Funeral costs continue to soar, claims SunLife

SunLife’s annual Cost of Dying report shows that while the cost of dying is the fastest rising of any fixed cost in the UK, the number of people making at least some funeral provision is also the highest on record.

The cost of a funeral has risen by 5.5% to £3,897 in the past year; double the price when SunLife first started tracking funeral prices in 2004. However, 62% now put at least some money aside to cover their funeral, a 5% rise since 2009.

Despite this increase, 19% do not leave enough to cover the full amount due to the rising cost of funerals. One in seven (13%) of those left to cover the bill said it caused them notable financial concern with the average shortfall standing at £2,334.

According to the research, 40% of people organising a funeral said it cost more than they expected and 38% said it cost a lot more. One in twelve had to cut back or change some of the ‘send-off’ costs they had planned for their loved one.

Graham Jones, director at SunLife, said: “We do the Cost of Dying each year to raise awareness of the fact that there is a very real cost associated with death and it has been steadily rising for more than a decade. “

While there are still people not making any provision, the number that do is rising, which is encouraging, and shows that keeping this issue in the public eye is having a positive effect on attitudes.

“However, many are still vastly underestimating how much a funeral actually costs and not leaving enough.”