The Best Final Expense Insurance Companies To Choose In 2020

Buying final expense insurance is a big decision.

So knowing the strengths of each company and where you best fit in given your health condition is important.

Check out our guide below as we help you find the best final expense insurance for you.

What Is Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance helps your loved ones pay for your final expenses upon your death.

Final expenses may include funeral costs, burial expenses, final medical expenses, or even the cost to settle your estate.

This type of insurance isn’t an income replacement insurance like term or permanent life insurance, but it does help offset the cost of your final expenses, giving your loved ones time to grieve rather than worry about finances.

The Highlights

  • Final expense insurance is a whole life insurance policy.
  • The premiums never change.
  • The policy stays in effect as long as you pay your premiums.
  • You typically don’t need a medical exam, but you may have to answer medical questions.
  • You can typically get approved quickly and may even get coverage right away.

Final Expense Vs Burial Insurance

You’ll hear some people say final expense insurance and others say burial insurance – don’t get confused, though, they are the same thing.

There’s really no ‘official term’ for the insurance.

It’s a whole life policy that provides your loved ones with money to cover the costs incurred for the end of your life. There’s no right or wrong way to use the insurance and it’s the same coverage no matter the name.

Coverage Levels

Just like any other life insurance, final expense insurance has different coverage levels.

Your overall health (based on your questionnaire) and the offering of your insurance provider determines which coverage level you may obtain.

Level Death Benefit

This is the ‘best’ policy you can qualify for in regards to final expense insurance. Your beneficiaries receive full benefits no matter when you pass away and there isn’t a waiting period.

Your coverage starts from day one and your beneficiaries receive the full amount of the policy.

In order to qualify, you must meet the weight requirements according to your height and not have any serious health concerns.

Graded Death Benefit

This policy covers the same final expenses, but has a 2-year waiting period. Rather than day one coverage like the Level Death Benefit.

Therefore, your beneficiaries don’t receive full coverage until you’ve had the policy for two years.

If you die before the two years are up, your beneficiaries may receive a prorated amount, typically 30% if you die within the first year and 70% if you die within the first two years.

Modified Death Benefit

Like the Graded Death Benefit, your beneficiaries only receive full benefits if you’ve had the final expense insurance for at least two years.

If you die before then, your beneficiaries receive the amount you paid in premiums plus 10% (in most cases).

Costs

The good news is that final expense insurance is typically rather inexpensive because its coverage amount is less than typical life insurance.

The average policy is for $10,000, right around the cost of the average funeral services. This puts the average burial insurance premium at $50.

Of course, your age, coverage amount, and overall health determine the final cost. The older you are and the more medical problems you have, the more expensive the premium.

Best Funeral Insurance Companies

Mutual of Omaha Burial Insurance

What We Like

Mutual of Omaha offers low coverage amounts starting at just $2,000 and goes up to $40,000. It’s a good option for those with simple end of life desires and not a lot of loose financial ends to clean up.

The policy is for anyone aged between 45 – 85 and there aren’t any premium increases for smokers. Beneficiaries can use the proceeds however they see fit.

What We Don’t Like

The background check is rather in-depth including a medical and prescription background check as well as an MIB record verification.

Some offices also do a phone interview, but it’s done randomly.

Policies Available

  • Level Benefit Plan – Your beneficiaries receive the full amount of coverage whether you die 2 days or 10 years after taking out the policy.
  • Graded Benefit Plan – There’s a 2-year waiting period. If you die within that time, your beneficiaries receive the premiums you paid plus 10%.

The Verdict

Mutual of Omaha is one of the best insurance companies offering burial insurance. Their prices are competitive, their customer service is good, and their offerings are superior to others.

AIG Funeral Insurance

What We Like

AIG offers Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance to help your loved ones cover the cost of your final expenses. As long as you are between the ages of 50 and 85 coverage is guaranteed.

You don’t have to undergo any medical exams or even health questionnaires. The premiums are also affordable, which is great for budget-conscious people.

What We Don’t Like

Your coverage options are limited to between $5,000 and $25,000.

If you have basic final arrangements and little debts or medical bills to cover, this may be enough, but for some, $25,000 may not be a high enough limit.

The policy has a 2-year waiting period. If you die within the first two years, your loved ones will receive 110% of the premiums paid up until that point rather than the face value of the policy, unless the death was an accident.

Policies Available

AIG has one policy, but they offer two riders (at no charge). These may help you in the event that you become terminally ill or have a chronic illness and can’t care for yourself.

