Co-op Funeralcare is introducing a new additional commitment for clients choosing to pay monthly for their funeral plan.
Customers taking out a funeral plan with the Co-op and opting to pay in monthly instalments over two to 25 years will be privy to the new commitment. This means that if the customer passes away before they’ve paid for the plan in full, the family or next of kin won’t need to cover any financial shortfall for the funeral as they will receive the full services in the plan.
The new feature, called the Co-op Commitment forms part of a wider focus on improving the funeral planning market for consumers.
Currently across the funeral planning market where someone passes away before instalments have been fully repaid on a funeral plan, it is commonplace for other providers to refund fees paid to date rather than covering the funeral in full. This can potentially leave families with an unexpected financial shortfall.
The new additions to Co-op’s funeral plans come as research and business data from the Co-op revealed that guaranteed over 50’s products marketed as covering funeral costs risk leaving millions of families with a significant amount of money to find when the time comes. Research found that whilst 78% of customers taking out an over 50’s plan do so to cover funeral costs, on average, those redeeming this type of product against a funeral face an average financial shortfall of £1,500.
Co-op has worked with Fairer Finance MD James Daley in ensuring terms and conditions are clear, concise and easy to follow.
It has also partnered with Independent Personal Finance Commentator, Andrew Hagger to compare the common product options for those planning financially for a funeral.
Andrew Hagger, independent financial commentator and founder of Moneycomms.co.uk said: “Unlike other products and services, it can be hard to know what you are getting when shopping around for a funeral plan and it is often claimed that it may be better for people to invest the money into other products or a savings account.
“For the first time, I have put this to the test and independently compared all the key options for those looking to plan financially for funeral costs, so as to identify the best routes for different circumstances and needs.”
Matt Howells, managing director for Co-op Later Life Planning added: “There’s an increasing trend towards planning ahead financially for a funeral, however the market remains inaccessible for many both in terms of cost, and product transparency. We’re focused on removing some of these barriers by improving the cover in our plans, working with industry experts to increase transparency, whilst also increasing accessibility by driving down costs.”