I went to pre-arrange my 87 yr. old Mother's funeral. She has a "burial policy" with Liberty National Insurance Co. (Birmingham, Al) that will pay for most of her funeral only if a certain casket is used, an unadorned plain gray with straw bedding and no seal.
I asked if I could pay extra for a better casket and the answer was: "If a different casket is used, the insurance will only pay the $600 cash value on the policy, you will have to pay the remainder" (approx. $7,000).
I said, "you mean if I wanted to pay $2500 and upgrade to this coffin (pointing to a nicer one), I would have to pay for the entire funeral except for the $600?" She said that was correct, they were not allowed to do that.
I know the insurance company is doing this to discourage anyone from using the full burial policy, and I am sure it works when someone is grieving and emotional, goes to the funeral home to make arrangements, sees the plain coffin and wants something nicer and ends up only getting the $600 credit toward the funeral.
The lady we talked to said this happens more often than not! She also said when someone comes in like we did, they are not under the emotional strain and agree to use the "policy coffin".
I cannot see how this is legal! My Grandmother took this policy out on my Mom when Mom was 18. Later she bought a "supplement" that paid for a metal casket instead of cloth covered wood. Personally, I will use the "policy coffin" as we already have a sealed vault paid for with the grave company. I am purchasing an embroidered "panel" to put inside the lid for viewing and the casket will be mostly hidden with the flower blanket. I know my Mom would make the same decision - and I am not letting the Insurance Company win!