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When you purchase final expense life insurance, there can be a waiting period of four to six weeks while waiting for the application process to complete.

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Additionally, some policies require you to wait up to two years to receive a full benefit. This time creates a gap between when you need coverage and when it officially starts.

There are ways to protect your finances and loved ones during this time. Temporary life insurance, policies with no waiting period, and those with faster underwriting times are all possibilities.

The fastest and easiest way to get your desired coverage is to apply for final expense life insurance with no waiting period. Here is the information I discovered when recently undergoing this journey myself.

Is Final Expense Life Insurance Helpful?

This coverage is designed to help with end-of-life expenses like medical bills or funeral costs. It eases the financial burden on your loved ones while protecting the assets in your estate.

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Most final expense life insurance policies offer a relatively small coverage amount. The amount typically ranges from $2,000 to $50,000 for those who qualify.

The figure is not meant to cover every potential obligation. It is for those final costs that your family or estate pays after you transition.

Many of these policies do not require a medical exam, making them more accessible for individuals with pre-existing health conditions or those who may have difficulty obtaining traditional life insurance.

Does Final Expense Insurance Have a Waiting Period?

Many policies have a two-year waiting period for final expense life insurance. The total death benefit might not be paid if the policyholder passes away during this time.

Instead of the coverage amount, you would receive a percentage or a refund of the premiums paid into the plan.

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It is only after the waiting period that the full benefit becomes available. The specifics of this process vary between insurers and policies, so it helps to read the terms and conditions carefully before paying your first premium.

Please remember to check for a contestability clause when shopping for this insurance. If present, it allows the insurer the right to investigate death claims for 12 to 24 months after issuance, depending on where you live.

Before paying a claim with this clause, the insurer will order all the medical records to determine if the application was truthful.

No-wait insurance eliminates this clause.

Is There a Life Insurance Policy That Kicks In Immediately?

Multiple insurers offer final expense insurance for natural or accidental death once you make that first payment.

You must qualify for a policy that kicks in immediately. The eligibility requirements for a no waiting period plan differ between companies, and there could be a cost involved.

Another option could be to accept a partial waiting period. You might receive a 30% benefit during the first year and a 75% benefit in the second.

Which Life Insurance Company Has No Waiting Period?

When looking at the best final expense insurance companies that offer a no waiting period option, you’ll find that the structure is typically for whole life.

lady waiting patiently on a chair

Coverage ranges are from $1,000 to $50,000 with some providers, although Prosperity Life Group, AIG, and Americo have a $5,000 minimum.

At Transamerica and Mutual of Omaha, you can apply for final expense coverage at age 45. For those age 40, the best choice is Aetna, which offers a $2,000 minimum policy.

Most policies terminate coverage at age 80 or 85. At Aetna, you can continue to carry this insurance until your 89th birthday.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove the Waiting Period?

Unfortunately, there are no specific costs to review if you want to remove the waiting period from a final expense policy. Some health issues present such a high risk that immediate or partial coverage is unavailable.

If you’ve had any of these conditions in the past, you can expect a 24-month waiting period when applying for this coverage.

  • AIDS or HIV diagnosis.
  • A history of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or dementia.
  • Recommendation for organ or bone marrow transplant.
  • A cancer diagnosis within the past 12 months.
  • Circulatory system surgery within the past year.

Your insurer will ask for a waiting period if you are currently in the hospital, at a nursing home, or require skilled care. Any significant health event, like a stroke or a heart attack, also places you into this risk category.

You can ask for different riders or options that remove the waiting period. These costs vary based on your specific circumstances.

What If I Have Been Diagnosed with Diabetes?

Diabetics, both Type 1 and Type 2, face several health challenges when managing their blood sugar numbers. If your disease is well-controlled, you can usually find a policy with no waiting period available.

People with kidney disease from diabetes are put into a higher risk pool. Suppose you’ve experienced insulin shock, an amputation, or a diabetic coma within the past two years. In that case, you will typically need to wait 24 months for full insurance coverage to begin.

What If I Don’t Qualify for Final Expense Life Insurance?

If you cannot find a final expense life insurance policy with no waiting period that works for your needs, some additional options are worth considering.

  • Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: This policy doesn’t require health questions or a medical exam. It is for anyone within a specific age range, often from 50 to 85. Premiums are higher, and you might see limited death benefits for the first few years.
  • Preplanning and Savings: Setting aside funds in a dedicated savings account or prepaying for funeral and burial services can help cover these costs.
  • Family Coverage: Consider exploring the option of being included on another person’s life insurance policy as a beneficiary.
  • Explore Other Alternatives: Look into local or government assistance programs that may offer support for funeral expenses. Non-profit organizations and community groups sometimes provide help.

Thinking about your final days takes work. For me, it forces a look at my mortality, even though it feels like there should be lots of extra time. If you get started now with the right coverage, you can let the insurance handle those costs so that your loved ones can shift their focus to other important matters.


Meet Aaron H., a senior life insurance agent from California with 15+ years of experience. With a major in finance, excellent analytical and communication skills, and a passion for helping clients find personalized solutions, Aaron is a trusted advisor in the industry. He stays up-to-date on the latest trends and developments by attending webinars and workshops, reading industry blogs, and writing informative blog posts on this website. Aaron also has a keen understanding of SEO and online marketing, which he uses to help his clients reach a wider audience and get the coverage they need. He cherishes spending quality time with his wife, two children, and elder parents.