Final Expense
  • Simple qualification
  • Best for good health
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Guaranteed Issue
  • Guaranteed approval
  • Best for poor health
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What is final expense insurance?

Final expense insurance is a type of life insurance used to pay part or all the funeral costs. It helps to ease the financial burden that often falls on family members.

Some final expense policies also build cash value, except for pre-need or funeral policies. This cash value can be used for any purpose. You can take out a loan against the cash value, withdraw cash, or increase the death benefit.

How much does final expense insurance cost?

Below you can see an example of how these final expense types (mentioned above) affect the policy premium.

Want to know your rate? Get a personalized quote.

CoverageAgeHealthPremium
$5,00065Good$29/month
$5,00065Average$32/month
$5,00065Bad$43/month
$10,00065Good$56/month
$10,00065Average$64/month
$10,00065Bad$84/month

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Last updated July 24, 2020
TypeHealthHow Benefits Are Paid
Level
GoodFirst-day full coverage
GradedAverage
  • Year 1: 30% of
    face amount
  • Year 2: 70% of
    face amount
  • Years 3+:
    Full face amount
  • Accidental death:
    Full face amount
  • In the event of suicide:
    Premiums refunded
ModifiedBelow average
  • Years 1-2:
    110% of the premiums paid
  • Years 3+:
    Full face amount
  • Accidental death:
    Full face amount
  • In the event of suicide:
    Premiums refunded
Guaranteed
Acceptance
Below average
bad
  • Years 1-2:
    110% of the premiums paid
  • Years 3+:
    Full face amount
  • Accidental death:
    Full face amount
  • In the event of suicide:
    Premiums refunded
Funeral
Pre-need
Pre-paid
Below average
bad
As paid in

1. Level whole life policies (immediate benefit)

A level policy is the most basic and straightforward of the final expense policies. A level policy is issued to applicants who are in good health or those with minor health issues that are controlled with medications. The full amount of the policy will be in effect the day the application is approved. When the insured person dies, the named beneficiaries can receive the full death benefit right away.

For healthier people, this is the best option. Some companies offer better-priced plans, while others have plans that are easier to qualify for. If there’s an immediate benefit plan out there, we find it for you.

Example of final expense level life insurance policy (immediate benefit)

Plan highlights:

  • First-day full coverage
  • Best-priced final expense plan
  • You can choose the beneficiary
  • You choose how the money is spent
  • Builds cash value
  • $2,500 – $100,000

What do you need to qualify for an immediate benefit/level whole life policy?

Overall healthMedical History
GoodNo major medical diagnosis or treatment in the past three years, including heart attack, internal cancer, leukemia, respiratory disorder, diabetes diagnosed before age 40, stroke, COPD, Crohn’s disease, cerebral palsy, and MS. All medical conditions are well-controlled.
No history of congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, Parkinson’s disease, paralysis, amputation, or dependency on a wheelchair, dialysis, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, AIDs, HIV, or current hospitalization.

See if you qualify

Companies that offer immediate full-benefit level policies:

Insurance CompanyProductEligible AgesCoverage Amounts
American Continental Aetna Life Insurance CompanyLevel Benefit Plan45 – 89 years$3,000 – $35,000
Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance CompanyLiving Promise Level Benefit Plan45 – 85 years$2,000 – $40,000
Royal Neighbors of America Life Insurance CompanySimplified Issue Whole Life50 – 85 years$5,000 – $25,000
Sentinel Security Life Insurance CompanyNew Vantage I0 – 75 years$1,000 – $35,000
Prosperity Life Insurance CompanyNew Vista Level50 – 80 years$1,500 – $35,000
United Home Life Insurance CompanyExpress Issue Deluxe Simplified Issue Whole Life20 – 80 years$5,000 – $50,000
Americo Life Insurance CompanyEagle Premier Level50 – 85 years$2,000 – $30,000
Liberty Bankers Life Insurance CompanySIMPL Final Expense40 – 80 years$3,000 – $30,000
Nassau Re Life Insurance CompanyRemembrance Life30 – 80 years$10,000 – $100,000

2. Graded Benefit

If your health is a concern, you might want to consider a graded policy. Coverage will vary, depending on which insurance company you choose. There’s a good chance you can qualify for a graded policy if you haven’t had any major illnesses in the past 24 months.

