Funeral business shows significant profits in 2017

Funeral parlours nationwide are seeing a significant increase in profits.

For the first time in 50 years, the UK has seen an increase in its death rate, with The Telegraph reporting 30,000 more deaths in the last 8 years than had initially estimated.

The rise in death rate has been linked to failure in the NHS services and a 17% decrease in spending on the elderly over the time recorded. Other NHS downfalls include waiting times in Accident & Emergency, slower ambulance response times and a rise in bed blocking.

Other factors contributing to the high death rate include a jump in Alzheimer’s related deaths, extreme weather and a flu epidemic covering Britain.

Funeral company, Dignity, reported an increase in annual profits of 9%, stating that their usual number of funerals carried out at 70,000 has been surpassed by ‘several hundreds of thousands.’

The rising cost of funerals

Contributing to the bottom line profits of funeral companies has been the surge in funeral costs. The average funeral in 2004 cost around £1,900, but today customers are paying around £3,600 to £4,000, meaning that the cost of funerals is rising much faster than inflation.

The basic costs for a funeral and the add-ons are on the up as we become accustomed to more professional, colourful and high-end weddings. The bereaved feel the need to spend significantly on their loved ones and that the extra costs are simply part of showing love and respect.

The main cost is surrounding the funeral directors who charge around £2,500 per funeral. Funeral directors are part of a governing body in the UK known as the NAFD, and this is the going rate for someone who offers their services to oversee the funeral from start to finish.

The funeral director’s roles include the transportation of the deceased, embalming, venue hire, ceremony arrangement and completion of vital documents.

Additional funeral costs include the tombstone at around £900, burial plot from £870, hiring the venue  for around £400, flowers for £150 and a newspaper obituary costing in the region of £70.

The danger of rising funerals costs means that the average ceremony could rise to as much as £7,000 by 2026 and £12,000 by 2036 – making them unaffordable for the majority of Britain.

New funeral businesses that have emerged

With the jump in funeral costs, many UK households have started to opt for cremation instead of a burial with a recent poll stating that now 58% of people prefer this option. If the trend continues, we may find that actually, the number of companies offering cremation will exceed those offering funerals.

In fact, many individuals are looking to offset the costs of a traditional funeral by looking at alternatives. Poppy’s Funerals in South London has established themselves as the leader for alternative funerals offering ceremonies on boats, motorbikes and campervans.

Another new business has been the growth of funeral plans, also known as prepaid funeral plans, funeral cover and burial insurance. This is an insurance policy used to pay for a funeral and can be purchased by the policyholder or on behalf of a loved one.

The main benefit is that the cost of the funeral remains fixed at today’s prices at around £3,600 and will remain the same until you pass away, whether it be in 20, 30 or 40 years’ time. Funeral plans typically cost around £3,000 and can be paid in one lump sum or in monthly installments of around £25 per month, helping to manage the cost more effectively.

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