Skip to main content
Home LogoHome Skip Navigation

Final Expense & Burial Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina state flagSouth Carolina funerals can cost $7,800 or more, depending on the style of service you select, the range of memorial expenses, your transportation selection, where you hold the service, and a number of other variables. But unless you prearrange to cover the costs of your final expenses, your loved ones will be responsible for shouldering the payment. That can put a financial burden on them, which can be avoided if you preplan.

By prearranging your own funeral, you can take away that financial burden and help those left behind to concentrate on celebrating their memories of your life. Final expense insurance, also known as burial insurance, is one option you can use. It’s an affordable life insurance policy that will help your loved ones pay for your final expenses. And depending on the payout amount you choose, they can also use the funds to pay other final expenses such as medical bills, utility bills, and other outstanding debt.

Not every state’s laws are the same concerning death and final insurance plans. South Carolina has some specific laws that you need to be aware of. Here’s an overview of what you need to know when looking to preplan your funeral in South Carolina.

Free Gifts

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 South Carolina

States have different laws and requirements when dealing with death and the disposition of the body. And South Carolina has specific statutes that you will have to follow when a loved one dies in the state.

Death Certificates

South Carolina uses an electronic system to issue death certificates. When a person dies and has planned for a service in a funeral home, the funeral director, embalmer (if the person is embalmed), and the responsible physician have to complete the online form within five days and sign it electronically. The state will mark the certificate as “in-process” until the final cause of death is determined. That means that if the deceased undergoes an autopsy, the certificates will be delayed. And insurance companies cannot pay death benefits until the final death certificate is issued.

If you don’t plan to hire a funeral director, your loved ones can file for the death certificate. They will file a paper death certificate at a Regional or State Vital Records Office and must do so within five days. The doctor, coroner, or medical examiner must present the death certificate to them, including the date and time of death and the cause, before the 5-day period.

Embalming and Refrigeration

South Carolina does not have rules requiring embalming. State law allows refrigeration and even dry ice to help preserve the body.

Burial Requirements

The State of South Carolina does not require a casket for burials. And if you choose cremation, the state only requires a rigid wooden, fiberboard, metal, corrugated, or other alternative container.

And don’t forget that if you decide you want a casket, the Funeral Rule states that you don’t have to buy it from the funeral home. You can purchase a much less expensive one from Costco or other places, and every funeral home is required to use it.

South Carolina does have laws about who gets to decide what happens to a body after death. The law states that the decision-makers are in this order: you, your spouse, your children over the age of 18, your parents, your siblings, and then the next of kin. If the deceased doesn’t have family, the guardian appointed by the court or anyone else who legally authorized can make the decision.

Cremation Services

Cremation is legal in South Carolina, but the state has strict rules about who can order it. Here is the list of people who can order a cremation in the state:

    • You: If you choose cremation, you must sign a Cremation Authorization Form while you’re alive.
    • An appointee: You can appoint an agent to order your cremation by naming them in a verified and attested document.
    • Your current spouse: You cannot be separated.
    • Your adult children.
    • Your parents.
    • Your adult brothers and sisters.
    • Your adult grandchildren.
    • Your grandparents.
    • Someone appointed by a probate court as your legal guardian.
    • Anyone who is authorized to dispose of your body.


Average Funeral Costs in South Carolina

Costs for final expenses in South Carolina can average between $795 and $9,450 because the final cost of your final arrangements will depend on the service you want, the specific products you choose, and the location of the funeral.


Service Costs by Type (Statewide Averages)

Service Type Description Average Cost
Direct Cremation No viewing or ceremony $895
Immediate Burial No viewing or ceremony $3,890
Cremation Memorial Facility fees, viewing, & service $1,753
Full Service Facility fees, viewing, embalming $4,010


Greenville Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $895 $855- $4,110
Direct Burial $2,646 $1,000-$3,725
Cremation Memorial $1,977 $1,395- $3,500
Full Funeral $4,010 $2,135- $6,600


Greater Columbia Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $995 $795-$3,325
Direct Burial $1,900 $1,100 - $4,445
Cremation Memorial $1,895 $1,300- $2,500
Full Funeral $4,700 $2,365- $9,490

Free Gifts

Help with Funeral Costs in South Carolina

Funerals are expensive in South Carolina, but you don’t have to leave your loved ones with the financial burden of paying for yours. With a little preplanning, you can ensure your loved ones aren’t financially devastated by your funeral’s costs.

