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Final Expense/Burial Insurance In Pennysylvania Overview

Are you thinking of preparing some kind of insurance for your funeral? If you are a Pennsylvania resident, you will need to provide a certain amount of coverage and understand the local insurance laws.

Did you know insurance providers can reject you for coverage if you have had surgery or been diagnosed with an illness in the last few years? 

Are you a very healthy individual? If so, you will be able to qualify for more insurance policies and have more options. If you are not as healthy, you may find it more challenging to be approved for coverage. 

Understanding your coverage needs and the fine print will allow you to make the right choice. We all can start to dread choosing an insurance policy. 

But the good news is that you can choose the right policy. We provide you access to over 15 different carriers and we do the research and comparisons for you. We also provide you up to date information so you understand EXACTLY what you need to do to get the correct coverage. 

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 Pennsylvania?
  • And much more!

Read on to learn more. 

NOTE: For a free burial insurance quote specific to the state of Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Work?

Funeral expense insurance is a type of policy that will provide benefits when you pass to pay for your funeral or cremation. This policy helps you to cover any end-of-life expenses your family may face. 

It allows you financial freedom to choose what you want and will need when you pass. 

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. 

You can purchase a final expense policy for one person or for a whole family. Many families prefer to use the same insurance provider to keep things simple. 

In Pennsylvania, burial insurance is usually sold through brokers or insurance agents. Certain funeral homes may have a license to sell burial insurance to individuals. Also, we at BuyLifeInsuranceForBurial.com can help, of course!

When you purchase a burial insurance plan you must select and name a beneficiary. When you pass, the insurance company will pay out your benefit to the beneficiary and then the beneficiary will delegate the fund to pay for your funeral and any other expenses. Choose a competent and honest person as your beneficiary. 

What Does Burial Insurance Cover?

Funeral insurance will cover your service, burial or cremation, casket or urn, and other related costs. 

It may also be used to pay for unpaid medical bills or debt that is left over from your life. This can help reduce the financial burden on your family and allow the grieving process to proceed uninterrupted. 

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
  • Unpaid Medical Bills 
  • Debts

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

Funeral expense policies and life insurance policies are pretty similar. One of the few differences in the amount of coverage the policy provides.

Life insurance policies are used to cover the income, assets, and values the deceased would have brought to the survivors. The payout can be hundreds of thousands or more. 

While a final expense policy is ONLY meant to cover funeral expenses and maybe a couple small medical bills or left over debts. 

Life insurance is money that goes directly to your family to provide for their daily needs. Burial insurance is meant to pay for the services and products used to bury or cremate you. 

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 Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania in 2021 which was $7,785. In Pennsylvania, the average cremation funeral in 2021 cost $6,511. 

Keep in mind there are other expenses that you can choose to upgrade or customize. Consider 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. 

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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. 

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 Pennsylvania By City

York

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$3196
Immediate Burial Service Fee$4709
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$7793
Full Burial Service Fee$8895

Philadelphia

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2398
Immediate Burial Service Fee$4271
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$6742
Full Burial Service Fee$8147

Pittsburg

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2177
Immediate Burial Service Fee$3750
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$6402
Full Burial Service Fee$7733

Erie

Service ChoiceAverage Cost
Direct Cremation Service Fee$2359
Immediate Burial Service Fee$3917
Cremation Memorial Service Fee$6203
Full Burial Service Fee$7482

Unfortunately the discussion of cost is not over yet. Inflation is something you must consider. 

Funeral Price Inflation In Pennsylvania

Each year the costs involved in a funeral, burial, and cremation rise. The cost of materials, shipping, and labor continue to increase, therefore the price of funerals increase at a predictable rate. 

Funeral expenses rise at an average of roughly 3.5% to 6.4% a year. So if a very basic funeral costs $7,800 in 2021, in 2031 it would cost roughly 11,500. 

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. 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 $30,000 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 Pennsylvania Is Funeral Insurance Worth Having?

As we have considered, the cost of funerals and cremations in Pennsylvania can easily reach $8,000.  So the question now is, where will you get the money from?

Having burial insurance can give you peace of mind. You know that your funeral expenses will be fully covered and your family will not have to go into debt to do so. The policy will help you reduce your stress and worry as well as your families.  

But, let’s say you already have $8,000 saved, sitting in the bank ready for a funeral. Do you plan on dying this year? Because if so, that would probably cover your expenses. But if you pass in 2, 5, or 10 years it definitely wont cover your funeral then. 

The amount that would have sufficiently covered your funeral now will probably not cover everything in 10-20 years. Also, keep in mind there are sometimes surprise bills and expenses that pop up when a loved one passes. We cannot prepare and predict everything. 

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 $6000. 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 Pennsylvania?

If you do not have any type of final expense insurance your estate is legally responsible for your funeral costs and debts. If you have no money, assets, or life insurance then your estate cannot cover the funeral. 

In that case, your family will have to cover your funeral or abandon the body. Not really great options either way. 