The riders include:

Terminal illness rider

If you have less than 2 years to live, you may access up to 50% of your life insurance policy, if the 2-year waiting period has passed.

Chronic illness rider

If you are unable to perform 2 out of the 6 normal daily activities, you may be able to access up to 25% of your policy’s face value to help pay for the assistance you need for daily living.

The Verdict

If you’re worried about a chronic illness or terminal illness, AIG offers the best value.

Not only do you get guaranteed coverage if you are within the age range, but you can access your benefits while you are alive, should the need arise.

AARP No Medical Life Insurance

AARP isn’t an insurance company themselves, instead they are an interest-based group that helps retired consumers get the best deals and take control of their finances.

The burial insurance “sponsored by” AARP is actually New York Life.

What We Like

AARP offers a Guaranteed Life Insurance Burial Plan with coverage amounts from $2,500 – $50,000. The ‘guaranteed’ portion of the policy means you don’t have to go through a medical exam.

As long as you are within the ages of 50-80 and can answer their one medical question well, you may qualify for one of their policies. They have ‘guaranteed acceptance’ unless you are currently terminally ill.

The premiums are the same for your lifetime and you don’t have to worry about the policy expiring as long as you make your premium payments.

What We Don’t Like

You must pay the AARP a monthly membership fee in order to get the insurance. Like most other guaranteed life insurance policies, there is a 2-year wait for benefits.

If you die within those two years, your beneficiaries receive limited benefits, or up to 125% of the premiums paid.

One thing to note, however, is AARP rates are often much higher than most other insurance companies.

If you’re an AARP member and can’t get qualified elsewhere, it’s a good policy, but make sure you shop around to look for better rates.

Policies Available

AARP offers two policies – the Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance is the most well-known, but you can also ask for the Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance.

It does have some slightly tougher qualification requirements including:

  • Answering specific health questions.
  • Agreeing to a prescription history evaluation.

The premiums never change with this policy and you can get coverage from $5,000 – $50,000, but again, this policy isn’t advertised – you have to ask for it.

The Verdict

If you are an AARP member, go ahead and get a quote on burial insurance, but make sure you shop around with a few other insurance companies to make sure the rates are the lowest available.

Transamerica Life Insurance

What We Like

Transamerica offers three burial insurance policies.

All 3 of them include high maximum coverage amounts and a large selection of riders that you can add onto your policy, such as a waiver of premium rider, terminal illness accelerated death benefit rider, and accidental death benefit rider.

None of the Transamerica policies have a waiting period and your premiums don’t increase as you age.

What We Don’t Like

The only ‘issue’ with Transamerica is that their customer service may be ‘spotty,’ depending on where you get help, whether it’s with a local agent or directly through Transamerica themselves.

Policies Available

Immediate solution

You can apply for the policy up to age 85 with no minimum age. At age 121, the policy is paid in full (no more premiums are necessary).

Your maximum coverage depends on your age starting at $50,000 up to age 55 and decreasing from there.

10-Pay solution

You can apply for the policy up to age 85, but you pay the premiums for just 10 years.

Your maximum coverage depends on your age – starting at $50,000 up to age 55 and decreasing from there.

Easy solution

You can apply any time between age 18 and 80 years old and get benefits up to $25,000.

The Verdict

Transamerica is a financially stable insurance company that offers a variety of policies with riders that help people in unique circumstances.

Gerber Life Insurance

What We Like

Gerber offers quality final expense insurance that never expires, premiums that don’t increase, and benefits that never change.

They don’t require a medical exam and you don’t have to answer health questions. The policy is a ‘guaranteed issue’ which means as long as you are within the age range (50 – 80 years old) and don’t have a terminal illness, you qualify.

We like Gerber Life Insurance because of its long-standing reputation and strong financial standing.

What We Don’t Like

Like most guaranteed issue policies, there is a 2-year waiting period.

Gerber pays 110% of the premiums paid if you do die within the first two years of the policy. The only exception to this rule is if the death is an accident.

Policies Available

Gerber offers only one policy, but with varying coverage amounts. Depending on your age and budget, you can opt for coverage between $5,000 – $25,000 to cover your final expenses.

The Verdict

Gerber is one of the most well-respected insurance companies in the market. They offer a large selection of ‘other’ insurance products as well.

Their final expense insurance rates are among the lowest in the industry, making them a viable option for just about anyone within the 50 – 80-year-old age range.

