Guaranteed Funeral Plans – What is the Guarantee Worth?

Guaranteed Funeral Plans are very far from being all the same. Indeed, we have seen some firms use the term “guaranteed” for plans which are quite clearly nothing of the sort. We have come across companies who just don’t seem to understand what guaranteed actually means!

In the majority of cases, the guarantee is just on a part of the costs not all, that makes our independent advice even more important. More on types of funeral plan here. Even the very best of guaranteed funeral plans only covers what it states in the small print, so please do read it carefully before signing up for anything. Most people never read the terms and conditions, sadly.

There are a number of guaranteed funeral plans, but which one is right in your circumstances depends on many factors, not least the type of send off you want. We keep the market under review, and different companies offer the leading guaranteed funeral plans for burial, cremation and direct cremation. But even then, other aspects might influence our final recommendation after we have talked things through with you.

So what does a Guaranteed Funeral Plan Guarantee?

Sounds like a straightforward question, but it is not! The majority of plans guarantee the payment of the funeral directors fees for their own services. That does NOT include things such as church/ celebrant/ ministers fees, cremation or doctors fees, nor cemetery fees for interment (digging and refilling the grave) let alone buying the actual burial plot or a memorial. I don’t wish to sound negative, but the public need to understand what the guarantees on any particular plan mean!

The strength of the guarantee depends on two things:

  • The financial strength of the investment fund. These are strongly regulated, reviewed annually by accountants and every three years by actuaries (posh statistical accountants). They look at what would happen if all the clients died at the same time.
  • The financial strength of the funeral plan company itself. That is only a problem if the investment fund is inadequate.

Types of Guarantees in Funeral Plans

  • Funeral directors fee only guaranteed and no allowance for anything else.
  • Funeral directors fees guaranteed and an allowance for third party costs – usually towards cremation/ burial and ministers fees only. On cutdown plans, which look very cheap, the allowance is often wholly inadequate, and the restricted hours and location may be a nightmare. Standard plans will cover in most areas and give far more choice to the family.
  • “Fully” Guaranteed Funeral Plans usually guarantee the undertakers’ fees for the services agreed and the cost of cremation, olus a basic service at the crematorium plus the equivalent of Church of England minsiters fees. For burials, guarantees revert to being a cash amount, adjusted for inflation and make no allowance for purchase of a burial plot.

All sorts of extras can be built into guaranteed funeral plans, the common ones being limousines. Top of the range plans will often include things like orders of service or flowers on top of the coffin and a couple of limousines, as well as posher coffins (though not as posh as the one below which is probably American and wildly expensive!) At the end of the day, with the research we have at the Prepaid Funeral Review, we can tailor a plan that is just right for you, from across the market and our service is free to you (and often comes with a bonus.)

guaranteed funeral plans
How guaranteed is your funeral plan? Do guaranteed funeral plans cost more?

Guaranteed Funeral Plans – what are funeral plan guarantees worth – ask us!

And ALWAYS read the small print before you buy!