How Much does the Average Funeral Cost in 2017

The average cost of a funeral has risen considerably over the past decade. This can leave many families short of the money they need to pay for proper burial expenses. Understanding how much is needed to provide your loved one the funeral they deserve is vital to choosing the right type of policy or plan to carry it out.

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How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The average funeral costs around $9,000 today. That is up significantly from about $6,000 from the turn of the 21st century. There are many contributing factors as to why funeral costs have risen, but the essential components of the funeral remain the same.

  • Casket
  • Embalming
  • Flowers
  • Basic Services
  • Grave Marker
  • Clothes or Shroud
  • Plot
  • Vault
  • Hearse

There may be other expenses associated with the funeral depending on the funeral home that you choose and the type of casket, grave marker, and services you want provided. For example, a chapel service can run you a considerable amount, especially if the service is conducted at a facility separate from the funeral home.


Grave, Headstone for Funeral For those looking to lower the average funeral cost, there are ways that the bill can be brought down depending on your needs.

Graveside Service Only: This can often save from $500 up to $1000 depending on the funeral home. A service at the grave means eliminating the expense of renting the chapel. This is a common way to cut funeral costs.

No Vault: The vault is the liner that surrounds the grave and prevents intrusion from pests. Vaults often cost from $1,000 to $2,500 and have become quite common for many funeral services. However, they are not necessary if you do not care about the condition of the casket over time.

Cremation: For families who want the lowest cost alternative, cremation is the cheapest. Many funeral homes offer cremation services for only a few hundred dollars, and you provide the urn which is often $50 to $100. Unfortunately, cremation services are a last resort for many families that otherwise would have a proper funeral.

For families that may be looking at funeral expenses that are beyond their reach in case a parent passes away, one option is the final expense, burial, or funeral insurance.

How Final Expense Insurance Works

This is like life insurance except that it only covers funeral expenses. You can pay the premiums for the benefits that cover the type of funeral you desire. The good news about this type of insurance is that the premiums tend to be significantly lower compared to standard life insurance policies. Plus, they often have fewer requirements which mean that even seniors with bad health conditions may qualify for good coverage at a low premium rate.

While the average cost of a funeral continues to rise, you can pay for what you want by purchasing the right type of burial insurance. Be sure to go over all the options first before you decide the benefit level that is needed.