Final expense insurance is typically a small whole life insurance policy that’s meant to pay for a funeral and other final costs, such as small debt. It’s sometimes referred to as funeral or burial insurance.

Final expense policies are usually "guaranteed acceptance," meaning you can't be turned down and you don't have to take a life insurance medical exam.

The policy amounts available will vary by company. For example, State Farm's final expense insurance maxes out at $10,000.

Like other whole life insurance policies, some final expense policies can build up cash value, and you can withdraw money from the cash value.

The basics of final expense life insurance

What does final expense insurance cost?

Final expense insurance quotes will vary based on your age, the policy amount and the company.

Here's a look at average prices for a $5,000 whole life policy with no medical exam that might be used as final expense insurance.

Sex and age Average annual cost for a $5,000 final expense insurance policy
Male age 50 $277
Male age 55 $335
Male age 60 $381
Male age 65 $489
Male age 70 $595
Female age 50 $211
Female age 55 $255
Female age 60 $297
Female age 65 $365
Female age 70 $365
See methodology below

Why do I need final expense insurance?

Final expense insurance is good for people who want to ensure that there will be money to pay for a funeral and other last bills. If you already have savings that can be used for these expenses, or other life insurance, you may not need final expense insurance.

Can you be too old to buy final expense insurance?

Yes, policies will usually have a “maximum issue age,” such as 80. The maximum age varies by company and/or state.

What if I die shortly after I buy a final expense policy?

Many final expense policies have graded death benefits. That means they don’t pay out the full death benefit if you die within the first few years of owning the policy. Instead, they might pay your beneficiaries only what you paid in premiums. Make sure you know how many years you need to own the policy before it will pay out the full death benefit.

What is the best final expense insurance company?

The best final expense insurance company will have the policy amount you want, at a competitive price, and a good financial strength rating from an agency such as A.M. Best or Standard & Poor’s. Insurers usually post their financial strength ratings on their websites.

Here are some sellers of final expense policies.

Aetna final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $3,000 to $35,000 (maximum depends on age at the time of purchase).
  • Issue ages: 45 to 89.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A (Excellent).

American General final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $5,000 to $25,000.
  • Issue ages: 50 to 80.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A (Excellent).

Fidelity Life final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $5,000 to $35,000.
  • Issue ages: 50 to 85.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A- (Excellent).

Gerber final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $5,000 to $25,000.
  • Issue ages: 50 to 80.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A (Excellent).

John Hancock final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $2,000 to $20,000.
  • Issue ages: 60 to 80.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior).

Liberty Bankers final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $1,000 to $20,000.
  • Issue ages: 40 to 80.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: B++ (Good).

Mutual of Omaha final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amounts: $2,000 to $25,000 ($5,000 to $25,000 in Washington)
  • Issue ages: 45 to 85 (50 to 75 in New York).
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior).

Phoenix Life final expense life insurance (now named Nassau Life Insurance)

  • Coverage amounts: $10,000 to $100,000 (maximum varies by age range).
  • Issue ages: 30 to 80.
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: B (Fair).

State Farm final expense life insurance

  • Coverage amount: $10,000 only.
  • Issue ages: 50 to 80 (50 to 75 in New York).
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A++ (Superior)

Rates methodology: We average the three cheapest rates found for final expense insurance. Rates are for non-smoking men and women of average height and weight, in very good health. Averages shown are for policies that don't require a medical exam. Your own rates will be different.