Government Calls for Regulation of Door-to-Door Pre-Paid Funeral Plan Sales
Pre-paid funeral plans can be a great option, especially for those who want independence and responsibility when it comes to planning their last wishes. Another reason many choose to have a pre-paid funeral plan is to spare their relatives the financial burden of planning a funeral.
The demand for pre-paid funeral plans has grown by almost 200 per cent between 2006 and 2018, with 177,000 plans sold in 2018. But with the rise of popularity in pre-paid funeral plans, there has also been a rise in door-to-door sales of pre-paid funerals. Door-to-door sales of pre-paid funeral plans are typically carried out by third party sales agents, with many of them using ‘shameful’ and misleading tactics to close a sale.
In 2017 the government recognised the growing problem and issued a consultation regarding the sale of pre-paid funeral plans, outlining the need for more robust regulation to protect consumers.
Read more to learn about pre-paid funeral plans and the government’s plans in 2019 to regulate conduct in the sector.
Door-to-door sales – are they unacceptable?
In 2017 Ecclesiastical Planning Services commissioned OnePoll research of 1,000 men and women aged 50 to find out their views on door-to-door funeral plan sales.
In one of their surveys, they found that the majority of over 50s consider doorstep selling of pre-paid funeral plans to be ‘unacceptable’, with 14% saying that they find this sales-tactic ‘intimidating’.
Pre-paid funeral plan regulation
Following this informal consultation, the HM Treasury announced in January 2019 that there will be new plans to regulate pre-paid funeral sales.
City Minister, John Glen, said:
“Planning for your funeral can be a difficult experience, but one that many of us will need to go through at some point in our lives. It’s shameful that there are those out there who look to prey on people when they are in this often emotional and vulnerable state.
That’s why I’ve taken the decision to regulate pre-paid funeral plans, so people can have more confidence in the products they’re being offered and peace of mind that their affairs will be handled correctly.”
The government consultation closes on the 25 August 2019, with the view to regulating and improving the conduct of how funeral plans are sold.
If you would like to discuss a pre-paid funeral plan, you can call or visit your local Douch Family Funeral Directors branch to find out more. We offer reliable advice so that you find the right pre-paid funeral plan for you.
All our pre-paid funeral plans are financially secure and held in a guaranteed whole of life assurance policy with Ecclesiastical Planning Service which is part of the Ecclesiastical Group.
OnePoll Research of 1,000 men and women aged 50 and above on behalf of Ecclesiastical Planning Services, November 2017.
GOV.UK Pre-paid funeral plans: call for evidence