& Your Money

Beware of burial insurance offers


When it’s your time to go, imagine getting all your funeral expenses paid up to $35,000. That’s the promise residents in one metro area got in the mail…but the offer apparently isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Read more: After 12 years of paying off a burial plan, this man was hit with $3,000 in hidden fees

Burial insurance warning

Beware of this burial insurance offer

According to the Better Business Bureau, St. Louis residents have reported receiving an offer in the mail saying they may ‘qualify for a state-regulated program to pay for your final expenses.’

The mailer goes on to promise that this ‘life insurance benefit…will pay for 100% of all funeral expenses up to $35,000.’

But what isn’t made clear in the solicitation is that info collected from recipients — which includes phone number, age, spouse’s name and spouse’s age — will be sold to licensed Missouri insurance agents.

The mailer is sent by Direct Data Services, a third-party mail provider, that says it produces mail ‘for multiple insurance entities that sell legitimate state-regulated insurance products for seniors.’

Now, not only is this mailer not entirely forthright, it’s also annoying in how frequently it can be sent to you! The BBB reports it can hit your mailbox up to seven times unless you opt out online or by calling 888-998-1851. You’ll need to provide a six-digit code found on the mailer to get your name off their list.

Other alternatives to burial insurance

It may seem unsavory to talk about expense at the time of the loss of a loved one. But it’s the reality that the price difference from one funeral home to another can make all the difference in the world about what kind of ongoing financial burden the survivors have.

Clark has long talked about as a way to use collective buying power to get reduced rates on funeral expenses via a local non-profit memorial society.


In fact, he became a lifetime member of a nonprofit memorial society back in the ’70s. Is that what you’d call advance preparation or great pessimism? He was in his 20s and already thinking about when he wouldn’t be here!

The memorial society gave him access to group buying power to get a great deal on cremation or burial. Clark says being a member on one of these things will cut the costs of your disposition by about 75%. You simply pay a lifetime fee of around $25-$35 that varies by state. The memorial society will contact a funeral home to make arrangements at a low price.

If you do this, just be sure to tell your loved ones you’ve joined and give them access to the paperwork so they know how to proceed when the time comes!

Another alternative people consider is paying in advance for burial arrangements. But Clark is against this option. 

There was a news report some years back about a cemetery in Maryland that catered to pre-need clients. But the operator stole the money — instead of putting it in escrow — and then sold the operation and moved to Florida. The new owners didn’t know anything about the existing customers and couldn’t honor their contracts when they did pass away. So the families had to pay a second time. That’s why Clark advises you not to pay in advance, but rather to just plan in advance.

Read more: Woman brings late husband’s ashes to T-Mobile store over contract dispute

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