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Funeral Plans (pre paid funeral plans)
You’ve probably seen a lot of companies promoting prepaid funeral plans on TV and in magazines, but what exactly are prepaid funerals, and which funeral plans or funeral policy might be right for you?
With many different funeral payment plans to choose from, and funeral plans for the over 50’s, under 50’s, and a whole load of other funeral protection plans popping up in the UK it can be difficult to identify which would be the best prepaid funeral plans to meet your needs.
Really there is no way that we can suggest the best funeral plans for your circumstances, you’d need to apply for them and then see which offer the funeral cover you need at a price that is affordable for you, there really are so many things to consider.
How much typical funeral plans cost varies depending on a number of factors, such as the type of funeral you choose, the length of your plan, and other possible considerations, but the idea is that prepaid funeral costs fix the price of the funeral you choose at today’s prices so that you can plan your funeral without needing to worry about future price increases.
One thing that you should consider though when you ask “can I pay for my own funeral in advance?” is that you need to make sure you get the funeral insurance cover you need, rather than just looking at cheap funeral plans, since the cheapest prepaid funeral plans may only give you limited cover and may not provide the funeral you want.
It is possible to compare funeral insurance plans and funeral insurance cover by looking at reviews of the different plans, but really we aren’t sure how useful reviews will be since it isn’t until your family come to claim on your plan that they’ll find out if it really has delivered what you wanted.
On top of that online reviews seem to be rife with fake reviews designed to try and encourage you to buy one product or another.
If you feel more comfortable talking to someone in person rather than online then your local funeral directors should be able to help you.
The ideal perfect choice for a plan is probably for most people one of the monthly funeral plans that allows you to spread paying for a funeral over a long period of time.
Some providers allow them to be taken out over 25 years and maybe longer, and with today’s longer living population this should be possible for an over 50 funeral plan, and indeed most plans do seem to be aimed at providing funeral plans for over 50s.
You can really consider the benefits of pre paid funeral plans to be that they are acting like funeral saving plans that guarantee to provide enough money for your funeral.
Another thing to bear in mind is the use of comparison sites that provide online quotes, some of these sites seem to give you a great choice, but in fact offer variations of the same policy from the same providers but through daughter companies.
This appears to give you a lot of choice and the impression that they have compared the market and found you the best and maybe even cheap funeral cover, but it may not be so straightforward.
If you want to compare funeral plans you are far better off going to the websites of the different funeral plan providers and entering your details directly. It might take more time but you will almost certainly find a good quality low cost, affordable plan by doing this.
The cost of prepaid funeral plans
(This also answers the question “how do prepaid funeral plans work?”)
People often ask how much is a funeral plan, how much a pre-paid funeral costs will depend on many different factors as mentioned above, but you can be pretty certain that paying for a funeral in advance will save you a lot of money, with funerals increasing at an alarming rate.
No matter where you live the cost is now huge, so consider that the average funeral in London costs over £10,000 today, so whatever a pre paid funeral plan costs it could save you thousands by the time your funeral arrives, so bear this in mind when you consider buying a funeral plan.
You also have the advantage that you can plan the exact arrangements of your service in advance, and know that you family will not be lumbered with a huge bill that they can’t afford.
This is one of the advantages of a funeral prepayment plan over funeral cost insurance or funeral expense insurance, we’ll cover the difference between the 2 later on so that you can decide which is the best funeral plan or insurance for you.
This kind of affordable funeral cover allows you to choose between a basic funeral plan or a more elaborate one, and give you the best value at the best price for your circumstances; you can also by the way get extended family cover and policies for yourself and your spouse.
Are pre paid funeral plans a good idea?
The benefits of funeral insurance vs a funeral plan are that pre payment plans for funerals guarantee that your funeral costs will be covered, while insurance pays a lump sum – which may not be enough depending how prices rise in the future.
These insurance policies and funeral plans do of course cover you whether you want a burial or cremation, the choice is entirely yours, but burial costs are much higher than cremation costs, the burial plot alone could cost more than a cremation depending on where in the UK you are based (obviously the South of England and London will be far more expensive than the Highlands of Scotland for example).
Best over 50s funeral plans?
