Jeffrey Manola is an experienced life insurance agent and the founder of Top Quote Life Insurance. His mission when he created Top Quote Life Insurance was to provide online consumers searching for life insurance with the absolute best quotes for term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam life insurance, and burial insurance. Not only does he strive to provide you with the ...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 2, 2021

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  • Burial insurance covers the cost of funeral expenses.
  • Final expense insurance is a whole life policy that covers funeral expenses and other debts left behind by the insured.
  • The cost of life insurance varies by company, age, health, and other factors.
  • There are several plans to choose from when you enroll in burial insurance.

When you pass away, you don’t want your family to worry about the final burden of paying for your funeral and any debts you’ve left behind. While you may already have some form of life insurance, your family may struggle to cover the cost of your funeral and have enough left over for their basic needs without burial insurance.

In this post, you’ll learn more about the definition of burial insurance, what these policies cover, and the benefits of buying them. We’ll then discuss the main types of final expense insurance and permanent quotes from life insurance. We can also show you a list of final expense insurance companies.

Read on to ensure that you’ve done everything possible to prevent your family from being saddled by debt during an already difficult time. Or you can use our free comparison tool to compare burial insurance and final expense life insurance in your local area.

What’s the #1 best-rated burial insurance company?

Mutual of Omaha Living Promise is our number one rated company for burial insurance.

Available in both level death benefit and graded death benefit options combined with affordable rates, Mutual of Omaha’s Living Promise Whole Life is our top choice for final expense/burial insurance coverage. Mutual of Omaha is also arguably the number one final expense company in the United States.

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What is burial insurance and final expense insurance?

Burial insurance, or final expense insurance, is a type of whole life insurance, otherwise known as permanent insurance.

These policies are often purchased by senior citizens between the ages of 50 and 85 who do not require a large amount of life insurance coverage. The amount of coverage that can be purchased typically ranges from $2,000 to $50,000.

The main purpose of burial and final expense life insurance coverage is to help provide your family with the funds to pay for either funeral costs, final debts, or both.

Is there a difference between burial insurance and final expense insurance?

The quick and simple answer is no. There is no difference other than the actual name.

This type of life insurance coverage is sometimes called burial expense insurance, final expense insurance, or even pre-need funeral insurance. These names are commonly used terms to describe what is a whole life insurance policy for seniors Although burial and final expense insurance are the same types of life insurance coverage, experts agree that there is a slight difference in how the death benefit is intended to be used.

Although burial and final expense insurance are the same types of life insurance coverage, experts agree that there is a slight difference in how the death benefit is intended to be used.

Burial insurance is purchased to ensure that the funds required to pay for all funeral, burial, or cremation services are available to friends and family members the deceased has left behind.

Some funeral homes will even allow you to prepay for funeral expenses by assigning your life insurance policy to them. This allows the death benefit funds to go directly to the funeral home to pay for the planned funeral and costs.

The funeral home will then either place this money in a trust fund that won’t pay out until you’ve passed away, or it will use the money to buy burial life insurance, declaring itself as your beneficiaries

If you prepay for your funeral, you’ll also be able to select the funeral home you’d like to work with your family. You can pay for your funeral in installments or with an entire lump sum.

How Much the Average Burial Costs
Burial ExpenseAverage Costs
Basic Funeral Services$2,195
Embalming$750
Other Preparations$255
Use of Facilities/Staff for Viewing$425
Use of Facilities/Staff for Funeral Ceremony$500
Transfer of Remains$350
Hearse$340
Limousine/Car/Van$150
Metal Burial Casket$2,500
Burial Vault/Liner$1,495
Printed materials (Basic Memorial Package)$175
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According to The National Funeral Directors Association, the average burial cost in 2019 can range from $7,000 to $10,000.

Final expense insurance is often purchased to have funds available to pay off any remaining debts or final expenses.

In other words, it’s not just about covering the expenses of the funeral alone.

Final expenses may include medical bills, long-term care costs, credit card balances, loans, remaining mortgage balance, and other financial debts. Investing in final expense insurance means that any debt you’ve accumulated throughout your life, not limited to the cost of your funeral, won’t become your family’s responsibility to pay off.

What are some commonly left behind debts after death?

Before we quickly review the main points of burial insurance and final life insurance, let’s make sure you understand the debts you’re most likely to leave behind when you pass away.

We’ve already dedicated a section of this post to the costs of your funeral.

However, you need to consider what some of the most common debts are as well.

First of all, know that if you have a family member that’s named as a joint holder of an account with you, including a credit card account, they’ll be responsible for paying off that account after you pass away. This is the case even if you’re the one who made purchases on the account, not the person you share the account with.

Remember that your debt gets transferred to your estate once you pass away. The executor of your estate (whom you’ll name in your will) will be responsible for handling your assets and your debts.

If you’ve co-signed a loan with anyone, then the co-signer will need to cover any part of the debt that you were unable to pay back throughout your life. If you still have federal student loans, you’ll be released from the obligation of paying them back once you pass away. However, your family will need to send the loan provider a copy of your death certificate.

However, if you’ve taken out any private loans to pay for your education or any other purpose, your family may be responsible for paying off that debt.

Your family will also be responsible for paying any sort of mortgage payments you need to make.

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Burial Insurance and Final Expense Life Insurance Policies

Let’s quickly review the essential points regarding burial insurance and final life insurance policies.

These policies are:

  • Whole life insurance policies
  • Designed with senior citizens in mind
  • Simplified issue (meaning no exam required)
  • Often approved quickly

These policies offer:

  • Permanent coverage
  • Guaranteed cash values
  • Fixed premium payments that will never increase
  • Death benefits ranging from $2,000–$100,000
  • An easy application process
  • Very lenient underwriting guidelines
  • Relatively affordable rates

Top Five Reasons to Consider a Final Expense Life Insurance Policy

Here are five of the top reasons to consider buying a final expense life insurance policy.

