Have you ever received a postcard that says something about:
“Benefit Information Only For California Residents Only”
(Of course, replace “California” with your state if you live elsewhere).
In fact, you’re probably looking at the postcard or advertisement right now!
No doubt you’re wondering whether this is an insurance scam or a legitimate advertisement?
If you’re wondering what this postcard really means, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I unravel the truth about mailers that reference benefit information for citizens of a particular state.
You’ll get the facts on:
- What the card is really about,
- If this is free government insurance, and
- What happens after you fill out and return the card.
Lastly, if you’re interested in burial insurance, either on:
I’ll show you how to do that, too =).
Quick navigation guide for this article:
I bet the main question you have is…
Is this “state-regulated life insurance program” a scam?
Believe it or not, the answer is no. Despite how the card sounds, it’s not a scam.
However, it’s certainly SOUNDS scammy, doesn’t it? If you’re like most people, you probably think it sounds like the government’s gonna pay your burial costs with free government insurance.
Does the government cover burial costs?
The short answer is YES.
BUT it’s usually WAY less than you need.
For example, if your spouse passes away, you receive the government’s official Social Security Death Benefit
How much is it? A whopping $255!
Are you kidding me?! Maybe $255 would cover burial costs in 1950, but nowadays, you can’t even open a grave plot for that much money!
If you’re a veteran, government burial benefits are better.
If you’re buried in a National Cemetery, your plot, vault, and marker are paid for.
If not, the VA pays $300 death benefit plus up to $780 towards your burial plot.
Not very much, either!
Bottom line, burial and cremation costs are expensive.
The National Funeral Directors Association says the average cost for a burial exceeds $8,000, and the average cost of a cremation exceeds $6,000.
And that’s average. If you live somewhere where prices are higher, expect to pay more.
Doesn’t it sound like it’s sensible to carry extra burial insurance coverage, given our government pays so little?
I want to point out a couple of other things about these benefit updates for senior citizen cards.
You might not get a card with this exact wording, but maybe you’ve received something similar and may be wondering if it’s legit.
So lets cover all the different verbiages that are out there.
What does state-regulated program mean?
You might see something like:
- “state-regulated final expense”
- “state-regulated life insurance” or,
- “state-regulated program.”
All this means is the life insurance product is regulated by the state.
Just because it’s regulated by the state, doesn’t mean that it is free.
It’s easy to think the wording means it’s something special or better.
However, it’s just a fancy way of saying that this is a legitimate life insurance company.
What Does “Benefits” mean?
A lot of these mailers mention “benefits,” like:
- “these benefits are tax-free,” or
- “see if you may qualify for these benefits.”
Of course, you’re probably receiving a fixed income and you get benefits, so you’re thinking,
“Well, that’s what it must mean. I may qualify for extra government benefits.”
Well, it’s not what you think.
“Benefits” can mean anything, not just stuff that the government gives you.
In this case, the card means benefits like the benefits of the life insurance program that you’re considering taking out.
Some of these cards also say “tax-free.”
What does that mean?
It means that when you die those you leave behind do not have to pay taxes on the life insurance death benefit.
So it’s not that it’s free insurance… it’s just that the death benefit paid out is tax-free.
Sometimes the cards say you can find out how to “qualify” for this benefit.
Well, “how to qualify for this benefit” just means seeing if you can qualify for life insurance from a health standpoint.
“This Benefit Will Pay”
This benefit will pay no matter what. This is just another way of saying if you’re approved and you die, this benefit will pay something.
“Up To $35,000”
Up to $35,000 is common terminology.
But “up to” doesn’t necessarily mean you get $35,000.
It simply means up to a maximum of $35,000.
If you buy life insurance, it could be a lot less than that.
It could only be a thousand. It just depends on what program you get.
“Entitled” to receive this information
This is essentially another way of saying “we’ll give it to you if you want it”.
A lot of these mailers also have freebies like:
- gift cards or,
- free information like a memorial guide.
This is just a tactic agents use to increase the number of people that will fill out the card and give them an opportunity to talk to you.
If the card says you will receive something for returning the card with your info, you should get something.
If you don’t, then that’s a problem.
If you send one of these state-regulated life insurance cards back, expect an insurance agent to call or visit to try and sell you life insurance.
Don’t want that? Don’t send the card!
Worst case scenario, you’ll get multiple agents bothering you for YEARS, trying to get you to buy their burial insurance.
So, if this isn’t of interest to you, don’t send the card back.
However, if you ARE interested in life insurance, you can send it back and somebody is going to show up.
But here’s the problem…
You don’t know if that agent has the best burial insurance companies available with good pricing and underwriting.
If you think about it, you’re kind of taking a chance.
Sure, you will get an insurance agent. But they may not have the best options for you.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Ah, this is just a bait and switch strategy to get people to reply,” and if that’s your opinion, that’s fair.
You definitely have a point. The verbiage on these cards can be seen as deceptive.
These cards have been used for decades.
They have been vetted by most states’ Department of Insurance. They’ve allowed this stuff to go on.
Mailers are not a scam. They are legitimate insurance agents, many of which represent legitimate companies that make a tremendous difference in the lives of the surviving beneficiaries.
They come off as weird and I get it, but they’re certainly not a scam.
Don’t Send The Card Back If You Don’t Want Life Insurance
But if you don’t want an agent showing up at your door or calling you on the phone, don’t send one of these cards back.
Worst case scenario, you’ll have agents knocking on your door for years and years and years because of that one time you sent the card back.
If you prefer to talk to an agent like myself or someone on my team about what life insurance options you have, not just for final expense, maybe just other life insurance products or burial insurance even, you can do that without sending a card back.
Sure, we’ll call you. But, if you don’t want what we’re offering, we won’t bother you anymore either. There’s no pressure to buy.
It’s really simple to learn more about how we can help you out.
For a free quote, fill out the form by clicking the arrow at the top of your phone. If you’re on a desktop, fill out the quote to the right.
Or, just call us at 888-626-0439, speak to a live representative about what your options are, and get a free quote within five minutes without any obligation or pressure to buy.
I hope this answered your question on how these state-regulated mailers work.
Thanks for reading!