

Cons

  • Can only get rates over the phone or by mail
  • Rates may not be guaranteed 
  • High complaint index
  • Health questions on application

When is it good to use:

  • If you need more than $50,000 in final expense insurance
  • You can answer No to all health questions


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Healthy seniors
  • Those who want guaranteed rates

Best Burial Insurance Companies You May Have Never Heard Of

These burial insurance companies are the best options available, and they all work with Final Expense Direct.

We want to highlight them but won’t bore you with the specifics of each policy. Give us a call at 1-877-674-0236 to find out the details and which company will be the best for your health and budget.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha Logo

Overview:

Mutual of Omaha offers guaranteed issue final expense life insurance with coverage amounts from $2,000 to $25,000 (from $5,000 in WA). This policy is available to applicants aged 45-85, or 50-75 in New York. There are no medical exams or health questions, and you are guaranteed to be approved.

Rates are based on age at issue and never increase. This policy has a graded death benefit, with premiums returned plus 10% if you die in the first two years. Rates are competitive and you get a quote and complete the application online. 

Ratings:

Mutual of Omaha has strong financial ratings:

  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Standard & Poor’s: A+


And the company’s NAIC complaint index is 1.21, which is just above average for the industry. Overall, Mutual of Omaha is a great company with over 100 years in the life insurance industry and strong financials to pay claims quickly.

Pros

  • Competitive Rates
  • All online
  • Easy eApplication process 
  • Issue age up to 85
  • Most claims paid in 24 hours

Cons

  • Graded death benefit

When is it good to use:

  • You need a death benefit of $25,000 or less
  • You want a completely online experience


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Healthy seniors who can get a better rate elsewhere
  • Someone looking for an immediate death benefit

AIG

AIG Logo

Overview:

AIG offers life insurance for seniors aged 50-80 needing up to $25,000 in guaranteed life insurance coverage. With guaranteed acceptance final expense insurance, you don’t have to worry if you’re not in good health. There are no health questions to answer or medical exam to complete. If you can apply, you are approved.

With AIG, if you die within the first two years, your beneficiary gets 110% of the premiums paid instead of the full death benefit. In our experience, AIG has very competitive rates for this policy, which makes it a great choice for seniors who don’t want the hassle of a medical exam.

Ratings:

AIG has excellent financial ratings, so when the time comes and you are called home to the good Lord, you know your beneficiary will be paid:

  • A.M. Best: A
  • Fitch: A+
  • Moody’s: A2
  • Standard & Poor’s: A+


The company also has a lower-than-average complaint index at 0.75, but online reviews suggest claims processing can take longer than normal. AIG has phone, chat, and email support to answer questions and help with the filing process when needed.

Pros

  • Really competitive Guarantee Issue Prices
  • Lower-than-average complaints

Cons

  • Only for 50-80
  • Long death benefit processing times
  • Graded death benefit

When is it good to use:

  • Seniors in poor health


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • If you are over the age 80
  • If you are in good or better health

#1 - Pioneer American Insurance Company

Pioneer American Insurance Company Logo

Overview:

Pioneer American is one of our preferred providers for final expense life insurance for seniors. They do not offer a guaranteed or simplified issue product, so you have to be somewhat healthy to get approved for life insurance.


However, we like Pioneer American because of its generous underwriting guidelines. It allows more of our clients to be approved, and many are surprised at how affordable it is, even after having to answer health questions and complete a medical exam. The interview process is quick and usually takes 10 minutes or less.

Because their coverage is not guaranteed, most approved applicants qualify for an immediate death benefit, including those diagnosed as:

  • Bipolar
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hepatitis C (as long as it’s been over 2 years since last treatment)


Pioneer American offers several premium waiver options, like being in confined care or a nursing home. If you are confined for over 90 days, Pioneer American will waive a percentage of the premiums until you are back home. You can also add a child or grandchild term rider to provide coverage to them under your policy.

Pros

  • Located in Texas
  • Several riders to customize your policy
  • Premium waivers for certain health issues/events

Cons

  • Price is on the higher side 

When is it good to use:

  • If you have health conditions
  • Veterans diagnosed with PTSD or on pain medication


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Extremely healthy people

The Baltimore Life Companies

The Baltimore Life Companies Logo

Overview:

The Baltimore Life Companies offer whole life insurance with extremely competitive rates for preferred, standard, and substandard rates. They have a Silverguard policy with an immediate death benefit for seniors aged 50-80 with coverage up to $25,000. But what makes Baltimore Life really stand out is their new Priority life insurance policy. 

This policy offers up to $150,000 in whole life coverage for the same age group, which is the highest we’ve ever seen on a final expense life insurance for seniors policy!

Baltimore Life also gives everyone an immediate death benefit, but rates differ based on your health and if you get approved for standard or special rates. This is different from other companies, who only offer immediate benefits to healthy people and a graded or modified benefit to everyone else.

Smokers who are otherwise in good health can get very competitive rates with The Baltimore Life Company. With coverage up to age 80 and high coverage amounts, you are likely to find what you are looking for with Baltimore Life.

