Budget cremations, with no ceremony, increase in popularity

Budget cremations with no ceremony and the cheapest coffins are increasing in popularity in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Funeral firms are selling cheaper packages with names such as  Budgetuitvaart and Uitvaartdiscount (budget funeral, discount funeral) which can cost as little as €1,200, the Volkskrant says.

A traditional funeral costs around €7,000 on average, including service, reception, cars and cards.

Coffins

Rene Kaarsemaker, the director of Uitvaart Compact in Amsterdam told the paper he expects to carry out 500 budget funerals over the next year. Other companies also report a rise.

Wladimire van Klinken of Crematie-eenvoud buys his coffins in Poland for €50. ‘You can easily pay €500 from a company such as Dela,’ he told the paper. ‘There is nothing wrong with a cheap coffin. They just go up in smoke.’

However, a spokesman for funeral insurance group Dela told the paper that ‘cremation only’ funerals are borderline. ‘Saying goodbye is part of the mourning process,’ a spokesman for the company, which has 3.7 million policyholders and is Dutch market leader, said.

There are some 135,000 funerals in the Netherlands a year. Most Dutch people take out insurance to cover the cost of their funeral.

Earlier this month it emerged an increasing number of people either cannot afford or are not prepared to pay for the funeral of their relatives, forcing councils to foot the bill.

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