Top funeral plan providers in the UK 2022

Based on the latest Fairer Finance expert ratings, each of the provider's listed below have plans for traditional or direct cremation funeral services which have been rated 4 or 5 stars, making them the best on the market[1].

In alphabetical order the top funeral plan providers and funeral cover providers are:

  1. Age Co Funeral Plans
  2. Avalon Funeral Plans
  3. Choice
  4. Co-op Funeralcare
  5. Dignity Funeral Services
  6. Golden Leaves
  7. Pure Cremation
  8. Simplicity Cremations
  9. SunLife

Please note, Reassured cannot compare quotes for all the funeral plan providers detailed in this article

Continue reading to learn more about the different funeral plan providers and which may be the best for you…

What is a funeral plan provider?

A funeral plan provider is any company that sells funeral plans which allow you to prepay for your funeral.

There are currently 28 Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) registered providers, which include a mix of local independent funeral directors, and larger companies with a network of funeral directors across the UK.

When purchasing a funeral plan, either the funeral plan provider or one of their appointed funeral directors will carry out your plan when the time comes.

Compare funeral cover through Reassured

Funeral cover arranged through Reassured is available from SunLife.

We can provide you with free personalised quotes for the SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan today and help you set up the funeral cover option of your choice.

FPA Providers SunLife Logo

The SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan is a type of insurance policy which guarantees to pay out for your chosen funeral services after two years.

There are two different levels of cover to choose from and both options can cover a cremation or burial funeral.

Key features of funeral cover arranged through Reassured:

  • No medical questions
  • Guarantees acceptance if you’re a UK resident aged 50 - 80
  • Guarantees to cover the cost of your chosen funeral services after two years
  • 100% pay out protection
  • Cover comes with FSCS protection, and the insurance policy is regulated by the FCA
  • Premiums beginning from £19.18 a month ^

Who is the best funeral plan provider?

While some funeral plan providers will be better than others, the best funeral plan provider for you will depend on various factors, such as:

  • The services you want included in your plan
  • The additional features and benefits offered with the plan
  • How much you want to spend

There’s a range of funeral plans available on the market which offer different levels of service at different price points.

When searching for the right provider, there are some key elements to consider:

  • How do they safeguard your money until it’s needed for your funeral?
  • Will their plans cover essential third-party fees, such as cremation fees?
  • If you move home, can their plans be transferred to your new local funeral director, free of charge?
  • Does the provider guarantee to cover the cost of your funeral after a set period (if you pay by monthly payments)?

Continue reading as we compare the features and benefits of funeral cover offered by the top funeral plan providers and funeral cover providers.

Compare funeral plan providers

Comparing the best funeral cover available will help you to find the best funeral plan provider or funeral cover provider for you.

Co-opDignitySunLifeGolden CharterGolden Leaves
What are the payment options?Pay in full, or in monthly instalments (ending before 80th birthday)Pay in full, or monthly instalments (ending before 85th birthday)Pay in monthly insurance premiums (ending before 90th birthday)Pay in full, or in monthly instalments (ending before 80th birthday)Pay in full, or in monthly instalments (ending before 90th birthday)
FPA or FSCS protected?FPAFPAFSCS
(the funeral that the policy pays for is FPA regulated)
FPAFPA
Applied for FCA authorisation?YesYesNot required (FCA regulated insurance policy provides the funeral cover)YesYes
Are crematorium fees covered in full or is there a contribution towards these?Covered in full or there's a contribution towards these, depending on the planCovered in fullCovered in fullContribution onlyCovered in full or there's a contribution towards these, depending on the plan
Are burial fees be covered in full or is there a contribution towards these?Covered in full or there's a contribution towards these, depending on the plan£1,220 contribution£1,010 contribution£1,100 contribution£931 contribution*
Does the plan cover minister or celebrant fees?Yes - Covered in full or the contribution may help to cover these, depending on the planYes - For a cremation funeral. For a burial, the contribution may help to cover theseYes - For a cremation funeral. For a burial, the contribution may help to cover theseNo - But the contribution may help to cover theseCovered in full or the contribution may help to cover these, depending on the plan
Will the plans guarantee to cover the cost of your chosen funeral services after a set period?Yes - If you pay by instalments and pass away after the first 12 months of the planYes - If you pay by instalments and pass away after the first 12 months of the planYes - If you pass away after the first 24 months of the planNo - Your family or estate would have to cover the remaining balanceNo - Your family or estate would have to cover the remaining balance
Do you have a choice of funeral director?Yes - Use any local Co-op funeral directorYes - Use any local Dignity funeral directorNo - The provider will nominate a local associated funeral directorYes - But it's not guaranteed that you'll be allocated the funeral director of your choiceNo - Golden Leaves will nominate a local independent funeral director
Who can take out a plan?UK residents aged 18 or overUK residents aged 50 - 85UK residents aged 50 - 80UK residents no age limitsUK residents - age limit may apply depending on the payment option you choose
What is their Fairer Finance star rating?5 stars
(Gold and Silver plans)
4 stars
(Amber, Diamond and Pearl plans)
4 stars
(Traditional Plus)
3 stars
(Premier and Select plans)
3 stars
(Platinum plan)

