By Lauren Howells.
The Co-op has promised to beat any like for like competitor quotes on funeral cost after its survey revealed that up to 4 million people in the UK suffered financial hardship after a bereavement.
Co-op guarantees to beat like for like competitor quotes for funerals
As well as its “guarantee to beat” price commitment, its new measures, which the national funeral provider has said it has put in place as a “reaction” to the survey’s findings, include a reduction in the price of its Simple Funeral by £100, as well additional member discounts.
The Co-op says that it has seen a “significant increase” in the number of people opting for its most affordable funeral choices, which include its Simple Funeral and Cremation without Ceremony, with nearly four times as many people selecting these services since 2015.
Over 30,000 Brits responded to the survey
More than 30,000 Brits responded to the Co-op’s survey on death and bereavement, which was conducted by YouGov in May and June of this year.
Over the last couple of years, the Co-op has launched various other discounts and services as part of the measures it says it has taken to tackle funeral affordability.
Robert Maclachlan, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare and Life Planning, described the fact that four million people in the UK had suffered financial hardship after the death of someone as “startling”.
“Funerals are becoming increasingly price sensitive and in the last two years we have seen a huge shift in the number of clients seeking affordable funeral choices,” he said.
Competition and Markets Authority reviewing funerals market
Back in June of this year, it was announced that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) would be reviewing the funerals market “to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal”.
Its interim report, which will present the initial findings and views on potential remedies, will be published later this year.
The final report is expected in June 2019.
Average amount of debt to pay for funerals at all-time high
A report by Royal London revealed that the average cost of a funeral remains “virtually unchanged” compared to last year at £3,757 (a slight decrease of £27 compared to 2017).
While cremation fees and burial fees increased over the last year “significantly ahead of overall inflation”, the report said that these increases were largely offset by a reduction in funeral director costs.
Royal London also revealed that the average amount of debt taken on by individuals to pay for a loved one’s funeral was at an all-time high, at £1,744.