Rising costs have been uppermost in everyone’s thoughts recently with increases in energy bills and the general cost of living, but there has been some respite for bereaved families with the news that the average cost of a basic funeral went down in 2021 - the first time this has happened in at least 17 years!
The figures were revealed in a comprehensive report by the insurer SunLife which started researching funeral costs in 2004, publishing the information annually ever since. It focuses on costs and trends and throws up some interesting results.
The statistics show:
- The average cost of a basic funeral dropped from £4,184 in 2020 to £4,056 in 2021 - a reduction of 3.1%.
- Burial costs decreased by 21%, cremation costs by 3.1% and direct cremation costs rose by 6% over the same period.
- Cremations accounted for 57% of funerals in 2021, direct cremations for 18% and burials for 25%.
Here at WRR Pugh & Son we have continued to adapt over many years of service to the community to meet changes in the industry and the needs of the bereaved and their families we care for - something which will always be our top priority.
We have seen a rise in the number of direct cremations and believe this option will only increase in popularity in the future, mirroring the growing trend nationally.
The pandemic affected the way funerals could be held and we firmly believe measures of smaller services and gatherings forced on the country by Covid will continue as a popular choice for many now those restrictions have been lifted.
Recording and streaming funerals for remote viewing has also become the norm for mourners globally and this too is part of a growing trend which we anticipate will grow in the future.
Families now have more choice than ever with the options available to them in the way they want to say goodbye to a loved one - which has to be a good thing and we are only too willing to help them meet their requirements.
One good thing which has happened in the industry to benefit bereaved families, and something we support wholeheartedly, is the change in the law which now requires greater transparency over costs when it comes to arranging a funeral.
The new rules were brought in last September following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over concerns that many people were being treated unfairly. It encourages clear and open pricing policies which helps to address the concerns and perceptions that previously existed.
It means the headline price of a funeral, cost of individual items involved in a funeral, price of certain additional products and services and any additional charges which may apply to late payments must be clearly displayed and strictly adhered to. All of which helps families cope with their bereavement a little easier at one of the most difficult times in their lives.