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: Nov 3, 2020

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Your own death is already going to be hard enough on your family without them having to worry about finances and debt. But that’s exactly what would happen if you ended up dying without life insurance.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. Many people don’t even think of life insurance until it’s too late. This is often because people don’t really understand the full cost of dying (except perhaps the actual “dying” part).

In this article, we want to provide you with an understanding of the potential costs that can arise from death and how life insurance can protect your family from financial loss. We believe that once you understand the cost of dying without life insurance, you’re going to want to get insured ASAP and we can help assist you with that.

Let’s take a look at the cost of dying with no life insurance, so you can understand the true importance of having a life insurance policy before it’s too late.

Looking to compare life insurance prices? We can help. Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes from multiple insurers.

Expenses After Death Without Life Insurance

As we mentioned, the death of a loved one is rough. Not only emotionally but in most cases also financially.

Below, we will discuss some of the more common scenarios in which families have been financially affected by the loss of a loved one. In all cases, having a life insurance policy can protect your loved ones from these costs that can arise from unexpected death.

Now it’s time to break down exactly what expenses your family and loved ones will be completely responsible for after you die if you don’t have insurance.

Funeral and Burial Expenses

The immediate expenses they’ll need to worry about are funeral and burial expenses. Funerals are expensive. Between the casket, body preparation, services fees, the funeral service, the tombstone, the burial plot, and any extras, the average funeral and burial can cost an estimated $10,000 to $20,000.

Without life insurance, your family would be expected to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. If they’re unable to pay out of pocket, they might be forced to take out a loan or go into debt to cover the funeral expenses.

Not only will they be completely responsible for these funeral costs, but they’ll also have to pay for their own travel to get to the funeral. This would be the case for grown children who may be living in a different state from their parents.

Covering these expenses with life insurance can easily be done with almost any type of life insurance policy. However, one type specifically designed for this type of insurance need would be a final expense life insurance policy.

Final expense life insurance policies are smaller whole life insurance policies. When we say smaller, the death benefit is generally $25,000 to $50,000 at most. They are specifically purchased with the intent to cover burial expenses, as well as, any small remaining final expenses.

Final expense life insurance is also a great life insurance option for seniors, as they don’t require a medical exam, and are quite easy to apply for when it comes to the application process.

Replacing Lost Income (Deceased Spouse)

A large portion of life insurance policies are purchased by families as a way to provide financial support to their surviving spouse, should one of them pass away.

The reason for this is generally because they have children or even other family members that would depend on their income if they were to suddenly pass away.

If you currently don’t have a life insurance policy, try to think about how much of your current income contributes to your family’s current lifestyle.

Here is a list of some of the most common family expenses.

  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Auto
  • Grocery
  • Child Care
  • Clothing
  • Medical/Dental
  • Maintenance (Home/Auto)
  • Bills
  • Gifts (Holiday/ Birthday)

As hard as it is to imagine a loved one dying, a life insurance policy is the best way to provide financial protection to the family. The death benefit from a life insurance policy provides immediate tax-deferred funds that can be used to maintain their current lifestyle.

What type of life insurance should a family purchase?

For most family’s, a simple term life insurance policy will be the best choice.

Term insurance is the most affordable of all types of life insurance coverage. Because of its affordability, most families are able to purchase enough life insurance coverage to cover all of their financial needs.

Term insurance provides temporary life insurance coverage for a set duration of time, known as contract lengths. These contract lengths are usually available in 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and even 40 years. When approved for a policy, the rate will be guaranteed to remain the same price for the duration of the contract.

How much life insurance do I need for my family?

Determining the correct amount of life insurance can be tricky and will vary from family to family.

There are several ways to choose an appropriate amount whether it’s using an online life insurance calculator or with the help of an actual life insurance agent.

If you’re in the early stages and are wanting a rough idea of cost, then a good starting point will be to start with your annual income. Many life insurance experts say that the rule of thumb is at least 10x your annual income.

