What is a funeral plan?
A funeral plan allows the custo0mer to buy and arrange their funeral in advance. It is not a savings plan. Typically plans guarantee to cover all the funeral director services, while also contributing towards the third party costs (known as disbursements). These include cremation fees, doctor’s fees and minister/officiant fees. It is not an insurance policy.
Why take out a funeral plan?
They give financial and emotional peace of mind. A plan protects from rising costs and inflation as it locks in all the services included at today’s price, and loved ones can rest assured that costs and details have been taken care of.
How can you pay for a funeral plan?
With Avalon, you can either pay in full with a single payment, or by a number of monthly instalments over a fixed term. Payments are placed in a secure trust fund, held separately to the company and carefully managed by independent trustees to ensure they are protected.
The strength of the industry:
Statistics from the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) show that 210,000 new plans were taken out in 2016, and approximately 90,000 were used to provide the funeral. Among this, the FPA received only 70 complaints, ten of which were related to items people thought were included in their plan, but weren’t.
Talking about death remains the last taboo, and dealing with a bereavement is never easy so arranging an unplanned funeral on top of that can cause significantly more financial as well as emotional strain. Our research found that 64% of people said ensuring family and friends weren’t left with worries about paying for the funeral was in their top three reasons for buying a pre-paid plan.
We welcome any strengthening of regulation to enhance consumer protection in the funeral planning market. The FPA plays a central role in championing best practice within the industry, with annual re-registration required by its registered providers to ensure people are protected. Avalon is a registered provider and would recommend consumers only purchase a plan from a FPA registered provider.