Top 10 funeral plans 2021

Based on the latest Fairer Finance and Defaqto expert ratings, the best prepaid funeral plans in the UK are[1]:

For burial

  1. Co-op - Bronze Plan
  2. Co-op - Silver Plan
  3. Co-op - Simple Plan
  4. Age Co - Holly Plan
  5. Age Co - Basic Plan
  6. Age Co - Ivy Plan
  7. Choice - Essentials Plan
  8. Choice - Plus Plan
  9. Dignity - Amber Plan
  10. Dignity - Limited Plan

For cremation

  1. Co-op - Gold Plan
  2. Age Co - Rowan Plan
  3. Dignity - Diamond Plan
  4. Age Co - Holly Plan
  5. Age Co - Basic Plan
  6. Age Co - Ivy Plan
  7. Age Co - Essentials Plan
  8. Choice - Plus Plan
  9. Dignity - Amber Plan
  10. Dignity - Limited Plan

All the funeral plans listed above are registered and approved by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).

Which is the best funeral plan?

The best funeral plan, according to a combination of Fairer Finance and Defaqto ratings, is the Co-op Gold plan.

The Times Money Mentor has also rewarded the Co-op Gold plan as a top-rated, 5-star product.

However, the best funeral plan for you and your family will depend on a number of factors including:

  • How much you want to spend
  • The type of funeral you want to have

In this guide, we provide all the information you need to help whittle down your options and secure your perfect plan.

What is a funeral plan and how does it work?

A funeral plan allows you to pay for your funeral in advance, protecting loved ones from this expense when the time comes.

It also allows you to plan the funeral your way, ensuring that there’s no confusion over your final wishes.

You can choose to pay for your plan in one lump sum, or you can spread the cost in monthly instalments.

Your money is kept safe in a life insurance policy or trust fund, which is managed independently from the funeral plan provider.

When your funeral services are needed, the necessary funds are released to your appointed funeral director so they can cover the cost.

Why have a funeral plan?

Freeze rising funeral costs

The average cost of a funeral has risen 128% since 2004, and fees are getting more expensive every year[2]. However, a funeral plan locks-in today’s going rate for a funeral, protecting loved ones from higher prices in the future.

Peace of mind

A funeral plan brings peace of mind that your loved ones are protected from unexpected funeral costs and that they won’t have the additional stress of planning your whole funeral whilst going through a difficult time.

Funeral services guaranteed

Unlike life insurance, a funeral plan ensures that the cost of your key funeral services are covered when they’re needed. The cost of a plan is also fixed, so you know exactly how much you’ll pay in total.

Funeral wishes fulfilled

You can personalise a plan, make special requests and record your final wishes. Family and friends may take some comfort in knowing that the funeral is held in accordance with your wishes.

What’s covered in a plan?

A funeral plan covers the key services for either a cremation or burial funeral.

These typically include as standard:

  • Collection, care and preparation of the deceased
  • Family viewing at the chapel of rest
  • Coffin
  • Hearse or suitable vehicle
  • Cortege route to the funeral home
  • Funeral personnel
  • Family support and assistance provided by a funeral director
  • Free bereavement assistance
  • Full personalisation of the plan
  • Some or all third-party fees e.g. cremation or burial fees

For more information on what’s covered in each of the funeral plans arranged through Reassured, use our fee-free comparison service.

How much does a funeral plan cost?

Funeral plans arranged through Reassured start from £3,020 or from just £19.11 a month.

The total cost will depend on which plan you choose and how you choose to pay.

Payment options vary between providers but generally include:

  • Pay in full (one single payment)
  • Pay by monthly instalments over 6 or 12 months (fee-free)
  • Pay by monthly instalments for 2 years or more (up to a maximum age limit, fees apply)

If you choose to pay by monthly instalments for 2 years or more and pass away after the first 12 months of the plan, but before the plan has been paid in full, then the plan provider will cover the remaining balance and carry out your funeral services as promised.

This additional benefit of all funeral plans arranged through Reassured.

How to find the best funeral plan

Searching for the right funeral plan can be time-consuming and a little confusing.

However, it’s important to carry out a little research so that you’re 100% confident in the product that you eventually buy.

