North Carolina Burial Insurance: 11 Insightful Questions

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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In the Tar Heel State, there are many beautiful things to see. From the Nantahala National Forest, across the Blue Ridge Parkway, and over to Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington. From east to west, there is so much to experience.

Most North Carolinians do not think about the expenses that come at the end of life. This is a significant financial burden for family members if you are unprepared. Fortunately, funeral life insurance for seniors can help cover these expenses.

11 Insightful Questions About North Carolina Funeral Insurance

1. What is North Carolina Funeral Insurance?

Funeral insurance is a type of whole life coverage, also known as burial insurance and final expense insurance. These names are used interchangeably to market and describe the intent of the coverage.

There are several benefits to final expense insurance. The permanent features that come with every whole life insurance policy are essential for insurance to cover funeral expenses.

Locked in Death Benefit: The amount of coverage initially taken out will never decrease, allowing for peace of mind for both you and your family. The final expense policy will never expire, lasting the insured’s entire life.

Locked in Premiums: The monthly price never fluctuates. Other types of life insurance have adjusting premiums, which is not the case with whole life burial insurance.

Builds a Cash Value: Over time, a cash value builds, allowing the policy owner to borrow against this amount if they wish. A small amount of each premium is allocated to the cash value account that increases through the years.

2. What Makes Final Expense Insurance Different?

The features that set final expense insurance apart from traditional whole life insurance policies are the low cost and the accessibility to seniors.

Affordability: The cost is low due to the smaller available death benefits. Lesser coverage amounts equal lesser premiums. Traditional whole life insurance starts at $50,000 and extends into the millions, while final expense policies are $2,000 – $40,000.

No Medical Exam: Funeral insurance goes through an underwriting process called simplified issue. Seniors will never be asked to get a medical exam with simplified issue underwriting. In fact, you can finish the application process over the phone in about 20 minutes.

3. What Can the Payout be Used For?

There are no regulations on what final expense insurance can cover. The beneficiary can use the money for any expenses necessary. While the death benefit is most commonly spent on funeral arrangements, it can also be given to charity or used to cover outstanding bills.

4. What is the Cost of North Carolina Burial Insurance?

Burial insurance quotes online vary based on age, health, coverage amount, and gender. Additionally, each insurance company sets its own pricing, which typically includes smoking and non-smoking rates.

The price chart below shows the range someone can expect to pay for final expense insurance. The healthier someone is, the less they will be required to pay.

Monthly Premiums in NC

$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 Oldest I Can Get Coverage?

Typically the burial insurance companies will initially award coverage to seniors 80 or 85 years old. However, a select few carriers will provide initial coverage until the age of 90. Final expense life insurance for seniors over 80 will be more expensive, so it is highly recommended that you get coverage sooner than later. Death benefit amounts are also limited the older you are.

6. What is the “North Carolina State-Regulated Final Expense Program” that I Got in the Mail?

Many North Carolina seniors receive a mailer advertising a state-regulated insurance program. The state of North Carolina does not sponsor this program.

It is a deceptive marketing practice designed to be confusing as all life insurance is state-regulated. The mailers are sent by life insurance agents looking for seniors interested in burial insurance.

7. Is There a Waiting Period?

Seniors must qualify for immediate coverage. There are 4 types of final expense insurance plans. Each has different medical qualifying standards and payout structures that vary by provider.

  • Level: Healthiest Clients & Immediate Coverage
  • Graded: Average Health & 2-year Waiting Period
  • Modified: Past Health Concerns & 2-year Waiting Period
  • Guaranteed Issue: Chronic Health Concerns & 2-year Waiting Period

If the insured were to pass away during the waiting period, the beneficiary would receive a predetermined portion of the coverage amount. Once the waiting period concludes, the beneficiary is entitled to the full policy amount. Typical waiting periods are two years.

Calling an independent agent who can price check multiple companies will be your best option to see what plan is right for you.

