According to a study released this week by Funespaña and Mémora, two of Spain’s largest undertakers, the average price of funeral costs in Spain is 2500 euros. The Spanish Consumers’ Union puts the cost a little lower at 2,200 euros. Obviously prices can vary according to the type of burial and coffin and depending on whether the services used are public or private.
For the average price of 2500 you need to add a further 6000 euros if you want a luxury coffin made out of good quality wood, lined with white satin.
The price of a funeral also depends on where you live. In Alicante or Palma a funeral can cost around 3000 euros while in Badajoz it costs just 1000 euros. According to Mémora the average cost of a funeral in Italy or Portugal is 3500 euros while in the US this figure rises to around 6000. Despite these figures Mémora said that 900 euros would pay for a funeral in Spain.
Many retired foreigners from other European countries who have decided to settle in Spain have taken out special policies with the insurance company Mapfre to cover the costs of their funerals.
However, the Consumers’ Association in Spain says that these types of polices are often excessively expensive and people are better off paying for funeral costs out of savings or by signing up to a life insurance policy.
There are many different types of funeral services. For example you can now get a coffin in the shape of a boat or made exclusively from biodegradable material without varnish or metal handles. Another curiosity is an urn made from salt so that it dissolves shortly after being thrown into water and one company in Andalusia even claims that it can turn the hair of the deceased in to a diamond – something which costs between 1200 and 1700 euros.
There are even mobile undertakers in mobile homes with a room for wakes incorporated which travel around some rural areas in northern Spain.
Although according to Funespaña towns with a population of 50,000 inhabitants are obliged to have a chapel of rest or crematorium.
However cremation still isn’t a popular option in Spain. In 1973 only 44 Spaniards were cremated while in 1983 this figure rose to 500. Now ten years later the number of cremations that take place is 5000 which accounts for 21% of funerals and according to PANASEF in 2010 this percentage will rise to 30%. Nevertheless these figures are far below countries like Sweden or Norway where the percentage of cremations are between 80% and 90%.