For example, if you have Parkinson’s disease or a medically manageable disease where ongoing treatment can help the condition, a graded plan might be right for you. Graded policy benefits usually have a two-year waiting period before the entire death benefit can be paid to a beneficiary. If a non-accidental death occurs before that two-year time frame, the policy will only pay a percentage of the total death benefit. During the third year and beyond, the entire death benefit will be paid.

Example of final expense life insurance with graded benefit

Plan highlights:

  • 30% first-year, 70% second-year benefit paid
  • Accidental death: full face amount on the first day
  • Suicide: premiums plus 10%
  • You can choose the beneficiary
  • You choose how the money is spent
  • Builds cash value
  • $1,000 – $35,000

What do you need to qualify for a graded whole life policy?

Overall HealthMedical History
OK. No serious medical conditions in the past 24 months.No major medical diagnosis or treatment in the last two years, including heart attack, internal cancer, leukemia, respiratory disorder, diabetes diagnosed before age 40, stroke, COPD, Crohn’s disease, cerebral palsy, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, or MS. All medical conditions are well-controlled.
No history of dialysis, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, AIDs, HIV, or current hospitalization.

See if you qualify

Companies that offer graded final expense policies:

Insurance CompanyProductEligible AgesCoverage Amounts
American Continental Aetna Life Insurance CompanyGraded Benefit Plan45 – 80 years$3,000 – $35,000
Sentinel Security Life Insurance CompanyNew Vantage II45 – 85 years$1,000 – $20,000
Prosperity Life Insurance CompanyNew Vista Graded50 – 80 years$1,500 – $35,000
Royal Neighbors of America Life Insurance CompanyGraded Death Benefit (GBD)50 – 78 years$5,000 – $10,000

3. Modified Benefit Policies

A modified policy is very similar to a graded policy except it involves a serious illness, such as cancer, instead of a more manageable ailment. Modified policy benefits usually have a two-year waiting period before the entire death benefit can be paid to a beneficiary. If a non-accidental death occurs before that two-year time frame, the policy will only pay a return of the paid premiums plus a small percentage of the total death benefit. During the third year and beyond, however, the entire death benefit will be paid.

Modified benefit explained for final expense

Plan highlights:

  • Years 1-2: return of premium plus 100% benefit
  • Accidental death: full face amount on the first day
  • Suicide: premiums plus 10%
  • You can choose the beneficiary
  • You choose how the money is spent
  • Builds cash value
  • $1,000 – $40,000

What do you need to qualify for a modified benefit whole life policy?

Overall HealthMedical History
History of one or more serious conditions within the past 12 months.No major medical diagnosis or treatment in the last year for heart attack, internal cancer, leukemia, respiratory disorder, diabetes diagnosed before age 40, or stroke. All medical conditions are well-controlled.
No history of dialysis, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, AIDs, HIV, or current hospitalization.

See if you qualify

Companies that offer modified final expense policies:

Insurance CompanyProductEligible AgesCoverage Amounts
AIG American General Life Insurance CompanyGuaranteed Issue50 – 85 years$5,000 – $25,000
Gerber Life Insurance CompanyGuaranteed Life50 – 80 years$5,000 – $25,000
Great Western Life Insurance CompanyGuaranteed Assurance40 – 80 years$5,000 – $40,000
Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance CompanyLiving Promise Graded Benefit45 – 80 years$2,000 – $20,000

4. Guaranteed Acceptance

A guaranteed issue policy is a policy with no health questions. There’s a two-year waiting period before the entire death benefit can be paid to a beneficiary.

