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Final Expense and Burial Insurance in Delaware

Japanese funeral

Every year, the National Funeral Directors Association conducts a study to determine the current cost of funerals as a national average and for each state. The latest study, which was conducted in 2021, shows that the median price of a funeral with burial and a vault is $9,420. The average cost of a funeral with cremation is $6,971. Overall, the cost of final expenses has risen by 6.6% over the past five years.

Let’s take a look at the cost of funerals in Delaware.

How to Get Burial Insurance in Delaware

Whenever you’re looking for funeral insurance, you will be faced with a lot of choices. But your goal is to find an insurance company that provides the best service and will be there when you need them. That means that you should look for one that has earned the trust of consumers over generations.

For instance, Lincoln Heritage is a final expense insurer that has provided stellar service over the years and is now considered one of the top insurers in the industry. If you want to learn more about what a Lincoln Heritage final expense policy looks like for you, you can contact them for a free quote.

Funeral and Burial Expectations in Delaware

The median cost of a funeral in Delaware is $8,149. That cost includes a casket for $1,500 and the national average price of a vault of $1,572. The other things that make up the cost are:

  • A non-declinable basic services fee
  • Removal and/or transfer of remains to the funeral home
  • Embalming
  • Other preparation of the body
  • Use of the facilities and staff for the viewing
  • Use of the facilities and staff for the funeral ceremony
  • Use of the service car or van
  • Printed materials such as the memorial package
  • Vault
  • Cremation fee (if the funeral home uses a third party)
  • Cremation casket
  • Urn

In Delaware, you don’t have to hire a funeral director to handle the final disposition of a loved one. If you choose not to, you will have to file the death certificate instead of the funeral director.

Death Certificate

If you choose to file the death certificate yourself, you have three days after the death to file the death certificate with the Office of Vital Statistics. The deceased person’s doctor, the medical examiner, or another medical professional must complete the medical portion of the death certificate within 48 hours of the death.

Once the death certificate is filed, you must apply for a burial-transit permit to move the body.


Although there are no laws in Delaware that require a body to be embalmed, the law does require that the body be embalmed, refrigerated, or placed in a hermetically sealed casket if final disposition does not occur within 24 hours.

Burial Requirements

Delaware does not have any restrictions against burying someone on private land, although it is recommended that you check with local authorities before doing so.

Cremation Services

Before someone can be cremated in Delaware, the medical examiner must issue a permit. Once that permit is issued, there are no laws concerning cremation or the spreading of ashes in Delaware. There are some federal laws concerning spreading ashes at sea – you must be at least three miles from the shore when you spread ashes.

Average Funeral Costs in Delaware

Different cities in Delaware charge different prices for final expenses. The price you pay will depend on what type of service you want and where you live. But to give you an idea of funeral prices in the state, we’ve provided the average prices of funerals in two Delaware cities below.

The average cost of a funeral in Wilmington is $8,807. The general prices in Wilmington are:

Service Average Cost
Basic services $2,152
Visitation and viewing $437
Ceremony $625
Graveside service $130
Remains transportation $356
Direct burial $555
Direct cremation $2,224
Embalming $756
* Vault (national average) $1,572

The average price for a funeral in Dover, Delaware is $6,339. The general prices in Dover are:

Service Average Cost
Basic services $1,624
Visitation and viewing $351
Ceremony $644
Remains transportation $299
Direct cremation $1,325
Embalming $524
* Vault (national average) $1,572

Remember, the prices above are for specific cities. To get prices in your city, contact several local funeral homes and compare prices.

A Note About Vaults

Most cemeteries require vaults, which are outer grave liners that prevent the soil and heavy machinery from causing the gravesite to collapse. When pricing funerals, you will find a wide range of prices and styles for vaults.

Here are some guidelines for them:

  • Basic, unlined concrete grave liner: $400 - $1,500
  • Basic plastic- or steel-reinforced sealed concrete vault: $600 - $2,000
  • Double-reinforced vault of heavy concrete lined with plastic, porcelain enamel, or metal: $2,000 - $4,000
  • Premium metal burial vaults or vaults covered with a veneer of fake marble or granite: $2,000 - $16,000+
  • Protective urn vaults for cremains: $125 - $900+

Help With Funeral Costs in Delaware

As the cost of final expenses continues to rise, more and more people are looking for ways to pay for their own funerals. This will prevent their loved ones from having to shoulder the burden. If you want to arrange for your funeral ahead of time, here are some things you can do now.

Term Insurance

Term life insurance is one way to ensure that your loved ones are not stuck with an expensive funeral bill. You can buy a policy that is only good for a certain amount of time – a term life insurance policy for 10, 20, or even 30 years – but once the term is up, the insurance expires.

If you still need insurance after the expiration date, you will have to buy another term. The problem is that premiums become higher the older you get and as your health deteriorates. So, the term life policy that you had when you were 40 will cost a lot more when you are 60.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance, also known as burial insurance, is a type of whole-life insurance. That means, once you have a policy and continue to pay the premiums, it will never expire. What’s more, the premiums will never go up – even as you age or your health gets worse.

These policies are designed to cover final expenses such as funerals and outstanding bills. The face value of the policy is typically $20,000 or less.

Pre-need Insurance

Pre-need insurance is a type of insurance policy that you get through a specific funeral home by making arrangements with their funeral director. In short, you pay for your funeral upfront, and the funeral home promises to carry out your wishes after you pass.

You can buy two types of pre-need insurance: a guaranteed policy and a non-guaranteed policy. The guaranteed policy ensures that you get the exact funeral that you plan, no matter how much prices increase before you pass. You will pay a premium for this type of policy.

With a non-guaranteed policy, you will still plan your funeral, but you pay today’s prices for it. If prices have increased by the time you pass, your loved ones will have to decide whether to stick with their budget and change your funeral or give you the funeral you wanted by adding to their budget.

Be sure to ask certain questions when speaking to the funeral director about these types of policies. For instance, what happens to your money if the funeral home goes out of business? Or what if you were to pass in another state or country?

Government Assistance

The federal government pays a one-time benefit of $255 to the qualifying children and spouses of the deceased. The payment is made from the Social Security Administration.

Additionally, the state of Delaware will provide up to $100 in funeral assistance if the deceased or minor child was receiving State of Delaware Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance (GA), or Medicaid benefits.

Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in Delaware

If you have decided that final expense insurance is right for you, the next step is learning more about it, including the type of premiums you will pay. Below, you will find some example rates for both men and women at various ages.

Remember, these are example rates – your premium will be based on your sex, age, and health status.

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 Causes of Death in Delaware

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following are the current leading causes of death in Delaware:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. COVID
  4. Accidents
  5. Stroke
  6. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  7. Alzheimer’s disease
  8. Diabetes
  9. Kidney Disease
  10. Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis

No Exam in Delaware

If you do not wish to undergo a medical exam, it is still possible to get a life insurance policy. Some final expense insurers will issue no-exam insurance policies. Instead of sitting for a medical exam, you will simply answer some questions about your health.

Free Look Period

Delaware state law requires insurance companies to give consumers a 10-day “free look period” when purchasing an insurance policy. That means you have 10 days from the time you receive the policy to decide whether or not you want to keep it. If you don’t, the insurance company must refund the entire amount you have paid in premiums.