Affordable final expense insurance is a small portion of a life insurance policy. Life insurance covers burial expenses and more, and the benefits are meant to support your family after passing. Senior burial insurance payouts are usually only a fraction of whole or term life insurance benefits. 

However, final expense insurance for seniors typically has more affordable premiums and less stringent application requirements. Plus, final expense insurance lasts for your lifetime, whereas term life insurance may end before you do, leaving you without benefits after years of paying premiums.

Final Expense Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance

Amount of Coverage

You can buy insurance for burials for amounts between $1,000 and $50,000. Most final expense life insurance quotes are for less than $25,000. 

With the average funeral costing less than $10,000, beneficiaries could afford a respectable funeral and service and pay off any outstanding debts, such as medical bills and nursing home deductibles. 

Life insurance policies can replace your income should you die prematurely. Policies are usually for six-figure amounts, but they can be in the millions. You may want a life insurance policy if you are the sole earner, and your family would be financially devastated by your loss. 

Life insurance can cover your home’s mortgage, surviving dependents’ college funds, or your widow/er’s lifestyle. When calculating the amount of your benefits, companies may ask questions about:

·      The annual income your surviving family needs.

·      The number of income years to pay.

·      Your funeral and burial cost.

·      The number of dependents you have, their ages, and future major expenses.

·      Any charities to which you would like to contribute. 

Your beneficiaries receive a lump sum with burial insurance. Life insurance benefits can be a lump sum or sent as monthly payments. Monthly payments can prolong benefits if the funds are in an interest-accruing account. 

Many life insurance policies are cash policies that build value over time or have a graded death benefit. Your beneficiaries can receive the full benefit amount once you pay into the policy for a certain number of years. If you pass before this milestone, your beneficiaries may get less than the full benefit amount. 

Some funeral and life insurance policies have a two-year waiting period when you are not eligible for benefits. After paying the premiums for two years, the policy fully insures you. 


Most final expense insurance policies last until you die, as long as you pay your premiums. But some, like the AARP final expense policy, end once you reach 80 years of age. 

Not all life insurance lasts for the duration of your life. 

  • Whole or permanent life is for the duration of your life for however many years you live. The benefit amount may be graded to increase through the years, so the payout is less after three years than it would be at eight. 
  • Term life is for a specific period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If you outlive the policy period, it expires and your beneficiaries do not receive a payout. 
  • Funeral and life insurance policies end if you fail to pay your premium. 


Premiums for final expense insurance and life insurance are about the same, although the benefit amounts are vastly different. Premiums may stay the same, change annually, or gradually increase, depending on the policy.

Providers can charge a higher premium for small burial insurance since they do not require a medical exam. You may need to answer some health questions that could influence your funeral policy rate. 

Term life insurance policies are generally cheaper than whole life insurance, and premiums increase with higher policies.  

So, why would you pay the same amount for different payout amounts? Final expense insurance may be your only option if you do not qualify for a life insurance policy. Most burial insurance policies are guaranteed cover, so you can get coverage no matter your health status.