For younger families with small children, you can even consider up to 25x your annual income.

For example, if your annual income before taxes is $50,000, multiply this amount by 10. The total amount of coverage would equal to $500,000.

Again, this is good to use as a starting point to help determine a death benefit amount. A life insurance agent can always help if needed.

Lost Wages (Living Spouse)

Dying without life insurance can also have a large impact on the living spouse’s ability to financially earn an income as well.

Many people find they have to take significant time off work not only to plan the funeral but also to process the loss of a loved one. While some workplaces do factor in grievance time, some may not.

Even workplaces that do have bereavement time usually have a certain limit on how many days are included in this time. Not everyone grieves in the same way or in a certain amount of time; if more days off are needed, most people will be out of luck in terms of their workplace understanding or at least continuing to pay them for time off.

This could also force your family members to go back to work sooner than they should or sooner than they are emotionally able to. The loss of a loved one is a serious and traumatic event. It usually requires a grieving process to be able to function in society again.

Being forced to go back to work too early because of financial obligations can be emotionally taxing, and even traumatic, for close family members and loved ones.

Your loved ones could lose days or weeks of wages after your death. Many life insurance policies will help cover lost wages for loved ones and close relatives after your death. However, dying without life insurance means your loved one’s lost wages won’t be covered.

Counseling Expenses

The loss of a loved one is, as we’ve said, a traumatic experience. Many people find they need therapy or counseling in order to work through the many emotions that come up after the death of a loved one.

Not all health insurance covers therapy, and it can be quite expensive to pay out of pocket. Many life insurance policies will cover counseling for family members after your death.

But without life insurance coverage, your family and loved ones will be responsible for counseling costs.


Without life insurance, any debt that you owe will be transferred to your family members. This could include taxes, student loans, credit card debt, and any other money you owed before your death.

Another potential debt to consider is medical debt. Even the best health insurance policies have limits on how much they will cover. If a loved one’s death is health-related, medical expenses can become overwhelming fast.

This is just another way life insurance can help provide funds to pay for those expenses.

Did you know that many life insurance policies now come with a new feature called living benefits? A life insurance policy with living benefits allows the insured early access to the death benefit should they become sick with one of several qualifying illnesses.

Having a life insurance policy with living benefits can not only provide death benefit protection to the family but also provide funds to help pay for expenses or be used as income while the insured sick.

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Why Planning Ahead Is Important

As you can see, dying without life insurance can cause severe financial devastation to a family. All of the things we’ve mentioned can add up to tens of thousands of dollars that most families probably don’t have on hand.

If you planned ahead and had a life insurance policy, your family members and loved ones would be protected from these expenses and be able to focus on grieving the loss instead of focusing on how to pay back your debts.

Not only will your family be worried about paying all of these expenses, but they also won’t be able to properly grieve the loss. Without the freedom to take time off work or get the counseling they need, their lives are going to be much harder than they need to be after you’re gone.

A life insurance policy is truly an affordable way to financially protect your family from the worst-case scenario. In most cases you will see that your monthly life insurance payment could be cheaper than that new Fortnite skin your child must have, eating out at a restaurant or even the cost of a new pair of shoes.

Getting the Best Kind of Life Insurance

Purchasing life insurance can be very simple and in many cases a fast process when done right. It can be a little overwhelming to do it on your own so please be sure to ask for help.

Another tip when considering life insurance is to work with an independent agent or agency such as Top Quote Life Insurance.

Most independent agencies can not only offer you multiple coverage options but also shop your coverage with multiple insurance companies to get you the best rate for you and your family’s life insurance needs.

Understanding which life insurance policies will cover all of the things we went over in this article is crucial when choosing which one is right for you and your family.

Dying without life insurance can leave your family with debt and expenses that they shouldn’t need to be worrying about. Getting life insurance that will protect and support your family after you’re gone is going to make their lives easier as they deal with a tough loss.

If you have any other questions about life insurance coverage or would like some sample rates, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

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