Why would you want to rent a casket?
Many people do not realize that they can rent a casket for a day or two for a wake, even if they choose cremation. It is the best of both worlds. You can have a cremation and still have a visitation service, just like a traditional funeral. Most families want to say one last goodbye and gain some psychological closure. Rental caskets are ideal for these situations.
What is the difference between a burial casket and a rental casket?
A rental casket looks very similar on the outside to a traditional casket. The difference is that it has no interior and is created with a type of door that opens at the end of the casket to remove the deceased. The cardboard or hardwood interior container also called a cremation casket actually holds the deceased body.
The body is surrounded by this “shell” which does not come into contact with the rental casket, for hygiene purposes. This cremation casket is cushioned inside the larger, more expensive “rental casket.” After the funeral services are over, this “cremation casket” is lifted out of the outer rental casket and taken to the crematory. The deceased stays in the cremation casket and is cremated with the casket, not an expensive traditional wooden casket. If you are interested in just renting a casket for a day, your funeral director will be more than happy to explain your options.
What are the costs of renting a casket?
The average cost to rent a casket is between $750 and $900. The rental casket is designed just for holding a cremation casket and is discarded after several uses due to wear and tear. A lot of care is taken to ensure that the rental casket looks like a new casket in appearance. You will also be required to purchase the cremation casket which fits inside the rental casket and will be transported and used in the cremation process. Rental inserts/caskets cost between $150 and $250 with a pillow, throw and removable cloth.
The funeral home will charge you a nominal rental fee that basically covers the cleaning and upkeep of the rental casket. Since there is a limited amount of times that the rental casket can be reused due to wear and tear, part of the cost of the casket is also passed on to you. Between the cost of the rental casket and the cremation casket you can expect to spend about $1,000 versus the $3,000 - $6,000 average cost of a traditional casket.
If you are considering a visitation with a cremation service, consider renting a casket. It could cost less than 20% of the cost of a traditional casket and you’ll be able to have a visitation service so that your loved ones and the community can say goodbye to your loved one.
Nancy Burban 2013