Dying is a problem, especially if you are the protagonist, as well as being expensive even if you have death insurance.
Adding up the cost of the funeral home, the coffin, the car, the flowers, the cremation, or the burial, the price is put at a peak.
The number of deaths in the country was 423,643, 3.17% more than the previous year. The result of a simple multiplication tells us that the business of death has a turnover of around 1,500 million dollars. A very attractive cake that is divided between four, in an opaque and monopolistic way.
In the same period of time, the insurance employer, confirms that the insurers attended the burial of 255,000 people. This means that 60% of all burials have been attended to under death insurance.
If you have gone through the trance of losing a loved one, you will know that it is a very delicate moment, in which you are not for anyone, much less to think that they can tease you.
I have decided to write this post, although I have to confess that the subject displeases me and deeply irritates me, to discover some secrets that surround this business.
Expensive and opaque funeral services
Three years ago I published the article What is the price of dying? To prepare, investigate whether the web pages of the most important funeral homes reported the price of their services. The result was devastating, I found no results. To write this post, I have repeated the search and the result has been the same. None of the funeral homes consulted has their prices available on the Internet.
This lack of transparency makes it difficult for the consumer to analyze the different alternatives they have. You have to go to the funeral homes in your city to get a budget, surely unclear, and that you may not be able to compare due to lack of competition.
Funeral services were completely liberalized in 1996, since then they are in the hands of private or mixed companies in which some municipalities still participate. Not even in these public participation companies, it is possible to access the rates for the services they provide.
Thus, depending on where you live, the burial will cost you and the difference can be significant.
This difference in price is often justified in the cost of the cemetery. We will see later that, although it is true that it exists, it is not always the reason.
How much does a dignified but simple funeral cost?
When it comes to knowing how much burial costs, it is necessary to distinguish between what is the funeral service and the burial. The most used practice continues to be a burial, although cremation is gradually gaining ground.
So that you can assess the economic scope of dying, in this list you have most of the elements that the funeral service includes.
It is one of the most expensive sections. Its price, for a normal model, no-frills, ranges between 800 dollars and 2,500 dollars, although the average is 1,200 dollars.
Renting the funeral home for 24 hours, sometimes lasts up to 36 hours, costs just over 600 dollars. If you want to save on the price, you can organize a simple farewell, without a wake, or watch it at home.
It has an average cost of around 500 dollars. This price may vary depending on the transfers you have to do until the funeral. Funeral homes usually offer escort cars for family members that, as you can guess, also add to the bill.
Florist, reminders, signature books, live music
These are some of the many services that you will have at your disposal if you want to spend more. For example, a flower crown does not usually go below 100 dollars.
The religious service has an average cost of 60 dollars, that of “the will” has become a fee that depends on where it is performed, how and even the type of confession you profess.
The medical death certificate, the inscription in the Civil Registry (which must be done within 24 hours after death) and the municipal burial license are going to take another 200 dollars if the funeral home is in charge of making them. This amount can vary a lot, depending on the municipality, since each one charges a different burial fee.
The price of the cemetery
A good part of the bill that you have to pay for the dead goes to the cemetery. By tradition and to preserve their memory, we bid farewell to the deceased by burial in a niche or grave in the chosen municipal or private cemetery.
The cemetery service is broken down into two concepts: the burial service and the cost of the niche or grave. But it will depend on the town hall on duty that you have to pay extra fees for other additional services.
But it is also significant that the price disparity in the burial service according to which municipality.
How to lower the price of a funeral?
There are other alternatives to make the burial price more affordable, some are only small changes from what we have seen, others are given by necessity.
Let’s see what there is.
It is the alternative to burial. More and more people are opting for cremation, especially in cities. The average price is around 600 dollars \, to which you have to add the corresponding to the urn in which to put the ashes.
Of course, with cremation, if you take the ashes home, you will save the burial expenses, the niche or grave, and the tombstone. But if you plan to have them in a columbarium (where to deposit the ashes) you can start to add at least another 300 dollars for a 10-year rental.
Incineration is a cheaper alternative to burial, as long as you don’t go overboard with where to deposit the ashes.
Donate the body for scientific research.
With this formula, the burial will be free. The body will be used in medical schools for teaching students or for research and development of new procedures in medina and surgery.
The donation must be made in life voluntarily and the relatives or friends know it so that when the time comes they can make it. Once accepted, the receiving center or university will bear the costs of moving the body in addition to the burial or incineration after its use.
Don’t pay because you can’t or don’t want to.
Sometimes the expense of death becomes unaffordable for their immediate family members. When this happens, social services or other people can take charge of the expenses that they can later claim against the deceased’s inheritance. In some municipalities, there are free services capable of assuming the costs of death.
Have death insurance.
This is the option that more than 20 million consumers in this country have chosen when subscribing to death insurance.
With death insurance, the deceased is assured that they will have the funeral service covered and the peace of mind that family members will not have to deal with these matters at such a delicate time.
But the convenience of insurance should not hide its drawbacks.
If I buy death insurance, do I save money?
Death insurance is undoubtedly a form of savings, at least it does allow you not to have to make an outlay at that time.
But in death or funeral insurance, the age of hire or the place of residence play an important role. The price of the insurance is established based on these factors, to which you will have to add the extra coverage you hire.
With the calculator in hand, when the time comes, you will have paid more insurance than the insured capital.
I have checked some of the products that the first death insurers have on the market.
unless you have the misfortune to die in the first years of the contract, you will pay more than you insure. Ah! And if you cancel the insurance, you will lose everything you paid until then.
If I already have death insurance, should I keep it?
If you already have contracted death insurance, and reading this article makes you wonder if you are interested in continuing with it, the first thing to keep in mind is how old you are, how long it has been since you contracted it, and the type of premium that you have hired.
The examples in the table above are calculated at a natural premium (increasing) where you pay more as you age. In this case, I would seriously consider canceling it. Returning to the example, the person of 65 will start paying about 15 dollars per month to end up paying, if expectations are met, about 25 dollars per month.
In the event that your policy is paid with a level (constant) premium, as long as you do not extend the coverage, you will always pay the same. At first, the risk of death is low and the premiums too, but as the years go by, both grow proportionally. In this case, the more years that have passed since you took out death insurance and the older thongs, the less you are interested in doing without it.
I would only keep the insurance if I am over 70 years old or without having fulfilled them, I have paid the policy for more than 25 years.
Clear things, avoid mistakes
You have room to lower the price of a funeral, it is a matter of not letting yourself be overwhelmed by the funeral home advisor and selecting those services that you really believe are worthwhile. It is in those objects or services that do not have a fixed price that you can get significant savings without losing the funeral dignity and solemnity.
It is best to be clear from the beginning. Leave in writing or inform your relatives what you want them to do with you when you are gone. And based on this, if you have the ability to save, leave the money so that they can satisfy your will.
If you are not very demanding and you doubt whether you will be able to keep saving without touching it until the end, you can always take out a single premium death insurance. You will pay more insurance than the capital contracted, but it will be enough to cover the cost of a decent burial.
After this, at least some things have become clear to me:
- Dying is expensive, as well as being a chore.
- Before choosing, you must find out the prices that the funeral home charges you for its services.
- Choose the necessary services and not all those that they offer you.
- Death insurance is expensive and not profitable to purchase.
- Saving a part of what you pay for insurance is enough to have a funeral to suit you.
- purchasing life insurance is another good alternative.
In spite of everything, funeral homes will continue to make their fortune, sharing the cake without competition and insurance companies will continue to do their thing, making a lot of money with death insurance (or funerals, as you like)
Now it’s up to you to answer this question and tell us about your experience.