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Final Expense/Burial Insurance In New York Overview

Are you a New York resident looking into buying a burial insurance policy? New York can be one of the trickiest states to purchase a burial policy. 

Why? New York has unique restrictions and laws surrounding funeral insurance. 

Buying funeral insurance in general can be tricky. Missing the fine print can cost you thousands of dollars. Did you know some plans automatically cancel on a certain date or when you reach a specific age?To make the process more frustrating, New York has fewer insurance options than other states. 

So how can you find the right burial plan? What amount of coverage do you need in New York? And how do you qualify?

I will answer these questions in this article. 

Read on to learn more. 

NOTE: For a free burial insurance quote specific to the state of New York 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.

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How Does Burial Insurance/Final Expense Insurance In New York Work?

Burial Insurance is a type of life insurance policy. It is specifically for covering end-of-life expenses and is easier to qualify for and purchase. Some burial insurance applications ask no questions at all. 

There are many different burial insurance providers. Each company has different qualifications and requirements to be insurable. You can find information on burial insurance plans with a quick google search. 

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 New York, 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!

Not all burial insurance plans are equal, and each individual has different circumstances and needs. Working with an agent can save you time, money, and stress. 

What Does Burial Insurance Cover?

Funeral expense insurance is a specific type of insurance that only provides benefits to cover a funeral, memorial, and other end of life expenses. 

This type of plan can cover transportation of a body, an urn, or a casket. It cannot cover lost income of the deceased or daily expenses a family incurs. 

Each plan may have different coverage limits and could include or exclude certain things. The amount of coverage you purchase will affect how much money you can spend on your funeral. A higher benefit means you can customize or upgrade your services and products. 

Make sure to read through each plan you are considering carefully. Ask the agent if you do not understand something. If you know what kind of funeral you want to have and how large your service will be, this can allow your agent to recommend the most appropriate funeral expense plan. 

Final expense insurance plans may cover:

  • Cremation costs 
  • Burial costs 
  • Casket/Urn
  • Preparation Of The Body
  • Funeral expenses
  • Service Expenses
  • Upgrades
  • Unpaid Medical Bills
  • Outstanding Debt

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

Final expenses insurance is very similar to a life insurance policy. These are both forms of life insurance meant to be paid out upon the policy holder’s death. 

Sometimes a life insurance policy includes a burial insurance add on or benefit. Read through your policy details or ask your agent to see if your current policy includes this. If you do not already have insurance, contact us and learn more about your options. 

For a stand alone funeral expense policy you pay a monthly premium to keep your coverage active. If you pass, the insurer will pay the benefits to the beneficiary you chose.

So life insurance is money in your family members’ pockets. Whereas funeral insurance is money that covers your funeral expenses. Funeral insurance pays out a lower benefit because it only covers a specific situation. 

If your life insurance plan offers final expense insurance it may be termed as a death benefit. Read through the policy to confirm your plan offers this option. 

Average Funeral Cost In New York

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

Now compare the average funeral in New York in 2021 which was $7,849. In New York, the average cremation funeral in 2021 cost $6,286. 

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)$2800
Headstone (basic)$199
Funeral Facilities For Ceremony$500
Printed Materials$175

The above chart covers the prices of specific services and products but remember there are non-declinable service fees you must pay as well. 

Other expenses to consider when someone passes are travel expenses for the family and legal expenses if your family needs to hire a lawyer.

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

Average Funeral And Cremation Service Fees In New York By City Or County

Nassau, NY

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2703
Immediate Burial Service Fee$4194
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$7964
Full Burial Service Fee$9785

New York, NY

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2311
Immediate Burial Service Fee$4145
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$6697
Full Burial Service Fee$8347

Syracuse, NY

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2203
Immediate Burial Service Fee$3520
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$5171
Full Burial Service Fee$6559

Albany, NY

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2172
Immediate Burial Service Fee$3295
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$5166
Full Burial Service Fee$6452

Keep in mind any upgrades to your products or services will raise the estimated price. The above prices are simply averages of the area. It can be easy to surpass those prices by $3,000 to $10,000 dollars. 

One more very important factor to prepare for is inflation.

Funeral Price Inflation In New York

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. If a shipment is interrupted there will be less supply, in that case product prices will rise. 

Funeral expenses rise at an average of roughly 3.5% to 6.4% a year. So if a very basic funeral costs $8,000 in 2021, in 2031 it would cost around $13,000.

However, since the 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. 

During COVID, multiple cargo ships were unable to make the journey to the USA to offload their supply. The rate of inflation can jump very quickly if shipments are delayed, demand increases, or import charges rise. .

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 $32,000 for a funeral! 

So the main point here, funeral prices are no joke. They can increase 20% to $30% in a matter of weeks costing families a fortune. Without funeral insurance you risk forcing your family into debt. Prepare ahead of time and proactively protect your loved ones. 

Losing a loved one is heard enough, dont add a heavy financial burden into the mix as well. 

