The Department of Health and Social Care has announced its reforms to death certification. The new system will be implemented from April 2019 to cover all deaths by the end of 2019 and become a statutory requirement 2 years later from 2021.
To view the published outcomes please Click Here
For further information please read our Guide to Third Party Fees when you Click Here.
Is was announced on 1st June 2018 that the CMA is launching a review into the £2 billion funerals market to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal. This reviews does NOT include prepaid funeral plans – in a parallel to the CMA’s review HM Treasury is launching a sperate Call for Evidence on regulation of the prepaid funeral plan sector. An interim report, presenting initial findings and views on potential remedies, will be published in 6 months, ahead of the final report in a year’s time. This market study will look into the how the prices of funerals have changed over time and whether information provided by funeral directors to customers about prices and services is sufficiently clear for people to choose the best option for them.
For information about this CMA market study please Click Here
It was announced on 1st June 2018 by HM Treasury that an Open Consultation into the Prepaid Funeral Plan sector would commence because the “government has concluded that the current framework of self-regulation is not sufficient to ensure the fair treatment of consumers, and a more robust regulatory regime is needed.” This is a result of reports and evidence of “a lack of clarity for consumers, high pressure and misleading sales activity and a lack of access to redress schemes if things go wrong.” It is suggested to strengthen the regulation of the sector by bringing all pre-paid funeral plans into the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA).
As part of this open consultation there is a ‘Call for Evidence’ which includes the response to 18 questions. The government is interested in views from all affected stakeholders, including funeral plan providers, funeral directors, insurers, asset managers, introducers, actuaries, solicitors, and consumer interest groups. This call for evidence is open for 2 months until 1st August 2018.
FuneralPlanMarket.com is a genuine comparison site of funeral plans providing an online comparison service, for further information about the criteria for funeral plan companies to be included in our comparison results tables please Click Here. We believe that strengthening the regulation of the prepaid funeral plan sector will be beneficial to customers and we will submit a response to the call for evidence within the time frames permitted.
For further information about the open consultation by HM Treasury please Click Here.
Safe Hands Funeral Plans have increased the price of all their funeral plans by between £100 and £200 depending on the plan. Effective 1st June 2018 the price rises are detailed in the table below:
The Pearl, Sapphire and Ruby plans all include a £1,200 allowance towards third party fees. This third party fee allowance remains unchanged and increases annually in line with increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as part of the plan.
Of the providers included in the comparison results tables Safe Hands Funeral Plans are the 5th funeral plan company to announce a price rise this year. For more information about our criteria for a funeral plan company to be included in our results comparison tables please Click Here.
To compare funeral plans to find the right plan for you at the best price please Click Here.
Bought by Many began in 2012 creating groups for people with specific insurance needs and negotiating deals and discounts with established insurers and in 2017 launched their own unique insurance products. In addition Bought by Many publish a number of Reviews and Guides on their website, their funeral plan guide Best Funeral Plans features FuneralPlanMarket.com as the website to visit to compare over 100 funeral plans online.
It is important to us here at Funeral Plan Market™ that we provide the optimum service in the comparison of funeral plans on our website which is why we constantly review our website and make changes to it so that we can continually improve our service.
In our About Funeral Plan Providers section we provide information about over 50 funeral plan providers in the UK – we do not compare prices for all of these providers on our results tables because not all funeral plan providers meet with our criteria to be listed on the comparison result tables for customers to compare prices. This criteria has been reviewed. The new, revised, criteria for a funeral plan provider to be included in our results comparison tables are:
Why do we use this criteria?
Nobody knows what the future holds and having your funeral plan provided by a national provider means your funeral plan can move with you wherever you live. All funeral plan companies will allocate a funeral director local to where you live so you can be assured of a local service in your area. If you have a funeral plan and move home to a different locality please let your funeral plan provider know so a replacement funeral director can be allocated local to your new place of residence.
Funeral Director Allocation
When a funeral plan company allocates a funeral director at the point of plan purchase this means that you will know which funeral director will carry out the services of the funeral plan, and subject to the funeral plan features you can nominate who your preferred funeral director is. When a funeral director is allocated the funeral director will have contractually agreed to provide the services. A funeral plan administered by an FPA registered provider has the benefit of the FPA rules therefore if a funeral plan is not administered by an FPA registered provider we think it is important that a contract is in place with a funeral director for the services of the funeral plan to be provided.
The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) is an organisation set up by the industry to regulate providers in the UK pre-paid funeral plan industry. Their primary aim is to ensure providers that are registered with the FPA are operating in a manner that will result in customers getting the funeral they have paid for when it is needed. They do this by checking that all registered providers abide by a set of Rules and a Code of Practice, which exceed the statutory requirements. All FPA registered providers that provide national coverage are included on the comparison results tables.