It offers permanent protection – Final expense life insurance is permanent coverage. Its whole life insurance design provides lifetime death benefit protection. A bonus feature is the guaranteed cash values the policies will earn overtime.

Remember that, in some cases, burial insurance is also offered as a term policy. Make sure you speak with your insurance provider to understand which option you’re getting. You should, whenever possible, always opt for whole life insurance. You don’t want to run the risk of having the policy expire.

**Burial insurance policies offered through Top Quote Life Insurance are all permanent whole life insurance policies.

It covers funeral or final expense debts – With the proper planning and enough life insurance coverage, a final expense life insurance policy can provide the funds needed for your family and loved ones to pay for your funeral and burial costs. In addition to funeral and burial costs, having the right amount of coverage can also help settle any extra final expense debts.

It’s easy to qualify for a policy Level, graded, and guaranteed issue coverage options provide a solution for just about everyone requiring life insurance coverage. Health conditions that may be considered high risk, or even a decline, with traditional underwriting, may be approved with guaranteed issue policies.

No exam required to apply –One of the many great final expense insurance features is that it doesn’t require a medical exam to apply. That means no appointment with an examiner, no needles, and no urinalysis or blood pressure readings.

Quick approval times –Since final expense insurance does not require an exam, the application process consists of answering medical questions to determine what type of coverage you qualify for. By eliminating the exam portion of the application process, approval times are made much faster, allowing you to get a life insurance policy quickly.

Things to Consider When Applying for Final Expense Life Insurance

Of course, when you’re deciding on a specific insurance provider, as well as the type of final life insurance that’s the best fit for you, there are still a few questions you need to consider.

First of all, make sure that you know precisely how your rate is determined. In some cases, your age, your current health, and even the nature of your job could influence the amount of coverage you receive.

You also need to know if your policy will expire (for example, if you end up outliving the length of the policy). Even if the policy doesn’t lapse, you still need to ensure that your price won’t dramatically increase if things — especially the state of your health — change.

Check with the final expense life insurance carriers you’re considering working with, and understand what, if any, exclusions could arise that would prevent the policy from paying out.

The best thing you can do is work with an experienced professional who will help you compare several policies. Collect quotes, examine the amount of coverage offered, and make sure you’ve done the calculations correctly when it comes to the costs of your funeral and any debts you might leave behind.

You should also make sure that you work with a company that offers level premium payments. You don’t want to have to pay more each month for your payments just because you’re getting older.

Finally, ensure that you’re working with a qualified, highly-rated insurance company. Look for an option that has, at minimum, an A- rating from A.M. Best.

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Three Different Types of Final Expense Life Insurance

As we mentioned earlier, other than the name, there are no differences between a burial insurance policy and a final expense insurance policy. However, there are differences in the types of coverage that you may qualify for.

Final expense insurance can come in three different coverage options known as level, modified, and graded death benefits. What makes the coverages different from each other is how the death benefits will be paid out at the time of death. The type of coverage you qualify for will depend on the insurance company and your answers to medical questions on the application.

Level Death Benefit

The level death benefits is the best final expense insurance coverage. If you qualify for level death benefit coverage, 100 percent of the death benefit is guaranteed to pay out at death starting from day one.

In most cases, you will still get the death benefits regardless of your manner of death whether you’re killed in an accident or die of natural causes.

To qualify for this coverage option, you will need to be within the height and weight guidelines and cannot have any major health conditions. The maximum amount of coverage that can be applied for is generally capped at $50,000, but a few companies offer up to $100,000.

Pros & Cons of a Level Death Benefit Plan

We researched the pros and cons of level death benefit plans. Let’s start with the pros.

Pros:

  • 100 percent of death benefit guaranteed to pay out without any wait
  • Permanent life insurance protection
  • Larger amounts of coverage offered
  • Cash value growth
  • Most affordable of all three plans

Now, let’s examine the cons.

Cons:

  • Generally, you have to have a relatively good history of health to qualify
  • Currently hospitalized or bedridden
  • Receiving hospice, nursing home care, or home healthcare
  • Upcoming inpatient surgery or have received an organ transplant
  • Diagnoses or been treated for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Memory Loss, Organic Brain Disease, Mental Incapacity, Downs Syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Sickle Cell Anemia, Huntington’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diagnosed with AIDS, ARC, or tested positive for HIV
  • Have been in a diabetic coma
  • Advised or have had an amputation due to disease or disorder
  • Have been diagnosed by a medical professional with less than one year to live

These are only a few sample diagnoses that often appear on most applications for level death benefit coverage.

Modified or Graded Death Benefit

Have you ever heard of life insurance with a waiting period? Well, this is it.

Modified or graded death benefit is the second type of final expense insurance with a waiting period before full death benefits will be paid. Depending on the life insurance company, a graded death benefit policy will only pay 100 percent of the death benefit after policy year two.

If death occurs before policy year two, the death benefit generally consists of a full return of the premium plus interest of usually 10 percent that will be payable to your beneficiaries.

Most graded death benefit policies will pay out the full death benefit if death occurs from an accident.

Qualifying for graded death benefit coverage is determined based on the answers to the application’s medical questions.

Although the coverage is not guaranteed acceptance, it is designed to cover many high-risk health conditions that would often decline with traditional underwriting.

The maximum amount of life insurance coverage that can be applied for is often capped at $50,000 however, a few companies offer up to $100,000.

Pros & Cons of Modified or Graded Death Benefit Plan

It’s only fair to talk about the modified or graded death benefit plan’s advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with the pros.

Pros:

  • Covers several higher-risk health conditions
  • Permanent life insurance coverage
  • Cash value growth
  • Still very affordable

Here are the disadvantages.

Cons:

  • Requires waiting period of generally two years or longer before the full death benefit will be paid out
  • Certain high-risk health conditions can result in a decline in coverage
  • Could be limited on adding policy riders

There’s one more plan we want to talk about before we move on. It’s called the guaranteed acceptance plan.