Here are some things you can do to pay for your funeral in advance.

Term Insurance

You can find the least expensive rates on a term life insurance policy, but there are some drawbacks you should be aware of. For instance, the policy is only good as long as the term lasts. That means if you buy a 10-year policy, the policy only covers you for those ten years. To renew the policy, you will have to pass more health exams, and that could be a problem as you age because your health may begin to deteriorate.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is a type of whole life policy. Once you have this type of policy, it will never expire unless you stop paying the premiums. You should expect to pay more for this type of policy, but the benefits are worth it. You won’t have to worry about applying for and qualifying for another policy at the end of a term. And even better, you won’t have to take a medical exam to qualify for the policy in most instances. Many final expense policies can be issued by answering health questions on the insurance application.

Funeral Advantage™ is a final expense program offered by Lincoln Heritage that can be used anywhere in the United States. Funeral Advantage provides a cash payout for use at any facility for any style of service. As an added bonus, a burial insurance policy from Funeral Advantage includes a free membership to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society®. The sole mission of this not-for-profit, consumer advocate organization is to help its members save money. Every member’s family gets a dedicated representative who will help them price-shop funeral homes in their area.

Pre-need Plans

South Carolina also allows you to arrange your funeral at a funeral home before your death. The state only allows licensed funeral directors who are employed by licensed funeral homes to offer these plans. Prepaid plans allow you to plan all the details of your funeral beforehand—and pay for it. Preplanning and prepaying for your funeral is an option many people use, but it comes with some risks.

For instance, some funeral homes charge your loved ones extra if prices went up after you paid for your funeral. And if that funeral home goes out of business, your investment may be gone as well.

Government Assistance

The federal government will pay a one-time death benefit of $255 for anyone who eligible for social security benefits. If the deceased was a veteran, the VA will pay up to $300 for funeral expenses. Additional funeral benefits for veterans may be available as well.

Unfortunately, South Carolina does not offer funeral assistance at the state level. Some counties in the state do, provided the deceased was a resident in that county. Of the counties that do, they only offer limited resources such as helping with the cremation fees. Contact the deceased’s county of residence to find out if they provide any funeral cost help.


Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in South Carolina

The pricing of your final expense policy depends on several factors, from your age and sex to your health status to the amount of coverage. Younger people and females will typically pay less. And while you never have to undergo a medical exam to get final expense insurance, you will pay a higher premium if you decide not to answer the health questions. Keep in mind that the higher death benefit payout you want, the higher your premium will be.

Here are some charts that show the types of premiums you can expect to pay.

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 $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 South Carolina

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top ten leading causes of death in the state are as follows:

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


No Exam in South Carolina

No matter what kind of health you are in, you should be able to get final expense insurance in South Carolina. That’s because most burial insurance policies only require you answer a few questions about your health to qualify. In other words, you won’t have to undergo a medical exam when getting final expense insurance.


Free Look Period

A free look period is a time where the purchaser of a life insurance policy can change their mind and receive a refund of their initial premium.

Once you receive a policy, you have ten days to change your mind and receive a full refund. If you receive the policy by mail, you have a 30-day free look period.


How to Get Burial Insurance

If you want to get burial insurance in South Carolina, you should look for a company with an established reputation of trust. And once you find the right insurer, it’s up to you to find the plan that best works for you.

To do this, first decide the amount of coverage you want. Then, look at your budget and determine what monthly payment you can afford. And if you can find a provider that offers family support services to help your survivors with the planning and implementation of your funeral, even better.

Lincoln Heritage is the nation’s largest provider of final expense insurance. We’ve earned the trust and business of clients across the country. Find out if we are right for you, too, with a free no-obligation quote for final expense insurance.

Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company Locations in South Carolina

The Spurgeon Group
33a Ray E Talley Ct #347
Simpsonville, SC 29680
(866) 853-8376

Universal Benefits Inc.
110 E Liberty St.
Sumter, SC 29150
(803) 773-1838

Free Gifts