How to Find Affordable Burial Insurance for Those With Kidney Disease

Kidney disease, which is also commonly referred to as chronic kidney disease, is a recurring and lifelong condition that can make finding affordable burial insurance a difficult task. Insurance companies do take into account that there are varying degrees of kidney disease severity, and will assign policies and premiums based on whether individuals are classified as non-renal failure or renal failure applicants. In any case, you can still find a reasonably priced burial insurance policy that you can be satisfied with, and be assured that your loved ones will get the financial relief they deserve when you pass away.

Why Should I Choose Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance is a low-cost life insurance policy that offers a fair death benefit and lasts for the duration of the policyholder’s lifetime. Costs vary between individuals due to various factors such as age and health but are more inexpensive in general due to its death benefit being lower in comparison to other types of life insurance policies. The death benefit can be anywhere between $2,000 and $50,000 (though most typically have a maximum death benefit of $25,000). The amount you are able to get depends on your health circumstances and the insurer you purchase the policy from. While this death benefit amount is not at the same level as that of a standard life insurance policy, this is still enough to serve as a significant source of relief for those who may be dealing with financial hardships.

Burial insurance also has the quality of being highly inclusive, meaning that regardless of your life circumstances, there is a policy out there for you. Many even allow enrollment up until the age of 80, which is uncommon in the majority of other life insurance policies on the market.

The death benefit is frequently purchased for the sake of covering funeral expenses (hence why it is also known as funeral insurance and final expense insurance). This allows your loved ones to fulfill your final wishes without having to make any major financial sacrifices. However, the death benefit is not required to be used in any particular way. Your beneficiaries can spend it in any way they deem appropriate. This can include covering funeral costs, but they also have the liberty of using it for personal expenses (e.g. loans, living expenses, or recreational activities and vacations). The death benefit is also untaxed, so what you sign up for is what they get.

There is no medical exam, either. At most, you will simply have to answer a series of mostly yes-or-no questions regarding your past and present medical conditions. You will also be asked about your family medical history, as well as hobbies and lifestyle choices. This is why burial insurance is one of the quickest insurance policies you can sign up for – you don’t have to go anywhere, and the application process can be completed with one single phone call.

How Does Kidney Disease Affect My Premiums?

No matter what insurance company you get your policy from, you will be asked about kidney disease in one way or another. They have multiple ways of asking about your history of kidney disease, and they also refer to it by more than one name. Some companies also refer to it as chronic kidney disease.

Questions about kidney disease may be structured in the following ways:

  • Directly asking about any diagnoses, treatments, or referrals for treatments for kidney disease
  • Asking about whether you’ve had any kidney transplants, or are in need of a kidney transplant

Despite the non-invasive nature of the medical underwriting process, the insurance company has a way of confirming the veracity of your claims by checking your prescription history.

Your insurer will know that you have or have had kidney disease when they come across one of the following prescription medications:

  • Aranesp
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium-acetate
  • Levocarnitine
  • Phoslo
  • Renagel
  • Zemplar

These are not the only prescriptions used for treating kidney disease, but they are some of the more common ones.

If you intentionally mislead the insurer during the medical underwriting process, you will be denied from obtaining the policy.

Why Are Insurers Concerned With Kidney Disease?

Insurers are concerned with kidney disease because of the inherent insurability risk it poses. An insurance company cannot just disburse tens of thousands of dollars while getting nothing in return. They are able to maintain their businesses and provide death benefits because they make up for the disbursements with premium payments.

Kidney disease is terminal, and will typically lead to a shorter than average life expectancy. From the insurance company’s perspective, this amounts to years of premium payments an individual will not be able to make. They cannot justify charging a healthy individual and one with chronic kidney disease the same amount in premiums. Doing this would cause the company to lose money. So to compensate, they increase the rates for those who have kidney disease. Or if the individual’s condition has progressed into the final stages, they reject the individual from getting the policy altogether.

However, insurers understand that kidney disease is progressive and that not every individual with kidney disease carries the same level of insurability risk. This is why they divide applicants into non-renal failure and renal failure categories.

When Does Kidney Disease Pose The Greatest Insurability Risk?

There are five stages of kidney disease, and the further you are into these stages, the harder it will be to find an affordable burial insurance policy.

Kidney disease stages are designated according to your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which shows how well your kidneys are working to remove waste from the blood. The GFR gets lower as the condition increases in severity.

