Death. It is something that eventually comes for all of us. Whether young or old, rich or poor, we all will eventually find ourselves slipping out of this life. Believe me, this concept doesn’t excite me any more than it does you. However, as we consider our inescapable mortality, we need to make sure that we are seeing the big picture: there’s a lot more at stake than just our own selves.
The last thing that any of us want to do when we kick the bucket is leave our loved ones with massive debts, such as a mortgage, college tuition, or basic living expenses. Covering these types of expenses is the main idea behind life insurance. But, there is one expense (and typically a large one) that we often fail to consider: funeral costs. An average funeral in the United States can cost between $7,000 to $10,000. Adding this to the expenses mentioned earlier could end up being catastrophic to your family’s finances.
Luckily, life insurance does exist, and it can indeed cover funeral costs. In general, the way that life insurance works is like this: When a policy is issued, the policy owner chooses someone to be the beneficiary of the policy. When the insured person passes away, this beneficiary submits a claim to the insurance company, and the insurance company pays them the proceeds. From this point on, the beneficiary is free to use the funds as they deem appropriate, including for funeral expenses.
With this being the case, the real question becomes this: “Do i have enough coverage to pay for my funeral expenses?”. It’s a little too common for beneficiaries to find out after the fact that the life insurance policy doesn’t cover everything that is needed or was planned for. Without careful planning, there may be out-of-pocket expenses loved ones could get stuck with. I would definitely encourage everyone with a life insurance policy to plan out their funeral beforehand with a funeral director. Make sure you understand the specific costs of the services you want, and plan your life insurance policy with that in mind. Some funeral homes will even allow you to assign them as the beneficiaries of a policy. This way, the benefit is paid directly to them and you don’t even need to get involved during a difficult time.
To many of us, life insurance may seem quite expensive and perhaps not worth paying the premiums to later receive the promised payout. While I would disagree with such a thought, I can understand larger premiums taking a toll on a family’s livelihood. Insurance companies are aware of this, and many have created what is referred to as a Final Expense policy, where the benefits are designed to cover funeral costs and premiums are generally quite lower. Sentinel Security Life offers such policies under our “New Vantage” life insurance products. If this fits your needs more than having larger and more expensive coverage, seek out a Sentinel agent near you.
Life insurance is a great and powerful tool that can save families a lot of grief and headaches during a time that should be spent on more important matters. Combined with a little bit of planning and thinking ahead, you can have all funeral costs taken care of and only concern yourself with making sure your policy stays current so it can be utilized when the time comes. We all want to take care of our loved ones while we are on this earth. Make sure that you are continuing to care for them even after you’re gone. Use life insurance. I promise you it’ll make a hard situation a little bit better.
Blog written by: Andrew Jordan, Creative Marketing Specialist II for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.