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Final Expense & Burial Insurance in North Carolina

North Carolina State FlagWhen you plan a funeral in North Carolina, you can expect to pay between $895 for a direct cremation to $20,000 or more for a full funeral, including a casket, burial vault, and memorial service. There are many factors that go into these costs, including where the deceased pass away, the type of service held, the funeral home used, and what service items are chosen by the family (memorial cards, videos, flowers, transportation, etc.). Those left behind after the passing of a loved one are often the ones left with the expenses.

But there are ways to lower the cost. Burial insurance in North Carolina is available to men and women of most ages and often doesn’t require a medical exam. This type of life insurance – also known as final expense insurance – issues coverage based on answers to health questions on the application. It can help your loved ones cover the cost of the funeral, any unpaid medical bills, or other debt left behind.

Buying final expense insurance in North Carolina has many benefits, and it’s not a complicated process. Aside from a few state-specific guidelines, it’s very similar to buying insurance in other states. In this guide, we’ll explain these differences and cover a few key bits of information about the process.

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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 North Carolina

When someone dies, a series of events must take place before any final arrangements can be made. In North Carolina, the death must be reported within 24 hours by anyone taking custody of the deceased (“Notification of Death” forms are available at your local registrar’s office). If you plan to be cremated, there is typically a 24-hour waiting period for the medical examiner to confirm the cause of death and approve the release of the body to the funeral home.

Death Certificates

Death certificates are issued by the medical examiner’s office and must be signed by a physician or another authorized person. In North Carolina, requests for a death certificate have to be honored within three days.

Burial Requirements

Home funerals are legal in North Carolina, and burial on private property is, unless restricted by city or county laws, acceptable as well. However, most people choose to be buried in a cemetery. Even though the funeral home cannot require a certain type of casket or vault, cemeteries may have different rules. Check with your preferred cemetery regarding their preferences before making any decisions.


Embalming is not required in North Carolina for direct burial or cremation. A funeral home cannot force you to pay for this service. They can require it if the body will be viewed by the public or if there is a delay in burying the body.


In addition to a 24-hour waiting period, there are other requirements before a body can be cremated. North Carolina law requires a cremation container. Most funeral homes allow family members to participate in a brief viewing if the remains have been preserved by refrigeration.

Basic Funeral Services

Most funeral homes require you buy a basic service package. This fee, which can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, includes the use of the funeral home, filling out paperwork for the death certificate, registering the death with local authorities, consultation services (with both family and clergy), and making arrangements with your chosen cemetery or cremation center. It does not typically include transportation of the body, a casket, or preparing the body for the service.

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Average Funeral Costs in North Carolina

Service TypeAverage CostPrice Range
Basic services$2,087$1,000 - $3,175
Embalming$700$600 - $800
Transportation of remains$370$195 - $545
Casket$4,155$790 - $7,520
Facility/Staff use$412.50$150 - $675
Outer burial container$7,450$900 - $14,000
Direct cremation$1,585$895 - $2,275
Direct burial$2,722$1,550 - $3,895


Asheville Funeral Costs

Service TypeAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation$5,032$950 - $9,115
Immediate Burial$6,177$1,495 - $10,860
Cremation Memorial$6,750$1,390 - $12,110
Full Burial$8,607$4,110 - $13,105


Charlotte Funeral Costs

Service TypeAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation$2,307$1,795 - $2,820
Immediate Burial$3,947$1,400 - $6,495
Cremation Memorial$3,092$1,990 - $4,195
Full Burial$5,352$4,210 - $6,495


Durham Funeral Costs

Service TypeAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation$3,657$995 - $6,320
Immediate Burial$23,655$1,155 - $10,155
Cremation Memorial$5,157$1,495 - $8,820
Full Burial$29,155$6,155 - $12,155

Raleigh Funeral Costs

Service TypeAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation$2,011$1,197 - $2,825
Immediate Burial$2,797$1,550 - $4,045
Cremation Memorial$5,300$3,800 - $6,800
Full Burial$6,904$5,428 - $8,380

Help with Funeral Costs

When someone dies, their funeral expenses are usually left to surviving friends or family. Without a plan in place, your spouse or children could be left with the bill of laying you to rest. However, there are ways to help take this burden off of their plate. Even though it may be uncomfortable to think about why you need this kind of safety net, it’s important for your family. For more detailed information, read our complete guide to funeral help.

