Are prepaid funeral plans safe?

Are prepaid funeral plans safe? When you take out a prepaid funeral plan you are doing just that, paying money upfront for your funeral. Mostly people take out these plans so that their family don’t have to pay for their funeral and make all the arrangements.

 

It’s great they say, pay for your funeral at today’s prices, beat funeral cost inflation and chose a funeral that you want.  They key, is of course, in the word “upfront”. You are taking your hard-earned cash and giving it to a company in the hope that they deliver after you have died. I don’t know about you, but I am very weary of giving my money to an organisation for a future service, especially after I am dead.

 

So why do people do it, is it safe? You hear stories of people getting ripped off with these plans!!

So Are prepaid funeral plans safe?

So, lets deal with the stories. People do get ripped off but that is because they have probably bought them from unregistered/unregulated Providers. Let me explain, the Prepaid Funeral Plan Industry is NOT regulated. In 2002, to improve standards and set a Code of Conduct/Practice, members of the industry set up the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). This community interest company exists solely to help and benefit customers, i.e., you and me. The FPA has an independent Board and Compliance Committee to push for the highest standards for Providers. Self-regulation for the industry.

 

That’s all good and well, but people are still getting ripped off. Well, the problem is that registration with the FPA is completely voluntary, so the ones doing the ripping off are probably not registered. That is not to say that ALL unregistered Providers are dodgy, there are probably some good ones.

 

So let’s talk about these self-regulated, registered Providers. They do have to follow a strict set of Rules and Code of Practice. What follows are just a few of these Rules and Codes.

  • There is a strict minimum requirement for providers that register with the FPA.
  • They are regularly assessed and reviewed by the FPA to make sure they are raising standards and putting the customer first.
  • The Rules and Codes that they follow are enforced by the FPA.
  • Providers must follow Principles of Business that include, Integrity, Management and Control, Customer’s Interests, and Financial Prudence to name a few.
  • There is also a Code of Conduct that providers must follow.

 

And then of course, the big advantage of using a self-regulated provider is how they manage your money once you have paid for your plan.

  • Either, put your money into an account managed by Trustees that are approved by the FPA. Most of these Trustees must not be connected to the provider.
  • Or, have your money invested by an independent Fund Manager who is authorised by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
  • Or, apply your money toward a whole life assurance policy with a company authorised to do so.

 

Your money is safe with a Provider that is registered with the FPA, even if that Provider goes bust. It is worthwhile investigating but just make sure the Provider you chose is registered with the FPA.

Don’t know where to start ?

If making a will is something you’ve been meaning to get around to, but don’t know where to start, speak to our client advice team on 021 231 7010 or click here and we’ll call you.