Burial Insurance With No Medical Exam

Written by Jeff Root

Burial insurance is a form of whole life insurance issued by one of many different life insurance companies.

With a burial insurance policy the amount that your beneficiaries receive, called the death benefit, is going to be much lower than most whole life insurance policies. Traditionally companies offer $25,000 or less for a burial policy.

The reason for this is that the burial insurance is only allowed to be spent on burial costs. Your beneficiaries might be able to use a death benefit from a traditional life insurance policy to pay off a mortgage or put themselves through college but the burial insurance can only be applied to the cost associated with your burial.

Family Can: You Can:
  • Pay for a funeral service without taking on any debt
  • Arrange the service you want ahead of time, compare costs with different funerals, and choose the plan you want with the coverage your family needs to make it happen.

Types of Burial Insurance

There are two main types of burial insurance, simplified issue, and guaranteed issue. Both require no medical exam before receiving coverage.

Simplified Issue 

Simplified issue requires a few extra health related questions in the application process, and as a result, you can be denied coverage depending on your answers to the questions.

Rates for this type of burial insurance are lower than for guaranteed issue policies because there is less risk associated with applicants. This type of burial insurance can take 48 hours or more to receive coverage.

Guaranteed Issue 

This type of burial insurance policy is guaranteed no matter what. No medical exam is required and no health questions are asked. Simply apply, and you will receive coverage usually within less than 24 hours.

Guaranteed issue is more expensive than simplified issue because of the higher risk associated with applicants.

What Types of Health Related Questions are Asked in the Application Process?

For those who elect to apply for simplified burial insurance, the life insurance company will ask a few health related questions in order to assess risk.

The main types of questions a life insurance company will ask on a no medical exam burial insurance application are:

  • Do any health conditions run in your family? If so, what are they, who has them, how long have they had them for, did they die from it?
  • Are you currently taking any medications? If so, what, how long, what for?
  • Are you a smoker? If so, for how long, how many cigarettes a day?
  • Do you have any health related issues? If so, what, how long have you had it for, what is your treatment like, how long has it been being treated?
  • Other health related questions regarding specific diagnoses
  • Other health related questions regarding family history

Who Can Be Denied Simplified Issue Burial Insurance?

Typically, the people who are denied simplified issue burial insurance are those who suffer from the following health complications:

  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Other terminal illnesses

For people who are denied this type of coverage, you are still able to get no medical exam burial insurance in the form of guaranteed issue burial policies.

How Do Burial Insurance Death Benefits Work?

Because of the higher risk associated with some types of burial insurance policies, life insurance companies often set up different death benefit structures called graded death benefits, which allow them to only pay out a portion of the death benefit until the graded period is over.

This is to protect them from having to payout the full death benefit on claims within the first few years for higher risk applicants. Depending on the type of burial insurance policy and company, there are typically 3 main types of death benefit structures:

Level Death Benefits 

With this type of death benefit, the face amount of your policy is paid out immediately after death to your beneficiaries. There is no graded period. This is not offered on many burial insurance policies, but it does exist.

Graded Death Benefits 

Graded death benefits are paid out in portions depending on how long the insured died after becoming insured. Most burial policies have a 2-3 year graded death benefit, in which there is a certain percentage of the death benefit paid out for each year in the graded death period if the insured dies during that year. After this period is over, 100% of the death benefit will be paid out.


Year of Policy Death Benefit Paid Out
0-1 year 25% paid out
1-2 years 50% paid out
2-3 years 75% paid out
3+ years 100% paid out

Modified Death Benefits 

Modified death benefits are a combination of graded death benefits and return of premium. It works the same as the graded death period for graded benefits, but there is also a portion of the premiums paid into the policy that are also returned to the beneficiary.

Once you are out of the graded period, the premiums no longer are returned.


Year of Policy Death Benefit Paid Out
0-1 year 15% death benefit + 100% of premiums
1-2 years 30% death benefit + 100% of premiums
2-3 years 60% death benefit + 100% of premiums
3+ years 100% death benefit

What Does a Burial Insurance Policy Cover?

A burial policy will only cover whatever you can afford. These policies can only be used on your burial.

With burial insurance, you need to take out a policy that is adequate enough to cover your costs for a burial specifically. Most people can take up to $25,000 but planning ahead of time can reveal a more precise estimate of what you want to leave to your beneficiaries.

Consider the following costs:

  • Direct cremation packages between $500 and $3,000. Direct burial packages range between $1,000 and $4,000.
  • Cheaper caskets can cost upwards of $500 but metal or wood casket range in cost from $300 to upwards of $12,000.
  • A burial vault can cost between $500 and $15,000.
  • Funeral home services cost between $500 and $3,000.
  • Grave plots cost between $500 and $10,000.
  • Grave monuments or headstones cost between $500 and $10,000.
  • Urns cost between $100 and $2,500.
  • Burial clothing ranges between $100 and $1,000.
  • Renting time for a clergy member is between $50 and $500.
  • Flowers are between $100 and $1,000.
  • Renting a hearse costs between $100 and $500.
  • Transportation for the casket to the cemetery from the funeral home is between $100 and $500.

