PRESS RELEASE: New funeral plan commitment to help thousands more rest in peace
Setting the standard with our Co-op Commitment
- We're the only funeral plan provider to launch this additional commitment for customers paying monthly
- Co-op Commitment ensures there is no shortfall on funeral costs, even if a plan holder passes away before all monthly instalments have been met
- We are joining with industry experts James Daley and Andrew Hagger to increase transparency and compare options for saving for a funeral
- First funeral plan provider to receive the Fairer Finance Clear & Simple Mark
With over 200,000 UK adults likely to put in place a funeral plan in 2018, Co-op Funeralcare is introducing a new additional commitment for clients choosing to pay monthly for their funeral plan.
Customers taking out a funeral plan with the Co-op and opting to pay in monthly instalments over 2-25 years can benefit from the Co-op Commitment. This means that if the customer passes away before they’ve paid for the plan in full, the family or next of kin can rest assured that they won’t need to cover any financial shortfall for the funeral as they will receive the full services in the plan*.
The new feature, called the Co-op Commitment forms part of a wider focus on improving the funeral planning market for consumers. It has been launched to complement Co-op’s comprehensive range of funeral plans, which can be paid for upfront in full, over 6 or12 months, or via low-cost monthly instalments over 2-25 years. Prices start from £2995 upfront or £16.68 per month on monthly instalments**. Co-op is the only UK funeral plan provider to offer this level of cover with their plans.
Read more about our pre-paid funeral plans here.
Why we've introduced our Co-op Commitment
Currently across the funeral planning market where someone passes away before instalments have been fully repaid on a funeral plan, it is commonplace for other providers to refund fees paid to date rather than covering the funeral in full. This can potentially leave families with an unexpected financial shortfall on the costs of the funeral. We didn't think this was fair, so we created the Co-op Commitment.
The enhancements to Co-op’s funeral plans come as research and business data from the Co-op reveals that guaranteed over 50’s products marketed as covering funeral costs risk leaving millions of families with a significant amount of money to find when the time comes. Research found that whilst 78% of customers taking out an over 50’s plan do so to cover funeral costs, on average, those redeeming this type of product against a funeral face an average financial shortfall of £1,500.
Transparency in the funeral planning market
As part of a broader focus on transparency in the funeral planning market, Co-op has worked with Fairer Finance MD James Daley in ensuring terms and conditions are clear, concise and easy to follow for clients. Co-op is the only funeral plan provider to have been recognised with the Fairer Finance Clear & Simple Mark. In addition, Co-op’s plans have been awarded 5 star ratings by Fairer Finance and Defaqto***, in addition to Funeralcare being named as the best funeral plan provider in the 2018 Moneynet awards.
It has also partnered with Independent Personal Finance Commentator, Andrew Hagger to compare the common product options for those planning financially for a funeral. This considers the returns offered for individuals looking to cover funeral costs via key over 50’s plans versus funeral planning products and savings accounts.
Andrew Hagger, Independent Financial Commentator and founder of Moneycomms.co.uk comments: “Unlike other products and services, it can be hard to know what you are getting when shopping around for a funeral plan and it is often claimed that it may be better for people to invest the money into other products or a savings account.”
“For the first time, I have put this to the test and independently compared all the key options for those looking to plan financially for funeral costs, so as to identify the best routes for different circumstances and needs. In the 2018 Moneynet Personal Finance Awards Co-op Funeralcare has been named as the Best Funeral Plan Provider in recognition of the comprehensive cover available with its plans.”
Matt Howells, Managing Director for Co-op Later Life Planning comments: “There’s an increasing trend towards planning ahead financially for a funeral, however, the market remains inaccessible for many both in terms of cost, and product transparency. We’re focused on removing some of these barriers by improving the cover in our plans, working with industry experts to increase transparency, whilst also increasing accessibility by driving down costs.
“Where someone has taken steps to plan ahead financially for a funeral, whether they pay upfront or spread the cost, the Co-op Commitment now gives people peace of mind that their family won’t be left with an unexpected bill.”
A snapshot comparison of options when saving for a funeral produced by Andrew Hagger for the Co-op can be found below. A full report will be published by the Co-op in the coming months.
Making financial provision for your funeral - Snapshot comparison
Looking at the potential outcomes of saving for a funeral in the three different products – based on a person aged 50 paying approx. £15* per month and dying at age 80
Read more about our pre-paid funeral plans here.