Average Final Expense Costs in America

Many people don’t realize how much a funeral can cost in the United States until they have to pay for one. During an already difficult and vulnerable period in your life, you may be asked to spend tens of thousands of dollars just to give your loved one the burial that they deserve. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association reports that the average funeral in America today costs between $7,000 and  $12,000. Many different expenses go into the overall price of a funeral, such as the casket, floral arrangement, embalming, transportation to the burial site, and more. 

One simple solution for seniors to protect their families from funeral-related debt after their passing is to purchase final expense insurance. Also known as “burial insurance” or “funeral insurance,” final expense insurance ensures that a senior’s beneficiaries will have the money they need to cover the cost of death and funeral arrangements after their loved one’s passing. Final expense insurance typically has much smaller premiums than regular life insurance, making it a cost-effective option for people whose age and/or health making being able to cover the cost of regular life insurance impossible.

At Need-A-Lead, we provide insurance agents, agencies, and IMOs with high-quality final expense lead generation campaigns so that they can reach seniors in need. Not only do our campaigns help agents improve the lives of seniors but they also help them grow their businesses and invest in their future. Read on to learn more about the average costs of final expenses in America today, then sign up for a free quote for your next lead generation campaign. We also offer lead generation campaigns for annuity leads, long-term care leads, Medicare Advantage leads, Medicare Supplement leads, and turning 65 leads.

Cremation or Burial

While some people  opt for a cremation rather than a burial in order to save money, the truth is that the price difference between these two final expenses is relatively small, with the average cost of a cremation and memorial service in America coming in around $6,000 and the average cost of a funeral and burial coming in around $7,000. It is essential to note, however, that this statistic does not include a plot and headstone. A plot typically costs between $700 and $2,000 for public cemeteries and $2,000 to $5,00 for private cemeteries. As for headstones, mausoleums, and other grave markers, costs can vary widely, ranging anywhere from $1,000 for a basic marker to as much as $5,000 for an upright headstone. These high costs are why it is so important for families to plan and pay for burial plots well in advance of a person’s passing. If this is not possible, they should seriously consider purchasing final expense insurance, as it can help cover the high cost of a last-minute plot and grave marker. 

Funeral Service/Wake

Typically, the cost of a funeral service, memorial service, or wake is around $5,000 when you add up all the individual  fees, such as the hearse (~$325), embalming (~$725), facility and staff (~$500), flowers ($~600), and the basic funeral home fee, which comes in at a whopping average cost of $2,100. This fee includes basic services such as obtaining copies of the death certificate, securing any necessary permits, sheltering the remains, and coordinating the arrangements. It does not include the cost of the casket or any optional services. 


Caskets can vary widely in style, material, design, and, of course, price. The average casket in America costs between $2,000 and $5,000 and is typically made of either metal or a cheaper wood. Funeral homes will often charge high prices for caskets due to the convenience for buyers, who are often in an emotional state.  Buying outside of a funeral home can help families save thousands and dollars, and many third-party retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, can have caskets shipped directly to the funeral which, by law, the funeral homes are required to use without any additional charges.

Saving Money on Final Expenses

Fortunately, there are several things seniors can do to help their families save money in the event of their passing. These include planning a budget and sticking to it, knowing the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, comparing quotes, and buying caskets and other products from third-party retailers. Another option is to hold an alternative to a tradition funeral, such as a direct burial or cremation, which bypasses memorial services altogether, a green funeral using biodegradable coffins and natural markers rather than headstones, or an assistance-based funeral in which costs are partially covered by a church, crowdfunding, or other outside source.

Find Exclusive Final Expense Leads

Having to pay for a funeral you can’t afford while already grieving the loss of a loved one can be devastating. Final expense insurance helps protect families from funeral homes that may want to exploit their fragile emotional state by ensuring that a budget is set aside ahead of time for their loved one’s arrangements. 

If you’re an insurance agent, agency, or IMO that sells final expense insurance to seniors, then sign up for a final expense leads generation campaign with Need-A-Lead today. We offer turnkey direct mail solutions for life insurance companies, including customizable mailers, postage, and the prompt return of your 100% exclusive leads, gathered from the best data available. To get started, sign up for a free quote now.