Here are our top 5 tips to help simplify your journey:

List icon Only consider plans that are approved by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)

The FPA regulates funeral plans in the UK to ensure safety for those who buy them.

Funeral plan providers opt into FPA regulation and agree to follow a set of guidelines set by the authority which protect customers and their money.

It's not compulsory and currently, approximately 95% of plans are FPA approved.


List icon Compare plan features and star ratings on websites such as Fairer Finance

Prepaid funeral plan features and ratings can be compared easily and for free on websites such as Fairer Finance, Defaqto and The Times Money Mentor.

You can identify which plans offer the best quality based on their expert star ratings.


List icon Weigh up the pros and cons of each plan and understand exactly what is and isn’t covered

Things you may want to consider when looking at various options include:

  • Does the plan cover everything that’s important to you and your family, at a price within your budget? Bear in mind, it’s normal for a funeral plan not to cover some elements such as a burial plot, memorial or embalming
  • Does the plan cover third-party fees? These include cremation or burial fees, doctors’ fees and minister or celebrant fees
  • Does the plan move with you if you move home? Is there a charge for this? Will the cost of the plan change if you move to a new area?
  • If you choose to pay by long-term monthly instalments, is there a degree of protection for your family if you pass away before completing all your payments?

List icon Check the details and ensure your key services are covered

For many people, it’s worth having a plan that covers essential cremation or burial fees (depending on the type of funeral you want to have), as well as the key funeral director services.

Cremation and burial fees are unavoidable and make up a significant proportion of the total cost of a funeral.

If these aren’t covered in a plan, then loved ones would have to pay the going rate for these when the time comes.


List icon Compare multiple plans by using an award-winning broker, such as Reassured.

Reassured can help you narrow down your options by comparing a range of funeral plans and answering any questions you may have.

We provide FREE personalised quotes and our service is rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot from 50,000+ independent customer reviews.

Why not make the most of our award-winning service today by getting in touch?

How much does a funeral cost in your area?

Calculate the average cost of a funeral where you live. Select from the options below.

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Average funeral cost

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Avoid rising funeral costs. Protect loved ones. Buy a funeral plan today.

This calculator uses data from the SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2021 and should only be used as a guide.

Which are the best value funeral plans?

Essentially, the funeral plans that offer best value for money are those that are ‘guaranteed’.

Guaranteed funeral plans cover your key funeral services but also lock-in today’s price for essential third-party fees, whilst other plans simply provide a fixed contribution.

This means better protection for your loved ones when the time comes, as they’ll have less to pay.

Third-party fees include:

  • Minister or celebrant fees
  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Doctor’ fees

At the moment, guaranteed plan providers include:

Find out what guaranteed plans Reassured can arrange for you today and get the best value for money.

Compare funeral plans

Comparing several different funeral plans will help you decide which one offers you the best deal.

Below is a comparison of funeral plans provided by Avalon, Co-op, Dignity and Golden Leaves.

There are three different levels of service; basic, standard and comprehensive.

Please note, Reassured doesn't arrange funeral plans on behalf of all the providers compared below

Funeral plan comparison [Basic level]

The funeral plans with each plan provider include all the essential funeral director services for either cremation or burial.

With a basic funeral plan, a basic coffin is provided and there’s no limousine.

  Avalon Co-op Golden Leaves Dignity
Plan Standard Plan Simple Plan Zinc Plan Limited Plan
Price £3,645 £3,020* £3,089 £3,095
Fairer Finance rating 2 stars (burial and cremation) 5 stars (burial). 2 stars (cremation) 1 star (burial). 2 stars (cremation) 4 stars (burial and cremation)
Date and time of funeral Restricted Decided by Co-op Restricted Restricted
Cremation fees Up to £1,000 contribution £950 contribution Yes - Guaranteed Yes - Guaranteed
Burial fees Up to £1,000 contribution £950 contribution £931 contribution £1,220 contribution
Minister or celebrant fees No No No Yes - Guaranteed
Doctors’ fees (not applicable in Scotland) No No No No
24/7 collection / mileage Yes - Within mainland UK or mainland NI Yes - 50 miles Working hours - 25 miles Yes - 50 miles
Visit to chapel of rest No Yes Yes Yes
Limousine No No No No
Coffin type Basic Basic Basic Basic
Funeral covered if plan holder dies after 12 months (if paying by instalments) Yes - Avalon Promise Yes - Co-op Commitment No Yes - Dignity Promise
Plan moves with plan holder Yes - Free Yes - Free Yes - Price may change if moving to a different region Yes - Free
Cancellation fee (after 30 days) £395 £250 20% of the total cost of the plan £249

