Planning a funeral service is a difficult time for any family. While picking out a casket may seem morbid, it can alleviate a lot of stress from the family member or friend tasked with carrying out your funeral arrangements.
Some of the other benefits of pre-purchasing a casket include the following:
- Ensure you get today’s price for your particular casket
- Choose the finish, style, and material for your casket
- Guarantee your preferences for the funeral casket are followed
- Alleviate one of the difficult choices that need to be made during funeral arrangements
It’s not always guaranteed that a written statement of preferences will be followed, and pre-purchasing a casket can help ensure your final wishes are honored.
Where Caskets Can Be Purchased
The funeral home or provider used to be the only place to purchase a casket. Today, you have several options for buying a casket.
Caskets can be pre-purchased from a funeral home. However, buying a casket from a funeral home does not guarantee the best price.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule, consumers can request and view a casket price list from the funeral director. If you are not comfortable with the price range presented by the funeral director, you can shop around at different funeral homes or retailers. We’ll go into more detail on the FTC Funeral Rule later on.
Understanding your rights as a consumer will help alleviate the financial burden of end-of-life expenses. It is your right to obtain and compare casket price lists between funeral homes and online retailers.
Purchasing a casket from an online provider is more popular than ever. There are significant cost savings when you buy a casket online. There are also often more options online regarding oversized and custom caskets. An online retailer can even provide next-day shipping or overnight caskets.
Depending on your location, you might be able to buy a casket from a high-street casket retailer. These retailers specialize in coffins and have a showroom for you to look around, similar to a funeral home. In addition, some of these companies can offer savings.
Types of Caskets Available
When pre-purchasing a casket, you might have a particular casket in mind. If you don’t, it’s helpful to understand your available options.
Wood caskets have a warmer, more traditional appearance. They also tend to have a more elegant, less flashy appearance. A wooden coffin can be adorned with almost any type of external decoration you might desire—various kinds of wood, ranging from dark cherry wood to lighter colors such as oak and ash.
Metal caskets provide a more modern and austere appearance. Metal caskets are popular not only because of their durability but also because they come in different colors. In addition, metal provides an advantage over wood in this category in that it can be molded and stamped with almost any type of design that one might desire for your final resting place.
As mentioned above, you can customize a metal casket in various ways. Custom caskets can be a unique and beautiful tribute to your life and interests.
We recently created this John Deere tractor themed-casket for a beloved farmer who had passed away. He loved John Deere tractors, and this custom casket was an excellent way to pay tribute to his legacy as a farmer showcasing the equipment he loved.
Oversized caskets are available for those with larger body types. These are available in sizes ranging between 28-38″. As accessibility becomes increasingly essential, caskets are available for every body type.
Cremation does not require a casket, as cremation typically occurs soon after death. State laws require the body to be in a combustible container. However, you can rent a casket for the memorial service if you plan to hold a viewing before the cremation. Rental caskets are available between $725-1,250.
The Cost of Purchasing a Casket
Casket prices range from $1500 to “the sky’s the limit.” While casket prices can vary, the average cost for a metal casket is about $2,500.
As mentioned before, an excellent way to save on caskets is to compare prices between funeral homes and online. Online retailers offer various caskets for funeral services, often at a lower price than the funeral home.
How to Pre-Pray for a Casket
Don’t worry if you don’t have the finances to purchase the casket you want today. There are several options for those looking to pre-pay for their final arrangements.
Life Insurance / Final Expense Insurance
Life insurance policies are a common way to cover funeral expenses. The death benefit received after the passing of a loved one can be used to cover costs as long as the monthly premium is paid. In addition, the death benefit can be used for outstanding debts and other expenses, including end-of-life arrangements.
Many life insurance companies will also offer final expense insurance, also known as burial insurance or burial insurance. These policies exist for paying out a death benefit, which can range between $10-25,000.
A traditional savings account can be set up to hold the funds dedicated to funeral costs. Savings accounts can accrue minimal interest over time. However, they may be held up in probate after death.
Payable-on-Death (POD) Account
A payable-on-death (POD) account is similar to a savings account, except it exists with the express purpose of being used to pay out end-of-life expenses. One person will be appointed to receive the funds upon passing. These funds are received by presenting the death certificate. The beneficiary will only have access to this account upon death.
The FTC’s Funeral Rule and Your Consumer Rights
The FTC’s Funeral Rule is composed of several rules to protect consumers and supply them with adequate and accurate information concerning funeral arrangements. These rules apply specifically to purchasing a third-party casket, delivery regulations, and what a funeral home can and cannot do.
Let’s take a look at what the Funeral Rule covers concerning a casket purchase from third parties:
- Consumers have the right to purchase whatever funeral arrangements they want and are not required to accept funeral packages that include items they do not want. This right must be stated on the funeral home’s general price list.
- Consumers cannot be turned away from a funeral provider if they wish to purchase their casket from another source.
The Funeral Rule also protects how a casket can be delivered to a funeral home and how funeral providers must accept these deliveries.
- By law, a funeral provider cannot refuse or charge additional fees for delivering and handling a casket from another source.
- The consumer does not have to be present when the shipment arrives at the funeral provider. (Please note: inspecting the casket to ensure your shipment is correct and free of defects is always a good idea.)
Pre-Purchase a Casket Today
Understanding what’s involved in pre-purchasing a casket is the first step. Once you’re ready to purchase, we are available 24/7 to answer any questions. Call us at 800-759-1018 if you want to learn more about how we can help in your funeral planning. You can also submit your request through our online form.