Fidelity Life Burial Insurance

What We Like

Fidelity’s RapidDecision Final Expense Insurance provides quick answers, sometimes within just a day or two, giving you coverage right away.

With no waiting period, you have final expense coverage from day one. There is no medical exam, but you do need to answer a few health questions to ensure your eligibility for the program.

The policy remains in force for your lifetime, as long as you pay your premiums.

What We Don’t Like

In addition to the answers to your health questions, you must also allow Fidelity to evaluate your motor vehicle reports and information from other databases which they don’t disclose upfront.

Policies Available

Fidelity offers one final expense insurance option – the RapidDecision Final Expense insurance.

You can opt for coverage between $5,000 – $35,000 and the coverage is good for life (as long as you make your premiums).

The Verdict

If you don’t have any pre-existing conditions or ‘risky’ issues that may cause you to get turned down, Fidelity offers a good policy that is fast and doesn’t have a waiting period.

Globe Life Final Expense Insurance

What We Like

If you have health issues that might otherwise get you turned down for another policy, Globe Life Final Expense insurance can be a good option.

They have limited underwriting requirements, which make it easy for even ‘tough’ applicants to get covered, this includes no medical exam.

Globe Life also offers immediate coverage – there is no waiting period.

What We Don’t Like

Globe Life’s premium prices are well above the average in the industry and their policy isn’t a true final expense policy.

As their ‘final expense insurance’ they try to sell you a term policy which lasts until you are 90-years old. If you are still alive after 90, your loved ones no longer have coverage.

Policies Available

Globe Life offers policies in increments of $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $50,000, and $100,000. Just watch the wording.

The term policy doesn’t require a medical exam and has limited underwriting. The whole life policy, which is more expensive, lasts for your lifetime, but has a much stricter underwriting policy and is harder to get.

The Verdict

Globe Life offers an alternative for adults that can’t get term or final expense insurance anywhere else.

The higher premiums make it hard to afford and the lack of a permanent policy does put a little more risk in the purchase for you.

Royal Neighbours Of America

What We Like

Royal Neighbours has been in business for over 120 years, and they have a great track record.

Their policies are easy to understand and they offer a graded death benefit policy for those that answer ‘yes’ to their health questions, therefore making them a risky applicant.

Overall, they have the most flexible underwriting guidelines that are even friendly to diabetic applicants.

What We Don’t Like

The graded death benefit plan leaves a little to be desired.

If you don’t qualify for their Simplified issue plan, you may want to look elsewhere for a guaranteed policy as it has limited benefits and is on the costlier side.

Policies Available

Simplified issue plan 

If you have a virtually spotless medical background including prescription history background, you can get coverage day one with no waiting, fixed premiums for life, and coverage that never expires

Graded benefit plan 

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions in the Simplified plan questionnaire, you may be eligible for the Graded benefit plan. This plan has a 2-year waiting period and more limited coverage.

The Verdict

The great pricing and flexible underwriting guidelines make Royal Neighbours a great option if you qualify for the Simplified Issue Plan. They also offer a variety of membership discounts on prescriptions, hearing aids, and vision services that make the plan even more beneficial.

Foresters Financial Burial Insurance

What We Like

Foresters Financial has been in business for more than 140 years and they have a great reputation.

They offer three final expense insurance policies to choose from and they offer members a variety of additional benefits at no additional cost.

What We Don’t Like

Foresters has a variety of what they call ‘knockout’ questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you aren’t eligible for any of their three policies.

A few circumstances that may put you into that situation include having AIDS or ALS, having a chronic illness or disease that puts you in a wheelchair or you are on or have been on oxygen.

Policies Available

Level benefit plan

Flexible underwriting with competitive prices and even allows coverage for those with mental health issues, diabetes, and heart issues.

There is no waiting period and the coverage never decreases.

Graded benefit plan 

This plan still has flexible underwriting but is for those that don’t qualify for the level plan. It has immediate coverage but it’s graded.

During the first year, beneficiaries receive 30% of the face value of the policy and during the second year 70%. After the third year, the policy is payable at 100%.

Modified plan

This is the only plan available if you don’t qualify for the graded plan. It has a 2-year waiting period and is on the costlier end. Most people don’t take this policy.

The Verdict

If you’re in decent health and can pass the basic questionnaire, Foresters offers a great policy at affordable rates and with ‘perks’, such as financial counseling, family events, and scholarships.

Prosperity Life Funeral Insurance

What We Like

Prosperity offers three plans to make it easy for anyone to qualify for their burial insurance.