The information in this table has been taken directly from the plan provider’s websites and is correct as of 01/02/2022
*Contribution amount will be in line with the national average cost of cremation fees
Please note, Reassured cannot compare quotes for all of the funeral plan providers listed in the table above

What’s included in a funeral plan?

What’s included in a funeral plan depends on the type of funeral it covers and the funeral plan provider.

Most standard funeral plans will cover the following services:

  • Funeral director services (guidance and advice on the arrangements)
  • Collection and care of the deceased
  • Coffin
  • Hearse or alternative vehicle
  • Personnel for the funeral
  • A service at the crematorium or place of worship
  • Family support and free bereavement service

As mentioned, the funeral cover arranged through Reassured is provided by SunLife.

There are two different levels of cover to choose from:

What's included in traditional funeral plan

Most popular cover option

Traditional

  • A cremation (or contribution for a burial)
  • Return of ashes to loved ones
  • A smart coffin
  • A funeral service
  • A hearse
What's included in comprehensive funeral plan

More comprehensive cover option

Traditional Plus

  • A cremation (or contribution for a burial)
  • Return of ashes to loved ones
  • A high quality coffin
  • A funeral service
  • A hearse
  • Two limousines
  • Transportation to a separate service (for example, a church service)±

±separate service costs not covered in the plan

Both funeral cover options also include the following:

  • Collection, preparation and care of the deceased
  • Help with death registration and organising the paperwork for a cremation
  • Special requests certificate to record additional final wishes (cost of special request services not covered in a plan)
  • Minister or celebrant fees
  • 24/7 professional guidance and bereavement counselling
  • The funeral services are carried out by a trusted local funeral director when the time comes

Get in touch with Reassured for more detail regarding the funeral cover options we have available.

Who are the safest funeral plan providers?

Currently, the safest funeral plan providers are those that have applied for authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

From the 29th of July 2022, the FCA will start to regulate the funeral plan market to ensure better protection of funeral plan customers.

For this reason, it’s important to check when buying a plan that the plan provider is on the FCA application list with their application submitted.

If they haven’t applied for authorisation, their application has been withdrawn or they don’t intend on applying, then it’s recommended not to purchase a plan from them.

The SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan arranged through us is an insurance policy which is regulated by the FCA.

The policy pay out also comes with protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Therefore, you can have peace of mind that your investment is safe when taking out funeral cover through Reassured.

Which is the cheapest funeral plan provider?

Funeral plan providers and funeral cover providers tend to offer a choice of three or four different funeral plans at different prices.

This means it can be difficult to determine which is the cheapest out of all the options available.

Some funeral plan providers offer cremation only plans too, which is for a direct cremation without funeral service.

This is the cheapest type of funeral plan, but it does mean your loved ones would have to arrange and pay for a separate service when the time comes.

Sometimes, the cheapest funeral plan provider won’t offer the best value-for-money funeral plans.

For example, Golden Leaves offer one of the cheapest plans with a full funeral, which starts from £2,533.

However, this price can be deceptive as the final amount is variable depending on where you live in the UK.

This price is also for a cremation funeral type only and doesn’t cover the cost of any essential third-party fees.

Your family would have to cover this cost until funds from your estate can be released following probate.

The cost of a funeral in the UK

It’s difficult for many families to manage unexpected funeral costs, especially while they’re grieving.

With the average cost of a funeral being £4,056 in the UK, more and more people are looking to take out funeral cover to reduce the financial burden for loved ones[2].

Making financial provisions can give you peace of mind knowing that they won’t have to pay the full cost of your funeral when the time comes.

Read our article analysing the breakdown of funeral costs in the UK »

Our infographic below shows the cost of a funeral in different regions of the UK.

