Funeral policies surge in demand as cost rises

Stephan Shakespeare
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THE death of a friend or loved one can bring unexpected financial costs, which can compound the emotional impact of the loss. A number of insurance companies offer products which will cover the cost of a funeral and any related costs. A report by YouGov SixthSense has found that only 11 per cent of Britons either currently hold a funeral insurance policy, and that a further 26 per cent answered that they did not hold a policy at present, but are contemplating obtaining one in the future.

There remains a large core (48 per cent of respondents) who hold no funeral insurance policy and would not consider buying one. Looking at the recent rise in funeral prices, our eagerness to invest in funeral policies is completely understandable.

A recent report released by the National Association of Funeral Directors found the average price of a standard grave has risen 42 per cent in the past three years, with an average increase of 48 per cent and 67 per cent for cremation and interring respectively. Since 2003 there has been a cap on social fund grants, which with funeral costs rising far more quickly than inflation, has resulted in a £500 shortfall which leaves little wonder as to why 37 per cent of the public either own or are considering investing in a funeral policy.

Elsewhere, YouGov’s BrandIndex has found that Prudential’s refusal to launch another bid for AIG’s Asian subsidiary, AIA, has been met by decreasing BrandIndex scores.

The Index score is an aggregate of the quality, impression, value, reputation, satisfaction and recommendation scores, and so serves as a powerful indication of the overall public perception of a brand.

Prudential hit a month high of +0.1 on 24 May, but as time passed and an acquisition seemed increasingly unlikely, the score fell. Having failed in their bid, Prudential’s Index score had fallen to -1.2 on 7th June.

Stephan Shakespeare is founder and chief executive of YouGov.