Can I Afford To Die?

Our 2020 British Seniors Funeral Report states that the cost of a funeral could reach up to £5,000 depending on the choices you make. For many, this is a significant sum to come up with at short notice and for the average UK family, it could be deemed unaffordable.

How much does a funeral cost? 

Our Funeral Report placed the average cost of a cremation at £3,673.73 while the average cost of burial is currently £4,358.87. Considering there has been a 5% rise in costs over the last five years*, this could potentially worsen over time.

Costs have risen so dramatically that it’s gained the attention of the media, Parliament, consumer organisations, charities and the CMA (Competitions & Markets Authority). According to a 2019 report by the CMA, funeral costs have been steadily rising to the point where they are now unaffordable for many.

In 2019, the CMA launched their investigation into a drastic year-on-year increase in funeral prices*. The organisation realised that there was growing concern around long-term, above-inflation price increases across funeral director fees, burial and cremation fees. There is also seemingly no consistency in pricing across funeral directors, burial and cremation fees in the same localities, not to mention a lack of transparency of pricing information. 

The current state of the funeral industry could leave many people wondering ‘can I afford to die?’

If you’re concerned about funeral costs, you could always take precautions and prepare as best you can. We’re here to help you gain a better understanding of the costs associated with funerals. We’ll also look at how you can potentially reduce funeral expenses and some of the ways in which you could help cover these costs.

How are Brits covering funeral costs?

Our 2020 Funeral Report showed that 47% of respondents have had to assist with paying for a family bereavement. Typically, the average person will contribute £2,003 towards various funeral expenses such as funeral notice, obituary, flowers and burial plot. Here’s how the average person helps cover the cost of a funeral:

  • 62% have paid out of their own savings
  • 18% have put it on a credit card
  • 12% have borrowed money from a friend or relative
  • 8% have gotten a loan from their employer
  • 8% have used a payday loan

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What can affect funeral costs?


Where you are holding the funeral could significantly affect the cost. Funeral director’s fees, burial and cremation fees fluctuate significantly in price from place to place and location can significantly affect the cost of saying goodbye. For instance, you’ll likely pay the most for a funeral in the South East and London while you can expect to pay around £800 less in Scotland**.

Using a funeral director

While using a funeral director could take away the stress of organising a funeral during an already difficult time, it can have a big effect on the funeral bill. £2,726.83 is the average cost of a funeral director. It costs just £1,333.73 to organise a basic funeral without a funeral director* - this figure includes the cost of a hearse (£293.27), coffin or casket (£379.51), funeral venue/service (£335.55),  Funeral home (£325.40). Since prices vary so much across the funeral industry, comparing prices could save you money.

Choice of discretionary items

The personalisation of a funeral is often a big factor in cost as discretionary items like flowers and memorials could add hundreds to the bill. Flowers, memorials and obituaries are some of the things worth pricing and comparing for the best value.

How can I get help with funeral costs?

One way that you could help your loved ones with funeral costs is by securing an over 50s life insurance policy. With British Seniors, you can secure your policy in minutes online or over the phone. Our over 50s life insurance is guaranteed acceptance for any UK resident aged 50-80.

You choose a suitable benefit amount and a rate of monthly premiums you can afford. As long as you keep up with your monthly payments, you know that your loved ones will receive a lump sum payment when you pass away.

*Funerals Market Study, Competition and Markets Authority, 2019

**British Seniors Funeral Report, 2020