Dying is expensive: so do you need Dutch funeral insurance?

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The Dutch are a pragmatic people about many things, not least of all about death. For many of them, that means planning ahead – and taking out insurance to pay for the cost of their funeral.

Not surprisingly, a funeral insurance (in Dutch: uitvaartverzekering) is one of the most common types of insurance policies in the Netherlands. About 60% of the Dutch population have taken out insurance to cover the costs of their funeral.

According to Dutch family spending institute Nibud, the Dutch spend an average of €7,500 on a funeral. Nevertheless, a large part of the population does not know what the true cost of a funeral is and around half of the policies they take out do not fully cover the ceremony and funeral costs.

So, how essential is funeral planning? And do we really need an insurance that covers those expenses?

Planning a funeral

To put it bluntly, when you die, your family will suddenly have to find the money to pay for the funeral. This will almost certainly add to their stress levels at an already very difficult time. So, funeral insurance seems a sensible thing to have.

When the times comes, the insurance company will ensure a smooth pay-out, taking one worry away from the family as well as removing the financial burden. Moreover, you can save 12% on average when you choose to insure yourself for the cost of your funeral instead of saving up for the expenses.

As an expat, you may want to be buried or cremated in your home country. These kind of arrangements are possible, but bear in mind that this is much more expensive than having a funeral in The Netherlands. The cost of having your body shipped back home can run up to more than €15,000.  Another reason, therefore, to consider funeral insurance.

Types of insurances

There are several different types of funeral insurances to chose from. Some insurance plans offer a pre-arranged package of funeral services and the insurance company will then settle the bill directly with a Dutch undertaker. Other plans are based on a ‘expenses only’ system, where the beneficiaries only get a pay-out for the expenses that are linked to the funeral itself.

If you want to be completely free in spending the insurance money as you please, you may want to apply for a kapitaalverzekering. This type of plan will be very suitable for a funeral abroad, since the insurance money can be used for any purpose.

Comparing insurances pays off

Comparing different funeral insurance policies may save you a lot of money. This is because the Dutch funeral industry is a free market with numerous insurers, policy types and price differences. Asking for different quotations or using a comparison website is the wisest thing to do.