What is the best funeral insurance in the UK?

There is a lot to consider when planning a funeral in the UK and because insurance is one thing that can vary between funeral providers, it is important to understand what is included and what is not.

In order to understand what is the best funeral insurance in the UK it is important to be able to consider what requirements a person has and what financial budget they have before planning their funeral arrangements.

As funeral plans vary greatly, it is important for a person to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of any funeral plan they are considering to invest in.  When asking what is the best funeral insurance in the UK it may be that a list of exactly what is covered should be addressed because the price difference between funerals will be determined by what is included in each.

For example, the funeral director’s fees might be included but the funeral wake or the cemetery plot is often not included. 

The small print in any funeral plan should be read carefully to ascertain what is the best funeral insurance in the UK because, whilst a person may believe that a funeral plan covers all costs of their chosen funeral, it may be that the costs may not be fully met and, if this is the case, it will be that the deceased person’s family or next of kin will be asked to pay the difference in cost that is outstanding, creating a financial burden for them.

Whilst funeral insurance in the UK varies between funeral directors, generally speaking, what is the best funeral insurance in the UK is likely to be determined by a person’s particular needs and requirements.  Most funeral plans will cover the funeral director’s fees, the cremation or burial fees, the cost of a coffin or casket (albeit that it might be described as simple, basic or standard) and transportation of the deceased.

When reviewing what is the best funeral insurance in the UK there may be other funeral providers that offer collection of the deceased (this could be nationally at any time of the day or night or during office hours only), delivery of a deceased person’s ashes and an officiant at the funeral ceremony.  There are many services that each funeral director might offer for specific funeral plans so it is important that a person carries out research to determine what the best option is for them.

The additional services offered by a funeral director for a funeral ceremony might make a person question what is the best funeral insurance in the UK because they might not be aware that things like flowers or catering at a wake, and even the burial plot if opted for, are not included in a funeral plan.

The type of insurance is dependent upon the type of funeral service.  Burials and cremations are priced differently and are therefore categorised differently.  Where cremation fees are often included in direct cremation plans, the burial plot is not often included in a more traditional burial.

When choosing a funeral plan and in ensuring what is the best funeral insurance in the UK most funeral providers are regulated.  This means that the payments that a person makes towards their funeral plan is placed either in a trust fund or an insurance policy so that upon that person’s death, the funeral they invested in can be arranged. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) safeguards a person’s money through the rules they put in place, however, it is important to note that until 29th July 2022, the funeral plan that a person invests in is not in fact regulated itself. 

Ensuring that the funeral plan that a person invests in is signed up to the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) will guarantee that, if a funeral provider goes out of business, the funeral plan that was purchased through them will be covered by the insurance the FPA provides.

From 29th July 2022, all prepaid funeral plans will have to be regulated by the FCA in order to operate and this will offer every person investing in a funeral plan greater financial protection that will allow them to better understand what is the best funeral insurance in the UK. 

From the end of July 2022, all funeral plans must follow the FCA rules and so, in future years, if a person has invested in a funeral plan and that funeral plan provider goes out of business, the funeral plan will be transferred to a new funeral provider who must offer it under the same terms as they bought it or, as an alternative, a financial compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will be offered.

One consideration to note when asking ‘What is the best funeral insurance in the UK?’ is that the wide range of funeral plan policies vary in different ways and the prepaid funeral plans should be carefully reviewed before being purchased. 

There are times that the family or next of kin of a deceased person has had to pay additional or extra costs relating to their loved one’s funeral because the terms might not have been as transparent as they should be.  The regulation of funeral plans at the end of July 2022 should reduce these concerns.

Another option is to have life insurance written in trust which can give a person control on what the money is paid out for (in this case for a funeral).  An advantage of this life insurance is the money that is paid out from life insurance written in trust is not delayed by probate, it can be paid out sooner.

However, the advantage of investing in a prepaid funeral plan is that it does not fall under the inheritance tax umbrella that has to be paid by those left behind by the deceased and so it may be that this is the deciding factor when asking what is the best funeral insurance in the UK.

The next article will be published next week, and the title will be How do you arrange a funeral?