The short answer is, yes, even a terminally ill person can get burial insurance. In fact, burial insurance is geared towards the terminally ill who cannot get coverage from a typical life insurance plan—it is insurance for the uninsurable.
Terminal Illnesses and Life Insurance
There are a variety of terminal illnesses that would automatically disqualify you from your traditional life insurance policy. Terminal illness is defined as a disease that is expected to end a person’s life within 12-24 months due to having no cure or progressing to the point where a cure would not work.
These include (but are not limited to):
- Advanced cancer
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- HIV/ AIDS
- End-stage renal failure
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Lung disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
These conditions are devastating to individuals and their families. When a terminal situation like this appears, you are unprepared and scared. As you figure out your next steps, you will likely want to plan your will and how your loved ones will adjust once you are gone. It’s not something anyone wants to consider, but taking care of your family and friends is a noble and worthy consideration.
Funerals are culturally important for a reason—they remember your legacy and provide a sense of closure, as much as possible for such a difficult situation. The question is, then, how can you afford it? With medical bills and other costs, it may be impossible to set aside the necessary funds for a funeral. With service and burial costs typically between $4,000 and up to $10,000, you will not want to leave it financially unplanned.
Why Burial Insurance Policies Are Your Best Option
Burial insurance is fast, easy, and available even to those with a terminal illness. And, in a situation like this, that’s exactly what you need and deserve.
Intended to cover your funeral costs and other small final expenses, burial insurance provides a payout (death benefit) when the policyholder passes away. You will choose a beneficiary to receive this money, who will then apply the funds as you intended.
Because these policies are so simple and incredibly easy to qualify for, it is by far the best life insurance option for the terminally ill. Now, to make sure you understand the ins and outs of this policy, let’s discuss the qualification process and cost of the different types of burial insurance.
Simplified Issue Burial Insurance
When you sign up for life insurance, you must undergo a process known as medical underwriting. For a policy such as whole or term life, you will have to take a full doctoral examination. This is a general checkup and questionnaire regarding your current and health history. If you have any serious concerns (i.e., a terminal illness), you will automatically be disqualified from the plan.
This, of course, is not a realistic option for terminally ill individuals. We say all of this, then, so that you can better understand simplified issue burial insurance. Unlike typical life insurance policies, simplified issue greatly reduces the medical underwriting process. Rather than a full medical examination, you will be asked simple “yes” or “no” questions on a quick and easy form. With Senior Life Services, these questions include:
- Have you ever been diagnosed, treated, tested positive for, or been given medical advice by a member of the medical profession for:
- Congestive heart failure?
- AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, or HIV?
- Lou Gehrig’s disease?
- Within the past 12 months, have you been advised to use, or have you used, oxygen equipment to assist with breathing (excluding use for sleep apnea)?
- Are you using a wheelchair or electric scooter due to an ongoing diagnosed illness, medical condition, or disease?
- Are you a resident in, or have you been advised to move into, a nursing home or skilled nursing facility?
So, as you may have already determined, this type of burial insurance is not available to everyone with a terminal illness. Don’t fret, however—there is another option.
Guaranteed Issue Burial Insurance
Guaranteed issue, unlike simplified issue, has a list of benefits that directly and positively impact terminally ill individuals:
- The premium never goes up
- The benefit never goes down
- Coverage does not expire as long as premiums are paid
- No medical exam
- No health questions
Even with a terminal illness, then, you can receive excellent coverage. Some insurance companies also offer riders to boost your insurance policy if you so choose. These include:
- Accelerated Death Benefit — In the event of a terminal illness, policyholders can use the death benefit to cover medical costs in lieu of a payout after death
- Accidental Death — Doubles the payout if death is caused by accident
- Long-term care — If you require long-term care and your health insurer won’t pay for it, this rider will cover the cost.
Cost of Burial Insurance for the Terminally Ill
Costs for burial insurance for the terminally ill are based on the type of policy you purchase, your age at purchase, and your gender. Because guaranteed issue policies are meant for people with serious health concerns, there is a level of “assumed risk” that makes your premium higher than a simplified issue policy.
Men also pay more than women. Because women, on average, live longer than men, men are charged more because there is a higher chance that they will pass away without paying as many premiums.
Even with a terminal illness, age will be a large determining factor in the cost of your burial insurance policy. The older you are, the more your premium will cost. Remember, however, that once you’re signed up, your premium cannot and will not increase.
Find the Insurance You Need—Call Senior Life Services
We know your concerns about finding life insurance, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one. Terminal illness makes things far more complicated than you can handle on your own, and finding the right policy is the last thing you should concern yourself with. Let us do the work instead. To get started, call Senior Life Services at 800-548-3249.