if you've been denied burial insurance, contact an agent to discuss your options

What Happens If You’re Denied Burial Insurance?

There are very few reasons why you may be denied burial insurance. However, if you are, there are solutions you can pursue to make sure you get the coverage you need.

Defining Burial Insurance Options and Policies

Applying for burial insurance means signing up for a whole life policy that pays a sum of money when you (the policyholder) pass away. This payout, or death benefit, typically ranges anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000, with premiums based on your gender, age, type of policy, and health.

Burial insurance is unique because it does not place nearly as much weight onto one of the primary considerations for most other types of life insurance: your health. There are two different categories of burial insurance that will determine how your health is considered for cost and eligibility—simplified issue and guaranteed issue.

Qualifying for Burial Insurance

A burial policy is the easiest type of life insurance to qualify for. It is specifically targeted towards seniors who want to cover important final expenses, such as funeral costs, who are too old and in poor health to consider a whole or term life policy.

Your eligibility for a burial policy will depend on the type of plan you purchase. For a simplified issue policy, you will be considered through the following:

  • Age: The older you are, the more you will pay for a simplified issue policy. Burial insurance allows for significantly older applicants than other life insurance, accepting individuals typically up to 85 years old, compared to whole life, which typically stops accepting individuals after age 50.
  • Sex: Men and women do not pay the same amounts for their life insurance. Men are considered higher risk and therefore pay more than women. Your gender will not change whether or not you are eligible for coverage, but it may change your personal considerations for whether or not you and/or your spouse can afford coverage.
  • Medical underwriting: This is the biggest distinguishing factor of simplified issue burial insurance. When you apply to any life insurance policy, you will be asked to undergo a routine medical exam. Depending on your health, you would likely not be accepted if you have any serious or pre-existing medical conditions. With a simplified issue plan, you will have to answer a simple questionnaire rather than do an in-person evaluation. You will answer a very small selection of “yes” or “no” questions, and as long as your answer “no” to most or all of them, you will be eligible.

The same eligibility factors are used for a guaranteed issue burial policy—guaranteed issue, however, does not even utilize medical underwriting. In fact, your health will not be taken into consideration whatsoever. You will pay more for a guaranteed issue than a simplified issue policy as a result—but if you are in poor health and cannot qualify for any other life insurance policy, this is an incredible option for you.

Why You Probably Won’t Be Denied Burial Insurance

Burial policies are known for being “insurance for the uninsurable.” It is incredibly unlikely, then, that you will have to worry about being denied coverage. If you are considering a simplified issue policy but are unsure if you will be able to pass the medical underwriting process, here are the questions Senior Life Services asks on our form:

  • Have you been diagnosed, treated, tested positive for, or been given medical advice by a medical professional for: 
    • Congestive heart failure?
    • AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, or HIV?
    • Lou Gehrig’s disease?
  • Within the past 12 months, have you been recommended to use, or have you used, oxygen equipment to assist with breathing?
  • 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?

If you can answer “no” to these questions, you will qualify for a simplified issue policy. Still don’t think you are eligible? Consider a guaranteed issue policy.

Reasons You May Be Denied a Policy

There are many reasons why individuals may fear that they will not qualify for burial insurance. Here are some of the most common questions regarding possible denial and how they affect your enrollment:

  • Can you get burial insurance even if you have cancer? Yes, you can enroll under a guaranteed issue policy. Unlike many other agencies, Senior Life Services asks a few non-disqualifying questions to ensure that you’re getting the best price for your coverage. These questions include:
    • What type of cancer do (or did) you have? 
    • When did you last receive treatment of any kind? 
    • If you don’t currently have cancer, when was the last time you did? 
    • How many times have you been diagnosed with cancer?
  • Can I get a burial policy if I have diabetes? Yes—you may even be able to enroll without a waiting period if you can pass the simplified issue underwriting process.
  • Can people over 80 years old still qualify for burial insurance? Yes, and the money from the payout can be used by your beneficiaries to cover your funeral costs.
  • Can you get burial insurance if you are a smoker? Yes—your rates will be higher than others, but there are many options for you out there nonetheless. And, for some insurance companies, you will have a bit of leeway if you have not smoked within the past 12 months.

What To Do if You’ve Been Denied

Realistically speaking, there is nothing that would disqualify you from a burial insurance policy—the only exceptions are mistakes or complications made in your application or during the duration of your policy.

If your insurance company discovers that there is misinformation on your application, you will likely be denied coverage. However, if this is a simple error that can be easily corrected, you may be able to have them reconsider.

For any reason you are denied, you can:

  • Contact your insurer. You can request more detailed information to see if something can be corrected on either end.
  • Contact your state department of insurance or attorney general. If you are wrongfully denied, they can help you appeal your claim.
  • Contact a lawyer who specializes in insurance law, settlements, and appeals. If you discover that you were wrongfully or illegally denied coverage even though you met qualifications, you may be able to rectify the wrong through the legal system.

We’ll Help Even if You’ve Been Denied Coverage

We believe that everyone deserves access to quality life insurance. Even if you have been denied in the past, we are determined to find you good coverage you can count on. To get started, give us a call at 800-548-3249.


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