Shopping around for funeral services
According to research from insurance company SunLife, one in four people say they were surprised by some of the costs associated with the funerals they organised. In their annual Cost of Dying survey, respondents said flowers, headstones, coffins and catering were the biggest unforeseen costs.
Shopping around before committing to a funeral director could reduce unexpected expenses. However, SunLife says that less than one fifth of people get more than one quote when they arrange a funeral.
There are good reasons why people don’t shop around when they are looking for funeral services. Contacting multiple funeral directors after a bereavement to compare costs could be overwhelming. In some instances, a loved one may have chosen their own funeral director.
However, with SunLife reporting that almost 60% of people want to reduce funeral costs, shopping around might begin to become more common. The funeral directors surveyed by SunLife even advise customers to get more than one quote. One said,
“Talk to several funeral directors and get details in writing. Be aware you are in control of the funeral and most requests can be accommodated.”
For some time, funeral directors have been responding to calls from authorities to make prices clear for customers. An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) led to regulations that say funeral directors must display a standardised price list at their premises and online.
This list must include:
- The headline price of a funeral
- The price of the individual items comprising the funeral
- The price of certain additional products and services
Introducing the regulations, CMA Inquiry Chair Martin Coleman said organising a funeral is one of the hardest things anyone has to do. He said it is vital that people are treated fairly and that,
“Customers need clear information so that they know what they will be charged and are able, if they wish, to compare the prices of different providers.”
With an overwhelming majority of funeral directors welcoming the rules on price transparency, it is hoped that it will get easier for people to shop around.
Comparing funeral prices
Researching funeral prices online may make shopping around easier to do. Localfuneral.co.uk is a free service that helps people find a funeral director near them at their time of need. Customers can use the site to search a network of over 1,600 local, independent funeral directors, without obligation.
Users can search by postcode or town to find funeral director listings that show what services are provided. For many listings, the price breakdown for an attended cremation is shown for easy comparison. Email addresses and phone numbers are provided to allow you to get in touch.
Pre-paid funeral planning
Another option is to pre-plan your funeral. Comparisons can be done independently, and plans can be customised to suit personal preferences and budgets.
A funeral plan from Golden Charter is an easy way to organise your funeral arrangements in advance, specify your wishes and pay for the funeral director’s services included in your plan.
We have five plans to choose from, so whether you’d like a traditional cremation or burial service, or a no-fuss direct cremation with no service or attendees, you’ll be able to pick the plan that best suits your needs and budget.
A funeral plan can save your family worry and expense, and help make things easier for your loved ones at a difficult time. As our customers often tell us, that can be a big weight off your mind.