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Final Expense & Burial Insurance in Kentucky

As the cost of funerals continues to rise across the nation, people are looking into products like funeral insurance, also known as final expense insurance, to help pay for their end-of-life expenses. They know that if they pass without making arrangements for their final expenses, their loved ones will have to shoulder the burden. And funeral insurance pays for more than just funerals: It can also cover final medical bills, car payments, outstanding utility bills, and more. And if you purchase a policy with a higher payout, you may even be able to leave a cash benefit for your beneficiaries.

In Kentucky, purchasing burial insurance for seniors is just like buying other life insurance policies. But the state has specific rules and guidelines for how funerals and burials are carried out. Let’s talk about these specifics for Kentucky, as well as why Funeral Advantage is the leading insurance policy in Kentucky.

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 & Burial Expectations in Kentucky

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NDFA), the average funeral with a viewing and burial in Kentucky costs $7,353. That’s the average starting point – incorporating other essentials such as a casket and vault, plus niceties likes flowers and transportation for the deceased and their family, adds to the price substantially.

In addition to price, you need to know about some other regulations that Kentucky has surrounding funerals, burials, and cremations you should know about when planning final arrangements.

Death Certificates

Kentucky uses a system called the Kentucky Electronic Death Registration System (KY-EDRS) to record all instances of death in the state. The process is completed in two parts. Initially, the funeral director completes their portion of the death certificate and submits it electronically to the medical certifier using the online system. If the medical certifier does not use the KY-EDRS system, the funeral director prints the certificate on 25 percent cotton bond paper with a visible watermark and sends it to the medical certifier.

In this case, the medical certifier will resubmit the certificate to the funeral director after completing it, who will then electronically submit it. If the medical certifier is a registered system user, they will submit the death certificate electronically using the system. The medical certifier must submit the completed form within 5 days of the death.

Embalming and Refrigeration

Kentucky does not have any laws or regulations requiring a body to be embalmed.


Likewise, Kentucky has no rules or regulations that require the deceased to be buried in a casket or vault. But some cemeteries require one or both, so be sure to check with the cemetery you prefer.

Kentucky has explicit rules about who can make final disposition decisions for the deceased. They are, in this order:

  • An agent named in a written declaration made by you
  • A spouse
  • Adult children
  • Surviving parents
  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Next of kin
  • Someone who possesses a prepaid funeral plan that sets out your arrangements, but only after they contact everyone named on the above list

Before a body can be transported to a funeral home, the coroner in the county where the death took place must issue a permit granting authorization.


The coroner in the county where the death occurred must issue a permit granting authorization before a body can be cremated. Once a cremation has occurred, Kentucky allows people to scatter or keep the ashes in the following places:

  • In a crypt, niche, or grave
  • A designated scattering area
  • Private land (with permission)

In general, loved ones can keep or transport ashes in any way they choose without permission or a permit.

Average Funeral Costs in Kentucky

The average Kentucky funeral with a viewing runs $7,353. Of course, the price varies, depending on the choice of essentials (like a casket and headstone), added accouterments (like flowers, music, and catering), and your specific location.





Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $1,450 $1,375 - $1,590
Immediate Burial $2,795 $2,495 - $3,995
Cremation Memorial $4,595 $3,975 - $8,995
Full Service $5,695 $2,795 - $7,450



Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $1,275 $1,250 - $1,300
Immediate Burial $2,375 $1,995 - $4,050
Cremation Memorial $3,895 $3,495 - $4,750
Full Burial $6,575 $5,715 - $9,040



Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $1,745 $1,600 - $1,875
Immediate Burial $2,750 $1,600 - $6,470
Cremation Memorial $3,245 $2,425 - $9,945
Full Burial $7,275 $6,250 - $16,375


Help with Funeral Costs in Kentucky

Managing a funeral is never easy, but it can be particularly difficult when a loved one passes away unexpectedly. Besides the overwhelming grief, unexpected funeral expenses can wreak havoc on budgets. Luckily, you have several options when it comes to planning so that your family isn’t affected financially if your passing comes without warning.

Term Insurance

Term life insurance is a type of policy that is only good for the specified period of time. You can buy term life insurance policies for 10, 20, and even 30 years. The day your term expires, your insurance is no longer in effect. At that point, you will have to apply for a new policy – with new higher premiums because those are based on age and health. What’s more, if your health has declined significantly over the length of your previous term, there’s a chance you might not even qualify for a new policy.

Final Expense Insurance

An alternative to term life insurance is whole life insurance. A whole life insurance policy offers the peace of mind of knowing that your policy will never expire as long as you make the payments. And the premiums won’t increase as you age or your health deteriorates, either.

These policy payouts are typically $20,000 or less, although it is possible to find funeral expense with higher payouts. Final expense insurance is a type of whole life policy that is specifically designed to cover end-of-life expenses. It’s also referred to as burial insurance or funeral insurance because its goal is to help protect surviving family members from the common costs associated with burial and/or funeral arrangements.

