In June 2018 the government started gathering data to establish whether the pre-paid funeral plan market was putting consumers and their funds at risk.
Through an analysis of the research and evidence gathered the government found there to be a detrimental effect on the consumer. Therefore, there will now be a compulsory regulatory sector to provide guidance and regulations for the pre-paid funeral market.
The government has decided that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the correct choice to instate and regulate control measures within the pre-paid funeral plan market. The FCA is tasked with enforcing a robust standard of conduct, enhancing prudential soundness and establishing an appropriate dispute resolution mechanism.
How could this effect prices?
Pre-paid funeral plans prices have risen steeply over the last ten years due to an ever-increasing demand and overhead costs rising including wages, funeral director fees, burial plot shortages and local authority cuts.
Any regulations brought in by the FCA may have an instant effect on smaller funeral plan companies as their staff and overhead cost will rise. They will either have to swallow the extra costs, pass it onto the consumer, or they may have to close their doors completely.
The larger firms have already set standards within their companies which they believe will be in line with the FCA’s robust standards of control in which case the consumer may not feel the bite from price rises because they are already factored into today’s prices.
The FCA’s regulation can only make the pre-paid funeral plan market a safer place for consumers but that safety comes at a cost. If smaller funeral plan companies close their doors and only the big fish are left in the pond, competition in the market place will decease and price will carry on rising.
Only time will tell whether pre-paid funeral plan prices will carry on rising steeply and as death is inevitable and 99% of the population will have to pay for their own funeral. So, the question you must ask yourself is, will you save money by buying a plan today or in the future? To compare today’s top funeral plan companies’ prices, visit www.farewellfp.com