Not everyone needs or wants coverage with a large face amount intended to be income replacement or mortgage protection. For some, not being a burden on their loved ones by meeting their burial and final expense obligations is the primary goal.

Planning by obtaining a small policy now can assist grieving families financially later when they face the death of a loved one. Bills such as a funeral, burial, or medical and travel expenses can put a financial strain on most families.

If they are not prepared, having a final expense policy can give both you and your loved one’s peace of mind.

In this post, I will go over final expense basics, the types of coverage, and how much it will cost.

Related: Best final expense companies

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Final Expense Insurance Costs by Age

Final Expense Insurance Basics

Final expense is a type of coverage intended to help survivors cover the costs related to the end of one’s life. Expenses such as medical bills, burial, cremation, or funeral expenses are some of the reasons people purchase these policies.

The face amount ranges from $5,000 to $50,000, and the applicant ages are 50- to 85-years-old.

  • Final expense is permanent coverage: Unlike term life, which expires after a certain period, final expense policies last for your entire lifetime. You get the peace of mind that your policy will not be terminated as long as you pay the premiums.
  • Your policy has a cash value: Since final expense is also whole life, each time you pay your premium payment, a portion goes to cover the cost of insurance (COI), and the remainder goes to your cash value account, which grows on a tax-deferred basis. You can use this money if you surrender your policy (cancel) or take out a loan.
  • Your premium amount will not increase: Your monthly premiums remain level (same) throughout your policy’s duration. This means, even if you bought your policy in your early fifties, you would not pay more in your seventies regardless of your health condition.
  • There is no required exam: This is another huge advantage. You will not undergo an exam as part of the underwriting process. Instead, you can expect a phone interview and third-party database searches such as MIB, MVR, or prescription history.
  • Simplified issue: Final expense policies have a few health questions on the application for which you need to answer yes or no to. Most carriers have between 5 and 10 questions on the form, looking back two to five years regarding health conditions.
  • Fast approval: Since there is no exam and the underwriting process is simplified, most final expense applications can be processed in less than a week and sometimes faster.

What Types of Final Expense Insurance Are Available?

Not all final expense policies are created equal. There are no medical tests to undergo or lengthy application forms to fill out. However, your current and past health history, along with your age, will dictate the kind of policy you can get accepted for and the rates you will pay.

Moreover, depending on the company you pick, you can expect questions related to your health conditions ranging from one to five years regarding diagnosis and treatment. For instance, the first company will ask if you had cancer in the last three years, while a second company will ask if you had it in the past five years.

There are three types of final expense insurance:

  • Level death benefit: These plans are reserved for those in good health without significant health history (such as heart attack, cancer, diabetes, etc.). Level death benefit means that there is no waiting period for which your beneficiary can receive the full death benefit amount. In other words, whether you pass away two days or twenty years after buying the policy, your heirs would acquire 100% of the death benefit amount.
  • Graded death benefit: Those who have some unfavorable health history can still obtain life insurance with a catch—a graded death benefit. This means, since you aren’t in good health and pose a higher risk, the insurance carrier must modify the death benefit amount by how long you’ll live. Instead of paying the full death benefit, they split it into three steps: If you die during the first year, the carrier will pay 40% of the amount; in the second year, they will pay 75%; and they will pay 100% of the death benefit in year three and after.
  • Modified death benefit: Also called guaranteed acceptance life policies. There are no health questions you need to answer and absolutely no underwriting process whatsoever. Your coverage is guaranteed. It’s reserved for those with a challenging health history who can’t qualify for regular life insurance. A guaranteed issue policy must be your last resort approach because there is also a two-year waiting period on these policies, and they are more expensive than the first two. Hence, if you die during the first two years, your beneficiaries will only collect an amount equal to your total paid premiums plus 10% interest.
final expense infographic

Final Expense Life Insurance Monthly Costs by Age

Below, I have compiled the prices based on age and the death benefit amount. Note that the prices below are for level benefit plans, which means for those in good health who don’t smoke.

