In the news

There have been quite a lot of reports in the news about pre-paid funeral plan providers lately, not all of it good. However, from this year, you can have greater peace of mind when you purchase a pre-paid funeral plan, thanks to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA.)

The FCA

The FCA is a government body which already regulates many aspects of our financial lives, in order to ensure honesty and integrity in financial practices. Its aim is to protect the consumer by making sure that organisations which offer financial services such as insurance policies and pre-paid funeral plans are thoroughly vetted, financially sound and adhere to strict guidelines of best practice.

From 29th July, all providers of pre-paid funeral plans must be approved by the FCA, so you will be able to have greater confidence that they are financially sound and that they will pay out for your funeral when you need it.

Anyone who wishes to sell a funeral plan on behalf of a provider will also be covered by FCA regulations. Authorised representatives will be known as intermediaries, and will have specialised training in order to make sure that they give sound advice when helping you to choose a funeral plan.

Your Pre-paid funeral plan

If you already have a funeral plan with Golden Charter, our current partners, or Ecclesiastical, our former partners, you will see very little difference. Golden Charter (and Ecclesiastical) have applied to be FCA approved pre-paid funeral plan providers and we confidently expect them to be approved. We also expect to be approved as an intermediary for Golden Charter.

If you don’t yet have a pre-paid funeral plan, our teams in our branches will be very pleased to introduce you to our friendly funeral plan expert – a bit like being referred to a mortgage adviser when you buy a property. They will be happy to chat through your options during a no-obligation appointment and will be able to advise you on your choice of plan.

Do you need to act now?

You may have heard of the collapse of a couple of funeral plan providers and this is very distressing. If you already have a pre-paid funeral plan and it is not with Golden Charter, you should take a look at the FCA website, where you can see their current status. If they are not applying for FCA approval, you may need to take prompt action. Some providers who are not applying for FCA approval are arranging to transfer their customers to another provider. Some will give you a refund of your payments made so far, so that you can make other arrangements. Some will give you the choice. They should write to you to let you know their proposed arrangements, so if you haven’t heard from them, you should contact them as soon as you can.

Please note: Your pre-paid funeral plan contract is with the provider. This is not usually the funeral director. Hunnaball Family Funeral Group is not a funeral plan provider; we sell funeral plans on behalf of Golden Charter. Please check your funeral plan paperwork carefully to make sure that you know who your provider is and to find their contact details.

To find out which situation your provider is in, and what your options may be, you should visit the FCA website.

For more information about the FCA changes to pre-paid funeral plans, click here.

To see a complete list of UK funeral plan providers, click here.

To see company specific information about providers who are not applying for, or who have been refused approval, please click here.