How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

As we get older, it’s normal to begin thinking about our final arrangements. A big part of making these arrangements is to understand and prepare for your funeral costs. While it’s true that funeral costs have continued to rise, having an insurance policy can help.

What to Expect

According to the NFDA, the national average cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial was about $12,500 in 2020. This includes a vault, which the cemetery will usually require. Even without a vault, you can expect to pay between $7,000 and $9,000 for a modest funeral.

What makes them so expensive? Well, the funeral home is there to make money. The directors have many expenses and an overhead staff to pay. To make a profit and stay ahead of the competition, they must charge a certain amount for their funeral services. Look at the table below to see what the common fees are for a standard funeral.

National Average Funeral Costs

Item/ServiceAverage PriceDescription
Casket$3,500Price depends on the materials chosen. This cost is typical for a metal casket.
Cremation casket$1,500This can be a cardboard box or a traditional casket (no metal parts).
Urn$500The container that holds cremated remains.
Embalming$850Not required by state law, but a funeral home may require it if you have a viewing.
Cremation fee$370If the funeral home doesn’t own a crematory and uses a third party, expect to pay this amount.
Required fee for basic services$3,400Covers the funeral home’s time, storage of the remains, and overhead costs.
Other body preparation$850May include dressing, hair styling, and cosmetic reconstruction.
Use of facilities/staff for ceremony$600If you have the ceremony at the funeral home, expect to pay this amount.
Hearse$450Transporting the remains from the funeral home to the burial site.
Service car or van$250Bringing the family and guests from the funeral home to the burial site.
Printed materials$250Memorial package, guest book

The numbers above exclude things like a monument or market, an obituary, or flowers.

With the average cost of a funeral continuing to go up, it can have a huge effect on your family. Awareness is the first step to reduce stress and help them prepare. The next step? Consider buying a final expense plan.

The Solution

It’s an overwhelming experience when a loved one dies. Grieving family members often emotionally overspend without a plan to guide them. The good news? You can protect your loved ones from added stress and financial burdens during an already difficult time with a final expense insurance policy.

Also called funeral insurance or burial insurance, this is a state-regulated program designed to pay the ENTIRE cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial and/or a funeral with a viewing and cremation — depending on what you prefer. 

Pre-existing health conditions are accepted and no medical exam is required. It’s a type of whole life insurance, which means the policy has a cash value that accumulates, tax-deferred, and your beneficiary can use the death benefit for funeral expenses.

Other Ways to Save Some Money

By law, funeral homes are required to give you a price list. Ask them for this so you can get an idea of what your family would have to pay, and try to steer clear of the non-essential items. 

On top of that, the prices are not typically advertised online, so you’ll want to get multiple quotes — as many as you need — to feel comfortable that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Contact The Memorial Insurance Group

If you’re concerned about the rising cost of a funeral, contact us at The Memorial Insurance Group. We’ll go over the policy details and help you find the right final expense coverage for your needs. 

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