Funeral Insurance

What It Is And Why You Need It . . . .

Funeral insurance, burial insurance, call it what you will, it’s all basically the same, and I bet you haven’t even thought about it unless someone in your close family or circle of friends has recently passed over to the other side (I don’t mean voted Republican), kicked the proverbial bucket without so much as enough bucks to pay for the burial expenses. That’s when you realize the importance of funeral insurance and why we should all be thinking about it.

Sandwich Roast Beef & Gomashio

Image by FotoosVanRobin via Flickr

Funeral insurance is simply a form of low cost life insurance policy which is designed so that people can be sure to leave enough dough to pay for their own funeral expenses (unlike Great Uncle Alfred . . . family folklore had him down as a rich eccentric recluse . . . well, two out of the three were right . . . could we find any cash to pay for the funeral necessaries . . . couldn’t even find enough to cover the tea and sandwiches). Funeral insurance usually provides expenses cover up until 100 years of age, so if you’ve already started to organize the celebrations for Great Grandma’s centenary birthday party you might just need another plan.

Why Do You Need Funeral Insurance

Until you are actively involved in organizing a funeral, you probably won’t have any idea of just what a costly business dying actually is. Funeral insurance really can take away the financial burden for the loved ones you leave behind. Let’s put it plain and simply for just a minute . . . you’re going to die, sooner or later the Grim Reaper will come a calling and that’s it, show’s over . . . so you might as well have a little financial preparation in place. You’ve probably got loads of other ”what if” insurance policies - ”what if” your house burns down . . . “what if” some drunken bum crashes into your car . . . “what if” you contract a deadly disease . . . . ”what if” you die – HELLO!

How Much Funeral Insurance Do You Need

That’s really down to you and your financial situation “in life”, what sort of funeral you envisage for yourself . . . if you want to be paraded down the high street in a carriage pulled by four black Fresians (the horses . . . not the cows) with plumes from their heads and a full brass band then you’d better make sure that there’s enough in the pot to cover the costs. Many people like to make sure that they have sufficient funeral insurance to pay not only for the funeral expenses, but also any other little odds and sods which they might otherless leave unpaid . . . car loans, mortgages, maybe even a little left over for their favorite niece! On the other hand, you could just make sure that you have the best funeral ever.

Funeral Expenses To Be Covered By Funeral Insurance

Let’s stop and think for a minute about all of the expenses (some optional, some you definitely need) to cover the costs of a funeral. It might surprise you to think that a traditional funeral will often run into costing in excess of $10,000, even $15,000 – do your loved ones have that sort of spare cash lying around with nothing better to spend it on? Thought not . . . okay Paris Hilton, there’s always the fortunate few, but for the majority of us it could be a big financial headache.

  • Funeral home services – you can’t escape these although how much of an invoice you run up is something which you can definitely control.
  • Embalming – contrary to popular belief you are not required by law to have a body embalmed. This is really only absolutely necessary if you plan to have visitations of the deceased. If, however, there is to be a direct cremation then embalming is absolutely not necessary and one place where you can make a saving (as well as helping to keep the body environmentally friendly).
  • Burial clothes – again are only necessary if you’re going down the whole embalming and visitation route. Some people like to bury their loved ones in expensive clothes, others prefer to dress the deceased in a favorite outfit. My friends Mom was buried in her fleecy red pajamas . . . at her own request. She had been ill for a long time and had obviously grown quite attached to her favorite pj’s.
  • Visitations – apart from the above expenses which are involved if you choose to have visitations of the body, you will also have to pay more to the funeral home for use of a room etc.
  • Funeral service – this is another part of a funeral which can be almost as costly or as inexpensive as you choose. You don’t even have to have the funeral service with the body of the deceased present, some families choose to have a small, private memorial service some time later instead of paying for a costly service in a chapel or at the graveside.
  • Caskets and urns – this is another place where huge savings can be made. Hardwood or metal caskets can be very expensive, although caskets made from soft woods are much cheaper.
  • Hearse and limousines – transportation of the body is another funeral expense which can be covered by your funeral insurance.
  • Floral tributes . . . this is a personal thing but you can’t have a casket without a good covering of flowers can you . . . it just wouldn’t look . . . well . . . . right.
  • Burial plot is needed in the case of a traditional funeral ceremony, although this too can be a saving if you opt for a cremation.
  • Grave liners and burial vaults are mandatory in some cemeteries so is another expense related to the burial plot (above).
  • Opening and closing the grave – another hidden extra of a traditional funeral.
  • Monument of your choice.
  • Party – I mean wake . . . though why it’s called a wake I’m not sure . . . surely a “sleep’” would be more appropriate.

Right, has that scared you into realizing just how expensive this dying business can be, and why you should think about organizing some funeral insurance now. Hope so . . . .

Maybe you should allow enough funeral insurance cash for some nice music too!