Illinois Burial Insurance: 11 Primary Questions To Ask

Jake Irving

Jake Irving is the Founder of Policy and has contributed to articles for Synchrony Financial, GoBankingRates, Yahoo News, UpCity, Zapier, LegalZoom, and more.

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The Prairie State has so many wonderful sites to see. From Shawnee National Forest and all the beauty that comes with it, up to Rockford and the Anderson Japanese Gardens. Illinoisans are lucky to call this state home.

One component that is not always at the forefront of someone’s mind is how their final arrangements will be paid for. If there is not enough money to cover funeral costs, family members are held financially responsible.

This can be a major monetary shock for loved ones who are grieving. Fortunately, to ease this financial burden, there is senior funeral insurance.

11 Primary Questions To Ask About Illinois Burial Insurance

1. What is Illinois Funeral Insurance?

Funeral insurance is also known as final expense and burial insurance. These are marketing terms that insurance companies use to describe the intent of the product.

Final expense coverage is a type of whole life insurance, and as such, comes with the following permanent features.

Policy Never Expires: Whole life insurance policies last for the entire life of the insured. Additionally, the death benefit amount remains the same.

Price Never Increases: The price you pay for monthly premiums will never fluctuate.

Builds a Cash Value: A portion will be allocated to the cash value account with each payment made. Over time this amount increases and is available for the policy owner to access.

2. What Makes Final Expense Insurance Different?

How burial insurance works differently than other life insurance products is by being cheaper and easier to get.

Affordable: Coverage for burial expenses comes in smaller death benefit amounts, usually $2,000 – $40,000, depending on the carrier. Traditional policies begin coverage around $50,000 and extend into the millions.

No Medical Exam: Every burial insurance policy goes through simplified issue underwriting. The application process can be done completely over the phone. You will be asked a few yes or no medical questions before your application can be submitted, usually taking 20 minutes.

3. What Can the Money be Used For?

There are no regulations in Illinois when it comes to what the financial distribution can be used for. The common items that beneficiaries spend the money on are listed below.

  • Funeral expenses
  • Cremation
  • Casket
  • Cemetery plot
  • Funeral home fees
  • Service
  • Legal expenses
  • Charity donations
  • Inheritance
  • Outstanding bills

4. How Much Does an Illinois Burial Insurance Policy Cost?

The price of a burial insurance policy will vary depending on the age, health, gender, and coverage amount. Healthy seniors will be able to qualify for the lowest cost plans that have immediate coverage. The payment will be higher for seniors with compromised health.

The price chart below shows quotes for funeral insurance in Illinois.

Monthly Premium Ranges

$10,000 Death Benefit

Non-Smoking Rates

Age Female Male
$23 - $34
$27 - $47
$24 - $39
$31 - $56
$28 - $47
$36 - $61
$33 - $54
$44 - $68
$41 - $66
$56 - $91
$53 - $80
$75 - $106
$72 - $116
$100 - $150
$98 - $190
$140 - $232
$136 - $220
$193 - $312

5. What is the Maximum Age to Apply for Coverage in Illinois?

The overwhelming majority of carriers will provide initial coverage until the age of 80. However, for seniors over 80, final expense insurance is still possible to get. A few companies cover seniors over 80 and will award initial coverage through 89 or 90. Work with a well-versed agent to learn of these opportunities, or get a quote on this page.

6. Can I Purchase a Burial Policy for a Relative Without Them Knowing?

Buying a life insurance policy for someone else is possible. However, they will need to be involved in the process and give permission. The proposed insured needs to be of sound mind and qualify for the plan. There also needs to be an insurable interest present for the person purchasing the insurance policy. An example would be buying life insurance for parents.

7. Does Illinois Final Expense Insurance have a Waiting Period?

A waiting period is a time restriction a life insurance company places on a policy before the beneficiary can receive full coverage. If the insured were to pass away during the waiting period, the beneficiary would receive only a portion of the payout amount. However, if the policyholder passes away after the waiting period concludes, the beneficiary would get the entire death benefit.

Waiting periods typically last two years. However, each carrier gets to determine the timeline. Not all applicants are subject to a waiting period. In fact, most senior burial insurance plans have no waiting period, although you must qualify for them.

