It’s important when considering the cost of funeral insurance that you first consider how you would like your family and friends to celebrate your life when the time comes. The structure of your funeral will have a large impact on what your funeral will cost, which in turn will influence the funeral insurance benefit you would like your family to receive.

Cost of a funeral

No one enjoys talking about funerals, but it’s a conversation everyone needs to have to ensure that your family is insulated from the immediate costs they may be faced with when you pass away.

The average funeral in Australia costs from $4,000 to $15,0001, but few of us pre-plan our own funerals, so who’s going to foot the bill when we pass away?

Whether you opt for cremation or burial, a basic service or traditional ritual, the costs may be more than you think.

Factors that have an influence on funeral costs

Depending on the way you wish to be remembered and your family’s particular needs, the factors that are likely to influence the cost of a funeral include:

  • any religious, ceremonial or family requirements
  • whether you are buried or cremated
  • if you are being buried, the cost of a burial plot including preparation, casket, headstone, transportation and council fees
  • if being cremated, the cost of an urn, flowers and a funeral director
  • the location of the funeral or memorial service and when it is being held
  • any refreshments provided for mourners after the ceremony
  • miscellaneous costs such as death notices and death certificate.

What is the average cost of funeral insurance?

The cost of funeral insurance will vary depending on the following factors:

  • the benefit amount you would like paid to your family – this can be any amount between $3,000 to $15,000
  • your age
  • how long you have held funeral insurance for – Australian Seniors offers a 5% reduction in your funeral insurance premium for every 5 continuous years that you hold a policy.

Australian Seniors offers funeral insurance for single cover starting from $3.71 per week for a 50-year-old for a $3,000 benefit.

When deciding how much funeral insurance you need – as this will influence the cost of your funeral insurance – you need to consider what elements you would like present in your funeral.

Funeral expenses breakdown

Organising a funeral could incur more costs for your family than you had originally planned for, depending on outside factors. Creating a final farewell to honour someone’s life can involve the following expenses:

THE AVERAGE COSTS OF A FUNERAL1
Service Fee$2,000+
Removal of Body$300
Preservation$210
Clergy Fees$275
Organist$275
Advertising$285
Cost per Car$330
Casketup to $10,000
Chapel Fee$180
Grave Fees$3,500+
Flowers$100
TOTAL$7,455 excl. casket

Considering Funeral Insurance?

Ways to pay for your funeral

Funeral insurance

Funeral insurance pays your loved ones a lump sum to use towards your final expenses, regardless of how much you’ve paid in premiums. They can use this pay out to cover your funeral costs and to settle some of your outstanding financial affairs, such as credit card debts, loans or bills. Read more about funeral insurance.

Seniors Funeral Insurance pays a lump sum benefit of $3,000 up to $15,000, depending on the amount of cover you have selected.

  • With our Top Cover, receive your covered amount, or all of the premiums you’ve paid in – whichever is greater.*
  • The money can be used for any need.

Pre-paid funeral plans

A pre-paid funeral plan is one where you plan and pay for your funeral upfront before you pass away, usually through a local funeral director. This requires careful planning to ensure all arrangements and suppliers for your funeral are finalised at the time of payment.

  • Upfront planning and paying for your funeral.
  • Details of your funeral service are locked in.
  • Fixed costs at current funeral prices.

Learn more about the difference between funeral insurance and pre-paid funeral plans.

Personal savings

This involves putting money away regularly in a savings account to pay for your funeral expenses. It means your family will only have access to whatever amount you’ve managed to save in that time, and they may not be able to access the account immediately after your death.

  • Personal discipline is needed to save regularly.
  • Your family will only have access to whatever amount you’ve managed to save.
  • The money may not be immediately accessible to help pay your funeral expenses.

Others

  • Superannuation - when you pass away, your super fund pays out your balance to your beneficiaries or your estate; a process which can take some time.
  • Funeral bonds - an investment product where the funds can only be withdrawn after your death to pay for your funeral (may not be enough if funeral costs have risen in the meantime).

Can life insurance be used to pay for your funeral?

As with funeral insurance, life insurance is given as a lump sum payment and as such it is at the discretion of the beneficiary as to what they use that payout for.

However, it’s important to note that life insurance can take longer to pay out than funeral insurance, in which case the payment may be received after the funeral has occurred.

