When trying to find the right life insurance, you want to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of financially when you’re gone. However, in some cases, you may not have to provide a substantial death benefit. For example, perhaps your children are grown, or you have other assets you can leave behind.
In those cases, burial insurance, aka final expense insurance, might be the best option. However, choosing the right policy can be a challenge with so many insurance companies out there. So, to help you narrow your comparison, we’re going to be looking at one of the oldest and most respected insurers – Assurity.
Here is what you need to know when looking at Assurity’s burial insurance plan.
What is Burial Insurance?
Typically speaking, when buying a policy, you will choose between term and whole life insurance. Term insurance covers you for a specific period (i.e., 20 years), and has a set death benefit. Whole insurance provides protection forever, which means that it comes with a lot more flexibility and investment opportunities.
Burial insurance, however, is designed to help cover end-of-life expenses. Dying in the US can be a costly process, with everything from transportation fees to funeral expenses putting burdens on your loved ones. Hallmarks of a burial insurance plan include:
- Guaranteed Coverage – not all policies will have this option, and those that do can be more expensive. However, if you have a mitigating health issue or you’re over 80, this might be your only choice.
- Limited Death Benefit – usually, burial insurance provides up to $25,000 to your beneficiaries. If you get a policy before 65, you can generally bump that number up to $50,000.
- Whole Life Policy – some insurers will cut off burial insurance after a certain age. Most companies, like Assurity, will provide the death benefit as long as you make premium payments. In some instances, you might cover the cost of the payout, which means you don’t have to pay any more after that.
For many people, burial insurance is an excellent choice to provide peace of mind without having to worry about medical exams or complicated policies. We’ll get into more specifics later in this article, but these are the basics you’ll have to understand.
Assurity Company History
Fortunately, Assurity is one of the longest-operating insurance companies. Founded in 1890, it’s grown to become one of the highest-rated businesses in the United States. They have an A- rating with A.M. Best, an organization that ranks insurers.
As with all major insurance companies, Assurity offers a wide array of life insurance policies and options. If you decide to get something more comprehensive than burial insurance, they can assist you with upgrading your plan.
Whenever you compare businesses like this, you want to pay close attention to its financial statements. In 2019, Assurity managed over $2.5 billion in assets, and they paid out roughly $58 million in benefits in 2015.
Another bonus with Assurity is that the company is highly active in the community of Lincoln, Nebraska, where it is based. Assurity is heavily involved in various charities and local organizations, showing that the brand values its customers as well as profits.
Overall, Assurity is highly rated and reliable. You can feel confident if you decide to buy a policy from them.
Assurity Burial Insurance Options
As with other companies, you will choose burial insurance based on the type of benefits. There are three options available – level, graded, and modified. Typically, level benefits are the best, because they are cheaper and offer better protection.
On the opposite end, modified benefits are much more expensive, and they have various limitations. However, if you have no other choice, it’s nice to know that you can get guaranteed coverage.
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from each plan.
Because this is the highest-rated package, you will have to be in good health to qualify. We’ll go over the medical questions that Assurity asks later on, but you cannot have any significant health problems. Some conditions can be allowed, such as COPD, but you have to have it under control and not use any oxygen for breathing.
Anyone between zero and 80 can qualify for this plan. Keep that in mind if you want to buy life insurance for your children or a younger family member.
Those between zero and 19 can get between $10,000 and $50,000 in benefits. Those between 20 and 65 can get $5,000 to $50,000, and those between 65 and 80 can receive $5,000 to $25,000 in benefits.
Why Assurity is a Great Choice
There are a few reasons we like level burial insurance from Assurity. First, you get coverage from day one. With other plans, there is a two-year waiting period. If something happens within those two years, your beneficiary will receive a modified death benefit based on how much you’ve paid into the plan.
Second, your premiums will be locked in for the life of the policy. Other companies will increase payments as you get older, but Assurity doesn’t do that. Even better, they don’t charge higher premiums for those with emphysema or COPD, as long as they aren’t a smoker or use oxygen.
Finally, coverage never expires, nor does the death benefit decrease. If you can qualify for this plan, we highly recommend it. As with all life insurance, the sooner you get a policy, the better it is financially. If you’re close to 65, you’ll want to lock in lower rates and a higher benefit as soon as possible.
