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Please note, as of 1st February 2022, Reassured no longer sell conventional funeral plans.

However, we can instead offer funeral cover via the SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan, which is an insurance policy that guarantees to pay for the funeral services included in their plans after two years of continued payments.

SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan key features:

  • Prices beginning from £19.18 month^
  • Guaranteed acceptance ages 50 - 80
  • Pay out guaranteed after two years
  • 100% pay out protection with FSCS

^For a 50 year old buying a traditional plan with premium increases of £0.95 per year rising to £38.18 per month. Premiums will vary depending on your age and the plan you choose. Pricing correct as of 1st February 2022

Direct disposal funeral UK

Some funeral providers will offer ‘direct disposal’ as a simple and cost-effective alternative to a traditional funeral.

With a direct disposal funeral, only the basic services are provided for a cremation or burial, keeping the cost down.

A growing number of people consider a direct disposal funeral for one or more reasons which may include:

  • Affordability
    Prices start from just £1,000 which is 75% less than the average cost of a cremation funeral
  • Flexibility and convenience
    There’s no pressure to arrange a funeral service within a specific time frame. Loved ones have the freedom to choose when, where and how the memorial service should take place, if having one at all
  • Simplicity
    The ceremonial aspects of a traditional send-off may be considered as unnecessary or extravagant

Whether you’re considering a direct disposal funeral (or a ‘no fuss funeral’) for yourself or for a loved one, continue reading to learn more...

What is a direct disposal funeral?

'Direct disposal' isn’t the nicest of terms, but this is sometimes used to describe a direct cremation or direct burial.

It means that a cremation or burial takes place without a funeral service beforehand and without any mourners present.

On the day of the ‘final disposition’ the deceased is transported to the crematorium or cemetery and they’re laid to rest without a formal send-off.

There’s no procession, no hearse, no pallbearers and no flowers.

The date and time of the direct disposal is decided by the crematorium or cemetery.

Loved ones may hold a memorial service at a separate time and place of their own choosing, which may include scattering the ashes or a visit to the burial site.

Did you know?

Funeral costs have risen by a staggering 128% since 2004 and predicted to rise a further 20% by 2025[1].

As a result, many people choose to either prepay their own funeral with a funeral plan (and lock in today’s funeral price) or choose a no-fuss funeral such as a direct burial or direct cremation to keep costs down for loved ones.

How much is a direct disposal funeral?

As mentioned, a direct disposal funeral is much less expensive than a traditional funeral.

After comparing prices between a number of providers, we found that a direct disposal costs from approximately £1,000 to £2,000 - with direct cremation at the lower end of the scale and direct burial at the higher end.

Funeral directors tend to charge a fixed price for a set of basic services for direct disposal. They’ll also assist with all the arrangements and take care of the necessary paperwork.

Basic services for a direct cremation may include:

  • Transportation and care of the deceased
  • A simple coffin
  • Funeral personnel
  • Container for ashes
  • Cremation fees

Basic services for a direct burial may include:

  • Transportation and care of the deceased
  • A simple coffin or burial container
  • Pallbearers/funeral personnel
  • Burial fees

A direct burial is more expensive than a direct cremation as burial fees are higher and there are some costly additions, which include:

  • A burial plot (cost depends on where the burial takes place)
  • A memorial/headstone (on average £1,016, but this is optional)

You may wish to compare different funeral directors and the services they offer to find one that offers the best value for money.

How much does a funeral cost in your area?

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

Why have a direct disposal funeral?

You may feel that a direct disposal funeral is suitable for you because:

  • You and/or your family would find it difficult to get the funds together for a traditional funeral
  • You don’t want any mourners at your funeral; you’d rather that close friends and family could pay their respects in private away from a funeral setting. Celebrities including David Bowie and Anita Brookner chose a direct cremation funeral for this very reason.
  • Your family live all over the UK, or in other parts of the world, therefore they may struggle to attend the funeral (particularly during the coronavirus pandemic) and/or you may have loved ones that are unable to attend due to health reasons or because they are vulnerable to the virus. Therefore, it may make sense not to have a funeral service but instead to arrange a separate memorial service or a get-together at another time and place if or when it’s convenient
  • You’re not bound by religious beliefs or family tradition; you can choose what’s best for you and the family, and how the person who has passed wanted to be remembered
  • Your loved ones may find the process of arranging a traditional funeral too stressful and overwhelming
  • It fits well with having a natural, woodland funeral, eco-friendly funeral - there would be no need for embalming of the body or an expensive coffin or headstone

Since 2016, when David Bowie had a direct disposal funeral, this type of funeral has become more widely known.