If you purchase your burial expense policy from Lincoln Heritage, you will have access to Funeral Advantage, which comes with the burial insurance policy and offers much-needed family support services for help. The family support services portion of the package includes a free membership to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society®, a nonprofit consumer advocacy that helps its members save money on funeral costs. When arranging a loved one’s funeral, comparison-shopping is not a top priority. The dedicated representatives at the Guardian Society understand this – they do the leg work of finding the most cost-effective funeral homes in your area, so all you need to do is choose one. Only Funeral Advantage has access to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society.

Pre-need Insurance

Pre-planning funerals has become more popular in recent years because it allows people to not only plan for their final arrangements, but to pay for them as well. But if you’re thinking about going this route, you should understand some of the possible consequences.

First, be sure to meet with several funeral homes to get the best value for your money. You’ll make these types of arrangements directly with the funeral director at the funeral home of your choice. Once all the decisions have been made, they will give you the cost. Typically you’ll have the option to pre-pay in one lump sum or to break it up into monthly payments.

Then, before you jump into this type of arrangement, make certain to ask the funeral home some questions about their specific policies. Remember, you’re paying them up front for an event that is hopefully many years in the future, so find out:

  • If the funeral home goes out of business, what happens to your money?
  • Because the funeral home will hold your money until your death, what will they do with the interest earned on it?
  • If you die in another state, will your loved ones be refunded the cost of your plan?
  • What happens if you change your mind about the policy somewhere down the line?

Government Assistance

Kentucky does not offer a statewide funeral assistance program, but some counties do at a local level – although it’s not typically more than $1,000. To find out if your county offers assistance, get in touch with the local coroner’s office.

Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in Kentucky

Unlike funeral costs, final expense insurance rates are not based on where you live. That’s because most insurance companies offer nationwide coverage. Instead, the determining factors are your sex, your age, the coverage amount you choose, and your overall health.

Men typically pay more than women because of life expectancy. And the older you are when you start a policy, the more you’ll pay. Most final expense policies are between $10,000 and $20,000, but you may be able to find a life insurance company that offers a $50,000 policy.

Your health and health history are the largest factors in determining what you will pay for your policy. Most life insurance companies follow nationwide underwriting guidelines, although some may offer state-specific plans. Check with your local life insurance agent to find out what your options are.

Tobacco users can expect to pay as much as 30 percent more in premiums, depending on your age. And if you take certain types of medication or have had any health events, you may not qualify for a standard insurance policy. But even if you can’t qualify for a standard policy, you still have options. An alternative is to purchase a guaranteed final expense insurance plan. Your premium will be higher, but you will still be able to provide for your loved ones so they don’t have to worry about paying for your funeral expenses. It’s also important to know that these types of policies come with a waiting period before the full benefit is eligible for payout.

Here is a summary of what you can expect to pay in premiums based on your age and sex:


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 Kentucky

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are the leading causes of death in Kentucky:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic lower respiratory disease
  4. Accidents
  5. Stroke
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Diabetes
  8. Kidney
  9. Septicemia
  10. Flu/pneumonia

It can be difficult to find life insurance policies if you have a serious disease, but it’s not impossible. For example, if you have heart disease, some life insurance companies may offer you a modified plan. Granted, you will pay higher premiums and have a waiting period before your policy takes effect. But if you pass away during this wait period, all of the premiums paid into the policy are returned, plus a small additional percentage.

No matter what health conditions you may have, it’s not too late to apply for a final expense life insurance plan. Doing so will help protect your loved ones from the financial burden that will come with your passing.

No Exam in Kentucky

Some people aren’t comfortable sharing their health information with others. That may be because they’re in poor health and they’re afraid they won’t be able to find a company to insure them. The good news is that, even if you don’t want to undergo a medical exam, it’s still possible to find a life insurance policy.

With a guaranteed life insurance product, you’re all but guaranteed to qualify. You won’t have to take a medical exam or even answer any health questions, but you will have to pay the highest premiums for these types of plans. That’s because the insurance company agrees to assume the risk of covering someone without knowing how sick they may be.

Other insurance companies – like Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company – offer standard whole-life final expense life insurance without a medical exam. And it’s not difficult to qualify for this type of whole life insurance policy: All you have to do is answer a few questions. You will pay less for a standard policy than a guaranteed policy because your answers to the short questionnaire help the insurance company assume less risk.

Free Look Period

In Kentucky, consumers have 10 days to change their mind about a purchase after signing for the policy. This is the free look period during which consumers can get a full refund. If the policy purchased is a replacement policy, the state of Kentucky allows consumers an additional 20 days to change their mind.

How to Get Burial Insurance in Kentucky

Protecting your loved ones from the high costs of your funeral is a smart, loving thing to do. After you’ve decided to take this important step, get a free no-obligation burial insurance quote from Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage. We are, after all, the leader in final expense insurance. Every Funeral Advantage plan comes with free funeral planning through the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society. This benefit is only available through Funeral Advantage. It can help save your family hundreds – even thousands – of dollars on your final arrangement costs.