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Final Expense and Burial Insurance in Oregon

Bouquet of purple flowers on marble tomb

In 2021, the national median cost of a funeral with a burial was $9,420, including the price of a vault. The cost of cremation was $6,971. The figures come from a study conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). While funeral costs are not matching inflation rates, they are nonetheless increasing: Over the last five years, the price for a funeral with burial has risen by 6.6%, while the price for a funeral with cremation has risen by 11.3%.

The NFDA also reports the average price of funerals in each state.

This article will focus on funeral prices in Oregon.

How to Get Burial Insurance in Oregon

If you’re concerned about helping pay for your final expenses once you’re gone, you might decide that burial insurance is right for you. There are a few steps you should take to ensure you get the right policy with the right provider.

Start by looking at insurance providers and narrowing your list down to those who have been in business for years and offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. Some insurance companies have built trust with the public over years, and those companies are your safest bet.

Next, you should speak with the insurance company to learn about their offers and extra benefits. For instance, Lincoln Heritage offers support for your loved ones after you pass. They can help with funeral planning at a time when loved ones are grieving. To speak with Lincoln Heritage and find out if this insurer is the right fit for your needs, contact them now for a free quote.

Funeral and Burial Expectations in Oregon

The average cost of a funeral with memorial and cremation is $6,681 and that includes $1,572, the national average of the price of a vault. Included in that price are:

  • A non-declinable basic services fee
  • Removal and/or transfer of remains to the funeral home
  • Embalming
  • Other preparation of the body
  • Use of the facilities and staff for the viewing
  • Use of the facilities and staff for the funeral ceremony
  • Use of the service car or van
  • Printed materials such as the memorial package
  • Vault
  • Cremation fee (if the funeral home uses a third party)
  • Cremation casket
  • Urn

Death Certificate

Oregon’s laws regarding who can file a death certificate are laxer than many other states. It does not require people to work with a funeral director, and anyone who wants to can assume responsibility for the body and act as the funeral service practitioner. But whoever assumes this role is responsible for filing the Report of Death form with the State Registrar of the Center for Health Certificates within 24 hours of receiving the body. The form can be found at the Oregon Center for Health Certificates.

If using a funeral director, the funeral director must file the death certificate within five days of the death and before the final disposition. If not using a funeral director, the person in charge of the body must file the certificate. After filing in the personal information, give the death certificate to the medical personnel who attended to the deceased and they will fill in the time and cause of death.


Oregon has a Mortuary and Cemetery Board that has specific rules when it comes to embalming a body. Burial or cremation has to occur within 10 days of the death, and if the disposition will not occur within 24 hours of the death, the body must be embalmed or refrigerated.

Additionally, the body must be embalmed if it meets any of the following criteria:

  • If the body will be transported but will not reach its destination within six hours (alternatively, it can be placed in a sealed and rigid container) AND it’s been more than 24 hours since death;
  • The deceased died of AIDS, HIV, diphtheria, B, C, or D hepatitis, the plague, rabies, tularemia, or tuberculosis and the body will be shipped. If the body cannot be embalmed due to religious reasons and it meets this criterion, it must be placed in a sealed and rigid container;
  • The family holds a public viewing and the body will be out of refrigeration for more than six hours, and;
  • The family holds a public viewing or funeral service and the deceased died of a communicable disease.

Burial Requirements

You can choose to buy someone in a public cemetery or on private land in Oregon. If you want to buy someone on private land, you have to follow a few rules:

  • You must own the property
  • You must get written consent from the county, city planning commission, or the alternative governing body of that area.
  • Maintain records of the burial and any other bodies buried on the land (if required by local authorities), and
  • Disclose the fact that bodies are buried on the land if you sell the property.

Cremation Services

While Oregon does not have rules about cremation, some funeral homes in the state won’t schedule a cremation without a funeral director. If you want to attend to the deceased yourself, make sure you find a funeral home that will allow it.

There are no laws governing the scattering of ashes on private land or a scattering cemetery. If you want to scatter them on public land, use your best judgment, or if you want, contact local authorities to get permission. Scattering ashes near the sea is regulated by The Clean Water Act. It states that you must scatter them at least three nautical miles from the shore. And if you want to scatter them by air, it poses no health hazard and is considered acceptable as long as you remove the ashes from the container before scattering them.

Average Funeral Costs in Oregon

We know that the median funeral cost in Oregon is $6,109, but the price you will pay depends on what you include in the funeral. Will you spend a lot of money on flowers, announcements, an elaborate ceremony, or an expensive casket or headstone?

Let’s take a look at the average cost of funerals in two Oregon cities.

The average cost of a funeral in Portland, Oregon is $7,471. The general prices in Portland are:

Service Average Cost
Basic services $1,468
Visitation and viewing $247
Ceremony $578
Graveside service $287
Remains transportation $425
Direct burial $1,014
Direct cremation $1,403
Embalming $477
Vault $1,572

The average price for a funeral in Eugene, Oregon is $7,311. The general prices in Eugene are:

Service Average Cost
Basic services $1,651
Visitation and viewing $250
Ceremony $746
Graveside service $132
Remains transportation $390
Direct burial $511
Direct cremation $1,485
Embalming $574
Vault $1,572

As you can imagine, the average cost of a funeral in Oregon varies from city to city. Be sure to check with funeral homes in your area to get a cost.

