Funeral & Final Expense Insurance
Article by Mark Manderson
Some people just don’t plan on dying. While that attitude is forgivable in teenagers, it becomes a rotten slight when carried by adults. Trust me on this: your family doesn’t want to face the onus of your final arrangements, as well as covering your final expenses, at the very time that they’re coping with their recent loss (of you). Save them a little some stress by making your own arrangements. I’ll help you…
Arranging for your remains is not complicated if you’ve got a little coaching. The important thing is not to leave anything out. There are cases of individuals who arranged for a burial plot but no casket or funeral. And how much worse to pay for all the bells and whistles, then have nowhere to bury the body!
Funerals typically include a plot, a casket, floral arrangements, and a service of some sort. And don’t forget transportation–not just any jalopy is built to accommodate a casket. Speak with the maître d’ at any funeral home. Ask them for advice, get estimates; and compare rates.
You can solidify your arrangements by paying in advance or by purchasing funeral insurance. Whether you take this step or not, though, be sure to inform your loved ones of the plans you’ve made. (What a gaff to have paid for a service at one funeral home, only to have your family go to the funeral home on the other side of town–it’s happened!)
For many of us, final expenses amount to nothing more than the funerary costs mentioned above. However, almost all of us are vulnerable to having our final expenses increased by misfortune. Illness and accidents are responsible for many deaths and for even more dollars in final expenses. Consider not just funerary costs but also medical expenses in your final financial plans.
Final financial plans require two answers: how much? and how can you make sure the funds are around when they’re needed?
By and large, the answer to how much to spend is subjective. Decide what you want and what you can afford, and the compromise between the two is the right answer. If you want a 21-gun salute at your funeral, then fine. But ultimately, you don’t really need it, so if you can’t afford it, do without it. With final medical expenses, it’s the same. Put aside a couple thousand, but beyond that, decide how much it’s worth paying to have someone else try to keep you alive. You should put your foot down and say when it becomes an exercise in futility.
If you’ve got the money on hand, you can pre-pay for your funeral arrangements and tuck the rest of your funds away for medical and probate costs. If not, though, life insurance may be a cost-effective option for you. With appropriate planning, you will get more money out of the policy than you put into it.
You can buy final expense life insurance from a life insurance provider, or your funeral home might actually employ a life insurance agent who is licensed to sell funeral insurance. These two types of insurance are essentially the same concept, though there is a diversity of different life insurance products which may be marketed as “funeral insurance” or “final expense insurance” (simplified issue, guaranteed issue, graded benefit, whole, term).
Think you can’t qualify for life insurance? Think again because final expense insurance is intended for generally less-insurable targets: those who expect only a few years left of mortality. This makes the insurance products more expensive than life insurance for ordinary customers, but insurance for final expenses may yet be in your price range because of the low death benefit which final expenses require: usually ,000 to ,000.
Even if your insurability is average or better, final expense insurance isn’t a bad idea; it’s just that you’ll want to use a normal insurance policy, rather than one marketed as “final expense” insurance.
About the Author
For further information on final expense insurance, try the life insurance information library at http://www.wholesaleinsurance.net. (You can also buy life insurance online there or perform free quote comparisons if you wish.)