Burial Insurance Plans for Seniors

Seniors face many decisions that come with advancing age. Among those decisions is that of how funeral and burial expenses will be paid for. Moreover, with the cost of the average funeral in the United States now more than $8,000, deciding how to meet those expenses before you die will provide a big relief to your survivors. A burial insurance plan for seniors is a very good option.

Burial insurance is a specific kind of life insurance that is purchased as a policy from a reputable underwriter. For the record, it is not the same as a prepaid burial plan purchased through a funeral home. This is an important distinction. If a funeral home offers to sell what they call burial insurance that is, in fact, a prepaid burial plan, survivors of the deceased could be surprised by additional costs related to that plan.

Senior Couple Walking Along Coastal Path

As an insurance policy, burial insurance pays a defined benefit upon the passing of the policyholder. That benefit can be one of the following:

  • Level – A level benefit is one that does not change regardless of when the individual passes away. Death could occur five years into a policy or 20 years down the road; the policy pays out the same amount.
  • Graded – A graded benefit establishes the payout based on the amount of money the policyholder has paid into the insurance. The greater the total payments, the greater the benefit. Many of these policies come with a waiting period that allows survivors to get the full face value of the policy after premium payments reach a certain point.
  • Modified – A modified benefit is a different kind of benefit in that it offers a refund of premium payments should the policyholder pass away before a designated date. It is a benefit that reduces the risk of loss from both parties.

Benefits of Burial Insurance

Seniors who already have life insurance in place may not ever consider burial insurance as an option. Perhaps they should, as burial insurance benefits both seniors and their survivors in a number of ways.

First and foremost, burial insurance benefits the survivors of seniors who have no life insurance in place. Without any sort of insurance at all, the expenses associated with funerals and burials fall to the survivors. Seniors who have no life insurance should absolutely consider burial insurance as the bare minimum.

Those with life insurance might also consider a burial policy in order to preserve as much of their life insurance benefit as possible. For example, consider a couple with life insurance benefits intended to replace lost income in the event one of them dies. An additional burial insurance policy preserves the life insurance benefit rather than allowing it to be reduced by burial and funeral expenses.

Purchasing a Policy

The good news about burial insurance is that almost no one is turned down. Seniors can usually get insurance regardless of their current page or health. Having said that, both factors will determine the amount of coverage an individual can secure. For example, certain health conditions resulting in a shorter life expectancy may limit the total benefit available or result in higher premiums.

Purchasing a policy is as easy as comparing quotes and then filling out an application. The application procedure is usually a simple one, with just a few questions above and beyond your personal information. Once a senior is approved for a policy, a payment schedule is set up and the policy is issued.

Assuming the policyholder continues to make monthly payments as scheduled, burial insurance will remain in force. It will provide the policyholder and his/her survivors with the peace of mind that comes with knowing final expenses will be paid for.


  1. NFDA – http://nfda.org/about-funeral-service-/trends-and-statistics.html#fcosts

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