Best Florida State Regulated Burial Plans

Written by Jeff Root

In Florida, the department that regulates funeral services is the Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services a part of the Department of Finance.

The board regulates all funeral home and cemetery associations licensing and regulatory compliance.

Florida is very proactive when it comes to regulated burial plans. Their statutes try to cover any eventuality that may arise during a time where the consumer can be distraught or sensitive to manipulation.

The regulated burial plans are carefully laid out in the law and allow for many services and products to be prepaid by the purchaser so that at the time it is needed most it is available.

With Florida’s large senior age population, it is imperative that the laws surrounding an advanced payment of such important event be clear and easily understood.

Their comprehensive statutes cover some of the most common and pervasive criminal and illegitimate practices when it comes to preneed funeral and burial plans.

Many of the major insurers have regulated burial plans that are prepaid or pre-need with an insurance policy that allows for funeral arrangements.

For the best plans, there needs to be some research and background, to make sure you find a reputable provider in your area, with a willingness to insure the right terms and provisions are maintained within the contract.

What is Burial Life Insurance?

In most states, including Florida, burial life insurance is a small face value whole life insurance policy, that is purchased to cover the basic needs of a funeral when the insured dies.

The provisions of such policies vary, as does the face value, for many reasons, such as health issues, income variables and state of living – socio-economic level.

The face values of these types of policies range from $2,000 to $25,000 and can go as high as $50,000.

The prepaid version of this type of life insurance is usually $2,000 to $10,000 with the average being about $7,000, which happens to be the national average for the cost of a funeral in 2018.

Why is Burial Insurance Important?

There are literally hundreds of reasons why someone might choose burial insurance.

It is usually attainable at an advanced age. Has little or no medical component, and sometimes comes with a fairly sizeable payout. Burial insurance is usually there to make sure the most important aspects of a funeral are taken care of.

Besides the planning and execution of the funeral, burial insurance can also provide a sense of security for loved ones, during a stressful time. The emotional component of planning and implementing a funeral can be overwhelming.

There are several types of final expense plans, some insurance based and some second party contract based. Simple life, or simplified life, final expense, burial insurance and prepaid burial insurance.

Burial insurance that is prepaid can be confusing and sometimes problematic. Doing some research will help make planning for the inevitable easier.

Should You Prepay Your Funeral?

This question can be confusing, especially if life insurance is being sought. The term “prepaid” is not exactly right, as far as the state statute in Florida.

The term Preneed is the term used in the rule of law, pertaining to the offering of goods and services at some future time, for the purposes of rendering the disposition of a decedent, either for burial or cremation.

These good and services would be prepaid, according to a trust, letter of credit, or insurance policy. In the case of an insurance policy, it would also need to be a provision of a trust.

What is Included in a Prepaid Burial Service in Florida?

If, in fact, there is a desire to prepay funeral arrangements than a careful examination of the instrument being utilized is called for.

Provisions under Florida law allow for some leeway in options that can be chosen, but there can be varying costs built into the preneed contract. Such options as:

  • Casket
  • Embalming
  • Flowers (varying cost)
  • Viewing room
  • Hearse rental
  • Funeral home religious service

How Much Does It Cost In Florida?

In Florida, the aggregate and single dollar limit on any preneed funeral or burial plan is $12,500.00

These plans generally cost $15.00 – $30.00 per month within the range of $2,000 – $12,500

Many times a simple life, whole life insurance policy can offer the same benefits and can have a preplanned funeral arrangement paid out at the time of death, rather than prepaying the funeral.

Florida Specific Statutes and Regulations for Burial Insurance

In Florida, there are some differences in the law than the national regulations state.

  • A trust, letter of credit, or insurance policy can be used for prepaid funeral goods and services.
  • Funeral homes can provide cremation services
  • Ashes cannot be spread on fresh water, but can be spread on any land in Florida
  • There is a provision for the refund of premiums paid for funeral products and services, if the plan is canceled within a certain period of time, as agreed to in the initial contract.
  • In the case of a funeral home or cemetery association loses it license due to insolvency, than the Pre-need Funeral Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund will step in and honor the contract and get the required funds out to the survivors of the deceased.

