Co-operative Funeralcare to reduce Funeral Costs by 7%

The Co-op is cutting the average cost of a funeral by 7%, or £140, it has announced.

The group's funerals business said the move will cut the price to below £2,000.

Richard Lancaster, managing director for Co-op Funeralcare said: "Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult and decisions about funeral arrangements can be especially hard in a time of grief, particularly when there are concerns about keeping within a tight budget.

"Our new Simple Funeral has been designed to better meet these needs, making it more affordable without in any way compromising on the quality of service or our industry-leading standards of care."

This ‘cut price funeral’ is in fact the Co-op’s ‘Simple Funeral’ and the cost that has been quoted is for the Co-op services only.

Funeral invoices are split into two sets of costs. First you have the funeral director cost for the service they provide to you – The care of the deceased person, the arrangement making, the Hearse, the coffin… These services and products are the provision of the funeral director. There is then the cost of the disbursements or the external costs. These are things like the Crematorium, the minister and the doctors. They will also include the flowers, orders of service, and death notices. While it is the funeral director who will make the arrangements for the external services, with the cost of these service shown on the invoice of the funeral director, they will have added no charge for providing that service. What you are invoice is what the funeral director has paid.

This Co-op quote of £1995.00 does not include the cost of the disbursements. 

Here in Weston, the necessary disbursement costs can total as much as £1214. (Weston Crematorium - £872.00, Doctors Fee for cremation certificates - £164.00 and Ministers fee (a minister is optional) – From £178.00.

The cost for the Co-op’s ‘Simple Funeral’ - £3209.00.  Nice try! (Please excuse the sarcasm, but) to tell us that the cost of the funeral is reduced to less than £2000 is utterly misleading.

While it is impossible to give a total, all inc. national quote, it is possible to deliver a quote that is not completely misleading.

Our ‘Simple Funeral Option’ is charged at £999 for the funeral director’s cost, plus the £1214 external cost. 

The external cost can be reduced by opting to take the 9am appointment at the crematorium which is considerably less at £540.00 and by opting not to hire the services of a minister to lead the service. 

This article simply highlights the importance of taking your time when choosing your funeral director.

·         Visit and meet at least three in order that you can get a good gage of each.

·         Acquire written estimates. 

·         Make sure they are who they say they are. The name over the door is rarely an indication of ownership.  Corporate companies acquire family businesses and keep the name.

·         Ask questions and make sure you are happy and satisfied by the advice you’ve been given. 

·         Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured into making a decision. It could cost you financially which could in turn tarnish the memory of your loved one.

When it comes to the funeral service the old adage of‘you get what you pay for’ simply does not fit! If you pay more, you don’t get more and good service doesn’t have come at a cost. 

It is the corporate companies that are driving up the cost of funerals. The independent firms are not completely blameless in the rise in cost as they are rising at virtually the same rate but staying just below the corporate cost.

Appoint the service of an independent, family funeral director and the majority of the £999 paid will be used to provide the funeral with the rest going towards oh, things like, the food shop,  school shoes, drum lessons and family trips to the cinema.

Only a fraction of the £1995.00 paid to the Co-op for a simple funeral is actually required to carry out the funeral, with the majority spent on the likes of‘Head Office’ and all it consumes. And of course there is the nest of Mr Richard Lancaster to be feathered as well as the vast management team below him. Why is the former MD of Morrison’s and Poundland being paid to provide funerals?