Avoiding burial insurance scams can be difficult, this is why we out together this simple guide.
Burial insurance, often called final expense or funeral insurance, is a particular type of life insurance plan designed to cover end-of-life costs, such as funeral services and burial costs.
It’s a critical financial tool aimed at protecting your loved ones from financial stress during an already emotionally taxing time.
But before we dive into how to avoid burial insurance scams, it’s essential to understand the basics of burial insurance.
Unlike conventional life insurance, burial insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, and acceptance is guaranteed for individuals within a certain age bracket.
This makes it an attractive option for seniors who may not qualify for other types of life insurance.
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Common Burial Insurance Scams
In our modern world, scams are, unfortunately, a frequent occurrence.
The insurance industry is no stranger to this unfortunate reality, with a specific type of fraud called burial insurance scams gaining traction.
Predators use various techniques to exploit unsuspecting seniors looking for a viable burial insurance plan.
1. Policy Stacking: This scam happens when an insurance agent convinces a consumer to purchase multiple insurance policies, insisting that more coverage is better. However, one comprehensive policy is often enough.
2. Churning: Churning is when an insurance agent suggests you cancel your existing policy to buy a new one, ostensibly because it offers better benefits. The reality is that the agent is looking to earn a commission from the sale of the new policy.
3. Bait and Switch: Here, an insurance agent sells you a different policy from what you initially intended to buy. They may promise you a burial insurance policy but switch it with a more expensive life insurance policy. For example, promising a immediate coverage policy when you have ADL’s or are in a nursing home.
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Funeral Insurance versus Burial Insurance: What’s the Difference?
While the terms “funeral insurance” and “burial insurance” are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences to understand.
Funeral insurance generally covers the costs associated with funeral services, such as embalming, cremation, or transportation.
Burial insurance, on the other hand, focuses more on covering burial and interment expenses, such as cemetery plot, casket, or headstone.
Recognizing these differences is essential, as it can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a policy and protect you from potential insurance fraud.
Awareness of these scams can empower seniors to better safeguard their finances and ensure they purchase a policy that genuinely caters to their needs.
Avoiding Insurance Scams: Steps to Take
When it comes to preventing insurance scams, there are several actionable steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones:
1. Verify the Company: Make sure to verify the insurance company’s credibility before purchasing any policy. Check if they’re licensed to sell insurance in your state by consulting your state insurance department’s website.
2. Read the Fine Print: Never sign a policy contract without thoroughly understanding its terms and conditions. Ask for clarification for any terms you don’t understand and ensure the policy covers everything you expect.
3. Seek a Second Opinion: Before finalizing the policy, consider seeking a second opinion from an independent financial advisor. They can help determine whether the policy is suitable for your needs.
4. Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter any suspicious activity or suspect insurance fraud, report it immediately to your state insurance commissioner’s office.
Q1: What is burial insurance?
A: Burial insurance, also known as final expense insurance, is a type of life insurance aimed at covering funeral and burial costs. It’s designed to relieve your loved ones from these expenses during an emotionally challenging time.
Q2: What are some common burial insurance scams?
A: Common burial insurance scams include policy stacking, churning, and the bait and switch scam. Awareness and vigilance are critical in avoiding these fraudulent practices.
Q3: How can I avoid insurance scams?
A: Protect yourself by verifying the legitimacy of the insurance company, reading your policy thoroughly, seeking a second opinion, and reporting any suspicious activities to the relevant authorities.
Q4: What is the difference between funeral insurance and burial insurance?
A: Funeral insurance primarily covers the costs of services, such as cremation or transportation, while burial insurance covers burial and interment expenses like cemetery plot and casket.
Knowledge and vigilance are your best defenses against burial insurance scams. Stay informed, ask questions, and make decisions with confidence to shield yourself and your family from undue financial burdens.
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