Co-op takes steps to help tackle funeral affordability

February 08, 2016
  • Improves Simple Funeral and reduces average costs by approximately 7% or £140
  • Reduces costs for members even further, saving an average of £380
  • Increases transparency with new national price of £1995 on most affordable funeral product
  • Supports industry calls for a review of Social Fund payments to better meet needs of the bereaved

Co-op Funeralcare has re-launched its Simple Funeral to offer an improved funeral option at a reduced national price of £1995, exclusive of third party costs*.

The move which reduces approximately 7% or £140 on average off the cost of a Simple Funeral, is the first in a series of measures from the nation’s leading funeral provider aimed at helping to tackle funeral affordability.

Enhancements to the Simple Funeral have been based on in-depth customer and colleague research in order to best meet client needs and provide the bereaved with a higher standard of funeral at a lower cost. In response to client feedback, the new proposition has been created to combine essential funeral services at a set national price** with a high quality service and industry leading standards of care.

Improvements to the product include:

  • A reduced set national price of £1995 - plus indicative third party costs of approximately £1000
  • Extended hours to bring the deceased into our care at any time of day or night 
  • Increased radius of travel to bring the deceased into our care
  • Increased availability for visiting the deceased
  • An enhanced quality coffin

The fixed fee now covers all of the following:

  • Collecting the deceased from their place of death at any time of day or night (within a 15 mile radius)
  • Care of the deceased prior to the funeral
  • A wood effect coffin
  • Viewing of the deceased in normal working hours
  • Funeral arrangement services from the UK’s leading funeral provider
  • A dignified funeral service, with all necessary staff for the funeral (including pall bearers and funeral director support)
  • Provision of a hearse direct to nearest crematorium or cemetery

With the industry charge for a basic funeral now quoted at approximately £3,700***, in addition to enhanced features, Co-op has cut £140 off the average cost of its Simple Funeral. Once third party costs are accounted for, it is estimated this will save clients approximately £700 in comparison to the average basic funeral.

Richard Lancaster, Managing Director for Co-op Funeralcare said:

“Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult and decisions about funeral arrangements can be especially hard in a time of grief particularly when there are concerns about keeping within a tight budget. Our new Simple Funeral has been designed to better meet these needs, making it more affordable without in any way compromising on the quality of service or our industry leading standards of care.”

William Millar, President of the National Association of Funeral Directors, said:

“The NAFD remains concerned that there are a growing number of people who find themselves unable to meet the costs of even a very simple funeral. The NAFD and its members, including Co-operative Funeralcare, are committed to ensuring funeral directors not only offer a range of affordable options and clear pricing, but also the support that families need, at a difficult time, to say farewell to a loved one. The Association warmly welcome any moves by members to provide increased choice for bereaved families and is also continuing to campaign for improved Government support for those most in need.”

To help further support existing Co-op members who have suffered a bereavement, the nation’s leading funeral provider is currently offering  an additional £250 off all funerals ****, making a total saving of £380 in comparison to the previous Simple Funeral.

Notes to editors

*excluding third party costs such as doctor, clergy and cremation fees. Prices vary regionally with average costs standing at approximately £1000

**based on Co-op Funeralcare data £1024 is the average cost of third party costs nationally. Prices are determined locally and so may vary by region. Third party costs account for costs outside of the funeral director’s control including cremation and cemetery fees, church fees and doctor’s fees

***AXA Sun Life Cost of Dying report 2015 found the average basic funeral now costs £3,693. This figure includes the fees for the funeral director, the cremation or burial itself, the doctor, and the minister or celebrant.

**** To receive £250 off a Co-op funeral plan visit one of our funeral homes or go online:  https://www.funeralaccount.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/fnc/purchaseplantype?parentbranchId=455115#_ga=1.181333668.2062570036.1453368548 quoting your Co-op membership number and the code MEM62. Terms and conditions apply, visit www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk/member250 for details and the full T’s and C’s below. 

About Co-op Funeralcare

With over 900 Funeral Homes across the UK, The Co-operative Funeralcare is the UK’s number one funeral services provider and supports over 90,000 families a year with funeral arrangements. 

The business also supports clients who want to pre plan and pre pay for their funeral by offering a range of funeral plans.