Guide to Final Expense & Burial Insurance

The Ultimate Guide to Final Expense & Burial Insurance

Research estimates the average funeral cost in Canada to be between $5,000 and $12,000. Cremation expenses are considerably cheaper, falling between $2,000 and $5,000. This is quite a sum for an average family without an insurance plan or savings to absorb the sudden financial shock. A whole life insurance policy with a death benefit can help cover the insured person’s dying costs and leave the deceased’s dependents with some money to use for what they might need in the near future.  

However, the cost of whole life insurance is extremely exorbitant for aging persons, especially those with chronic health conditions. At the same time, losing a provider or a family member is a tough blow for the dependents, not to mention the financial burden that comes with medical and burial expenses. Now that your spouse and kids will have to fend for themselves without your help, the least you can do for them is take care of your own funeral expenses and perhaps leave them with some money for other bills as they prepare to cope with life in your absence. 

This is where final expense insurance comes in. This insurance policy type allows you to make monthly contributions toward your final sendoff. In the event of your untimely demise, the policy will help alleviate the financial stress on your dependents, preventing them from having to dip into their savings to pay for your medical and burial expenses. Several insurance companies offer similar final expense insurance policies. 

In this write-up, the sages at MoneyWizard.ca provide valuable information that will guide you when purchasing the ideal final expense insurance policy to fit your budget and expectations. By comparing the available policies in the marketplace, MoneyWizard.ca will help simplify the shopping process for you. Click through to read more. 

What Is Final Expense Insurance?

Today, the average cost of living in Canada is estimated to be $2,730 per month for a single person and $5,158 for a family of four. As such, funeral expenses totaling $10,000 will set any unprepared family back financially, plunging them into financial woes that could take months or even years to correct. This issue highlights the importance of having a stash that would take care of your funeral expenses, especially if you do not have a whole life insurance policy with death benefits. 

The cheapest sendoff that one can get in the marketplace is cremation; however, cremation still costs $5,000. While cremation has gained massive popularity in Canada in recent years, most families are still not comfortable with it and prefer to accord their loved ones a traditional burial, which goes for thousands of dollars. Luckily, several insurance companies offer final expense insurance or burial insurance coverage, which takes care of the deceased person’s medical bills and funeral costs so that the family doesn’t have to use their savings to meet any sendoff expenses. 

Final expense insurance is a type of life insurance that kicks in when the insured person dies. It covers end-of-life expenses, including the deceased person’s pending medical bills and all their funeral costs. Just like several other life insurance plans, the proceeds of this policy can be diverted to whichever purpose the dependents want. Unlike other types of whole life insurance plans, however, anyone can get this policy regardless of age and health condition. 

The premiums for this policy are considerably high compared to those for term life insurance, which means that you get less value for your money. While the value might not look all rosy, it is still a viable alternative compared to waiting for your death unprepared and leaving your dependents with mounting medical bills, funeral expenses, and other associated costs. At MoneyWizard.ca, we strongly recommend that you purchase a final expense insurance cover in order to safeguard your family’s future financial position.  

What Does Final Expense Insurance Cover?

Final expense insurance is an insurance policy type designed to cover the entire financial burden that an insured person leaves after his or her death. This usually includes medical bills and all funeral costs, including caskets, tuxes, and funeral home expenses. 

Although final expense insurance falls under the whole life insurance umbrella, the final expense policy is not the same thing as “insuring your life.” Life insurance is designed for an insured person to leave a substantial amount of money to his or her dependents upon death, while final expense insurance offers a value that is proportional to the size of the burial that the insured person needed. Therefore, sometimes nothing is left in the stash for the dependents after the burial. 

You would think that all the proceeds of a final expense insurance policy go towards the funeral. However, if the family decides to go with a bare-bones funeral, the rest of the money can be put toward anything the family would like without objections by the insurance company. This explains why aged persons without life insurance policies opt for a larger sum assured, even if they wish for a smaller funeral ceremony. This allows them to leave some money for their loved ones after their demise. 

Even though the value for money in this policy may not be as attractive as that of whole life insurance, it remains the second-best thing if you do not qualify for life insurance due to your advanced age or if a serious health condition prevents you from taking out a life insurance policy. As you may have noticed already, it is not all lost for you if you are not eligible for a life insurance policy. 

Who Needs Final Expense Insurance?

Admittedly, not everyone needs final expense insurance. For instance, if you already have a life insurance policy, then you won’t need final expense insurance since it is pretty much the same other than offering more financial benefits to the dependents. Traditionally, whole life insurance comes with a death benefit, which is basically a lump sum payout by the insurance company to the deceased dependents as coverage for the insured person’s medical and funeral costs.  

Even so, if you have term life insurance that has since outlived its maturity, then you automatically lose your death benefit when the policy matures. Bearing this in mind, you should get a new insurance plan for your funeral expenses. This would mean getting another similar policy or considering final expense insurance. MoneyWizard.ca can help you look into all the available options before settling on a specific plan that meets your funeral needs. 

