Can I Afford To Die?

Man sitting on park bench with his hand clenched together over his mouth

Our 2021 British Seniors Funeral Report states that the cost of a funeral could reach up to £7,571 or more 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 £3,635 and the average funeral cost at £4,068. Based on a consistent rise over the 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 prices1. 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?

Here's a breakdown of how our respondents found money to finance funeral costs based on data from our 2021 Funeral Report:

  • 60% drew from savings
  • 17% borrowed from a friend or relative
  • 9% put it on a credit card
  • 7% used a payday loan
  • 1% used a loan from their employer

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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 least for a funeral in the South West but the most in London2.

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. Our 2021 Funeral Report showed that £2,760 is the average cost of a funeral director. It should be noted though that 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 50 Life Insurance policy. With British Seniors, you can secure your policy in minutes online or over the phone. Our Over 50 Life Insurance has 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.

1 Funerals Market Study, Competition and Markets Authority, 2019

2 British Seniors Funeral Report, 2021