Pros

  • 10 Minutes or less interview process
  • Extremely competitive rates
  • Immediate death benefit for everyone

Cons

  • Tough underwriting
  • Some pre-existing conditions are disqualified from coverage or offered a graded death benefit

When is it good to use:

  • If you are a smoker
  • Relatively healthy
  • Looking for a higher death benefit


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • If you have some health issues or are overweight
  • Seniors over 80

American Home Life Insurance Company

American Home Life Insurance Company Logo

Overview:

At American Home Life Insurance Company, you can choose between whole life and final expense life insurance. If you’re healthy, the whole life plan may be a better option with cheaper rates.

 Pricing is competitive and even with certain health issues, you can still get an immediate death benefit:

  • Type 2 diabetic
  • Neuropathy
  • Seizures
  • Bi-polar
  • Schizophrenia
  • PTSD
  • Mental health


The final expense life insurance policy is for seniors 50-85 and has coverage up to $35,000. It comes with a graded death benefit for the first two years, but is more generous than most carriers. If you die in the first year, your beneficiary gets 25% of the death benefit, and 50% in the second year.

Pros

  • Coverage up to age 85
  • Most qualify for immediate death benefit
  • Whole life or final expense options
  • Generous graded death benefit

Cons

  • Smoker rates are really high
  • If you have two or more major conditions it is an immediate decline

When is it good to use:

  • If you have serious health concerns and want a better death benefit option


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Smokers
  • People who are very overweight - FED has better options

Liberty Bankers Life

Liberty Bankers Insurance Group Logo

Overview:

Liberty Bankers Life offers a final expense life insurance policy that’s not just for seniors. While virtually all final expense life insurance companies work exclusively with seniors, Liberty Bankers offers their policy to people as young as 18, up to age 80

If you’re young and want permanent life insurance at competitive rates, let FED see what Liberty Bankers Life can do for you!

This Texas-based life insurer has some of the most lenient guidelines on height and weight we’ve seen for this product. Most health concerns, including COPD, irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, and being insulin dependent before age 25 can still get an immediate death benefit, which is especially hard with early onset diabetes.

Liberty Bankers offers a child rider that covers up to 8 children for $3.49 per month for $5,000, up to $20,000 in coverage. That’s total, not per child. They are covered up to age 25 or until they are married, whichever comes first.

Pros

  • 10 Minutes or less interview process
  • Generous underwriting guidelines
  • Applicants as young as 18 can be approved

Cons

  • 3-year graded death benefit for substandard rates
  • Automatic decline if hospitalized over 5 days in the last year

When is it good to use:

  • All adults up to age 80
  • Serious health concerns get immediate death benefit
  • Multiple children insured for one price


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • If you’ve been hospitalized in the past year

Prosperity Life Group

Prosperity Life Group Logo

Overview:

Prosperity Life Group provides up to $35,000 in final expense life insurance for seniors. There are a few health questions to answer, and depending on your responses, you may get a modified or graded death benefit for the first two years of coverage. 

With a modified death benefit, your beneficiary will receive110% of the annual premium in year 1 or 231% in year two. If you get approved for a graded death benefit, your beneficiary receives 30% of the death benefit in year 1 or 70% in year two.

If you’ve had an organ transplant and it’s been over 2 years, you’ll receive an immediate death benefit with Prosperity Life. We know how hard it is for these individuals to get covered, so reach out to us at FED today to get a policy in place!

Pros

  • 10 Minutes or less interview process
  • Generous underwriting guidelines
  • Applicants as young as 18 can be approved

Cons

  • 3-year graded death benefit for substandard rates
  • Automatic decline if hospitalized over 5 days in the last year

When is it good to use:

  • Organ transplant over 2 years immediate benefit (decline with everybody else) 


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Those who need more than $35k in coverage

Great Western Insurance Company

Great Western Insurance Company Logo

Overview:

Great Western Insurance Company has a final expense life insurance policy for seniors from 50 to 80. Coverage ranges from $2,000 to $40,000 and is guaranteed with a 2-year graded death benefit. If you die in the first two years, your beneficiary gets 110% of the premiums instead of the death benefit.

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness after getting your policy with Great Western, you are eligible for the free Accelerated death benefit rider included in every policy. You can also cover your dependent children and grandchildren for just $1 a month, and Great Western will pay $2,500 for the first death.

For healthy applicants, Assurance Plus gives a 25% higher death benefit without a medical exam if you can answer “no” to 3 health questions (4 if you’re in Florida). Rates are competitive with Great Western, which is why they are a preferred vendor with FED.

Pros

  • Everyone is approved
  • Competitive rates
  • Assurance plus for healthy applicants
  • Free terminal illness rider

Cons

  • Rates higher than underwritten policies
  • Modified and graded death benefit

When is it good to use:

  • They accept everything


Who definitely needs to reconsider using:

  • Someone in good health who can get a better rate elsewhere

Get a free Quote


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