What Is The Difference Between Final Expense And Life Insurance?

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Final expense life insurance and traditional life insurance policies serve different purposes. While traditional life insurance policies are designed to replace the income of the insured individual, final expense life insurance is designed to cover end-of-life expenses, such as funeral costs.

The Differences Between Final Expense and Traditional Life Insurance Policies

Final Expense Life Insurance Traditional Life Insurance
Smaller benefit amounts Larger benefit amounts
Affordable premiums Higher premiums
No medical exam required in most cases Medical exam usually required
Focus on covering funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses Focus on income replacement

Final expense policies do not expire like term policies, as they are a type of whole life insurance. They also accumulate cash value over time. Qualifying for a final expense policy is often easier than qualifying for other types of life insurance, as a medical exam is not required in most cases. Coverage is usually issued based on the applicant’s answers to health questions on the application.

It is important to review the policy’s benefits carefully, as not all final expense policies are the same. Depending on the life insurance company, a final expense policy may have added features such as child riders, accidental death and dismemberment, or support benefits for surviving loved ones, such as funeral price shopping.

Who Needs Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense insurance is best for seniors who are concerned about covering their end-of-life expenses, as the death benefit of the policy typically ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. However, anyone who is concerned about leaving their loved ones unprepared when they pass should consider taking out a life insurance policy on themselves.

It is important to note that if you are over the age of 85, in hospice care, or currently hospitalized, you may not be able to qualify for final expense insurance. Certain health conditions such as terminal illness or AIDS may also prevent you from qualifying.


Final expense life insurance is an affordable and accessible option for seniors who want to ensure their end-of-life expenses are covered. While traditional life insurance policies focus on income replacement, final expense policies focus on covering funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses. Anyone who is concerned about leaving their loved ones unprepared should consider taking out a life insurance policy on themselves, and getting multiple quotes can help determine which type of life insurance is best.

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