In a double pronged attack by the government to tighten up on funeral costs and pre-paid funeral plans, the Treasury has launched a consultation on tougher regulation for the pre-paid funeral plan market and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching an investigation into funeral costs and the dramatic variation of prices for differences services or part services in the funeral industry.
The Treasury is looking at the make up of the prepaid funeral plan market, examining costs, disclosure and what’s included or not and likely an enforced investor protection system, so that if your prepaid funeral plan is with a funeral director or insurer that goes into liquidation, you have adequate protection. On the disclosure front, it has been found that some funeral plans are not clear enough. Sometimes, basic packages do not include embalming, cars or pall bearers etc and relatives/your estate end up paying thousands on top.
The CMA suggests that the variation in prices across the country indicate that stricter policing is required to ensure a competitive market and consumers are not paying over inflated prices. In some areas, a complete funeral can cost an average of £3,800 and in other areas, or with other specifications, it can be £6,000 to £7,000+.
Bereavement is a difficult time for us all and it is right that the government should look to protect us when are perhaps at our most vulnerable.