In years 1 and 2, the benefit is the return of all the money you paid thus far plus 10%. This protects insurance companies in cases where the person who purchases the policy already has a terminal diagnosis or is in hospice. For accidental death, the full benefit amount is paid to beneficiaries in years 1 and 2.

In year 3, the full benefit amount is paid to beneficiaries.

Note: Guaranteed acceptance policies are generally less expensive than modified final expense policies. For this reason, we rarely sell a modified benefit policy.

Guaranteed Acceptance explained for final expense

Plan highlights:

  • Years 1-2: return of premium plus 10% benefit
  • Accidental death: full face amount on the first day
  • Suicide: premiums plus 10%
  • You can choose the beneficiary
  • You choose how the money is spent
  • Builds cash value
  • $1,000 – $40,000

What do you need to qualify for a guaranteed acceptance policy?

Overall HealthMedical History
One or more serious health conditions within the last year.There are no health questions.

See if you qualify

Best companies that offer guaranteed acceptance policies:

Insurance CompanyProductEligible AgesCoverage Amounts
AIG American General Life Insurance CompanyGuaranteed Issue50 – 85 years$5,000 – $25,000
Gerber Life Insurance CompanyGuaranteed Life50 – 80 years$5,000 – $25,000
Great Western Life Insurance CompanyGuaranteed Assurance40 – 80 years$5,000 – $40,000

Columbian Life Insurance Company

Guaranteed Issue25 – 80 years$2,500 – $25,000

5. Funeral/Pre-need/Prepaid

A pre-need funeral policy is purchased directly from a funeral home. The purpose is to fund the cost of the burial arrangements you would like to make. The policy covers the cost of funeral home services, a casket, burial fees, and memorial services.

The beneficiary is the funeral home. This type of policy lets you pay for your funeral in advance.

The negatives: This is more like a layaway plan than a life insurance policy. These plans are offered as single-pay, 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year payment options. Once you choose a plan, it’s locked in and difficult (or impossible) to change.

The positives: Once the plan is in place, you avoid the hassle of someone needing to plan for a funeral at the last minute. And, the prices are set ahead of time.

Plan highlights:

  • Benefits are available as they are paid in
  • The beneficiary is a funeral home
  • The policy proceeds can only be spent on funeral expenses
  • Does not build cash value
  • $1,000 – $25,000

What do you need to qualify for a funeral/pre-need policy?

Overall HealthMedical History
One or more serious health conditions within the last year.There are no health questions.

See if you qualify

Best companies that offer funeral/pre-need policies:

Insurance CompanyProductEligible AgesCoverage Amounts
National Family Assurance Life Insurance Company
Preneed Insurance50 – 85 years$5,000 – $25,000
United Heritage LifePreneed Funeral PlanningN/A$1,000 – $20,000
Great Western Life Insurance CompanyPreneed Funeral Insurance0 – 89 years$5,000 – $25,000
Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance CompanyFuneral Advantage0 – 85 years$1,000 – $20,000

Best final expense insurance companies

1. Aetna

American Continental logo

If you are between ages 45 and 89 and are looking for $3,000 to $35,000 in coverage, Aetna is a great choice. We find that we can provide most customers with full first-day coverage, by simply answering a few health questions.

When it comes to reliability, Aetna is a top contender. Since Aetna was founded back in 1853, it has held a position under 100 in the S&P 500. It generates roughly $60 billion a year, and employes 47,950 employees.

2. Royal Neighbors

Royal Neighbors

Royal Neighbors is one of the most lenient companies for those with health conditions. Their final expense policies are available for individuals between ages 50 and 85, with coverage ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

What truly sets Royal Neighbors apart is that they are a fraternal organization. This legal structure operates for the benefit of its members and not for profit. Aside from competitive pricing, you’ll also enjoy various membership benefits.