Depending on your financial position, you can either choose to purchase final expense insurance or “self-insure.” If you have sufficient assets and money to support your dependents past your death, then you can get self-insurance. Self-insurance means using your own money to cater to your funeral expenses rather than an insurance payout. This only works if you have plenty of assets and you are sure that your burial costs will not dent your family’s finances. 

If you don’t have life insurance, active term insurance, or enough money to self-insure, however, your safest bet will be to get a final expense insurance policy to protect your dependents from the financial stress that will come with your death. Depending on your financial situation, therefore, you might need final expense insurance, and you might not. Note that if you are planning to self-insure, set aside at least $10,000 for your funeral costs.

How Does Final Expense Insurance Work?

As mentioned earlier, it is estimated that a decent traditional burial goes for between $5,000 and $10,000. Do you think your family can comfortably fund this budget without running into financial troubles later on? Well, if you are worried about burdening your dependents with your burial expenses, you can spare them the trouble by contributing to a final expense insurance policy. 

Final expense insurance is much like a savings account where you make a regular contribution to go toward funding your desired funeral. Death will certainly leave bills that have to be paid—if not by you, then by those you leave behind. It is only responsible of you if you can spare your dependents this burden, especially if your family is in a rather shaky financial position. Set your burial budget, and begin making contributions toward it. It is that simple! 

Unlike other insurance policies, final expense insurance has guaranteed approval. This means that seniors and individuals with underlying medical conditions are also eligible for this plan. It is a prerequisite for applicants of all other types of life insurance to take a medical exam, as this helps the insurance company to ascertain the amount of risk they are up against. For final expense insurance, however, you don’t have to undergo a medical examination; instead, you only have to answer several health-related questions before getting your desired insurance coverage. 

As expected, the higher the risk, the higher the premiums insurance companies will charge. But then, once your final expense policy is approved, your premiums and sum assured will never fluctuate. Therefore, you will pay the same amount of insurance premiums until your death. Also, claims are processed remarkably faster with this policy since the proceeds are meant to cover funeral and medical expenses that qualify as emergencies.

How Much Does Final Expense Insurance Cost?

Although they do not deter you from getting approved for this policy, age, health, gender, and location directly affect the cost of your final expense insurance. Sadly, the older you get, the more premiums you will have to pay to get covered. You are likely to pay lower premiums if you take this policy in your 40s compared to waiting until you are 75. However, the total amount paid evens out since younger policyholders end up paying premiums for a longer period.

Insurers feel like they are taking too much risk providing coverage to a sick person. This is why they charge more in premiums if you have an underlying medical condition. In some regions, gender determines the premiums that an individual has to pay. Women generally have a longer life expectancy than men, and that is why women are charged lower monthly premiums than their male counterparts. Some insurers offer a discount to individuals who do not use tobacco. 

The amount of monthly premiums payable toward final expense insurance varies from one company to the other. The quote usually depends on the factors mentioned earlier and the amount of coverage you are looking for. According to the sages at MoneyWizard.ca, comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers can get you the best possible offer in the marketplace. This can be quite a hassle, but by entering your postal code, we can help you settle on a good policy in no time.  

Takeaway

In Canada, final expense life insurance is popular due to its affordability, its emphasis on covering funeral costs, and its benefit amounts. Thus, to avoid straining your family financially after your demise, contributing to a final expense insurance policy is recommended. If you don’t know what exactly to consider, feel free to reach out to us at MoneyWizard.ca, and we will ease the shopping process for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     How much does a basic funeral cost?

The cost of a decent funeral has risen exponentially in recent years. According to published statistics, a basic funeral costs anything between $5,000 and $12,000. This has prompted many families to consider cheaper alternatives to traditional burials, such as cremation. Cremation costs about half of what it takes to conduct a traditional funeral; its average cost is about $2,000 to $5,000. As of 2018, cremation had risen in popularity to 72 percent from 48 percent in the early 2000s.

2.     What are end-of-life expenses?

Unfortunately, your bills do not end with your final breath. In addition to coping with the loss of a loved one, your dependents still have to figure out how they will settle your medical bills and plan for a decent sendoff. This might cost thousands of dollars, even for the most basic burial. There is the cost of the funeral home, the cost of transportation to the cemetery, the casket, the embalming, the cemetery space, the monument, the flowers, the catering, and other services, depending on the type of burial you wished for. All these things cost thousands of dollars—money that your dependents will have to shell out if you didn’t put a fully funded budget in place before your demise. 

3.     What alternatives to final expense insurance are there?

Final expense insurance should always be the last option for funding your burial. There are several other alternatives that you should consider. These include getting whole life insurance at an early age, getting term insurance with a longer-term limit, or getting self-insurance. Self-insurance is ideal if your family has enough money to manage your funeral expenses without feeling burdened.