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Top 10 Best Burial Life and Final Expense Insurance Companies

Researcher & Writer
March 31, 2019

When looking for the best whole life final expense insurance or burial insurance, it is imperative that you choose a company that specializes in the niche area of final expense whole life insurance.

Choosing the best burial life insurance company

The following carriers have shown themselves to be the best companies for final expense whole life insurance. Companies are listed alphabetically rather than in any particular order because no single company on this list is "The Best."

The right company for you may not be the right one for someone else because there is no one size fits all company. However, any of these ten companies could be a good choice for final expense insurance.

The Best Final Expense Life Insurance and Burial Insurance Companies

  1. AIG
  2. Americo
  3. American National
  4. Assurity
  5. Foresters
  6. Gerber
  7. Mutual of Omaha
  8. Sagicor
  9. Transamerica
  10. United Home Life

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Final expense insurance vs. burial life insurance

Before we can expand on why these companies are some of the best in the industry, it is important to get some definitions out of the way so you can choose the best one for your needs. First, let's define burial insurance and final expense insurance.

Planning Your Future

While planning for your family's future, consider creating a will using Fabric. Fabric is an online life insurance company that also offers a free will creation service and more.

What is final expense insurance?

Final expense insurance is a small whole life insurance policy ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 where the primary purpose of the lump sum death benefit payout is to cover burial expenses, such as a grave marker and cemetery plot, and other final expenses, such as any outstanding debts that are not forgivable upon death.

Note that there are also funeral insurance policies that name the funeral home as the beneficiary. But we would recommend you name a family member you trust as your burial insurance beneficiary. The last thing you want is to die and have the funeral home be out of business or overcrowded.

What is burial insurance?

Burial insurance is a small whole life policy ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 in which the death benefit's primary purpose is to cover burial or funeral home expenses. The policy pays out a lump sum death benefit to the beneficiary upon the death of the insured. Some companies market burial insurance as pre-need insurance, which are typically small whole life policies with an increasing death benefit.

Understanding the difference between final expense insurance and burial insurance

The biggest difference between final expense insurance and burial insurance is that final expense insurance typically includes final expenses in addition to the cost of a burial. Whereas burial insurance, also known as a funeral insurance policy, is typically strictly for the cost of paying for a funeral and nothing more. Generally, most people want enough to cover burial and final expenses.

Contrast this with those considering between life insurance or prepaid funeral plans. Burial and final expense insurance policies are typically cash value whole life insurance. Alternatively, a prepaid funeral plan is a contract between the funeral parlor and the individual. A prepaid funeral plan is not individual life insurance.

What to look for in a final expense insurance or burial life insurance company

We feel that the key to finding the best final expense whole life insurance or burial insurance company is (1) work with an independent insurance agent, and (2) know how to read between the lines. All too often a company will seemingly offer everything under the sun only to have too many restrictions or clauses once you read the fine print.

For us here at TermLife2Go, the best final expense whole life insurance or burial insurance companies are those that are (1) top rated, (2) competitively priced, (3) that offer a fixed premium, (4) for a fixed price, (5) for the rest of your life.

Why choose Burial Insurance or Final Expense Insurance?

Typically, the reason someone buys final expense insurance or burial insurance is twofold:

(1) the potential insured has no coverage and some pre-existing condition is preventing them from buying a conventional life insurance policy.

(2) The potential insured desires to leave money behind so that family or friends have a way to provide a proper burial.

A funeral and burial is expensive. And even if you don't let the funeral director up-sell you on additional services, the average funeral expense and burial costs run anywhere from $6,000-$10,000. Cremation will run between $3,000-$5,000. So you should consider a minimum of $5,000 to have the proper insurance coverage.

Plus, there are additional fees when wrapping up an estate, such as paying off any secure creditors. And the alternative to having money for a proper burial is not pretty. Either a family member will have the financial burden of shelling out the money, your body will be donated to science, community donations, GoFundMe campaigns, etc...

What type of final expense life insurance is best for me?

This is a great question. The reality is the best final expense insurance is the one you can qualify for, that will last your whole life. You have two main choices for whole life burial or final expense insurance: simplified issue and guaranteed issue.

Simplified issue: these policies ask health questions and some conduct background screenings such as checking the medical information bureau and prescription database. If you can pass the health questions and/or background check this type of policy is a less expensive alternative to guaranteed issue.

Guaranteed issue: No exam, no health questions, everyone between the ages 50-80 can qualify. However,if you are looking for the most affordable burial insurance or final expense, this might not be the best choice. Why? Premiums will generally be higher on guaranteed issue life insurance because the risk to the company is higher.

