Jeffrey Manola is an experienced life insurance agent and the founder of Top Quote Life Insurance. His mission when he created Top Quote Life Insurance was to provide online consumers searching for life insurance with the absolute best quotes for term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam life insurance, and burial insurance. Not only does he strive to provide you with the ...

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Written by Jeffrey Manola
Founder & Licensed Agent Jeffrey Manola

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Facts You Should Know

  • The average cost of a 2021 funeral in the U.S. was $7,848
  • Life insurance is the best option for ensuring that funeral costs are covered, and there are specific policies known as final expense or preneed insurance that are specifically designed to compensate funeral expenses
  • If you need help paying for a funeral, you can explore religious and non-profit organizations, federal and state aid, and low-cost alternatives

When you lose a loved one, you are unfortunately hit with the responsibility of making stressful decisions about funeral and burial services. Having to cover the funeral costs out of pocket makes it even more taxing. However, this happens far too often when someone passes away without life insurance or with insufficient coverage.

If you’re currently planning a funeral and wondering, How much is a coffin?, review the funeral cost breakdown below and learn how you can receive help paying for funeral and memorial services.

You can also enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to find life insurance and ensure that your loved ones aren’t responsible for the costs of your funeral.

What is the average cost of a burial and funeral?

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the median cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial is $7,848. In comparison, the median price of a funeral with a viewing and cremation is $6,970.

Take a look at the funeral cost breakdown below.

2021 Average Funeral Cost Breakdown
ItemAverage Cost in 2021Description
Cremation casket$1,310This covers the combustible container used in the cremation process.
Cremation fee$368This covers the cost of the cremation cost from a third-party.
Embalming$775This covers the cost of preserving the body.
Funeral home facilities and staff for funeral services$515This covers the cost of using the facilities and assistant staff for funeral services.
Funeral home facilities and staff for viewing$450This covers the cost of using the facilities and assistant staff for a viewing.
Funeral service fee$2,300This covers the funeral home's and cemetery's labor and equipment.
Hearse$325This covers the cost of transporting the body from the funeral home to the cemetery.
Other preparations of the body$275This covers other preparations, such as cosmetics.
Printed materials for funeral service$183This covers the cost of printing things such as pamphlets or prayer cards.
Metal casket$2,500The average casket (metal, fiberboard, fiberglass, or plastic) costs $2,500, but caskets made from mahogany, bronze, or copper can cost up to $10,000.
Service car or van$150This covers the cost of transportation for family members to and from the funeral.
Urn$295This covers the cost of the urn to hold the remains after a cremation.
Vault $1,572This covers the protective enclosure for the coffin.
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The table above includes some of the most common costs associated with funeral services, burials, and cremations. However, other fees can further increase the price.

For example, a burial plot could cost between $1,000 and $4,000, depending on the type of plot and your location. In addition, headstones and grave markers vary drastically in price. For example, simple flat markers can cost as low as $200, while monuments may cost as much as $10,000.

Some other costs to consider include floral arrangements and the price of printing an obituary in the newspaper.

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What is the cost of a funeral by state?

Below is a list of the average cost of a funeral in some states.

Average Cost of a Funeral by State
StateAverage Cost of a Funeral
Arizona$6,675
California$6,250
Florida$5,875
Georgia$6,250
Idaho$6,875
Illinois$7,650
Maine$8,675
Minnesota$6,450
Nebraska$6,325
North Carolina$6,250
Ohio$7,450
Pennsylvania$7,700
Tennessee$6,425
Texas$6,375
Washington$6,650
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In 2021, the West North Central region of the U.S. (including Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska) had the highest average funeral cost of $8,500. In contrast, the Mountain region (including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) had the lowest average funeral cost of $6,888.

Does life insurance cover funeral expenses?

Yes, life insurance is an excellent resource when paying for a funeral. You can use the death benefit from any type of life insurance to help compensate a funeral. However, specific life insurance policies are created to cover funeral costs like final expense insurance, burial insurance, or preneed insurance.

Final expense insurance is a type of life insurance partnered with a specific funeral home. First, the policyholder works with the funeral home to plan their final expenses and memorial services to determine what type of death benefit they need. Then, when they die, the funeral home receives the death benefit which pays for the funeral services.

Final expense insurance is typically sold to seniors. The death benefits are significantly smaller than those from other types of policies, usually ranging between $5,000 and $25,000. However, the policies don’t require a medical exam.

How can I get help paying for a funeral?

Funeral costs can accumulate quickly, and many families have difficulty affording funeral services and other final expenses. Life insurance is typically the best option for assistance with paying for a funeral. However, if your loved one passes away without life insurance or with a death benefit that isn’t large enough to afford a funeral, you may need to explore other options.

Some additional options for receiving help with a funeral include:

  • Religious organizations and nonprofits – Churches and organizations, such as Funeral Consumers Alliance, may help you to find low-cost options.
  • The federal government – Some spouses qualify for a $255 death benefit from the Social Security Administration. If your loved one was a military member, the VA might contribute between $300 and $2,000 for funeral and final expenses
  • Disaster relief – If your loved one died due to a natural disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency might cover funeral costs.
  • State programs – Some states have programs to help pay for funeral costs.
  • Low-cost options – If you can’t afford a funeral, you could explore options such as direct cremation, DIY services, or body donation.

As mentioned above, the best choice for ensuring that funeral costs are covered is life insurance. If you want to purchase life insurance to make sure that your loved ones aren’t responsible for paying expensive funeral costs, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to find affordable coverage near you.