If I Live In New York Is Funeral Insurance Worth Having?

As we have seen, the cost of funerals and cremations in New York can easily reach $7,000 if not more. Want a larger service or custom products, add $5,000 to $10,000 to your total. 

Having an insurance policy will reduce the burden and stress on your loved ones in the case of your death. Making this wise decision will ease the struggle your family will face when you pass. You can rest assured that your family will not have to go into debt to cover your funeral expenses. 

What if you already have money saved up? Would that be enough to take care of your end-of-life expenses?

Well, consider this, what if you or a loved one gets very sick and you need to take out a few thousand from your savings? What if you or a spouse lose their job? What if a loved one passes and you decide to help with their funeral costs? 

Other unknown or unpredictable circumstances could be:

  • Pandemic resurgence
  • Car accident
  • Becoming a victim of theft or a scam
  • Assisting family members when they are in financial need
  • Childs wedding

And the list can go on. Really any unexpected expense can start to eat up your savings. A few hundred dollars here and there can really add up. 

But what if you never tap into your savings and you are okay accepting the unknown risks. What about inflation. If you have $7,000 for your funeral now, that won’t cover your funeral in 20 to 30 years. 

So given the risks, known and unknown costs, and inflation, deciding to purchase funeral insurance is highly reccomended. 

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 $7000. 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 New York?

What if, despite what we have covered, you do not purchase funeral insurance. That decision is totally up to you. However, let’s consider what would happen when you pass. 

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

This would create a very stressful situation for those left behind. They would have to contact your bank and hope the bank allows them access to your accounts. Getting approved to access a loved one’s bank account can take weeks. Weeks your family may not have. 

Your family or loved ones would need to collect a minimum of $7000 to hold even the most basic funeral. If you have unpaid medical bills, unpaid credit cards, loans, mortgages, or a business, your family would also need to make sure those expenses are covered. 

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 the worst case scenario, your family must abandon your remains because they cannot affor to bury you themselves. They would sign over your body to the local government and the government would decide how you are disposed of. 

There would be no personal touches, no sentimental customizations, just a budget cremation or plywood box…

Let that sink in. That is obviously the worst way a family would want to see a loved one go. Being forced to make that decision would leave the family with a great amount of guilt and sadness. It may be a regret they carry for the rest of their life. 

What Is A Pauper’s Grave?

A pauper is a poor person, so a pauper’s grave is a public or government-provided burial or cremation for those who are abandoned, unidentifiable, or too poor to be buried by the family. 

The government could bury the body in a cloth, body bag, plywood box, or just burn the body and dispose of the ashes. The  individual making the decisions is a complete stranger and is deciding how to dispose of the individual in the most budget-friendly way. 

The individual’s wishes or sentimental choices would not be taken into consideration. 

This is a highly undignified burial and provides no opportunity for a grieving family to visit the body and reminisce. The family loses complete control of the body. 

The body could be buried in a shared burial plot with another stranger’s body. If the family were to visit the site, they may find it very upsetting to know their loved one is resting with a complete stranger. 

Even worse though, would be a mass grave site. Some local governments and counties resort to using a mass grave site to bury many bodies when there is not enough room. While the family would oppose this, the decision is not up to them once the state has legal rights to make the final call. 

Click this link to read more about a paupers grave. 

Is There An Age Limit For Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance providers have different standards and qualifications. The general ages most companies will insure is between 45-85. Some companies may insure 40-80 or 45-75, it just depends on the level of risk the insurer is prepared to take on. 

Remember, when you purchase a burial insurance policy, the insurance provider is assuming the risk for you. In the case of the policy holder’s death the insurance company covers the expenses, so it is completely reasonable that the company has limits on who and what they will assure risk over. 

There are companies who will insure people outside of those age ranges. There are also companies and types of burial insurance that will cover people with serious illnesses. If you would be interested in exploring those options, contact us and we can provide plans relevant to you. 

Why Is It So Hard To Find Burial Insurance In New York

Burial insurance options are more limited in New York for a few reasons. The two biggest reasons are fewer insurance companies than other states and the restrictions against qualifying site-unseen by an agent. 

The requirements to hold and maintain an insurance license in New York can make it more challenging to become an insurance agent or broker. Individuals can spend years preparing for the exams and meeting the state’s requirements. Read more about NY state exams and insurance licenses by clicking here. 

It is still possible to get a great burial insurance plan, working with an agent or broker will allow you to shop around. 

Our Favorite Insurance Providers In New York

Our favorite insurance providers in New York are:

  • Columbian Life
  • Royal Arcanum
  • Gerber

Columbian Life has a coverage range of $5,000 to $25,000 they have an age limit between 18 to 85 years old. 

They offer Classic Elite and Classic Select plans. They also have a Graded plan with age limits of 50 to 75 and coverage amounts between $2,500 to $20,000. 

They also offer insurance options to cover a grandchild. 

