fbpx

Final Expense/Burial Insurance In California Overview

Are you a California resident, and thinking about purchasing a final expense burial insurance policy to pay for your funeral and cremation bills?

Worried that final expenses can be extremely expensive and that leaving that financial burden to your loved ones could be disastrous?


If so, you’re at the right place!

Truth be told, choosing the right kind of burial insurance policy can be tricky. The fine print can be confusing and if you don’t choose the correct policy you may not have coverage when you need it most. 

For example, did you know some insurance policies have fine print that automatically cancels once you reach a certain age? This means if you pass away and your family goes to make a claim your previous insurance provider does not have to pay out any benefits!

The good news is that there ARE final expense coverage policies available in California that do NOT cancel automatically. In this article, we are going to show you EXACTLY what to look for to get the best VALUE (and best-priced) burial insurance available!

Also, we’ll help you answer:

  • How much coverage should I get? 
  • What insurance policy cancels automatically? 
  • How do I buy the RIGHT final expense insurance policy in California?
  • And much more!

Read on to learn more. 

NOTE: For a free burial insurance quote specific to the state of California click the Get A Quote Button or call 888 626 0439 and one of our friendly life insurance specialists would be happy to provide you with answers and a free quote in less than five minutes.

Quick Navigation Article Links

How Does Burial Insurance/Final Expense Insurance In California Work?

Final expense insurance is an insurance plan that helps people prepare to cover their funeral and burial expenses. This insurance protects the surviving family from extensive debt. In California, there can be a lot of unexpected end-of-life expenses so it is wise to prepare for them. 

Planning ahead can save your loved ones time and energy. It will reduce their stress and give them more time to process their loss. Preparing ahead of time is recommended for all individuals, especially parents. 

Final expense insurance can also be called burial insurance or funeral insurance. All three of those terms will be used in this article to describe an insurance policy that covers burial expenses. 

A burial insurance policy can cover one individual or their whole family. Each insurance provider will offer different features to their customers. 

In California, burial insurance is usually sold through brokers or insurance agents. Some funeral homes are licensed to sell burial insurance. Also, we at BuyLifeInsuranceForBurial.com can help, of course!

When you purchase a burial insurance plan you must select and name a beneficiary. Upon your death, the beneficiary is the only person authorized to use the insurance money to cover your expenses. Choose a responsible and capable individual who you trust. 

What Does Burial Insurance Cover?

Burial insurance plans cover the funeral service expenses and burial or cremation expenses. Burial insurance can also be used to pay off debts or medical bills the deceased left behind if your benefits are large enough.

Having burial insurance gives the beneficiary peace of mind and allows them to take care of any financial loose ends. 

Each plan may have different coverage limits and could include or exclude certain things. Make sure to read through each plan you are considering carefully. Ask the agent if you do not understand something.

Final expense insurance plans may cover:

  • Cremation costs 
  • Burial costs 
  • Casket/Urn
  • Preparation Of The Body
  • Funeral expenses
  • Service Expenses

What’s The Difference Between Final Expense Insurance Versus Life Insurance?

Life insurance and final expense insurance are pretty much the same thing. The only difference is that life insurance plans usually pay out a much higher benefit, while burial insurance pays a lower amount (since it’s designed to cover final expenses like funeral and cremation costs).

In other words, final expense insurance usually has less face value than a life insurance plan because it is only meant to cover expenses involved in a funeral and burial. 

Average Funeral Cost In California

Now you know a little more about how final expense & burial insurance works, let’s talk about the cost of dying for California residents, and compare the expense to national averages.

First, the national average funeral cost for the service, flowers, burial, and plot ranges between $7,000 and $12,000. The national average for cremation and a simple funeral service ranges between $6,000 and $7,000. 

Now compare the average funeral in California in 2021 which was $9,485. In California, the average cremation funeral in 2021 cost $7,003. 

Keep in mind the casket, urn, headstone, burial plot, flowers, and transportation are separate from the service fees. These other expenses will cause your final price to go even higher. 

Reference this chart to find out the specific products and service costs.

ItemAverage Cost
Transporting the body to the funeral home$350
Hearse$340
Preparing the body$255
Embalming$750
Casket (simple wood casket)$2,995 
Cremation $350
Urn (simple urn)$300
Flowersvariable
Burial Plot (basic)$1000
Headstone (basic)$199
Funeral Facilities For Ceremony$500
Printed Materials$175

Other expenses to consider when someone passes are: 

  • Travel expenses for the family, and, 
  • Legal expenses if your family needs to hire a lawyer. 
SEE ALSO  Life Insurance And Autoimmune Disease: [Lupus, Arthritis, MS, Crohn's]

Even the simplest of funerals can add up to thousands of dollars. Especially if you go for an all-out funeral with a large service. 

