Funeral Insurance Cost Calculator


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Life insurance and funeral insurance are one of those things in life that most avoid thinking about. Admittedly, it’s not the most joyous of topics, and calculating exactly how much you should pay for it can be tricky. However, with the average funeral cost in Canada being $5,000 to $10,000, most families can’t afford to not plan for it. 

That’s why we’ve put together a funeral insurance calculator – to make the topic a little easier to navigate.

How do you calculate the cost of a funeral?

Funeral costs can range widely in Canada depending on the family's wishes and traditions. The tool above will walk you through the most common elements.

Some factors that can impact the cost of final arrangements include the funeral service itself, burial, cremation, urns, headstones, caskets, embalming, and professional service fees.

If after using the tool, you get a number that is uncomfortably high, remember that life insurance can be used to cover these costs. Would-be buyers unable to purchase a policy because of age or underlying health conditions can consider taking out a funeral insurance plan. These guaranteed life insurance policies are designed to cover final expenses.

How much does a funeral cost in Canada?

An average funeral cost is dependent on various factors. The average funeral cost in Canada is $8,800. At the low end of the range, you're looking at $1,000, while at the upper end, you're looking at $20,000.

Funeral costs in Canada typically consist of 3 parts:

  1. Funeral home service fees: These are related to planning and administration. These will include transportation of the deceased and planning of ceremonies. Add-ons such as a hearse on the day of the funeral and staff available at a ceremony are available for an additional fee. Opting for a low-cost crematorium or a no-frills ceremony will significantly reduce these service fees.
  2. Product charges: These are to cover any material object or product purchased. This can be a casket, urn, or keepsake. 
  3. Disbursements: During the organization and planning of the funeral, the funeral home will be required to pay some fees on behalf of the deceased's family to external service providers. This can range from church fees to coroners fees to municipal fees.

In some municipalities, you may find that disbursements are regularly included in funeral home service fees, while in others they will be invoiced separately.

To these three costs, there may also be additional fees, such as HSTs (harmonized sales tax) and property and service fees from the cemetery. It's important to remember that these may increase the total expense.

This can easily get confusing, that's why we recommend using a funeral cost calculator to make the process a breeze.

Here are some of the factors that can significantly increase the cost of a funeral:

  • Type of funeral: the cost of a lavish celebration of life ceremony will vary from the cost of a no-frills, low-cost cremation service.
  • Preferences: Even within the same type of funeral, costs can vary wildly. Let's take the example of a traditional funeral. A major expense in traditional funerals is the casket. However, one family may want a high-end mahogany casket ($10,000+), while another family prefers to rent a casket (averaging $1,000).
  • Transfer of the deceased: if the deceased passed away in one location, but the final resting place is quite a distance away, the transportation is going to cost more.
  • Planning and administration: there's a lot that goes into organizing a funeral. From paperwork to planning the ceremony, it can be a lot of work. Most people may struggle to manage this while grieving a loved one, and would rather a funeral take care of the bulk of the planning and administration for a fee. Each funeral home sets its fee, so this can vary. 
  • Location/Region: Much like the cost of weddings varies based on the city, so can the cost of funerals. Below, we'll help you work out what's a reasonable price for a funeral in your province.

How much does a funeral cost in my province?

Funeral costs aren't always uniform from place to place. If you're unsure, it is worth inquiring with professionals in your area. Remote areas and areas with a high cost of living may have higher costs. One major cost factor that varies by location is the cemetery plot if choosing a burial.

ProvinceOntarioAlbertaQuebecBritish Columbia
$1,500 - $20,000$4,000 - $12,000$5,000 - $8,000$1,500 - $12,000
Funeral costs by province

These costs are given as a general indication. It is easy to exceed these if buying an expensive gravestone, casket, or plot and holding a large ceremony,

How much does a cremation funeral cost?

Similar to funeral costs, the cost of a cremation funeral can vary depending on several factors - location and preferences being the key factors. In Canada, cremation funerals can average $2,000 to $6,000. 

For example, direct cremation costs in Quebec can be noticeably lower than in other provinces as low as $600. Compare this to Alberta where direct cremations tend to start at over the $1,000 mark.

In Alberta, relatives and loved ones are able to scatter the ashes of a deceased on public land. However, if a family prefers a more traditional cremation service followed by a memorial service, the price can rise by 1,000%. 

Similar to a traditional funeral, there are additional fees (such as transport and administration fees) that will need to be taken into account.

How much is burial insurance in Canada?

If you’re wondering how much funeral insurance is, we’re here to help.

Here is a table for a $10,000 Guaranteed Acceptance Life policy from a leading Canadian insurance company.

AgeMale non-smokerFemale non-smokerMale smokerFemale smoker
Non-medical underwriting in Ontario (monthly price)

How does funeral insurance work?

Funeral insurance, also known as burial insurance or final expense insurance in Canada, is a small life insurance policy that is often used to take care of costs related to a funeral, burial, or cremation services. 

Funeral insurance is intended to cover the bulk of funeral-related costs, from flowers to transportation to caskets, to funeral home services. Once all funeral and burial-related costs are paid off, beneficiaries can use any remaining amounts to pay off non-final expense-related costs (such as medical bills or outstanding debt).

Payouts for funeral insurance on average range from $5,000 to $25,000 (compare this to the $100,000+ payouts for life insurance). As a result, this type of insurance is best suited to the aging those in poor health, or those who are simply unable to afford more comprehensive life insurance policies. 

With funeral insurance, the policy owner selects the amount of coverage they want and who they want to receive the insurance (the beneficiary). Typically, there are little to no questions asked when they file for funeral insurance. Age and sex are the two factors that are used to calculate a quote. You can check out popular funeral insurance policies offered by RBC Life Insurance or Manulife life insurance.

In the event of the passing of a loved one, the beneficiary will have to provide a death certificate of the policy owner, after which they will receive a payout. The payout can take days to weeks to clear and will be relative to the amount paid in by the deceased.

What are the types of funeral insurance?

There are two main types of funeral insurance:

  1. Simplified issue life insurance: with this type of insurance, the policy owner has to answer a few questions. Typical questions may include your HIV status and if you are currently hospitalized or in some type of assisted care. Responding yes to any of the questions may result in not qualifying.
  2. Guaranteed issue life insurance: This type of burial insurance is excellent for seniors. It doesn’t have any medical questions and as a result, there's no risk of having your application denied.

With both types of life insurance, policy owners aren't required to undergo a medical exam.

Who is legally responsible for funeral costs in Canada?

If the deceased doesn't have final expense life insurance or standard life insurance that covers their funeral cost, their estate (properties, savings, assets, etc.) will be sold to cover as much of the funeral cost as possible. 

In the case where the sale of the deceased estates does not cover funeral costs, the individual named in the will of the deceased will be called upon. If the will does not name an individual, or no will exists, typically the responsibility will fall on an immediate family member or spouse.

If the appointed individual is unable or unwilling to take responsibility for the funeral cost, the provincial government or local municipality will usually step in to offer some state assistance. In Alberta for example, additional support is available for certain groups of people, such as those who receive income support or assured income for the severely handicapped.

Ultimately, the responsibility regarding funeral costs lies with the individual who signed the death certificate. As a result, it’s always best to look into the best funeral insurance for your needs today to avoid leaving the responsibility to your loved ones. You can do it right here using our comparator below. Compare plans and get free insurance quotes in no time.

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.