Article 60 of the ‘Regulated Activities Order’ (Financial Services and Markets Act 2000)
Article 60 of the ‘Regulated Activities Order’ is the part of UK law that stipulates how customer money is kept safe in a funeral plan, so it is important to us that we only compare funeral plan companies that provide information of how they comply with this legislation.
Dignity have issued a white paper about regulation of the funeral plan sector and how this could be enhanced. To view the white paper, please Click Here.
Dignity Funeral Plans ended their £100 discount today however great savings can still be made when you compare over 100 plans online at FuneralPlanMarket.com including the cheapest fully guaranteed plans for cremation in England and Wales. When you use our service to set up a funeral plan you get cashback, a free will service and £50 wine voucher. To compare plans please Click Here.
Royal London now offer 2 funeral plans. These plans can only be paid for monthly until death or age 90 – whichever comes sooner. The 2 plans offered are: ‘The Traditional Funeral Plan’ that includes 1 limousine and ‘the Alternative Cremation Plan’ which is a direct cremation plan (without a funeral service).
For more information on Royal London Funeral Plans please Click here.
Golden Charter funeral plans have increased the price of 3 of their plans by £200. Their Value plan remains the same price at £2,895 and includes an increase in the allowance included for third party costs to £800 (from £700). The Standard plan increases in price to £3,495; their Select plan that includes 1 limousine is now £3,850 and the Premier plan that includes 2 limousines is now £4,099. The 3 plans that have increased in price have gone up by £200 each however the change also includes an increase in the third party cost allowance of £260 to £1,100 from £940 so the increase in the total price is less that the increase in the allowance.
There are many cheaper funeral plans available including the cheapest funeral plan available for cremation in England and Wales that is fully guaranteed at only £2,795.
To compare funeral plans to find the right plan for you at the best price please Click Here
Funeral Plan Market™ is pleased to announce the inclusion of a Rest Assured Plans in our results and comparison tables when you compare funeral plans Here.
Rest Assured funeral plans are available exclusively only at Funeral Plan Market™ for £200 cheaper that the advertised retail price; plus you get £100 cashback, a free will service and £50 wine voucher when you use our service to set up a Rest Assured funeral plan.
Rest Assured are a new funeral plan provider who offer a variety of funeral plans that you can pay for in one payment or spread the cost monthly. Rest Assured funeral plans, that are paid for monthly, are cheaper than other funeral plan providers because the instalment charge made is much lower. Unlike many other plan providers who apply their handling fee cumulatively year on year, Rest Assured only apply theirs to each monthly amount debited from the clients account. In other words, their instalment charges are so much lower making their monthly payments significantly cheaper and hence the total amount payable over a monthly term much lower.
For more information about Rest Assured please Click Here.
Funeral Plan Market are pleased to announced they have partnered with the UK Care Guide to appear on their Funeral Plan Directory
The UK Care Guide website is designed to support those looking for help and information across a range of care related topics and part of their site helps people looking for prepaid funeral plans. As this is our specialist area, and as one of the leading provider's of funeral plans in the UK, it was very natural for us to partner together.
The UK Care Guide website itself is a very useful resource if you are looking for support and help on a care related topic. If you or a loved one needs care then the site explains whether you may be entitled to NHS CHC Funding . Alongside this, the site can also help provide you or a family member with guidance on key legal topics such as estate planning , ways to mitigate your inheritance taxes, or explaining why making a will is essential. In addition to this there is a braod range of help and support for a range of healthcare related issues.
The UK Care Guide are selective about the partners they work with and we are therefore proud that we are now working together.
You can see our profile here - https://ukcareguide.co.uk/caredirectory/funeral-plan-market/
Here at Funeral Plan Market we pride ourselves on understanding the complex needs of funding your funeral, and are able to help you understand the range of options available to you.
If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.
March is the time for discounts as 2 funeral providers have special offers running on their plans. Dignity are currently offering £100 discount on all funeral plans set up before 13th April 2018. Choice funeral plans are offering a £300 discount on plans set up with them before 31st March 2018. Choice have also reduced the minimum deposit required, when paying for a plan monthly to £250 (from £500) there is no deposit required when paying for a funeral plan monthly from Dignity.
To SAVE over £500 when you compare over 80 plans online to find the right plan for you at the best price please Click Here.