Guaranteed Acceptance Plan

This is life insurance you cannot be turned down for, no matter what!

The third type of final expense insurance is guaranteed issue life insurance another name for a guaranteed acceptance plan. Nearly identical to graded death benefit coverage, guaranteed acceptance approves all health conditions. This coverage has a two-year wait on the full payout of the death benefit, and the price for the insurance coverage is the most expensive.

After all, the insurance companies are taking on more risk with these policies than others on this list.

However, this policy is the best option for those with severe health conditions who may not wish to disclose them to an insurance company due to privacy concerns or a fear of being denied coverage.

Like graded death benefit coverage, with guaranteed acceptance, if death occurs before policy year two, only a refund of premiums will be paid along with an interest rate of typically 10 percent. All accidental deaths will pay out 100 percent of the death benefit regardless of the policy year.

Pros & Cons of Guaranteed Acceptance

Like the plans before this one, we’ll go through the pros and cons. Let’s begin.

Pros:

  • No health questions are asked
  • Can not be denied coverage as long as you meet the age requirement
  • Covers accidental deaths regardless of the policy years
  • The two-year waiting period on the full death benefit is over after policy year two
  • The full death benefit payable after policy year three
  • Cash value growth
  • Permanent life insurance

What about the disadvantages? Let’s review the cons of guaranteed acceptance life insurance.

Cons:

  • It’s the most costly option of all three plan types
  • Coverage is capped at $25,000

Now that you know about the different plans under burial life insurance, let’s take a closer look at the top burial life insurance companies. These companies aren’t specifically burial life insurance companies, but they provide several life insurance policies that cover funeral expenses.

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2020 Top 10 Best Burial and Final Expense Insurance Companies

Choosing the best burial insurance or final expense insurance policy can be a complicated process.

You probably have seen the television commercials or have even received direct mail that advertises the best burial insurance companies for seniors or final expense life insurance as low as one dollar per month.

How do you know which burial insurance companies or final expense companies are the best when there are so many offering coverages?

To help your search, we have put together a list of the top 10 final expense insurance companies and burial life insurance companies that currently provide the best burial life insurance quotes and policies and final expense whole life insurance policies.

2020 Best Burial Insurance & Final Expense Life Insurance Companies

  1. AIG
  2. AETNA
  3. American-Amicable
  4. Americo
  5. Foresters Financial
  6. Gerber Life Insurance
  7. Mutual of Omaha
  8. Royal Neighbors
  9. Transamerica
  10. United Home Life

Before we move on, let’s take a look at why these companies are considered the best.

Top 10 Best Burial Insurance & Final Expense Life Insurance Companies
Burial CompaniesAM Best RatingPlan NameEligible AgesDeath Benefit TypesCoverage Amounts
AIGAGIWL50 to 80Guaranteed Issue$5,000 - $25,000
American Continental (Aetna)AFinal Expense Whole Life45 to 89Level, Graded & Modified$3,000 - $35,000
American AmicableAGolden Solution50 to 85Level, Graded & ROP$2,500 - $35,000
AmericoAUltra Protector50 to 85Level & Graded$2,000 - $30,000
ForestersA+PlanRight50 to 85Level, Graded & Modified$2,000 - $35,000
GerberAGuaranteed Life50 to 80Guaranteed Issue$5,000 - $25,000
Mutual of OmahaA+Living Promise45 to 85Level & Graded$2,000 - $40,000
Royal NeighborsA-Simplified Issue WL50 to 85Level & Graded$5,000 - $25,000
TransamericaA+Final Expense Solutions0 to 85Level & Graded$1,000 - $50,000
United Home LifeA-Express Issue WL20 to 80Level, Graded & GI$2,000 - $100,000
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In addition to their A.M. Best ratings, these 10 companies are known for their customer satisfaction reviews and exponential growth in the life insurance industry.

AIG

AIG Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: AIG
Established:
1919
A.M. Best Rating: A

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Issue Whole Life
  • Issue Ages: 50 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Guaranteed Acceptance
  • Coverage Amounts: $5,000 up to $25,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: If death occurs in policy years one or two, the benefit amount is 110 percent of all premiums paid. At the start of year three and onward, 100 percent of the death benefit will be paid out.
  • Approval Time: Generally the same day
  • Coverage Highlights: Offers both chronic and terminal illness riders at no additional cost — simple one-page application. No health questions and you cannot be turned down. Approval for coverage can be made in as fast as 15 minutes.
  • Not available in NY

For additional information, be sure to check out our AIG Life Insurance Review.

Aetna

Aetna Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: Aetna
Established:
1850
A.M. Best Rating: A

Aetna Final Expense Whole Life Insurance Rating: 4/5

  • Plan Name: Final Expense Whole Life Insurance
  • Issue Ages: 45 to 89
  • Type of Coverage: Level, Graded, and Modified
  • Coverage Amounts: $3,000 up to $35,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers three different death benefit plans called level, graded, and modified.
    • Level pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Graded pays out 40 percent policy year one, 75 percent policy year two, and 100 percent year three and on.
    • Modified pays out 110 percent of all premiums paid if death occurs within policy years one and two.
  • Coverage Highlights: Three different plans which are based on underwriting results. No height and weight guidelines. Aetna offers level death benefit coverage up to age 89.
  • Not available in CA, CT, DC, HI, MD, ME, NY, VT & WA

For additional information, be sure to check out our Aetna Life Insurance Review.

American Amicable

American Amicable Logo

Company: American-Amicable
Established: 1910
A.M. Best Rating: A

  • Plan Name: Golden Solution Plans
  • Issue Ages: 50 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Level, Graded, and ROP
  • Coverage Amounts: $2,500 up to $35,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers three different death benefit plans called level, graded, and a return of premium.
    • Level pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Graded pays out 30 percent policy year one, 70 percent policy year two, and 100 percnet year three and on.
    • Modified pays out 110 percent of all premiums paid if death occurs within policy years one, two, or three.
  • Coverage Highlights: Three different plans which are based on underwriting results. America Amicable offers several optional policy riders such as grandchildren insurance, nursing home, and accidental death.
  • Not available in ME, MT, NH & NY

For additional information, be sure to check out our American Amicable Life Insurance Review.

