Life Insurance

Final Expense Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

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Note: Ethos does not offer final expense-specific life insurance, although our term life plans or whole life plans for seniors ages 66-85 can be used for these costs. This information is shared to help our customers make an informed decision about their life insurance needs.

Funerals, burials, and cremations can be expensive. In 2021, the median cost of a funeral with a burial was $7,848. The median price for a funeral with cremation was only slightly less, costing roughly $6,971.

While many people rely on personal savings to cover end-of-life expenses, others choose to purchase final expense insurance. Taking out an insurance policy can be a good option if you want to help your loved ones pay for your final wishes.

Although Ethos doesn't sell insurance specifically for final expenses, our term and whole life purposes are an excellent alternative to leave funds available for a memorial service. Our whole life policies offer guaranteed approval, making them a great option for people ages 66-85 who want to have a burial plan in place.

How does Ethos work?
Learn more about our quick and easy application process and how to pick the best policy for your family.

What is final expense insurance?

Final expense insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. When you pass away, your beneficiary receives a death benefit to pay for a funeral, cremation services, final medical bills, and unpaid debts, like a mortgage. 

Although final expense life insurance is generally meant to cover end-of-life costs, the money can be used for any purpose, and it’s tax-free. You also have the option to designate a funeral home as your beneficiary, so they receive the payment directly.

One of the biggest benefits of final expense life insurance is that coverage is guaranteed and there is no medical exam required (just a few basic health questions). Unlike term life or whole life insurance, everyone who applies for final expense insurance gets approved.

Another advantage is that final expense policies build cash value. Once your cash value reaches a certain amount, you have the option to borrow a portion of the money, similar to a personal loan. If you don’t repay the money, it will be taken out of your death benefit. 

Final expense insurance can be a good option for seniors or people whose health makes it difficult to get approved for term life insurance. However, final expense insurance provides a limited amount of coverage compared to other types of life insurance.

How much is final expense life insurance?

Final expense life insurance premiums are personalized for each individual and your final expense life insurance cost is based on a few different criteria.

Although final expense insurance does not require a medical exam, your health questionnaire answers will be used to determine the amount of coverage you can get, and your premium. Some of the factors that impact your rate include:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • General health
  • Tobacco use
  • Credit history

Compared to term life insurance, the cost of final expense insurance is more expensive. This is because everyone gets approved, including people who are older and have pre-existing health conditions. The more coverage you get, the higher your premium will be.

Who needs final expense insurance?

Final expense life insurance has a number of benefits. Namely, everyone who applies can get approved, which is not the case with other types of life insurance. 

Final expense insurance is often recommended for seniors who may not qualify for traditional life insurance due to their age. It’s also a good option for people who have pre-existing health conditions or a family medical history that disqualifies them from a standard life insurance policy. 

In addition, final expense insurance is beneficial for people who want to pay for their own funeral. Burial and cremation services can be costly, so final expense insurance provides peace of mind knowing that your loved ones won’t have to use their savings to pay for your end-of-life arrangements.

However, final expense coverage is not the best product for everyone. If you are young and healthy, for example, you can probably qualify for a term life insurance policy, which has more coverage and a lower premium.

You can check out Ethos’ guide to insurance at different ages if you need help deciding what type of life insurance is best for your stage in life.

How to get whole life insurance from Ethos

Getting whole life insurance through Ethos is quick and easy. Coverage is available for seniors between the ages of 66-85, and there’s no medical exam required.

To start applying, just input some basic information about yourself and your health. Based on your responses, you’ll see your estimated rate and the amount of coverage you qualify for (between $1,000-$30,000).

You can purchase a policy online, and your coverage begins instantly after paying the first premium. Your rate never changes, and you are covered for your entire lifetime, if you continue making the monthly payments. Although Ethos doesn't sell insurance specifically for final expenses, all of our policies can be used however your beneficiary chooses. 

If you need help or have questions about purchasing whole life insurance from Ethos, you can reach out to our agents by calling (415) 322-2037 or via email at

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