Male Ages 50–59

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 50$16.18$29.16$42.13$68.09
 51$16.75$30.30$43.85$70.96
 52$17.16$31.12$45.08$73.00
 53$17.70$32.20$46.70$75.69
 54$18.41$33.61$48.81$79.21
 55$19.15$35.09$51.04$82.93
 56$19.83$36.45$53.08$86.33
 57$20.55$37.91$55.26$89.96
 58$21.24$39.27$57.30$93.36
 59$22.01$40.82$59.62$97.23

Female Ages 50–59

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 50$13.94$24.67$35.40$56.87
 51$14.33$25.45$36.58$58.83
 52$14.54$25.88$37.22$59.90
 53$14.91$26.62$38.33$61.74
 54$15.33$27.47$39.60$63.86
 55$15.80$28.40$41.00$66.19
 56$16.24$29.27$42.31$68.37
 57$16.63$30.06$43.48$70.33
 58$17.02$30.83$44.64$72.27
 59$17.45$31.70$45.95$74.45

Male Ages 60–69

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 60$22.98$42.76$62.53$102.08
 61$24.29$45.38$66.47$108.65
 62$25.55$47.90$70.25$114.94
 63$26.86$50.52$74.17$121.49
 64$28.17$53.14$78.11$128.05
 65$29.48$55.76$82.04$134.59
 66$31.27$59.35$87.42$143.56
 67$33.07$62.93$92.80$152.52
 68$34.87$66.53$98.19$161.51
 69$36.66$70.11$103.57$170.48

Female Ages 60–69

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 60$18.04$32.87$47.70$77.36
 61$18.86$34.51$50.17$81.48
 62$19.06$36.06$52.49$85.35
 63$20.46$37.72$54.98$89.49
 64$21.28$39.36$57.45$93.61
 65$22.11$41.01$59.91$97.72
 66$23.32$43.44$63.56$103.80
 67$24.53$45.86$67.19$109.85
 68$25.75$48.29$70.84$115.92
 69$27.01$50.81$74.61$122.22

Male Ages 70–79

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 70$38.45$73.70$108.95$179.45
 71$40.78$78.36$115.93$191.08
 72$43.06$82.92$122.78$202.50
 73$45.61$88.01$130.42$215.22
 74$48.18$93.16$138.13$228.08
 75$51.37$99.53$147.69$244.02
 76$55.04$106.87$158.70$262.37
 77$58.42$113.64$168.86$279.30
 78$61.53$119.86$178.18$294.83
 79$64.72$126.23$187.74$310.77

Female Ages 70–79

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 70$28.22$53.24$78.26$128.29
 71$29.92$56.63$83.34$136.77
 72$31.66$60.12$88.58$145.49
 73$33.57$63.93$94.29$155.02
 74$35.49$67.78$100.07$164.65
 75$37.81$72.41$107.01$176.22
 76$40.73$78.25$115.77$190.82
 77$43.36$83.51$123.66$203.97
 78$45.82$88.44$131.06$216.29
 79$48.31$93.41$138.52$228.73

Male Ages 80–85

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 80$67.93$132.65$197.38$326.83
 81$73.10$143.00$212.89$352.68
 82$78.37$153.54$228.71$379.05
 83$83.31$163.41$243.52$403.73
 84$88.24$173.28$258.32$428.40
 85$93.18$183.15$273.13$453.08

Female Ages 80–85

 AGE$5,000$10,000$15,000$25,000
 80$50.82$241.28$146.05$241.28
 81$54.71$106.21$157.72$260.73
 82$58.58$113.96$169.33$280.08
 83$62.26$121.31$180.36$298.46
 84$65.88$128.55$191.23$316.57
 85$69.55$135.90$202.25$334.95

*All rates quoted on this page are for a super-preferred healthy individual who does not use tobacco. Monthly rates are updated as of May 2019 and are subject to underwriting approval.*

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