How Prepared Is The Average Brit For Their Funeral?

Elderly man sitting at kitchen table with laptop and writing on a notebook

Considering death is something we all face at one point or another - whether it’s the loss of a loved one or coming to terms with our own passing - it can be difficult to think about. But when we avoid thinking about death, it can prevent us from making practical plans for our funeral - which can, in turn, leave our loved ones confused, stressed and out of pocket when the time comes.

Since we as a nation are becoming more aware of the cost of a funeral due to recent media attention and in some cases personal experiences, we want to find out just how prepared us Brits are when it comes to funerals. In this article we'll look at data taken from our most recent 2021 Funeral Report to provide up to date information on costs, as well as data taken from previous reports where we looked at things like funeral planning. 

Generally, our feelings towards death have been anxious and fearful but these days we appear to be comfortable talking about it. It’s important for us to acknowledge that our loved ones will eventually have to take care of our funerals. Then, we can do what we can to make things that bit easier for them. Our most recent 2021 Funeral Report showed that despite the fact that funeral costs can be a significant financial burden to some, less than a third of people in the UK have no life insurance or money set aside for their funeral.2 It seems that despite rising funeral costs (about 5% over the past 5 years), we’re seemingly unprepared in many cases. What’s worse is there are many things to consider when planning a funeral that you might not be aware of. 

It can be difficult to try and picture all the individual costs that are involved with paying for a funeral. Here is a list of what people were spending on each item for a funeral on average in 2021 and the percentage increase since the 2020 report: 

  • Funeral director £2,760, a 16% increase 
  • Headstone or plaque, £911 a 12% increase 
  • Limousines or vehicles £786 a 32% increase 
  • Venue for reception or wake £780 a 38% increase 
  • Catering £746 a 34% increase 
  • Flowers and tributes, £523 a 39% increase 
  • The officiant £477 a 24% increase 
  • Death notice and sundries £456 a 47% increase 

Understanding funeral costs

It’s no wonder so many people can be clueless about the reality of funeral costs. It’s only in the past few years that issues around rising funeral costs and a lack of transparency about pricing have come to light in the media. This has prompted organisations like the CMA (Competitions & Markets Authority), to begin investigating the problem. Understanding the cost of a funeral can help you to plan and more importantly, know where you can cut costs.

According to our latest, 2021 Funeral Costs Report, the average cost of a funeral in the UK now stands at around £5,631. If you believe your family could cover this cost at short notice then that’s all well and good. But if you think pulling this kind of money out of thin air might be a challenge for your loved ones, then maybe it’s time to consider putting a financial plan in place to help protect them.

How prepared are we when it comes to funerals?

Considering the cost of a funeral could reach up to £7,500 or more depending on the choices we make, it seems that many people are still unprepared. Our 2021 Funeral Report showed that less than half (43%) said that they could “definitely” afford the associated costs if they suffered a bereavement now.2

According to our 2021 Report, when people surveyed were asked why they had not yet put money away for their funeral here are some of the reasons: 

  • 37% have said it’s unaffordable 
  • 21% believe they are too young to think about it 
  • 20% find it hard too think about 
  • 17% they don’t have dependents 
  • 16% don’t know how much they need 

Considering you could secure a policy with British Seniors for as little as £4.32 a month depending on your age3, it may be a shock to find out that just 21% of those aged 55+ have any life cover in place based on data taken from our 2021 Funeral Report.2 This could mean that your loved ones are left vulnerable due to a potentially hefty funeral fee. Life insurance can help contribute to the cost of your funeral, giving your family a helping hand when it’s needed most. 

How can I better prepare for my funeral?

If you would rather take some of the financial burden away from your family, then you could consider Over 50 Life Insurance. Once you secure a policy with British Seniors, by paying just a few pounds a month, your loved ones are guaranteed a lump sum payment when you die. It’s easy to secure life cover with British Seniors online or over the phone. Our Over 50 Life Insurance is guaranteed for any UK resident aged 50-80.

1 ONS UK adult population of 52 million x 0.41 (41% of Brits) 

2 British Seniors Funeral Report 2021

3 For a 50-year-old non-smoker with £1,000 of cover.

4 British Seniors Funeral Report 2020


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