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Cost of a funeral in UK up 88% in a decade

Posted on 8 October 2015

See the latest average funeral cost figures

Dying’s expensive. Average cost of a funeral now £3,693

For the 11th year in a row, the average cost of a funeral in the UK rose and now stands at £3,693. That puts the combined average cost of a burial and cremation funeral, almost 3% up on last year and a staggering 88% up on a decade ago. If things carry on like this, by 2020 the average cost of a funeral could have risen to as much as £4,620.

04-The rising cost of a funeral

How the cost of dying adds up

SunLife’s 9th latest Cost of Dying report revealed that whilst funeral costs are up, the total cost of dying – made up of the elements shown below – is down by £300 mainly due to a fall in the cost of administering an estate.

How the cost of dying adds up

Steep rise in the amount spent on the send off

Our research into funeral costs also revealed a sharp rise in the amount we’re spending on the extra elements that make the funeral, a proper send off, things like flowers, the wake and a memorial. This figure now stands at £2,000 - up almost 10% on 2014.

What stands out particularly is the cost of a memorial - £862 on average – 12% up on last year and this makes up over 40% of the total amount spent on extras. Perhaps as funerals become more personal, more unusual and elaborate ways to remember the person, are being chosen, which adds to the cost, but it’s hard to say for certain. On the flipside, as food prices have fallen, so has the average spent on catering, down 5% on last year at £354.

The cost of a funeral differs across the country

Funeral costs can vary significantly from region to region. Unsurprisingly, London retains the title as the most expensive place to die, with the average cost of a funeral totalling £5,068. A staggering £1,375 over the national average and even 34% more than the south west, where funeral costs are the second highest.

At the other end of the scale is Northern Ireland, where the average cost of a funeral is £3,203 almost £500 less than the national average and over 55% cheaper than the capital.

Infographic-cost-of-basic-funeral

 

Slight rise in people planning to help with funeral costs

The good news is 59% are making financial plans now to help pay for their own funeral when the time comes – up slightly on last year. Of these, over 80% had made provisions to cover the whole funeral cost, over a quarter of whom had bought a prepaid funeral plan.

For the people left behind, whose loved ones hadn’t made arrangements to help pay funeral costs, finding the money sometimes proved tough. 1 in 6 had difficulty meeting funeral costs with around half of them having to borrow money to pay the funeral bill.

Talking about our funeral plans

Believe it or not, only 1% of us know exactly what a loved one would want their funeral arrangements to be. 1 in 6 of us have not made any funeral plans because we’re uncomfortable talking about death. Not talking about our funeral wishes means the people we leave behind may never know if the funeral arrangements they made were the right ones. That’s why we’ve created the Perfect Send-Off planner, to make it easier to document your funeral wishes ready for when the time comes.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.