The rising cost of funerals and the large fluctuations in prices across Australia have become major concerns for consumers, according to new research.
In the recent Australian Senior’s Cost of Death (2019) report, a survey of Funeral Directors across Australia found that the average cost of a burial or a cremation varies widely across the states and territories, depending on which Funeral Director you use and the capital city where the funeral is conducted. The report stated that funeral costs have been steadily increasing at a rate of between 6% to 11% since 2011, with the cost of a basic cremation having more than doubled from $1,435 in 2011 to $3,108 in 2019.
The report also highlighted that in a survey of Australians aged 50+, most of us think funerals are getting more expensive year-on-year, with the rise in the cost of funerals exceeding the rise in the general cost of living. When asked what they think is driving funeral costs up these days, respondents most commonly stated the rise of funeral director fees (72.7%). The survey also found that 95.4 per cent of us think the high cost of funerals is an unnecessary burden on loved ones, with just under a third (29 per cent) of families needing over one year to recover from the financial hardship of putting on a funeral.
How to avoid the high cost of funerals in Australia?
According to Peter Erceg, Owner of eziFunerals, ‘Grieving families do not act act rationally when faced with organising a funeral. They are emotionally and financially vulnerable and are at risk of making poor decisions. They want to give their loved one the best possible send off, and are made to believe it is disrespectful to look for a “good deal”.
‘One of the biggest reasons funeral costs are too high is that consumers don’t shop around. They rarely query funeral quotes, and often feel pressured to select a package they cannot afford’, says Erceg.
What makes this even more difficult, is that when customers do decide to shop around, they are not aware that they are often soliciting quotes from branches of the same company, without their knowledge. ‘Although the names on billboards and advertisements are well known, the revenues and profits from them flow to corporate shareholders’, he says.
‘It pays to do your homework’, Erceg explains. ‘People are not aware that several funeral businesses may be owned by two parent companies, being InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) and Propel Funeral Partners Ltd (ASX:PFP). Between them they currently control over 40% market share nationally (…and growing).’
In a recent story by the ABC 7.30 Report (10/6/2019), it was reported that on average, InvoCare funeral brands are up to 22 per cent more expensive, than at independent rivals.
‘So, when looking for a funeral director, the first piece of advice is: “know who you are dealing with and shop around”. Shopping around can save you thousands of dollars’, he said.
Instead of relying on a salesperson to step you through the funeral arrangements, eziFunerals, simplifies and streamlines the funeral process by empowering consumers to plan and document their funeral needs and get itemised quotes, thus sparing families from having to make difficult, costly decisions while they are grieving.
If you are worried about the high cost of funerals or need a Quick Funeral Quote, simply visit www.ezifunerals.com.au.
Learn more about planning a funeral in Australia
eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We do not conduct funerals and we are not part of any other funeral company.