Average Funeral And Cremation Service Fees In California By County

Now let’s take a closer look at average costs for funeral and cremation services in California’s major cities per the NFDA’s cost calculations:

Los Angeles

ItemAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation Service Fee$1,560$620 to $2350
Immediate Burial Service Fee$1,785$890 to $3,395
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$2,825$1,550 to $6,560
Full Burial Service Fee$5,640$4,210 to $9,705

San Diego

ItemAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation Service Fee$1330$640 to $2645
Immediate Burial Service Fee$1,565$825 to $3,890
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$3,215$1,630 to $5,380
Full Burial Service Fee$6,135$4,330 to $8,725

San Jose

ItemAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation Service Fee$1,575$690 to $2,595
Immediate Burial Service Fee$1,665$1,495 to $2,195
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$3,350$2,290 to $5,935
Full Burial Service Fee$6,380$5,205 to $9,280

San Francisco

ItemAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation Service Fee$1,665$850 to $2,895
Immediate Burial Service Fee$2,220$1,200 to $3545
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$3,775$1,625 to $5,395
Full Burial Service Fee$6,780$4,300 to $8,440

How To Calculate My Funeral Cost In California

So, how much can you expect to pay for funeral costs if you pass away in California?

First, select your service type, products, and other expenses and add them up. 

Let’s take a look at a San Francisco basic cremation memorial:

Cremation Memorial Service Fee – $3,775+

Transport Of Body – $350

Simple Urn – $255

Printed Materials – $175

Memorial – $500

Flowers – Variable

So you would be looking at $5,055 to $10,000 depending on the size of your memoria. 

Now let’s look at a San Jose funeral with burial in a casket: 

Full Burial Service Fee – $6,380+

Transport Of Body – $350

Embalming – $750

Casket – $2,995

Printed Materials – $175

Memorial – $500

Flowers – Variable

Burial Plot – $1000

Headstone – $199

So you’re looking at $12,349 to $20,000 for a full-service funeral in San Jose. 

All in all, the cost of dying is pretty expensive, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, it gets worse…

Inflation, And How It Affects Funeral Prices 

Each year the costs involved in a funeral, burial, and cremation rise. Prices continue to rise because the cost of materials and labor continues to increase each year. 

Funeral expenses rise at an average of roughly 3.5% to 6.4% a year. So if a very basic funeral costs $10,000 in 2021, in 2031 it would cost between $13,500 – $16,400.

However, since the 2020 covid pandemic, the cost of caskets has increased 20% to 30%. This is because they are usually shipped overseas. It is now more challenging to find the materials and ship a finished casket. The rate of inflation can jump very quickly.

Take a look at this chart which shows the estimated average inflation we expect to see in the next 30 years. 

With average yearly inflation of 5%, by 2050, you can expect to pay roughly $40,000 for a funeral! 

So the takeaway for anyone reading is that you need to purchase a funeral insurance plan that will cover the cost of a funeral today and in the future. Good preparation and planning mean you are ready for tomorrow’s problems!

If I Live In California, Is Funeral Insurance Worth Having?

As we have considered, the cost of funerals and cremations in California can easily reach $10,000. 

Having burial insurance can give you peace of mind. Having an insurance policy will reduce the burden and stress on your loved ones in the case of your death. You can rest assured that your family will not have to go into debt to cover your funeral expenses. 

If you already have a sufficient amount of money saved to cover your burial expenses then you may decide not to purchase a final expense insurance policy. But keep in mind, as mentioned above, the cost of funerals and burials rises every year. The amount that would have sufficiently covered your funeral now will probably not cover everything in 10-20 years. 

Consider the following factors when deciding if you want burial insurance:

  • Your current financial situation 
  • Any current life insurance plan you may have
  • Your family members financial situation 
  • The services and items you want at your funeral. As mentioned before a very simple funeral will easily reach $10,000. A large funeral with many upgrades will easily reach $20,000. 
  • The money you have already saved/set aside
  • Legal and estate settlement costs 
  • Unpaid debts
  • The unknown expenses and fees you are not aware of. These can catch surviving family members by surprise. 

Once you know a ballpark number for your funeral expenses you can consider the financial impact your funeral would have on your family. 

If you find after calculating your funeral expense, the expense is more than you are prepared for, purchasing a burial insurance plan is a VERY wise idea!

What Would Happen If I Do Not Have A Burial Insurance Plan In California?

If you do not have a burial insurance plan or any kind of life insurance your loved ones and family members will have to find the money to cover your funeral. 

SEE ALSO  Gerber Life Insurance Review [Rates, Secrets Revealed]

This would create a very stressful situation for those left behind. They would need to collect a minimum of $10,000 to hold even the most basic funeral. 

