As increasing numbers of over-50s report being mis-sold funeral payment plans, the question is being asked: are prepaid funeral plans safe?
Last week, the Daily Mail reported on findings by consumer group Fairer Finance that millions of over-50s continue to be mis-sold funeral payment plans.
According to the research, over six million people are estimated to have been cold-called by salesmen pushing prepaid funeral plans, around one third of which have subsequently felt pressured into making a purchase.
In some cases, individuals have been misled into believing plans will cover the entire cost of the funeral, when their payments only contributed towards it.
Whilst these are concerning findings relating to some companies’ use of underhand tactics at driving new business, they are not representative of the entire industry and certainly don’t apply to the radical and innovative approach of our own company, which has in the last year introduced a new way of providing affordable funerals and affordable funeral plans.
Leading the way with affordable quality funeral plans
Memoria Low Cost Funeral Ltd has embraced the concept of direct cremation as a serious alternative to traditional funerals and developed a range of funerals and funeral plans that are exceptional value for money.
We do not use any direct sales methods whatsoever, we have no telesales team, no door-to-door canvassers or people cold-calling prospective clients.
Such is the confidence in our products, we only advertise them on TV and online from our own website, allowing our clients to choose an option that they want after making an informed decision at their own pace and with absolutely no contact or intervention from us until they have decided in their own time to contact us themselves.
Fairer Finance’s report also raised concerns relating to the possibility of the amount paid for a funeral plan not covering the funeral service at the time of need. Any plan that we provide for services to take place at our own crematoria are guaranteed to cover the cost of the service at the time they are required with NO additional payments whatsoever.
This is one of only a handful of funeral plans from any provider to promise such a guarantee.
Find out more about our prepaid funeral plans.
Meeting and exceeding public demand
The development of our lower cost funeral plans was in direct response to public demand. In 2015 the number of direct cremation funerals that were conducted at our crematoria throughout the UK were less than 20 out of our 4,500. In 2017 this figure will be 20% of our 10,000.
This clearly demonstrates the enormous growth in this area of the market. With such strong demand, we do not have the need to engage hard sell tactics for our funeral plans, raising awareness of the availability of these through high-profile advertising such as our current TV campaign.
We do not offer commission payments on any of our plan sales and this in turn allows us to keep the costs as low as possible to the client.
Are prepaid funeral plans a good idea?
Our plans are available for people who wish to benefit from one. They are ideal for families looking to avoid unnecessary costs and complications to ensure they get the funeral they want for their loved one.
Using our plans, average savings are over £2,000 compared to traditional funeral costs.
Moreover, the introduction of our direct cremation funerals and plans has had the effect of driving down the cost of both within the rest of industry. Dignity Plc, who commissioned the report from Fairer Finance, followed our lead and earlier this year introduced their own Direct Cremation service provider ‘Simplicity Cremations’.
In brief, the market is reacting to the change in funeral provision and affordability and Memoria Low Cost Funeral Ltd is driving that change forward.
Are prepaid funeral plans safe?
The report’s findings highlight the need for caution when considering a prepaid funeral plan, but they should not deter you from securing a quality funeral at an affordable price.
When discussing a prepaid funeral plan with a company, stay safe by asking the following questions:
- Does the plan cover the entire cost of the funeral, or will there be additional costs? A prepaid funeral plan is safe if it guarantees to cover 100% of the costs.
- Is the plan covered by an insurance provider? The plan should always be insurance protected, securing your investment, whatever happens.
- Does the company use cold-callers or telesales teams? These are indicators of inflated costs as a result of commission. At the very least, research other providers to make sure you are getting the best price.
Memoria can make these guarantees. We own and operate eight crematoria throughout the UK, with another under construction and more at various stages of planning. With our significant expertise in this area, we have successfully won more consents to build new crematoria than any other company since the turn of the century.
The Directors of our company have a collective 87 years of experience working within this industry. Memoria’s founder, Howard Hodgson, is a 4th generation funeral director who himself has 50 years’ experience in serving the bereaved in every possible way.
He is now using that experience to drive the biggest change in funeral provision for the last half a century by making quality funeral services available to everyone through secure, affordable prepaid plans.
Find out more about all of our direct cremations and direct cremation funeral plans.