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The choice of cremation on funeral plans has grown by 70.17% in the last five years at NorteHispana Seguros

"In a study carried out by NorteHispana Seguros, the insurer analysed which options were selected by its clients when it comes to contracting cremation or burial on their funeral insurance policies. "

The option of cremation when taking out funeral insurance has been gaining weight when choosing a funeral service. According to data from NorteHispana Seguros, a company of the Catalana Occidente group specialised in the funeral insurance market, in the last five years the contracting of cremation services has grown by 70.17% whereas burial only increased in the same period by just 6.70%.

To better understand the evolution of this trend it is necessary to analyse the weight that each of these two services has represented in the last five years. Thus, in 2013 the contracting of cremation in NorteHispana Seguros funeral plans stood at 19.97% with burial representing 80.03%. Last year the percentage of cremations was 28.47% and the burial option was 71.53%.

Differences by region

This shift in trend is also confirmed at regional level although a very different rhythm in each region is shown. For example, in Catalonia and in the northern area of Spain (Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia, Rioja, Navarre and the Basque Country) burial was below 60% of the total in 2017. 

Therefore, Catalonia is the community where the cremation is chosen almost in the same measure as a traditional burial. Last year, burials in Catalonia last year represented 52.35% of requests as opposed to 47.65% wanting to be cremated. A preference that also is observed in the northern area, where cremations represented 42.35% and burials, 57.65%. 

Andalusia and the Islands (Balearic Islands and Canary Islands) are positioned at the opposite end of the spectrum, since in these regions the majority of clients still prefer a traditional burial. Specifically, 86.43% of NorteHispana Seguros' clients in Andalusia chose burial when taking out funeral insurance in 2017. On the Islands, this figure stood at 84.93%. 

Additionally, in the central area (Aragon, Extremadura, Castile-La Mancha, Castile-Leon and the Community of Madrid) burial is still the preferred choice, standing at 79.19% last year. Furthermore, in the area comprising the Valencian Community and Murcia, 63.37% of NorteHispana Seguros' clients opted for burial in 2017.

Spain, the European country with the most crematoriums

According to the study ‘X-ray of the funeral sector 2017’ carried out by the National Association of Funeral Directors (Panasef), Spain is the European country with the highest number of crematoriums, with a total of 380, whereas Germany and France have 165 and 163 crematoriums, respectively. These figures contrast with Portugal's 18 crematoriums. 

Despite the large number of crematoriums, the percentage of cremations in Spain is relatively low if it is compared to other countries such as England, Finland or Sweden, where they represent more than 70% of the total or Germany, with 40%. On the other hand, Portugal and Italy are the European countries with the lowest percentage of cremations (around 6% and 15%, respectively.

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Jone Paredes

Jone Paredes