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Your Comprehensive Final Expense Guide for 2024

Aging man looking in shock at his cell phone

Published: February 15, 2024

Category: Final Expense

Final expense life insurance is a specialized policy coverage designed to cater to the financial obligations associated with end-of-life expenses.


Its fundamental purpose is to provide a financial safety net for loved ones during grief and loss, covering the costs of one’s passing.


Whether you’re contemplating this type of coverage for the first time or seeking to enhance your understanding, our guide is designed to illuminate the benefits, considerations, and practical aspects of final expense life insurance in the evolving landscape of 2024.


Understanding Final Expense Insurance


The primary expenses covered under this policy include funeral and burial services, which can be considerably high. These costs encompass everything from the casket, headstone, and plot to the memorial service.


In addition to funeral expenses, it can cover any outstanding medical bills left behind. This becomes particularly relevant when the insured has undergone intensive medical treatment or long-term care before passing.


Another significant function of this policy is to cover any residual debt that the deceased may leave behind. This could include mortgage payments, personal loans, or credit card debts.


By addressing these debts, the final expense ensures that the financial burden does not fall onto the shoulders of grieving family members.


The policy is an actionable foresight, a conscientious step taken to protect loved ones from the financial stress of end-of-life costs.


It provides a financial cushion, allowing family members to grieve without monetary worries.


With this, the insured can have peace of mind knowing they have provided for these unavoidable expenses.


Who Should Consider Final Expense Insurance


It is primarily targeted towards older adults, typically those in the age group of 50-85 years. Age is a significant factor as end-of-life expenses become a more immediate concern as one ages.


Health status is another crucial factor. Individuals with chronic or severe health conditions, which may make traditional life insurance policies prohibitively expensive or unattainable, may find it to be a more accessible alternative.


It is also suited for those with limited financial resources or who want to prevent depleting their savings or assets to cover end-of-life expenses. Final expense offers a viable solution for individuals who may not have substantial savings or retirement funds to cover these costs.


It is also an excellent option for individuals who do not have a traditional policy or those seeking supplemental coverage. They often replace lost income, and the payout might not be enough to cover both lost revenue and end-of-life expenses.


Consequently, the final expense policy can be an additional layer of protection, ensuring that the financial burden of these expenses does not fall on the loved ones left behind.


It is a practical consideration for older adults, particularly those with health issues, limited finances, or inadequate life coverage.


It offers an affordable and simplified path to financial protection, ensuring the insured and their family peace of mind in the face of life’s ultimate certainty.

Benefits of Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance provides several specific benefits. It provides a straightforward, affordable, and compassionate solution to a challenging issue, reassuring the policyholder and their family. Take a look at the following:


  • Ease of qualification: Unlike the traditional type, which can require rigorous health examinations and extensive medical history reviews, the final expense policy often features a simplified underwriting process. This makes it more accessible to individuals, especially those older or with pre-existing health conditions.
  • Smaller coverage amounts: While traditional life policies typically offer large coverage amounts, the final expense policy focuses on smaller, more manageable coverage amounts explicitly tailored to cover end-of-life expenses. This makes the premiums more affordable for the insured while providing sufficient coverage to meet the intended needs.
  • No burden on loved ones: One of the most significant benefits of final expense policy is the peace of mind it brings. It ensures that the financial responsibilities associated with end-of-life costs do not burden grieving loved ones. The death benefit can cover funeral costs, resolve outstanding debts, and settle any remaining medical bills, relieving family members of these financial burdens during a difficult time.
  • Fixed premiums: For many policies, the premium amount is fixed and does not increase with age or changes in health status. This consistency makes it easier for policyholders to budget their expenses.
  • Cash value accumulation: Some may offer a cash value component, allowing the policy to serve as a modest savings vehicle.

Costs and Affordability

Final expense insurance is comparatively less expensive than most traditional policies due to its lower coverage amounts. However, several factors influence the cost of these policies:


  • Age: Age plays a critical role in determining the premium. The older the applicant, the higher the premium.
  • Gender: Statistically, women live longer than men. Consequently, companies often charge lower premiums for women.
  • Health Status: While the final expense does not require a comprehensive health examination, answering a few health-related questions could result in lower premiums.
  • Smoking Status: Smokers are generally charged higher premiums due to the increased health risks associated with smoking.
  • Policy Type: The cost can also vary based on whether the policy is a “level benefit” (full death benefit paid from day one) or a “modified benefit” (partial payout in the initial years).


In terms of affordability, the lower coverage of the final expense life policy results in more manageable premiums, making it a feasible choice for many. But it’s essential to consider one’s budget realistically.


Individuals on a tight budget might consider policies with guaranteed acceptance, although they come with a higher premium.


Those with more financial flexibility could opt for policies that require a simple health questionnaire, often leading to lower premiums.