Americo

Americo Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: Americo
Established:
1946
A.M. Best Rating: A

  • Plan Name: Ultra Protector Series
  • Issue Ages: 50 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Level, Graded, and ROP
  • Coverage Amounts: $2,500 up to $35,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers three different death benefit plans called Protector I, II & III.
    • Protector I pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Protector II pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Protector III pays out 100 percent of all premiums paid plus 5 percent interest if death occurs in policy year one.
    • If death occurs in policy year two, 100 percent of all premiums will be paid plus 10 percent interest.
    • If death occurs in policy year three, the death benefit will be 75 percent of the policy’s actual face amount.
    • Starting year four and onward, 100 percent of the death benefit will be paid out if death occurs.
  • Coverage Highlights: Offers two-level death benefit plans allowing applicants with riskier health conditions an opportunity to obtain a level death benefit without a two-year wait.
  • Ultra I & II are not available in MS, NY & VT.
  • Ultra III not available in AR, MA, MN, MS, MT, NY, PA, VT & WA

Let’s move on to the next company to continue comparing the top final expense insurance companies.

Foresters

Foresters Financial Final Expense

Company: Foresters
Established:
1874
A.M. Best Rating: A+

Foresters PlanRight Final Expense Rating

  • Plan Name: PlanRight
  • Issue Ages: 50 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Level, Graded, and Modified
  • Coverage Amounts: $2,000 up to $35,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers three different death benefit plans called level, graded, and modified.
    • Level pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • If death occurs within the first two years under the graded death benefit option, the amount will be the greater of either all premiums paid plus 4.5 percent interest or 30 percent of the actual death benefit.
    • Modified pays out 110 percent of all premiums paid if death occurs within policy years one or two.
  • Coverage Highlights: Foresters offers policyholders several free membership benefits. Underwriting decisions can be made within the same day of the application being submitted.
  • Available in all 50 States

For additional information, be sure to check out our Foresters Life Insurance Review.

Gerber Life

Gerber Life Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: Gerber
Established:
1967
A.M. Best Rating: A

  • Plan Name: Guaranteed Life
  • Issue Ages: 50 to 80
  • Type of Coverage: Guaranteed Acceptance
  • Coverage Amounts: $5,000 up to $25,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: If death occurs in policy years one or two, the benefit amount is 110 percent of all premiums paid. At the start of year three and onward, 100 percent of the death benefit will be paid.
  • Coverage Highlights: Simple application. Allows for payments to be made by credit card. No health questions at all. Often number one for the price when compared to other companies that offer guaranteed issue coverage.
  • Not available in MT

For additional information, be sure to check out our Gerber Life Insurance Review.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: Mutual of Omaha
Established:
1909
A.M. Best Rating: A+

  • Plan Name: Living Promise
  • Issue Ages: 45 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Level & Graded
  • Coverage Amounts: $2,000 up to $40,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers two different death benefit plans called level and graded.
    • Level pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Graded pays out 110 percent of all premiums paid if death occurs within policy years one and two. 100 percent of the death benefit will pay out starting year three.
  • Coverage Highlights: Two different plans which are based on underwriting results. The level plan offers a free policy rider that can advance a portion of the death benefit for a qualifying chronic illness, terminal illness, or permanent confinement to a nursing home facility. No tobacco distinction if approved at graded benefit coverage. Often ranked the best price for final expense life insurance.
  • Not available in NY

For additional information, be sure to check out our Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Review.

Royal Neighbors of America

Royal Neighbors Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: Royal Neighbors
Established: 1895
A.M. Best Rating: A-

  • Plan Name: Simplified Issue Whole Life
  • Issue Ages: 50 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Level & Graded
  • Coverage Amounts: $3,000 up to $25,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers two different death benefit plans called level and graded.
    • Level pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Graded pays out 30 percent of the death benefit if death has occurred in policy years one. If a death has occurred in policy year two, the death benefit will be 70 percent of the face amount. 100 percent of the death benefit will pay out starting year three.
  • Coverage Highlights: Two different plans which are based on underwriting results. Immediate underwriting decisions. No height and weight requirements. Insulin-dependent diabetics who have been taking insulin after 30 may qualify for the level benefit — easy, nine-question application.
  • Not available in AK, AL, HI, LA, MA, NH & NY

Let’s see if the next company has more locations. Keep reading to learn more.

Transamerica

Transamerica Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: Transamerica
Established: 1904
A.M. Best Rating: A+

  • Plan Name: Final Expense Solutions
  • Issue Ages: 0 to 85
  • Type of Coverage: Level & Graded
  • Coverage Amounts: $1,000 up to $50,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers two different death benefit plans called Immediate Solution and Easy Solution.
    • Immediate Solution is a level death benefit that pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Easy Solution is a graded death benefit that pays out 110 percent of all premiums paid if death occurs within policy years one and two. 100 percent of the death benefit will pay out starting year three.
  • Coverage Highlights: Immediate Solution offers a large selection of policy riders, such as an accelerated death benefit rider that can pay out a portion of the death benefit due to a qualifying terminal illness or confinement to a nursing home. Optional policy riders include an accidental death benefit rider and a children and grandchildren’s rider that allows for guaranteed acceptance coverage on a child. There may be a good chance of still qualifying for a level benefit policy for applicants with health issues. Transamerica offers favorable underwriting to many health conditions that may be considered high risk. There is also no height or weight restrictions that are taken into consideration when applying.
  • Available in all 50 States

For additional information, be sure to check out our Transamerica Life Insurance Review.