You probably see most plans offered as over 50’s and we’ve heard many people ask “what if I’m over 80 – is there a plan for me!”
Well, it doesn’t matter if you’re over 60, over 65, over 70, over 75, or even over 85, if you’re a pensioner or it’s for your elderly parents – the same “over 50’s funeral cover” plans are aimed at you too.
Of course the older you are the shorter the term of your cover will be, and so the more expensive your monthly payments or premiums, although you can usually pay the whole thing in one lump sum if you prefer to, your choices for financing your funeral either through payment plans or lump sums (or both) are usually very flexible.
Are funeral plans worth it?
The simple answer is that yes, for a great many people they make complete sense and are well worth it from the financial aspect and making things simpler and easier for your family later on.
People also often ask “are pre paid funeral plans safe?” – again the answer is yes, they are regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority, an official organisation that oversees the industry, there may also be underwriters involved as well to protect your money.
Do I need funeral insurance or do I need a funeral plan?
While we can’t give you specific advice and you should always get professional help so that your choice is tailored to you, what you need to consider is that a funeral plan is very different to life insurance, or funeral insurance.
You may also be asking “how much does funeral insurance cost?”
People often ask how much is funeral insurance, but as with the plans this is very difficult to answer, it all depends on your personal circumstances.
While funeral insurance cover might cost less, there are considerations you need to make such as how much the policy will pay on your death, and if this will be enough to cover the cost of your funeral.
If you do want to start a plan there are plenty of providers, you should shop around to find the right deal.
So should I buy funeral insurance or a pre-paid plan? The following explanation of the differences may help you to answer that question.
What is the difference between a funeral plan and funeral insurance?
The difference between life cover and funeral cover (by funeral cover we mean a pre-paid funeral plan), is that a prepaid plan makes sure that the entire cost of your funeral is covered, while insurance could leave you short.
How funeral insurance works is that you pay monthly premiums and when you die the policy pays a fixed amount of money, so it is very much like a life assurance or life insurance policy.
This is because even the best funeral insurance plan can only provide you with an amount of money, a fixed lump sum and if funeral costs have moved ahead then you might not have enough from a burial plan insurance or cremation insurance policy to cover the final bill.
Remember that funeral costs have increased by more than 6% per year over the last 30 years, and so this will give you an idea of how much your funeral might cost in say 20 or 30 years’ time.
While 6% per year doesn’t sound like much, it adds up when compounded together to around an 80% increase every 10 years, or the cost doubling every 12 years.
So if the cost of a funeral is £5000 now then in 24 years time it could well be in excess of £20,000!
So Is Funeral Insurance a Good Idea?
This is what you need to consider if you are planning on taking out some kind of life cover or funeral insurance – if you thought “oh well, it’s £5000 today, so £12,000 should be more than enough”, then you could easily find that you have a huge shortfall.
In fact I highly recommend (if you’re interested in the maths) that you watch this incredible video by the sadly late and very brilliant Professor Albert Bartlett, entitled “The most important video you’ll ever see” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY) – and he isn’t kidding!
This is why you may well be better off finding the best pre paid funeral plans for your needs since it guarantees to cover the entire cost of your funeral.
Of course in the end it is entirely up to you, and you should always seek professional advice, but it is my personal opinion that for most people a pre-paid funeral plan is by far the safest and most convenient way to pre-arrange covering the costs of your funeral, and ensuring that your family aren’t left holding a huge bill that they can’t afford.
Is Funeral Insurance Worth It?
A funeral expense insurance plan could leave your family short of the amount needed to pay the final bill. These are the major funeral insurance disadvantages.
Some of the advantages are that you can get funeral insurance no age limit, funeral insurance no medical exam, and funeral insurance with no waiting period.
It really is down to your individual circumstances and preferences, but there is ample choice whatever route you feel is best for you.
Pre paid funeral plan providers and companies who offer funeral insurance and cover
There are many companies who offer these kinds of policies and plans, including:
Saga, Promise Life, Golden Leaves, Golden Charter, Co op (Co Operative), the Post Office, Dignity, Sun Life, Safe Hands, Choice, Simply, British Seniors, and even Asda.