A recent report by financial comparison site Savvy, titled “Funeral Costs in Australia – 2023 Report,” sheds light on the growing financial cost of funerals in Australia. The study provides a comprehensive overview of funeral expenses across different states and territories.
One of the most significant findings of the report is the steady increase in funeral costs across Australia. The average cost of a basic burial has doubled from $4,000 in 2011 to a staggering $8,048 in 2019. This sharp rise has placed a considerable strain on families, particularly pensioners, who may find it increasingly challenging to cover these expenses.
One major factor contributing to the upward trend in expenses is the rise in funeral director fees.
The report categorises funeral costs into three main areas: Basic, Standard, and Premium.
- Basic Funeral: This includes fundamental services such as body removal and transport, legal documentation, and more. Families can choose from budget, mid-range, or high-end coffin/casket options. Additional fees may apply for burial or cremation. The average cost is $8,048, while basic cremation costs around $3,108.
- Standard Funeral: Families can expect extra elements like viewing, a celebrant or clergy, and a broader range of coffin/casket choices. Floral arrangements, death notices, order sheets, and audiovisual equipment can be added. The average cost is around $9,403 for a burial and $5,591 for a cremation.
- Premium Funeral: Families opting for a premium funeral can anticipate a comprehensive service with upscale venues, extravagant coffin/casket options, and elaborate floral arrangements. This scenario caters to those who seek an opulent farewell. The average cost is $11,279 for a burial and $7,187 for a cremation.
Options to help alleviate the cost include:
- Funeral Insurance: Purchasing funeral insurance can help cover the costs, providing peace of mind for policyholders and their families.
- Pre-Paid Funeral Plans: Prepaying for a funeral in advance locks in today’s prices and relieves future financial responsibility for loved ones.
- Direct Cremation or Burial: This cost-effective option eliminates the need for additional services and elaborate ceremonies, significantly reducing expenses.