One question that I seem to get asked a lot from seniors is, “Do I really need funeral insurance?” Some of the even more skeptical out there go as far as to suggest it is just a big insurance scam.

When confronted with this, my first response often is, “Have you ever been faced with planning the funeral of a loved one?” From the more skeptical I usually get a negative answer to that question.

Is funeral insurance, sometimes referred to as final expense insurance, for everyone? No. It is absolutely not for everyone. Most people won’t hesitate to buy life insurance, but funeral insurance?

So for whom does a funeral policy make sense?

The most common people who I steer towards purchasing a funeral policy are those whose estate being left behind is not going to amount to a whole lot. Today, the average funeral cost can range between $7000 and $10,000. For some families, that is a pretty significant financial burden to leave behind to loved ones.

For someone who fits that description, a funeral insurance policy can be an inexpensive way to cover funeral expenses ahead of time.

In fact, some people will go a step further than that. They will sit down with a funeral director and plan out their final wishes ahead of time. What kind of service do they want to have? What type of casket? Will they have a big headstone or a small one? What will the headstone be made of? Do they want to be buried at all or would they rather be cremated? If they are cremated, what happens to the ashes?

All of this can be planned out and priced in advance. Knowing what the funeral service and arrangements will cost ahead of time will allow someone to buy an insurance policy that gives them the appropriate amount of coverage to ensure their final wishes are met.

What about for those who are in better shape financially?

“I have money. I have plenty of life insurance. Why is my agent even mentioning a burial policy?”

Well, sometimes, based on someone’s final plans for their estate and inheritance, even if they have the finances to cover a funeral, an individual will choose to buy a funeral policy anyhow. Their reasoning behind this is that they want their inheritance untouched by the expense of a funeral and have in mind a certain amount of money that they want to pass on. So they leverage a burial policy to keep their final assets intact.

Lastly, there are the really skeptical who say, “I’ll be dead. What do I care?”

It certainly is a personal decision, but the fact of the matter is that someone is going to be left with a bill to take care of your final arrangements. Do you really want your loved ones’ final memory of you to be a rather large bill they get from the funeral home?