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Online Funerals Guide

What is an online funeral service?

An online funeral service is a new type of service that allows you to plan a funeral entirely online, from choosing the location and type of funeral required to planning each of the elements and obtaining a quote for the overall cost.

How are online services changing the industry?

Online funerals are appearing and changing up the traditional funeral services industry, much as Uber did to the taxi industry and Airbnb the accommodations business.

These changes include putting more power back into the hands of consumers, allowing them to custom-design their own and their loved one’s funerals down to the last detail, all from the comfort of home.

Whereas consumers traditionally left such arrangements to others in their time of grief, often to their own financial disadvantage, online funeral services now mean they can make sensible decisions without coercion and save themselves a considerable amount of money as well.

What's the advantage of an online service to set up your funeral?

Along with convenience, the main advantage of online funerals is their value for money. Online service providers do not have the same bricks and mortar overheads as traditional funeral providers and can therefore offer the same services often at greatly reduced prices.

Compare online funerals services

ServiceCan you get an online quote?Packages offeredFeatures
eCremate (Perth)Yes
  • Cremation (no formal funeral service)
  • Cremation (small service)
  • Cremation (large service)
  • 24/7 Transfer into our care
  • Skilled team with 25 years experience
  • Mortuary facilities
  • Cremation permits
  • Death certificates
  • Cremation with no service
  • Cemetery chapel services
  • Regular updates to you
Funeral PlannerYes for various quotes
  • Pre-paid
  • Burial
  • Cremation
  • Funeral
  • Funeral service
  • Burial
  • Cremation
  • Compare quotes from various providers

When it comes to the funeral day, will the same services be offered as a traditional provider?

The level of service provided is entirely up to the consumer. eCremate for instance, a Western Australian online funeral provider, offers three different packages:

  • No Service Cremation. With no formal funeral service, your loved one’s remains are transferred into their care and cremated.
  • Small Service Cremation. A small gathering of family and friends (less than 35) is held at the chapel of your choice.
  • Large Service Cremation. A formal funeral service with over 35 people in attendance is held at the cemetery and chapel of your choice.

How does it usually work?

Online funeral services can either involve long-term planning, such as deciding what you want for your own funeral down the track, or a short-term process following the death of a loved one.

With eCremate for example, you can notify them via their website 24/7 if a death has occurred and they will transfer your loved one to their facilities for cremation.

Another provider such as Funeral Planner, provides the online tools to plan every aspect of your funeral, after which the funeral provider of your choice contacts you to plan for the more traditional part of the process.

However, not all online providers are associated with traditional funeral directors. Fresh Funerals in New Zealand for instance, does not provide mortuary services. It is more of an online shop for funeral services, where consumers can compare and select from multiple quotes provided by local businesses for funeral items and services, from caskets and flowers to music and transport.

As the online funeral services industry evolves, it will likely fragment into different types of service providers offering different levels of service and the consumer will be able to choose the degree of online involvement they prefer. This is similar to other estate planning tools that are now sold online, ie life insurance policies.

Is it safe to plan online?

Online funeral planning is as safe as any online operation can ever be. While it is possible that personal information could be stolen or compromised, providers such as eCremate do everything to reduce the likelihood of this happening, including using the latest 256-bit SSL encryption and not providing customer details to outside suppliers.

As with every new disruptor that uses the internet to gain an advantage over its traditional competitors, the trade-off for convenience and affordability will always be security, but the pros of online funeral services are likely to far outweigh the cons for today’s tech-savvy consumers.

Get quotes with a direct funeral insurance brand

Name Product Maximum cover Maximum Entry Age Minimum Sum Insured Guaranteed Future Insurability Expiry Age Short Description
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Take out an InsuranceLine Funeral Insurance policy and you could receive a bonus $100 gift card. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2019.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Receive up to $15,000 in funeral cover. Premiums reduce by 5% every 5 years you hold your Policy.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get up to $15,000 in funeral cover with Guardian Funeral Insurance.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get the Funeral cover up to $15,000. Plus Medibank health insurance members can save 10% off premiums.
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get up to $15,000 in funeral cover with Australian Seniors Funeral Insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Funeral insurance is not the right choice for everyone. Always consider your own financial and personal situation when selecting products to fund your funeral. Funeral insurance does not provide funeral, burial or cremation services. Instead, it provides a sum of money to cover these expenses.

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

Don Gribble

Don is a creative writer with extensive experience writing scripts, blogs, web content and ebooks. He enjoys writing because it allows him to know a little bit about a lot of subjects and to continue learning new things every day.

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