If your family cannot collect that amount needed to cover your funeral expenses then they will have a few options. 

  1. They could cremate the remains and the funeral home would dispose of them. They would have to forgo a service and any upgrades. 
  2. If there is any money left in your estate the family could use it to cover the expenses. 
  3. They could go into debt to cover the expenses. They could take out a loan or a funeral loan. A funeral loan has high-interest rates. 
  4. They could find an assistance program in their state that helps cover the cost of your funeral. 

In some cases, the family chooses to abandon the remains and the funeral home is left to take care of everything. Obviously, this is an unfortunate situation and can cause the family much stress and regret. If the body is abandoned, the county or state of California would decide what to do with the body. 

Burying your loved one the way they would have wanted can help the family to grieve and process the loss. It is best to avoid leaving your family in this situation. 

What Is A Pauper’s Grave?

As the name suggests, a “paupers” grave is a grave for poor individuals or unclaimed bodies. The burial is covered by the public. 

The body will either be buried in a plywood casket or cremated and the remains disposed of. This is a highly undignified burial and provides no opportunity for a grieving family to visit the body and reminisce. 

A person buried by the public may have to share the same burial plot with someone else. 

The county could decide to bury the body in a mass grave. Unfortunately, mass graves are still used when there is not enough room to bury each body separately.  This is by far the worst way to bury any loved one. 

Click this link to read more about a paupers grave. 

Is There An Age Limit For Burial Insurance?

Each insurance provider has their own age limits on who can purchase burial insurance. Generally, you can purchase burial insurance between 45-85.  However, there are providers in California that will insure an individual from the age of 0 (the day they are born) to age 90. 

However, there are plans available to individuals outside of those ages. There are life insurance policies available for children that may include a death benefit. 

Our Favorite Insurance Providers In California

Our favorite final expense and burial insurance providers in California are: 

  • AIG/American General, 
  • American Amicable, and, 
  • Royal Neighbors. 

AIG/American General has an age limit of 50-80 years old. Their coverage is $5000 to $25000. They are available everywhere except New York and Maine.

They accept bank draft, direct deposits, and debit/credit card payments. 

They have an e-app or paper application. The e-app is very fast and convenient. 

The most important part about AIG: They also offer guaranteed issue coverage for their customers which means you will be accepted no matter what your health is!

This option is best for someone with preexisting health issues who has been or may be rejected for coverage. We at BuyLifeInsuranceForBurial.com work with AIG and can help you attain valuable coverage with this carrier.

American Amicable offers full first-day coverage for clients who can qualify. They offer a coverage limit of $2,500 to $35,000. This depends on your age and health. 

They have an age limit of 50-85. They accept bank draft payments only. They offer conditional coverage for their customers. Their pricing for smokers is competitive. They also offer good coverage for those with mental illness, heart conditions, and blood thinners. 

You receive an instant decision once you have completed the application. You can also call them by phone to complete the interview. And another important point – there are no exams necessary to apply for coverage.

This is a good option for smokers and people who are relatively healthy, and our agents can definitely help you get coverage with this company. 

Royal Neighbors has a coverage limit of $7000 to $30,000. The age limit they have is 50-80 and they accept bank draft payment only. 

They offer First Day Full Coverage. This means that if approved, you are covered fully from the first payment date for both natural and accidental types of deaths. This type of plan is what most people want if they can qualify for it, as it provides total peace of mind and protection.

The application process is convenient and comprehensive. You can complete an e-app with an instant decision. You could call the company to complete the application. 

They are diabetes-friendly and offer coverage for those using blood thinners. You can also take insulin if you started after age 30. They only have a 2-year look back on cancer or cardiac conditions.

This option is great for very healthy people who have had no recent condition, hospitalization, or other issues in the last 18 to 24 months. And of course, we have access to this carrier and can help you get qualified if you’re health eligible.

What Is The Cheapest Burial Insurance Plan In California?

The cheapest burial insurance plan depends on your age, health, and what options you select. 

SEE ALSO  Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance Policies Reviews

Our agents have access to over 15 different insurance providers. This allows us to do the shopping for you to find the best plan for you at the most reasonable price. 

Click the Get A Quote Button to find out the cheapest burial insurance available to you or call 888 626 0439 and one of our agents would be happy to provide you with answers and a free quote in less than five minutes.

How Much Burial Insurance Coverage Should I Get?

The best burial insurance plan will cover what a funeral/cremation and all other expenses involved would cost today and in the future. As mentioned before, burial becomes more expensive each year. 

We have seen prices jump as high as 30% for some products and burial-related expenses. 

