A lot of residents receive mailers, or postcard-looking pieces of mail, stating there are state-only benefits they can claim as residents. When such pieces of information come in the mail, the automatic response is to throw it away.
After all, if it were official information from the state government, wouldn’t it appear in a more formal document? Additionally, some of the benefits may sound too good to be true or in fact, free, causing confusion for those who receive them.
Whether you are looking for burial insurance for yourself or a loved one, it is important to assess all the options before you, and if you can, get every benefit available to you!
Therefore, in this article we will cover what these postcards are truly about, if the government is really offering free insurance, and what will happen should you choose to fill out the card and return it.
- Are These Cards Scams?
- What Do the Phrases Used on the Postcards Mean?
- What Does Happen if You Send a Mailer Back,
- Final Thoughts
Are These Cards Scams?
The short answer is no. Surprisingly to many, but the card is actually legitimate, even though it sounds like, and looks like, a scam.
However, it still is not what you think it is. The postcards are not, in fact, providing you free government insurance to pay for the full cost of your burial insurance.
So, yes, the government is covering burial costs. BUT, it is generally far, far less than what you need or require for your specific condition, amount of coverage needed, or for your loved one’s needs.
For example, let’s say you or your spouse, unfortunately, passes away. You would receive your state government’s official Social Security Death Benefit, which, in the state of Florida, is around $255.
Burial insurance is much more expensive than that, even if you do manage to get a great deal with a different insurance carrier. $255 does not pay for the full amount of any proper/formal burial cost or funeral arrangements, no matter who you go to.
The average cost of the funeral today, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, exceeds $8,000, with the average price of a cremation exceeds $6,000. So yes, the government will give you money, but only just.
If you are a veteran, the government payout is a little better, but again, will not cover the full cost. The VA generally pays out a $300 death benefit as well as up to $780 for the burial plot. But, if you or your loved one is buried in the National Cemetery, the vault, marker, and plot are all paid for you.
What Do the Phrases Used on the Postcards Mean?
There are a variety of ways these mailers will spell out their ‘benefits,’ so be on the lookout for state-regulated life insurance, state-regulated final expense, or state-regulated program. Every statement just means that life insurance is regulated by the state.
However, this does not mean it is free. The wording is not coded for free or that they are simply giving away life insurance to those who live in the state. It simply means that the mailer is, in fact, offering something legitimate. It is a legitimate life insurance carrier.
Now, when they are offering ‘benefits,’ like ‘to see if you may qualify for the benefits,’ or that the ‘benefits are tax-free,’ that could pretty much mean anything.
You may think if you are on a fixed income and are already receiving some form of government benefits that you may qualify for more, including these burial insurance benefits. This is not quite the case.
It just means the benefits of the program that the government is offering, which they are not explicitly saying on the mailer. Remember that.
Also, tax-free benefits do not mean the benefits are free, it just means that the beneficiaries on the policy will not be taxed on the death benefit payout when it happens.
You may be wondering how you can qualify for these benefits – is it true that you just have to be a state resident to qualify for them?
The short answer is yes, but there is also a health standpoint to consider. The benefits will payout, but the amount will differ. For instance, it is common for these mailers to use phrases like “up to $35,000.”
As we have discussed above, the general amount thatis actually given is much, much less, and hardly helpful for any burial or cremation service.
Take that phrase with a grain of salt. When you buy a program of life insurance, it could be far, far less depending on your situation and how you qualify.
Before discussing what happens if you fill out these mailers, let’s talk about the freebies many of these mailers come attached with, such as gift cards or free information like a guide for a memorial.
These freebies are just tactics. Agents use them to entice people to respond to the mailers, increasing their numbers and allowing them an opportunity to get in contact with you.
What Does Happen if You Send a Mailer Back,
So, what does happen if you send a mailer back, all filled out with the information they have asked for?
A state-appointed and regulated life insurance agent will contact you or attempt a visit to attempt to convince you to purchase life insurance.
If you are interested in buying life insurance, then fill out the card and send it back so someone will contact you, and you can discuss your options further.
However, if this is not what you want, do not send the card back. Bear in mind, various agents will attempt to contact you for possibly years to try to convince you to purchase life insurance.
It is also important to bear in mind that if you do choose to go about purchasing burial insurance this way, you do not have a way of knowing if you are getting the absolute best deal available.
This agent might not be in contact with the companies that have the best deals or underwriting processes.
So let’s conclude what to make about these state mailers you are sent in the post.
They look suspicious, but they are not scams. These cards have been used for ages and have to be vetted by your residential states’ Department of Insurance.
Sometimes, these agents can make a big difference in a person’s life or a suffering beneficiary. They do, after all, represent legitimate carriers.
Therefore, if you are looking for life insurance and are set to have a particular agent visit or be in contact with you from the state, feel free to send the card back.
You will find some coverage, even though it may not be much. If it is all you can afford, there is no downside to that option. If you do not want that or have the time and space to look at more options yourself without having agents attempt to continue contacting you, do not send it back.
There is no pressure either way – do what is best for you and weigh your options carefully if you have the time and space to do so. Burial insurance is a very beneficial and wonderful idea for either you or a loved one, so family and friends are not more financially burdened than is necessary when someone passes on.