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Final Expense & Burial Insurance in Arizona

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While Arizona remains one of the least expensive places to hold a funeral, the cost is still high. It can easily cost upwards of $6,590 — not including a casket and memorial tributes — to carry out final wishes. Burial insurance can help to lower these expenses, so your family is not left with a huge financial burden should you pass without making plans for your own funeral.

Burial insurance, which is sometimes called funeral insurance or final expense life insurance, is a cost-effective way to pay for your funeral and other end-of-life expenses. Your survivors can use the benefits to pay off credit cards or to settle any outstanding debt, such as hospital bills, that you leave behind.

The process of buying burial insurance in Arizona is similar to buying in other states. There are, however, a few things you should be aware of before making a decision. This guide is designed to help you understand your options and help explain how burial insurance can protect your loved ones.

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The Funeral Rule

Federal law dictates basic laws surrounding burial services. Known as the Funeral Rule, these rules apply to every state and are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  • Pricing – Funeral homes must quote prices for products and services over the phone if requested. In person, they must provide a general price list, a casket price list, and a burial container price list (when applicable).
  • Contracts – An itemized statement of charges and estimates must be provided before a contract is signed.
  • Pre-Need Funeral Plans – FTC laws do not apply to the language of pre-need contracts. They do not govern payment options, costs, modifications, transfers, cancellations, or administrative fees.

Funeral and Burial Expectations in Arizona

Each state has laws on how to register a death and complete the burial or cremation process, including how to receive the death certificate and whether embalming is required.

Death Certificates

A death certificate is a legal document that survivors may need in order to gain access to pension or insurance benefits, or to close financial accounts of the deceased. It contains information relating to the time, cause, and location of death. In Arizona, a death certificate is issued by a medical examiner, medical professional, or other authorized individual or agency. The body must be submitted for a medical exam within 72 hours after death and a death certificate has to be registered with the state within seven days.

If the death occurs on a Native American reservation and a medical examiner is not available, the tribal council may complete the medical portion of the death certificate.


Embalming is a way to preserve a body after death. It is a common practice, but one that is not required by law if the body is held in cold storage. In Arizona, refrigeration and embalming are both acceptable ways to store a body, but must be done within 24 hours of death. If the body is buried or cremated within 24 hours after death, no preservation is needed. This is referred to as direct cremation or direct burial. Arizona law does not require funeral homes to offer refrigeration, though many do.

Embalming may be required in some cases, such as if the body will be shipped, the person died of an infectious disease, or if you elect to have an open casket viewing prior to the funeral.

Burial Requirements

Burial typically takes place within a week of death, and a casket is not required by law. Cemeteries may have their own standards, however, and may require the use of a casket or other approved container before the body is placed into the ground.

There are no laws that say a body must be buried in an established cemetery. Home burials are not prohibited, but each county may have zoning requirements that would restrict burial on private land. If home burial is preferred, the burial site must be registered beforehand.

Cremation Services

Cremation is the process of burning a body at a high temperature. This leaves behind ashes that may be entombed, buried, scattered, or kept at a private residence or place of worship. Caskets are not required for cremation, but the body must be placed in a rigid, combustible container. These are usually made of cardboard, and may be purchased through the crematorium, a funeral home, or online.

Cremations must be completed within 15 days of authorization, which must come from a legal representative of the deceased. This is usually a spouse, adult child, or other recognized representative.

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Average Funeral Costs in Arizona

A funeral in Arizona can cost more than $6,500, which usually does not include a casket, memorial service, clothing, or burial vault. Other services can easily add thousands of dollars to this price. Below is a general price range based off of local funeral home prices in 2018:

Service Price Range Average
Direct Cremation $575 - $2,650 $1,612
Direct Burial $875 - $5,170 $3,022
Full Service Funeral (not including casket) $1,295 - $6,590 $3,942
Transportation of Body to Funeral Home $395 - $700 $547
Embalming $525 - $700 $612
Body Preparation (bathing, dressing, casketing) $225 - $300 $237
Casket $795 - $5,590 $3,192
FULL SERVICE TOTAL $3,235 - $13,830 $8,533

Mesa Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $5,123 $455 - $ 9,790
Immediate Burial $5,643 $995 - $10,290
Cremation Memorial $5,583 $880 - $10,285
Full Burial (not including casket) $6,200 $1,420 - $10,980

Phoenix Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $2,783 $620 - $4,945
Immediate Burial $2,858 $695 - $5,020
Cremation Memorial $3,133 $970 - $5,295
Full Burial (not including casket) $3,033 $1,045 - $5,020

Tucson Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $1,828 $595 - $3,060
Immediate Burial $818 $640 - $995
Cremation Memorial $2,493 $1,250 - $3,735
Full Burial (not including casket) $2,170 $1,315 - $3,025


It’s easy to see how quickly expenses can add up, and even the lowest expected final expenses can be a tough bill to pay without having money set aside.

