Did you know you could rent a casket? You can. If you are planning a funeral service for your loved one but cannot afford to purchase a traditional casket (or just want to consider a more affordable option), rental caskets are a great option.
Rental caskets have become more popular in the past decade because of their cost-saving benefits. Besides being inexpensive, caskets for rent are safe, sanitary, and even eco-friendly.
Note: In this article, we use the word “casket” and not “coffin”. Though often used interchangeably, the two words have distinct meanings.
What Is A Rental Casket?
A rental casket is simply a casket that you can temporarily rent for viewings and ceremonial purposes. They look just like traditional caskets but use a replaceable insert (typically made of cardboard or wood) that sits inside. The insert holds the body and will be removed after the service, leaving the casket to be reused.
Purchasing traditional caskets with elaborate designs and finishes can cost thousands of dollars. With rental caskets, you get to use expensive, elaborate caskets for the funeral service without buying a new one. Rental caskets are suitable for both burials and cremations. (Though, of course, the casket itself will not be buried or cremated.)
How It Works
After the body is embalmed and dressed, it will be placed in a removable insert. The insert can be a simple wooden box—like a pine casket—or a plain cardboard container. Next, the insert will slide in from the bottom end of the rental casket (resembling a drop-down door).
When the funeral service is over, the removable insert will slide out and then be transported to the crematory or burial site.
Rental caskets will be used many times, but eventually they get damaged or just wear out and are retired at the funeral home’s discretion.
How Much Is A Rental Casket?
According to the NFDA, the average cost of a rental casket in 2019 was $995. The price will still vary depending on the style and material of the casket you prefer.
To give you an example, we selected two funeral homes offering caskets for rent at different price points. Both of these caskets are available online.
The Sonoran Skies Mortuary offers its Amherst Rental Oak Casket at $695. This rental casket is made of oak and it has a white crepe interior.
On the other hand, Rose Mortuary has its Barrett Rental Casket made of solid cherry and ivory velvet interiors. This rental casket costs $1,195.
Note though that aside from renting the casket, you may also have to purchase the removable insert fitted inside the casket. Most rental casket prices include this fee—especially at funeral homes—but if not, a cardboard container normally costs less than $100. Wooden boxes may cost several hundred dollars more. Any additional items, like pillows and other decorations, will cost an extra fee.
Trivia: According to the FTC, the average cost of a standard casket is slightly more than $2,000, which may still increase for up to $10,000 depending on the material and design. The takeaway? Renting a casket can save you a lot of money.
Renting Caskets From Funeral Homes
Many funeral providers offer the option of renting a casket. If your funeral home does offer rentals, their available choices should be stated on the General Price List. Simply ask your funeral director about this option and they will happily assist you with a rental.
In almost every case, renting directly from your funeral home is the most affordable option.
Benefits of Rental Caskets
Rental caskets can offer the following advantages:
- More affordable.
- Suitable for viewings and ceremonies.
- Environmentally friendly.
You can save thousands of dollars by choosing to rent a casket instead of buying a regular casket.
The casket is one of the most expensive items to purchase (or rent) for a funeral service.
As an option for those who cannot afford to purchase a brand new casket, rental caskets became popular to avoid spending a huge amount of money. Families simply use the insert for burial or cremation.
Suitable for Viewings and Ceremonies
A rental casket looks just like a standard casket with fine linings, luxurious finishes, and expensive materials.
Also, the removable insert of a rental casket is hidden inside the casket. No one will know if you are using a rental casket.
Because you avoid buying a casket that could take decades or centuries to fully biodegrade, your choice of opting for a rental casket is actually eco-friendly. As you use fewer resources, you both save money and the environment.
Regulations on Rental Caskets
A rental casket is permitted by law as long as it meets the following provisions:
- Must be manufactured specifically for multi-use and must be fitted with a new removable insert after each use.
- Cannot be reused if a non-removable portion has been soiled, stained, or contaminated by the body placed in the removable insert.
- The customer who rents the casket must be informed in writing that the casket may have been used already and that it will be reclaimed by the funeral establishment renting it.
Yes. Renting caskets is a popular option for those who cannot afford to buy a standard casket. Also, a rental casket is cost-saving especially if you want a funeral service prior to burial or cremation.
A rental casket is simply a casket for rent. It looks just like a traditional casket but it has a removable container fitted in the interior bedding, which is where the body is placed. After the service or viewing, the removable container carrying the body will slide out and then be transferred for cremation or burial.
According to the NFDA, the average price of a rental casket in 2019 was $995. The price will vary depending on your preferred style, material, and design of the casket. A rental casket is still a lot cheaper than purchasing a brand new one, which has an average cost of $2,000 and can go up to $10,000.
Yes. After each use, a rental casket is sanitized and replaced with a new removable insert. The inserts are also fitted in such a way that the body will not touch the outer casket at any time. If any part of the rental casket has been soiled or stained, it will be disposed of and not used anymore (this is a legal requirement).
Renting caskets is legal and not prohibited as long as certain sanitary provisions are followed: replacing the inner container after each use, disposing of a rental casket that has been soiled or stained, and informing the family in writing that a rental casket may have been used previously.
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