Burial Expense Insurance – Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And with funeral costs continually rising, doesn’t it make sense to plan for what will be an eventuality?
For some people, such a thought might seem morose, but what if your partner or family was suddenly faced with carrying out your funeral arrangements? Covering that need is funeral insurance, sometimes known as pre-need or burial expense insurance.
Purchasing burial expense insurance helps with two major issues: the financial aspects, and what you would like to happen at your funeral. Typical funerals can cost anywhere from $4,000-$6,000 with a third of that cost going toward a casket.
In ground burials add even more cost, as much as $2,500. This financial burden can be most unwelcome for a cash-strapped family or partner, but a relief if it has been taken care of in advance.
Moreover, if the details of funeral arrangements have already been prepared in advance, this is another set of items that a grief-stricken family will not have to deal with at a difficult time.
One particular advantage of burial expense insurance is that it provides you with an opportunity to decide ahead of time what funeral arrangements you would like, and consider such items as:
- Cremation or burial
- Type of urn for cremation, and type of casket for burial
- Burial vault or grave liner
- Burial site—cemetery and plot
- Type of grave marker
- Embalming—legally required if public viewing is required
- Funeral services
- Use of a hearse and funeral vehicles
- Flowers and other decorations.
Because there have been a spate of scams and accusations of manipulating older citizens into purchasing items they really didn’t need, some states have restrictions on burial policies, and Florida has tried to ban such policies.
So, before you start thinking about purchasing a burial insurance policy, first determine what the laws in your state are—they are designed to protect you, the consumer.
Whatever plan you select, be sure it includes the services and items you need, and determine what the plan will pay out upon your death—actual death benefits.
Do discuss these with your partner or family, and perhaps your attorney, to ensure the arrangements are compatible with your will and estate planning.
Also verify the license of the agent, funeral home, or company that you select. There should be little or no complaints against the business entity if it is a reputable one.
If you decide to be buried, ask questions about contingencies. For example, if the cemetery changes ownership, goes out of business, or runs out of burial space. If you select a given funeral director, what happens if you move out of state? Is the policy transferable? Are there any price guarantees?
Most important, if you can, take a companion or family member with you to help you in selecting what you want—a burial location, a particular type of casket, or grave stone. Don’t let yourself be talked in to something that you don’t want.
Planning ahead for your death might be a strange concept at the start, but it can be a smart move, ensuring funeral expenses are covered and your wishes are met.
More important, burial insurance can help those close to you because they will not be burdened with making decisions concerning funeral arrangements.