Frequently asked questions

We’ve answered the questions we’re most frequently asked about our pre-paid funeral plans below.

If you have any questions about our plans that aren't answered below, speak to your local funeral director, or ask our funeral planning team and they'll be able to help you.

Frequently asked questions

We’ve answered the questions we’re most frequently asked about our pre-paid funeral plans below.

If you have any questions about our plans that aren't answered below, speak to your local funeral director, or ask our funeral planning team and they'll be able to help you.

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

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

All fixed plans may have extra costs at the time of your funeral. These may include:

• where a ceremony or service is held at a different location to the cremation

• for the burial or disposal of ashes

• the cost of buying a grave as prices and availability vary across the UK

• when you’re not a resident of the local area as the local cemetery or crematorium may charge for this

• embalming

There are certain items that can’t be booked as part of a tailor-made plan. A Co-op funeral director can explain these. On memorial headstone plans, the cemetery or graveyard may have rules on what kind of memorials are allowed. We can only provide your chosen memorial in line with rules that apply at the time the memorial is ordered. This will be after your funeral.

Our terms and conditions give a full breakdown of what’s not included in our fixed plans.

Your funeral will be carried out by one of our funeral directors or one of the associated directors that we have a relationship with such as other regional co-operatives. You may choose your funeral home when you buy your plan or tell us later. We’ll record this, so we know when the time comes.

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 the UK. If you die elsewhere then we can help your family with arrangements to bring you back so that we can carry out your funeral in line with your wishes. There’s an extra cost for this.

Included in our funeral plans is the collection and transfer of the deceased to a resting place within a 50-mile radius. If you need to be transported further than 50 miles, extra charges will apply.

Simply tell us your wishes and we’ll keep them safe until the time comes.

A funeral requests service is available if you wish to complete and record your wishes with us. If you buy a fixed plan this will be sent in the post to you with your plan confirmation and you simply complete it and send back to us.

If you buy a tailor-made plan these can be recorded with the help of our colleagues who can discuss this at point of arrangement or can be added later once you have had some time to think it over. We assure you that we will do our utmost to honour them.

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.

It depends on which instalment option you are paying by. If paying in instalments of 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 in instalments 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 your plan. This is the Co-op Commitment.

Co-op Funeralcare has been providing funerals to celebrate the lives of the nation’s loved ones for over 100 years. By choosing a Co-op Funeralcare plan you can be confident that you’re in safe hands, your money is protected, and your funeral will be provided when the time comes.

If you choose one of our guaranteed plans, we guarantee all the services in your funeral plan will be delivered at no extra cost. We provide those services ourselves and with funeral homes we have a relationship with, such as other regional co-operatives.

We put all of the money from each plan into an individual whole of life insurance policy with 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 provided.

Money can also be released 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 ensure 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’re confident this won’t happen. But in the unlikely event that we do go out of business and aren’t able to provide your funeral, the money held in the individual whole of life insurance policy 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. The scrutiny is carried out by the FPA’s independent compliance committee.

There is an annual re-registration process to check providers continue to meet the high standards set. This includes the provider submitting detailed information, including financial information, 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 tailor-made memorial headstone plan. This plan will allow you to arrange and pay in advance for new headstones and inscriptions on existing headstones. You don’t need to buy a funeral plan. If you do however, you will 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.

Please contact us if you’re struggling to pay for your plan, to discuss options with us. If you’re paying in instalments over 6 or 12 months and you miss 3 instalments in a row, we may cancel your plan and pay back the money paid. If you’re paying in instalments over 2–25 years and either you miss 3 instalments in a row, or 3 instalments in a 5-year period then you won’t be able to benefit from the Co-op Commitment. We have the right to cancel your plan and give you back the money you’ve paid, and cancellation charges are applicable.

When you take out a plan with us, you’ll receive a documents folder in the post within 10 working days containing:

• A covering letter

• 2x plan summaries and care cards. One set which should be given to the person who is most likely to arrange your funeral

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

If you are 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 paying in instalments, the total amount you will pay over the term.

There is no administration charge for making changes. We outline all of 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 can talk this through with you. Please note you can only change your payment term once per year.

However, you pay, you can cancel your plan within 30 days of the start date without giving any reason and receive a full refund, including your deposit. If you cancel your plan after 30 days of the start date, there’ll be a cancellation charge of £250 on fixed or tailor-made funeral plans or £100 on memorial headstone plans. For further information on your right to cancel see our terms and conditions.

As a Co-op Member, you benefit from exclusive member prices when you arrange a funeral or purchase a funeral plan with us. Plus we’ll give £2 for every hundred pounds spent to community 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 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