The pandemic put a real stress on the funeral industry in some areas. Some crematoriums and funeral homes even raised prices because of demand.
“What you learn is the variance within a market is extraordinary,” said Ed Michael Reggie, founder of Funeralocity.com. “You can have a direct cremation for $1,000 or $5000, you can have a burial for $3,000 or $15,000.”
On Funeralocity.com, you can find the prices for nearly every funeral home in America, more than 19,000. Experts say people rarely shop around with final preparations.
“Survivors are in a grief-stricken state. They just say, ‘oh gosh we’ve been to the memorial funeral home down the street for other things,’ they just call them,” said Reggie.
Part of the problem is funeral homes don't have to post prices online. They're required to give the cost over the phone or provide a list in person. The Federal Trade Commission may eventually require it.
Funeralocity.com is free to use.
“We hope the way we’ve created our website, where you can mix and match, say ‘OK I want a traditional burial with a ceremony, I want one without, I just want a direct burial, a direct cremation, how about a cremation with ceremonies,’ so we let them play around and it’s all apples to apples to apples, all the other funeral homes in the area,” said Reggie.
Funeralocity.com created a program to give accreditation to funeral homes that are vetted and transparent.
There are laws that prevent funeral homes from charging extra because of a particular disease or refusing services because of a disease.