Should You Get Funeral Insurance?

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Should You Get Funeral Insurance?

Written by Priyanka Correia
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood

Updated June 23, 2021

Should You Get Funeral Insurance?

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Funeral Insurance

It’s not something that anyone wants to think about, but it’s probably something that should be planned ahead of time: your funeral. These days, funerals are very expensive, running into the thousands of dollars. 

Family members are often burdened with covering these sky-high costs, and some even go into some debt as a result. If you want to have some peace of mind knowing that your funeral expenses are taken care of without placing more undue stress on your loved ones, then perhaps it may be worth considering a funeral insurance policy. 

What Is Funeral Insurance?

Funeral insurance is a type of insurance that covers your funeral expenses after you pass away. Your loved ones will receive a lump sum benefit up to a certain amount that can be used to pay for your funeral without having to use their own money or go into debt. 

There are various funeral insurance plans available to choose from, depending on your desires and budget. Different plans will have different rules about how the benefit can be used after you die.  

This type of insurance is more attractive to those who are getting older or do not have adequate savings to accommodate the high costs of a funeral. Even people who are elderly or have a pre-existing medical condition may still qualify for a funeral insurance policy, such as a guaranteed issue policy. There’s a plan for just about everyone. 

What’s Covered Under Funeral Insurance? 

A funeral insurance policy will provide your family with a lump sum of money that can be used to cover any of the following, depending on your exact plan: 

  • Funeral service
  • Wake
  • Casket or urn
  • Cremation or burial
  • Gravestone
  • Flowers 
  • Transportation for family members
  • Newspaper notice

Difference Between Funeral And Life Insurance

A typical life insurance policy pays out a lump sum of money to the policy’s beneficiaries, who can then use part of that money to pay for funeral expenses. So how does a funeral insurance policy differ?

People buy a life insurance policy to ensure that their dependents are financially supported after they die, so they’re not left with major bills to pay and no income to pay them. Beneficiaries are typically paid out a lump sum of money, known as the “death benefit,” part of which can be used to cover funeral expenses. 

A funeral insurance policy is much more specific and provides financial assistance to families to cover end-of-life expenses for the insured after they pass away. Anyone can be named a beneficiary on this type of policy, who will then be designated to use the benefit paid out to take care of funeral expenses. 

Benefits Of Funeral Insurance

Funerals are very expensive in Canada. In fact, the average cost for burial is between $5,000 and $10,000. That’s a hefty amount to pay, and can place a heavy financial burden on your family. With a funeral insurance policy in place, you won’t have to worry about how your funeral expenses will be covered. 

Here are some perks of a funeral insurance policy:

Peace Of Mind

You can rest easy knowing that your family members will not be stuck with a massive bill to take care of your funeral expenses.

No Medical Exams

In many cases, a medical exam is required to take out a life insurance policy. But such is typically not the case with a funeral insurance plan. 

Promised Payout

Most insurance providers offer a value promise, which means they’ll pay your family the insured amount stipulated in the policy. 

Accidental Death Coverage

If you pass away accidentally within 12 months of buying your policy, you will still receive the entire payout value.

Quick Payouts

Most insurers will pay out the benefit within 24 hours of your family members filing a claim. 

Plan According To Your Wishes

You can create a policy that will outline exactly what you want the funds from the policy to cover. 

Drawbacks Of Funeral Insurance

A funeral insurance policy can help cover the cost of your funeral without overburdening your family to come up with the money to do so. But there are some drawbacks to this type of insurance to consider as well:

Age Limits

While older folks may be qualified to take out a funeral insurance policy, there is an entry age limit, which is usually between the ages of 65 and 80.

Premiums Can Be Expensive

Depending on the situation, the premiums you pay could wind up adding up to more than the actual cost of a funeral. 

Pre-Existing Conditions Could Be An Issue

Although a pre-existing medical condition should not deter you from taking out a funeral insurance policy, you may not be covered if you pass away from that medical issue within the first 12 months of securing your policy.

Features To Consider When Buying Funeral Insurance

When shopping around for a funeral insurance policy, there are certain important features to look at:

Benefit Amount

The benefit that your family will be paid out should match the type of funeral that you wish to have. 

Premium Caps

Look for a funeral insurance policy that comes with premium caps if you’re concerned about not being able to afford repayments at some point. 

Exclusions 

Make sure you read the fine print on your policy and understand the exclusions. For instance, your family members may not be paid out if you pass away from a pre-existing condition within the first year of taking out your policy. 

Funeral Insurance FAQs

What’s the difference between pre-need and a funeral insurance/final expense policy?

Pre-need policies are purchased directly from the funeral home that will handle your funeral and burial or cremation. In this case, you’ll pay for the entire funeral costs. On the other hand, a funeral insurance policy is purchased from an insurance company for a fixed coverage amount, for which you’ll pay monthly premiums. You will choose a beneficiary who will then receive the benefit and use the funds to pay for all funeral-related expenses after you pass away. 

How much do funerals cost in Canada?

The average burial costs between $5,000 and $10,000, while cremation costs much less, between $2,000 to $5,000.

Is the funeral payout taxable? 

Funeral insurance payouts are typically tax-free.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of the financial aspect of your funeral ahead of time can alleviate any unnecessary stress on your family members after you pass away. With a funeral insurance policy in place, you can take care of the expenses of your funeral and avoid putting any financial burden on your loved ones. 


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Priyanka is a marketing major who graduated from John Molson School of Business in 2018. She has experience in writing about personal finance, media outreach, and SEO. She is passionate about marketing and educating Canadian consumers about how to take control of their financial lives.

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