What are the Florida State Regulations for Pre-need Funeral Plans?

In Florida, there are some legal ramifications to all natural deaths, that all funeral homes and cemetery associations are required to comply with.

  • Bodies do not have to be embalmed in Florida, but must be either embalmed or refrigerated 24 hours after demise.
  • All preneed contracts must meet the trust requirements and be available to inspection of the terms at all times
  • All preneed contracts must have a cancellation clause. The preneed contract cancellation policy for Florida State requires –
    • For contracts written after October 1, 1993 the first 30 days the contract is 100% refundable. After that time the contract must be refunded 100% if the licensee can not deliver the good or services as written in the terms of the contracted agreement.
    • Before 10/01/1993 the requirements is as follows
      • 1977 – 100% of the contract with an additional 6% of the total that is already funded.
      • 1978 – 1993 – 100% of the total proceeds in the account.
  • All Preneed Funeral Plans can only be sold by a licensed agent, or licensed Funeral Director.
  • Those licensed to sell burial insurance policies must also have a preneed funeral plan seller license or be a licensed funeral director.
  • The limit for all pre-need funeral plans or insurance policies is $12,500.00 and a purchaser can only purchase one plan or policy at that limit.

What are the Tax Implications?

Any plan that is entered into and paid directly to a third party is taxable to the party being paid

In preneed funeral or burial plans, the requisite tax is applied and would be adjusted for any changes in the rate at the time the funds are applied.

The insured or their loved ones might need to pay the difference in the tax rate, at the time the contract services and goods are used, but it should be taken care of in the terms of the contract well before the time of need.

What are the Best Florida State Regulated Burial Plans

In Florida, many regulated plans are insurance based and offer the option to prepay or preplan. Essentially that means you can pay for the funeral or burial before you die, or you can pay into an insurance policy after choosing options for your funeral arrangements.

Simplified whole life allows for this and all the major insurers offer such plans, especially pre-planned funerals, which take into account inflation and variations in service types.

The need in Florida for pre-plan and pre-need plans, which has a large retiree population, is great. Small face value insurance plans are well thought of, in order to take care of the immediate needs of funeral and burial. The regulated plans are as popular as the pre-planned plans. This takes the worry out of the arrangements and helps loved ones during a difficult time.

Florida does enjoy a more relaxed compliance requirement in general and the funeral industry is no exception. While it is careful about the pre-need industry in general, the legislature allows for many types of insurance and funeral plans.

The need to curtail embezzlement and fraud in the funeral industry remains a primary concern for all areas of the industry. But those laws have been in place for some time and enforced across the board, through inspections and audits of the funeral homes and cemetery associations that offer pre-need funeral plans.

People Also Ask 

What is a pre need burial contract?

A Preneed Funeral or Burial Plan is an agreement to provide funeral or burial products and services at some future time, for a payment now. It is usually a trust instrument based on an insurance plan, or an insurance plan prepaid by the insured.

The contract has all the terms and provisions of any contract and provides a means to be prepared in the eventuality of death. This type of plan usually covers the basic needs of a burial, and many times the contracts can be cancelled or provided for at the exact amount that had been paid previously.

What is a prepaid funeral contract?

Although somewhat different than a burial contract the prepaid funeral plan is a regulated plan, that pays in advance for funeral services and products.

In Florida this is a regulations that govern this type of plan are carefully laid out, trying to meet any eventuality that might arise. This is done to combat embezzlement and fraud within the industry.

Is embalming required by law in Florida?

While embalming is not required by law the deceased must be embalmed or refrigerated within 24 hours of demise.

Finding the Best Plan For You

Finding the best burial insurance plan shouldn’t be difficult.  You need burial insurance coverage to protect your loved ones in the event of your death, and that is a comfort we should all be able to afford.

Speaking with an independent life insurance agent who can help you compare the best burial insurance rates from some of the best burial insurance companies on the market is highly recommended.

Give our agents a call today to speak more about your personal situation, and let them find the best burial insurance coverage for you and your family.

Or, get started online today, with our online quoting engine. Get burial insurance quotes from some of the best burial insurance companies in seconds!

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