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8 Feb 2017

1 in 3 Brits can't afford a funeral

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23 million people in the UK don’t know how they will afford their own funeral – a worrying thought for families who may not have broached the subject of planning ahead and organising finances.

Understandably, many people shy away from the topic, but as the price of funerals continues to increase, it is important to discuss how funeral preparations could impact your family as well as your financial stability.

Many people across the UK get into debt trying to cover the costs of a funeral for a loved one. As talking about preparing for funerals continues to be a topic that people push to the back of their minds, many are not financially prepared for the death of a loved one.

Research carried out by Opinium Research in 2016 revealed statistics about how unprepared families are across the UK when it comes to paying for funerals.

Percentage of the population for major UK cities that had no choice but to get into debt to pay for a family member’s funeral

  

How many people have some form of insurance to cover the cost of a funeral?

The vast majority don’t. Around 1 in 4 UK residents have not invested in cover to support the cost of a funeral when needed. The below figures show how this varies across the UK’s major cities:

  

How funeral costs and salaries stack up

Without cover, many people in the UK find that their salary has to be used to pay for a loved one’s funeral. To put this into context – those who spend more than 10% of their income on heating their homes in Birmingham are considered as ‘fuel poor’ households. That means that many households across the UK could be considered ‘funeral poor’ within the next ten years. Research has indicated that between now and 2027, the percentage of people having to use their salary to pay for a loved one's funeral will be:

  

How to pay for funeral costs

Without life insurance in place, people across the UK may struggle to find the funds to pay for a family member’s funeral. And should the worst happen, the last thing you should be worrying about is money.

So, how do people pay for funerals?

If you’re reflecting on your options, consider having that initial conversation with your loved ones. This will put you in a more stable position and help retain more control over your financial future. Planning ahead and considering the increasing average cost of funerals will ensure your family will not struggle financially, and that you can uphold the funeral wishes of your loved one.

On the release of this research, Managing Director of British Seniors Insurance Agency, Dave Sutherland, stated:

“Having children myself, I know broaching the subject of what happens when I die is a difficult, uncomfortable and potentially frightening topic – and I know I am not alone in this. However, I believe one of the best ways to combat these worrying statistics is to open up the conversation around dying and funerals. Whether it’s choosing a time when the family is all together, talking to loved ones one on one, or relating the conversation to a celebrity death – it is important to address death as a part of life.”

If you're looking for a way to cover the cost of your funeral, request an Over 50s Life Insurance Quote.

 

Sources:

Statistics from Opinium Research between 15th and 18th January 2016

907 respondents said they have not made any plans in the event of their death 907 / 2006 * 50,909,000 = 23,018,177 or 23 million

The average annual income of London residents is £37,114 (Office for National Statistics ASH survey 2016) and the average projected funeral cost for the next ten years in London is £4,973. £4973 / £37, 114 = 0.133 = 13% of average annual income

The average annual income of residents in Bristol is £26,760 per year (Office for National Statistics ASH survey 2016) and the average projected funeral cost for the next ten years in Bristol is £4,976. £4,976 / £26,760 = 0.185 = 19% of average annual income

The average annual income of residents in Cardiff is £27,293 per year (Office for National Statistics ASH survey 2016) and the average projected funeral cost for the next ten years in Cardiff is £3,969. £3,969 / £27,293 = 0.145 = 15% of average annual income

The average annual income of residents in Glasgow is £25,909 per year (Office for National Statistics ASH survey 2016) and the average projected funeral cost for the next ten years in Glasgow is £4,513. £4,513 / 25,909 = 0.174 = 17% of average annual income

The average annual income of residents in Liverpool is £24,746 per year (Office for National Statistics ASH survey 2016) and the average projected funeral cost for the next ten years in Liverpool is £4,395. £4,395 / £24,746 = 0.178 = 18% of average annual income

The average annual income of residents in Birmingham is £24,685 per year (Office for National Statistics ASH survey 2016) and the average projected funeral cost for the next ten years in Birmingham is £4,398 / £24,685 = 0.178 = 18% of average annual income

UK population is estimated at 63.2 million (Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census: Population Estimates for the United Kingdom, March 2011)