Understanding Burial Insurance

Explore burial insurance benefits to ease financial stress during grief and ensure peace of mind for family caregivers.
Published on
May 1, 2024
Presented by Givers
Givers hires, supports, and pays people who are caring for their loved ones.
See If You're Eligible

Does your loved one have an end-of-life plan? When a loved one passes, family caregivers have to deal with overwhelming grief. And in the middle of this sad time, caregivers must manage funeral expenses. Burial costs and medical bills are a heavy burden for caregivers to bear, adding unnecessary stress. Burial insurance gives caregivers peace of mind when a loved one passes. How can funeral insurance help you and your family?

What is burial insurance? 

Burial insurance, also called funeral insurance or final expense insurance, pays out a benefit after your loved one passes away. The insurance money can cover funeral costs like the casket, burial plot, and ceremony. It can also help pay for other end-of-life expenses, like outstanding debt. 

Planning your loved one's death benefits while they are still in decent health removes a heavy burden on you and your family. This funeral planning decision takes some consideration. Each type of burial plan has different qualifications, like medical exam requirements, to gauge your loved one's overall health.


Who are you caring for?

How burial insurance works

Like any life insurance, your loved one pays premiums (monthly payments) to a life insurance company. When you pass away, the company pays out death benefits (a lump sum of cash) to the beneficiary (usually a family member), which can be used for funeral costs, burial arrangements, casket, or other final funeral expenses.

Coverage and benefits

Burial insurance is designed to cover the policyholder's end-of-life expenses. Here are some common expenditures that most burial insurance policies aim to cover:

Standard coverage

  • Casket or urn: The cost of a casket or urn can vary significantly based on the materials and design. 
  • Burial plot or cremation fees: Securing a plot or paying for cremation services is a substantial part of final expenses, commonly included in the coverage.
  • Funeral home services: This can include a range of services provided by funeral homes, such as embalming, viewing, the funeral ceremony, and other preparation needs.
  • Cemetery fees: Beyond the burial plot, these might include the costs for opening and closing the grave, grave liners, or vaults.
  • Headstone or marker: Burial insurance often covers the cost of a headstone or marker, which serves as a permanent tribute at the burial site.
  • Transportation costs: These include the expenses related to transporting the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home and then to the cemetery or crematorium.

Additional benefits

Some burial insurance policies extend beyond basic coverage to offer additional benefits that can be particularly helpful for the bereaved family:

  • Cash advances: In some cases, insurance policies might provide a cash advance to cover urgent expenses related to funeral arrangements or other immediate needs following a death.
  • Grief counseling services: Recognizing the emotional impact of a loved one's passing, some policies include benefits for grief counseling services to support the family members during their mourning period.
  • Legal and financial advice: Occasionally, policies may offer access to legal and financial advisory services to assist with the estate settlement and other related matters.

Am I eligible for burial insurance?

Thankfully, applying for funeral insurance is easier than applying for life insurance. Each policy has specific requirements. Some policies may need you to answer health questions. Others may not require a medical exam at all. Age and health status determine which policies your care recipient is qualified for and the insurance premium cost.

Premiums and payment options

Funeral insurance premiums do not cost as much as life insurance policies. Why? The burial coverage amount is usually smaller. However, premiums differ based on the type of policy, age, health, and the amount of coverage you choose. 

Most companies offer flexible payment options, such as monthly, quarterly, or one-time payments. If you have questions about this type of insurance, contact an insurance representative who can help you understand your options.

Claim process and payout

When a care recipient passes away, the caregiver files a claim with the insurance company if they are the beneficiary. Once the claim is approved, the company will pay the benefit amount directly to your beneficiary. This money can be used to cover any funeral and burial expenses.


Can you get paid to care for your loved one?

woman smiling

Types of burial insurance

Families and their loved ones have several burial insurance options available to consider. Choosing the right final expense insurance depends on multiple factors, such as budget constraints, intended funeral arrangements, and the need for medical examinations. Each type of insurance serves different needs and offers various benefits, so it's essential to understand the distinctions to select the most appropriate option for your family.

