Policy Types

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

This article includes a summary chart that outlines typical funeral costs so you can make sure you have enough life insurance to cover your funeral expenses.

Life Insurance for Funeral Expenses: Calculating the True Cost of a Funeral

Funeral Costs to Consider

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of a basic adult casketed funeral in 2012 was $7,045.1 Today, that basic price tag has grown even larger. The truth is, that once all funeral-related costs are factored in, the typical funeral service will cost the average family closer to $8,000 - $10,000, and that's just for the basics.

Nobody likes to think about their own funeral, but if you don't have the readily available funds to cover your final expenses when you die, you're passing along this financial burden to your family. It's for this very reason that having enough life insurance to cover your funeral expenses is so important. But when it comes time to purchase a policy, how much should you realistically plan for?

While you can have just about any type of funeral you want, you might be surprised at how quickly some of the basic costs can add up. The following chart, provided by the NFDA, gives you an at-a-glance look at some of the additional costs associated with a funeral that you may want to factor into your life insurance calculations.

Typical Funeral Costs Summary Chart

Burial Clothes - men   $170 to $400  
Burial Clothes - women   $95 to $350  
Burial Shroud   $195 to $1,000  
Burial Vaults Costs $795 to $900 $1,000 to $2,000 $2,200 to $14,000
Casket - cardboard/fiberboard $50 to $100 $150 to $300 $300 to $500
Casket - wood or metal $345 to $800 $1,000 to $3,000 $3,500 to $12,000
Clergy/Celebrant $50 to $100 $150 to $250 $300 to $500
Death Certificate Fees (per copy)   $11 to $13  
Direct Burial Package $1,000 to $1,400 $1,600 to $1,800 $2,000 to $3,600
Direct Cremation Package $500 to $800 $1,000 to $1,500 $1,800 to $3,000
Embalming Fees $225 to $445 $500 to $680 $800 to $1,212
Flowers $100 to $200 $220 to $360 $400 to $600
Funeral Ceremony Fees $200 to $350 $400 to $600 $700 to $1,4250
Funeral Homes' Basic Services $480 to $695 $1,205 to $1,880 $2,200 to $3,000
Grave Markers, Monuments $500 to $1,000 $1,200 to $2,000 $2,400 to $7,000
Grave Opening and Closing   $300 to $1,000  
Grave Plot   $400 to $10,000  
Grave Site Set Up   $100 - ask  
Graveside Service $200 to $300 $350 to $500 $550 to $1,700
Guest Register Book   $25 to $80  
Hearse or Funeral Coach $150 to $225 $300 to $400 $450 to $530
Limousine or Lead Vehicle $75 to $135 $200 to $350 $425 to $520
Musician   around $150  
Obituary   $0 to $600  
Other Preparations - cosmetology, dressing, casketing $50 to $100 $125 to $215 $250 to $363
Printed Materials - 100 Programs   $40 to $80  
Service Car or Flower Car $75 to $100 $150 to $300 $400 to $510
Storage and Refrigeration fees - Care of Remains $35 per day $50 per day $100 per day
Storage and Refrigeration fees - Care of Remains $35 per day $50 per day $100 per day
Temporary Burial Marker   around $20  
Traditional Burial Package $2,620 to $3,000 $3,200 to $4,700 $5,000 to $6,000
Transportation of the body to the Funeral Home $125 to $175 $200 to $330 $350 to $500
Urns $80 to $200 $250 to $350 $400 to $2,000
Viewing or Visitation Fees - funeral home facility and staff fee $150 to $250 $300 to $450 $500 to $1,175


Having enough life insurance to cover your funeral expenses is part of a sound estate plan, and an ideal way to manage your final expenses. For more information on estate planning and calculating your life insurance needs, visit the Protective Learning Center.

1. http://nfda.org/about-funeral-service-/trends-and-statistics.html

Was this article helpful?

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Funeral Expenses

Life insurance for funeral expenses can be a great way in which to plan ahead for the high costs associated with final expenses. However, most people are unaware of just how costly funerals can be. This article shows you some of the additional costs associated with a basic funeral so that you can better calculate how much life insurance you may need to help cover funeral expenses. For more information, visit our learning center.