Royal Neighbors membership benefits

  • Dental and vision discounts, up to 50%
  • Prescription drugs discounts, up to 60%
  • Retail discounts, up to 40%
  • Hearing aids and services discounts, up to 30%

3. Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha logo

Mutual of Omaha has become extremely competitive when it comes to pricing, and is typically the most affordable choice for graded and level final expense life insurance.

Their policies are excellent for healthy individuals between ages 45 to 80, seeking $2,000 – $40,000 in coverage.

Currently, Mutual of Omaha holds an A+ rating from A.M. Best, which is one of the highest positions for an insurance company to hold in terms of financial strength.

4. AIG

AIG American General logo

AIG (American General) offers the most affordable guaranteed final expense life insurance policy for seniors. If you are between ages 50 and 85 you can not be denied for $5,000 to $25,000 of coverage. The approval is guaranteed. The price will never go up, and your policy will never be canceled.

AIG ranks exceptionally well across all rating agencies, such as S&P (Strong) and A.M. Best (Excellent).

5. Gerber

Gerber life insurance logo

Gerber is another excellent company to offer guaranteed final expense insurance, at virtually the same cost as AIG. All applicants between ages 50 to 80 are approved for up to $20,000, guaranteed.

The application only takes about 15 minutes to complete, and if paying monthly by ACH, you are eligible for a 7% discount!

Gerber is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, and is a True Blue customer favorite.

How to apply for final expense life insurance

1. Get a quote

First, you’ll want to get an instant final expense insurance quote. Just fill out a few questions on our form to receive your free instant quote.

2. Optional: Take our health questionnaire

Our questionnaire is only two pages. After you’ve completed it, we provide companies that are interested in offering you coverage based on your profile. To get the most accurate rates, we recommend spending a few minutes to complete our health questionnaire.

3. Compare and submit an application request

Once you’ve reviewed the rates and plans, then you’re ready to select a company and submit an application request. You can get a jump start by completing 90% of the application directly on our site. If you have any questions or concerns, one of our agents will be happy to assist you in making the right decision.

4. Verify and sign

A True Blue Life Insurance agent will contact you during regular business hours and make sure that we are putting you in the best plan for your situation. We review the underwriting guidelines, pricing, and benefits of each company and find the best options. We take care of the paperwork and handle all correspondence with the insurance company for you.

5. Receive a policy contract

When you’re approved, the insurance company will offer a life insurance policy contract.*

6. Sign the contract and make the first payment

If you’re ready, you’ll sign the contract and make your first payment. You’ll then have life insurance coverage! You can start enjoying the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved ones are protected.

*You have 30 days to accept the offer, and after accepting the policy you have another 30 days to change your mind and get your initial payment refunded.

Note: Life insurance policies are unilateral contracts. This means that as long as you make your payments, the insurance company can’t change the contract. Ever.

Do any of the following apply to you?

  1. Currently hospitalized, in a nursing facility, confined to a bed, receiving hospice care, confined to a wheelchair or bed, or using oxygen equipment to assist in breathing.
  2. Has a condition requiring bone marrow, stem cell, or organ transplant, kidney disease requiring dialysis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, mental incapacity, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), or AIDS-related complex (ARC), or has been diagnosed as having a life expectancy of 12 months or less.
If you said yes to either of these,
You qualify for a guaranteed acceptance policy
If neither applies,
Continue to next question

What final expense plan do I qualify for?

Within the past 12 months, have you been diagnosed or treated by a medical professional or had surgery for any of the following?

  1. Heart attack, heart valve disorder, heart blockage, stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), any lung or respiratory disorder requiring the use of a nebulizer, internal cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, leukemia, systemic lupus (SLE), chronic pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, diabetes diagnosed before the age of 40, or treatment or counseling for alcohol or drug abuse
  2. Advised by a medical professional to have diagnostic testing that has not been completed or for which the results have not been received
If you said yes to either of these,
You qualify for a modified benefit policy
If neither applies,
Continue to next question

Within the past 24 months, have you been diagnosed or treated by a medical professional or had surgery for any of the following?