In California, it is a smart idea to have coverage between $10,000 to $20,000,  if you are older. If you are younger you need to start with at least $20,000 and slowly increase your coverage periodically. As we saw in the chart, by 2050 it is very likely funerals will cost around $40,000. 

Your plan will need to factor in inflation. Either way, having some form of coverage is a protection for you and your loved ones.

Ultimately, your coverage should be enough to cover all your funeral and burial expenses, inflation, and other debts without putting a burden on those you love. Make sure you know the kind of funeral products you would like, the service you want, and how you want to be buried. This will help determine the coverage amount you need. 

How Do I Buy A Burial Insurance Policy?

All companies in California require that you deal directly with an agent. The insurance agent will do the shopping around for you. 

We provide insurance assistance and our agents are available to answer any questions you have. Give us a call to get a free quote and learn the options that are available to you.

For a free burial insurance quote specific to the state of California click the Get A Quote Button or call 888 626 0439 and one of our friendly life insurance specialists would be happy to provide you with answers and a free quote in less than five minutes.

FAQs About Getting Burial Insurance In California

What If I Have Preexisting Health Issues, Can I Still Be Covered?

Yes, absolutely. Each provider has different requirements, however, burial insurance applications usually have fewer questions than other kinds of insurance policies. 

Even if you have had health issues recently, you will qualify for some kind of final expense insurance. 

There are Guaranteed Acceptance policies. These policies ask no questions and guarantee coverage acceptance. Contact one of our agents by clicking the Get A Quote Now button or calling 888 626 0439.

What Questions Will I Be Asked?

When purchasing a burial insurance plan you will need to fill out a form to apply for coverage. This form will collect your personal information and ask you a few general questions regarding your health. 

Some applications have as little as two questions while other application forms ask upwards of 10 questions. 

What Is Guaranteed Acceptance/Guaranteed Issue?

Guaranteed Acceptance means a provider will accept anyone when they apply. 

No questions asked, as soon as your application you will be accepted. Not every provider offers guaranteed acceptance. Guaranteed Issue is a good plan for someone with many health issues. 

What Else Should I Prepare In The Case Of My Death In California?

Preparing a will, funeral wishes documents, and simplifying your estate can go a long way. Getting your affairs in order can save your family years. 

Make sure to visit a local lawyer so your legal documents meet the Californian laws. 

The basic things to consider are:

  1. Will, clearly delegate assets. 
  2. Funeral Expenses, provide savings, burial insurance, or pre-need insurance. 
  3. Estate settlement costs and legal fees
  4. Assets you currently own and the upkeep involved.
  5. Collect your passwords and important documents in a safe place that can be located by a trusted family. 

Can I Have Multiple Burial Insurance Policies At The Same Time?

There are no legal limitations to the number of life insurance and/or burial insurance policies you can hold. As you grow and your circumstances change your goals may also change. 

You can decide to purchase a higher coverage insurance policy later in life. 

You can own a whole life insurance policy, an additional policy to cover your income and family’s needs, as well as a final expense policy. The amount of policies you hold is up to you. 

The only factors you will need to consider are the amount all your policies add up to. You need to financially qualify for the level of combined coverage you have.

You may decide to purchase a policy rider instead of a completely separate insurance policy. This can reduce the hassle involved. 

Terms To Understand When Talking About Burial And Final Expense Insurance

Death Benefit – a one-time payment from your life insurance provide upon the policy holder’s death. In some cases, this can be considered Final Expense insurance but not always. 

Beneficiary – the person you designate the benefits and payouts to go to. 

Lapsed – when the policyholder fails to pay the premium. 

Term – the period you are covered by your insurance policy. This could be 2 weeks for travel insurance or 45 years for life insurance. 

Premium – the amount you are required to regularly pay the insurance provider to keep your coverage. 

Policy Rider – extra coverage you can add to an existing policy. If your circumstances change, getting a policy rider will allow you to increase your coverage. 

Term Life Policy – this is life insurance that provides insurance coverage at a fixed payment rate for a set period. You lock in the premium you will pay for an agreed-upon amount of time. 

Whole Life Insurance – a life insurance policy that will stay in force for the entire life of the policyholder. The premiums are fixed and death benefits are not usually offered with this insurance plan. Sometimes called straight life, ordinary life, permanent life insurance, or whole of life assurance. 


Universal Life Insurance – this is a type of insurance policy mainly sold in the United States. This is permanent insurance that stays active as long as the policyholder pays the premiums. This policy offers flexible premiums and death benefits. This insurance also has a cash value factor. 

Pre-need Insurance – this is an option where an individual pays a funeral home for their funeral costs before they pass. The individual can choose their service, casket or urn, and other details. 

Insurability – this refers to whether or not an individual qualifies to be insured under a policy. 

Top