Pre-need funeral insurance

Pre-need funeral insurance is designed for those who wish to arrange and financially secure funeral services in advance. You can work with a funeral home to establish and lock in the cost of funeral services before the need arises, guaranteeing price protection against inflation and relieving families of making financial decisions during grief.

  • Pros: Pre-need insurance is particularly suitable for caregivers who prefer to have funeral details organized and paid for ahead of time, thus avoiding the burden of planning and decision-making under emotional distress.
  • Cons: While this insurance provides peace of mind, it generally has restricted flexibility since the benefits are directly tied to the chosen funeral services, and it may not cover additional expenses that arise outside the pre-agreed arrangements.

Stand-alone burial insurance

Stand-alone burial insurance, or traditional final expense insurance, lets the policyholder choose the coverage amount and premium payments without tying the benefits to specific funeral arrangements. This policy type is characterized by its flexibility in how the death benefit can be used, whether for funeral expenses, outstanding debts, or other financial needs.

  • Pros: This is the most popular type of burial insurance due to its versatility; the beneficiaries can decide how to use the funds based on the most pressing needs at the time of the policyholder's death.

Simplified issue burial insurance

Simplified issue burial insurance is intended for individuals with significant health issues who might otherwise be ineligible for other types of life insurance. This policy does not typically require a medical exam, although it may involve answering a few health-related questions on the application.

  • Pros: It allows those with severe health conditions to get coverage, which can be crucial for families with limited financial resources.
  • Cons: The premiums for this type of insurance can be higher due to the increased risk assumed by the insurer without a medical exam.

Guaranteed issue burial insurance

Guaranteed issue burial insurance offers the easiest approval process, as it requires no medical exams and poses no health questions. It is designed to provide a small death benefit, typically to cover basic funeral expenses.

  • Pros: Almost anyone can qualify, making it an essential option for older adults or those in poor health who cannot obtain other types of insurance.
  • Cons: The coverage amounts are generally low, around $10,000 or less, and premiums can be relatively high considering the benefit provided. There is often a graded death benefit, meaning full benefits might not be available until after a waiting period, usually two years, unless the death is accidental.

How to find the right policy

  1. Decide needs and preferences: Evaluate your preferred coverage amount. You need enough to cover anticipated expenses. Do you want pre-planning or flexibility? Talk to your care recipient about their preferences for the funeral if they are in good health.
  2. Set a budget: Be realistic about what your family can afford regarding premiums. 
  3. Research insurance providers: Compare quotes from several reputable insurance companies. Read reviews and check the company's financial stability. 
  4. Get multiple quotes: Don't settle for the first offer. Get quotes from multiple companies to compare coverage and pricing.

By planning, your family will experience peace of mind. They won't be stuck with a hefty bill when the care recipient passes away, allowing them to focus on grieving and celebrating their life.

Benefits of burial insurance

Financial protection for loved ones

Your family won't be burdened with burial costs during a difficult time, which can be a significant financial stressor. With the right coverage, they can focus on caring for the family instead of worrying about costs. 

Funeral planning

Family caregivers don't have to worry about planning services when finances are covered. When caregivers plan memorial services beforehand, this added support removes some of the burden for your family. Some insurance will allow very detailed pre-planning options to ease the process when a loved one passes. 

So, should you consider funeral insurance? Is it right for you? Burial insurance provides valuable benefits for family caregivers. It takes care of funeral costs beforehand, so your family won't be stuck with a big bill when your loved one passes away. This type of insurance lets family caregivers focus on what truly matters – grieving and celebrating their loved one's life.

Share this post
Givers hires, supports, and pays people caring for their loved ones.
See if you qualify in 60 seconds.
Check Your Eligibility
Apply to Get Paid