8. Does the State of Illinois Pay for Funerals?

Illinois will pay for cremation and funeral expenses for residents receiving specific services at the time of death. This assistance program is run through the Illinois Department of Human Services and awards a maximum of $1,370 for funeral costs and $686 for cremation/burial. In addition, Social Security grants a maximum of $255 to eligible survivors.

Having said this, there is still no such thing as a free cremation or free burial. The average funeral cost in Illinois is well above $6,000, which is nowhere near what the state will provide.

9. What is the Illinois Burial of Dead Bodies Act?

The Illinois Burial of Dead Bodies Act states that there needs to be a minimum of eighteen inches of earth covering the body at the shallowest point. This is for all bodies that are “not encased in a concrete, fiberglass, or other similar hardback outer enclosure.” Anyone knowingly in violation of this act will be found guilty of a petty offense.

10. What is the Best Illinois Final Expense Insurance Plan?

All final expense insurance plans are a little different. The answer to this question will vary drastically depending on the following factors.

Health: Depending on your health, you will be placed in different plan categories. These range from the lowest prices and immediate coverage to plans with no medical questions, which is a guaranteed acceptance plan that comes at a high cost.

Gender: Depending on if you are male or female will have an impact on what carrier is best for you. The price points will fluctuate depending on which gender you are.

Age: Your age matters because every company has different age guidelines on who can obtain coverage. The older you are upon initial coverage, the more your monthly premiums will be.

Allow your agent to help you navigate through these three variables.

11. How do I Find an Illinois Agent and Apply?

The fastest way to receive a quote is by using the online quote machine on this page. It will give you a variety of life insurance companies that are available in Illinois. A good rule of thumb is the lower the price, the healthier you will need to be.

Who Offers The Best Final Expense Insurance In Illinois?

The best final expense insurance coverage for you can be very different than the best for another person. Having said that, there are really only three things that you need to keep in mind before you apply for any insurance policy.

Cost: Make sure that you can afford the monthly premiums for the foreseeable future. The price will never change, but your income could, and with most policies, you will be paying for your entire life.

Coverage: Getting coverage that starts as soon as possible is of high importance. Most seniors can qualify for immediate coverage, so make sure you exhaust all options before getting a policy with a waiting period.

Company: Work with a company that has a good financial rating. This is a sign that they run their business and investments responsibly and will be able to pay your claim when due.

Illinois Funeral Pricing & Statistics

In the State of Illinois, a death certificate must be filed within seven days of death and before the body is transferred out of state or cremated. The funeral director is responsible for filing the death certificate.

Illinois restricts home funerals by requiring a licensed funeral director to be included in the final arrangements. This is uncommon when compared to other states in America.

How Much Does it Cost for a Funeral in IL?

Funeral costs can range widely due to various price points of different items selected throughout the process. The average cost of a funeral in Illinois is $8,265 and $6,858 for burial and cremation, respectively.

The chart below shows the average cost of cremation and burial expenses throughout the state of Illinois. This pricing does not include a cemetery plot, columbarium, or headstone.

Location Burial Cremation
State Average

Illinois Cremation Laws and Statistics

The regulations for cremated remains are relatively strict in Illinois. Ashes can be scattered in a legally established scattering area or kept in a grave, crypt, or niche. Examples of a legal scattering site are a designated area of a cemetery or on private property with permission.

According to estimates by the National Funeral Directors Association, just under 55% of Illinois residents were cremated in 2020, with an estimated 75% by 2030. This coincides with the national trend of cremation outpacing burial rates.

Average Lifespan in Illinois

The average age of death in the state of Illinois is 79, which is just above the national average lifespan of 78.8.

Listed below are the top 10 leading causes of death in IL, according to the CDC.

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Covid-19
  4. Accidents
  5. Stroke
  6. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease
  8. Diabetes
  9. Kidney Disease
  10. Flu/Pneumonia

Final Thoughts

a. Illinois funeral insurance is a wonderful tool for both you and your loved ones. It allows you to make an affordable monthly payment to protect your family from financial hardship due to your passing.

b. Many great insurance companies offer top-tier plans in Illinois. There are policies for nearly everyone, regardless of medical status and budget.

c. Speak with a state-licensed agent to find an affordable monthly payment and the best coverage for your specific situation.