Cost of funerals infographic

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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Protect loved ones from unexpected funeral costs. Arrange funeral cover today.

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

Funeral plan providers that guarantee your funeral services

Some funeral plan providers will guarantee to pay out for your funeral after a set period (usually the first 12 or 24 months).

This means that if you pass away at any point after this set period, your chosen funeral services will be carried out as agreed in your plan. Even if the total value of the plan hasn’t been covered by your payments.

Giving you peace of mind that, if the unexpected happens, your family wouldn’t have to cover the remaining cost.

Providers that offer this benefit include:

  • Co-op
  • Avalon
  • Dignity
  • SunLife

The SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan arranged through Reassured will guarantee to pay out for your chosen funeral services after two years.

Types of funeral plan providers

On the surface it may seem that all funeral plan providers work in the same way, however, this isn’t necessarily the case.

The different types include:

  • Independent funeral directors offering funeral plans to local citizens
  • Funeral plan providers that own a network of funeral homes and/or crematoria across the UK, such as Co-op
  • Funeral plan providers that sub-contract independent funeral directors nationwide to carry out their plans, such as Golden Leaves
  • Funeral plan providers that are owned by their funeral directors, such as Golden Charter
  • Those that provide a life insurance policy of which the pay out goes directly to a funeral director to undertake your agreed funeral services
  • Then there are funeral plan providers that have their own funeral homes and/or crematoria but also a network of independent funeral directors nationwide

The difference is that if you use a funeral plan provider that operates with independent funeral directors, the cost of their funeral plans may vary depending on where you live.

The plan provider is also more likely to nominate a funeral director on your behalf.

Therefore, if you have a preferred funeral director, it’s sensible to ensure that they will accept the plan you want to purchase.

The SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan arranged through Reassured is accepted by more than 800 funeral directors in the UK.

Arrange your funeral cover through Reassured and ensure that your loved ones are well taken care of when the time comes.

What happens if your funeral plan company goes bust?

This will depend on when you take out your funeral plan.

Most funeral plans are currently regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).

If your funeral plan provider is FPA approved, and they were to go bust, then the rules set out by the FPA will help to ensure that the funeral you’ve paid for is still carried out.

This should stay the same until the 29th of July 2022, after which the FCA regulation kicks in.

If your funeral plan provider were to go bust after this date, then the FCA has the power to ensure that:

  1. Your plan is transferred to a new plan provider who can carry out your funeral when the time comes or;
  2. You’ll receive compensation from the plan provider if a transfer is not possible

As mentioned, funeral cover arranged through Reassured comes in the form of an FCA-regulated insurance policy and the pay out comes with FSCS protection, giving you peace of mind that your money is safe.

Funeral plan providers for over 50

Some providers offer funeral plans for over 50s only.

This includes Age Co and SunLife, which makes sense as they both provide financial products and services to people in later life.

Funeral plans are ideal for those over 50 who would like to leave behind a legacy to loved ones but have struggled to secure affordable life insurance due to personal factors.

Or you may wish to take out a funeral plan separate to your life insurance policy so that you can protect your family from the cost of your funeral, as well as using the life insurance pay out to provide an inheritance or help pay off your debts.

Many people take out an over 50s plan to cover the total cost of dying.

An over 50s plan guarantees a cash lump sum pay out when you pass away, which can be used to cover your funeral costs. Like a funeral plan, no medical questions are asked.

Premiums are calculated based on your age and the terms of the policy.

Reassured can also help compare quotes for over 50s plans that guarantee acceptance to UK residents aged 50 - 85.

Get in touch so we can help you assess all the options available.

Secure free funeral cover quotes through Reassured

At Reassured, we can provide free, personalised quotes for funeral cover provided by SunLife.

We can also help answer any questions you may have and fill in the application form on your behalf, saving you time and hassle.

You’re guaranteed to be accepted on a SunLife Guaranteed Funeral Plan if you’re a UK resident aged 50 - 80.

Premiums begin from £19.18 a month and SunLife promises to cover the cost of your funeral after two years of payments.

So, get in touch with our dedicated funeral cover team today for your no obligation quotes.

We’re an award-winning broker with over 10 years experience helping people arrange the financial protection of their loved ones.

Sources:

[1] https://www.fairerfinance.com/ratings/product-ratings/prepaid-funeral-plans

[2] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/cost-of-dying-report.pdf/

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