You can apply for a policy between the ages of 50 – 80 and they offer coverage between $1,500 and $35,000. They don’t have a 2-year waiting period for their Level Benefit Plan.

And they do include an accelerated death benefit rider which means you can access up to 50% of the policy if you become terminally ill.

What We Don’t Like

If you don’t qualify for the Level Benefit Plan, the other two options are costly and offer little benefits.

You should be in good health to consider a policy with Prosperity unless you want to pay higher premiums and have lower benefits.

Policies Available

  • Level benefit plan – No waiting period and the lowest premiums
  • Graded benefit plan – This plan has limited benefits during the first two years with a 30% payout if you die within the first year and a 70% payout if you die within the second year.
  • Modified benefit plan – This plan is for those that don’t qualify for either of the above two plans. There is a strict 2-year waiting period. Your beneficiaries will receive 110% of premiums paid if you die within the 1st year and 231% if you die within the 2nd year.

The Verdict

Prosperity is a great insurance company, but their best policy is the Level Benefit Plan.

If you don’t qualify for it, you may be better off getting a guaranteed life policy elsewhere.

Colonial Penn Burial Insurance

What We Like

You don’t need to be in perfect health – Colonial Penn doesn’t require a medical exam or even answer any health questions.

You can apply between ages 50 – 85 and have money to leave your beneficiaries for your final expenses.

Your premiums don’t change for the life of the policy and you can choose how to pay your premiums (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually).

What We Don’t Like

The coverage limits are low and are completely dependent on your age and the amount Colonial Penn will allow.

The policy does have a 2-year waiting period too. If you die within those 2 years, your beneficiaries would only receive the premiums paid plus 7% interest.

Policies Available

Colonial Penn offers one policy – the Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Policy.

The maximum coverage varies by applicant, and the premiums or coverage never change. You are covered for life unless you stop making your premium payments.

The Verdict

Colonial Penn is a financially secure company that offers a flexible final expense insurance policy for those that wouldn’t pass a medical exam or even a health questionnaire.

Aetna Funeral Insurance

What We Like

Aetna is one of the few final expense insurance policies that accepts applicants as young as 45-years old.

What We Don’t Like

Aetna doesn’t offer any additional riders, which many people end up needing, especially if they become terminally ill or incapable of taking care of themselves.

You must be able to pass Aetna’s medical questions and allow them to conduct a prescription history check.

Policies Available

Level benefit plan

If you can pass the health questionnaire with no issues, you are eligible for this policy which has immediate coverage at 100% of the policy’s face value.

The maximum coverage is $35,000, but decreases to as low as $10,000 depending on your age

Graded benefit plan

If you can’t qualify for the Level Benefit plan, the graded benefit plan may be a good option.

While it does have a 2-year waiting period, your beneficiaries will receive 40% of your death benefit if you die within the first year and 75% of your benefit if you die within the 2nd year.

Modified benefit

If you don’t pass the health questionnaire for either of the above two policies, you may qualify for the modified benefit.

This has the same coverage options, but with a 2-year waiting period. If you die within the first 2 years, your beneficiaries would receive 110% of the premiums paid.

The Verdict

Aetna offers a variety of options that make it easy even for those with health issues to get final expense insurance.

They don’t communicate with the Medical Information Bureau which does give you a little more leeway to get approved.

Assurity Life Final Expense Insurance

What We Like

Assurity offers a variety of plans for final expense insurance designed just for seniors.

They offer coverage up to $50,000 if you are under age 65 and up to $25,000 if you are up to 80 at the time of application.

What makes Assurity stand out is their allowance for those with COPD and emphysema a reason many insurance companies turn applicants away.

What We Don’t Like

You may only apply for the insurance up to age 80 and if you need coverage aside from the level death benefit, the premiums remain the same, but the coverage amounts decrease.

Assurity also doesn’t offer any riders.

Policies Available

  • Level death benefit – Immediate coverage right away, but is reserved for those in the best of health conditions
  • Graded death benefit – There’s a 2-year waiting period but your beneficiaries receive 40% of your policy’s face value if you die within the first year, and 75% of the insurance face value if you die within the 2nd.
  • Modified death benefit – There’s a 2-year waiting period that only pays 110% of the premiums paid if you die within the first year and 220% of the premiums paid if you die within the second year.

The Verdict

Assurity offers great coverage with flexible underwriting guidelines, especially for those with lung issues, such as COPD or emphysema.

If you do have health issues and can’t qualify for the level death benefit, it’s worth shopping around to compare rates.

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