*Co-op price includes a £75 discount only available to Co-op members

Key points:

  • Avalon has the most expensive basic funeral plan, yet doesn’t guarantee third-party fees and doesn’t include use of the chapel of rest for family to visit prior to the funeral
  • Avalon Standard Plan includes the collection of the deceased from anywhere in the UK
  • The Co-op Simple Plan has the lowest price, but a slightly smaller contribution compared to some other providers
  • Golden Leaves Zinc Plan won’t guarantee your funeral services if you pass away after 12 months of taking out the plan

Arrange your perfect plan through Reassured today. Get in touch with our award-winning service to get started.

Funeral plan comparison [Standard level]

With a standard level funeral plan, a quality wood effect coffin is usually provided and a limousine may be included. There’s also more flexibility as to the date and time of the funeral.

  Avalon Co-op Golden Leaves Dignity
Plan Plus Plan Silver Plan Silver Plan Amber Plan
Price £3,995 £3,870* £3,594 £3,495
Fairer Finance rating 3 stars (burial and cremation) 5 stars (burial). 3 stars (cremation) 1 star (burial and cremation) 4 stars (burial and cremation)
Date and time of funeral Mutually agreed Mutually agreed Mutually agreed Mutually agreed
Cremation fees Up to £1,000 contribution Yes - Guaranteed Yes - Guaranteed Yes - Guaranteed
Burial fees Up to £1,000 contribution Yes - Guaranteed Contribution provided** £1,220 contribution
Minister or celebrant fees No Yes - Guaranteed No Yes - Guaranteed
Doctors’ fees (not applicable in Scotland) No Yes. Guaranteed No No
24/7 collection / mileage Yes - Within mainland UK or mainland NI Yes - 50 miles Working hours - 25 miles Yes - 50 miles
Visit to chapel of rest Yes Yes Yes Yes
Limousine Yes 1x Yes 1x No No
Coffin type Wood-effect Wood-effect Basic Wood-effect
Funeral covered if plan holder dies after 12 months (if paying by instalments) Yes - Avalon Promise Yes - Co-op Commitment No Yes - Dignity Promise
Plan moves with plan holder Yes - Free Yes - Free Yes - Price may change if moving to a different region Yes - Free
Cancellation fee (after 30 days) £395 £250 20% of the total cost of the plan £249

*Co-op price includes a £125 discount only available to Co-op members
**Contribution amount will be in line with the national average cost of cremation fees

Key points:

  • The Co-op Silver Plan guarantees to cover all third-party fees at today’s price
  • The most expensive standard plan provided by Avalon doesn’t guarantee any third-party fees
  • Golden Leaves Silver Plan and Dignity Amber Plan don’t include a limousine

Funeral plan comparison [Comprehensive level]

With a comprehensive level funeral plan, a high-quality wood effect coffin is usually provided, and two limousines may be included.

  Avalon Co-op Golden Leaves Dignity
Plan Premium Plan Gold Plan Platinum Plan Diamond Plan
Price £4,245 £4,170* £4,199 £4,195
Fairer Finance rating 3 stars (burial and cremation) 3 stars (burial).5 stars (cremation) 2 stars (burial and cremation) 2 stars (burial). 4 stars (cremation)
Date and time of funeral Mutually agreed Mutually agreed Mutually agreed Mutually agreed
Cremation fees Up to £1,000 contribution Yes - Guaranteed Yes - Guaranteed Yes - Guaranteed
Burial fees Up to £1,000 contribution Yes - Guaranteed Contribution provided** £1,220 contribution
Minister or celebrant fees No Yes - Guaranteed No Yes - Guaranteed
Doctors’ fees (not applicable in Scotland) No Yes - Guaranteed No No
24/7 collection / mileage Yes - Within mainland UK or mainland NI Yes - 50 miles Yes - 25 miles Yes - 50 miles
Visit to chapel of rest Yes Yes Yes Yes
Limousine Yes 2x Yes 2x Yes 2x Yes 2x
Coffin type High quality wood veneer High quality wood veneer High quality wood veneer High quality wood veneer
Funeral covered if plan holder dies after 12 months (if paying by instalments) Yes - Avalon Promise Yes - Co-op Commitment No Yes - Dignity Promise
Plan moves with plan holder Yes - Free Yes - Free Yes - Price may change if moving to a different region Yes - Free

