Many families have been suffering from massive debt due to the high funeral costs, with reports showing an upsurge in the amount borrowed by the bereaved over the last five years. The Mutual Insurer Royal London are encouraging more support to be offered to families that are struggling to pay for funeral costs, which as a result forces them into debt.
A new report from Royal London shows that the typical cost of a funeral is £3,757, although the cost of funerals has been stable throughout the year (£3,784 in 2017). More information revealed by the Royal London National Funeral Cost Index, which is in its fifth year, shows that London has consistently been the most expensive area within the UK for funerals, with an average funeral costing £4,838. The most expensive location in London is Kensal Green, with an average cost of £7,489 for a funeral. Additionally, there has also been an increase in burial funerals in Kensal Green which now cost almost £12,000. On the other side, Northern Ireland remains to be the least expensive region, with a funeral in Belfast costing an average of £2,950.
Around 12% (one in 10) of individuals have an average amount of debt up surging to an all-time high of £1,744. Of those people that could not afford to pay the funeral cost, around 28% (3 in 10) of people borrowed money from family and friends and 21% (one in 5) had taken on a debt. Unfortunately, around 9% (one in 10%) continue to sell their possessions so they can afford to give their loved ones a send-off they deserve.
From the report, the data shows that families that are troubled with funeral costs could be permitted to get help from the Government so they can pay for the essential cost. However, the data shows that the support they offer is insufficient. Since the Government doesn’t recognise that the Funeral director’s fee, hearse, a coffin, and care of the deceased are necessary costs. The government will only offer £700 to bereaved families to cover costs, therefore leaving the bereaved families with an average deficit of £1,500 if they use the funeral director’s facilities.
In the fifth year of Royal London’s report about funeral costs, it shows that the UK funeral average cost has increased by 6% from £3,551 in 2014 to £3,757 in 2018. In addition to this, individual funeral debt has also risen to a higher rate of 34% in the past five years, as people are taking on an average debt of £1,744 compared to £1,305 in 2014.
About the Author
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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