Due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans for price caps on funerals have been scrapped. After an extended investigation by the Competition and Markets’ Authority (CMA), it was concluded that funeral directors were exploiting grieving families. Additionally, the investigation found, funeral prices were rising many times the rate of inflation. However, plans to regulate the industry and introduce price caps on funerals have been scrapped as a result of the viral pandemic. The news comes after findings from the investigation were made public and recommendations were made directly to funeral directors. Nevertheless, it appears a bleak spectre looms, as there is no price cap in sight and death tolls from the pandemic continue to rise.
The Competition and Markets’ Authority investigated the cost of funerals, crematoria and other related funeral costs and found “unacceptably low levels of care of the deceased,” according to the CMA. Moreover, the investigation also highlighted how funeral costs rose, year on year, for the last decade, at least. According to report, published annually by insurance provider SunLife, the cost of a basic funeral had risen by 9 per cent in a single year, in some areas of the United Kingdom. With rising costs, substandard service and confusing pricing structures, some commentators described the funeral industry as the ‘Wild West.’
However, despite the long-running investigation and detailed findings published in the autumn, regulation remains week. Despite numerous recommendations, the toll of the coronavirus and restrictions on funeral directors mean the government is helpless. With extra demand on funeral directors and reduced capacity of local and national government to take more stringent measures, the situation is set to continue.
Funeral plans allow consumers to plan and pay for their funeral, at today’s prices. This means, against the backdrop of rising funeral costs and government inaction, funeral plans offer considering savings for customers.