As we mentioned, non-level burial insurance policies come with a two-year waiting period. With a graded plan, your beneficiaries will receive 40-percent of the death benefit within the first year, 75-percent within the second year, and 100% after that.
Assurity does have some additional medical questions you’ll have to answer to qualify for this coverage. They want to make sure that you have not been diagnosed with a heart condition, aneurysm, sleep apnea, diabetes, or stroke. They also want to verify if you’ve been treated for drug or alcohol addiction.
If you have any of these conditions, or you were diagnosed within the last year, you can still qualify for the graded benefit.
This policy is available for two age groups: 45-65 and 66-80. The younger group can get up to $35,000 in coverage, while anyone over 65 can only get $25,000.
Overall, anyone who would answer yes to any of the medical questions should try to get this policy. Otherwise, you’d have to go for a modified benefits plan, which can be prohibitively expensive.
Also, keep in mind that different companies have varying price structures. While Assurity is excellent, it’s not the cheapest option out there.
Realistically, you should only choose this plan if you have no other choice. Fortunately, there is only one qualifying question. Assurity wants to know if you’ve been in a psychiatric facility or received home care in the last 90 days.
So, if you said yes to one of the graded benefits questions and said yes to this one, you can only get modified benefits. That being said, there are “knockout” questions, which we’ll cover later on. If you answer yes to any of those, you can’t get any coverage, no matter what.
As with the graded policy, these benefits have a two-year waiting period. Your beneficiaries will only receive any amount you paid into the plan, plus a 10-percent bonus. After two years, however, recipients will get 100-percent of the benefit.
Another reason we don’t like this plan is that it maxes out at $25,000, no matter your age. So, there is no benefit to signing up for it sooner rather than later.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Assurity’s LifeScape Plan
Overall, the insurance offered by Assurity is standard for the industry. While it’s not the cheapest, the level benefits policy is one of the better options we’ve seen. Here are the pros and cons of getting this kind of coverage.
- Your Policy Never Expires – as long as you make payments, you never have to worry about losing your benefit. Other burial insurance carriers cut you off after 85.
- Your Premiums Never Go Up – although modified benefits are the priciest, they don’t scale upward as you get older. This is a considerable advantage compared to some other providers.
- Your Benefit Never Goes Down – companies that scale premiums up can also reduce your death benefit. Whatever amount you choose with Assurity, it will remain the same for the life of the policy.
- Coverage With COPD or Emphysema – most burial insurance plans will kick you down to graded benefits if you have one of these conditions. Fortunately, Assurity will allow you to have the best coverage, as long as you meet strict criteria.
- No Additional Riders – one way to make your life insurance plan more comprehensive is to add a rider to it. Typical riders include accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), disability insurance, and living benefits. Assurity doesn’t offer any add-ons for burial insurance.
- Pricier Than Other Plans – if you compare Assurity to other companies, their premiums aren’t the lowest. However, since they don’t increase, be sure to check whether another policy does.
- No Guaranteed Acceptance Option – some insurers can give you a policy no matter your situation. You could have a terminal illness and still have coverage. Assurity, however, doesn’t allow for that, so you may have to look elsewhere.
Can I Be Disqualified?
Yes, you can be knocked out from burial insurance with Assurity. They have a list of disqualifying questions, which we’ll outline below. Also, they check with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) to verify your history. So, if you lie on your application and they discover that you’re taking medication for a knockout condition, you will be denied immediately.
Here are a few examples of questions that Assurity asks – we’ve abridged them for convenience, so be sure to read the actual exam when filling out your answers.
“Has the Proposed Insured been medically diagnosed as having a life expectancy of 12 months or less?”
“In the past 12 months, has the Proposed Insured been medically diagnosed with diabetes; needed assistance or personal supervision to perform any activities of daily living; had or been advised to have brain, heart or circulatory surgery; had a chronic respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema; been treated with oxygen; been diagnosed with heart disease or had a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or heart-related chest pain (angina); or been confined to a nursing facility or received inpatient services at a medical facility for more than 48 continuous hours?”
Again, if you answer yes to any of these questions, you will be denied and have to look elsewhere for coverage.
Let NextGen Life Insurance Help
Comparing life insurance companies and plans can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Let us take care of the details for you so that you can focus on providing for your loved ones. Contact us today to see how we can assist you in this critical process.