Two recent reports have shown that the average cost of a funeral has increased faster than the rate of inflation.
The announcement by the ‘Royal London Funeral Cost Index’ and the SunLife Cost of Dying Report state the average cost for a funeral in England is £3784.00 and £4078.00 respectively.
What we have seen from the report however, is the rising difference between funeral directors costs within the same postcode. The highest difference being £2365.00.
What I find most shocking is how the public have very little information or idea of how much a funeral should cost. I recently asked some friends at a party what they perceived to be the correct price for a full-service cremation at our local crematorium. The answers were quite shocking. Even within my group of friends the prices were on average more than Â£2000.00 them with the highest nearly £7000.00!
For me the basic problem is that we have no real insight into what we should be expecting to pay and, more importantly, these financial decisions come at a time of loss and grief for those making them.
The reports go on to say that the amount of families who elect to get funeral quotes from more than one funeral director remains low and that the majority will stay with the first funeral director they speak to.
From my own personal experience, although reasonably well educated, my Dad and brother and I, went to our local funeral director in Kent and just agreed to his advice oblivious to how large the final bill was going to be.
It is at these times where we are at our most vulnerable. I remember how easy it was to be sold a slightly more expensive coffin that my Mum would have liked as we must want ‘what is best’ or to take advantage of a limousine as we would obviously wish to ‘travel in style.’
On seeing the final quote, you can imagine how difficult it would have been for Dad to take off options that were offered as that would have seemed highly irregular and somewhat uncompassionate.
With this experience in mind, when Cheryl and I started Secure Haven Funeral Directors, we decided to give back the control of organising a funeral to the family. We conducted research into the types of funerals that were being asked for and produced packages accordingly. Offering a start point for those grieving families to work from.
Our full-service Sympathy cremation package to be held at our local crematorium has a fully transparent pricing of £3195.00. With this as a start point the family are in full control of adding any optional extras. Thus allowing the arrangement to be made in a better environment. If the family wish to have a more superior coffin that is their choice. In this case our arrangers can simply guide them to alternative options available as the family deem fit. This makes for a more personal, bespoke service where they feel able to ask questions without the pressure of increasing the final invoice.
We strongly believe that prices should be transparent across our website with extra options and their cost displayed in full. Many families come to us with their total invoice in place before they even walk through the door. Families can then begin to work out how that special day will be and how much it will cost.
We also agreed that families should feel empowered to see the facilities that we as funeral directors offer both front and back of house if they so wish as long as the dignity and respect of all parties is not compromised.
So our advice for those suffering a bereavement or those wishing to gather information pre need is to compare the costs and facilities of your local funeral director. Do not be afraid to be in control your finances and wishes of that special day .