Prepaid Funeral Plan Warnings.
We feel that many people are buying funeral plans which they expect to cover things which they never set out to do. So we have compiled a list of things you might expect to be covered, but might well not be. It makes good reading while you are considering which is the right plan for you, and whether you need any extras.
This page is a little random, but well worth reading, so please do read on.
Courage in the face of Funeral Plan Competition.
We at The Prepaid Funeral Review are pleased to advise that one of the major funeral plan firms has decided to stop selling the cut-down plans we have long campaigned against. Who really wants a plan where you have no choice over the time or place of the funeral? We could never recommend them. If you have bought one we would suggest you contact the provider and see if they will upgrade you to a normal plan – typically £300 to £400 more.
Funeral Plan WARNING: during our regular prepaid funeral plan reviews this January, we discovered one firm whose prices appeared to have gone down quite considerably. On the face of it, they had suddenly become a “best buy.” But when we looked really carefully, we realised that they had just dropped all contributions to third-party costs. It was NOT clearly pointed out that the family would have to pay the crematorium, the doctors fees and the minister or celebrant! Those costs represent roughly one-third of the total bill, which would make this provider rather expensive. Those folk who think that all plans are pretty much the same could be in for a shock!
Funeral Plan WARNING: watch out for Over 50s plans which are based on non-profit whole of life policies. With most, miss a few payments and you lose every penny. You will also be asked to increase your payments regularly so as to keep up with funeral cost inflation, and with many you will probably pay in more than you get back. Stick to proper pre-paid funeral plans if you possibly can.
Funeral Plan WARNING: Some people do buy plans which cover only the Funeral Directors fees, and none of the third party costs which typically make up 30 to 40% of the final cost of a funeral. No problem with that at all, as long as both you and the family are aware of it. Covering most of the costs is way better than none!
Funeral Plan WARNING: The Beginning of the End for Cut Down Plans?
These plans are offered by most providers and folk who haven’t really understood the Terms and Conditions will sometimes leave behind shocked and upset mourners. PLEASE AVOID – tens of thousands are buying these plans without our professional advice: don’t joint them! The key is where and when the funeral takes place is taken totally out of the control of the family. Worst case could be 50 miles away at 8.30 in the morning.
Worse still, the crematorium owners are finding increased demand for out of normal hours funeral, so they are putting up their prices! Dignity are already causing problems with their high cremation fees, which already exceed the total third-party costs allowed by some prepaid funeral plans. They are using their muscle to try to disrupt the market to their own advantage, and push their already considerable profit margins ever higher on the back of high prices to third parties. Do remember that Dignity (=expensive) funeral directors hide behind local names – the best clue is that they sell Dignity Funeral Plans. They are currently trying to claw back the loss of market share they typically suffer when taking over smaller firms.
Funeral Plan WARNING: Direct Cremation plans are relatively inexpensive. Just be sure that your family realise that you will be whisked away and they will have no chance to say goodbye with you there. At the moment, one plan does allow for family viewings (only) but at extra cost.
Funeral Plan WARNING: never buy a funeral plan unless you have read ALL of the Terms and Conditions and brochure.
As independent advisers on prepaid funeral plans, we see the market becoming much more complicated. Fine if you understand it all, but not so good if you don’t. That is why you need to speak to us!