Funeral Plan Market™ was featured in an article on the Yahoo Finance website about the report we produced ‘An Easy Guide to Cremation Prices’
To view the article in full please Click Here
Funeral Plan Market™ was featured in an article on the Funeral Service times website about the report we produced ‘An Easy Guide to Cremation Prices’
To view the article please Click Here.
An Easy Guide to Cremation Prices
A new report by Funeral Plan Market™ investigates the variation in cremation prices across the UK – the findings being that the variation in price is more than double meaning that a cremation can cost over £500 more depending on where you live.
The average price charged by a crematorium in the UK is £780 (this typically covers the service in the chapel and cremation itself). Surprising London is cheaper @ £721, the most expensive area is Oxfordshire at £962.
Council operated crematoria are on average the cheapest although prices vary – the most expensive council run crematorium being in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, the cremation cost there is £959.
The average price of crematoria operated by private and public companies is higher however they offer longer time slots on average than council operated and as a result when calculating at cost per minute council operated crematoria prove to be the most expensive.
A funeral plan enables customer to pay for their funeral in advance and guarantees payment for the funeral directors fees and services. Payment of cremation fees and a minister or celebrant to run the service are not always guaranteed, whilst some funeral plan providers do guarantee the majority provide an allowance to cover. Investigations by Funeral Plan Market™ have found that this allowance may not always cover the costs required and therefore recommend that customers choosing a funeral plan that includes an allowance to cover third party fees [as opposed to a guaranteed plan] check that the allowance provided is sufficient to cover the cremation costs in their area and have published a regional guide to enable customers to do this. To view the guide please Click Here.
To compare over 80 plans including 4 guaranteed plans that available exclusively on this site please Click Here.
The report: ‘An Easy Guide to Cremation Prices’ compares the cost of cremation in all UK regions and details the contributing factors to price variations. To view the report in full please Click Here.
Prompting Customer Action
The most recent report by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) shows that the average age for a British person to first consider planning their own funeral is 51. The FPA is the regulatory body for the prepaid funeral planning industry.
To read the article please Click Here.
Funeral Plan Market™ are delighted to announce 4 new guaranteed funeral plans that are exclusive to Funeral Plan Market™ and not available anywhere else! These plans are suitable for customers who require a cremation in England and Wales. Provided by Memoria Low Cost Funeral Plans when customers pay for their funeral plan their money is held in a whole of life insurance policy which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; customers can fix the cost of their funeral plan at today’s prices and benefit from the 5 star service Memoria deliver in addition to providing customers considerable savings on their funeral costs.
The new eTraditional Plus plan from Memoria provides the cheapest funeral plan available, for cremation, that includes provision of 1 limousine. This plan is only £3,495 plus we provide £50 cashback, a free will service and £50 wine voucher when you set up the plan using our service. The new entry level eFlexible plan is just £2,895 and is the only basic funeral plan that allows the family of the deceased to choose a time for the funeral service to suit them in addition to payment of third party fees being guaranteed.
A guaranteed funeral plan means the third-party fees included are guaranteed to be paid. Simply put the cost of a funeral is split between the funeral director’s costs for their services and third-party fees. Third party fees are the charges for the cremation, minister/celebrant fees to conduct the service and medical certification fees required for a cremation when a coroner’s report is not available. The majority of funeral plans provide an allowance to cover these costs; if this allowance does not cover the amount required the family may be asked to pay the difference – having a guaranteed plan can be reassuring for customers to know that their families will not be faced with such additional costs, especially as cremation costs can vary significantly across the UK.
To find our how much you can save when you compare plans please Click Here.
Effective 5th February 2018 Golden Leaves Funeral Plans have increased in price by £99 each. The price rise is to account for a small increase in funeral director professional fees and a £49 increase in the Golden Leaves administration fee. Their administration fee has been kept static for the last six years but unfortunately increases in fixed costs have now made the implementation of an increase to this fee unavoidable.
Golden Leaves remains one of the most competitively priced funeral plan providers in the UK today. Their entry level plan, the Zinc plan, provides a comprehensive funeral plan package that includes a £940 disbursement allowance and at the new price of £2,859 remains the lowest price funeral plan of its kind in the UK. This Zinc plan is a Funeral Plan Market recommended ‘Best Buy’. For further information on how we determine ‘Best Buy’ please Click Here.
To compare Golden Leaves Funeral Plans please Click Here.
Effective 1st February 2018 Safe Hands Funeral Plans have enhanced their funeral plan features to include allocation of a local funeral director to be done at the time a funeral plan is set up (as apposed to at the time of need). This means that plan holders will know who their Funeral Director will be, local to where they live; plans holders can contact Safe Hands Funeral Plans or the Funeral Director with any specific requirements or questions they may have.
