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The rising cost of funerals

The rising cost of funerals

The cost of a basic funeral has increased by 112% since 2004. We take a look at the rising cost and how a funeral plan can mitigate risk. 

Similar to purchasing a home, a car, or taking the trip of a lifetime, a funeral plan is another of life’s products that take careful consideration before purchase. As funeral plans vary in terms of what is included, and indeed price, it is important to take your time deciding which one is best for your needs before committing fully.

"Over the last 13 years, funeral costs have risen by a staggering 112%*"

What is a Funeral Plan?

With the average cost of a basic funeral now standing at £4,078 (an increase of 4.7% from 2016)*, by purchasing a funeral plan today, you can rest assured that you have more control over your funeral arrangements.

Why should I purchase a funeral plan?

Avoid rising costs: Over the last 13 years, funeral costs have risen by a staggering 112%*. Back in 2004, the average cost of a funeral was £1,920 however today it stands at £4,078*. Outstripping the rate of wages, pension and inflation, if funerals continue to rise at this rate, by 2027, funerals could cost in excess of £7,000**. By purchasing a funeral plan now, you can lock in this cost of the funeral directors services included in the plan at today’s prices.  
Provide peace of mind for you and your family: we understand it can be difficult to think about your own funeral however a funeral plan is a safe and simple way to plan ahead. By doing so, you can help save your family worry and possibly additional expense at an already difficult time meaning this can be a weight off your mind.  
Your money is protected: with a funeral plan from Golden Charter, you can rest assured your payments are safe and secure. Your money is paid into the Golden Charter Trust – a separate financial entity – and will be used to cover your funeral cost when the time comes.***

"the average cost of dying has risen by £3,047 since this was first tracked in 2007"

Average cost of funerals and dying 2017

Aside from the average cost of funerals now standing at £4,078, the average cost of dying has also increased 1.2% from 2016 to £8,905*. Additionally, the average cost of dying has risen by £3,047 since this was first tracked in 2007 (a staggering increase of 52%)*.

As well as the cost of a basic funeral (which makes up 46% of the total cost of dying)*, the cost of dying also includes the average amount spent on the send-off (such as flowers, order of service sheets, venue and catering to name a few) and the average amount spent on professional estate management services.

Rising cost of burials, cremations and direct cremations

In 2017, the split between burials and cremations was quite considerable with 25% burial and 75% cremation (3% of all cremations were direct cremations where the body is cremated without a funeral service taking place). 2017 is the first year SunLife has been tracking direct cremation and of the funeral directors interviewed, almost 10% of the cremations they have organised were in fact, direct cremations.

In the recent Cost of Dying Report from SunLife, almost 40% of people who organised a funeral of late said they would want their own to be ‘as cheap as possible’ with as little as 2% stating they would want a lavish affair*. Overall, the amount being spent on a send-off has dropped for the second year in a row and this, tied with the increase in direct cremations indicates people are cutting down on the costs they can control.

"If funerals continue to rise, the average cost of a funeral in 2018 could be £4,260, rising to £4,944 in 2022*."

Funeral costs will continue to rise

Since tracking began in 2004, funeral costs have increased year on year. When looking at the rate of increase in costs such as petrol, electricity, house prices and weekly wages, the rate of increase in funeral plans is high in comparison. If funerals continue to rise, the average cost of a funeral in 2018 could be £4,260, rising to £4,944 in 2022*


Life insurance broker Reassured produced this infographic in 2018 to illustrate the rising cost of a UK funeral:

*SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2017

** Golden Charter projections based on SunLife Cost of Dying Report.

*** *When paying by Fixed Monthly Payments options, your payments will be paid to a UK life assurance company and managed by them.


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