Which Final Expense Insurance Policy is Right for you?

What to look for in a final expense policy

Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 20 May 2024

Finding the right final expense insurance policy can seem overwhelming. 

At Final Expense Direct, our goal is to make it easy for you to pick the best policy for your needs. 

In today’s article, we break down what to look for in a final expense policy so you can save money and get the most benefits for your loved ones as possible.


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What is Final Expense Insurance? 

To fully understand what final expense insurance is, it first helps to know how much funeral, cremation, and end-of-life expenses are.

How Much Does a Funeral or Cremation Cost?

Every year funeral costs continue to rise. 

And many families struggle to know how much money to set aside for a funeral. 

In a recent article, we broke down what you can expect to pay on average for a funeral

But don’t just take our word for it, the NFDA released some numbers that show that since 2017, funeral costs have risen over 6% and the median cost of a funeral with cremation has increased to over 11%.

As of 2023, the average funeral ranges from $8,000- $10,000 (in some states as high as $14,000).

Alternatively, opting for a cremation instead of a burial can save families money. However, we often see people still struggling to come up with the funds needed for a cremation, which can cost between $3,000 to $5,000.

How Does Final Expense Insurance Help?

Final expense insurance is a whole life insurance policy that provides money for your funeral and other end-of-life expenses, so your loved ones don’t have to come up with the funds on their own.

For many people, final expense insurance is a great way to have peace of mind knowing that their passing won’t result in a major financial burden to their family.

Funeral costs and end of life expenses can be expensive, but final expense insurance can not only save you money, but it can also relieve the financial burden that may be put on your family or loved ones at the time of your passing. 

If you want to know about final expense insurance, we put together a resource guide for you that covers everything you need to know.

What Are the Benefits of Final Expense Insurance?

We often see seniors choosing final expense insurance because it’s easier for them to qualify for based on their health, as compared to traditional whole life and term insurance products. 

But that is just one of the many benefits for seniors when they purchase a final expense policy. Some other benefits are:

You Get to Choose Your Own Beneficiary

With Final Expense Insurance, you get to not only name who gets the funds and fulfills your final wishes, but you can also name secondary or contingent beneficiaries in a situation where you outlive your primary beneficiary.

Funds can be used for any expense

Money left to beneficiaries can be used for any expense. This means the beneficiary can cover expenses such as outstanding medical bills, debts, family needs, and more.

Final Expense Insurance accumulates cash value

Over time, a final expense policy will build cash value.

Final Expense Benefits Never Expire

Your monthly payments will always stay the same and your policy will never expire as long as you make the monthly payments.

Fast approval Times

With traditional life insurance policies, you’re often asked to take a medical exam and then you must wait to be approved (which still may not happen).

Final expense insurance gives you peace of mind knowing you will always be approved! 

Most final expense policies will approve you the same day.

In addition, plans are made as simple as possible, and claims are paid quickly.

No Medical Exam Required

Final expense policies have a fast approval process and do not require a medical exam.

Term and whole life policies require you to take a medical exam to get approved.

This can be concerning for people that may have existing health conditions.

With final expense insurance, pre-existing health issues won’t stop you from being approved for coverage.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of a final expense policy, we wrote an article that covers all of the benefits that final expense insurance has to offer.

What Should You Look for in a Final Expense Insurance Policy?

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Now that we have shared what final expense insurance is and its benefits, it’s important to break down what to look for in a final expense insurance policy. 

When we recommend the best final expense company, there are several factors we consider: 

Your health: Some companies will give you a better price for certain health conditions than others. For example, some companies are okay with mild diabetes while other companies aren’t. For this reason, it’s important to work with an agency that represents all of the top companies so that they’re able to shop for the best plan at the best price for your specific needs.

Your goal: How much money do you want to leave your beneficiaries? This is the amount of financial burden you will take off of their shoulders at the time of your passing.

Plan type: What type of final expense insurance policy is right for you and how much will you qualify for?

Money: what is your monthly budget for your policy?

Once we understand what your needs, health and budget are, then we can find the best policy for you.

Types of Final Expense Insurance Policies

Every company is different, but most providers offer 3 types of final expense insurance:

  • Traditional Immediate Benefit
  • Graded/Modified 
  • Guaranteed Issue

Each of these policy types serve a different purpose

Immediate Benefit Final Expense Insurance

This type of coverage is best for those in reasonably good health and usually has the lowest premiums. 

There’s no waiting period and no health exam is needed. 

Immediate Benefit policies offer the full death benefit at the time of death.

Graded/Modified Benefit Final Expense Insurance

Graded/Modified final expense insurance is the next level of final expense policies. 