They accept those who us Marijuana, however you will be insured at a smoker rate. They have an application with three main sections of medical history questions. Part one has nine questions and if you answer YES to any of them you will not be insured. 

Part two has seven questions, if you answer YES to any of them you will qualify for Graded coverage. The third part has three questions, if you answer NO to ALL the questions, you qualify for the Elite plan. 

For Graded coverage, you are not fully insured until two years after your first payment. If you die of natural reasons besides an accident the beneficiary will receive the premiums + 6%. 

The application process is fast and convenient. It can be done online and signed through Docusign. Their decision is usually processed within 1 to 2 days of submitting the application. 

This insurance provider is a great choice for those who smoke, have mild health conditions, or are very healthy. 

Royal Arcanum has a benefit of $2,500 for Graded Benefit Product and Simplified Issue Product. Graded coverage in New York has an age limit of 50-75 years old with benefits between $2,500 to $25,000.

For the Simplified Issue Product the age limit is between 25 and 85 years old. 

Graded coverage is issued usually the same day or max 48 hours after you have been accepted. For the Graded coverage there is a two year wait until you receive full coverage. 

Simplified as long as there are no problems is usually issued within 24-48 hours. For simplified issue, if you answer no to all the medical questions, you are eligible for First Day Full Coverage. 

The questions cover recent hospitalization, HIV, AID, smoking, Cancer, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, mental illness, and organ transplant. The last question asks if you have been rejected by an insurance company in the last two years due to medical reasons. 

Bank account, debit, or credit card payments are accepted. There is no medical exam to apply, Royal Arcanum simply pulls your medical history. For the Graded plan you only need to answer 2 questions. 

The entire application process can be completed online through text or email. You can use Docusign to add your signature to the application. 

Gerber is a trusted insurance provider who many recognize. They are a no questions asked insurance provider. As long as you are of sound mind, within the age range, and can complete the application, you will be insured. 

Gerber has an age limit of 50 to 80. They accept direct express, bank account, or debit card payments. Their coverage is between $5,000 to $25,000. You can complete the application online or over the phone. 

The catch is, clients do not have coverage until two years have passed from the first payment. This means if the policy holder dies of any other reasons besides accidental causes within the first two years only the premiums + 10% will be paid to the beneficiary. 

So only accidental death is completely covered as soon as you apply. 

Gerber is the best choice for those who have serious health conditions, regular hospitalizations, and would be rejected by most other insurance providers. 

What Is The Cheapest Burial Insurance Plan In New York?

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

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?

Your burial insurance plan should cover what you estimate your funeral would cost this year and in the future. You should have some wiggle room in the benefits amount to cover the unexpected expenses, medical bills, or any unpaid debt. 

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

In New York, it is a smart idea to have coverage between $10,000 to $20,000,  if you are older than 70. If you are younger than 70, you need to start with at least $20,000 and slowly increase your coverage. As we saw in the chart, by 2050 it is very likely funerals will cost around $32,000. Your plan will need to factor in inflation. 

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. Estimate your funeral cost by selecting your service type, memorial size, burial location, products, and add a couple thousand to that estimate just to be safe. 

How Do I Buy A Burial Insurance Policy?

In New York you have the option of working with an insurance agent or a broker. 

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 New York 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 New York

Who Is Responsible For Paying For The Funeral Of A Deceased Individual

The state of New York lists a hierarchy of individuals who are responsible for a deceased individual. The list is as follows:

  1. Spouse 
  2. Domestic Partner
  3. Adult Children 
  4. Parent(s)
  5. Adult Sibling(s)
  6. Court-appointed Guardian 
  7. Fiduciary Of An Estate

If the deceased did not list any beneficiary or representative the local government will require the first applicable individual on the list to take care of the funeral. 

If the deceased has no one to cover their funeral the local government will appoint someone to dispose of the body. 

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

Absolutely, there will always be an insurance provider willing to cover you. Your options will depend on your age and health. We have many different types of plans to meet the needs of each individual. 

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 Is The Free Look Period In New York

The free look period in New York is between 10 to 30 days. This gives the policy holder an opportunity to decide if they want to keep the policy or get a full refund. 

What Questions Will I Be Asked?

When you are completing a burial insurance application, you may need to answer questions about your medical history. Some applications ask 0 questions. While others may ask 2 or more. 

What Is Guaranteed Acceptance/Guaranteed Issue?

Guaranteed Acceptance or Guaranteed Issues is a specific type of plan where anyone is guaranteed coverage as long as you fall into the accepted age limit. 

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 any individual who has serious health issues or may be rejected by other providers. 

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

It is important to prepare your entire estate before your death. Selecting a burial insurance policy is just one of a few things you should give consideration to. 

Make sure to visit a local lawyer so your legal documents meet the New York 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?

Yes, you can hold multiple policies at one 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 to meet your ever changing needs. 

You can own a whole life insurance policy, a funeral expense policy, and other kinds of policies to protect yourself from different situations. 

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. 

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