Burial insurance allows you to make sure your family has money for the kind of funeral you want.

Burial insurance is a term that usually refers to a whole life insurance policy that's meant to cover funeral and burial costs. It's generally purchased with a death benefit in the range of $5,000 to $25,000. Burial insurance is also referred to as "final expense life insurance," "end of life insurance" and "funeral insurance."

More: Whole life insurance: How it works and rates

How much does burial insurance cost?

Whole life insurance rates for men, annual costs

Gender and age $5,000 policy $10,000 policy $20,000 policy
Male, 50

$182

$327

$617

Male, 55

$215

$399

$761

Male, 60

$260

$489

$941

Male, 65

$329

$628

$1,220

Male, 70

$428

$826

$1,622

Male. 75

$574

$1,118

$2,206

 

Whole life insurance rates for women, annual costs

Gender and age $5,000 policy $10,000 policy $20,000 policy
Female, 50

$158

$275

$508

Female, 55

$181

$323

$603

Female, 60

$211

$386

$728

Female, 65

$257

$480

$916

Female, 70

$321

$604

$1,169

Female, 75

$436

$830

$1,616

Source: EverQuote research. We average the three cheapest rates found for whole life insurance. Rates are for men and women of average height and weight, in very good health. Rates shown are for policies that don't require a medical exam. Your own rates will be different.

Should you buy burial insurance?

Funerals can be expensive and costs add up quickly. The table below compares the national median costs of a burial versus cremation. Both costs include a viewing, but do not include other costs such as monuments or markers, flowers or an obituary. Here's a funeral costs and pricing checklist from the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Cost of burial vs. cremation

 

The benefits of burial insurance can include:

  • The death benefit is guaranteed as long as premiums are paid
  • You can generally choose among monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual premium payments

Some policies offer an "accelerated death benefit" in case you're diagnosed with a terminal illness. This allows you to use some of the death benefit to pay for medical expenses or other needs. Using it reduces the payout that your beneficiaries receive.

More: Accelerated death benefits

While the amount of the death benefit you select is paid to your beneficiary, they are not required to use it to cover funeral costs. Your beneficiary might use the money to pay down outstanding mortgages, debts or other expenses.

If your family would have greater financial need than funeral funds, you might need more than burial insurance. For example, term life insurance can cover the amount and years of a mortgage or other debts. You could supplement a term life policy with burial insurance to cover both needs.

More: Choosing a life insurance beneficiary

Do you have to take a life insurance medical exam?

Many burial insurance policies don't require a life insurance medical exam. Some offer guaranteed acceptance, meaning you can't be turned down, but you'll pay more for the convenience.

What is "pre-need" insurance?

Pre-need insurance is another option for paying for a funeral. It funds specific funeral arrangements that you pick out. You lock in prices at the time of the arrangement and the life insurance payout goes directly to the funeral home. You typically pick everything the policy will pay for:

  • Funeral home
  • Type of service
  • Casket or cremation
  • Flowers
  • Headstone
  • Burial plot
  • The cost for digging and filling the grave