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Funeral Insurance Calculator

Are you wondering how much you'll pay in funeral insurance premiums over the years? Find out all about the costs involved with funeral insurance here with Savvy.

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, updated on August 29th, 2023       

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Funeral calculator

We’ve partnered with Compare Club to bring you a range of life insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

Planning for end-of-life expenses is a very responsible step to ease the financial burden on your loved ones. Paying for funeral insurance is one way that you can help reduce the stress on your family as they prepare to say a final farewell to you.  

However, it’s well worth considering all your options when it comes to covering the cost of your funeral, and calculating which option or insurance policy offers the best value for money. In this Savvy guide, we explore the cost of funeral insurance and how to calculate whether the premiums you pay offer good value for money. 

How do I calculate the cost of funeral insurance?

Funeral insurance may seem like a cheap option to help pay for the cost of a funeral. However, even though the premiums for funeral insurance can appear quite reasonable, for example, less than $25 a month, the cost can add up over a number of years. Here's how to calculate the real cost of funeral insurance over time so you can make a decision as to whether it offers good value: 

Monthly premium cost x 12

Start by determining your monthly premium, which is the amount you pay each month for your funeral insurance. For this example, we’ll use the figure of $25 a month. Since there are 12 months in a year, simply multiply your monthly premium by 12. For example, if your monthly premium is $25, the annual cost would be $25 x 12 = $300. 

Annual cost per decade

Next, look at how this amount adds up over the years. First, decide how many years you intend to maintain the funeral insurance. Multiply the annual cost by the number of years you think you may hold the insurance. For example, if you are currently aged 70, and you think you may want to pay funeral insurance for a decade (that is until you are 80 years old), then multiply your annual premium by 10. The total cost of your insurance would be $25 x 12 x 10 = $3,000. If your funeral benefit amount was $10,000, and your premiums cost you $3,000 over a decade, then you may decide this is a cheap way to pay for your funeral over a period of time, and offers good value for money. 

What factors affect the cost of funeral insurance?

There are many factors that affect the cost of funeral insurance. These include:

  1. Age: Generally, the younger you are when you purchase funeral insurance, the lower your premiums will be. This is because insurers assume that younger individuals are less likely to make a claim in the near future.
  2. Coverage amount: The level of coverage you choose significantly impacts your premium. A higher coverage amount will result in higher premiums.
  3. Premium type: Funeral insurance typically offers stepped or level premiums. Stepped premiums start lower but increase with age, while level premiums remain consistent. Level premiums are often more expensive initially but may save you money in the long run.
  4. Smoking status: Whether you are a smoker or non-smoker will also influence the cost of your funeral insurance. Smokers generally pay higher premiums due to increased health risks.
  5. Waiting period: Funeral insurance policies often have a waiting period before full coverage kicks in. Longer waiting periods may result in lower premiums.
  6. Payment frequency: Paying annually instead of monthly can sometimes lead to a discount on your premium.
  7. Policy features: Additional policy features, such as accidental death coverage, can increase the amount you pay per month.

Understanding these factors and considering your unique circumstances will help you decide if a funeral insurance policy meets your needs and budget.

How much does an average funeral cost in Australia?

The cost of an average funeral in Australia will vary significantly depending on various factors such as your location, the type of service you have planned, the number of people who are invited, and your specific preferences as to how the funeral is conducted. 

On average, a basic funeral service in Australia will range from a minimum of around $4,000 for a basic cremation, right up to $15,000 or more for an elaborate funeral service including burial. The cost will be higher if two farewell services are required, such as a church service and then a committal service at a crematorium or cemetery.  

Naturally, your religious and cultural background will dictate to a very large extent how a deceased person is farewelled, with funeral rites varying tremendously across the globe. These variations are well catered for in Australia, with funeral directors sensitive to the particular requirements of different religions.  

For example, some families of Christian or Catholic faith may want an elaborate coffin, with options now available to have the coffin wrapped with colourful custom-printed images and photographs. Those who follow Islam may expect a simple white cloth shroud, and Jews may require a plain wooden casket. All of these religious and cultural requirements come with a different price tag. 

What is involved with organising a funeral?

There are many different variable elements which can contribute towards the cost of a funeral in Australia. These can vary significantly depending on individual choices and cultural and religious preferences. Here are some of the key factors that affect the cost of saying farewell:  

Location

  • Urban vs. rural: Funeral expenses tend to be higher in urban areas due to increased demand and operating costs.

Choice of burial or cremation

  • Burial: Costs include cemetery fees, the rent or purchase of a grave plot, costs for a burial permit, and the cost of a headstone.
  • Cremation: This involves cremation fees, the purchase of an urn, and optional memorial service costs.