Help with Funeral Costs in Arizona

Life Insurance

Life insurance generally comes in two varieties: term and whole. Term life insurance is usually purchased in terms of 10 to 30 years. This option is affordable, and rates typically stay the same throughout the life of the policy. The death benefit is there to protect your family against financial loss should you die while you’re still paying debts, such as a mortgage or car loan. It would pay not only your funeral costs, but also cover your family's living expenses in whole or in part for a time after your death. Term life does not build cash value. At the end of the term, you may have the option to renew at a higher premium and may have to qualify for coverage.

Whole life insurance has a level premium throughout the life of the policy. The benefit and rate will never change as long as premiums are paid. Whole life policies also gain cash value, unlike term policies. Because there is no term limit, you typically only have to qualify once which can help you down the road if your health changes.

Term life is less expensive than whole life insurance and is a good choice if you are just starting your family. Whole life is a better option for people who wish to cover their end-of-life expenses, such as their funeral or any unpaid medical bills they may leave behind.

Pre-need Insurance

Offered by many funeral homes, a pre-need plan offers the ability to determine your wants in regards to your final farewell before your death. It is a pre-paid funeral arrangement, and is only good at the funeral home where it was purchased.

There are two types of pre-need plans: guaranteed and non-guaranteed. A guaranteed plan is one that pays for the service you want, no matter its cost at the time of your death. A non-guaranteed plan only covers the amount you pre-pay at the time of purchase. It does not account for inflation or a change in the funeral home’s pricing.

Since these plans are unique to each funeral home and since each service provider sets their own prices, costs vary wildly. If you want to purchase a pre-need plan, you can save money by comparing prices between different funeral homes.

Funeral Advantage

Funeral Advantage from Lincoln Heritage is a smart choice for Arizona families wishing to protect themselves against the high cost of final expenses. Unlike a pre-need plan, final expense insurance is available as a cash payout directly to the beneficiaries. There is no health exam required, and the majority of people qualify for coverage. Policies are issued based on answers to health questions, and rates are locked in for the life of the policy as long as premiums are paid.

An added benefit to Funeral Advantage policyholders is free membership to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society®. This family support service assists with finding the most cost-effective funeral services and items when the policyholder dies. The organization isn’t linked to a particular funeral home and exists solely to provide information to families in their time of need.

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Federal and State Assistance

In Arizona, as with all states, crime victims are partially protected by the state’s Crime Victim Compensation Program. Victims’ families may be able to obtain up to $10,000 in burial expenses, which are funded in part by charges levied against the person who committed the crime.

The Social Security Office provides a one-time death benefit of $255 to qualifying individuals. This lump-sum payment goes to the surviving spouse of children of the deceased. Veterans may be eligible for up to $450 in additional cemetery and burial benefits.

Average Cost of Final Expense Insurance in Arizona

Final expense insurance is an affordable way to cover your family in the event of your death. Because most insurance companies do not require a medical exam, most people qualify. You may be asked to fill out a one-page questionnaire outlining your personal health and family history. Some insurers will request a urine and blood sample before approving your application.


Monthly Premium Rates for Men*

$5,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $16 $20
55 $19 $24
60 $23 $29
65 $29 $35
70 $38 $44
75 $51 $63
80 $65 $82

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

$10,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $30 $40
55 $35 $46
60 $43 $57
65 $56 $68
70 $74 $88
75 $100 $125
80 $126 $162

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.


Monthly Premium Rates for Women*

$5,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $14 $15
55 $16 $18
60 $18 $24
65 $22 $28
70 $28 $35
75 $38 $46
80 $48 $64

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

$10,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $25 $28
55 $28 $36
60 $33 $45
65 $41 $55
70 $53 $69
75 $72 $90
80 $93 $126

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

Leading Cause of Death in Arizona

The leading causes of death in Arizona are not unlike the majority of the US, with cancer and heart disease leading the way. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the top 10 causes of death in Arizona are:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Accidents
  4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
  5. Alzheimer's Disease
  6. Stroke
  7. Diabetes
  8. Suicide
  9. Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhois
  10. Hypertension

Free Look Period

If you live in Arizona and are over the age of 65, you are entitled to a preview period of 10 to 30 days when you purchase a new life insurance plan. This means that you have that much time to cancel and still receive a refund of premiums already paid. If you are under the age of 65, the Free Look law is in effect for 10 days.

How to Get Burial Insurance in Arizona

When it’s time to safeguard your family against the expenses associated with death, contact Lincoln Heritage. A professional insurance agent will help you determine the type of plan and coverage amount that’s right for your budget and needs.

Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company Locations in Arizona

Memorial Advantage Group
727 E Bethany Home Rd Ste D224
(602) 265-1493

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