When most seniors think about final expense insurance, they assume it’s an insurance policy that will only pay for a funeral or cremation. That’s an accurate assumption to have but it’s not completely true. Although seniors are bombarded with commercials every day from companies like Colonial Penn and Lincoln Heritage, the policies they are advertising are usually “guaranteed issue” or “guaranteed acceptance” which should only be purchased if you cannot medically qualify for a level benefit product with first-day coverage.


What exactly is Final Expense Insurance Anyway?

Simply put, a final expense insurance policy is life insurance that is designated to pay for the insured’s final expenses when the pass away. These final expenses are typically made up of funeral and burial costs, unpaid medical bills, and nursing home expenses that aren’t covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Knowing this, it’s a good idea to buy enough insurance to cover more than just your funeral expenses unless you want your estate to pay for the other expenses during probate. Certainly, the funeral expenses are most important because funeral homes like to get at least have the cost of their services in advance. Some will wait a month or so to collect the balance but many will want the balance when the service has been completed.


How much do Funerals Cost These Days?

13,000 final expense insurance quotes

Like any other service, funeral costs depend on the bells and whistles you want to be included in the package and what part of the country you live in. Fortunately, instead of calling or visiting numerous funeral homes in your area, you can look online to get an idea for the cost of a moderate price funeral.

We recommend starting at the primary source, final expense insurance policy. The NFDA has provided a national average for a moderately priced funeral:


average funeral cost

This chart plainly shows that an average priced funeral is going to cost somewhere around $9,000 without additional services that a funeral director will definitely want you to consider. There are also several ways that you can reduce the cost of a funeral:

  • Purchase the casket from a third-party (even online)
  • Embalming is not required in every state, especially if the funeral is scheduled only a few days after being deceased.
  • If you are involved in your local church, most churches will allow you to use the church facilities for the memorial service.
  • You could elect to be cremated which cuts the cost of the funeral services substantially.


Is Final Expense Insurance Term or Whole Life Insurance?

Although some companies offer Final Expense policies using Term insurance, most companies will only use whole life insurance since it is permanent insurance and the insured cannot outlive the policy.

With Whole Life Final Expense Insurance the policyholder can take advantage of the many guarantees and benefits that come with whole life insurance:

  • Your final expense insurance will last for a lifetime as long as you pay the periodic premiums.
  • Your policy cannot be canceled by the insurance company for any reason other than non-payment of the premiums.
  • Your monthly payments cannot be changed by the company; even if you become terminally ill have to live in a nursing home.
  • Your insurance policy builds cash value over time that you can access through policy loans or withdrawals.


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Do I have to Medically Qualify for Final Expense Insurance?

Yes and no. There are two main types of final expense insurance policies. The most affordable type is called Level Benefit because the full death benefit is paid from the first day of coverage no matter the reason for your death (excluding suicide). The good news is that a medical exam or blood test is not required by the underwriters. The company gets all your health information from the questions you answer on the insurance application and then verifies it with the Medical Information Bureau.

It’s important to know that Life Policy Shopper specializes in life insurance for seniors and we have several insurance companies that will accept serious illnesses like COPD, Hepatitis C, or Sickle Cell Anemia when most other companies will not. Our insurance professionals will do everything possible to help you get level benefit with first-day coverage.

Although the underwriting requirements for Level Benefit Final Expense Insurance are very liberal, the company may decline coverage for applicants that have multiple serious health issues. If you do not qualify, for level benefit final expense insurance, we will gladly offer guaranteed issue insurance since the company does not take your health issues into consideration to issue a policy.


How Much is Level Benefit Final Expense Insurance?

Like any life insurance policy, your cost is based on your age, your health, and the face amount of the policy. Here is an example of a virtual insurance applicant who has COPD:

virtual applicant Jeff Simmons

Harry Smith
Harry is looking for a $17,000 final expense quote. He is currently being treated for Hepatitis C.

In Harry’s case, he may not qualify for a level benefit first-day coverage final expense policy with many companies, however, Life Policy Shopper can offer a $17,000 Final Expense Quote for only:

Age of Applicant

Male Non-Smoker

Female Non-Smoker





$59.30 $48.43










75 $167.02






As you can see from the above rate chart, Life Policy Shopper represents the companies who are willing to offer level benefit policies that offer first-day coverage. When other agents have to go to the guaranteed issue market, we are able to find affordable final expense insurance for seniors, even when your being treated for Hepatitis C. 

To get Best Ever $17,000 Final Expense Insurance quotes even when you may be suffering from serious illnesses like COPD, contact the professionals at Life Policy Shopper at (540) 226-8715 during normal business hours or you can contact us through our website at your convenience.

Terry Biddle is a business owner, blogger, retired Army National Guard officer and a current federal employee. He works with seniors, federal employees, and members of the military to get the most life insurance benefits at the greatest value across the full spectrum of term and permanent products from fully underwritten to no-exam and guaranteed issue. Please feel free to contact me here.







Last Updated on November 22, 2018 by lifepolicyshopper