The Co-operative Funeralcare, the UK's largest funeral director, says the recession has led to a 28 per cent rise in like-for-like sales of funeral plans in the first half of 2009. It believes that the loss of confidence in other types of savings and investments, traditionally relied on to cover funeral costs, has led to the steep increase in the numbers making provision for when they die.
In the past five years alone the average cost of a funeral in the UK has increased from £1,965 to £2,573. These increases are mainly due to the rise in disbursement costs for example cremation fees and costs of burial spaces as well as higher fees for officials such as doctors and ministers.
The Co-operative, which expects to sell up to 50,000 funeral planning products this year, offers a broad range of pre-planned options. The most popular funeral plans cost around £2,700, and it provides a number of ways to cover the cost - including 12 months interest free and fixed monthly payments from £19 a month. It has also seen an increase in those opting for the tailor-made plans, whereby people can create a bespoke funeral to match their exact needs and budget.
The Co-operative owns and operates a total of 1100 funeral homes across the UK with coverage of 93 per cent of postcode districts. And for Set Funeral Plan holders, no matter where they move to in the UK their funeral plan can be used at any of its funeral homes without any further costs.
All Funeral Plans provided by The Co-operative Funeralcare are fully guaranteed. This means no further payments are required when it comes to the actual arranging of the funeral regardless of how much prices have increased - all items detailed in the plan are fully covered. They also cover the full costs of all disbursements (such as the crematoria fee, doctor's fees etc). There isn't a part ‘contribution’ to the disbursements, everything is covered and no further payment is required at the time of need.