Beware of Graded Premium Whole Life

A Graded Premium Whole Life Insurance Policy (as opposed to a Graded Death Benefit) starts out with a very low premium that increases over a period of time. The problem with graded premium life insurance is the premium can increase substantially, which puts a strain on your budget.

As the premium increases, many policy owners are forced to let the policy lapse, thereby losing their coverage. Rather, choosing fixed premium whole life insurance for final expense or burial insurance is a better route since the premiums do not change for the entire policy.

Beware of Term Life Masquerading as Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance needs to be permanent life insurance, specifically whole life, otherwise don't waste your time and money. There are certain companies out there that market to seniors that are offering term life, rather than whole life.

The major problem is the term policy will increase in premiums every five years. Further, the term life insurance policy ends at a specific age, such as age 80.

So what end up happening is you buy the policy thinking it is permanent, only to find out your premiums are going up and that it ends at age 80. Or worse yet, you don't find it out until your policy expires and you end up wasting all your money on a temporary policy.

Choose an agency that can shop final expense insurance companies for you

In our opinion the key to finding the best final expense company is to choose an agency with knowledgeable final expense insurance agents that can impartially search through the best life insurance companies to find you the life insurance coverage that is the best fit for your specific health and lifestyle.

Top 10 Final Expense Whole Life Insurance and Burial Insurance Companies

AIG - Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

American General made a big splash on the final expense insurance scene in 2017 with the introduction of its new Guaranteed Issue Whole Life policy. You can now get life insurance from AIG that requires no health questions or medical exam.

The policy is available for ages 50-85, for coverage up to $25,000. It is a graded death benefit policy, paying 110% of premiums if the insured dies in the first two years, and the full death benefit payout in the third year. The payor on the policy can be someone other than the insured, making it a great life insurance for parents policy, if you want to make sure your parent has life insurance coverage but they cannot afford the premiums.

Read more in our AIG Life Insurance Company Review.

Americo - Ultra Protector Series

Americo offers various whole life products to help with final expenses and burial costs for applicants ages 50-85. The burial policy offers guaranteed level premiums and coverage cannot be canceled due to health or age. Face amounts range from $2,000 to $30,000.

Accelerated Benefit rider is available on Ultra Protector I and II allowing up to 50% of face amount to be paid to the insured if he or she is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Ultra Protector I and II are simplified issue and do require the applicant to pass a health screening involving health questions and height and weight requirements.

Read more in our Americo Life Insurance Company Review

American National Strategy Whole Life

American National offers level, graded and modified death benefit plans. Face amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000 for level, and to $25,000 for graded and modified death benefit plans. The policy builds cash value that can be borrowed against and there is a terminal illness rider on all polices with face amounts of $25,000 or greater.

Read more in our American National Life Insurance Company Review

Assurity Simplified Level Benefit Whole Life and Graded Benefit

Assurity is a top no medical exam company. The company's simplified level benefit plan is a great option for those looking for an affordable burial or final expense whole life insurance policy. Assurity’s whole life product provides whole life coverage that starts from day 1. Up to age 65 the face amount offered is between $5,000 to $50,000. From 66 to 80 the face amount offered is $5,000 to $25,000.

Premiums and face amount stay the same for the life of the policy. The product is simplified issue permanent life insurance so there are some health questions that need to be answered. Assurity is a great option for people looking for a permanent final expense policy or burial insurance policy who are somewhat healthy (i.e. not currently being treated for cancer, heart disease, or liver disease).

Read more in our Assurity Life Insurance Review

Foresters PlanRight Whole Life

Foresters is one of our picks for the best life insurance in the U.S. The company's PlanRight product is a simplified issue final expense insurance policy offered from Foresters. Since it is simplified issue there are some health questions involved.

The product is priced well for those who can qualify, making it one of the most affordable final expense insurance companies. And the good news is the underwriting guidelines are very liberal so many clients can qualify.

As a result, the PlanRight Whole Life product from Foresters makes an excellent final expense or burial insurance choice. The Policy is available for ages 50-85 with a maximum face amount of $35,000 to age 80 and $15,000 for applicants 81-85 year old.