In addition the 20 mile radius for collection of the deceased to take to the funeral home is increased to 25 miles; this means that providing the distance to collect the deceased to take to the funeral home is within 25 miles no mileage charge will apply. All Safe Hands Funeral Plans now include 4 bearers; use of the chapel of rest is no longer restricted to office hours only and will now at a time and date to be mutually agreed between the Funeral Director and family.
The cancellation period for a customer to cancel their plan for no charge and to receive a full refund of money paid has increased to 30 day (from 21 days). Should a plan holder cancel their funeral plan after the 30 day cancellation period a £249 cancellation fee will apply (this a reduction in the cancellation fee that was previously £495) – any refund due will be made less the cancellation fee should a plan holder cancel outside of the 30 day period.
Safe Hands Funeral Plans remain the same price and there has been no increase to plan prices however should a customer wish to add an additional limousine to a plan the charge is now £275 (Previously £240). The ‘Your Simplest’ plans have been removed from sale and are no longer available to new customers. Safe Hands Funeral Plans continue to have the largest third party fee allowance of £1,200 to cover cremation/interment; minister/celebrant and medical fees required for cremation.
The £1,200 allowance increases in value, as part of the plan, in line with inflation each year. Safe Hands are one of the few providers that includes medical fees required for cremation in their third party fee allowance. These medical fees are only payable in England and Wales when a coroner’s report is not available [these medical fees are not payable in Scotland].
To compare Safe Hands Funeral Plans please Click Here.
Perfect Choice Funeral Plans [provided by Ecclesiastical Services Limited] have increased prices on 3 cremation plans by £50. This reflects an increase of their 3rd party allowance fee of the same amount from £1,150 to £1,200. This allowance of £1,200 is to cover payment towards the fees for cremation, medical fees for Cremation Certificates and payment to a minister or officiant.
All prices have been updated on the results comparison tables. To compare funeral plans please Click Here.
Dignity have increased the prices of their set prepaid funeral plans. This comes as no surprise because Dignity have advertised this fact on their website, for some time.
The Limited and Pearl plans have increase in price by £100; the Pearl plan has gone up by £126 and the Diamond plan has had the largest price increase of £136.
In addition to the price changes Dignity have extended the instalment period from 15 years to 25 years, for those wishing to pay for their funeral plan monthly. This means that customers can pay for their Dignity funeral plan over a longer period to reduce the monthly payment amount – please note that instalment charges apply and the longer it takes you to pay for your funeral plan the more you will pay in instalment charges.
Dignity have also increased their cooling off period to 30 days (from 28 days) and increased their third party allowance for burial plans by £20 to £1,220.
For further information on Dignity funeral plans and to compare prices please Click Here.
Funeral Plan Market was featured in the Personal Finance section of The Mail on Sunday and in the Money section of the Mail Online. The articles featured an interview with one of our fabulous customers, Heather who set up her funeral plan, using Funeral Plan Market earlier this year. The article recommends Funeral Plan Market as the go to destination to compare funeral plans online.
For further information and to view the article in full please Click Here.
Pride Planning announced that customers are now able to pay for their funeral plan using the digital currency Bitcoin.
The Welsh Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with local government to stop charging for the burial of children, ensuring there is a clear, fair and consistent approach across Wales.
To support local authorities in making this step, the Welsh Government is making up to £1.5m available between now and 2020. This funding will also be available to all other providers of cemeteries and crematoria in Wales who agree not to charge on the same basis.
The MOU comes into force with immediate effect and the First Minister is urging councils to ratify the agreement as soon as possible.
For further information please Click Here
All funeral plans from Co-op Funeral Care now include the Co-op Commitment if you choose to pay in instalments over 2 – 25 years. If you die after the first 12 months of your plan, but before all your instalments have been paid, Co-op will still deliver all the services provided in your plan, with no more for your family to pay. Instalments must be paid up to date and your funeral must be arranged and carried out by a Co-op Funeral Director. For further information please refer to the Co-op funeral care terms and conditions.
The impact of this change is that the monthly instalment prices when paying for a Co-op Funeral Care plan over 2-25 years are now higher than before the Co-op Commitment feature was included. FuneralPlanMarket.com recommend that customers compare monthly costs and total amount payable in addition the actual plan price. To compare funeral plans please Click Here.
The You and Yours show on BBC Radio 4 have reported that some websites that claim to offer comparisons of funeral plans may just be generating leads that are sold on to agents or funeral companies. The Funeral Planning Authority says funeral plan providers should not be working with websites that mislead customers. Funeral Plan Market is proud to be a website that provides a comparison of national UK providers online to enable customers to compare funeral plan features and prices. To compare plans Click Here.
