Final expense insurance is designed to cover the bills that your loved ones will face after your death. These costs will include medical bills and funeral expenses. Final expense insurance is also known as burial insurance. Unfortunately, even bare-bones funerals can cost thousands of dollars. The ins and outs of insurance policies can get tricky. Here’s what you need to know about final expense insurance.
Final Expense Insurance: The Basics
A final expense life insurance policy isn’t the same as what’s known as “insuring your life.” Insuring your life concerns leaving your family and loved ones with enough support after you pass away. Term and permanent life insurance value your policy as proportionate to your earning power now and for the rest of your life.
With funeral insurance, the value of your policy is proportionate to the expense of your desired funeral. While other forms of life insurance can top a million dollars, it’s rare for final expense insurance policies to get above $20,000.
Do I Need Final Expense Insurance?
The answer to that question will vary from person to person. Do you already have term or whole life insurance? If you do, that policy can help your loved ones pay for final expenses. However, if you have term life insurance and you outlive the policy term, it’s a different story. In that case, you may want to consider final expense insurance.
Alternatively, maybe your family will have plenty of assets to work with when you die. In that case, you could use what’s called “self-insurance.” “Self-insurance” is one of those terms that sounds more complicated than it is. To self-insure is just to use your own money rather than use a life insurance payout.
Could your family self-insure for your final expenses? It’s a good idea to assume around $10,000 for funeral expenses. But don’t forget to take into account whether you will want a catered party after the service. Or perhaps a trip abroad to scatter your ashes. Maybe you’ll end up leaving big bills behind. If situations like these sound like your situation, you may want to consider springing for final expense insurance. Additionally, it’s probably best not to count on the lump sum death payment from Social Security to pick up the slack. It’s only $255.