Here are the stages and the corresponding GFRs:

  • Stage one – GFR is at or greater than 90
  • Stage two – GFR is between 60 and 89
  • Stage three – GFR is between 30 and 59
  • Stage four – GFR is between 15 and 29 
  • Stage five – GFR is 14 or lower

Stage five is the deadliest, and it is known as renal failure. At this point, you are looking at kidney replacements and dialysis treatments – and perhaps facing imminent death. From the insurance company’s perspective, knowing which of the stages the individual is in helps determine how much to charge in premiums, whether a waiting period will be in place, or if the applicant will be able to get a policy to begin with.

How Will Having Kidney Disease Affect My Burial Insurance Policy?

This depends on the severity of your condition. As previously mentioned before, a company may reject your application. But you are more likely to have to pay higher rates and endure a waiting period.

A waiting period is a time when your burial insurance policy will not disburse a death benefit. Despite the coverage not going into effect, you will still have to pay premiums during this time. In the majority of cases, this has a duration of 24 months. Your policy will then become active once this 24-month waiting period passes.

A waiting period does not always mean that your loved ones will receive nothing at all if you pass away before it is over. Some companies offer a graded death benefit in which your loved ones will receive a percentage of the death benefit. This could be something like your loved ones getting 40% of the death benefit amount if you pass away during the first year, and up to 80% if you pass away during the second year of the waiting period.

If your condition has yet to progress to renal failure, it is possible for you to obtain a policy that is active right away. You will be able to do this with a simplified issue burial insurance policy, where you will answer medical questions as part of the application process. Once the insurer sees that you’re not in the deadly stages of kidney disease, you have a greater chance of getting a policy without a waiting period. 

If you apply for a simplified issue burial insurance policy, and you answer “yes” to a question involving the words “renal failure”, “end-stage kidney disease”, or “kidney transplant” during the medical underwriting process, you will not be able to find a policy without a two-year waiting period.

If you are in the latter stages of kidney disease, it may be better to get a guaranteed issue burial insurance policy. Here, you will not be required to provide any medical information at all, and the policy will be yours immediately. However, these policies tend to have waiting periods and higher monthly premium costs.

In any instance, you will have to pay higher premiums. In extreme cases, this can be up to 80% more per month compared to an individual without kidney disease. However, the most common rates for those with kidney disease are 30% to 60% higher.

What Is The Best Approach?

The best approach is to do what’s best for your situation at the present moment. Age is one of the biggest factors in how expensive your burial insurance policy will be, and it never gets cheaper with time. Many individuals wait until the last moment, which happens to be when options dwindle and premium rates increase substantially.

You are more insurable now than you will be at any point in the future. And given how kidney disease only becomes more problematic as the years go by, now is the absolute best time to begin comparing burial insurance policies.

This is also an opportunity to make better lifestyle choices. A combination of multiple risk factors can make your costs go up exponentially. If you are overweight, you can secure better rates after making healthier lifestyle choices, such as a consistent diet and exercise regimen. If you are a smoker, you can drastically reduce costs by ceasing tobacco usage. These changes can potentially prevent you from having to spend thousands of extra dollars per year in premiums, and afford you a life with higher quality and longevity.

What Can I Do To Find The Most Affordable Burial Insurance Rates?

One way to do this is to go online and compare the rates of various insurance providers, but these sample quotes found on the internet can misrepresent what your actual costs may be. There are multiple factors to take into account besides your chronic kidney disease. When it comes to insuring you, a company will assess every relevant detail. This can lead to spending hours finding sample quotes and making comparisons. The process can become even longer if you take the time to call different insurance companies. It can become overwhelming, and interfere with your day-to-day life as you delve deeper into your options.

Luckily, there are individuals out there who can help you right now at this very moment. When you contact a company such as Senior Life Services, you are getting the help of trusted professionals who compare insurance policies on a daily basis. Senior Life Services has contracts with more than 15 different insurance companies and has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+. They will take all the relevant details about you and your health situation, and will come up with the most affordable burial insurance policy you can get as an individual with chronic kidney disease. These quotes are instant and highly accurate, which is a testament to the value of this service. When you’re ready to get burial insurance, this is the best way to start.

Don’t Let Kidney Disease Keep You From Providing For Your Loved Ones – Call Us Today

At Senior Life Services, we are here to ensure that you’ll be able to give your loved ones the financial relief they deserve at a price you can afford. We will find you an affordable burial insurance policy because we believe you should not have to be penalized for a condition that is outside of your control. Call us today at 800-548-3249 to learn more!


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