United Home Life

United Home Life Company Logo - Final Expense

Company: United Home Life
Established: 1948
A.M. Best Rating: A-

  • Plan Name: Express Issue Whole Life
  • Issue Ages: 20 to 80
  • Type of Coverage: Level, Graded & Guaranteed Issue
  • Coverage Amounts: $1,000 up to $100,000
  • Death Benefit Payout: This coverage offers three different death benefit plans called level, graded, and guaranteed issue.
    • Level pays out 100 percent starting day one.
    • Graded pays out a full return of all premiums paid plus 12 percent interest if death has occurred in policy year one. If a death has occurred in policy year two, the death benefit will be all premiums paid plus 24 percent interest. Starting year three and forward, 100 percent of the death benefit will be paid out.
    • Guaranteed issue life insurance pays out a full return of all premiums paid plus 6 percent interest if death has occurred in policy year one. If the death has occurred in policy year two, the death benefit will be all premiums paid plus 12 percent interest. If the death has occurred in policy year three, the death benefit will be all premiums paid plus 18 percent interest. Starting year four and forward, 100 percent of the death benefit will be paid out.
  • Coverage Highlights: Insulin-dependent diabetics, individuals receiving disability, and individuals who may have been declined with other companies can potentially qualify for a level death benefit plan with United Home Life. The graded plan will consider applicants who may have been previously rejected by other companies for significant health issues. There is a one year look back for applicants who have a history of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and drug abuse for qualification on a graded plan. The guaranteed issue offers a maximum of $10,000 of coverage.
  • Not available in NY

Some companies have multiple states where they don’t business, but United Home Life is one of the many companies that doesn’t do business in New York.

Full List of Reputable Burial & Final Expense Life Insurance Companies

There are dozens of excellent life insurance companies that offer great final expense life insurance coverage.

Below is a list of some of the top final expense life insurance companies, along with detailed information on their final expense coverage.

If you have questions or would like a quote, please be sure to let us know, and we will gladly help assist you.

Is there a final expense company not on our list? Please let us know so we can add them and provide you with the information you are looking for.

  • AARP
  • Baltimore Life
  • Bankers Fidelity
  • Cigna
  • Colonial Penn
  • Columbian Financial Group
  • Equitable Life & Casualty
  • Fidelity Life
  • Great Western
  • Illinois Mutual
  • Kemper
  • Lafayette Life
  • Liberty Bankers Life
  • Lincoln Heritage
  • Lumico
  • Motorists Life
  • Oxford Life Insurance
  • Pekin
  • Phoenix (Nassau Re)
  • Prosperity
  • Sentinel Security Life

For now, let’s go over the final expense insurance reviews.

AARP

AARP Final Expense LogoAARP offers both a level benefit plan up to $50,000 and a guaranteed approval option up to $25,000. A level benefit plan is available to applicants between the ages of 50 to 80.

Acceptance is based on the answers to the health questions and other information on the application. Guaranteed acceptance has a two-year graded death benefit, consisting of a benefit amount of 125 percent of all premiums paid should death occur within the first two policy years. A.M. Best Rating: A++

Be sure to check out our AARP Life Insurance Review for additional information.

Baltimore Life

Silver Guard I and II offer final expense coverage to applicants between the ages of 50 to 80. Silver Guard I is the level death benefit plan and has a maximum death benefit amount of $25,000.

The level benefit coverage offers a 10-pay option and optional policy riders, such as accidental death and a $1,000 cash draft benefit. Silver Guard II is the graded death benefit plan and has a maximum death benefit of $15,000. The death benefit in year one is equal to 25 percent of the actual death benefit. In year two, 50 percent of the actual death benefit. A.M. Best Rating: B++

Bankers Fidelity

Bankers Fidelity provides both preferred and standard health classes under a level benefit plan. Coverage starts at a minimum of $3,000 up to $50,000, depending on the plan. The level benefit plan includes two accelerated benefit riders, which can advance 50 percent of the death benefit for a qualifying terminal illness.

The second benefit is the waiver of premium for confinement to a hospital or nursing home. A two-year graded benefit plan pays out 25 percent of the death benefit in policy year one and 60 percent of the death benefit in year two, should death occur within those policy years.

Policy riders are not available under the graded benefit plan but can still provide valuable coverage for both funeral or burial costs. A.M. Best Rating: B++

Cigna

Cigna Final ExpenseAvailable to applicants ages 50 to 85 with a minimum coverage amount of $2,000 up to a maximum of $25,000. Level benefit plan offers a terminal illness benefit rider along with an optional accidental death benefit rider.

The graded death benefit plan offers a return of a premium of 110 percent of all premiums paid in both policy years one and two. Cigna also provides a 5 percent spousal premium discount if both husband and wife apply simultaneously. The discount is applied to the younger spouse. A.M. Best Rating: A

Colonial Penn

Colonial Penn Final ExpenseTwo different final expense life insurance plans are offered with Colonial Penn, a level benefit and a guaranteed acceptance. The level benefit plan is available to applicants ages 40 to 75 and offers coverage starting at $10,000 up to $50,000.

The guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan is available to applicants ages 50 to 85. Since it is guaranteed approval, there is a two-year wait on the death benefit. If death occurs within the first two policy years, the benefit is 100 percent of all premiums paid plus 7 percent interest. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Columbian Life

Dignified Choice final expense offers a level benefit plan, a graded benefit plan, and even a guaranteed acceptance plan. Qualification for one of the levels or graded death benefit plans is based primarily on the health questions on the life insurance application and a few other underwriting factors.

The difference between each type of plan, outside of how the death benefit pays out, will be within the coverage cost and the maximum amount of coverage that can be applied for. For example, qualification under the graded plan will equal a death benefit of all premiums paid plus 6 percent interest if death occurs in the first two policy years.

The maximum amount of coverage under the graded benefit plan is $15,000, but the level death benefit plan is up to $25,000. The guaranteed issue plan offers the same coverage features as the graded benefit plan but will cost more as you cannot be denied coverage. A.M. Best Rating: B++

Equitable Life & Casualty

Equitable Life Final ExpenseHeritage Protector is final expense life insurance offered in both a level and graded death benefit plan. The level plan is available in both preferred and standard underwriting rates.

