Under the microscope – Pre-paid funeral plans from SunLife
The death of a loved one is always difficult. A growing number of people are now pre-paying their funeral by taking out a funeral plan to ease the burden on their loved ones.
A funeral plan lets you plan and pay for your chosen funeral services in advance, so your loved ones don’t have to worry. It can remove financial and emotional stress at a difficult time and ease some of the difficult decision’s family members must make.
SunLife are a well-established business and the first company to launch an Over 50s Life Insurance plan back in 1979. They have now teamed up with Dignity to offer 3 Funeral Plans that have some unique differences from some of the other funeral plan providers out there.
Is the SunLife plan the same as other plans out there?
One of the key areas the SunLife funeral plan is set apart from most other plans is that your money is set aside in a Life Insurance plan rather than a trust fund. This means that any money paid into the plan is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) meaning that as long as you pay your monthly premiums, you will always get what you paid for and your money is 100% safe.
The funeral itself is provided by Dignity, one of the UK’s leading providers of funeral plans. Dignity are members of the Funeral Planning Authority and are required to abide by their strict rules and code of practice.
What options do they offer?
SunLife offer 3 plan options. Their most affordable plan is their Direct Cremation plan which includes a simple coffin, the return of ashes to loves ones and an unattended cremation. Quite simply the person that has died is taken directly to the crematorium by the funeral director without any family or friends in attendance. The cremation takes plan and then the ashes are returned to the family.
Their Traditional plan includes a cremation service and unlike the Direct Cremation plan can also be used for a burial service as it includes a contribution towards a burial (currently £1010 although this increases over time). A hearse and a smarter coffin are also included in the Traditional Plan.
The top plan they offer is called Traditional Plus. In addition to the traditional plan this also includes a high-quality coffin, two limousines and transportation to a separate ceremony, for example a church service. Again, this funeral plan includes a full guarantee for the funeral directors’ services and either a guarantee for the cremation fees and minister’s fees or an allowance of £1,010 for burial fees.
What is not included?
If you want a burial, there are likely to be some additional costs. There is the £1010 allowance which increases every year and is designed to cover burial and minister fees. It is not designed and is unlikely to meet any additional costs such as the purchase of a burial plot.
How much does it cost?
The cost varies based on your age and the type of funeral you want. The Direct Cremation plan starts from a highly affordable £9.25 per month. As the premiums increase each year for up to 20 years, you will need to pay more over time. For example, a 50 year old taking out the traditional plus plan would pay £21.67 per month with premiums increasing by £1.08 each year and eventually reaching their cap of £43.27 per month after 20 years. Premiums do stop completely when you reach age 90 or when you pass away. As long as you have had the plan for two years, SunLife guarantee to cover the cost of a funeral when you’re gone. It is also worth noting that depending on how long you live, you could pay more in premiums than the proceeds of the life insurance policy paid to Dignity. For example, if you take out your Funeral Plan now at age 69 with a starting monthly premium of £28.54 a month, then after you’ve had the plan for 11 years and 6 months, you will have paid more in premiums than the amount paid to Dignity when the claim is made.
Any welcome gifts?
No free pens I’m afraid but you do get a £85 Gift Card to spend in loads of different stores once you have paid your first 6 monthly premiums.
More Information or a Personalised Quote?
Head over to Saveonlife for an online quote by visiting the website here or call their Funeral Plan team on 0345 054 2706.
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