9 Price Tags That Show the Importance of the Right Funeral Cover

To do for the great departure


South African funerals aren't cheap, so having the right amount of Funeral Cover is a very big deal. Don't believe us? Just look at the numbers...


Your funeral. We need to talk about it. It's not a pleasant topic of conversation, but death — like taxes and loadshedding — is one of life's few certainties. And in South Africa, where Stats SA pegs the current life expectancy at 62 years and nine months, that certainty might come about sooner than you'd planned.


According to Metropolitan, a South African funeral costs between a minimum of R23,500 and a maximum of over R120,000. Some folks go seriously over-the-top with elaborate tombstones (Exhibit A: This Twitter Thread), while others are known to pay as much as R120,000 (Exhibit B: This News Article) to put Ouma in the ground. And those aren't extreme numbers.


What will your funeral look like? Will a troupe of dancing Ghanaian pallbearers boogie you away to the Next Life; or will a small group of inconsolable mourners grieve by your humble graveside? Either way, they'll face massive funeral costs.


But, like... massive. Funerals in South Africa are crazy expensive. So let's talk about that, and let's talk about why you can't afford to go without the right Funeral Cover.


Read more: This Is Why a Funeral Can Ruin Your Bank Balance


Grave, burial and tombstones = R13,000 – R104,000

If you want a burial, your family will need to pay for the piece of land where the grave is dug. Costs vary depending on the cemetery and municipality, but range between R2,500 and R6,000.


With a burial, additional costs such as a concrete foundation, brickwork and tombstone also come into play. The average concrete foundation (which props up the tombstone so it doesn't sink into the grave) costs R4,500, while brickwork is around R3,500.


The average tombstone costs R8,000. Cheaper options average R2,500, while more decorative ones reach as much as R90,000.


Coffin = R700 – R50,000

Even if you're being cremated, most crematoriums insist that you have a coffin. Cheap boxes (there's no nice way of putting it) sell for as low as R700. Proper coffins/caskets vary in cost, and can exceed R50,000. On average, expect to pay around R8,000.


Cremation = R4,000 – R13,500

At about R7,000, cremations are cheaper than burials. An urn (you'll need one of those) can cost anything from R1,500 to around R5,000 (or more if you want to bedazzle it with precious metals). The cremation itself could cost as little as R2,500, but the scattering of ashes could add R6,000 depending on where it happens and who does it. (Oh, and if you're going to have your ashes scattered in the Kruger Park, please ask them first. It's becoming a problem.)


Learn more: Preparing for the Inevitable – Life Insurance vs Funeral Cover


Undertaker fees = R5,000 – R45,000

Funeral parlour or undertaker fees range from R5,000 to R10,000, with costs covering the safekeeping of the body, processing of death-related documents, as well as funeral preparations and transportation of the body. If the body needs to be transported out of the country, costs could exceed R45,000.


Venue costs = R500 – R15,000

Funeral venue hire costs between R1,000 and R15,000, depending on where you have the service and whether you have a reception. If you're renting a tent, you could foot a bill between R500 and R5,000 depending on how many people you need to accommodate.


Catering and flowers = R2,500 – R35,000

Catering costs vary greatly depending on the caterer, amount of food, choice of menu, and number of attendees. Unlike a wedding, funerals are open to anybody, so you'll even need to feed the people you don't like. Expect to pay R80 to R140 per head for a single-course buffet, while a three-course buffet will cost R200 to R300 per person. On average, expect to pay R150 per head.


Floral arrangements also depend on what's chosen, with costs starting at around R500 and even topping R5,000.


Calculating the total cost

So how much will a funeral cost you, all in? Well, the most requested range of Funeral Cover on Hippo.co.za sits in the R50,000 to R60,000 band.


Just going through those numbers we've just listed, you're looking at R12,700 for a cremation or R21,700 for a burial at the absolute minimum.


Actually... you're not looking at anything. You'll be playing a harp on a cloud, while your family is left behind to foot the bill. So, take care of your loved ones even after you pass, and compare Funeral Insurance quotes now to get the cover they need.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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