Would you know which prepaid funeral plan would work best for you? Defaqto has launched a new rating system to help consumers get the funeral product that matches their needs.
Defaqto, the financial information business, has added pre-paid funerals to its Star Ratings. The rating system will help consumers identify where pre-paid funeral products sit in the market, in terms of key features, trust, and the benefits they offer.
Final Choices believes this is a positive move as the pre-paid funeral market is unregulated and those buying products are, in essence, trusting to luck. The annual Cost of Dying report offers some indication of value, but the study is focused on the monetary cost rather than the less tangible but equally important considerations that customers and their families need to weigh when making decisions about funeral wishes.
The prepaid funeral plan market currently comprises of almost 100 products and Defaqto has analysed these from 26 product providers. Many of the products are purchased direct; the Star Rating will help consumers take into account the value of the cover rather than just the cheapest plan.
Steve Wallis, commercial director at Dignity Funeral Plans, said the sector would “benefit from increased scrutiny and stronger regulation.”
“There is significant consumer misunderstanding about what different funeral plans cover and Defaqto’s star rating will give consumers an independent way to assess which plans are best,” he said.
The continued growth of the funeral plan market is a result of the desire for consumers to have arrangements in place while they are still alive and to lock in the cost of their funeral against inflation. Reflecting this trend, Defaqto has used criteria that differentiate products in terms of their comprehensiveness, portability if a client moves location and the customer experience in areas of the quality of the funeral service and the treatment of third party disbursements.
More than 60 experts independently research, collect and assess products and provide a current, unbiased star rating based on facts, not opinion.
Ben Heffer, Insight Analyst for Wealth and Protection at Defaqto explained the rationale behind the move: “With consumers increasingly focused on price, our Star Ratings help segment the market in respect of the cover offered across a wide range of financial products."
"We have extended our Star Ratings to include prepaid funeral plans as more and more products have come onto the market, which is largely unregulated, yet taps into the consumer interest to plan ahead for their funerals and thereby relieve the burden on their loved ones," Heffer continued.
“Funeral inflation is considerably above the ordinary rises in cost of living, so paying for your funeral at today’s prices is an attractive proposition for customers.”
These new Star Ratings can be viewed by visiting:
Read about the benefits of prepaid funeral plans.