How much does funeral insurance cost?

Funeral insurance doesn’t come with a set price tag, so there’s no way of knowing how much you’ll pay until you get a personal quote. The cost of your policy will depend on: 

  • your age
  • your medical history (depending on provider)
  • how much cover you apply for 
  • any optional benefits that you may want to add

Some policies also offer unique benefits or discounts so it’s a good idea to shop around to find the best value.

Requesting and comparing quotes from different providers in New Zealand is a good way to understand the cost of funeral insurance. However, don’t forget to consider the nuances of each policy — they all have their own features and benefits to look out for. 

Cost of a funeral

Here are a few things to consider when planning for funeral costs. 

Factors that could influence the cost of a funeral

Generally, the price of a funeral will be based on:

  • The type of service: cremations are usually a lot cheaper than burials as you don’t need to pay for land or even a casket. If you’re having a traditional tangi, you’ll also need to consider recurring costs for all three days.   
  • The number of guests: more people means a bigger venue and more food (although the upside is that you can get guests to help out instead of hiring staff). 
  • Your personal taste: want to have the casket showered by a flock of doves while hundreds of guests enjoy fine dining from Simon Gault over a beachside terrace? Go for it, but you might pay a lot more compared to the cost of a small get-together of a few mates. It all depends on how you want to mark the day.  
  • Location: a funeral in a popular city may cost more than in other regions.

Average cost of a funeral in New Zealand

On average, you can expect to pay around $10,000 for a standard funeral or tangi.1 This can go up to $15,000 or more for something a little fancier.2 That includes legal fees, a burial plot, and even little things like catering (you can’t reminisce about a loved one while you’re hungry!).

Funeral expenses breakdown

Item Estimated cost 3 4 5
Burial plot $2,740 (Christchurch) – $6,000+ (Auckland)
Cremation and internment $695
Coffin/casket $2,500
Headstone $1,000
Embalming $700
Digging fees $1,108 – $1,860
Death certificate $33


Read more about the cost of a funeral >

Options to pay for a funeral 

Just like the service itself, how you pay for a funeral is entirely up to you. Some of the most common options are: 

Dip into your personal savings 

If you’ve been stashing money aside for a rainy day, this might be as rainy as they get. Funerals can be stressful and expensive but using your personal savings could help make things easier as you won’t need to worry about paperwork, contracts, or anything else. Some service providers might even offer a discount if you book early and pay upfront — there’s no harm in asking (and then asking again until they say yes!). 

Pre-paid funeral plans

This involves arranging a plan with a funeral director or planner and paying all or part of a funeral in advance so that there’s nothing to worry about when the time arrives. With a pre-paid funeral plan, you can plan things just the way you like them and won’t have to worry about rising costs in the future because you’re paying for your funeral with the price that it is today. Plus, your family won’t have to argue over choosing roses, kowhai, or forget-me-nots. Keep in mind that once you start a pre-paid funeral plan, you may not be able to transfer to another provider. 

Funeral insurance

Funeral insurance pays out a lump sum to your estate or nominated beneficiaries when you pass away. This can help pay for your funeral or any other costs that might get left behind (like personal debts and legal fees). 

With funeral insurance, you might also be covered for terminal illness or accidental serious injury with some providers. Note that many providers generally only cover you for accidental death in the first year of your policy and death from any cause thereafter.

Considering funeral insurance? Get up to $30,000 in cover with OneChoice Funeral Insurance.

Work and Income Funeral Grant 

In New Zealand, we’re lucky enough to have access to government funding to help organise a funeral for a loved one. If your partner or legal guardian passes away, you may be able to get a funeral grant of up to $2,128 from Work and Income (Te Hiranga Tangata) as long as the deceased person normally lived in New Zealand and you meet the income and assets test.6

You can apply for the grant over the phone7 or by filling in the application form8 along with all required documents. 

Make the call

If you’re keen for a chat, call us on 0800 640 004 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. If you’re too busy enjoying life, we can call you instead, or why not request a quote now?