28 / 01 / 22

You think funeral prices are falling? Perhaps take a second look.

If you’re planning a funeral, you or your family or friends may well have researched online. When your search took you to pre-2021 information then you would have seen reports about the rising cost of funerals; researching further afield and into 2021 and 2022 figures you would have seen market information about funeral prices falling. 


If your research had been about a holiday, or a car, or a big ticket item purchase, then you may have thought “there’s a downward trend, I’ll wait until it looks like it’s settled at a lower price.” And the seemingly downward trend in funeral costs may well have caused you to believe don’t need to concern yourself about funeral prices either.  


But that information could, potentially, give you a wrong impression. Funeral costs have fallen because during the pandemic families understandably found themselves with less available funds: many bought the least expensive funeral available, and, of course, pandemic restrictions meant fewer people could attend funerals. In many cases, the cost of the funeral was naturally capped in that there was a limit upon spending because there was not a great deal to spend on: restrictions on numbers of people gathering, no wakes, fewer cars, simpler ceremonies, therefore lower costs. 


Lock in that funeral price 


The pre-paid funeral plan – once you overcome the stigma of broaching the subject of death with loved ones, whether talking about yourself to others, or others talking to you, or being party to discussion about vulnerable family members – locks in today’s price for a funeral that may be many years away. 


Broadly, a “point-of-need” funeral today, without getting extravagant, costs around £4,000, give or take. Based on 2020 research, in fifteen years’ time that cost is projected by the industry to be around at least double what a family would pay at the time. 


Why do we consider fifteen years? Well, that’s the calculated average life expectancy of the person who is buying a pre-paid funeral today for themselves, or for whom one is bought. 


The Sun Life Cost of Dying Report 2022 says what was a £4,184 funeral in 2020 was a £4,056 funeral in 2021. That’s down 3.1%. The most affordable form of funeral, a direct cremation, accounted for 24% of funerals during the pandemic through to July 2021 – up from around 18% the previous four years. The lower cost and higher volume of direct cremations contributed heavily to that average overall funeral price fall. 


So it’s clear that the underlying cost of what many of us would consider to be a “normal” funeral will likely soon re-emerge on market trend, and will return to the trend towards at least doubling in cost at time of need in fifteen years’ time. 


Why buy a pre-paid funeral plan?


There are many reasons for buying a pre-paid funeral plan, and, it must be said, one significant obstacle: talking about death with friends and family. 


The bottom line is that buying a pre-paid funeral plan now from a reputable provider – and there are many ways of financing a pre-paid funeral – will be considerably less expensive than you, your family or your friends paying for one at “point-of-need” in years to come.  


By locking in the price in the near future, it also means more funds can be retained in an estate for beneficiary family and friends, and, frankly, means far less to think about for a family at what is likely to be a difficult and emotional time with the loss of a loved one. 

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