Frequently asked questions

You can ask our funeral planning team any questions you may have, so please call us, we’re here to help and support.

Alternatively, please look at our frequently asked questions for more information on our pre-paid funeral plans.

Frequently asked questions

You can ask our funeral planning team any questions you may have, so please call us, we’re here to help and support.

Alternatively, please look at our frequently asked questions for more information on our pre-paid funeral plans.

If you’re looking to buy a pre-paid plan, follow these links below

All our plans include funeral director fees and services as well as third party charges.

Our 4 fixed plans (Simple, Bronze, Silver, Gold) have a combination of services, so you can choose which is right for you.

Alternatively, you can choose a tailor-made plan. This is where you decide exactly what you’d like to be included.

Whichever plan you buy, we’ll send you a plan summary in the post within 10 working days that confirms everything that’s included.

Put simply, if it’s not listed in your plan summary, it’s not included in the plan.

Our terms and conditions give a full breakdown of what’s not included in our fixed plans, but we’ve listed the main items below.

For cremation: If you’re thinking about holding a ceremony, service or memorial at a location other than the crematorium, that will be an additional expense outside of your plan. There may also be extra costs for the interment or disposal of ashes.

For burial: Our plans don’t include the purchase of a grave or the cost of a memorial at the burial site; for example, a headstone, plaque, tree or bench.

At the time of the funeral, the person making the arrangements may request additional cars, flowers, orders of service, an organist, choir or live music and newspaper notices. Any supplementary services will need to be paid for in full when making the arrangements.

If you’d like a plan that includes some of these items, please see our tailor-made plans.

Your funeral—or that of the person you’re buying the plan for—will be carried out by one of our Co-op funeral directors.

You can tell us which of our funeral homes you want to use when you buy the plan, or you can tell us later. We’ll keep a record of this and let the person arranging the funeral know which one you selected. If you change your mind or move to a different area, just let us know and we’ll update your plan details.

We have Co-op funeral homes across England, Scotland and Wales, allowing you to change your chosen home at no extra cost if you have a fixed plan. All you need to do is contact us and we’ll update your plan.

However, if you have a tailor-made plan and move areas, there may be extra third-party costs. This is because different cemeteries and crematoria have varying charges. If the new cemetery or crematorium is cheaper in your new area, you’ll receive a refund of the difference.

We only cover funerals carried out in mainland Great Britain. If you die abroad, we can help your family arrange to bring you back home as part of our repatriation service. There’s an extra cost for this. We’ll help and support your family with all the necessary paperwork and carry out your funeral in line with your wishes.

Included in our funeral plans is the collection and transfer of the person who’s died to a resting place within a 50-mile radius. If there’s a need to be transported further than 50 miles we can arrange this, but there’ll be an additional charge.

All of our plans can be personalised to include special wishes and requests. When you buy a fixed plan, you’ll receive a ‘funeral service request’ form in the post along with the summary of your plan. You just need to write your wishes on the form and send it back to us, and we’ll keep it safe until the time of the funeral.

If you buy a tailor-made plan, your personal requests can be recorded with the help of our colleagues at the funeral home. They can either record your wishes at the time of taking out the plan or add them later when you’ve had time to think it over.

If you change your mind, contact our funeral planning team and we’ll amend your personal requests. There are no limits to the number of times personal requests can be updated, these are amended at no extra charge.

Our plans are available to anyone over the age of 18, and we don’t ask any medical or health related questions. If you’re paying monthly over 2-25 years, all payments must be completed by your 80th birthday.

Someone else can pay for your plan but you’re still responsible for making sure payments are made. You’ll own and control your plan and will receive the documents relating to it. If the person paying for your plan is paying monthly over 2-25 years, that person must be 18 years of age or over. All payments must be completed by their 80th birthday.

You can buy a pre-paid funeral plan online, or give our funeral planning team a call on 0800 088 4883.

You can choose to pay either in full, in monthly payments over 6 or 12 months, or monthly payments over 2-25 years.

If you’re paying over 6-12 months, there are no additional charges. However, when paying over 2-25 years, there are additional charges. Use our online calculator to find out how much a fixed funeral plan will cost and what the charges will be.

That depends on which payment option you choose.

If paying monthly over 6 or 12 months, your representative will need to pay the rest of the balance so that our funeral director can deliver your plan.

If paying monthly over 2-25 years and you die after 12 months, as long as your payments are up to date, we won’t collect the rest of the balance on your plan. Our funeral director can deliver the services in your plan. This is our Co-op Commitment.

In either of these cases, the person arranging the funeral may choose to cancel your plan and we’d refund the payments made but charge £250 for cancelling (£100 if a masonry plan).

When choosing a Co-op funeral plan you can be confident that you and your money is in safe and experienced hands. Any payments made are protected to make sure your funeral goes ahead as you intended when the time comes.

Unlike some other providers, we guarantee all the services included in your funeral plan will be delivered at no extra cost. We can do this because we’re not just the funeral plan provider, but also the ones who will be carrying out the funeral.

We put all of the money from each plan into an individual whole of life insurance policy with Royal London. They are part of The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited.

We receive an allowance to meet our initial costs of selling and arranging the funeral plan. The money is released to us when you die so that the funeral can be carried out. Money can also be released in other circumstances, for instance if you cancel your plan, so we can refund this to you in accordance with our terms and conditions.

Working with Royal London, we regularly monitor the whole of life insurance policies to make sure enough funds are available for us to provide the services set out in your plan. We report on this annually in our accounts.