A Note About Vaults

Grave liners, also called vaults, are becoming required at more and more cemeteries. The vaults add a protective barrier to the grave making it able to withstand heavy machinery and the weight of the soil. The prices of vaults vary greatly as do the types of available vaults.

Here are the options you will have when selecting a vault and what you can expect to pay for it.:

  • Basic, unlined concrete grave liner: $400 and $1,500
  • Basic plastic- or steel-reinforced sealed concrete vault: $600-$2,000
  • Double-reinforced vault of heavy concrete lined with plastic, porcelain enamel, or metal: $2,000-$4,000
  • Premium metal burial vaults or vaults covered with a veneer of fake marble or granite: $2,000-$16,000+
  • Protective urn vaults for cremains: $125-$900+

Help With Funeral Costs in Oregon

As the costs of funerals continue to rise, people are looking for ways to ensure that their funerals will be taken care of when they pass. Here are some ways you can make sure your family doesn’t suffer financial hardship to pay for yours.

Term Insurance

One way to ensure you leave enough money to pay for your final expenses is to buy a term life insurance policy. These policies are less expensive than some, but keep in mind that alongside the lower premiums, there are some risks. For instance, when you are younger, the policies are inexpensive, but they are only good for a certain period. After that, you will have to purchase a new policy – but your age and possibly your health will have changed and that will result in higher premiums.

Final Expense Insurance

Whole life insurance policies do not expire as long as the policyholder continues to pay the premiums. What’s more, the premium amount cannot go up, even if the person becomes sick or as they age. Final expense insurance is a type of whole insurance that offers all of these benefits.

The premiums are typically more expensive than term life policies, but that’s because the insurers are taking a bigger risk. Also known as burial insurance, these policies typically have a face value of $10,000 to $20,000 although you may be able to find policies with a higher face value. These policies are excellent if you want to ensure that your funeral is paid for when you pass as well as any outstanding bills.

Pre-need Insurance

Another way you can ensure that your final expenses are paid is with pre-need insurance. To get this type of policy, you will need to work directly with a local funeral home. There are two types of pre-need insurance: guaranteed plans and non-guaranteed plans.

Guaranteed plans cost more because, with this type of plan, you are guaranteed to get the funeral you want no matter how much prices increase. For instance, if you pay $10,000 for a funeral with all the bells and whistles at today’s prices, you are guaranteed to receive that same funeral, no matter what the prices are when you pass. Funeral homes can offer this type of pre-need insurance because they base the price of the policy on the estimated inflation rate.

Non-guaranteed plans aren’t as expensive because you are not guaranteed that you will receive the funeral you want. That’s because the policy does not cover price increases. So, if you pay $6,000 today thinking that it will cover your funeral costs, but when you pass, the price has increased to $7,000, your loved ones will either have to pay the difference or change the specifics of your funeral.

Anytime you speak with a funeral director about a pre-need plan, you should ask some questions. For instance, what would happen if the funeral home went out of business before you passed? Or, what would happen if you passed while traveling in a different city, state, or country?

Government Assistance

The Federal government provides a one-time limited assistance grant for people who need help with funeral costs. It comes from The Social Security Administration and it provides a one-time payment of $255 to qualifying surviving spouses or children of the deceased.

While Oregon does provide help for families who cannot afford to bury their loved ones, it does not provide relief on an individual basis. The Oregon Indigent Disposition Program (IDP) provides partial payment reimbursement to funeral homes that provide disposition services to people who have died who either did not have family, or whose families refuse to pay for their funeral.

Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in Oregon

The price you will pay or final expense insurance depends on several factors. For instance, the policy premium will be determined by your age, whether or not you smoke, your sex, and how healthy you are. You will also pay more for no-medical exam policies.

To give you an idea of how much you will pay, take a look at the charts below. They provide examples of policy premium amounts based on sex and age.

Monthly Premium Rates for Men*

$5,000 Death Benefit

  Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $16 $20
55 $19 $24
60 $23 $29
65 $29 $35
70 $38 $44
75 $51 $63
80 $65 $82

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

$10,000 Death Benefit

  Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $30 $40
55 $35 $46
60 $43 $57
65 $56 $68
70 $74 $88
75 $100 $125
80 $126 $162

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

Monthly Premium Rates for Women*

$5,000 Death Benefit

  Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $14 $15
55 $16 $18
60 $18 $24
65 $22 $28
70 $28 $35
75 $38 $46
80 $48 $64

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

$10,000 Death Benefit

  Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $25 $28
55 $28 $36
60 $33 $45
65 $41 $55
70 $53 $69
75 $72 $90
80 $93 $126

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

Leading Causes of Death in Oregon

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of death in Oregon are:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Accidents
  4. Stroke
  5. Alzheimer’s disease
  6. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  7. COVID 19
  8. Diabetes
  9. Suicide
  10. Chronic liver disease/Cirrhosis

No Exam in Oregon

If you are worried that you won’t be accepted by an insurance company because you are in poor health or have a background of chronic disease, you can still get final expense insurance. Instead of sitting for a final exam, you will be required to answer a few health questions for the insurance company.

Free Look Period

In Oregon, you have 10 days from the date your life insurance policy is delivered to review it and decide if it’s right for you if you are purchasing a new policy. However, if you are replacing an insurance policy, Oregon law gives you 30 days to review the policy and decide whether you will keep it. The free look period begins when you receive the policy. If you decide not to keep it, the insurance company must reimburse you any monies you paid for the policy.