If you choose to use life insurance as the way to cover your funeral expenses, you should advise your beneficiaries that the upfront cost of your funeral will need to be managed by them, with your life insurance then used to reimburse the costs incurred.

If you would prefer for your funeral costs to be covered upfront, with no out of pocket expenses required by your family when you pass, then funeral insurance is worth considering in addition to life insurance.

What happens to debts when you pass away?

The responsibility for debts when you pass away will depend on the type of debt, and your personal circumstances. Generally, the following questions will be asked:

  • Are there any assets (money or property) in your estate?
  • Are the debts secured or unsecured?
  • Has someone guaranteed the debts?
  • Are the debts in your name only, or jointly with another person?

If when a person passes away there are outstanding debts, the executor is responsible for dividing up the estate and paying off the debts using cash if there is enough, or selling the estate assets for cash to pay off the creditors.

If there is not enough money in the estate to pay off the debts once the assets are sold, and if the debt is not:

  1. secured against a particular asset that is owned by someone else
  2. in joint name with someone else, or
  3. guaranteed by someone

then the debt may not need to be paid.2

What to look for in a funeral insurance policy

When considering funeral insurance, you want to make sure of the following:

  • that your premiums do not increase as you age
  • you don’t pay more in premiums than your family will receive when you pass away
  • that your policy is paid in a prompt manner to ensure your family is not out of pocket when organising your funeral.

Funeral Cover from $3.71 a week3

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Everything you need to know about funeral insurance

Who pays for your funeral costs?

When planning for your funeral, it’s important to remember that your next of kin are normally responsible for paying your funeral costs. From casket and flowers to funeral director and burial fees, these expenses can add up to a significant financial burden for your family at a time when they are already experiencing emotional distress.

These costs can average between $4,000 and $15,0001, so it’s worth thinking about who will be left with the bill.

Funeral Insurance can give you and your family complete peace of mind by helping to cover your funeral and other final expenses.

How Australia Seniors can help

Seniors Funeral Insurance will pay a lump sum to your loved ones (up to $15,000) when the times comes, to be spent as needed to cover immediate expenses.

Benefits of choosing Seniors Funeral Insurance

Choose a level of cover that suits you

Seniors Funeral Insurance pays a lump sum to your family from $3,000 to $15,000 upon your death, with cover for Accidental Death only in the first 12 months.

A quick payout to your family

Claims are usually paid within 1 business day of all completed documentation being received, so you can be sure your family has the financial help they need with little fuss.

Receive your covered amount, or all of the premiums you’ve paid in

When you make a claim under our Top Cover policy, your family will receive the covered amount or all of the premiums you’ve paid in – whichever is greater*

Getting cover is easy

If you’re an Australian resident aged 18 to 79, you’re guaranteed cover. No medical screening, complicated paperwork or blood tests required.

Costs that go down instead of up

We promise that your premiums will reduce by 5% every five years you hold your policy

More control over your policy

Choose a payment frequency that works for you and your budget and list up to 5 different beneficiaries.

Early cash back option

With our Top Cover, you have the choice to cancel cover when you turn 85 to receive an Early Cash Back payment of 150% of your benefit^

Triple benefit for Accidental Death

From the day your Policy starts, your loved ones will receive triple your benefit amount if your death is the result of an accident – up to $45,000.

Triple benefit for Accidental Serious Injury

Seniors Funeral Insurance includes, at no extra cost, Accidental Serious Injury cover at three times your chosen benefit amount. So you’re covered for defined significant life-changing events caused by an accident, up until the age of 75.

See more benefits

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Everything you need to know about funeral insurance

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Cover for Accidental Death only in the first 12 months.

1. Paying for your funeral –  ASIC

2. What happens to debts after death – Cancer Council

3. Based on a single plan, providing a $3,000 benefit for a person aged 60.

* This is subject to you keeping your policy in force and without changing your level of cover. There is no refund of premiums after the cooling off period. If your policy is cancelled prior to age 85, no benefit is payable.

^ If you choose the Early Cash Back option, you will no longer be eligible to claim and you may receive less than the total premiums you’ve paid into your policy to date.

Cover the people that matter most today

For total peace of mind for your entire family, call our friendly team now. We’re here 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 2pm Saturdays on 1300 078 596. You can also request a call-back at a time that suits you.