This would create a very stressful situation for those left behind. They would need to collect a minimum of $8000 to hold even the most basic funeral for you. Even then, your family may need to cut costs and downgrade the services and products you will be buried with. 

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. 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. 
  3. They could find an assistance program in their state that helps cover the cost of your funeral. 
  4. They abandon the body, and sign a release form to give your local government control of disposing of your body. 
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Obviously, this is an unfortunate situation and can cause the family much stress and regret. If the body is abandoned, the count or state of Pennsylvania 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?

A “paupers” grave is a grave for poor individuals or unclaimed bodies. The burial is covered by the public or local government.

The burial options in this case are low budget and limited. It is unlikely the body will be buried in a proper casket with a private burial plot. Most likely the body will be buried in a plywood casket. This is pretty much a plywood box. If the body is cremated the ashes will be disposed of. 

A person buried by the public may have to share the same burial plot with someone else. This is very degrading and gives no honor and respect to the beloved individual. 

Pennsylvania law does not require a casket, so the local government could even decide to bury the body in a bag. 

The county could decide to bury the body in a mass grave. This is the worst case scenario, but if your family cannot afford your funeral, this may be the only option. 

Click this link to read more about a pauper’s grave. 

Is There An Age Limit For Burial Insurance?

Each insurance company has different limits and qualifications to decide who they will accept and insure. Normally, you can get coverage between 45-85.  

However, there are providers in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania

Our favorite insurance providers in Pennsylvania are:

  • Prosperity 
  • Aetna
  • American Amicable 

Prosperity will accept individuals between 50 to 80 years of age and give a benefits range of %1500 to $35,000. This coverage would be sufficient for Pennsylvania. 

Prosperity accepts bank draft, debit/credit, and Direct Express payments. The application can be filled out on paper or through an e-app or v-app. 

They offer first-day full coverage and partial first-day full coverage. This means you have the option to activate your coverage the same day you purchase the plan.  You get the decision when the virtual application is submitted. 

They have a two-year look back on certain medical conditions. This could affect your coverage or insurability. 

Fun Fact: You can vape, chew, dip, smoke a pipe, or smoke weed and still have coverage. 

This is a good provider for moderately healthy to very healthy people. 

Aetna offers benefits of $2,000 to $50,000. Your coverage and premium are subject to your age. Their age limit is 40-89 years old. They accept bank drafts only. 

They do have a two-year look back on your medical history which can negatively affect your application acceptance if you check yes to a knockout question. Aetna will look into your medical history for the past two years when you apply. 

The client doesn’t have to sign anything. Aetna uses a verification system that uses a passcode instead of verbal or signature verification. 

This is a good choice for relatively healthy individuals who have not had liver disease in the last two years, or a heart attack or other serious illnesses in the last year. 

American Amicable offers full first-day coverage for clients who can qualify. The benefits limit is $2,500 to $35,000. 

They have an age limit of 50-85. They accept bank draft payments only. 

They also offer conditional coverage for customers who do have health issues or illnesses. Their pricing for smokers is very 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 and submitted the application. You can call them by phone to complete the interview. 

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. 

What Is The Cheapest Burial Insurance Plan In Pennsylvania?

This would depend on the plan you get and your qualifications. Age and your health can affect your plan’s coverage and premiums. 

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?

A good quality burial insurance policy will give you reasonable coverage for a funeral this year and cover a funeral in the next 10-20 years. As mentioned before, inflation is a very important factor to keep in mind and prepare for. 

Because of limited supply, we have seen prices jump as high as 30% for some products and burial-related expenses. 

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In Pennsylvania, 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 $30,000. 

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. Decide on 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?

You have the option of purchasing burial insurance online, over the phone, or contacting an insurance agent directly. You can request free quotes and information from an experienced agent. 

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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania

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

Yes, definitely. When buying burial insurance, most people have no issue being accepted for their chosen plan after a little research and collaboration with an agent. 

There are burial insurance policies that ask little to no questions. Even if you have had health issues recently, you will qualify for some kind of final expense insurance. 

There are Guaranteed Acceptance policies. These are a great choice for people who would probably be rejected otherwise. They 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. There are no detailed medical questions asked, your medical history would not disqualify you. 

Guaranteed Issue is a good plan for someone with many health issues. 

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

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 of time and energy. This will allow them to focus on what is most important. 

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

This company offers an end of life checklist to confirm what you will need. Access the checklist here. 

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

The short answer, YES. You can hold multiple policies that cover your needs and provide for your family. There is no legal limit to how many policies you can hold. 

However, the amount of policies you hold and the total benefits and coverage can affect your insurability in the future. The more policies you have, the more cautious other companies may be when looking at your application for yet another policy. 

It is common for individuals to carry a life insurance policy, health insurance policy, maybe a supplementary insurance policy, a funeral insurance policy, and a homeowners/renters insurance policy. 

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. If you have too much coverage and/or benefits you may come across some hot water in the future. 

Another option is 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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