8. Is it Worth Buying North Carolina Final Expense Insurance?

There are several ways to plan for the financial aspect of your funeral. Since everyone’s situation is slightly different, it can be hard to know if it is worth it for you.

Start by getting a personalized quote and then analyze the cost and benefits. This coverage is a wonderful option for many seniors and delivers peace of mind that you will not burden your family with these costs. In North Carolina, your family will be responsible for paying if you do not have a financial plan to cover funeral costs.

9. Does Social Security Pay for Final Expenses?

Upon qualification, Social Security will pay your survivor a maximum of $255. This is not nearly enough to cover the needed funeral expenses.

10. I am Looking to Purchase a Final Expense Policy for my Mother in NC: Can I?

Children can buy funeral insurance for parents. However, they need to be involved in the process. You cannot purchase insurance coverage without their consent. A few conditions must be met to complete the application, including insurable interest and permission.

11. How Can I Get a Quote?

The quickest and easiest way to get a quote is to use the online quote machine on this page.

What Is The Best North Carolina Burial Insurance?

Each life insurance company has different standards for underwriting. Because of this, the best burial insurance company for one person is different than for another.

Some policies are more lenient than others regarding health and age. Working with an insurance agency with access to multiple policies will be your best option. However, there are still three things that you should look for before applying for burial insurance.

Price: Ensure that you are applying for the lowest price available based on what you can qualify for. The cost will vary depending on the underwriting criteria of the insurance company.

Coverage Start Date: Get insurance protection that begins immediately whenever possible. While many plans have a waiting period, many do not. Since the qualifying guidelines vary, have your agent exhaust all possibilities of gaining immediate coverage.

Company’s Financial Rating: Third-party rating agencies review the financial viability of life insurance companies. These ratings provide insight to consumers on which company is set up to succeed in the future financially. You want to work with a company with a high financial rating to ensure that your policy will be paid when due. We recommend B+ or better rating from AM Best.

North Carolina Funeral Prices & Statistics

What is the Average Cost of a Funeral in NC?

The average cost of a standard burial service in North Carolina is $7,858, while a cremation averages $6,423. Several factors affect the price of a funeral. Cremation is generally less expensive than a traditional burial, although this method of disposition also costs thousands of dollars.

Seniors and their families can save money by shopping around and comparing the prices of funeral homes in their area. According to the federal funeral rule that the FTC governs, price lists must be made available before committing to any funeral services.

No state laws in North Carolina prohibit burial on private land. However, before proceeding, you should check with your local zoning and health officials to see if there are rules in place in your area.

Location Burial Cremation
Rocky Mount
State Average

Not included in the price estimates:

  • Cost of Headstone, Monument, or Marker
  • Cemetery Property, Plot of Land, Columbarium, etc.

North Carolina Cremation Regulations & Statistics

In 2020, just over 50% of people in North Carolina chose to be cremated upon death. However, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, nearly 70% of deaths are anticipated to result in cremation by 2030. This is a nationwide trend in America, with the traditional burial taking a backseat to cremation.

Unlike other highly regulated states, there are very few restrictions in NC regarding the scattering of cremated remains. Ashes can be scattered or kept in the following ways with limited state guidelines. However, confirm with the federal rules, especially if considering a federal land or sea scattering.

  • Kept at home
  • Placed in a cemetery or columbarium
  • Scattered on private property
  • Spread in an established scattering garden
  • Scattered on federal land or uninhabited public land
  • Scattered at sea or by air

Lifespan & Causes of Death in North Carolina

The average age at death in North Carolina is 77.6. This is slightly lower than the national lifespan of 78.8

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, listed below are the top 10 leading causes of death in the state of NC.

  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. North Carolina funeral insurance is affordable and necessary to leave your loved ones in a position to celebrate your life and not be burdened with the associated costs.

b. Finding the right plan takes research and knowledge. Make sure to work with an agency specializing in this coverage with access to many carriers. This will assure you the lowest price and best plan.