Don’t Let Taboo Decide Your Funeral Costs

 In Fuse blogs, Uncategorised

It’s a common, yet rarely addressed, complaint that funeral prices seem to become more extortionate every year.

With the average funeral costing £4,271 in 2018, its easy to see why so many people feel that way. Prices have increased by 68% in the last 10 years, and now the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have begun to express “serious concerns” about the above-inflation price rises.

A new report by the CMA has brought to light some shocking figures.

They found that alongside the 68% decade rise in funeral costs, cremations have also risen by 84% in the last 10 years. However, this is far from their most disturbing finding.

The rising costs, when measured against inflation, were three times the rate of price rises in general. Let’s put this into real terms by looking at the UK’s favourite example of price rises gone mad, the Freddo. In 2008, a Freddo cost 15p and in 2018 it costs 25p, equaling a price rise of 10p. If we were to increase the price of a Freddo the same way funeral costs have risen, the price would’ve increased by 30p. This means a Freddo in 2018 would cost 45p instead of 25p. A 20p difference doesn’t sound like much, but when that means hundreds of pounds difference when paying for a funeral, it adds up.

This disproportionate rise is also bad news for low-income families, who face funeral costs that take up nearly 40% of their annual outgoings. Without savings to take from, this amount adds up to more than what a low-income family spends on food, clothing and energy every year combined. With scary statistic like that, you’d think more people would shop around for the best deal. They don’t. According to funeral cost comparison site Beyond, only 4% of British people do. So why is that?

It often comes down to two factors.

The first is grief. Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA says:

“People mourning the loss of a loved one are extremely vulnerable, and at risk of being exploited.”

Grief is a powerful emotion, and it can evoke a number of feelings from numbness to anger to guilt. Would you be able to organise a funeral with that many emotions effecting you every day? It would be tempting to just go with the first price you see, but it the best price out there?

The second are the taboos surrounding death in British society. As a culture we don’t like talking about death. We can find it awkward and embarrassing, and we often fear the consequences of trying. We fear making people feel worse, being a burden on others when we can’t cope or bringing up unresolved issues with friends and loved ones. Then there the issues of denial and being seen as “cheap” for shopping around for the best deals on funerals. It can be a lot of pressure to deal with, and it would be so easy to just let the professionals take over, but can you guarantee the best price by doing so?

Our £2 billion funeral services sector is clearly not working for us.

Of course, it’s a free market, so they can charge what they like, but not every family has children who are doing well or are willing to talk about the future. What are they meant to do other than let other people handle the arrangements? Even if it’s at a cost they can’t afford?

While organisations like the CMA and the HM Treasury are looking into enforcing tougher regulations on the industry, people should still be making plans to help ease the burden on loved ones once they pass away. One such plan is Over 50s Life Insurance.

What is Over 50s Life Insurance?

Over 50s Life Insurance is a fixed-premium plan that pays out a lump sum to loved ones once you pass on to help pay any outstanding costs, including those for a funeral. You are guaranteed to be accepted with no medical questions and what you pay into the plan will never change, even when you turn 90. So, give your loved ones the power to shop smart and take control by clicking the button below, and get your free, no-obligation quote.

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