Applicants who qualify for the graded death benefit plan will have a three-year wait before being eligible to receive the full death benefit. In policy year one, the death benefit will consist of all premiums paid plus 5 percent interest.

In policy year two, it will be a full return of premiums plus 10 percent interest. In policy year three, the death benefit will equal 75 percent of the actual death benefit. Plans are available to applicants ages 50 to 85 who require $2,000 to $30,000 of burial insurance coverage. A.M. Best Rating: B

Fidelity Life

Fidelity Life Final ExpenseRapid Decision Final Expense from Fidelity is available to applicants ages 50 to 85. The minimum coverage amount is $5,000, with a maximum of $35,000. There is also a graded plan and a guaranteed issue option in addition to a level benefit plan.

The graded and guaranteed issue options have a three-year wait on the full death benefit. If death should occur within the first three years, the benefit amount is a full return of all premiums paid plus 5 percent interest.

Approval is often determined within the same day of the application being submitted, with the actual policy being issued in 24 to 48 hours from approval. A.M. Best Rating: A+

Great Western Insurance Company (GWIC)

Great Western Final ExpenseGreat Western offers two final expense plans called Guaranteed Assurance and Assurance Plus. Guaranteed Assurance is coverage that you cannot be turned down for. It is available to applicants ages 40 to 80 and has a minimum coverage of $1,000 and a maximum of $40,000.

If death occurs within the first two policy years, the death benefit will equal all premiums paid plus 10 percent interest. If you’re able to answer no to three health questions on the application, you may be eligible for the level benefit plan called Assurance Plus. This plan pays out a 25 percent bonus to the elected death benefit without any extra cost.

A built-in spousal bonus rider pays out an additional $1,000 to a surviving spouse should the other insured spouse pass away. To be eligible for the spousal bonus rider, both spouses need to apply for coverage simultaneously. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Illinois Mutual

Illinois Mutual Final ExpensePath Protector final expense life insurance offers both a level and modified death benefit option to applicants ages 60 to 85. The level benefit plan has a minimum coverage amount of $5,000 and a maximum of $50,000.

Coverage under the modified plan has a two year graded death benefit. If death occurs within the first two policy years, the benefit amount will equal a full return of all premiums paid plus 5 percent interest. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Kemper Life

Kemper Final ExpenseSenior Solutions Guaranteed Issue offers automatic final expense approval to applicants ages 40 to 80. Coverage ranges from a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $25,000. Since this is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, there is a two-year wait on the death benefit.

Should death occur within the first two policy years, the benefit amount will equal a return of all premiums paid plus 20 percent interest. It is also worth mentioning that this is one of the only companies to offer a guaranteed issue life insurance policy to applicants below the age of 50. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Lafayette Life

Lafayette Life provides final expense life insurance coverage that’s available to applicants between the ages of 40 and 85. This coverage is a simplified issue. Although there is no medical exam, you will need to answer medical questions with all final expense coverage.

There is no graded benefit option, so you will need to meet the level benefit plan’s guidelines to qualify for coverage. Coverage amounts range from as little as $3,000 up to $50,000. If you’re willing to pay all your premiums upfront, which is referred to as a single payment, you may be eligible to apply for higher coverage amounts. A.M. Best Rating: A+

Liberty Bankers

Life SIMPL offers level benefit coverage starting from $3,000 up to a maximum of $30,000. The coverage provides two risk classifications of preferred and standard. You can also add an optional child or grandchild insurance rider to the coverage.

For applicants with some riskier health conditions that don’t qualify for the level benefit plan, you may be eligible for the graded plan. The graded plan offers a maximum death benefit of $20,000. Should death occur within the first three years, the benefit amount is equal to a return of all premiums paid plus 10 percent interest.

It is worth noting that a policy in year five has a death benefit equal to 105 percent of the actual coverage amount. In year six, it’s 110 percent. A.M. Best Rating: B++

Lincoln Heritage

Funeral Advantage final expense life insurance is available to applicants between the ages of 40 and 85. The plan offers a simple one-page application with immediate level death benefit coverage if the answers to the health questions meet the program guidelines.

For some applicants with riskier health conditions that are not necessarily severe enough to decline them for coverage, Funeral Advantage offers their modified benefit plan. There is a three-year graded death benefit under the modified benefit plan if you’re younger than 50 and a two-year graded death benefit if you’re older than 50.

Should death occur during this time, the benefit amount will be equal to a full return of premiums paid plus 10 percent interest in year one, 20 percent in year two, and 30 percent in year three for applicants under age 50. It is worth mentioning that applicants can purchase an additional $100,000 of the accidental death benefit in addition to the life insurance coverage. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Lumico

Simplified issue final expense by Lumico offers both a level benefit and two modified benefit plans. Qualification for the different plans is based on the answers to the application’s health questions and a few other underwriting factors.

All three plans are available to applicants who are between the ages of 50 to 85. The minimum coverage amount is $3,000 and goes as high as $30,000. If you qualify for the graded benefit plan, the maximum amount of coverage is reduced to $15,000.

Applicants who qualify as preferred status can expect a level death benefit that will pay out starting from day one. Applicants who are eligible under the standard classification will have a three year modified death benefit. For example, if death occurs in policy year one, the death benefit will equal 25 percent of the actual full death benefit, 50 percent in year two, and 75 percent in year three. After year three and anytime after that, it will equal 100 percent of the death benefit.

The second graded death benefit option also has a modified death benefit that pays as followed. If death occurs in policy year one, the death benefit will be 10 percent of the actual death benefit, year two will be 25 percent, and year three is 50 percent. After year three and anytime after that, it will equal 100 percent of the death benefit. A.M. Best Rating: A

Motorists Life

Motorists Final ExpenseCoverage is available in both a level benefit plan as well as a graded benefit plan. The level benefit plan offers two rate classifications of either standard or preferred.

