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How we calculate funeral costs

Every year, SunLife commissions research into funeral costs.

Working out average funeral costs

The average funeral costs used within our funeral cost calculator are calculated using non discretionary (basic) and discretionary (additional) funeral costs. For non discretionary costs we use the average funeral costs given to us by funeral directors.

Non discretionary (basic) funeral costs cover the basic elements of a funeral and include:

  1. Professional Services:
    • Collection of the deceased from within 20/25 mile radius
    • All care of the deceased, robe and dressing
    • Necessary arrangements; pre-paying of disbursements and attending to all essential documentation, making /receiving all necessary phone calls
    • Use of the chapel of rest for viewing of deceased during normal working hours
    • Provision of a hearse and one limousine with attendants (1 director and 4 bearers) for deceased and family to and from cemetery/crematoria
    • A mid-range, oak veneer coffin as standard
  2. Clergy or officiates fees to conduct a service. Alternatively the costs of the humanist celebrant if you opt for a non religious service
  3. Doctors fees for certification (not required if you want a burial)
  4. Cost of the cremation or burial

The calculator is intended to give an indication of funeral costs. Non discretionary (additional) funeral costs are the additional items you can choose to personalise a funeral and the costs were obtained through an online consumer survey run in May 2017. Please note that a number of these average costs are based on a small sample size and included for completeness, so should be treated with caution.

Additional CostWhat does this mean?
Funeral Flowers Floral tributes at the funeral service
Death Notice Notice placed in a newspaper to inform family and friends that someone has passed away
Funeral Notice Notice placed in a newspaper to inform family and friends when the funeral will take place
Additional Limousine A limousine is calculated in the basic funeral costs above, some people require more than one
Order Sheets An order of service for the funeral (often kept as a keepsafe)
Memorial This can be a headstone, naming a bench after a loved one to internment of ashes
Catering for Wake / Funeral Food/drink for the reception following the service
Venue Hire A hall or similar to hold the funeral reception/wake

SunLife commissions research into the annual Cost of Dying.

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.