Read more in our Foresters Life Insurance Company Review

Gerber Life Guaranteed Life

Gerber offers an excellent guarantee issue whole life policy for clients with serious health issues looking to secure cheap final expense insurance or burial insurance with no questions asked, no exams, no blood draws and no urine samples. The coverage is available for ages 50-80 for face amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Premiums are fixed for the life of the policy, and there is a cash account that accumulates cash value and can be used to pay premiums for a period of time or borrowed against. This is 2-year graded benefit life insurance policy. If the insured dies due to an accidental death, the full face amount will be paid due to the accidental death benefit, which pays out from the policy issue date. However, if the insured dies from a natural cause during the first two years of the burial policy, the beneficiary will receive all premiums paid plus 10%.

Gerber offers some of the best burial insurance for seniors. Often, those looking for life insurance on someone else, such as a parent or grandparent will find that Gerber is a great fit.

Read more in our Gerber Guaranteed Life Insurance review

Mutual of Omaha Living Promise

Available for ages 45-85, United of Omaha Life Insurance Company offers a great level benefit policy. This is a whole life burial or final expense insurance policy that builds cash value. Face amounts range from $2,000 to $40,000.

This is not guaranteed acceptance. There is a background check including the medical information bureau (MIB) and prescription drug database.

The insurance comes with an accelerated death benefit rider which pays out early if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than 12 months or if the insured is confined to a nursing home for more than 90 days and is expected to remain confined for the duration of the insured’s life. If you need cheap burial life insurance that builds cash value and offers some unique riders, this is a great choice.

Read more in our United of Omaha Life Insurance Review

Sagicor Sage NLUL Standard

Sagicor offers an excellent simplified issue universal life product for ages 18-65. Ages 66-85 will need to be fully underwritten in order to qualify. Sagicor's No Lapse Universal Life is available on face amounts at or above $25,000.

Sagicor is an excellent choice for an affordable final expense insurance because the company offers various health classes including preferred, standard and rated up to table 8. An Accelerated Benefit Insurance Rider covering terminal illness or chronic illness is included at no additional cost.

Read more in our Sagicor Life Insurance Review

Transamerica Immediate Solution Standard

Offering level premiums to age 121 for applicants up to age 85, Transamerica is another fine choice when looking for an affordable final expense or burial whole life insurance. This policy has a minimum face amount of $1,000 and a maximum up to $50,000 for applicants age 55 and under, $40,000 up to age 65, $30,000 up to age 75, and $25,000 up to age 85. That is why this is a great final expense product for older applicants who need a bit more coverage.

Read more in our Transamerica Life Insurance Review

United Home Life Express Issue Premier

Issue ages for this simplified issue product are from age 20-80. Face amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000 through age 60 and $5,000 to $50,000 through age 80, making it a great burial insurance for seniors option. This is a cheap final expense product for healthier applicants, such as type II diabetics non-insulin dependent.

For more, see our article: United Home Life Insurance Company Reviews.

Honorable Mention

The following company almost made the list but was just slightly edged out:

Vantis Life Insurance Company offers burial whole life insurance at highly competitive rates.

Burned, Buried, and Beyond: What Do You Want To Happen After You Die?

Our new survey of 500 individuals finds that 43% of respondents would like to be cremated after they pass on. That’s more than any other burial method, including traditional burial or donating their body to science.

You might be surprised to find out that only 37% of Americans want a traditional burial. But it makes sense if you know why people choose cremation over being buried in the ground.

How do you decide if you want to be buried or cremated?

While most people think they’ll either get buried or cremated, there are interesting alternatives like tree burials or donations to science. So how do people decide?

According to our survey,  the two biggest factors that influence a person’s decision for their burial are cost and personal beliefs.

A traditional burial is required according to some religions, but only 21.8% of our respondents said they chose based on religious reasons.  Around half (50.8%) of our respondents chose based on personal beliefs compared to 21.8% who said they chose for religious reasons.

Funerals cost twice as much as cremations. On average, funeral expenses and burial costs run anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000, whereas cremations run between $3,000 and $5,000. A death in the family can be a huge, unexpected expense, so cutting that cost in half can ease the burden on your loved ones.

Where do you want to end up?

For those choosing burial, only 18% of respondents currently have a plot where they intend to be buried.

In our survey, 46% of people choosing cremation want their ashes kept with family. And 21% want their ashes spread at sea.

Some respondents wanted their ashes spread, scattered, or buried at more specific locations. Responses ranged from Arizona deserts and Scottish highlands to their own backyards and local parks.

What’s your plan when it’s all said and done?

We know most people base their decision on personal beliefs and costs. And for many, that means cremation, but over a third of Americans choose traditional burial.

No matter which way you want your memory honored and preserved, you’ll want to make sure your family’s finances are safe when your time comes. Don’t put it off: make sure you have the best insurance for final expenses today.

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.