The preferred classification will offer the lowest rates out of all the plans but will require meeting the underwriting qualifications. The graded benefit plan has a two-year wait on the full death benefit.

Should death occur in policy year one, the benefit will equal 35 percent of the actual death benefit amount. In year two, 70 percent of the exact death benefit amount becomes available. Coverage includes a built-in accelerated benefit option that can advance a portion of the death benefit due to a qualifying terminal illness.

Policyholders will also receive a ScriptSave discount card, which can provide savings on prescriptions, vision care, hearing care, and daily living products. A.M. Best Rating: A

Oxford Life

The Assurance level premium final expense coverage is available to applicants ages 50 to 85. The minimum coverage amount starts at $3,000 and has a maximum coverage amount of $30,000.

Premiums with Oxford Life are priced very competitively, but it is worth mentioning that there is no graded or guaranteed approval option. Those with riskier health conditions that do not qualify for the level plan will have to look at other companies.

The application consists of medical questions and offers same-day eligibility. This coverage also provides a free terminal illness rider and a common carrier rider that can pay out an extra death benefit if death results from an accident while being a fare-paying passenger on a common carrier.

Oxford Life also offers a single premium final expense option under Assurance One for those who wish to eliminate future premium payments. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Pekin Insurance

Pekin Final ExpensePekin Insurance offers both a level and graded death benefit option. Qualification for the two plans will be based on answers to the health questions on the application.

Coverage on the level benefit plan is available to applicants between the ages of 18 through 85. Coverage amounts range from $2,000 up to $24,999. There are various limited payment options available, such as a single pay, 10-pay, 15-pay, 20-pay, 30-pay, and paid-up at age 65.

The graded benefit plan offers the same limited pay options but has a two-year wait on the full death benefit. Should death occur in policy year one, the death benefit will equal a total return of all premiums paid.

In policy year two, the death benefit will be equal to one half of the actual death benefit amount. In policy year three and on, the death benefit will payout at 100 percent. A.M. Best Rating: A

Phoenix Life

Remembrance Life is a level benefit plan available to applicants between the ages of 30 and 80. It is one of the few companies to offer up to $50,000 in final expense whole life insurance to applicants between 70 and 80.

This coverage is also not available in a graded or guaranteed acceptance plan. Applicants who apply must meet the underwriting requirements to be approved for coverage. If approved, the coverage offers some excellent features at no additional cost.

These features include a critical and terminal illness rider that can advance up to 95 percent of the death benefit. It also offers a free accidental death benefit rider that pays out an additional 100 percent lump sum death benefit if death occurs by a covered accident. A.M. Best Rating: B

Prosperity Life

Prosperity Final ExpenseCoverage options include level, graded, and modified benefit plans. Qualification is based on the applicant’s health history. Coverage amounts range from as little as $1,500 up to a maximum of $35,000.

Applicants between the ages of 50 to 80 can apply. The death benefit on the level plan is equal to the full coverage amount starting day one.

The graded benefit plan offers a benefit that is equal to:

  • 30 percent of the full death benefit in year one.
  • 70 percent in year two.
  • 100 percent of the actual death benefit in year three.

In year one, the modified plan offers a benefit of 110 percent of the annual premium, 231 percent of the annual premium in year two, and starting year three is equal to 100 percent of the actual death benefit.

An optional accidental death benefit rider can be added to the coverage regardless of what plan you qualify for. Most companies offer this on level plans only. A.M. Best Rating: A-

Sentinel Security Life

Sentinel Security Final ExpenseNew Vantage final expense life insurance is available in three different benefit plans to help those with less than excellent health.

The level plan offers full death benefit protection on the first day of your policy. The second plan is the Vantage II plan, which is a modified benefit plan. Applicants who qualify under this plan will have benefits equal to 30 percent of the death benefit in policy year one and 70 percent in policy year two.

There’s no longer a wait in year three. You will pay out 100 percent of the benefit when death occurs. Vantage III is the third modified benefit plan. This plan’s death benefit in the first two years is a full return of all premiums paid plus 10 percent interest.

Coverage amounts range from $1,000 up to a maximum of $35,000 and are available to applicants ages 0 to 85. For those who would like to have a paid-up policy quickly, there is a 10-pay and 20-pay options along with a one-time single pay. It’s available for those who are age 65 or 85. A.M. Best Rating: B++

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How much does burial insurance cost?

The cost of a burial insurance policy is determined using a few different factors and will vary from person to person. Here is a breakdown of how the overall cost is calculated when applying for burial insurance.

Age: As with any life insurance, age plays a vital role in the price. The younger you are, the cheaper it will be. This is one of the biggest reasons why we stress not to wait or put off buying coverage.

Gender: Several statistics show that women have a longer life expectancy than males, and life insurance companies consider this. Therefore women can expect to pay a lower rate than males.

Tobacco: If you are a current user of tobacco, this can affect your rates. Some plans such as guaranteed acceptance do not factor in tobacco use into the prices.

Health: One of the best features of final expense life insurance or burial insurance is that it does not require a medical exam to qualify. However, you will be required to answer questions about both past and current health. Answers to the health questions will determine your eligibility for one of the available plan types, ranging in different prices.

Coverage amount: A lower amount of coverage will cost much less than a higher amount. This is because of how much the insurance company stands to pay out due to the insured’s death.

Type of death benefit: The final overall cost factor is the type of death benefit. As mentioned, this type of life insurance coverage offers three different death benefit plans. Qualification for one of the three death benefits is primarily based on past and present health history.

The above six factors represent what determines the overall cost of a burial insurance policy. Since everyone is different, there is no set price, as it depends on the person applying. However, one of the easiest ways to get an idea of what it may cost you is a simple quote. This can be done with our easy to use online quote comparison tool, located at the top of this article, or by calling and speaking with one of our licensed agents.

