Many funeral plans are miss sold on the basis that the costings are inaccurate and the choice of funeral director and services is not what was sold.
One such situation just took place where a customer purchased a prosperous funeral plan having been told the cost covered everything they needed and they could choose their funeral director.
On closer inspection, the cost is massively short and only includes a contribution towards third party costs and is limited to one funeral director in the local area.
I believe this highlights several issues currently within the prepaid funeral plan market.
1: the sales networks of funeral plans should not include parties that know very little about funerals, their costings and disbursements and local prices of cemeteries and crematoria.
solution: If only the end service provider sold the funeral plan, they would be fully conversant in the costings associated to the service and the service level required. Unethical relationships between sales networks and funeral directors would be null and void and commission related sales by third party sales networks would cease.
2:The lack of highlighting what is truly covered and what is not truly covered; transparency of pricing.
solution: Structured pricing and explicit explanation of what is and is not included, service and costing wise. IF the disbursements are not covered then explain that and if they are explain how much they are and that they may still increase above inflation and not be met. An alternate solution to this is to only sell funeral insurances or funeral policies that do not guarantee and are not tied to a funeral director. Make them purely a financial package where money is put in trust and then called upon, when death occurs.
This particular situation had a family grave where the deceased would be a non -resident (Liverpool City Council charge a much higher rate than if you are a resident) and the plan was short b y nearly a thousand pounds at the very beginning! This kind of situation happens all the time and as transparent, honest, service driven, family run funeral directors, we are left explaining why we are cheaper for higher service and more choice.
On this particular occasion the customer had been told by another funeral director that they disallow chapel visiting and that the funeral director tells them the date and time of the funeral! This is not how we should be operating. We are there to care and provide, explain and present options, then make it happen how the family would like.