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Seniors’ Funeral Insurance

Compare life insurance policies offering funeral insurance for seniors to help you find cover for you and your family.

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, updated on August 25th, 2023       

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Have you thought it might be time to consider seniors' funeral insurance to cover the cost of bidding you farewell? Funeral services can be very expensive. Giving your family a helping hand at a very difficult time in their lives can make a huge difference to their grieving process.

Here at Savvy, we don't compare stand-alone funeral insurance policies. However, we do compare life insurance policies which can include cover for the cost of a funeral. Choosing the right life insurance policy to suit your needs may seem like a challenging prospect, but it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think if you’re across the important ins and outs. Find out more about funeral insurance, how it works and how to compare policies here with Savvy. 

What is seniors’ funeral insurance and how does it work?

Seniors' funeral insurance works just like regular life insurance. If you take out a life insurance policy that includes coverage for funerals, your family will receive a set amount of money to help pay for your funeral when you pass away. To pay for this protection, you'll have to pay a regular premium, either fortnightly, monthly or annually. 

Part of the insurance process is determining the amount you wish to be covered for. The general amount of cover for a funeral is between $5,000 and $15,000, in line with typical funeral costs in Australia. This price range covers various types of funeral services, including simple cremations, cremation services, burial services and more elaborate chapel services. The amount of coverage you wish to pay for can be tailored to your funeral needs, big or small.

In terms of what is covered, Australian seniors’ funeral insurance is quite comprehensive. Most funeral costs that you encounter will be covered by your life insurance policy, provided you’re insured for an adequate amount. Some of these may include:

  • Death notification in a newspaper
  • The coffin/casket/urn
  • Storage of the body before burial or cremation
  • Funeral director’s service fee
  • Burial/cremation service fees
  • Transportation of the body to the funeral or cremation
  • Flowers
  • Wake costs (venue hire, food and drinks)
  • Headstone/plaque

What is covered by seniors’ funeral insurance?

You should know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for when you sign up for funeral insurance to prevent any unwelcome surprises. Here’s what you’re likely to be covered for under your funeral insurance clause:

Natural causes or related illness/condition

Old age and illnesses stemming from it are naturally the most common causes of death in Australia, so these are obviously covered by your funeral insurance policy. An important thing to note is that despite this, most funeral insurance policies won’t cover you for any age-related death in the first 12 months of a life insurance policy, meaning your family could be left in the lurch if you pass away soon after taking it out. One way to mitigate this risk is to buy your policy at an earlier age, such as over 60, rather than waiting until you are in your 70s or 80s.  

Terminal illness

Death caused by terminal illness is slightly more complicated when it comes to seniors’ funeral insurance. Different funeral insurance companies in Australia may have different definitions about what constitutes a terminal illness, often defining it as being given 12 months or less to live. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness within the first 12 months of buying your policy, you may not be covered. Rather, your insurer may offer you a refund on the premiums paid up to that point. 

Accidental death

Unlike the previous two causes of death, accidental death coverage may not automatically be included in every funeral insurance policy. Rather, it may be an optional extra with some providers, meaning you’ll have to pay more for your premiums to ensure that you’re covered. Accidental death is typically the only insured event that you’ll be covered for within the first 12 months of buying your seniors’ funeral insurance policy. In some cases, this payout will be increased by up to two or three times depending on your insurer. Be careful about the exclusions your insurer places on accidental death cover, as they may not pay out your sum if accidental death is caused by self-harm, for example.

Accidental life-changing injury

You may not think this would be covered by funeral insurance, but serious and life-changing injuries can fall under your policy. Different injuries will receive different payouts, with loss of vital senses or limbs and significant head trauma affording a higher payout than less serious injuries. Once again, it’s crucial to be aware of the inclusions and exclusions before signing up for any funeral or life insurance policy.

How do I compare seniors’ funeral insurance?

There are a number of key areas that should be closely compared when choosing between the best insurance providers on the market. Savvy is a great place to start when comparing life insurers, as our 100% free comparison service helps you compare a range of policies online. However, Savvy does not offer comparisons between funeral insurance policies.

These are some of the major areas you should consider when comparing seniors’ funeral insurance:

Comparison point Why you should compare them
Premium structure

You can choose between two different types of premiums for seniors’ funeral insurance: stepped premiums, which increase in price with age, and level premiums, which remain the same throughout your policy. These will largely dictate the amount you’ll have to pay for your funeral insurance, so it’s an important decision. For seniors, level premiums are generally advised, as they avoid the requirement to pay more for your insurance as you get older at the expense of a slightly higher initial outlay.