*Co-op price includes a £125 discount only available to Co-op members
**Contribution amount will be in line with the national average cost of cremation fees

Key points:

  • Even as one of the most expensive plans on the market, the Avalon Premium plan only provides a contribution towards third-party fees
  • The Co-op Gold Plan is the only plan that guarantees to cover all third-party fees (cremation or burial fees, minister or celebrant fees and doctors’ fees). This plan has been rated 5 stars by Defaqto and Fairer Finance (for cremation) and has been awarded Triple Gold in 2018/19/20 by Moneynet

Best cremation only funeral plans

According to the latest Fairer Finance product ratings, the best cremation only funeral plans in the UK are:

  1. Golden Leaves - Copper Plan
  2. Age Co - Buttercup Plan
  3. Age Co - Daffofil Plan
  4. Age Co - Sunflower Plan
  5. Pure Cremation - Trust-Based Plan
  6. Simplicity Cremations - Lily Plan

Cremation only funeral plans are the most affordable plans and cover a direct cremation or simple cremation funeral.

Prices start from £1,495 but Reassured isn’t able to help you arrange this type of plan today.

Best natural funeral plans

According to Fairer Finance, the best natural funeral plans are:

  1. Age Co - Forest Plan
  2. Dignity - Bamboo Plan
  3. Dignity - Willow Plan

Natural funeral plans provide an eco-friendly alternative to a traditional funeral.

Prices start from £4,195 but Reassured isn’t able to help you arrange this type of plan today.

What’s Martin Lewis’ advice on funeral plans?

The Money Saving Expert has plenty of advice on his website regarding funeral plans and whether they’re worth the money.

Martin Lewis’s general advice is that funeral plans can be a good way of covering funeral costs in advance, but it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons before making a purchase.

Martin Lewis also emphasises the importance of making sure your plan covers everything you’re expecting. For example, if you’re opting for a burial funeral then it’s unlikely your plan will cover the full cost of a burial plot.

His advice also includes comparisons of funeral plans from Age Co (Dignity), Golden Charter and Co-op. He mentions that contributions towards third-party fees provided by Age Co and Golden Charter may be insufficient to cover these costs in the future, especially if funeral prices continue to rise as quickly as they have been. Whereas, Co-op Gold and Silver plans will guarantee to cover all third-party fees no matter how much prices rise.

As mentioned, the best funeral plans will lock-in todays’ prices for third-party fees as well as funeral director fees - giving loved ones the fullest amount of protection.

At Reassured, our friendly team is on hand to answer any questions you have regarding our funeral plans, making sure you make a fully informed decision.

Best buy prepaid funeral plans

Secure the best prepaid funeral plan to fulfill all your wishes by using a broker.

With so many things to consider and such a variety of plans available, choosing the right funeral plan to suit your needs can be daunting.

Using a fee-free broker, such as Reassured, will help you determine what it is you’re looking to receive from a funeral plan.

It’ll also allow you to compare the various options available within your budget, making sure you secure the very best deal.

Get in touch today to arrange financial protection for your loved ones.

Sources:

[1] https://www.fairerfinance.com/ratings/product-ratings/prepaid-funeral-plans
https://www.defaqto.com/star-ratings/life-and-protection/funeral-plan-pre-paid/

[2] SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021

Reassured cannot arrange all of the plans detailed in this article. Information taken directly from the plan provider's websites is correct as of 16/07/2021

£19.11 per month pricing includes a £75 discount only available to Co-operative members and is based on a 50-year-old purchasing a Co-operative Simple Funeral Plan at £3,020 over the maximum term available of 25 years (total amount repayable £5,733.40) as of 1st March 2021

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All of the funeral plans we provide are fully regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) ensuring you and your money are protected.

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