This type of policy has a two or three-year waiting period (depending on the insurance company that issues the policy) before the full death benefit can be received. 

The exception to this is for death due to accident during the waiting period­– in which case full benefits will be paid.

It is also better for those with semi-serious health conditions that do not qualify for Immediate Benefit plans. 

While the premiums may be higher, it does allow for policies to be approved with more serious health conditions.

You may be wondering what the difference between a Graded and a Modified final expense plan is.  

With a Graded benefit plan, your beneficiaries receive a percentage of the death benefit during the first 2 years. 

If you die within the first year of being insured, your loved ones get 25%-50% and the second year they get 50%-75%. These percentages are based on the insurance company that issues the policy.

Year three and beyond, your beneficiaries can expect to receive 100% of the death benefit.

With a Modified final expense plan your benefits for death during the first 2 or 3 years your beneficiaries will receive all premiums paid plus 5% to 10% interest (depending on the insurance company).  

Like Graded plans, if death by accident occurs within the first 2 or 3 years (depending on the insurance company), your beneficiary will receive 100% of the death benefit.

If you want to learn more about Graded and Modified insurance, you can check out this guide

Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Insurance

This is reserved for those that are in poor health or have been declined when applying for other types of life insurance. They cost more, as more serious health conditions are accepted; however, approval is guaranteed.

If death due to natural causes occurs within the first two years, your beneficiaries will receive all premiums paid plus interest.

Every policy is different, which is why we recommend working with an independent agency that can explain the benefits provided by different companies.

How Much Do You Qualify For?

At Final Expense Direct, we make it easy to know how much you qualify for before you decide to purchase your policy.

While the exact benefit amount, you qualify for varies depending on your age, health and needs

most policies are between $3,000-$15,000, with some as high as $30-000 to $50,000.

The best way to know how much you qualify for is to use our price comparison toolschedule a phone call with our team, or give us a call now.

How Much Can You Expect to Pay? 

Every insurance company is different, and the cost will vary.

For example, a 65-year-old female can get a $10,000 final expense insurance policy for $44.01 through Mutual of Omaha. However, that same policy would be $44.95 through Liberty Bankers. 

This is another reason why it’s important to use an independent agency that can price shop for you.

Final Expense Direct gives you many companies and options to choose from so you can pick the best fit for your needs and budget!

Which Final Expense Company is Right for You?

While finding the right company can seem overwhelming, here are some company reviews to help make your decision easier:

Mutual of Omaha:

Mutual of Omaha Logo

Like most final expense providers, Mutual of Omaha will cover you with no medical exam 

Mutual of Omaha offers two types of final expense insurance, guaranteed issue and Mutual of Omaha’s Living Promise policy. 

The guaranteed issue policy is available for seniors aged 45 to 85 and will provide coverage from $2,000 to $25,000.

With Mutual of Omaha’s Living Promise policy, you can get coverage up to $40,000. 

The Mutual of Omaha’s Living Promise policy also comes with an accelerated death benefit rider at no extra cost.

Baltimore Life:

Baltimore Life is one of the longest running insurance companies 

They offer a full line of insurance products though their most popular product is their 150k in whole life coverage. 

This coverage gives you the ability to customize your policy riders. 

It comes with:

  • An accelerated death benefit
  • An accidental death benefit 
  • Waiver of Premium for Disability
  • Non-Occupational Disability Income
  • Guaranteed Insurability

Pioneer American: 

If you’re local to Texas like we are, you may like Pioneer American! 

Pioneer American offers very generous guidelines that allow seniors to get approved for affordable rates compared to competitors such as AARP or Colonial Penn. 

With Pioneer American, you can get coverage for up to $35,000.

This is exceptional considering most final expense companies cap out their coverage at $25,000. 

How do you think an extra $10,000 would affect your beneficiaries? 

Another great offer that Pioneer American has is discounts for certain association members. 

If you’re a first responder, state-funded education employee, government employee, hospital employee or even a railroad employee you can qualify for 10-year term plans up to age 65.

AIG:

AIG’s most popular product is their Seniors Life Insurance Policy. 

This policy is a guaranteed whole life insurance best for those between the ages of 50 and 80. 

With this policy you get a death benefit, living benefits, as well as a living benefit rider for chronic and terminal illnesses on the funeral insurance plan.

Conclusion

These companies and the benefits are only a few of what we offer at Final Expense Direct.

No matter which company you choose, you can rest easy knowing that there is no financial burden left behind after you pass. 

If you still have questions or want to learn more about final expense insurance, you can use our price comparison toolschedule a more phone call with our team, or give us a call now!

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