War has broken out amongst the larger chain funeral directors and a funeral cost comparison website after it was revealed that funeral costs had risen more than 33% in the last two years to an average of over £4,000.
This, for any industry, is a phenomenal increase and it’s difficult to ascertain why.
The town of Watford in Hertfordshire is suggested as being the most expensive place in the UK to die, with a top cost of £5,814 for funeral services. Staggering because Watford with its plush greenbelt and markedly lesser population, appears to rival the obviously disadvantaged London city areas which comes in close at £5,749.
The actual claim by Beyond is “This spike is being fuelled by price hikes among the big chains, who have raised their already-high fees by more than £500 in two years.”
“Meanwhile, independent funeral directors, who represent roughly a third of the market, have actually been found to have dropped their fees over the past 12 months.”
It’s true that smaller family funeral directors can be more local, more close to families and have catered to them for generations and in so being, may ensure costs are kept at the minimum while still trying to make a living.
Large nationwide funeral homes do not have this obligation, though overheads can be much larger as they have full control or controlling interests in Crematoriums, Cemeteries and green burial land across the UK.
Co-Op had the final say on the matter, “Co-op has held prices on its most affordable funeral options for over two years. So again, we would strongly challenge the claims about larger providers being solely behind the rises.”
On a map, Watford isn’t that far from the Greater London boundary, perhaps ten miles of distance matters for £500 – a last minute move to Guildford perhaps?
Irrespective perhaps more people should prepare for a funeral in advance and or find a way while grieving to at least compare funeral costs locally where possible.