Average Cost of Final Expense Insurance

Costs vary widely based on age, gender, health status, and smoking habits. However, on average, individuals can expect to pay between $30 to $70 per month.


A healthy 50-year-old might expect premiums as low as $30 per month, while an 85-year-old with underlying health conditions could pay over $200 monthly.


It’s critical to remember that these are average figures, and actual premiums can vary considerably.


As with any product, it’s wise to shop around and seek professional advice to find a policy that offers the right balance of affordability and coverage to meet your needs.

Coverage Limitations and Exclusions

While final expense policies offer several benefits, it’s crucial to understand their potential limitations and exclusions:


  • Coverage caps: They are designed to cover end-of-life expenses, so the coverage amount is often capped. Most policies offer coverage ranging from $2,000 up to $50,000. This may not be sufficient for those looking to leave a substantial financial legacy or cover sizeable debts.
  • Waiting periods: Some final expense policies come with a waiting period, often two to three years. If the insured passes away during this period, beneficiaries may only receive a refund of the premiums paid rather than the full death benefit.
  • Exclusion of inevitable deaths: Although rare, some policies may not pay out the full benefit if the insured’s death is due to specific circumstances, such as suicide, within the first two years of the policy.
  • Non-guaranteed policies: Policies that aren’t guaranteed issue may exclude applicants based on specific health conditions. Even with simplified underwriting, some applicants may be denied coverage.
  • Higher premiums for health conditions: While easier to qualify, individuals with pre-existing health conditions may face higher premiums on their final expense policy.
  • Lack of cash value: Unlike some whole life insurance policies, many final expense insurance policies do not build cash value over time.


Understanding these limitations and exclusions will help you make an informed decision when considering final expense insurance. It’s essential to read the fine print of any policy before purchasing and consult with a qualified professional for personalized advice.

Comparisons with Other Life Insurance Options

When comparing final expense to other life plan options, it’s essential to assess each based on your specific needs and circumstances:


  • Term Life Insurance: This policy covers a specified “term” of years. The death benefit is paid out if the insured passes away during this period. No benefit is paid if the insured survives beyond the term. It typically offers higher coverage amounts at a lower cost than final expense, making it an appropriate choice for those needing substantial coverage, such as replacing income or paying off a mortgage. However, a final expense policy may be better for those beyond their working years looking for a policy to cover final expenses.
  • Whole Life Insurance: This type of permanent life plan offers a guaranteed death benefit and a cash value component, which can grow over time. While it’s more expensive than term life and final expense, the cash value accumulation and lifelong coverage can be attractive to some. However, if end-of-life expenses are your primary concern and you don’t need the cash value feature, the final expense policy may be more cost-effective.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This is also a form of permanent life type, but it offers more flexibility. Policyholders can adjust their premium payments and death benefit amount over time, and the policy also accrues cash value. However, this flexibility comes with a higher cost and more complexity than the final expense.


Each option serves different needs and priorities, so consider your situation and financial goals before choosing. Always consult with a professional for personalized guidance.

Tips for Choosing a Policy

When selecting a final expense policy, consider the following tips to ensure you choose the right plan for your unique needs:


  • Determine Your Coverage Amount: Estimate your final expenses, including funeral costs, medical bills, and any outstanding debts. This can guide your decision on the coverage amount you need.
  • Examine Policy Terms: Thoroughly review the policy terms. Pay attention to any waiting periods, exclusions, and the presence or absence of a cash value component.
  • Choose a Reputable Provider: Select a provider with a strong reputation for customer service and claims response. Look for companies with high ratings from independent agencies like Pacific Life or Protective.
  • Consider Your Health Status: If you have a pre-existing condition, consider policies with guaranteed acceptance. Bear in mind that these usually come with higher premiums.
  • Policy Premiums: Assess if the policy premiums fit within your budget. Remember, a final expense policy is typically more affordable than other types due to lower coverage amounts.
  • Professional Advice: Consult with a professional before making a decision. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your circumstances.
  • Compare Policies: Don’t settle on the first policy you find. Compare several policies from different providers to ensure you’re getting the best value and coverage.

Get Final Expense Protection Now

Final expense life insurance in 2024 is straightforward and accessible. The key is clear whether you’re new to it or enhancing your understanding. It’s a practical solution to protect loved ones from financial stress during end-of-life expenses.


Understanding its scope, benefits, and costs lets you decide if it fits your financial goals. It’s especially beneficial for older adults or those with health concerns.


The simplicity of qualification, smaller coverage amounts, and relieving loved ones of financial burdens make it an affordable choice.


Explore options, consult professionals, and compare policies for the right balance of affordability and coverage.


With the right plan, final expense insurance guarantees peace of mind, allowing you to focus on what truly matters during life’s transitions.