Cost of premiums

Fortunately, it’s not a complicated aspect of a policy to compare, as it’s a simple black-and-white as to which is cheaper. It’s important to remember that even if you’re living on the pension, price shouldn’t be the sole factor that dictates your decision.

Policy coverage

This is the big one that should garner the most attention. Before you think about how much you can receive, you first must know that you’ll be able to receive it. As mentioned earlier, insurers will have clearly defined inclusions and exclusions when it comes to the causes of death that are covered for their policies, so you should be thoroughly across these when comparing your options. Be sure to read over your insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before committing to a policy.

Minimum and maximum payout

There will always be a minimum and maximum amount that can be insured for under a senior funeral plan. If you’re looking for coverage on the higher end, or indeed a small amount of coverage, you should survey the market to find the policy that suits your financial needs.

Optional extras

There are several optional extras that may not be included in your seniors’ funeral insurance policy which you might want to expand the scope of your coverage. Extras relating to accidental death and injury are the most likely candidates to be sought out in this space, but you may find others that suit your needs.

Why compare life insurance through Savvy?

The pros and cons of funeral insurance

PROS

Provides peace of mind

Seniors’ funeral insurance takes away some of the hassle and worry that you and your family may be feeling about funding your funeral

No need to disclose additional health information

Unlike other types of insurance, taking out seniors’ funeral insurance as part of your life insurance package won't involve any additional health checks

CONS

Rising premiums

You could be paying more for seniors’ funeral insurance year on year and if your premiums aren’t capped, you may pay more than your insured sum

Lack of first-year protection        

Because accidental death is the only event likely to be covered under your policy in the first 12 months, other causes of death may rule you ineligible to receive a payout in the first year

Top tips for features to look for on your seniors’ funeral insurance policy

Premium capping

Premium caps can come in the form of both sum insured and premium age caps. The former will remove the requirement for you to pay premiums when the total premium spend is equal to the amount you’re insured for, while the latter will do the same when you reach a certain age. Premiums with age caps tend to be higher than sum insured premium caps.

Cooling off periods

Most insurers will allow you a 30-day cooling off period, during which time you can cancel your coverage at no cost if you’re not wholly satisfied with it. This is useful for those who are looking to trial a policy before they commit to it long-term or simply aren’t yet decided on whether a certain insurer is right for them.

Grace periods

Similarly, most insurers will have systems in place to prevent you from being completely overwhelmed by insurance payments. Grace periods are in place to alleviate some of your financial stress by freezing premium payments for up to three months depending on your insurer.

Accidental injury coverage

As mentioned previously, not all insurers will cover you for accidental serious injury, but some do. If you don’t already have coverage in this area, it might be worth seeking out a senior funeral plan with accidental injury cover. As you get older, the likelihood of accidental injury increases, so it might be worth your while to invest in this area.

Common seniors’ insurance queries

How much does life insurance cost?

There’s no one set amount for how much you’ll pay for life insurance which includes funeral cover. Some of the factors that can influence the cost of premiums include:

  • Your age
  • Where you live
  • How much cover you require
  • Whether you smoke
  • The type of policy you choose
Do I have to complete any additional medical tests to qualify for funeral cover?

No – funeral insurance isn’t based on previous or current health. However, some insurers will require applicants above a certain age who apply for life insurance to undergo testing as part of the application process.

When will my family receive the payout from my life insurance policy?

There are generally fast turnaround times for funeral insurance, and a payout can occur as soon as one business day after submitting your claim. Other policies will generally have a much longer delay between a claim being made and funds being released.

How can I pay for a funeral with no money?

This is known as a pauper’s funeral, which takes place when you or your family are unable to supply the funds required for a funeral. In essence, these funerals are usually held at a crematorium, although some may be burials, where the deceased’s remains will be left unmarked. Alternatively, most states and territories has established initiatives to help low income-earning families when it comes to funding a funeral for their loved one, while the Department of Veterans’ Affairs can take on the financial responsibility of a veteran’s funeral.

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Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd (AFS representative number 001279036) of Alternative Media Pty Ltd (AFS License number 486326) to provide readers with a variety of life insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from Compare Club each time a customer buys a life insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via Compare Club.

Savvy does not compare all life insurance policies or providers currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

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