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The cost of cremation

A recent national study into the Australian funeral industry has found the average cost for a direct cremation to be $3,346. Cremation pricing varies based on the type of cremation, there are typically two types, direct cremation and tranditional cremations.

Traditional Cremation

A traditional cremation (as opposed to a direct cremation) involves a service, usually at a chapel or church and/or the crematorium chapel, followed by the cremation itself.

An analysis of 2,000 services listed on GatheredHere show an average cost for traditional cremations at $7,420.

Items included in a traditional cremation include:

  • Professional services
  • Cremation fee
  • Casket
  • Transfer of the deceased
  • Urn
  • Viewing
  • Hearse
  • Celebrant
  • Death Certificate
  • Cremation certificate
  • Flowers, newspaper notice, service booklet etc

Direct cremtation

A direct cremation is a disposition option in which the body is cremated very soon after the death (usually within a couple of days) and there is no prior funeral service. Direct cremations are the cheapest funeral options, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t respect the memory of the deceased. Families will often arrange a memorial service following the direct cremation to pay tribute to the deceased.

A similar analysis of services on GatheredHere indicate an average cost for direct cremation in Australia at \$2,900. This average is close to the National Study which found an average cost of $3,346 for direct cremation.

Items included in a direct cremation include:

  • Professional services
  • Cremation fee
  • Transfer of the deceased
  • Simple urn
  • Certificates

Other factors

The National study examined several factors regulators suggest affect price:

  1. the stringent regulatory regimes in certain states;
  2. the concentration in the industry (InvoCare’s market share and dominance)
  3. the location of the funeral director (presence of both competition, overhead costs and proximity of allied services)
  4. the transparency of pricing.

The study found prices vary by state, prices in NSW and WA for example are found to be almost 40% higher, but also show a greater range (spread) between the cheapest and most expensive.

The study also examined InvoCare, a multinational cooperation which holds 40% market share in Australia, it found that being a member of the InvoCare group and direct contact (phone contact) for price information results in a higher price for funeral goods and services. It also identified that disclosure of prices online results in lower prices for funeral goods and services supplied by funeral directors.

Despite the fact that all regulatory requirements related to the disposal of a body can be met for as little as \$1,200, on average, people are spending much more.

Ways to save

Even direct cremations can get expensive if you’re not careful. Here are some simple ways to save when making arrangements:

Cut out the excess: a traditional funeral home can offer everything you need - but they often charge a premium as they have the added cost of the store front. Online providers offer a lot of the same services, but at a fraction of the price.

Arrange an alternative memorial service: services that are arranged through a funeral home or religious building can be expensive. A picnic with your family or a gathering at home can be really personal and far cheaper.

Buy an urn online: the cost of an urn from a funeral home can often be upwards of \$300, but you can find plenty for less than $100 online. Shop around to get the best value.

Plan ahead: if possible, it is a good idea to start looking at options before the person has passed away. The days after a death can be overwhelming, and some families end up spending thousands of dollars more than they need to because they don’t have the time to compare providers. At Adieu, you can even do all the paperwork ahead of time, taking the pressure off an already difficult time.

Comparing cremation costs: Comparing prices between funeral homes is important if you want to get the best value for money, but be aware that this can be like comparing apples and oranges. Headline prices on adverts do not always tell the full story - they may not include necessities like the collection of the person who passed, or a container for the cremation.

Pricing at Adieu

Pricing at Adiue is available at the bottom of every page. You can see a breakdown of every cost on our pricing page here.

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