  1. Aneurysm, heart attack, any circulatory disorder, stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), internal cancer, melanoma, leukemia, any connective tissue disorder, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease
  2. Neuromuscular disorder, including, but not limited to, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), or muscular dystrophy
If you said yes to either of these,
You qualify for a graded benefit policy
If neither applies,
Continue to next question

At any time, have you been diagnosed or treated by a medical professional or had surgery for any of the following?

  1. Congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, Parkinson’s disease, any permanent paralysis, or amputation caused by disease
  2. Are you dependent on a wheelchair or motorized mobility device?
If you said yes to either of these,
You qualify for a graded benefit policy
If neither applies,
You qualify for a level/immediate benefit policy

Note 1: The questions above are general application questions. Health questions vary by company, so we really need to evaluate your particular situation to get you the best plan.

Note 2: We do not have plans for people older than 89.

Final Expense Insurance FAQs

Why do I need funeral insurance?

With the cost of funerals soaring, final expense insurance can help cover expenses incurred during the end of life, including medical bills. Although that is the ideal reason to use this type of coverage, beneficiaries can use the death benefit payout however they choose.

Who needs final expense insurance?

This coverage is best suited for individuals over the age of 50 who are looking for a small policy with the intention of using the proceeds to help protect the surviving family members’ responsibility for funeral arrangements. However, the payout can be used by the beneficiaries as they see fit.

Which final expense insurance companies have the best rates?

Insurance rates are constantly changing. Each final expense insurance company sets its rates based on the company’s underwriting criteria, and that can change from month to month or year to year. The best way to figure out which of the final expense insurance companies is right for you is to reach out to an independent agency like True Blue and let an agent there shop the insurance companies for the policy that makes the most sense for your current needs.

Is a final expense life insurance policy right for me?

Depending on your current age and medical situation, a final expense policy may be beneficial if you’re simply looking to have some extra coverage for when you die, and a term life insurance policy with a larger death benefit isn’t currently available to you or is too expensive.

Maybe this is the only coverage you can afford or qualify for.

If you are unable to qualify for a policy that has more or better benefits because of your age or some other disqualifying circumstance, a final expense life insurance policy could be exactly what you need to ensure that your expenses are covered when you die, allowing your family to have a more stress-free transition.

Final Expense Life Insurance Product Comparison Chart

Company & ProductBest PlansEligible Ages & Coverage AmountsTrue Blue Notes

American Continental Aetna Life Insurance Company

Final Expense Whole Life Brochure

Level Benefit Plan

Graded Benefit Plan

45 – 89 years

$3,000 – $35,000
Application is taken over the phone in just 15 minutes. One of the most lenient health questionnaires. Great pricing. Excellent customer service.

Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company

Living Promise Brochure

Level Benefit Plan

Modified Benefit Plan
45 – 85 years

$2,000 – $40,000
Application is taken over the phone in 15 minutes. There may be a phone interview conducted by a company representative. One of the most popular final expense companies. Outstanding customer support.

Royal Neighbors of America Life Insurance Company

Final Expense Brochure

Level Benefit Plan

30 – 80 years

$10,000 – $100,000
The application takes 15 minutes to complete, and then another 15-minute call with a Royal Neighbors representative. The product comes with several membership benefits. One of the most lenient companies for those with health conditions.

Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company

New Vantage Brochure

Level Benefit Plan

Graded Benefit Plan
0 – 75 years

$1,000 – $35,000
One of the best-priced final expense plans. Application is taken over the phone in 20 minutes, and an instant approval is given. This is one of the best plans for those that qualify, due to the incredible pricing.

Prosperity Life Insurance Company

New Vista Brochure

Level Benefit Plan

Graded Benefit Plan
50 – 80 years

$1,500 – $35,000
Application is taken over the phone in about 15 minutes. The pricing is fantastic on these products. Payments can be made by credit card.

