Average Final Expense Costs in America

If you’re new to the final expense insurance industry, then you may be wondering why Americans even need final expense insurance in the first place. After all, the only costs really necessary after someone’s passing are a casket, tombstone, and gravesite, right? Wrong. Final expense costs in the United States are actually exorbitant, especially when compared to other countries. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association reports that the average funeral in America today costs between $7,000 and $12,000. During an already difficult time in their lives, families are being asked to shell out thousands of dollars just to give their loved one the burial that they deserve. 

Final expense insurance helps seniors protect their families from funeral-related debt after their passing. It is a loving, essential measure that seniors can take to ensure that their beneficiaries remain financially stable during an emotionally unstable time. Final expense insurance typically has much smaller premiums than regular life insurance, making it an attractive option for people whose age and/or health make being able to cover the cost of regular life insurance. By selling final expense insurance with Generational Wealth Group, you not only set yourself up for a lucrative career and fulfilling lifestyle, but also can rest assured that you are helping older adults in need. In this blog post, we break down the most common final expense costs in America, and how much they can set back grieving families.


Even though some people opt for a cremation rather than a burial on the belief that it will save their family money, the truth is that the price difference between these two options is relatively small. The average cost of a cremation and memorial service in America comes in around $6,000, while the average cost of a funeral and burial is around $7,000. It is important to note, however, that this statistic does not include the cost of a plot and headstone, which can set families back as much as an additional $10,000. These high costs are why it’s essential that families plan and pay for burial plots well in advance of a person’s passing; if this is impossible due to financial issues, they should seriously consider purchasing final expense insurance, as it can be used to cover the high costs of a last-minute plot and grave marker.

Funeral Service/Wake

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


There are many different options available in terms of casket designs, materials, and, of course, price. The average casket in America currently costs between $2,000 and $5,000, and is typically made of either metal or a cheapish wood. Since funeral homes will often charge high prices for caskets due to the convenience for grieving buyers, buying a casket outside of a funeral home can save families thousands of dollars. Many third-party retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, can ship caskets directly to funeral homes, which, by law, they are required to use without any additional charges.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule

Fortunately, there are ways, apart from final expense insurance, that seniors can protect their families from debt in the event of their passing. These include planning a budget ahead of time and sticking to it, buying caskets and other products from third-party retailers, and knowing the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule was created to help protect consumers from having to purchase goods and services they don’t want or need when a death occurs in their family. The Funeral Rule gives consumers the right to: 

  1. Buy only the funeral arrangements they want
  2. Get price information on the telephone
  3. Get a written, itemized price list when they visit a funeral home
  4. See a written price list before they see the actual caskets
  5. See a written-out burial container price list
  6. Receive a written statement after they decide what they want, and before they pay
  7. Get an explanation in the written statement from the funeral home that describes any legal cemetery or crematory requirement that requires them to buy any funeral goods or services
  8. Use an “alternative container” instead of a casket for cremation 
  9. Provide the funeral home with a casket or urn they buy elsewhere
  10. Make funeral arrangements without embalming

Another way that families can save money on final expenses is to hold an alternative to a traditional funeral, such as a direct burial,  a cremation without memorial services, or a “green funeral” using biodegradable coffins and natural markers rather than headstones. Assistance-based funerals are also an option, in which costs are partially covered by a church, crowdfunding, or other outside source. 

Make Money and Protect Families as a Final Expense Insurance Agent

When you choose to  work with Generational Wealth Group as a final expenses insurance agent, you embark on a fulfilling career that can give you the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of, including exotic vacations, passive income, and the best training and support in the business. The benefits are beyond just pecuniary, however. You also get to rest assured that your work is making a tangible difference in the lives of seniors and their families.