What is a cremation only funeral plan?

A cremation only funeral plan allows you to pay for a direct cremation or simple cremation funeral in advance.

It locks-in today’s price for your chosen services and protects loved ones from the cost of your funeral when the time comes.

Cremation only plans, also known as prepaid direct cremation or simple funeral plans, are more affordable than standard funeral plans because they don’t include a traditional service.

Continue reading this guide to learn more about prepaid direct cremation and cremation only funeral plans…

Simple funeral plans with Reassured

Reassured can’t arrange direct cremation funeral plans for you today, but we can help you arrange a simple funeral plan.

Simple funeral plans cost from as little as £19.11* a month and include a simple service planned and carried out by a funeral director.

Reassured can also compare quotes with other plans providing you with a choice of options.

What is a direct cremation?

The term ‘direct cremation’ means a straight-forward cremation without a funeral service.

Typically, the deceased is cremated as soon as possible, and the ashes are returned to loved ones afterwards.

Sometimes, a simple family-led service can be held at the crematorium before the cremation.

If this isn’t possible then they can choose to organise a separate memorial service at another time.

Memorial services are usually more relaxed, held at a casual venue such as a local pub or town hall.

In 2020, direct cremation numbers grew by 10% from the previous year[1].

What’s covered in a cremation only funeral plan?

Each plan will cover different things depending on which provider it is and what you want to include.

However, a cremation only funeral plan for direct cremation should cover the following as standard:

  • Collection and care of the deceased
  • Transportation to the crematorium in a specialist vehicle
  • Help with filling in required paperwork for cremation
  • Basic coffin
  • Cremation fees

Some plans will also cover:

  • Doctor’s fees
  • Return of ashes
  • Bereavement support

Funeral plans for a simple cremation funeral also cover a family-led service at the crematorium.

Depending on the provider, you can choose the length of the service and how many people you wish to attend.

How much does it cost?

How much you’ll pay for a cremation only funeral plan will depend on the plan you choose and the provider.

This comparison table should help give you an idea of cost:

  Direct cremation plan Basic plan Simple plan
Simplicity Cremations £1,495 £1,795 £2,295
Co-op £1,490 N/A N/A
Avalon £1,895 £2,695 N/A
Age Co £1,495 £1,795 £2,295

The information in this table was taken from the separate providers' websites and is accurate as at 20/05/2021

How do you pay for a plan?

Cremation only funeral plans, like standard plans, have a choice of payment options.

You can choose to pay in one single payment or in monthly payments over a set period.

The maximum payment term will depend on the provider and your age, but it’s usually up to 10 years**.

Why pay for your direct cremation in advance?

List icon Avoid rising cremation costs and save money
Despite funeral costs rising at an unprecedented rate every year in the UK, your cremation services will be guaranteed at today’s price - protecting loved ones from higher prices in the future.

List icon Protect loved ones from financial worry
Your loved ones can focus on commemorating your life, rather than worry how they’re going to pay for the funeral.

List icon Makes sure your final wishes are known (and carried out)
Having a funeral plan in place leaves no room for doubt regarding your final wishes when the time comes - meaning less stress for your loved ones.

Cost of funerals infographic

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

What’s the difference between a cremation only funeral plan and a standard funeral plan?

The table below shows the differences between what’s typically covered in a standard funeral plan compared to what’s typically covered in a cremation only plan.

  Standard funeral plan Cremation only funeral plan
Choice between cremation or burial List icon Cross
Advice and guidance from a professional List icon List icon
Collection, transportation and care of the deceased List icon List icon
Family viewing at chapel of rest List icon Cross
Attended funeral service - time and date decided by family List icon Family-led service with select plans
Choice of coffin List icon Cross
Hearse or choice of alternative vehicle List icon Cross
Crematorium fees Cremation fees not always guaranteed List icon
Bereavement support for loved ones List icon List icon
Return of ashes Select plans Select plans

Reassured can help you arrange a standard funeral plan from as little as £3,020 in full or from £19.11 a month.

