We watched with interest ITV Tonight’s documentary on the pre-paid funeral plan market, broadcast on Thursday, October 11.
The programme highlighted a number of incidences of unacceptable practice by some companies offering funeral plans.
At SAIF, we were pleased but unsurprised to see that our preferred funeral plan provider Golden Charter was not mentioned. Golden Charter is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority and abides by its code of practice. It is a reputable and responsible provider of funeral plans.
Thanks to Golden Charter’s relationship with funeral directors, consumers can rest assured that funeral plans provided through our members come with transparent fees and that the money they’ve spent will cover the cost of the funeral.
No funeral director wants to offer an undervalued funeral plan, although all-too-often we hear of funeral directors who have, out of pure kindness, delivered a funeral for a family who have fallen prey to a dodgy funeral plan provider, despite making a loss.
Joseph Barsby, of SAIF member G. Seller & Co, featured in the documentary and spoke well on behalf of independent funeral directors, and hopefully provided reassurance to members of the public that there are trustworthy operators in the funeral planning sector.
If you are a member of the public considering taking out a funeral plan, we advise the following particularly if contacted by a marketing or administration firm:
Always check the small print. What does the funeral plan cover in terms of funeral director fees and disbursements, i.e, crematoria/cemetery fees? Where are the funds invested? What is the cooling off period?
Expect total transparency with fees. If you’re unable to understand the fee structure of a funeral plan, or the plan provider fails to talk in plain English, walk away.
Talk to the funeral director who is to be tasked with delivering the funeral. If they don’t have confidence in the plan, then neither should you.
We fully recommend only choosing a funeral plan company that is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority.
Finally, if you have any questions about funeral plans, look up your nearest SAIF member who will be more than happy to offer assistance and guidance.