If you are searching for a burial insurance policy, you may be discouraged to find many policies have a standard waiting period between when you acquire insurance and when the benefit will be paid. Typically, this is a 24-month window in which premiums must be paid before your beneficiaries can access your benefit. In order to support your loved ones, you may find yourself in search of a burial insurance policy that offers protection without a waiting period. This means that once you get coverage, the full death benefit will be paid at any point starting on day one.
These plans do exist, but you may be confused or overwhelmed trying to find them. It can be difficult navigating different types of insurance and the waiting periods they require. It is absolutely possible to find an insurance policy without any waiting period. These types of policies will pay the full amount of the death benefit to your beneficiary even if you have only made one payment. The important question is, do you qualify for this type of policy?
The good news is that most individuals seeking burial insurance with immediate coverage will qualify, but the primary factor when determining eligibility is your current state of health. The easiest way to make sure you will be accepted with your specific health conditions is to work with an agency like Senior Life Services. We are able to evaluate your needs, compare options, and connect you with the insurance provider best suited for you. Our access to multiple insurance providers is a great resource, and we strive to serve our customers with a personal and professional experience. Let’s continue to examine the types of burial insurance available.
Is There a Waiting Period?
When searching for burial insurance, you will certainly come across the term “partial waiting period,” also known as graded coverage. This means that once you acquire insurance, a portion of your death benefit will be paid if you pass away before the 24-month waiting period. The longer you live, the greater that amount will be. Your beneficiary would receive up to 40% of the total death benefit within the first year. Up to 80% of the benefit would be paid within the second year. After 24 months, the full amount is available, just like a standard insurance policy.
You may only qualify for insurance with a partial waiting period if you have certain health conditions. These conditions include congestive heart failure, amputations due to diabetes, cancer within the last 24 months, and treatment for substance abuse within the last 24 months. If this is the best you can get, it is still worth purchasing as it leaves your loved ones with some financial relief when arrangements must be made.
Do I Need a Medical Exam to Qualify?
As you may know, burial insurance is available without a medical exam. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer questions about your health. There is no way around this, and anyone who tries to tell you differently is almost certainly trying to scam you. Remember that Guaranteed Issue life insurance policies, which accept you without an exam OR a medical questionnaire, will always require a 24 month waiting period.
Depending on how you answer these health-related questions, your insurance provider will either decline coverage or provide coverage. If you are concerned about answering health-related questions, you will want to look for a questionnaire that doesn’t address your condition, if at all possible. One insurance provider may ask about an issue you have experienced, and another provider may not. Once you find a provider, they will likely charge a much higher premium for graded or immediate coverage. This is another reason it’s so important to shop around for different insurance providers.
There are certain conditions that will require an unavoidable full waiting period. No matter the provider or questionnaire, be prepared to wait an entire 24 months before your benefit is accessible if any of the following apply:
- AIDS or HIV
- Current cancer patient
- Terminal illness with a life expectancy of 24 months or less
- On hospice care
- On dialysis
- In the hospital or on hospice care
- In a nursing home or facility
- Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia
- In need of an organ transplant
- Heart attack or stroke within the last 12 months
- Received heart or circulatory surgery within the last 12 months
- Had insulin shock or diabetic coma within the last 24 months
These issues are considered high risk and will likely raise your premium prices in addition to requiring a full waiting period. Unfortunately, it’s too risky for an insurer to provide immediate or partial coverage with these issues. Remember that immediate coverage requires the insurance company to pay the entire death benefit from the first day of coverage. This means that with only a few hundred dollars worth of premium payments, they would have to pay tens of thousands in benefits. They simply would not be able to remain in business if they regularly took on such a massive amount of risk.
Now let’s say you have some health conditions, but none of them land on the lists requiring full or partial waiting periods. You’ve found an insurance provider who isn’t particularly interested in whatever issues you have, but your medical records show that you have multiple lower-risk conditions. Keep in mind that certain cumulative combinations of lower-risk conditions could keep you from accessing immediate insurance coverage.
You may be surprised that burial insurance does require medical information when they advertise that no exam is required. But “no exam” really means just that. Some medical information must be provided to accurately assess risk. The insurer would not stay in business taking on multiple high-risk policyholders. But by avoiding the medical exam, you can limit the information you provide. If you have health problems of any kind, it is to your benefit to avoid a medical exam when determining eligibility.
In your search for insurance, you may be tempted to examine guaranteed issue policies because they advertise no medical questioning whatsoever. Please remember that ALL guaranteed issue policies will have a 24 month waiting period no matter how the premiums are priced. There is simply no way around this. Everyone who applies for this kind of policy will be accepted, so they must establish a waiting period for their own protection.
This information may seem discouraging but do not worry. Most people in need of immediate burial insurance coverage can secure a policy. Yes, there are many conditions and requirements for this coverage. But some companies may have more lax underwriting or make certain allowances. You may have more access to coverage than you think. There are many variables to consider, and you are not alone. The agents at Senior Life Services are friendly, knowledgeable, and here to assist you.
Need Insurance? We Can Help!
As you shop for burial insurance, remember that there is no greater advantage than a helpful insurance agent. We help seniors find the policies they need every day. We help people find insurance with no waiting period to give them peace of mind during a time of difficult planning. We have access to over 15 different insurance providers and can compare your options across all of them.
At the end of the day, burial insurance is for the loved ones we leave behind. We want to offer some relief from the stress and financial burden we leave when we pass. We want to give them this tool to carry out our final wishes, no matter how big or small the policy. At Senior Life Services, this is what we do. Let us assist you with a free consultation and show you what options are available.