How Much is Final Expense Life Insurance?

Final expense life insurance is very similar to burial insurance with those key exception being that you can use the death benefit on things other than the burial itself.

Beneficiaries are restricted with burial insurance policies and can only apply that to things relating to the burial itself whereas if you take out a final expense policy your beneficiaries can use the policy to pay for the burial and whatever money is left over can be used however they see fit. The cost again is going to vary based on age, health, and Company.

What is the Waiting Period?

The waiting period is the graded death benefit that we spoke of earlier. This is the amount of time you have to wait for the death benefit to go into full effect.

How Can You Get Burial Insurance With No Medical Exam?

You can get burial insurance without undergoing a medical exam if you just apply for it. The companies that offer this type of insurance have nothing more than a single page application most of the time and at most, they have a short phone interview. It takes nothing more than a few minutes of your time to complete the application online.

There are plenty of companies out there that offer no medical exam, guaranteed burial insurance. AIG is one such company. They will charge you a flat fee for every $1,000 in coverage you take out, on an annual basis tied directly to your age. So the cost is going to go up given how old you are but can you cannot be turned it down no matter what.

Who is Qualified?

Burial insurance with no medical exam is open to anyone. Quite literally anyone can qualify for companies that offer guaranteed burial insurance.

One of the only stipulations that are typically applied to such policies is age. Most of the time these burial insurance policy they’re only available to people who are 50 years or older. There are a couple of companies that offer it to people as young as 25.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Ask During the Application Process?

Depending on the type of no medical exam burial insurance policy you choose, there may be a few health related questions in the application process.

How Drugs, Alcohol or Medication Can Affect Your Application

If you are taking medication, drugs, or alcohol,  it can impact your application in a few different ways. If you choose to apply for a guaranteed-issue policy without submitting to any medical questions, it won’t impact your application at all. You won’t have to reveal anything on your application but the trade-off is that you’re going to pay a lot more for very little coverage.

If you choose to submit an application where you only reveal limited information in hopes of avoiding the graded death benefit associated with guaranteed-issue policies, alcohol consumption might increase your prices as will drug use because these do decrease your lifespan. The types of medications you take however might bode well for you because they are indicative of your personal attempts to manage certain diseases that you might have.

Applicants who have high blood pressure and are not trying to control it, for example, will be charged more compared to applicants who are actively taking medication and seeing their doctor to try and manage the situation.  The reason for this is that management of different conditions or diseases can extend your lifespan and therefore mitigate the risk you pose financially.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost will vary based on age, health, and company. Below is one sample:

Gender: Male

Age: 62

Health Class: Preferred Plus Non-Smoker

State: California

Company Annual Cost Coverage Amount
Midland National Life Insurance Company $334.00 $20,000
Assurity Life Insurance Company $345.00 $20,000
Cincinnati Life Insurance Company $460.00 $20,000
Transamerica Life Insurance Company $535.00 $20,000
Occidental Life Insurance Company of North Carolina $585.00 $20,000
Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance $640.00 $20,000
Assurity Life Insurance Company $769 $15,000
Mutual of Omaha $789 $15,000
Phoenix Life Insurance $824 $15,000
Assurity Life Insurance Company $521 $10,000
Mutual of Omaha $538 $10,000
Phoenix Life Insurance $565 $10,000
Assurity Life Insurance Company $372 $7,500
Mutual of Omaha $387 $7,500
Assurity Life Insurance Company $273 $5,000
Mutual of Omaha $287 $5,000

Best Life Insurance Companies for Burial Insurance

Company A.M. Best Rating Customer Reviews
Mutual of Omaha A+ 4.1 / 5
Transamerica A 4.2 / 5
Assurity A- 4.1 / 5
Americo A 4.2 / 5
Foresters A+ 4.1 / 5
Sagicor A- 4.0 / 5
United Home Life A- 4.0 / 5
AIG A 4.1 / 5
American Amicable A 4.0 / 5
Phoenix B 4.1 / 5

Finding the Best Coverage 

Affordable burial insurance coverage can be easy to find as long as you take the time to compare prices in order to find the best options.

Also, we strongly recommend working with an independent life insurance agent who can help you compare the various different options available to help you find the best coverage for you and your loved ones.

You can use our online quoting tool to easily compare burial insurance rates from some of the best burial insurance companies on the market. Once you have done this, give our agents a call and we can help ensure that you find the best burial coverage for your situation.

About Burial Insurance Coverage
About Burial Insurance Coverage

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