This post was inspired by an e-mail we received recently, part of it read: “My husband and I would like a simple cremation but can’t find any information about your funeral plans.”
At Simple Cremations we are asked about funeral plans more than any other subject – probably more than all other subjects combined!
Our aim at Simple Cremations is to keep our prices as low as possible and at the same time offer an excellent personal service.
Although we appreciate that funeral plans can offer peace of mind we do not sell them.
Almost all of the people we perform funerals for don’t have a funeral plan. Indeed according to YouGov in 2017 only 6% of people in England have a pre-paid funeral plan, 5% in Scotland and only 3% in Wales.
I won’t go in to great detail about all the ways they broke the data down because I don’t think it’s relevant to this article but another interesting thing that was revealed was related to age. Only 2% of adults below the age of 55 have a pre-paid plan compared to 13% over 55.
Searching For A Funeral Plan Online
If you search for funeral plan advice on the internet you’ll be presented with an overwhelming amount of information coupled with warnings about unscrupulous companies offering dubious deals.
If you spend just a short amount of time reading advice pages (not the sites selling plans!) you’ll come across the words ‘unregulated’, ‘pressure sales’ and ‘victims’ more times than you can count.
Indeed there have been concerns that some funeral plan providers are running something comparable to a Ponzi scheme where money taken from new clients is being used to fund the funerals of older clients – this is concerning.
Stories of companies selling plans and taking their large sales fees at the expense of the policy holder are plentiful.
Many of these same sites offer proactive common sense advice too. Be absolutely clear about the plan you’re buying, is it guaranteed to cover all costs, is it regulated and so on. Obviously we would echo this advice whether it’s related to a funeral plan, funeral insurance or life insurance to maximise the possibility of finding something you’re happy with.
Ask where your money is going to be invested. It’s fine for a company to say that your money will be put in to an independent trust or into a life assurance company but what does that actually mean in terms of covering your funeral costs? We would also add – read reviews and learn from the experience of others – it’s a strength of the internet so take advantage of it!
A Helpful Tool We Found
Which? The largest independent consumer body in the UK indicates that FuneralPlanMarket compares many of the big providers and is a good place to start your search. Our Start Your Search For A Funeral Plan post highlights how it can be used to help you.
Our experience of funeral plans…
Our own experience in dealing with people with funeral plans is very limited, but interesting…
We had a funeral plan company contact us and we performed a direct cremation for them. A little while later they contacted us again regarding the death of an individual whose funeral plan didn’t cover the cost of a traditional funeral. The family weren’t able or willing (they didn’t say) to supplement the cost and used our services.
We carried out a funeral service for family and friends. Upon returning the ashes to the family they told us that they were cancelling their funeral plans with the company and instead would be using our services. Perhaps unsurprisingly we didn’t hear from that particular funeral plan company again but it gives an indication that things are changing with respect to the type of funeral people want.
This is not an isolated case. Many of the people who have attended one of our services tell us that a simple funeral is exactly how they want to do things when the time comes. Frequently the next question is ‘Tell us about your funeral plans.’
From our point of view…
We continually hear about rising costs in the funeral industry but at the same time when it comes to low cost funeral options there is more choice than ever before. It’s no longer the case that a funeral must involve a hearse, limousines, bearers and so on. Not that it was ever mandatory, just perhaps expected in the past. Of course, each company, low cost or not should be judged on its own merits.
Our customers choose a simple cremation for various reasons, perhaps they don’t want to spend thousands of pounds on a funeral or simply don’t have the means to make such an outlay. Perhaps their loved one wanted a simple no fuss ceremony even though they could easily afford a lavish funeral.
What many of our customers do…
Tell their loved ones that they wish to use our services. Our customers often request information from us so they have something to show their family. You can download a copy of our brochure and send it to them. Alternatively if you would like us to post you a copy of our brochure then just get in touch and we’ll be happy to send one out.
Try and put a little aside each week or month to cover the costs. Some people open a separate bank account dedicated to their funeral fund and let their family know that it’s there for when the time comes.
If you don’t think you’ll have enough to cover our costs then call us for a chat, we have helped many families pay for a funeral.
After reading this post many people visit Start Your Search For A Funeral Plan