10 Must-Know Terms for Burial Insurance

(No. 10 May Shock You)
Last Updated April 23, 2024
top 10 burial insurance terms you need to know

        When it comes to burial insurance, also known as final expense insurance, it can be confusing and intimidating to call an agent when you do not even know where to begin. These 10 terms are essential to know in order to be a savvy insurance buyer. Before we go over the terms you need to know, we need to go back to basics.

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What is Burial Insurance?

       Burial Insurance, also known as funeral insurance or final expense insurance, is a type of life insurance that helps seniors with their post-life expenses. Typically, burial insurance for seniors is used to help with funeral costs. Burial insurance for seniors typically covers funeral costs like your headstone, casket, and cremation services. Additionally, services like your wake, the funeral home, and funeral decorations are also covered. 

     The average funeral can cost you and your family anywhere from $7,000 – $10,000 depending on where you live. That can be a daunting expense for your loved ones that are already stricken with grief that burial insurance can help to alleviate.  However, did you know that burial insurance also helps with other debts? Outstanding bills like medical bills, nursing home costs, and other debts can be a major burden for families. Burial Insurance can help cover those costs so your family can focus on honoring your memory. 

     So now you’re probably wondering, “How do I qualify for burial insurance?” The process is actually simple depending on your age, and you can qualify within days. Most plans are easy to qualify for with no medical exam required. If you are between the ages of 50-60 and in relatively good health then you can find even more affordable burial insurance for senior options with a medical exam. 

     The best part is that as long as you or your loved ones pay the premium, your burial insurance will never expire. Your premiums will never increase on your policy and your benefits will never decrease.  It will be a reliable way to make sure your final expenses are covered, giving you that peace of mind you deserve.

Who Needs Burial Insurance?

     Who benefits the most from burial insurance? Why do you need burial insurance? The obvious answer is people 50 and over would benefit the most from burial insurance. Burial insurance for seniors covers most of their final costs with funeral preparation. Burial insurance is great because of the easy qualifiers like no medical exam and is a really affordable option.

    burial insurance for seniors However, since burial insurance is a type of life insurance policy, anyone can benefit from having coverage. You may find that your employer’s life insurance policy has lapsed or is not portable. Or maybe you cashed out your old burial insurance policy and need a new one? Burial insurance for seniors or anyone can be great to find affordable coverage should an accident happen. 

     You may benefit from final expense insurance or burial insurance if you have difficulty finding coverage due to health reasons. Depending on your policy, you can attain burial insurance without health insurance, even with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, Social Security benefits can come short in covering final expenses and should not be relied on for that.  If you are at all concerned about how your loved ones will afford to pay for your final expenses, you absolutely need final expense insurance. 

What Are Alternatives to Burial Insurance for Seniors?

     Everyone’s needs are different and so you may find that a burial insurance plan may not be the best fit for you, and that’s okay! Acquiring burial insurance for seniors can be a daunting task. You should always educate yourself on what your options are. Here are some alternative options to help you decide what is best for you.

Pre-Need Insurance

     Pre-need Insurance and burial insurance may seem similar but there are key differences between the two. One major difference is that pre-need insurance often pays a funeral home directly rather than a beneficiary of your choice.  So, this may make switching funeral homes or diverging from your contract very difficult but will guarantee that you have your funeral services paid for within a specific funeral home.

Term Life Insurance

     Term life insurance is an incredibly affordable option for people. Like with most insurances, the coverage depends on factors such as age, sex, and the type of policy that you want. Term life insurance does not last forever though and their maturity length can be anywhere from just 5 years to 30 years depending on your policy.

Whole Life Insurance

     Whole life insurance or permanent insurance is, well, permanent. These life insurance plans build cash value and provide coverage throughout your lifetime (between 95-120 years old). Permanent life insurance has the potential to build a lot of cash value over time and the payout can be used to cover final expenses.

Savings Account Options

     If you have the means, another option for burial insurance for seniors could be to simply set up a savings account. Different accounts like a Payable on Death Account or Trusts can be set up where a beneficiary can put in money at any time and then withdraw it at the time of passing. A regular savings account can also be a good option for those with the funds but be wary that the account can get tied up in probate if your beneficiary is not part of the account. 

Our 10 Must-Know Words

     As Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power” and this power comes from understanding terms associated with burial insurance for seniors. These terms will help you to understand more about the insurance process and how our agents at Final Expense Benefits work with you to get you the best possible rate. Arm yourself and go forth in finding the best burial insurance policy option for you.

1.) Other Names for Burial Insurance

     You have probably seen burial insurance be referred to as many different things like final expense insurance or funeral insurance. These are all different names to mean the same thing; an insurance plan that helps you pay for your final expenses.