United Home Life Insurance Company

Simplified Issue Whole Life Brochure

Level Benefit Plan20 – 80 years

$5,000 – $50,000
This is one of the most lenient companies in terms of approving applications. There are several level benefit plans to choose from. This is a great product for those who have problems qualifying for first-day coverage.

Americo Life Insurance Company

Eagle Premier Brochure

Level Benefit Plan50 – 85 years

$2,000 – $30,000
Americo has lenient underwriting, so we put people in this product when they fit into the health requirements for first-day coverage. Strong company with good customer support.

Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company

SIMPL Final Expense Brochure

Level Benefit Plan40 – 80 years

$3,000 – $30,000
Application can be taken over the phone in 30 minutes, and with a voice signature, the policy is active immediately. Depending on your health situation, this may be the best-priced plan.

Nassau Re Life Insurance Company

Remembrance Life Brochure

Level Benefit Plan30 – 80 years

$10,000 – $80,000
This is an interesting product in that there are living benefits riders included at no charge. These allow access to the death benefit in the event of serious illness or disability.

AIG American General Life Insurance Company

GIWL Brochure

Guaranteed Acceptance50 – 85 years

$5,000 – $25,000
The application is completed online with a digital signature, and the process takes about 15 minutes. This policy has no health questions and is often our best-priced modified benefit plan.


Gerber Life Insurance Company

Gerber Guaranteed Life Brochure

Guaranteed Acceptance50 – 80 years

$5,000 – $25,000
Application takes 15 minutes to complete. There is a 7% discount for paying monthly with ACH bank transfer. Excellent pricing that is often less expensive than modified plans with health questions.

Great Western Life Insurance Company

Guaranteed Assurance Brochure

Guaranteed Acceptance
Funeral/Pre-need
0 – 89 years

$5,000 – $40,000
Great product that offers the highest amount in guaranteed acceptance coverage ($40,000). If you are able to appropriately answer three medical questions, you can get $48,000 in coverage with first-day coverage.

Columbian Life Insurance Company

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Brochure

Guaranteed Acceptance25 – 80 years

$2,500 – $25,000
Columbian has the only policy that provides guaranteed acceptance plans to people as young as 25. Coverage for most no-questions policies begins at age 50.
National Family Assurance Life Insurance Company
Funeral/Pre-need50 – 80 years

$5,000 – $25,000
One of the leaders in pre-need insurance policies. Funeral homes often sell this product directly to customers. Security National is a good company with good customer service.
Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company

Funeral Advantage Brochure

Funeral/Pre-need0 – 89 years

$1,000 – $20,000
Application is taken on paper and takes 20 minutes to complete. Strong company financially. Policies are expensive.

United Heritage Life

Preneed Funeral Planning Brochure

Funeral/Pre-need0 – 80 years

$1,000 – $20,000
United Heritage is sold by agents and funeral homes. Costs are on the expensive side. Strong company financially.

A word of warning: There are many companies that advertise final expense and burial insurance plans to seniors. Some of the better-known brands with TV commercials have products that are expensive when compared to other options. To make sure you’re getting the very best policy, we recommend working with an independent agency that represents multiple insurance companies. An experienced agent/agency can ensure that no one takes advantage of you.

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 48 Ratings
5
Jul 19, 2020
Freda Wheatcraft - North Carolina
Review:
She was very helpful and worked with my needs.
Agent:
Cheryl Schlenkert True Blue agent
5
Jul 06, 2020
Sylvia Donnell - Oklahoma
Review:
Very helpful, easy to deal with.
Agent:
Aaron Udell True Blue agent
5
Jun 28, 2020
Ford King - Nevada
Review:
One word GREAT. EFFICIENT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. TOOK TIME TO GO OVER ALL COMPANIES. THE BEST. WILL BE DOING MORE BUSINESS FROM AMY MY DAUGHTER. THANKS
Agent:
Aaron Udell True Blue agent
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