During this time of uncertainty, it's natural to wonder how the coronavirus (COVID-19) may change the terms of your funeral plan or the funeral plan you’d like to buy.

Especially as we start to think more about protecting our loved ones if the worse were to happen.

We have put together some helpful FAQs to help reassure you of the current situation.

Due to the ever-changing advice regarding Coronavirus, there is a chance this information may change. The information within this article stands correct as of 18/02/21.

Can I still take out a funeral plan?

Yes, you can still buy a funeral plan during this time.

Setting up your plan through Reassured and then making the funeral arrangements with your chosen provider can all be done over the phone.

In the circumstance that your family need to redeem your funeral plan during this time, then there may be restrictions to some of the services included in your plan.

Current government guidelines for funerals in England are:

  • A maximum of 30 people can attend a funeral
  • 2-metre social distancing must be adhered to
  • Face masks must be worn indoors/in public spaces
  • No singing, shouting, chanting or raising voices
  • Mourners can not car share with those outside their household or support bubble

If any services included in your plan aren’t able to go ahead due to these restrictions, then you should be able to receive a refund for these services.

For more information on Co-op funeral plans redeemed during this time, please visit: www.coop.co.uk/

For more information on Dignity funeral plans redeemed during this time, please visit: www.dignityfunerals.co.uk/

Can I buy a funeral plan, even if I have coronavirus symptoms, have tested positive or if I am in one of the ‘high-risk’ groups?

Yes. You don’t need to provide any medical information when securing a funeral plan and acceptance is guaranteed to UK residents.

So even if you’re experiencing symptoms, have tested positive or you’re in one of ‘high-risk’ groups, you can still purchase a plan.

What if I have difficulty paying my funeral plan?

Under normal circumstances, if you were to miss three payments in a row, your funeral plan could be cancelled.

However, under these extenuating circumstances, providers may be a little more flexible than normal.

If you’ve run into financial difficulties and think you may struggle to pay for your plan, then get in touch with your funeral plan provider.

How can I arrange my funeral in advance?

As mentioned, funeral arrangements can be made by email or over the phone with your chosen provider.

Some funeral homes will allow you to visit but by pre-arranged appointment only as there may be a restricted number of visitors at one time.

For example, Co-op Funeralcare will allow a maximum of 2 visitors at one time.

Whilst at the funeral home you must follow social distancing rules.

Source: SunLife

Do I have to have a funeral?

No, you don’t have to have a funeral whilst coronavirus is still prevalent.

In fact, there has been a growing number of direct cremations in the UK.

A direct cremation is a simple, low-cost cremation that doesn’t include a funeral service at all.

As there is no service, there are also no mourners, no flowers, no limousines and no hearse.

Instead, the person who has passed is cremated straight away and the ashes are returned to loved ones to keep or scatter.

When there is a direct cremation, loved ones can delay the memorial service until it’s safe for family and friends to get together and properly say goodbye.

Have funeral plan prices changed?

No, funeral plan prices have not changed and it’s unlikely they’ll change due to the pandemic.

You can still arrange a funeral plan through Reassured from as little as £15.97 a month*.

Continue reading for the current UK government’s guidance for funerals during Covid-19 and lockdown...

Where can a funeral be held?

Funerals during Covid can still be held inside a place of worship or crematorium.

Guidance for the Church of England is that funerals are permitted as long as the maximum number of attendees is 30 and social distancing guidelines are followed.

You may wish to check the Church of England and Church of Scotland websites to keep up to date with current guidance.

How many people can go to a funeral?

Public Health England (PHE) recommended that a maximum of 30 people can go to a funeral.

However, the venue where the funeral service will be held will determine the maximum number of mourners who are able to attend to ensure social distancing measures are complied with.

This is also the approach currently being applied in Wales.

In Scotland, the maximum number of people that are able to attend a funeral is 20.


Who can go to a funeral?

Guidance is that those from high-risk groups should not attend a funeral whilst the virus is still prevalent, for example, those over 70, pregnant or with low immunity.

Anyone self-isolating or showing symptoms should not attend a funeral.

Social distancing rules must be adhered to for mourners who are not in the same household or bubbles.

What are the rules for funeral wakes during Covid?

In England, wakes and post-funeral gathering are allowed in groups of no more than 6 people.

Wakes and post-funeral gatherings are not permitted in Wales and Scotland.

Are flowers allowed at funerals?

The UK government has not imposed any rules or restrictions for having flowers at a funeral.

What other restrictions are there?

  • A safe distance of at least 2 metres (3 steps) should be maintained between individuals unless they are part of the same household or support bubble
  • The number of passengers allowed to travel in a limousine to and from the funeral service is limited to a maximum of 4 if they’re from the same household (including support bubbles). If passengers are from different households, only a maximum of 2 will be allowed to travel in a limousine
  • The coffin may not be carried and mourners may be asked not to touch the coffin
  • Handshaking has been discouraged between ministers, celebrants and funeral directors
  • Mourners have been strongly advised not to take part in any rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of someone that’s passed away from COVID-19 or had symptoms of the virus (as there’s a small risk of transmission)

Is it possible to view the funeral service online?

Yes. Family members who aren’t able to attend the funeral may be able to view the funeral service online via live streaming, (which is also recorded).

Your funeral provider can advise if there are live streaming or recording facilities available at your chosen funeral venue.

How long can you delay a funeral?

At this stage, it’s unclear how long some restrictions may be in place, therefore funeral providers would hesitate to delay a funeral indefinitely.

You may consider organising a wake or memorial service at a later date when the restrictions have been lifted (and gatherings are permitted).

Coronavirus help & support:

Sources:

*£15.97 a month is for the Simplicity Cremations Lily Plan, provided by Reassured which is for a direct cremation only, at £1,495 with 10 years payment term (total amount payable £1,916.77

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At Reassured, we will provide you with quotes from Co-op Funeral Care, Dignity Funeral Services and Simplicity Cremations.

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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