2.) Beneficiary

     A beneficiary is a person who is benefiting from your policy amount should you pass. But did you know that there are actually three types of beneficiaries? The Primary Beneficiary is the person who is going to receive all of the benefits of your burial insurance policy should you pass. If they are unable to collect the amount then the Secondary Beneficiary will get the payout. Tertiary beneficiaries are often the last in line to receive any benefits from your policy.

3.) Cash Value

     Most burial insurance policies accrue a cash amount over time and part of the premiums paid can be put into a cash account over time. Some policies even allow you to use this pool of funds while still alive. Most burial insurance for seniors has some kind of cash value that grows slowly over time.

4.) Waiting Period

     Most burial insurance plans for seniors have a period of time before your beneficiary gets the full amount should you pass. This two to three-year time period is called the waiting period, so it is best to set up your burial insurance right away. Finding burial insurance with no waiting period is doable but not without answering medical questions.

5.) Guaranteed Acceptance or Guaranteed Issue

     With guaranteed acceptance or guaranteed issue burial insurance, you do not have to answer health questions and can be approved after simply filling out the application and paying the premium. This is a perfect option for folks who are in poor health and worry they may be denied coverage. Typically, burial insurance for seniors consists of guaranteed acceptance plans.

6.) Death Benefits

     Death benefit is the same as the payout on your burial insurance policy. You can see the payout amount on your burial insurance contract which is the agreed-upon amount that your beneficiary will get.

7.) Maturity

     Maturity can be explained as the longevity of burial insurance and its beneficiaries. Most burial insurance for seniors has an age at which the policy will mature or end. This can be either when the policyholder passes away after the waiting period or if the policyholder reaches the age of 95 or older. If you live to be 95 or older, you can actually expect your insurer to pay you the cash value of the policy directly. 

8.) Insurance Rider

     An insurance rider, also known as an endorsement, is something that changes insurance coverage. This could be in the form of adding something to a policy or excluding something. It can also be used to increase limits of coverage and takes precedence over the original policy. It can be issued at the time of purchase or at renewal time. This can result in a change to your premiums.

9.) Underwriting

     Insurance underwriting is the way an insurance company assesses the risk of insuring you. This is their way of figuring out if offering a policy to someone is profitable or not. This also helps the company with deciding if someone is worth the risk of insuring. This type of analysis is used in all forms of insurance, not just burial insurance for seniors.

10.) High-Risk Applicant

     You may be wondering, “What makes someone a high-risk applicant for life insurance?” Underwriters at a life insurance company may assess you are “higher risk” if you have a shorter life expectancy because of medical or lifestyle risk factors. For example, folks with chronic conditions, who have cancer, or who smoke may be considered high-risk applicants. 

     A life insurance company may limit your policy options or give you a higher premium. A high-risk applicant may be subjected to waiting periods in order to receive their full death benefit. Working with a talented and trusted agent, like the ones at Final Expense Benefits, can help you find guaranteed coverage regardless of risk status.

     Whether you are high risk, low risk, a smoker, or in pristine health, the experienced agents at Final Expense Benefits can find the best plan for you. We only work with highly rated insurance carriers so you are guaranteed excellent coverage with low monthly premiums. Give our agents a call today at 1 (866) 311-4338

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need burial insurance if I already have life insurance?

Traditional life insurance is intended to replace lost income when a loved one dies but may not cover all after-life expenses. Burial insurance can be added to ensure all costs are covered.

What does burial insurance for seniors cover?

Burial insurance for seniors covers all final costs like the funeral, headstone, casket, and other afterlife expenses. It can also cover the medical bills that have accumulated after death. 

What are the options for burial insurance for seniors over 60?

The best options for burial insurance for seniors over 60 can be found on the Final Expense Benefits website. Our team of trained agents will work with you to find the best burial insurance policy for you.

Does burial insurance for seniors ever expire?

Nope! Burial insurance is a type of whole life insurance so your coverage will never expire as long as you pay your premiums.

Is a medical exam mandatory?

Not always. Most plans have options where you do not have to submit to a medical exam. Be aware, however, that burial insurance for seniors over 60 may require them. 

What types of questions are asked during the application process?

You can expect some of the following questions to be asked on your burial insurance application:


  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • Do you or have you ever abused alcohol or drugs?
  • Do you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, or have had a heart attack?
  • Have you tested positive for HIV/AIDS?
What is the best burial insurance for seniors with no waiting period?

At Final Expense Benefits, we work with over 20 insurance carriers that each have burial insurance plans, no waiting period required. Here are a few that we offer:

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