Funeral director's services

  • Professional fees: Funeral directors charge fees for coordinating the funeral, handling all the legalities and paperwork, and overseeing the funeral or committal service.
  • Transport: Costs for transferring the deceased to the funeral home and then to the cemetery or crematorium. A cost per kilometre may be charged for the hire of a hearse.
  • Embalming: This is optional, but very common if a viewing is to be held. Embalming preserves the body and incurs an additional cost.

Casket, coffin or urn selection

  • Casket or coffin: Prices vary widely based on material, design, and craftsmanship.
  • Urn: Selection of an urn can range from basic to ornate.

Services and ceremonies:  

  • Viewing, funeral, interment and/or wake: Charges for any formal gatherings before or after the funeral or burial or cremation.
  • Venue hire: Costs associated with using a church, chapel, or other location for the funeral service.
  • Costs for officiant: Fees charged by the minister, clergy, iman or rabbi for conducting the service.
  • Music: Costs related to live music, recorded music, or multimedia presentations.
  • Catering: If food and refreshments are provided during or after the service.
  • Floral arrangements: Expenses for bouquets, wreaths, and other floral tributes.
  • Multimedia: Costs for live streaming or filming or recording the service.

Memorialisation

  • Headstone or plaque: Engraved markers or plaques placed at the gravesite.
  • Memorial booklets: Printing costs for funeral programs or booklets.

Legal and administrative expenses

  • Death Certificate: Fees for obtaining official death certificate.
  • Permits: Costs for necessary permits, such as burial or cremation permits.

Being aware of all these factors can help families make an informed decision about the type of service they want and the costs involved in saying farewell to their loved one.

How can I calculate the cost of a funeral?

Luckily, most funeral directors will be able to give a detailed calculation of the cost of a funeral based on the family’s wishes. Here are some ballpark figures to give you an idea of how much individual components of a burial may cost: 

  • Funeral announcements: Placing a death notice in a newspaper to inform the community of a person's passing and the upcoming funeral. This can cost between $200 to $300+. 
  • Coffin or casket: The coffin or casket is a significant expenditure in the funeral budget, with prices varying from $1,000 to $10,000. 
  • Transportation: Covering the cost of hearse rental and the transfer of the deceased to and from the funeral home, this service typically falls between $500 and $1,500. 
  • Funeral ceremony: This constitutes the most substantial part of the burial process. Funeral directors handle various legal tasks, transportation, floral arrangements, and cemetery preparations. Typically, this service ranges from $2,000 to $3,000+. 
  • Burial plot and memorial stone: Selecting a burial plot and a memorial stone can be costly. Premium burial plots can be particularly expensive, and even the simplest headstones often start at four figures. Costs can exceed $5,000. 
  • Cremation service: While generally more affordable than burials, cremation services still involve substantial expenses, averaging around $4,000+. 
  • Urn: Urns come in a range of prices from approximately $50 to $500. 

Why compare life insurance through Savvy?

More of your frequently asked questions about funeral costs

What is a pre-paid funeral plan?

A pre-paid funeral plan is a financial arrangement made in advance to cover the costs and details of a funeral. Individuals work with a funeral provider to select and pay for the funeral service of their choice. Payment can be made as a lump sum or through instalments.

What's the difference between funeral insurance and a pre-paid funeral plan?

Funeral insurance involves paying premiums to an insurer, which pays out a lump sum upon death. In contrast, a pre-paid funeral plan allows you to pre-arrange and pre-pay for specific funeral services. Insurance provides flexibility, while a pre-paid plans offer a predetermined package of services and protection against the cost of inflation. 

How can I ensure that my funeral wishes are followed when I pass away?

To ensure your funeral wishes are honoured, it's essential to communicate your preferences to your loved ones, appoint an executor or advocate, and document your wishes in writing. Consider pre-planning with a funeral director or securing a pre-paid funeral plan to provide clear guidance. Sharing your wishes and plans with your family can help avoid arguments and confusion during the grieving process.  

Can I use a life insurance payout to cover funeral expenses?

Yes, life insurance policies can help cover funeral costs, provided they have a death benefit clause. Beneficiaries then receive the payout, which can be used to cover funeral expenses. However, the payout may not come in time to pay for the funeral, so relatives may have to pay funeral costs out-of-pocket before the life insurance payout comes through. 

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Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd (AFS representative number 001279036) of Alternative Media Pty Ltd (AFS License number 486326) to provide readers with a variety of life insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from Compare Club each time a customer buys a life insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via Compare Club.

Savvy does not compare all life insurance policies or providers currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

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