For extra protection, the funds and proceeds are held by an independent trustee, Apex Corporate Trustees (UK) Limited. These are held on trust for when they’re needed. We also report the results of an annual valuation for funeral plans in the year-end Co-op accounts. This is carried out by independent professional actuaries.

We’re confident this won’t happen. In the unlikely event that we go out of business and aren’t able to provide your funeral, the money held in the plan will be protected by the trust. The money will be released to the independent trustee when you die, who will then return the payments made to your estate after paying their own costs. The amount paid to the estate would depend upon the value of the funds invested in the individual whole of life insurance policy at the time of death. The independent trustee’s costs will be paid from these funds. The estate can then use the remaining money to pay for a funeral with another funeral provider. Depending on the cost of the funeral, the estate may receive more money than is needed to pay for the funeral, or there may not be enough.

We’ve been registered with the Funeral Planning Authority since it was formed in 2002. We call this the FPA and it’s the industry body that monitors the operation of registered funeral plan companies. This includes the formal monitoring of the marketing, financial and service provisions of the plan.

The FPA is there to add objective scrutiny to providers who choose to register. This scrutiny is intended to add a degree of consumer protection by ensuring providers conform to the FPA Rules and a Code of Practice and is carried out by the FPA’s independent compliance committee.

There’s an annual re-registration process to check providers are still meeting the high standards set. This includes the provider submitting detailed information, including financial data, to the FPA on the key aspects of how they run their plans. Since the formation of the FPA in 2002 no FPA registered firm has failed.

The detail of regulation of funeral plans is contained in articles 59 & 60 of The Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001. Funeral plans can be exempt from direct regulation through adherence to some basic protections, the key being separating the assets needed to carry out the funeral from the provider. However, Royal London (who hold the funds) are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Yes, you can buy a masonry plan. You can arrange and pay in advance for new headstones and cremation memorials as well as inscriptions on existing masonry. You don’t need to have a funeral plan with us to buy a plan for a headstone, but if you do, you’ll need to pay for both plans separately.

Your representative making the arrangements may wish to include additional items in your funeral that were not part of your original plan. These could include flowers, extra limousines, newspaper notices etc. Your funeral director can help to arrange all or any of these and they’ll need to be paid for in full before the funeral.

If you’re struggling to pay for your plan, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss options.

If you’re paying monthly over 6 or 12 months and you miss 3 payments in a row, we may cancel your plan and return any money paid minus a cancellation fee of £250 (£100 for masonry).

If you’re paying monthly over 2-25 years and you either miss 3 payments in a row, or 3 monthly payments in a 5-year period then you won’t be able to benefit from the Co-op Commitment. We may cancel your plan and give you back the money you’ve paid, minus a cancellation fee of £250 (£100 for masonry).

When you take out a plan with us, within 10 working days you’ll receive a document folder containing:

  • A covering letter

  • Two copies of your plan summary and care cards. Please remember to hand one set over to the person most likely to arrange your funeral.

  • Information for the person arranging your funeral on what to do when the time comes.

If you’re the person paying for the plan and have chosen to pay by monthly Direct Debit, the covering letter will confirm the set term you are paying over, the amount of the payment and the date of your first Direct Debit payment. And if you’re paying monthly over 2-25 years, it will tell you the total amount you’ll pay over the term.

There’s no administration charge for making changes, such as upgrading a fixed plan or adding extras to a tailor-made plan. We outline all the potential change scenarios and how this may affect your plan in our terms and conditions. Please contact us if you wish to make any changes and we’ll be happy to help.

However you choose to pay, you can cancel your plan within 30 days of the start date and receive a full refund.

If you cancel your plan after 30 days of the start date, there’ll be a cancellation charge of £250 on funeral plans or £100 on masonry plans.

For further information on your right to cancel see our terms and conditions.

Co-op Members benefit from exclusive member prices when purchasing a funeral plan with us. Plus, we’ll give £2 for every hundred pounds spent to community organisations and local causes.

For details of our exclusive member prices, see our full Membership terms and conditions, or call our Membership Team on 0800 023 4708.

Don’t worry. We keep records of all those who have Co-op funeral plans on our system. All your family or representative needs to do is give us a call or go into one of our funeral homes and we will be able to find your plan using your name, date of birth and address.

Unfortunately, we can’t discuss the plan holder’s account or funeral plan information with the payer, or anyone else. The agreement is between Co-op Funeralcare and the person who the plan is for and therefore changes to the plan must come from the plan holder only.

There are some circumstances when the plan payer can change details of the plan, for instance if they have Power of Attorney and have been authorised to make decisions for the plan holder. Please see our terms and conditions for further details.

A membership that makes a difference

Co-op Members benefit from exclusive member prices when buying a funeral plan with us. Plus, we’ll give £2 for every hundred pounds spent to community causes.

Find out more
Our Nation in Mourning report looks at the effect the national lockdown has had on funerals and how it affected our ability to grieve our loved ones. The report found that 81% of respondents hadn’t saved anything towards their funeral, meaning 4 out of 5 people don't have a financial plan for their future funeral costs.
Is the UK heading towards a grief pandemic?
Our Nation in Mourning report looks at the effect the national lockdown has had on funerals and how it affected our ability to grieve our loved ones. The report found that 81% of respondents hadn’t saved anything towards their funeral, meaning 4 out of 5 people don't have a financial plan for their future funeral costs.
Read the full report Read the full report