According to reports released by leading funeral providers, the Co-op and SunLife, we may see more and more direct cremations and direct burial funerals taking place in the future.

Especially as these days people are more likely to discuss their funeral wishes with loved ones and are becoming more aware of the financial impact of their passing.

Changing funeral trends

In 2019, the Co-op reported that their funeral directors are arranging a growing number of funerals that take place outside of traditional religious settings[2].

Their research includes a survey of 4,000 British adults, of which over a third of people said they’d prefer for their loved ones to have a get-together to celebrate their life, instead of having a full funeral service.

Their research also reveals that people are requesting the funeral to be more unique and personal to the person who has passed away.

With a direct disposal, loved ones have the opportunity to hold a personalised ceremony arranged by themselves, away from a funeral setting - and they don’t have to follow a traditional order of service.

However, this format won’t suit everyone and, for many, having a traditional funeral with a formal service is an important part of the bereavement process.

No-fuss funerals

Some providers refer to direct disposal funerals as ‘no fuss funerals’ - probably because this sounds far more appealing.

A no-fuss funeral is exactly what it is – a funeral without the fuss and expense of a traditional funeral.

As funeral costs continue to rise in the UK and with the coronavirus still looming, no fuss funerals may grow in popularity.

Direct burial UK

A direct burial is far less expensive than having a traditional burial as there's no funeral service beforehand.

The deceased is taken directly into the care of the funeral home who’ll arrange the time and date of the burial with the cemetery.

Loved ones won’t be able to visit the deceased in the funeral home beforehand or attend the burial on the day.

However, usually, they can choose the cemetery where the burial will take place and can visit the burial ground at another time.

As mentioned, a direct burial is more expensive than a direct cremation because a burial plot must be purchased and loved ones may wish to mark the grave with a headstone.

Direct disposal cremation

A direct cremation is the cheapest way to be laid to rest in the UK and is more affordable than a direct burial.

The deceased is taken directly into the care of the funeral home who’ll arrange the time and date of the cremation with the crematorium.

Like with a direct burial, loved ones usually don’t visit the deceased in the funeral home beforehand or attend the committal at the crematorium.

It’s also unlikely that loved ones can choose the crematorium where it takes place.

Following the cremation, you can either collect the ashes or pay to have them delivered (some funeral directors will offer free delivery of ashes).

Generally, ashes would be held in a simple container or tube, but once they are in the family’s possession then they may wish to transfer these to an urn.

A direct cremation gives loved ones the opportunity to hold a ceremony with the ashes at a different time and place.

They can either scatter the ashes at the crematorium or at a location that was special to the person who has passed.

A direct cremation may become more costly if family decide to bury the ashes (as they would need to purchase a burial plot), or if they wish to memorialise these in some way.

Direct disposal funeral or traditional funeral?

The decision whether to have a direct disposal or traditional funeral comes down to your personal circumstances and your budget.

In the UK, the average cost of a basic traditional funeral is £4,184.

And with many people without adequate financial provisions in place for their funeral, some (or all) of this expense may become the responsibility of loved ones.

A direct disposal funeral is more affordable and prevents loved ones from overspending on optional extras such as flowers and limousines.

On the other hand, you may also consider how loved ones may feel not being able to attend the funeral, would it cause any upset or conflict between family members?

At the end of the day, it’s sensible to discuss your thoughts with close family and friends before coming to a final decision.

The table below helps compare some of the common products and services included in a traditional funeral, to the products and services that may be included for a direct cremation and direct burial.

Products or services included Traditional funeral Direct cremation Direct burial
Collection, transportation and care the deceased List icon List icon List icon
Funeral director services List icon Cross Cross
Professional guidance List icon List icon List icon
Choice of coffin List icon Cross - Simple only Cross - Simple only
Pallbearers List icon Cross List icon
Hearse or choice of alternative vehicle List icon Cross List icon - Hearse
Limousine List icon - Optional Cross Cross
Funeral procession List icon Cross Cross
Visitation to chapel of rest List icon Cross Cross
Choice of time and date List icon Cross Cross
Funeral service at church, cemetery or crematorium chapel List icon Cross Cross
Minister or celebrant to hold the ceremony List icon Cross Cross

Funeral plans with Reassured

If you’re looking to plan and pay for your own funeral in advance, then you can purchase a prepaid funeral plan through Reassured.

We provide a choice of plans from just £3,020 or £19.11* a month.

Plans are approved by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) and all the services included in each plan are guaranteed at today’s prices.

Get in touch with our award-winning team for your no-obligation, FREE funeral plan quotes today.


*£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

[1] SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report,


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