There is a number of funeral plan providers in the market and it can therefore be a challenge when considering all of the options in order that a person can find who is the best funeral plan provider.
When asked ‘who is the best funeral plan provider, it will undoubtedly largely come down to personal preference, probably personal recommendation and whether the funeral provider can offer a service or plan that meets a person’s financial budget. However, there is more to consider than just these issues.
Before making a decision as to who is the best funeral plan provider, it is worth considering a few factors prior to selecting a preferred choice and route. There will be questions that need to be answered so that a fair comparison can be made.
The varying funerals and plans will have a direct bearing on who is the best funeral plan provider for any individual. If a person opts for a direct cremation when making their final arrangements, this most basic plan will save them money through many funeral plan providers.
If, however, a person chooses a more traditional funeral with burial that is likely to be the most expensive option in the market, who is the best funeral plan provider might differ from that of the best funeral provider for direct cremations so it is definitely worth carrying out some research first.
To understand who is the best funeral plan provider, it is important to recognise what a funeral plan provider is and exactly what it can offer to someone.
A funeral plan provider is a firm that offers pre-paid funeral plans and it can be local, independent or a large company with a small or large network of funeral directors under their umbrella.
When a funeral plan is purchased and the time comes that it needs to be put in place physically, a funeral director within the company will be appointed to manage the pre-agreed final arrangements.
When considering who is the best funeral plan provider, it is also worth noting that these can be paid in full or over monthly instalments and these pre-paid plans are often worth considering seriously so that the person investing in a plan can ensure that they are fully covered for what they expect before making arrangements.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became the regulator of funeral plans in the UK from 29th July 2022. It is a mandatory requirement, from this date, for all funeral plan providers, regardless of whether they are consider the best funeral plan provider, to be regulated by the FCA.
To be registered with the FCA and in order to be able to consider who is the best funeral plan provider, the plan provider has to evidence adherence to a number of key requirements: treating customers fairly, having contracts and documents in place, having clear principles of business, displaying clear marketing and advertising, providing sufficient information, fund planning, managing complaints and disputes efficiently, adhering to data protection regulation, amongst many other key factors, allows a person to decide who is the best funeral plan provider.
The funeral plan providers that cannot meet the exacting standards of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will not be authorised to practise in the market.
The new law and regulations have arisen to ensure that only well-run funeral plan providers can operate in the UK market, leading to the needs and expectations of customers being met together with keeping inflated costs down because of commission and fees. Who is the best funeral plan provider will be a more competitively placed question because of the new regulations and the change in law.
After these changes come into effect, customers can expect to be more properly protected, receive fair value and not have to experience cold calls from anyone in the future.
The new regulated funeral industry has driven out the unregulated funeral plan providers that are likely to be less focused on the customer and improve the reputation of those that are regulated, strengthening the competition and improving standards throughout the funeral plan industry.
Whilst it is clearly important to note who is the best funeral plan provider will be dependent upon what a person wants and what they can afford, there are other aspects that should be factored into the decision making process.
The funeral market is varied.
When answering who is the best funeral plan provider, whilst budget and the personal choices made as to a person wants for their final arrangements to be, it is likely to be the level of customer service and the type and level of funeral service offered that should be the main focus when taking into account the decision as to who is the best funeral plan provider.
The next article will be published next week, and the title will be Are funeral plans a con?