Does Car Insurance Cover Funeral Expenses?

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When you’re in a car accident, you hope that no one is seriously hurt. The worst thing that can happen is that someone dies. In addition to the heartache this brings, there’s also the expense of a funeral to worry about. But who pays for the funeral if someone is killed in a car accident?

Who Is Responsible for Funeral Costs Following a Car Accident?

If the unthinkable happens and someone is killed as the result of a car accident, who is responsible for the funeral costs depends on the state you’re in and if it’s a no-fault state or an at-fault state.
No-fault state: In a no-fault state, the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of the driver who was killed in the accident pays the funeral costs. This is always the quickest way to get the money for a funeral in a no-fault state, as the money is almost immediately available.
Many no-fault states’ PIP coverage gives a certain payable amount, which is available as a death benefit to cover the costs associated with a funeral. This is in addition to any other medical expenses related to an accident.
In addition, the surviving members of the deceased family can file a wrongful death suit against the responsible driver if the circumstances warrant it. The PIP insurance death benefit is paid to either the legal executor of the deceased; relatives by blood, adoption, or marriage; or any other person who appears to be equitably entitled to the benefit.
At-fault state: In an at-fault state, the bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance of the at-fault driver pays for the funeral costs associated with death in a car accident, up to the policy limit. The biggest problem with BIL is that before anything can be paid out, the respective insurance companies have to conclude any investigation to determine who was at fault in an accident.
Chances are that the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t cover all of the funeral costs associated with an accident that they cause. To receive further compensation, the deceased’s surviving family may have to sue the at-fault driver in court.
If the at-fault driver did not have any insurance, then the uninsured motorist insurance of the other party in an accident, if they have it, would pay for the funeral expenses. Just like with PIP insurance above, the benefit would be paid to the legal representative, surviving family member, or other equitably entitled person.

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The costs of a funeral can be quite high depending on various factors. Some of these factors include the cost of a casket, gravesite, and tombstone, among other costs. Keep in mind that the prices for a funeral can vary, depending in part on which area of the country you live in and the funeral home you decide to use. A reasonable estimate of funeral costs includes:
  • Funeral director’s services: $1,500
  • Casket: $2,300
  • Embalming: $500
  • Use of the funeral home for the funeral service: $500
  • Grave site: $1,000
  • Digging the grave: $600
  • Grave liner/outer burial container: $1,000
  • Headstone: $1,500
The costs above come out to almost $9,000 and don’t even include other costs associated with a funeral, such as the obituary in the newspaper or buying flowers for the funeral. This is not to mention the heartache and loss suffered after the death of a loved one.

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