Funeral Insurance For Seniors: What You Should Know
What is Funeral Insurance?
Funeral insurance (also known as senior life insurance, burial insurance, or final expense insurance) covers any final expenses in the event you pass away. It helps to avoid the financial burden on your family.
Funeral expenses can include a coffin, hearse, embalming, funeral receptions, legal fees, and more.
Similar to getting a will, funeral insurance is an affordable option if you plan ahead. Let’s get into the details below.
Funeral Costs in Canada
Unfortunately, the answer to how much does an average funeral cost varies based on your location, the options you choose, and your health. According to the Toronto Star, the average total funeral cost is about $7,400. We will break this number down further to show you what you can expect.
If you are looking for a simple cremation, expect to spend around $3,000. This amount can vary based on your province. If you want a more sophisticated urn or special ceremony, you may be looking at an expense closer to $4,500.
While these numbers may seem like a lot, cremation is actually the more budget-friendly option when it comes to funerals.
As for in-ground burial, a high-end service that includes all the bells and whistles can cost $15,000 or more. For a more mid-range estimate, you can expect to pay between $5,500 to $9,000.
Your total costs vary based on transportation, casket, cemetery charges, and reception fees. The more features you add, the more your funeral will cost.
Before getting insurance, you’ll want to do some planning with your family to help determine your total funeral costs.
How Much Does Seniors Funeral Insurance Cost?
The cost of funeral insurance for seniors depends on many factors.
Here are some factors that will impact your insurance cost:
Age: Most seniors purchase funeral insurance between the ages of 50-80. The older you are, the higher your monthly premiums. So, it’s best to buy early.
Age rounding: Insurance is usually priced based on your “age nearest.” Let’s say, for example, you are turning 70 on December 31st. You’ll be quoted as a 69-year-old in the first half of the year and a 70-year-old in the second.
Coverage length: Most funeral insurance premiums expire when you turn 100. However, some policies are more flexible than others so be sure to read the fine print.
Coverage amount: The higher your expected funeral cost, the more you’ll pay for insurance.
Riders: These are additional protections you can add to your policy. For example, a critical illness rider would ensure you receive a payout if diagnosed with cancer or a similar medical condition.
Travel: Traveling is great in your golden years. However, visiting high-risk travel destinations like Sudan, Iraq, or Somalia can increase your premiums or even decline your coverage.
One major benefit of funeral insurance is you can buy a policy without a medical questionnaire. This is especially helpful if you have a pre-existing medical condition, as this will not impact the cost of your insurance premiums.
Funeral Insurance and Life Insurance
Many people also consider life insurance (specifically term life and whole life insurance) when thinking about funeral insurance. Let’s compare the pros and cons of each:
Funeral Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance provides coverage for a fixed number of years. For this reason, it’s often the cheapest form of insurance. You can renew your term policy after it expires, though you’ll end up paying a significantly higher monthly premium upon renewal. There is also a maximum age where you can apply for life insurance (85 years old in Canada.)
Term life is a great option for those who need coverage for a specific amount of time. For example, if you have ten years left on your mortgage, a term 10 policy may be right for you.
Funeral Insurance vs. Whole Life Insurance
In contrast, whole life insurance has no expiry date. As long as you pay your monthly premiums, the policy will stay in force. Whole life insurance also includes an investment component that earns dividends and builds up your cash value. The cash value grows overtime, which can provide a greater benefit to you once you pass.
Whole life insurance is generally more expensive than term life insurance and funeral insurance. It also requires a medical exam. For this reason, it may also be difficult to get as a senior.
In comparison, funeral insurance only covers your final expenses when it comes to burial costs. Seniors also may have other assets that will pass along to beneficiaries.
Since you need less coverage for a funeral, it generally costs you less per month. The fact that pre-existing medical conditions don’t get taken into account can also be a bonus for funeral insurance.
Why Getting Life Insurance can be Difficult for Seniors
Life insurance often requires going through an underwriting process.
Based on the amount of life insurance you apply for, you may need to complete a medical questionnaire, which can increase your premiums. In addition, the older you are the more expensive life insurance will be.
Life insurance providers base their policy premiums on risk, and often a senior is seen as adding more risk to a carrier. This can be due to pre-existing medical conditions or current challenges they may be facing.
If you’re relatively young, life insurance is a good option to help protect your family from an unexpected death. Funeral insurance, however, is a great option for seniors who do not have any life insurance.
Funeral insurance can also provide you with lower monthly costs, and pre-existing medical conditions do not have to be reported. Many insurance services online, like Dundas Life, have a team of licensed advisors that can help you choose the right insurance policy for you.
When planning your funeral, it’s best to get started early. Not only will it keep your funeral insurance rates down, but it can also help give you peace of mind.
This is a guest post by Dundas Life.com, a Canadian online insurance broker that makes insurance buying simple, straightforward, and stress-free.