Category Archives: News

Cancel a Funeral Plan

Cancelling a funeral plan is far from ideal, but these comments may help:

  • If it is an Over 50s non-profit whole of life, cancel it and you will get nothing back.
  • If you have just bought a plan and have changed your mind, there are penalties for cancelling unless you do it VERY quickly. Some plans allow only 14 days, others are a bit more generous at 28 to 30 days.  After that, there will usually be a fairly substantial penalty taken off any refund.
  • Some providers will allow you to have a payment holiday, so your finances can recover without being penalised. But ASK them before doing anything.
  • Always advise the company direct, by phone and in writing as well as the agent – who might be on holiday, and the delay could create an unnecessary penalty.
  • If you wish to cancel a plan to get some cash, make sure you will get some and not lose everything BEFORE you request cancellation. Just ring the company and explain the situation.  The best you can get back is what you put in due to the regulations.
  • You can usually cancel a direct debit to get a few days grace before sorting out a new one, but that is not recommended – always talk to the funeral plan company direct before taking any action.  Most will try to help.

Avalon Funeral Plan Coup

Avalon celebrates exceptional feedback after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at this year’s Personal Finance Awards.

Stephen Pett of the Prepaid Funeral Review said “I was pleased to receive Avalons Press Release (below) which clearly shows they are one of the most improving providers in the crowded prepaid funeral plan market. As one gets better, all the rest have to try harder to get an edge – which makes our Independent Advice even more important.”

Avalon Funeral Plans is celebrating a coveted award win after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at the 2019 Personal Finance Awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the Personal Finance Awards has long been recognised as a benchmark for excellence in the UK’s consumer finance market, providing a reflection of the consumer’s choice of top financial providers over the last two decades.

Nominations for the awards are sent in directly by the consumer, based on their experience of outstanding products or customer service in the industry. This year, the awards received just over 20,000 votes.

With over 25 years’ experience providing funeral plans to more than 70,000 customers across the UK and Europe, Avalon was recognised for its dedication to its customers, as well as the high standard of its service.

These qualities are continuously reflected in the company’s industry-leading customer feedback, with over 2,000 reviews and a rating of ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, as well as a five-star rating on Defaqto, lending justification to the company’s esteemed award win. So trusted is the brand that someone chooses an Avalon funeral plan every 10 minutes*.

Avalon’s prepaid funeral plans are designed to give customers peace of mind, working with a network of 1,800 local, independent funeral directors across the UK to ensure that families always have support close to home.

Avalon’s commitment to putting the customer at its heart is also reflected in the unique features offered in their plans when compared to other funeral plan providers. The Avalon Promise, launched earlier this year, reassures customers that if they pass away before their plan is fully paid, Avalon can cover the cost of the services included in their funeral plan.

The Promise offers increased peace of mind for Avalon’s customers, and the company is the only plan provider that works with local, independent funeral directors to offer this.

The award win follows a successful period of growth for the business under a new senior management team led by CEO, Susan Stevenson.

Speaking about the award win, Avalon’s CEO, Susan Stevenson, said: “There are few other industries in which taking care of the customer, their journey and their family is quite so important.

“We like to think we’re different to other funeral plan providers in that we go the extra mile in helping customers and their loved ones when they perhaps need it most.

“It’s our promise to always put our customers at the centre of what we do, and the fact that we’ve been recognised for our efforts – particularly by such a widely renowned awarding body as the Personal Finance Awards – really means the world to us.”

Regulated in the UK by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), Avalon employs more than 200 people at its offices in Cheshire and across Spain, The Canaries, Portugal and Cyprus.

The company is flexible in offering customers three different ways to discuss their requirements and their range of funeral plans.  They can speak to a specialist advisor in the comfort of their own home, or over the phone, or 24/7 online.

For more information, and to find out if Avalon plans would be right for you, contact Steve at the Prepaid Funeral Review on 0800 0588 240.

*Based on sales of funeral plans over the period January – December 2018, by home appointment or over the phone, during standard trading hours.

Avalons new CEO – Susan Stevenson

Susan Stevenson joined Avalon Funeral Plans as its new CEO, bringing over 25 years’ experience in consumer financial services to the role. Susan’s appointment marks a new period of diversification and growth for the funeral plan provider, both overseas and in the UK.

“It’s a fascinating time to join the industry,” said Susan Stevenson. “There’s a lot of opportunity to grow and meet the consumer need for pre-need funeral plans.”

Susan has global experience working with American Express and insurance group Cigna, living in Hong Kong and Singapore for nearly 20 years. Now back in the UK, Susan is looking to help Avalon diversify and meet the needs of its customers in both its UK and European markets.

“Avalon offers a unique proposition to consumers, in that it’s a well-established, specialist plan provider, regulated by the FPA that works with local and independent Funeral Directors. It gives consumers an opportunity to support local businesses and benefit from their personal, professional care.”