Term Life

A term life policy lasts for a set amount of time and expires once that period of time is over. If you die during the 10-, 20-, or 30-year span of the policy, your beneficiaries receive a payout based on the amount of coverage. Term life insurance is usually recommended for working adults with children or other dependents, or for anyone with significant financial responsibilities (mortgage payments, car payments, saving for college, etc.). The biggest drawback is you have to re-qualify for coverage once your policy expires, which can be difficult if your health has changed. Another drawback is that term insurance doesn’t usually build cash value.

Whole Life

Whole life insurance builds cash value over time and once your rate is locked in, it won’t increase as long as premiums are paid. People often choose whole life policies when they wish to help protect their loved ones from their end-of-life expenses, such as burial expenses or any unpaid medical bills. As long as premiums are paid, your policy won’t expire and you won’t have to re-qualify for coverage even if your health changes.

Pre-need Insurance

You can get a pre-need plan from many funeral homes, but your family’s options will be limited to the provider you choose.

Pre-need insurance comes in two forms: guaranteed and non-guaranteed. Guaranteed means that once you pay for your funeral arrangements, your family will pay nothing more. The plan’s value adjusts with inflation. Non-guaranteed benefits are paid at face value. For example, if your funeral package costs $5,000 today but you live 10 more years, that same package may be $7,000 at that time. In this case, your family pays out of pocket for the remaining $2,000.

Final Expense Insurance with Funeral Advantage™

A budget-friendly option to cover burial, cremation, and funeral expenses in North Carolina is final expense insurance. Funeral Advantage is a final expense policy available to everyone in North Carolina regardless of their health and can help protect families from rising funeral costs. Funeral Advantage is not affiliated with a specific funeral home and the benefit can be used anywhere in the country.

With Funeral Advantage, your loved ones will receive a free membership to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society® (FCGS). The FCGS will work with those planning the funeral to help find the lowest cost. Best of all, you don’t have to complete an invasive medical examination to qualify for Funeral Advantage. Just answer health questions on our 1-page application.

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Average Overall Costs/Rates for Final Expense Insurance in North Carolina

Final expense insurance is available to men and women throughout the state and starts at about $15 per month. Prices are based on your age at the time the policy is issued, as well as your sex and overall health.

As you can see below, the sooner you get insured the less you pay, even if you aren’t in the best of health.

Monthly Premium Rates for Men*

$5,000 Death Benefit
AgeDetermined 'In Good Health' by InsurerNo Health Questions Asked

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

$10,000 Death Benefit
AgeDetermined 'In Good Health' by InsurerNo Health Questions Asked

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

Monthly Premium Rates for Women*

$5,000 Death Benefit
AgeDetermined 'In Good Health' by InsurerNo Health Questions Asked

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

$10,000 Death Benefit
AgeDetermined 'In Good Health' by InsurerNo Health Questions Asked

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

Leading Causes of Death in North Carolina

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists the top 10 causes of death in North Carolina as:

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

No Exam in North Carolina

If you have ever shopped around for final expense insurance, you may have noticed that many companies don’t require a medical exam. These types of policies are often costly, because the insurance company takes on a lot of risk.

Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage is the best of both worlds. You don’t have to take a physical exam. Instead, you answer a few simple health questions on the application and your insurance rate is determined based on those answers.

Free Look Period

If you live in North Carolina and think you would like to buy life insurance, you are entitled to a 10 day “Free Look” period. This means you have 10 days from the date of purchase to cancel the insurance policy and get your money back. This is a chance for you to look over your policy and ensure it meets your needs.

How to Get Burial Insurance in North Carolina

Contact Lincoln Heritage today for a free, no-obligation quote for burial insurance that will help your family pay for your final expenses. One of our experienced agents will help you identify a plan that fits your unique needs and budget, and will help ease any financial burden you leave behind.

Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company Locations in North Carolina

The Boddie Group
3041 Zebulon Rd.
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
(252) 316-8062

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