Get quick, personalised quotes today by using our fee-free broker service.

What’s not covered in a cremation only plan?

In general, a cremation only funeral plan won’t cover the cost of the following:

  • A service at the crematorium
  • Minister or celebrant fees
  • Hearse
  • Limousine
  • Embalming
  • Memorial or headstone
  • Flowers or tributes
  • Catering
  • Venue hire
  • Repatriation from outside mainland Great Britain
  • Removing artificial limbs

In addition, you won’t be able to choose the funeral director or the crematorium, as this is decided by the cremation provider.

If you’d like to arrange a funeral plan that includes an attended funeral service which is arranged and carried out by a funeral director, then get in touch with Reassured today.

How safe are cremation only funeral plans?

Funeral plan providers that are registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) are safe to purchase from.

This is because, as part of the FPA regulation, your money is kept secure in an independently managed life insurance policy or trust fund until it’s needed.

If you’re buying a plan from a well-known provider, such as Co-op Funeralcare, you can be sure that they’ll have the right accreditation.

Is direct cremation the right choice for you?

Direct cremation is the right option for some people, but not for everyone.

In some cases, it’s easier to choose direct cremation ahead of time because it may not be something your family considers when you pass away.

Despite the average funeral costing more than £4,184 in the UK, many families still overspend on extravagant services that the deceased may not have wanted.

Which is why if you have specific wishes, particularly to have a direct cremation, this should be planned out in advance.

It could give your family a little comfort when the time comes, even if that means not being able to attend a service before the cremation.

A cremation only funeral plan may be suitable for you if:

  1. You’re looking for a cheaper alternative to a standard funeral plan
  2. You want a simple and fuss-free send-off
  3. You want to protect loved ones from the expense of traditional funeral elements, such as a hearse, limousines, and flowers
  4. You want to protect loved ones from the additional stress of planning a funeral service
  5. Your loved ones would prefer to grieve in private, away from a funeral setting (which may be too upsetting for them)
  6. You think it would be difficult getting everyone together for the funeral, because they live in different parts of the country or world, or suffer from health issues
  7. You want family and friends to hold a celebration of life which could be more joyful than sad

Joint cremation only funeral plans

A joint funeral plan allows two people, perhaps a married couple, to be named on one funeral plan.

This may be an option if you’re on a budget but want to ensure that one of you is protected from arranging the other’s funeral.

However, as a joint funeral plan covers one funeral only, the surviving person would be left without any cover.

If you have other family members who’ll have to pay for the funeral, then you may consider taking out two individual plans to ensure that they aren’t hit with higher funeral prices in the future.

Funeral plan or life insurance?

Many people take out an over 50s plan for the purpose of covering their funeral costs.

An over 50s plan is a type of life insurance policy that has a maximum pay out of up to £25,000.

Like a prepaid funeral plan, acceptance is guaranteed to people aged over 50. However, the maximum age limit to take out a plan is 85.

With an over 50s plan you would pay a monthly premium until you pass away or until a specified age, and a pay out is guaranteed.

All these factors make an over 50s plan ideal for covering funeral costs, however, the older you are the more expensive your premiums may be.

For more information, we have written an in-depth review of life insurance vs funeral plans »

Get in touch with Reassured to compare free quotes for over 50 life insurance.

Compare simple funeral plans

Having a funeral plan in place will ultimately protect your loved ones from the significant, and perhaps unexpected, expense of your funeral.

A simple funeral plan through Reassured gives your loved ones the opportunity to have a traditional service, but without unnecessary additional extras.

You can freeze rising funeral costs today and secure your cheap funeral plan through us from just £3,020 or £19.11 a month.

Make the most of our highly rated, award-winning service today by getting in touch; there’s simply nothing to lose.


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

*£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

**Paying by monthly instalments over more than 12 months will incur instalment charges. The total amount payable will depend on the plan you choose and the funeral plan provider

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