Level Death Benefit Sample Rates

Let’s review the breakdown of level death benefit rates between males and females.

Average Monthly Rates for Level Death Benefit Burial Insurance (Males)
Monthly Sample Rates for Males (Level Benefit Plan)
AGE$5,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$25,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$35,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$50,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates
50$15.60$28.34$66.20$94.04$137.68
55$18.53$35.09$82.93$114.81$167.00
60$22.45$41.80$99.85$141.63$206.06
65$27.99$52.89$127.58$186.05$263.91
70$35.95$68.80$167.36$247.29$355.74
75$49.27$95.45$233.98$340.34$496.33
80$67.93$132.65$326.83$456.28$675.60
85$93.18$183.15$453.08$633.03$941.45
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Is there a disparity between males and females? Let’s review female level death benefit rates.

Average Monthly Rates for Level Death Benefit Burial Insurance (Females)
Monthly Sample Rates for Females (Level Benefit Plan)
AGE$5,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$25,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$35,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$50,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates
50$11.23$22.46$53.38$78.34$112.88
55$14.01$27.69$64.59$91.39$132.02
60$17.82$32.87$77.36$107.03$159.69
65$22.11$41.01$97.72$135.53$194.84
70$27.99$52.47$124.65$172.77$244.95
75$37.67$71.11$171.24$237.99$338.13
80$50.82$98.43$241.28$336.51$505.64
85$61.93$119.50$292.23$407.39$680.07
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Continue reading to learn how much graded death benefit rates differ between males and females.

Graded Death Benefit Sample Rates

We talked a lot about the graded death benefit. Let’s examine the rates between males and females.

Average Monthly Rates for Graded Death Benefit Burial Insurance (Males)
Monthly Sample Rates for Males (Graded Benefit Plan)
Age$5,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$25,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$35,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$50,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates
50$19.77$36.90$103.22$147.86$209.37
55$24.97$47.30$130.72$187.05$262.35
60$29.94$57.24$162.12$228.25$324.21
65$38.28$73.92$198.88$276.69$393.41
70$52.21$101.77$250.63$349.14$496.90
75$73.13$124.19$303.96$423.80$603.56
80$95.52$164.86$405.62$664.19NA
85$85.92$235.19$587.25$975.77NA
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Now, let’s look at the cost for female policyholders.

Average Monthly Rates for Graded Death Benefit Burial Insurance (Females)
Monthly Sample Rates for Females (Graded Benefit Plan)
Age$5,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$25,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$35,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$50,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates
50$16.14$29.64$79.30$109.28$154.25
55$19.91$37.18$95.59$132.09$186.83
60$23.65$44.66$113.58$157.27$222.81
65$29.92$56.12$133.78$185.56$263.22
70$39.51$71.53$172.30$239.48$340.26
75$49.32$89.61$217.50$302.76$430.65
80$69.86$117.88$288.19$500.87NA
85$89.17$178.34$441.52$703.20NA
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Females pay less than male policyholders, which is expected for most insurance companies across the United States.

Guaranteed Acceptance Death Benefit Sample Rates

Finally, let’s review the life insurance rates of the guaranteed acceptance death benefit.

Average Monthly Rates for Guaranteed Acceptance Death Benefit Burial Insurance (Males)
Monthly Sample Rates for Males (Guaranteed Acceptance Benefit Plan)
Age$5,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$15,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$20,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$25,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates
50$22.50$44.09$65.68$87.27$108.86
55$29.43$56.90$84.35$114.95$143.46
60$32.40$63.17$93.75$126.87$158.36
65$43.04$84.15$125.23$169.40$211.52
70$50.05$98.18$146.27$197.45$246.59
75$70.22$138.55$206.83$278.12$347.42
80$114.67$225.00$335.32$445.65$616.92
85$118.75$233.16$347.56$461.97$865.38
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Does the disparity between males and females continue? Let’s see.

Average Monthly Rates for Guaranteed Acceptance Death Benefit Burial Insurance (Females)
Monthly Sample Rates for Females (Guaranteed Acceptance Benefit Plan)
Age$5,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$15,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$20,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates$25,000 Coverage Limit Average Monthly Rates
50$17.69$34.47$51.24$68.02$84.79
55$22.60$43.23$63.85$87.63$109.31
60$25.99$50.02$74.03$101.20$126.27
65$31.76$61.57$91.35$124.30$155.15
70$38.23$74.52$110.78$150.15$187.46
75$54.54$107.17$159.75$215.42$269.04
80$85.67$167.00$248.32$329.64$439.55
85$100.53$199.06$297.59$437.18$545.98
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The cost of life insurance under a guaranteed acceptance death benefit is cheaper for female policyholders than for males. The top final expense companies have all three of these plans and more. Shop around to find affordable burial policy quotes.

How to get the Best Burial Insurance Quotes

Need further assistance in finding the best final expense companies or quotes? We are here to help. The key to finding the best final expense insurance companies is working with an agency that can shop your coverage with multiple final expense insurance companies. Top Quote Life Insurance can help in your search for life insurance.

For those in the military, your burial benefits are partially covered. According to the U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the VA will pay up to $2,000 for burials. However, you may want to have burial insurance to supplement any help you receive from the VA.

If you think the top 10 final expense companies are something you would like to explore further or if you need help finding out which type of final expense death benefit you may qualify for based on your health and lifestyle, please reach out to us for assistance.

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Burial Insurance: The Bottom Line

The cost from burial and final expense insurance carriers varies by state, age, and other factors that determine life insurance. We can’t say which companies are the best final expense companies to work for, but there’s a lot of information out there that you can pull from to get quality life insurance policies.

Are you ready to compare life insurance rates? We can help. Enter your ZIP code to compare burial insurance and final expense life insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

Thank you for visiting us at Top Quote Life Insurance and reading our article on the Top 10 Best Burial & Final Expense Insurance Companies.