High Priced Caskets - Funeral Homes Charge Extra for a Casket – Titan Casket

Why Do Funeral Homes Charge So Much for a Casket?

Elizabeth Siegel

Elizabeth Siegel Co-Founder, Titan Casket. Ex-Attorney. View full profile

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Why are Caskets so Expensive?
  3. ‘Funeral Rule’ – Your Rights
  4. Conclusion

Introduction

Losing a loved one is a painful process, and in such a state of mind, planning a funeral can prove to be a strenuous and overwhelming task. When it comes to funerals, making arrangements for the ideal casket is the number one priority, followed closely by the memorial service. This is typically the stage wherein you enlist the services of a funeral home to arrange for a solemn tribute for a life well-lived.

Funeral homes these days offer a range of packages that you can opt for, which often prove to be an expensive proposition. However, you are no longer under any compulsion to purchase a casket from funeral homes and can instead opt to research online casket charges and purchase the same from the internet. There exists a wide range of online retailers that offer sturdy and ornate caskets at affordable rates. 

Over the course of this article, we shall shed light on the various factors that help determine the cost of a casket and further understand what drives the cost of a casket in a funeral home.


Why are Caskets so Expensive?

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last 30 years, the price of caskets has leap-frogged even the price of most consumer durables by as much as two times the amount. If you visit any funeral home in America, the cost of a casket varies anywhere between $8,000 to $10,000, on average. Caskets prove to be expensive because of the manual labor that goes into producing them, as well as the monopoly power held by the biggest manufacturers in America (and their partnership with funeral homes across the country).

Most people are also unaware of the fact that when it comes to arranging a funeral for their loved ones, buying a casket from the funeral home alone is not mandatory. You can just as well arrange for a casket by searching for the same online, and can even do so from websites such as Costco.So, why exactly are caskets so expensive? Casket charges are determined based on a range of factors, which we shall explore below:


  • Range of Prices and Styles: When it comes to the cost of a casket, the single biggest price differentiator is the material used for its construction. The two primary materials utilized are wood and metal. When it comes to the former, the type of wood used determines the cost of the casket – if you opt for mahogany, walnut, or hickory, the cost associated will be much steeper as opposed to oak or pine. In the case of metal, the more affordable caskets are generally constructed using 20-gauge steel. The more expensive metal caskets are made using copper or bronze. In addition to the material used to build the casket, another determinant of the cost is the details incorporated by the craftsman – the more labor, the higher the cost. The final determinant of the cost of a casket is the material that is used to line the insides of a casket (velvet will cost more than a crepe lining). In spite of factoring in the material used, as well as the labor that goes into customizing the casket, funeral homes charge a much higher price for caskets, ranging from $900 to $10,000. On the other hand, if you purchase a casket online, you can get one of the same quality and build, for $600 to $6,000.
  • The Monopoly of ‘Big Casket’: Big Casket is a term used to refer to Batesville and Matthews, two of the largest manufacturers of caskets in America. These two manufacturers have a firm grip on the market and account for 82% of the market share in America. Given that they manufacture caskets and sell the same directly to funeral homes, they tend to mark up the cost of each casket by as much as 300% - 400%. To add to these already burgeoning costs, funeral homes further mark up the prices, making it almost unaffordable for a grieving family to offer a reverential funeral for their loved ones. With all these additions, the National Funeral Directors Association estimates suggest that the average cost of metal caskets stands at around $2,500, and when it comes to wooden caskets, the average cost stands at $3,000. The Titan Orion series, which is the company’s best-selling series thus far, has a retail price of $1,099 - the equivalent of which would be sold by a funeral home for $1,800 - $2,400.


  • ‘Funeral Rule’ – Your Rights

    Enacted in 1984 by the Federal Trade Commission, the Funeral Rule was formulated with the aim of ushering in greater transparency to the aspect of funeral pricing. As per this rule, you are empowered to opt for the casket of your choice for a loved one’s funeral and are not compelled to purchase the same from a funeral home. Additionally, this rule also makes it illegal for a funeral home to refuse to offer services to those who have purchased the casket from elsewhere, be it online or offline. 

    When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, it is nearly impossible to shop for caskets, which is why as of 2019, as much as 82% of caskets were purchased directly from funeral homes. However, with online casket charges proving to be much more affordable, people are now increasingly resorting to making such purchases online. 

    Companies like Titan Caskets offer caskets at affordable rates and offer free shipping, guaranteeing delivery within three days. These products are also available on websites such as Costco and Amazon.


    Conclusion

    The loss of a loved one can prove to be a devastating time in your life, and in the midst of it all, arranging for a funeral can prove to be a strenuous task. In times like these, by availing of casket services online, you can make sure you give your loved ones a funeral befitting their life. 

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