Final Expense Life Insurance

Final expense life insurance is a type of life insurance that is intended to cover the costs of funerals and burials so that family members can be less burdened by such expenses.  They are primarily purchased by people middle-aged and older who do not already have life insurance.

The Cost of Dying

Funerals can be incredibly expensive, with even simple preparations such as cremation costing thousands of dollars.  When calculating the amount of necessary coverage, considerations should include:

  • Price of a memorial service
  • Cremation services
  • Casket
  • Burial vault
  • Burial plot
  • Headstone
  • Embalming

People who purchase final expense insurance commonly also make pre-planned funeral arrangements with funeral homes.  This is an agreement set ahead of time as to exactly what you want at your funeral and how much it will cost.  They can even be pre-paid, although this is not a requirement.  This allows you to know exactly how much money is necessary for a final expense insurance policy.

Benefits over Traditional Policies

Final expense insurance works exactly like regular life insurance; upon your death, the policy will be paid out to beneficiaries.  While the intent is for the money to cover funeral expenses, beneficiaries can use the money any way the desire.

Because final expense policies are meant to cover a very narrow range of expenses, they are smaller in value than the average life insurance policy.  That means lower premiums, which can be particularly important for those living on fixed income.

There are also no medical exams for final expense insurance, although there may be a health questionnaire.  These policies are generally guaranteed, meaning everyone will be accepted, but the health questionnaire can influence price.

Many of these policies will only partially pay out if death occurs within the first two years.

Who Buys Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense life insurance is primarily purchased by people middle-aged and older who do not already have life insurance, either because they have found no need for it or because they have been turned down for it. 

When a person actively chooses a final expense policy over a traditional policy, it is generally because older people have less financial needs.  Thus, there’s less need for a large policy.

Younger people potentially have a host of serious concerns that need to be addressed by life insurance, such as how mortgages will be paid and children will be provided for.  This is particularly important if you are the main breadwinner of the household, but it’s important regardless of who is bringing in the most money, as many families need to be two-income families.

By middle age, children are generally adults taking care of themselves.  The older you get, the more debt has been paid off as well.  By the time you’re a senior citizen, there are many debts and potential debts that are no longer hanging over your head.

As with all kinds of insurance, the purchase of final expense insurance should be carefully considered.  This is an option primarily intended for older people who do not expect to have a lot of financial need at the time of their death.  However, they still want to give peace of mind to their families by preparing for final expenses.

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