Average Funeral Costs

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The average cost of a funeral ranges from $7,000 to $12,000. That’s because funerals aren’t billed as a single lump sum of charges. Instead, funeral costs are itemized, as not every item or service is mandatory. Here, you will see a breakdown of these costs, and find out how you can save on them.

What Are The Costs Involved?

Funeral costs account for different stages in the process, from preparation to burial. Because of this, there are multiple expenses to consider.

Costs include:

  • Casket – $2,500
  • Printed package for memorial – $175
  • Service car – $150
  • Hearse – $340
  • Transport of body to funeral home – $350
  • Staff – $425 (for viewing); $500 (for funeral service)
  • Embalming – $750
  • Cosmetic preparation for body – $255
  • Vault – $1,495
  • Funeral home’s non-declinable service fee – $2,125


Note that these are median costs. This is based on data collected by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). Not all funeral homes charge the same amount for these services, and costs can also vary based on the city and state you live in.

How Can I Lower Costs?

Since funeral fees are itemized, you are able to eliminate certain costs altogether.

Lower cost options include:

  • Choosing cremation instead of burial
  • Direct burial or cremation
  • Green burials
  • Donating remains for scientific research


Cremation costs are lower than burial costs due to what you don’t have to pay for. When you opt for cremation, you won’t have to cover such expenses as the casket vault, headstone, and burial plot. The caskets are also cheaper, as they are roughly $1,200.

With direct burials and direct cremations, you’re skipping nearly every funeral home expense aside from the funeral home’s mandatory fee.

Green burials are an eco-friendly option, in which there is no embalming, and uses a biodegradable casket instead of a traditional casket. Green burials average between $1,000 and $4,100.

Finally, you may also be able to donate the remains for scientific research for free. Once the research is complete, the cremated remains will be given back to the family.

How Can I Get Financial Assistance?

Since funeral costs can be steep, many choose to get final expense insurance. Final expense insurance is oftentimes referred to as burial insurance due to the reason that many policyholders purchase it for.

Final expense insurance offers a death benefit between $2,000 and $50,000. This is enough to cover a significant amount or the entirety of funeral costs, and some choose larger policies so that loved ones will have enough leftover to use as they see fit.

It’s easier to obtain compared to other forms of life insurance. Simplified issue final expense policies only require a medical questionnaire, while guaranteed issue policies don’t require answering questions at all.

We’re Here For You

At Expense Mutual, we understand that this will be a difficult time. It’s not easy for anyone involved, but there is a way to help minimize the financial burden that comes with it. We’re here for you, and we’re just one phone call away. Call us today at 888-280-2825.