Record Funeral Plan Sales

Record Funeral Plan Sales

The Funeral Planning Authority has published the figures for the number of prepaid funeral plans both taken out and used during the last 10 years.   They show a massive growth in the number of folk pre-paying for their funerals.

The actual figures will be higher as sales by unregulated prepaid funeral plan providers are not included.

Calendar Year

Plan Sales in Period

Plans Drawn Down in Period

Plans Undrawn at End of Period

2002

46,340

N/A

N/A

2003

61,158

N/A

N/A

2004

56,748

N/A

N/A

2005

60,145

30,018

409,579

2006

60,082

31,158

451,820

2007

67,519

34,861

486,007

2008

74,683

40,846

514,748

2009

91,335

38,282

564,234

2010

104,364

41,727

635,501

2011

112,714

44,293

693,316

2012

120,731

51,041

761,378

 Registered Funeral Plan Providers’ Statistics

The FPA statistics show both the number of plans sold and the number actually used in each year.   At the end of 2012, over three quarters of a million people had prepaid funerals waiting to be used, hopefully many years in the future.

The Funeral Planning Authority also said:

“Unregistered providers of funeral plans

Not all companies selling funeral plans are registered with the FPA. Some of these companies are known to the FPA, others are not (especially those that may contravene the legal requirements for funeral planning companies and that come to light from time to time).

There is no obligation placed on providers of funeral plans to register with the FPA but all providers are subject to the legal requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act. Unregistered providers give concern therefore that there may be no independent check of their finances, documentation or processes and systems of operation. Their clients may equally be unaware of an additional risk of exposure to unscrupulous practices. Because the FPA is unable to identify all such unregistered providers and those that are known do not provide statistical information, the FPA does not know the size of this unregistered market but it is thought that Registered Providers account for something like 95% of funeral plans sold.

Other types of funeral plan

There are also other financial products described by sellers as funeral plans but these may not be “funeral plans” as defined in law (see Article 59 of the defining legislation). One such product is a whole of life insurance policy intended to provide the funds for the policy-holder’s funeral: these are marketed under a variety of names, for example, “50+ plans” and even “funeral plans.” These are designed to provide funds towards the cost of the funeral when required but they may or may not contain any arrangements for the conduct of the funeral.

Funeral plans outside the scope of UK regulation.

There are other types of funeral plan intended to deal with the repatriation of the deceased, in particular:

(a) a plan to cover the repatriation of the deceased from the UK to abroad; or

(b) a plan to cover the repatriation of the deceased from abroad to the UK.

Generally, these plans are outside the scope of UK regulation because (in the case of (a)) the legislation refers to “…a funeral in the United Kingdom ….”) or (in the case of (b)) because financial arrangements entered into outside the UK are generally considered to be outside UK regulation.

Warning to purchasers of a funeral plan.

The FPA recommends that potential purchasers of a funeral plan should exercise care when considering buying what they believe to be a funeral plan. They should ensure the plan provider is legitimate and financially viable and that the plan terms are designed to deliver the outcome that they desire. “

To enquire about taking out a funeral plan click here.