As funeral costs continue to rise in the UK, many people are turning to prepaid funeral plans to help protect loved ones from financial strain in the future.
Funeral plans can vary widely in terms of cost and what is included in each plan, so it’s important when comparing providers to ensure you get the plan that is best for you and your loved ones. Here are 10 things you will need to think about before taking out a prepaid funeral plan.
1. Find a provider who is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)
The Funeral Planning Authority is an organisation that has been set up to regulate providers in the UK prepaid funeral plan industry. Any plan provider registered with the FPA has to operate in line with a stringent set of rules that will result in customers getting the funeral they have paid for when it is needed.
As a registered provider with the FPA, Dignity’s Prepaid Funeral Plans give you extra reassurance that you will receive a funeral which goes above and beyond the basic requirements.
2. Take care of your funeral requirements
It’s important to think about what your requirements are before choosing a plan. Taking care of the essential funeral arrangements in advance will ensure those that are left behind won’t have to make difficult decisions when the time comes.
Whether you would prefer a burial or cremation, or if you want to add special requests, some plans will allow your wishes to be documented. This will provide you with the peace of mind that you have shared your final wishes and will be given the send-off you want.
With a Prepaid Funeral Plan from Dignity, you can document your special wishes within your Plan for no additional cost, and if your preferences change, you can amend these as many times as you wish.
3. Compare what is and isn’t included in each plan
The majority of funeral plans guarantee to cover the funeral director’s services but some only include a contribution towards further expenses.
Make sure you compare plans not only on the price, but also on any additional costs there may be to pay when the plan is actually needed in the future.
Unlike other providers, Dignity guarantees to cover the cremation costs and Minister’s fees in the Plan or we provide a generous contribution of £1,220 towards burial costs that can be used towards the plot.
4. Is the quality of service guaranteed?
Some funeral plan providers do not give you the reassurance that everything will be catered for when the time comes. Plan providers such as Safe Hands and Golden Charter simply arrange the funeral plan; the funeral is then sub-contracted to an independent funeral director.
Dignity is more than just a plan provider; we have over 800 of our own funeral directors throughout the UK and over 400 more which we have carefully selected to meet the high standards we set for funeral services, facilities and care.
5. Ensure your money is protected
Once you have paid for your funeral plan, it may be many years until it’s actually used. That’s why it is vitally important that you ensure the money you pay for your plan is protected in the future.
At Dignity, we place all the money you pay for your plan into a secure Trust Fund that is completely independent of Dignity, so no matter what happens; your money will be protected.
6. Consider how much you can afford to pay and how often
We completely understand that not everyone can pay for their funeral plan in full. When choosing a plan, consider whether you would like to make a single payment or pay by monthly instalments.
With a Dignity Prepaid Funeral Plan, you can rest assured that you will have complete clarity regarding your finances. Taking out a Plan from Dignity will give you the flexibility to choose a monthly payment which suits your budget.
7. The difference between Funeral Plans and Over 50’s Insurance Policies
Over 50’s insurance policies do not guarantee to cover the services of a funeral director when the time comes. Low interest rates and the rising costs of funerals means that there is no guarantee that the money you have paid in to your over 50’s policy will cover your funeral costs in years to come.
A Dignity Prepaid Funeral Plan, on the other hand, guarantees to cover the cost of all the funeral services included in the Plan, whenever it is needed.
8. Is the plan national?
If you are likely to move house, you should give extra consideration as to which provider you choose to go with. Looking for a provider with funeral directors nationwide will give you more flexibility later on.
With more than 800 of our own funeral directors throughout the UK and over 400 more which have been carefully selected by us, all of Dignity’s Funeral Plans are portable. If you move home, you can simply tell Dignity your new address and we will update our records at no extra cost.
9. Support from your plan provider
When choosing a funeral plan, you may want to consider the levels of care and support you and your loved ones receive from your chosen provider.
At Dignity, compassion and care are at the very heart of all that we do. We provide a professional 24 hour telephone bereavement support and counselling service for our clients and we are the first organisation in the UK to be accredited the BSI Kitemark™ for Customer Service.
10. Is the plan provider highly recommended?
Each and every funeral plan provider claims to deliver a high quality service. Reading customer reviews will give you the reassurance that you’re making the right decision.
At Dignity, we pride ourselves on being here to help people at one of the most difficult times of their life.
All four of our Funeral Plans are Defaqto rated; ensuring you get the Plan that matches your needs. The financial services company introduced the star ratings as a way of providing a more transparent and clear market place for customers.
The 5 Star Rating applies to our Diamond Funeral Plan.