Do I need burial insurance if I have life insurance?

Final expense insurance is essential, and both burial insurance and life insurance can provide the necessary financial support to cover final expenses for you and your loved ones. But do you need burial insurance if you already have life insurance? Learn the differences between the two, and the benefits of having both.

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Why a burial insurance policy?

Losing a loved one is a particularly traumatic event. On top of the emotional stress, there are significant expenses that come at the end of life. The median cost of a funeral ranges between $5,000 and $10,0001, so purchasing a burial insurance policy, or final expense insurance, is a helpful way to ease the financial burden on the people you love.

The median cost of a funeral ranges from $5,000 and $10,000¹

Note, though, that some life insurance companies—including New York Life—don't sell stand-alone burial insurance as a product. Instead, you can buy a separate, smaller life insurance policy to cover final expenses. Financial burdens can continue long after a funeral, however, so you may also want to consider a more comprehensive life insurance policy.

You should consider adding a burial insurance policy:

If you are single.

Purchasing a burial insurance policy (or a small life insurance policy designed to cover final expenses) can help prevent the passing of any substantial debt to surviving family members. In addition, a more robust whole or term life insurance policy can help you provide financial support to aging parents or siblings.

If you have a young family.

Burial insurance covers funeral and burial expenses, whole life insurance can help give your family members the resources they need to maintain their lifestyle. Life insurance can replace some or all of your income, pay off debts, help pay college tuition, help fund your spouse’s retirement, and cover final expenses. 

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Life insurance can cover funeral costs, but it also replaces income, pays off debts, and helps with college tuition.

If you have an established family.

Whole life insurance can be an important part of your overall retirement planning. Additional insurance to cover final expenses can help ensure that your loved ones will not be burdened with debt should you pass away.

If you’re nearing retirement or are already retired.

Supplementing your life insurance policy with burial insurance will allow you to settle your affairs by covering funeral costs and unexpected final expenses like medical bills. A more robust life insurance policy will protect the financial future of your family and preserve the retirement you and your spouse worked so hard for.

Are life insurance and burial insurance the same?

No, but they are similar. In fact, a burial insurance policy is a smaller whole life policy that can be used to help your loved ones pay for your final expenses. It is considered a type of life insurance policy, but it usually offers a smaller benefit amount than traditional life insurance, since its purpose is very specific.

Does life insurance cover burial costs?

Yes, life insurance policies will pay a lump sum when you die to a beneficiary of your choice. That money can be used to pay for your funeral or for any other general financial needs of your survivors. The payment will be made soon after you die, and it doesn't have to go through probate.

Want to learn more about life insurance?

A New York Life financial professional can help determine what’s right for you.

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* National Funeral Directors Association, 2019