Looking to the future of the business, Susan recognises three key factors that will reshape the industry and Avalon’s product offering.

“Firstly, we’re anticipating the introduction of regulation, which will help protect the consumer. It’s something that Avalon fully embraces, as we’ve always championed consumer choice and a more open, honest industry.

“Secondly, there are great opportunities for product diversification, which we’ll be exploring to reach more customers and meet their planning needs.

“Last but not least, Avalon is delivering a product that really helps. It meets a consumer need that everyone has, even if people don’t realise it. That’s the key that will unlock future growth – communicating how funeral plans can help and why everyone should plan for the future.”

Our review of Avalon Funeral Plans.

Avalon celebrates exceptional feedback

 after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at this year’s Personal Finance Awards,  Avalon Funeral Plans PR Company is celebrating Avalons coveted award win after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at the 2019 Personal Finance Awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the Personal Finance Awards has long been recognised as a benchmark for excellence in the UK’s consumer finance market, providing a reflection of the consumer’s choice of top financial providers over the last two decades.

Nominations for the awards are sent in directly by the consumer, based on their experience of outstanding products or customer service in the industry. This year, the awards received just over 20,000 votes.

With over 25 years’ experience providing funeral plans to more than 70,000 customers across the UK and Europe, Avalon was recognised for its dedication to its customers, as well as the high standard of its service.

These qualities are continuously reflected in the company’s industry-leading customer feedback, with over 2,000 reviews and a rating of ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, as well as a five-star rating on Defaqto, lending justification to the company’s esteemed award win. So trusted is the brand that someone chooses an Avalon funeral plan every 10 minutes*.

Avalon’s prepaid funeral plans are designed to give customers peace of mind, working with a network of 1,800 local, independent funeral directors across the UK to ensure that families always have support close to home.

Avalon’s commitment to putting the customer at its heart is also reflected in the unique features offered in their plans when compared to other funeral plan providers. The Avalon Promise, launched earlier this year, reassures customers that if they pass away before their plan is fully paid, Avalon can cover the cost of the services included in their funeral plan.

The Promise offers increased peace of mind for Avalon’s customers, and the company is the only plan provider that works with local, independent funeral directors to offer this.

The award win follows a successful period of growth for the business under a new senior management team led by CEO, Susan Stevenson.

Speaking about the award win, Avalon’s CEO, Susan Stevenson, said: “There are few other industries in which taking care of the customer, their journey and their family is quite so important.

“We like to think we’re different to other funeral plan providers in that we go the extra mile in helping customers and their loved ones when they perhaps need it most.

“It’s our promise to always put our customers at the centre of what we do, and the fact that we’ve been recognised for our efforts – particularly by such a widely renowned awarding body as the Personal Finance Awards – really means the world to us.”

Regulated in the UK by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), Avalon employs more than 200 people at its offices in Cheshire and across Spain, The Canaries, Portugal and Cyprus.

The company is flexible in offering customers three different ways to discuss their requirements and their range of funeral plans.  They can speak to a specialist advisor in the comfort of their own home, or over the phone, or 24/7 online.

For more information, visit avalon funeral plans.

*Based on sales of funeral plans over the period January – December 2018, by home appointment or over the phone, during standard trading hours.

Equity Release Flexibility

EQUITY RELEASE PRODUCTS GROW IN FLEXIBILIY

  • Equity release customers see unprecedented levels of product choice and flexibility
  • Top growth areas over the past year include options for sheltered or age-restrictedaccommodation, making regular interest payments, downsizing protection, inheritance
  • guarantees and drawdown facilities 
  • Average equity release rates fell below 5% for the first time to 4.91% in July 2019 
  • The market has continued to develop and mature in recent years, energised by strong competition in the market and underpinned by robust consumer safeguards 
  • What is Equity Release?
  • Equity Release calculator.

Equity release customers saw unprecedented levels of product choice and flexibility in 2019, according to the Equity Release Council’s Autumn 2019 Market Report . This comes as a total of £1.85bn in housing wealth was unlocked in H1 2019 by homeowners aged 55+ to support their later life financial planning.  

In a sign that the industry continues to respond to consumer demand for more flexibility and choice, the range of product options increased two-fold compared to this time last year to almost 300 options.

Energised by strong competition in the market and consumer demand, there has been continued growth across all product features underpinned by Equity Release Council standards guaranteeing three levels of protection including product safeguards, regulated financial advice and independent legal advice.

The top growth areas over the last year include options for:

  • sheltered or age-restricted accommodation
  • interest-serviced (regular interest payments) options,
  • downsizing protection,
  • inheritance guarantees
  • and drawdown facilities.

So if your Equity Release isn’t flexible (or you wish to investigate the options), now is the time to ask for a review.