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The cost of having a funeral and how to prepare for it

The cost of having a funeral and how to prepare for it

Much has been said about the cost of having a funeral.  Recent media coverage indicated that many Kiwi families were unable to cover the cost of burying a loved one, with some even forgoing a funeral altogether.

According to the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand, fewer than 5% of Kiwis plan for their funeral.

They can be expensive affairs, and the bills can often add more stress to an already difficult time.  With a bit of prior planning, families can reduce their financial worries while having to plan a funeral.

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral can range from $5,000 to upwards of $15,000, depending on factors like where the burial takes place, the type and size of service, cremation fees and more. Most of it has to be paid immediately.

Below is a table of indicative costs* that you’re likely to encounter when planning a funeral.

Funeral director


Burial fees






Death certificate




Newspaper notices






*These costs include GST and are purely indicative for a typical burial in New Zealand, based on independent Cigna research. The cost of a funeral varies across New Zealand. For more information about funeral costs in your area, please contact your local Funeral Director.

How can I prepare for these costs?

Thankfully, you have several options that will have minimal impact on your day to day life.  Having a financial plan in place for your funeral can help ease the financial stress that your family will be under.

Set up a savings account

You could start putting money away in a separate bank account and ensure that a couple of elected family members have access to it.

Set up a funeral trust

With a funeral trust you can start making payments which are made available when you pass away.  You may need a minimum of $2,000 to set up the trust, and you may have to pay establishment and annual management fees depending on the provider.

Sign up for funeral cover

Funeral cover, or funeral insurance, is a simple and low cost way to ensure your family are prepared for your funeral.  By putting money towards your policy, your family can usually have access to these much needed funds within 48 hours of a claim being approved.

It varies between providers, but generally you can apply if you are aged 50-85 and If you meet the eligibility criteria, acceptance is guaranteed.  You usually don’t have to answer any medical questions when you apply.

Countdown’s new great value Funeral Cover offers all of this but also is the first in New Zealand where your premium reduces by 5% every five years.

Need more information?

Before you decide, you might want to research funeral insurance options.  Take a look at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for some useful advice on funeral plans, or the Funerals Directors Association website.

Find out more about Countdown’s Funeral Cover here, otherwise, our friendly customer service team would be happy to chat about your options on 0800 99 77 00.

As our lives develop, so too do your priorities. As providers of Life Insurance, Cigna has outlined some of the major life events many people come across. As these milestones are celebrated, it’s always a good time to review your life insurance policy. - See more at: http://cigna.co.nz/blog/blog-lifeone-useful-tips/life-insurance-and-life-events-when-should-you-review-your-life/#sthash.VEnGXwzk.dpuf