Funeral Plan Market was featured in the Business section of the Yorkshire Post. The article featured an interview with our founder Sally Hill. To view the article in full please Click Here.
Funeral Plan Market was featured in the Femail section of Mail Online. The article featured an interview with our founder Sally Hill. To view the article in full please Click Here.
Sun Newspaper – 21st October 2017
Funeral Plan Market was featured in the money section of The Sun which highlighted that Funeral Plan Market is the UK’s comparison website for funeral plans. To compare funeral plans please Click Here.
How to Reduce Funeral Costs
Funeral Plan Market is featured in the Good Housekeeping article about funeral prices.
To view the article in full please Click Here.
Published [on 26th September 217] by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) this report this is the final report on the CMA’s market study on comparison sites and apps (digital comparison tools / DCTs). A DCT means digital intermediary services used by consumers to compare and potentially to switch or purchase products or services from a range of businesses.
The CMA work to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Their aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.
The CMA consumer survey found that 85% of UK customers with access to the internet had used a DCT at least once before and the use of DCTs is on the increase. Over 71% of internet users had used a DCT in the last year.
The report states that “If consumers do not shop around, they are unlikely to obtain the best or most appropriate deals available in the market” and that “DCTs can make it easier to shop around” and using “comparison sites can save you time and money”.
The CMA have identified 4 high-level principles (CARE) of how DCTs should behave. DCTs should treat people fairly by being:
Clear – DCTs are to explain their services and how they make money
Accurate – DCTs are to provide information that is complete, correct, relevant, up-to-date and not misleading
Responsible – DCTS are to protect people’s details and be easy to deal with
Easy to use – DCTS are to make information easy to find and understand
Funeral Plan Market takes the recommendations of the CMA very seriously and acts upon these in consideration of our Customer Charter to provide customers the optimum experience when using our service. Funeral Plan Market is a DCT for the funeral plan sector.
Funeral Plan Market abides by the CARE principles. To view the report, by the CMA, in full please Click Here.
Published by SunLife their annual Cost of Dying report reveals that the cost of a basic funeral has risen for the 14th year in a row and now stands at £4,078, an increase of 4.7% in just one year and a huge rise of 112% since SunLife started tracking funeral pricing in 2004 (which is much higher than the average increase in wages).
The key findings of the report include:
To read the report in full please Click Here
There has been some publicity about how customers are protected when they purchase a funeral plan, to view the article that provides further information about consumer protection please Click Here.
Published by Royal London this report provides information on funeral costs, funeral spending and funeral debt in the UK and the changes observed in the past year.
The key findings of the report include:
To read the report in full please Click Here
This YouGov Reports publication is the fifth in the series examining funeral planning. It examines attitudes, approaches and experiences concerning funerals and funeral plans, using consumer research amongst people who have recently organised a funeral.
The key findings of this report include:
Is the prepaid funeral market working well for customers?
Commissioned by Dignity [a funeral plan provider] this report highlights the variation in standards across the funeral plan sector. The report includes market analysis and policy recommendations to improve customer outcomes.
Some key findings of the report include:
Funeral Plan Market’s mission is to: enable customers to compare and arrange funeral plans online for the best price, on this website all national funeral plan providers are compared without any bias and no need for telephone calls – although a telephone phone service is provided for customers that would like it.
The report also highlights the risk of all disbursement costs not being covered by a funeral plan, these costs are also referred to as ‘3rd Party Fees’. Funeral Plan market explain 3rd party fees so that the information provided to customers is clear; for further information on 3rd Party fees please Click Here.
The report focused on consumer protection and how customer money was kept safe, for further information on Consumer Protection please Click Here, to read about funeral plan providers’ Trust Funds please Click Here.
The report provides 2 clear Conclusions:
The report acknowledged the lack of regulation of third party sales firms and Fairer Finance recommends that the prepaid funeral plan sector should be under FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] regulation – our customers have peace of mind that Funeral Plan Market is authorised and regulated by the FCA as an appointed representative and is listed on The Financial Services Register under the Reference number: 790267 (which can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority website).
Research indicated that customers were not being provided with sufficiently clear and accurate information.
In addition to complying with the requirements of FCA regulation, Funeral Plan Market abides by the CARE principles (as recommended by the CMA – for further information please Click Here). Funeral Plan Market provides clear and accurate information about each funeral plan, including what is and is not included to enable our customers to make an informed decision.
To view the report in full please Click Here.